Los Angeles and Hollywood


If you care to know, Quantas have great in flight entertainment. So far I've watched nine movies, six on the way out and three on this stretch. Who needs sleep. After a thirteen hours, we the hit the ground in Los Angeles and the temperature soars. Bron has arranged for us to meet James Bailey, who runs the Comedysportz improv venue and shows in Los Angeles. Los Angeles. It all feels very showbiz as we drive on a mini tour of the major movie and tv studios on the way to lunch, with the white letters of the Hollywood sign visible in the distance. It quickly becomes apparent how awkward we are as lunch guests as we rock up at very pleasant contemporary vegetarian restaurant. Bron narrows her veggie options by listing the vegetables she doesn't like, and I fail to mention my nut allergy at all until the orders are taken and then am politely advised that it's better that I don't eat there at all. This is then repeated the next night in a contemporary street food restaurant with my malt allergy, but I do eat some clams. Watch the simple Northern man make an impression in Hollywood.

James is an amazing host showing us the sights, as well as blagging us a swanky hotel in Beverley Hills on Rodeo drive. As we arrive knackered and see the glamour is hanging out all over, valet parking attendants and smart bellhops can smell our worth quicker than a pawnbroker with a cheap watch. Its posh, the bed is great but I remember that America doesn't really do kettle's, so I can't have the batman flavoured pot noodle for supper that I stashed in my suitcase.

Saturday we head out to Venice Beach. I look for the pier where the movie Falling Down was shot. It's hot and bustling, a bit like Blackpool with hippies and hip hop, worth seeing. The wife is also here to play Comedysportz with the LA team and lucky happenstance, James offers me the chance to play too. This team are slick and professional, all jobbing actors and improvisers and even though I feel 'game on' I'm concerned that I'm a bit rusty and have a might not gel with the beautiful people, a bit like Doctor Who on the bridge of the starship enterprise. I worry about nowt. It's a great show and Rick, Holly and Scott are giving, fun and funny. I even get to do a scene with Derek Mears who was Jason Vorhees in the Friday 13th (2009) and the lead Predator in Predators (2010). This presses my awesome buttons, it's a great night.

John Cooper
Comedian & Improv coach
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