Many people have a person or a group of people that they look up to for various reasons and influences. These people could be those that are known to the person, such as friends, relatives, co-workers, or persons of some form of local authority. (Teachers, clergy, etc.) Others are those that are known of in a large scale. These folks can be athletes, those in the entertainment realm, world or political leaders, founders in businesses, or those that made some kind of impact to the world or the world around them.

Much of the notion of looking up towards someone begins early in life. A child may look up toward their parents or those that served as parents or caretakers. As time progresses, the celebrity trait may fall in ranging in from athletes, musicians, actors, and others that tend to become part of the public limelight. As the person becomes older, those one-time stars become shoved aside to others such as political leaders, writers, or those that serve a purpose or mission. And those people may be shoved over to others that may be known to the domestic world, or known to the person doing the idol-ness!

In today’s post modern landscape, it’s not too difficult for those of a younger age to find somebody they could look up to. Kids perhaps are the most vulnerable when it comes to influence. Thanks to media available anywhere and everywhere, young folks can be exposed to people or groups that hold some kind of bonding through actions, words, accomplishments, or a mashup or all three! These folks coming of age turn toward these people for influence, entertainment, encouragement, or giving them the lowdown of what to do and how to do it!

Social media is perhaps the most influential source to find such people to look up to. Thanks to posts, tweets, and other methods of electronic expression, it’s not to surprising that these people make themselves accessible through social media. Each and every day (sometimes each and every hour), these folks of influence makes their presence known to those that want to know what’s going on and about. Many of these posts, etc. are real, some are prefabricated, and the rest are spots that can be taken for what they are worth!

Not too long ago, the market intelligence agency Mintel filed a document reporting on the influence of social media celebrities on America’s youth and how influential they are to this demographic. The report notes that more than one third (34%) of those aged between six and seventeen consider social media stars to be among their top role models. Musicians come a close second at 33%, followed by athletes (27%), actors (22%) and the President (16%).

Social media stars are those that are normally found on YouTube, a place that nearly anybody that has access to capturing moving imagery can upload their content for anyone to watch and consume. These people, who tend to be of a younger age range, place their programming based upon aspects that teeters between being informational and holding entertainment value. These same folks use there two values (among others) that develops a following where these people become celebrities in their own right. To make these facts bond even more, a convention was recently held in Anaheim, California last moth called VidCon that consisted of a large scale gathering of YouTube stars where the convention attendees can actually see the person or persons live and up close! This convention even has for its registrars a “lottery” where one can enter for a chance to win access to this exclusive, 90-minute live entertainment showcase at VidCon. (The sentence written in italics is an actual quote from the VidCon folks!)

However, don’t feel too bad for the youth of this nation that at times are referred as “Gen-Yers”, those born between 1996 to 2009. The Mintel report does acknowledge that kids say their parents/caretakers are their top role models ranking in at 86%. And to further this method of parent-child relationship, 85% of kids do agree that they have a closer relationship with their parents than most kids.

Coming in at second place, top role models for kids and teens include teachers (62%) and siblings (41%). This means that those that are physically connected to the kids are the ones that they do look up to.

These facts do not stray too far away from the era when this writer, a kid that was influenced through existing media at the time, had influences to look up to. Yours truly will admit that parents and siblings were not high on my list for influence, although teachers, or in this case, a teacher, became a personal inspiration. The media, mostly through television, fulfilled my quest to find people that I could admire for what they did, or at least what they did in front of the TV camera.

Over time and tide, many people as they grow up (mentally anyway), keep those that they look to while others drop on the wayside. Some come around as newer entries as well. It really doesn’t matter where one finds their source to look up upon. Just as long as that person takes their greatest and perhaps not-so-greatest as an influence of what to do and otherwise. That is what makes life amusing through words, actions, or a through a carload of followers on somebody’s Instagram account.

Continuing its run at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks is Ryan Paul James’ DESPERATE SEEKING LOVE, a comical tale about six people, three men and three women, that are out for one thing: a chance to find love and romance in The City of Angels.

The half dozen consists of Sarah (Kate Linder), Tanya (Heidi Cox), Ray (Keith Coogan), Adam (Mark Elias), Catherine (Melissa Disney), and Bill (Thomas F. Evans). Each one of these people are single i.e. unmarried, and are out seeking a companion of some sort. With different people comes different personalities. Ray is a middle aged SciFi fanboy who never grew up emotionally. Tanya is a free spirited woman. Adam is an actor seeking a role in something that pays. Catherine had many partners, all for the moment. Bill and Sarah are each of a seasoned age and became single not of their own making as both of their sole mates passed on. Although they do go though their motions of finding their perfect match, they do have their chance to shine as each one meets coupled up at a white tablecloth restaurant. The questions remains. After they go out on their first date, will there be a second one?

This play written by Ryan Paul James is very witty and funny to boot. It takes some of the stereotypical traits of love and dating (rather than “hooking-up”) in today’s Los Angeles–or any urban American city for that matter, and blends these notions that can be real because some of the situations depicted speak for the truth! Those truths gives this show its comedy relief! The team of six on-stage players have the comical talents that enhances their characters, down to a point where if single and of the appropriate gender, one would actually want to date ‘em–if not “hooking-up”–while having a good laugh in the process!

In addition to the above noted cast, Merryn Landry provides voice overs in some of the skits presented. Her character is the only one not finding love–at least not for the moment!

As far as the stage visuals are concerned, Dayna Lucas provides the costuming, and Brandon Loeser provides the technical aspects.

Directed by Moosie Drier, DESPERATE SEEKING LOVE is an idea play to go out as a date! There will be plenty of things to talk about after this show in order to get to the next level. For the rest that are satisfied with their love lives, this show will provide a good chuckle or two! Whatever the case, it shows that love is there once you find it. And if you do find it, make sure somebody stops over at the local drugstore to pick up something that’s going to matter, and we don’t mean toothpaste!

DESPERATELY SEEKING LOVE, presented by RPJ Productions, and performs at The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd. (at Sunnyslope), Sherman Oaks, until August 3rd. Showtimes are Friday nights at 8:00 PM. For tickets, order online at
The world premier of THE ROAD-TRIP MONOLOGUES, a selection of eight solo monologues that have a theme in common that speak for taking a trip going somewhere, real or virtual, performs at The Zephyr Theatre, located on the Melrose Avenue strip of Los Angeles.

A series of eight different performers present eight unique monologues as composed by eight varying writers, many of which come from a different nation outside of the USA, although many of them hold a domestic flavor to them where they all speak for the art of travel by way of a vehicle or as a state of mind.

The eight pieces as listed in their order of appearance, starts off with American Kim Yagad’s Hypocrites and Strippers, featuring Laura Walker about a woman who leaves her lover who works as a stripper in Pennsylvania and heads to Los Angeles only to meet another lover who just happens to be a stripper, The Weary by German Michael G. Hilton with Schafer Chesey recalling his dad’s wager of driving a hugh Lincoln across the ladscape with he and his brother in tow: Boot’s Vacation by Rex McGregor of New Zealand, with Emma Chelsey playing an adolescent skateboard thrasher whose parents “forces” the kid to take an European vacation, only recalling the best places to lay a board down, and having a chance to thrash at a New York museum located on the upper east side–followed by American writer Lesley Asistio’s Roller Coaster, featuring Juliet Ladiner in a story of another adolescent of Filipino decent recalling family trips to various American amusement parts, only to discover that both dad and mom held secret romantic affairs. Nina Sallinin performs in Medea’s Medea by American Chas Belov about a woman who believes she is the Greek goddess Medea that has traveled through thousands of miles through thousand of years, where in reality, she lives within a four by eight jail cell; Australian Roger Vickery’s New Girl, featuring Kenlyn Kanouse as an elderly woman who was a survivor of the Holocaust who migrated to Australia; Crossing The Bridge, by Australian James Balian starring Henry Kemp who recalls an attempt to save his son’s life by crossing an expansion bridge risking the lives of others and himself through auto traffic, and rounding out the eight is British writer Doc Andersen-Bloomfield’s Hope For Us All featuring Sonya Wallace as an African-American woman traveling to Charlottesville, Virginia on business during a so-called “white lives matter” rally.

This one-act anthology of short solo skits ranges from comedy to drama as these takes upon the art and science of getting between point “A” to point “B”, and occur based upon fun and recreation to desperate circumstance. With anthologies, the stories vary on moods and tastes. However, each one of the performers that appear on their stage platform presents their acting skills at their utmost progress. Only equipped with a few props as reference points with little to no sets or scenery to work with, the cast that performs alone as one dose a formidable role in telling these tales that come from the soul of those whose mission is getting to here from there and all points in between! Jane Edwina Seymore directs the cast in their quest of coming, going, and even the notion of standing still while they are moving about through any vessel that can do its due.
Road trips as a whole can either be fun become a panic. Whatever the case, the traveling showcases that exist out of the millions of trips taken in a given time window, only these eight stand out among them all. And no GPS app is even required–or a road map for those that travel the classic way!

THE ROAD-TRIP MONOLOGUES, presented by Resource Performance Workshops & Stories About Humans and performed by the Raw Bites ’18 Ensemble, is presented at The Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, until July 22nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, visit
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!


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