Because I Cry At Musicals: Beauty and the Beast at the Pantages Theatre

Beauty and the Beast - Pantages Theatre

It’s not every day you get to knock something off your bucket list.

Watching Disney Broadway musicals are actually on my list. The Lion King is coming to the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood at the end of the year for anyone who wants to see the “Circle Of Life” performed live in an 80-year-old venue.

Anyways, Belle, Beast, Gaston and the entire cast of Beauty and the Beast came strolling into the Pantages Theatre on March 26th and will continue gracing their presence on stage until April 7th. Had it not been for some slight stalking on Instagram, I would have never known or had the chance to watch this timeless tale told in melodies.

The last time I watched a live version of Beauty and the Beast, I lost my parents when everyone was trying to exit. I was also eight and in Disneyland. Getting lost at Disneyland is no fun. They actually have a lost and found for kids. Why though? I lost my mom and dad… there should be a lost and found for parents.

Back to the Broadway show, the characters looked like the cartoon version of themselves and even sounded like the cartoon version of themselves. Mind Blown. Also, I have a bad habit of crying every time I watch a romantic movie even if I’ve seen it 200 times.

So yeah, I naturally teared up when the teapot sang her solo. I teared up. I watched Beauty and the Beast do their famous ballroom dance with blurred vision. I refused to let those tears drop. Because who cries while watching Disney musicals?

Blame it on Mrs. Potts.

iPhone-less At Paid Dues: Blessing In Disguise

7914040652_68c8b1b553_zNote: This obviously is not a picture from Paid Dues.

I’m notorious for leaving essential items at home.

On Valentine’s Day this year, I left my purse at home. My ID, debit card, rose salve (essential), everything was inside my purse. To top it off, it was four in the afternoon and I was driving opposite of traffic into Los Angeles. There was no way I was going to turn around and sit in two hours’ worth of traffic (when the commute is only 20 minutes) to get my purse. Welp. Hope that painted a pretty picture.

So I leave my house Saturday afternoon with sunscreen, a sweater and my purse, thinking I had everything, and embarked on a nice long 45-minute ride to San Bernardino, the home of Paid Dues. About ten minutes pass and as soon as the freeway lanes started to clog up, I had the sudden urge to update my Facebook and that’s when I realized another passenger was missing, my iPhone 5.

Good thing I didn’t have a friend waiting for me at the show and good thing she didn’t need the extra ticket I had to get in. -___-. Good thing I didn’t want to Instagram, Vine, Facebook or tweet and good thing everyone else in the car didn’t have dying Androids while I was only stocked with an iPhone car charger, iPhone 5 adapter included. -___-.

I would have given up a few things in exchange for my iPhone. Like happily handing over my sunglasses and/or cup of Diet Coke and rum. Fair trade? MAYBE. It was sunny that day and drink prices skyrocket at any outdoor festival.

On the bright side, I hadn’t enjoyed a big show like Paid Dues without using my phone as a recording device in years. Yes, I’m guilty of being one of those obnoxious concert goers with one arm in the air during every song. I usually record with a purpose and take concert shots in exchange for Instagram hearts.

Not this time.

I watched Black Hippy’s set from the main stage pit without any interruptions, minus a few giant iPads recording in my peripheral. Why someone would take an oversized $500 iPhone, that requires both hands to record, to an outdoor festival is beyond me. Somewhere, though, as Kendrick Lamar performed “Swimming Pools,” I looked back past pit and beyond.

This was the first time Paid Dues was taking place at the San Manuel Amphitheater, the largest outdoor amphitheater in the United States. That’s how much open land San Bernardino has to offer. 65,000 fans fit in orchestra, box, loge and lawn sections. Needless to say this place was HUGE. Even more so since you had to go down two flights of stairs and a ramp to make it to the pit. One look behind your right shoulder and you’ll find yourself at the edge of a sea of heads lit up as spotlights hit the tops of the massive crowd.

Back on stage, Kendrick called for all of Top Dawg Entertainment to stand by his side. He saluted the crew and made sure the audience realized that success is a team effort. There might have been about 20 people on the Paid Dues stage. I smiled after spotting my friend Ret One on stage. I even waved! like I wasn’t one of 65k.

Then “m.A.A.d city” dropped, starting with Kendrick’s a cappella chant in the beginning. “Yawk Yawk Yawk Yawk,” start instrumental, cue in crowd going crazy with the track blaring through San Bernardino. It also just so happened to be one of my favorite tracks off good kid, m.A.A.d city.

Sure, if I would have had my iPhone, I would be have been able capture it all. But I didn’t miss having to refocus my attention away from the pain in my arm caused by holding a phone in the air for too long.

Note: Here’s a real picture from Paid Dues. Thank LA Weekly!

Paid Dues Festival 2013 At San Manuel Amphitheater



Totally Beyonce inspired except that she was in a room full of trophies *cough* overachiever *cough* and I’m holding two diplomas at my preschool graduation. TWO. She’s also wearing a tiara and I just have a sloppy bow. *bows*

May 2011 – March 2013 Life Recap: Getting Back On Track

I don’t really remember much before the accident.

At least the way I used to be. Throughout almost-two years of recovery, I might as well have coined the phrase “I used to be like this.” Like if I was a better person pre car accident. Not sure what I was trying to prove by adding “used to be” in regards to myself. Truth is. I’ve remained the same.

It took me a while to see it. “Used to be” was my crutch. If someone saw me limping, I could say “I used to have a fierce walk.” If someone noticed my poor posture, I could reply with “I used to have the best stance.” I used to be confident. I used to smile more. I used to be a go-getter. I used to wear tighter clothes. I used to prance in four-inch heels. I used to dance all night. I used to pirouette. I used to have strong legs. I used to skip. I used to run. I used to jump. I used to be like that.

“Used to be” weighed my soul down, enough to make me feel like I was drowning in a pity pool party of one. Everything physical about me changed in some way yet I continued to grip on to the way I “used to be” instead of realizing that I’m still me, just constrained to a pair of flats for now. I’m still confident, strong, smart, sexy, occasionally funny and definitely clumsy. I can still dance all night as proven in Vegas last weekend. Most importantly, I’ve let go of my selfish worries to accept that I’ve been given the greatest gift of all. Another chance.

Recovery is much more than a physical battle, it’s 99% mental. You need to prepare your body, mind and soul, like you would for any other major life change. The more heart you put into it, the more results you’ll get out of it. I know, the solution seems simple. Two-years too simple.

I’d like to think I’m finally on the right path. Seeking the help I needed and sharing some self discovery along the way. In my last recovery post, I wrote “It’s time to get out of my comfort zone and face the real world again.” That line was published over a year ago and I’m finally ready to plant both feet in the real world.


Here’s to hoping my feet land on a sandy beach somewhere in the real world, preferably in the Dominican Republic.

Just Another Day Out In Sunny L.A. starring Scoop DeVille & Mibbs

Scoop, Me & Mibbs

Duck lips, don’t care. Actually, quick story on the duck lips. My mother actually called me to tell me I look like an idiot making that face. Doesn’t she know what the Thizz face is?! -5 points on mom’s coolness.

Back to the longer story, I met up with Scoop DeVille at El Tepeyac Cafe in Boyle Heights last week to ask him a few questions about the latest hit single he produced, Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice.” To my surprise, Scoop and his manager Edgar arrived 15 minutes early. The rap world runs an hour behind which means they were really 75 minutes early.

Early is still a word I’m trying to stuff into my personal vocabulary.

After some light chatting with Scoop and Edgar, Mibbs, from the L.A. hip-hop trio Pac Div, joined us at the Mexican food spot. Why not, the more the merrier! Scoop and Mibbs had an instant vibe so I already knew it was going to be a fun interview.

The duo also had a collaborative project that they wanted to talk about, Freebass. Their faces lit up when I asked them to share more information about the EP. Isn’t that what this is all about? To share art you believe in? To stir and shake up some emotions? I can’t wait to hear the entire album!

I’m totally expecting a taco man at the listening party, guys. I’ll remind you in a few.

Interview was shot and edited + the pictures were taken by my talented friend Christian San Jose.

Scoop & Mibbs

Janice Llamoca @ El Tepeyac Cafe

Hey that’s me! Ok bye.