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LA trip inspires Detroit Mercy students

On March 25, 2020

Detroit Mercy theatre students watch a taping of "The Late, Late Show with James Corden" while in Los Angeles.

 

BY KAELYN JOHNSON / VN STAFF WRITER

Spring break for college students often involves going to Miami or Las Vegas to party.

It can be a much-needed vacation after dealing with the stress over midterms.

Earlier this month, though, Detroit Mercy theatre students (inclulding myself) spent our spring break in Los Angeles, California. It was certainly a journey to remember.

I had always dreamed of going to Los Angeles.

When I was a little girl, I envisioned myself being on the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon.

I wanted to become a star.

It was a coincidence that the theme of the trip was related to stars.

At the end of each day, we wrote on a star to reflect on our experiences throughout the day.

On my first star, I wrote, “Live in the moment” which was my goal for the trip.

We spent our first morning at Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of former gang members.

The organization is an 18-month program that helps people in the community with tattoo removal, substance abuse resources, anger management and education resources.

Los Angeles is notorious for its history of gang violence.

It was moving to see a group of people who were once strangers become family through an operation like Homeboy Industries.

Our next stop was Inner-City Arts, a nonprofit that exposes children and teens to the power of the performing arts.

We had the opportunity to see a live taping of the late late show with James Corden.

As someone who studies media, I found it enlightening.

While watching Corden, I kept reminding myself that I was a part of a live studio audience.

It felt surreal, as if I was watching him on television.

The remainder of the trip consisted of a tour of the film department at Loyola Marymount University, acting workshops at Second City and a tour of CBS studios, which was my personal favorite experience.

It’s not everyday that you get the chance to be on the set of a sitcom television series.

I had the chance to sit in on a rehearsal for an upcoming episode of “The Neighborhood” starring actor and comedian Cederick the Entertainer.

It felt unreal to me that I was on set with producers, writers and stars that I have watched on television since I was a little girl.

When they finished their rehearsal, Cederick said, “Where are the college kids?”

He called our troop over to meet him and take pictures.

We listened to his encouraging words of wisdom while still in awe.

Our last adventure in the City of Angels was a trip to the most magical place on earth: Disneyland.

As I pondered what to write on my final star, I thought about the words of Nina Tassler, an author, television executive and former chairwoman of CBS Entertainment.

“Don’t be afraid to edit your dreams,” said Tassler.

It motivated me to let go of my fears of uncertainty and pursue my dreams. 

Cedric the Entertainer (center) takes time to pose and talk with theatre students and others on the trip.

 

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