Day Sixteen, Los Angeles

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The breakfast was pretty good at this hostel, name brand products and I could have nutella on my toast! I love nutella and go through tonnes of it back home. Admittedly I spent most of the morning trying to figure out what to do in LA. I’ve read a guide book but very little stuck with me. I saved a bunch of movie and tv locations on my phone though, whether I can get to them easily is something else entirely.

The bus to Burbank is hourly in the morning and I knew I had to get there early to see the Conan show. I kept to and fro-ing between the sides of the street struggling to figure out what direction I would be heading in. I walked towards the Starbucks to use their wifi and solved it. The bus was quiet, the only other passengers carless tourists like me. My ticket for Conan said to go to gate 8 which is a parking garage and on the 1st floor they had cordoned off an area for security purposes. I had to go through a metal detector, have my bag checked and then have my passport and ticket checked. Quite alot for just a TV show. I was given a little green wristband to put on, a laminated number and a UV stamp on my hand. I wonder if it’s still there?

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There was only an hour untill we would be heading to the studio set so I sat and updated this blog with posts I had already wrote but simply hadn’t the time to upload them. The hour flew by quickly and using the numbers they had given us we began the walk into the Warner Bros Stage Lot. I snapped a few pictures and got told off. I saw crew members for Pretty Little Liars and my little fangirl heart leapt at the chance of seeing one of the actors nearby.

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The studio set was pretty much how I imagined it would look. Many facades or fake walls and a shit load of lights. The warm up guy did his job well, we were told about the applause lights and that if something seemed like a joke then laugh really hard. Ten lucky audience members got to dance to Baby got Back in exchange for a free Tshirt. We were warned it would be a special show as it was their last day of filming before the summer hiatus. We were told there were no phones or recording equipment allowed and the band played Andy Richter in. He announced the guests Ewan McGregor, Jean Ellis Ross, and Mat Donaher. There was a perfectly decent opening monologue and a cute sketch about Richter’s memoirs of hating Conan.

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Ewan McGregor is tiny. I’m pretty sure I would be taller than him. He was a little bit flat but very eager in his interview. In comparison Jean Ellis Ross was a delight, very funny and playful. Mat Donaher did some stand up and he was good, a bit nervous perhaps but he was funny.

Then Conan announced that we were about to have two surprise guests on so they could film it in advance. He said they were comedy legends and I thought quickly about who I’d want to see. Amy Schumer, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling all ran through my head but then I remembered that I had seen that Adam Sandler was doing a comedy tour and it would likely be him. I guessed right, it was Adam Sandler and David Spade. What was truly surprising is that they were funny. I liked their earlier work when I was younger but tend to give a wide berth of the stuff they do now. They talked about Chris Farley which was good to hear. My dad loved Chris Farley and had all of his films and a SNL compilation which we used to watch on repeat. Then we had another surprise, we were going to give the laugh track to a pre-recorded video of Conan playing a game with Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage. If they had been there in person I would have screamed. I love Game of Thrones.

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After the show we were guided back out of the lot, using the wifi I found a nice sounding sandwich place twenty minutes away. The server was really friendly and gave some suggestions on what to do in LA. My avocado and portobello mushroom sandwich was bigger than I expected. And it tasted so good and fresh.

I headed back to get my bus, I must have just missed one as I was sat there for maybe forty minutes. There was traffic by this time and it took another forty minutes easily to get back to Hollywood Boulevard.

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I decided to wander down and see the stars and the Hollywood sights. I found it kind of depressing. The hordes of tourists, the entertainers, shitty lingerie shops. It does not have a good atmosphere, it reeks of desperation and capitalism. It must be some of that movie magic that makes movie premieres and the Oscars look good. Despite this I still I had to take of photo of my star. In front of the Chinese Theater there are the handprints of the stars. There was a sad little plaque explaining how Marilyn Monroe as a child used to frequent it before she became a star. I considered seeing a movie for some escapism. The box office guy looked equally exasperated by the people around us. He was still nice to me but disillusioned by my surroundings I decided that I needed to get away from it and went back to my hostel. This was another party night and it went on after 12, and then some people played basketball. I needed space and quiet and it took me a long time to get it.

This was the first low point of my trip. I am relieved that I had a good stretch prior to it and that I felt better in the morning. I have only recently stopped going to therapy and I’m still learning how to cope with my mental health. It’s ok not to be happy all the time, even if I’m on the trip of my life. Overall, I’m good.
 

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