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The Artists’ Wall

There is a wall on a building on Highland Ave and someone or somebodies put up art. It changes all the time as the owners of the building tear it down, paint over it and otherwise destroy it. I like to photograph it while there’s time. Here are a couple of examples. I hope you love them as much as I do. If you know where the PowerHouse bar is, then you know what I’m talking about. There’s a terrible Chinese restaurant there too. MSG WARNING! See? Lots of little useful tidbits here on the Hollyblog! See!

© Russell Smith, 2011

© Russell Smith



2010 Hollywood Fringe Festival

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Two days ago I was walking by the Egyptian Theater and I noticed a small gathering of people. It included a man playing a small African drum and a woman standing on raised block of wood. Despite my enormous fatigue, I crossed the street to investigate. Thank goodness I did so! Did you realize that we are four days into the first Hollywood Fringe Festival (2010). Luckily I was able to snatch up a playbill from a table that was teeming with 4×6 cards that advertised various events.  To quote the director of the Festival, Ben Hill “Outside the mainstream, a kaleidoscope of alternative art waits to emerge.” This festival is in the spirit of the “celebrated Edinburgh Festival.” Well, I can’t think of a finer spirit to emulate and I can’t think of a finer place to celebrate it than Hollywood.

Gawking tourists

There are a few perceptions of Hollywood. The most common is Big Studio Hollywood with Steven Spielberg, et al. Twenty-first Century Fox, Dreamworks, Sony, and the rest. The second perception is Big Squalor Hollywood with homeless crackheads panhandling and ranting through the streets. Then there is Big Tourist Hollywood with tour busses conveying camera-toting Japanese from one cheesy photo op to another. Lost in all this hustle and bustle is Big Art Hollywood. From the celebrated Stella Adler Theater to some rock band dive bar, Hollywood is teeming with creative souls. Some just want to be the next Julia Roberts or Jake Gyllenhaal, while others just want to express their talent to an audience. I’m not just talking about actors, even though they take up the lion’s share of aspiring artists. I also speak of the painters, sculptors, and other tactile artists. I speak of the digital artists, trying to plough through a new frontier of expression that is riddled with amateurish, it’s so easy to look good wannabes. I speak of the writers, directors, producers, set designers, stage hands – all the struggling artists who want to participate in the emerging culture of this new Century. Hollywood is an exciting place to live if you are an artist, or just someone who appreciates art. In this tiny space, there are so many theaters and  creative venues that it’s hard to conceptualize.

So here’s the the first Hollywood Fringe Festival! I’m sorry I’m a bit late in announcing it to my readership, but I worry about overloading my posts to the point where my readership will see an email and just hit delete without even thinking twice. I’m so glad that today is my wedding anniversary and tomorrow is my birthday! What a great surprise to revel in.

Support the Hollywood Fringe Festival!

Promotional video

You Never Know What You May See

In Hollywood 90028

Is it an earthquake?

No. Just watch the video. It will explain what I stumbled across on my way to the Pharmacy:

Is there going to be a yet another King Kong movie coming out this Summer? Who knows? Oh, yeah. I say University City in the video. Oops. Oh, how I just hate Madame Tussaud’s and her plastic mold-injected, computer-generated figures. They are plastic, not wax. They are the product of geeky, nerdy Information Technology (IT) guys, who are the most distasteful mutants known to humankind. If you’ve ever had to deal with an IT person at your job, then you have to agree with me. If you go to the Hollywood Wax Museum, on the other hand, you will find real artwork on display. Boycott Madame Tussaud! She’s British, as in British Petroleum, BP, oil spill, Gulf of Mexico. Are you with me yet. Brits, destroying everything they touch, as usual.

More in the news

Tuesday night is Jazz night at Hollywood and Highland Mall. If it’s that fusion stuff, no thanks. I don’t need to hear any Johnny Coltrane. Just give me some Janis Joplin or Billie Holiday, thank you very much.

Comfy seating, if you like a ruined back.

One More Thing

Now THAT'S art!

Russell Falling

Embracing my Pain and its Certainty

Saturday Morning Post

Laugh and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old Earth must borrow its mirth,
but has trouble enough of its own.

While we’re waiting for my antidepressants to kick in, here are some things to look forward to on Russells’ Hollywood Blog: a review of Disturbia, recently released on DVD; lots of beautiful photography; my usual rants and plenty of Hollywood Pointe gossip, and believe me, it’s juicy!

Photograph by Angi Orton, view of Santa Monica Mountains from Mulholland Drive; poem fragment from Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.