Charity Event! National Day of Service with Metallica and All Within My Hands!

Hi everyone! Wanted to share something cool that Danny & I did today!

I’m sure most of you have heard of a little band called Metallica, right? They’re one of Danny’s favorite bands, so when I heard about this opportunity I knew we had to join in!

Metallica has a charity foundation called “All Within My Hands“. Today was the first ever “National Day of Service” for AWMH and they helped Metallica fans across the country team up with different volunteer opportunities in their community.
We went out to Commerce and volunteered with the Los Angeles National Food Bank and helped create food boxes that will be given out to local senior citizens!
Below are some pictures of us at the event – we were on cardboard clean up duty! We had so much fun, got a good work out in, and earned some getting into heaven points – you know crazy Metal fans need as much help as they can get 😉

This was a really special event for us to be part of, not only because we got to do it together & because of the Metallica connection, but as many of you might know, Danny works for a non-profit organization & I hope you can tell from some of my previous posts that volunteer work is very important to me. Now that I’m out of school for the summer I hope to find more time to volunteer for causes I’m passionate about. If any of you know of any opportunities, please let me know!

On another note, thank you to everyone that participated in my Barks of Love research! I got an A in the class & it’s all thanks to you! Well, I might have had something to do with it, hehe, anywho! Enjoy the pictures! Happy Wednesday!

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Music Monday! Harry Potter in Concert – Hollywood Bowl

Hello all!
Today’s Music Monday is going to be a quick recap of Harry Potter in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
HB occasionally puts on these Special Concerts where they show a movie & have a orchestra play the score live. Previously, they showed “The Little Mermaid” & I’m sad to have missed that because they had celebrities come out & sing the songs. The score for Harry Potter is all instrumental, so I knew that wasn’t going to happen, but I was still excited for another amazing Harry Potter themed adventure! Click the video below for a super quick vlog of the Event & keep reading for my thoughts overall…

The Venue –
I’d only been to the Hollywood Bowl once before for a “Behind the Scenes Tour” when I did the Disney College Program. I remembered there was a LOT of walking & I’d heard Event parking is a complete train wreck. They “stack” the cars so you end up boxed in on all sides, which is insanely inconvenient if you’re ready to leave but no one around you has left yet. On the advice of a friend we purchased off site parking, but couldn’t find the lot. We ended up just driving to the Event & paying again for on site parking. While I was deeply unhappy from a financial standpoint, because we had arrived late the only parking was right in front, not boxed in, & the chances of people arriving later than us seemed pretty slim – woo hoo! We strolled right into the venue but finding our seats was another story…we should have called ahead to find out the options for those with disabilities. We had nosebleed seats & even with the escalators, it was quite a struggle. The venue is extremely dark, which obviously makes sense because they want people to see the movie, but made walking/climbing stairs with no railings quite precarious. When we finally found our seats, we discovered we were in the middle of the narrow row & no one would get up to let us by! While this was rude, the bigger issue was that there was no space for us anyway! We let an attendant know, they conferred with their supervisor, & next thing you know we’re sitting in box seats way down in front! Amazing! Big thanks to the staff that made that happen, it definitely made our experience better! Next time, we will be purchasing more expensive but closer seats – it’s way worth it! Also, arriving late for parking worked in our favor as no one arrived after us, so we weren’t boxed in.  We were on the freeway in about 15 minutes!

The People –
I was disappointed by the negative response from the people in the row we were supposed to sit in. However, I guess I should be thanking them because they helped us get better seats! As I mentioned, super happy with the staff of HB! I wish we had thought to get the names of the staff that helped us because I would have written a “thank you letter” to compliment them personally. Beyond that initial negative experience, the crowd was…unified. That’s the only way I can explain it. Whenever something special happens for Harry Potter, there’s always this feeling of, dare I say, magic in the air. I think that’s because a majority of the crowd are real true fans. They’re willing to wait for hours to buy a new book, see a movie, spend the day in a theme park, etc, these types of Events aren’t for casual fans. They bring out the die hards, people in cosplay or themed outfits (I was wearing a Hufflepuff shirt!), people that know all the words to the movies & cheer when Harry catches his first Snitch or boo when Wormtail appears because they know what role he’ll play later. It’s truly, again, magical, to sit in a crowd of people & know that you’re all part of something. In a world that sometimes feels like it’s falling apart, it’s nice to know you can turn to your fandom.

The Performance –
I had no idea what to expect from a Harry Potter Concert! I had read a few articles leading up to the Event & mostly they talked about how difficult the performance was going to be in regards to pulling the soundtrack from the film but keeping all the audio. I did find the music overwhelmed the audio at certain times, but I realized I had to restructure the way I was thinking about the Event. Somehow, I wanted the music to just quietly frame the movie, but be really awesome & powerful! There’s no way to accomplish that. The point of this Event was to focus on the beauty of the music & how it added to the film. Once I kind of let the film take a back seat & focused on the music, it WAS really awesome & powerful. I noticed certain nuances I’d never noticed before when I’d watched the film & focused only on the dialogue. This is definitely an Event for music lovers. You must love the sound, the feeling, the epic-ness! of live orchestral music. Obviously these musicians are extremely talented & I was thrilled to see the Conductor wearing a Hufflepuff tie & pin!

The Final Verdict –
People always say to arrive early for parking, but we found that arriving later worked WAY better & will most likely do so again. As I said, there may be other options that we were unaware of, but based on what I saw, this Venue is not very “disabled friendly”. I will need to investigate other options for the future & definitely feel it’s worth it to pay for more expensive seats closer to the front. Overall, an extremely enjoyable & unique experience that brought together a lot of people & helped strengthen their love of Harry Potter. What could be better?! I hope Hollywood Bowl continues to put on these Special Events, especially if they continue with the rest of the Harry Potter series & Disney films.

Have you ever been to this Venue or seen a Movie/Concert like this? Please let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading 🙂

Music Monday! Album & Concert Review – The Rocket Summer “Zoetic”

Hello again!
For today’s Music Monday I’m going to be talking about my favorite band, The Rocket Summer. I previously discussed TRS in November when I went to the “Returning West” Tour at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, click here to read that blog post. On April 12th, I went to the “Zoetic” Tour at The Troubadour in Los Angeles – the following post will partially be a Concert Review of that experience with some video footage.

I’m also going to review “Zoetic”, the new Album. As I’ve never done an Album Review before, I’m not exactly sure how to format it. For my first attempt I’m going to write a basic summary of my thoughts because I don’t want this post to be TOO long with the Concert Review attached as well. Writing could get too lengthy, in the future I may do this all via video, but we’ll see. Let me know what you would prefer in the comments below!!

After reading the reviews, if you’re interested in purchasing any of the songs/albums, they’re all available for free on Spotify or of course, you can buy the album on Itunes or through The Rocket Summer website. I highly recommend buying through the website because they have a bunch of really unique deals, for example, I got an actual CD – autographed! – & a digital download for about $15/$20.

UPDATE 5/2/16: After many more listens & getting these lyrics stuck in my head, I’m updating my Album Review to 4 stars. Bryce’s passion for music & the subjects he sings about are hard to deny & infectious. Perhaps there’s something to be said rating-wise about an album that takes a few listens to connect to, but I’m sticking with 4 stars. I’m still saying I don’t necessarily connect with ALL of these songs lyrically, but the music is just SO good. Give “Emergency Landings”, “Sharks”, & “White Fireworks” a listen or two or five or 50 RIGHT NOW!

Album Review – 11 songs, overall – 3 out of 5 stars
I think I’m too biased. I fell in love with The Rocket Summer as an alternative pop semi-Jesus loving kind of sound & lyrics. “Zoetic” is DIFFERENT. I’m happy for Bryce, that he’s getting the chance to expand his horizons & follow his heart – as happy as you can be for someone you don’t know, haha!
I enjoyed the album from a musical perspective. Bryce tapped into ALL his talents in terms of the music arrangement, vocal range, & style. “Zoetic” definitely has an edge to it, a harsher, angrier style that fans haven’t seen before, & I appreciate it. It’s always nice to see your favorite artist grow & show different sides of themselves. I’ll be adding most of these songs to my Gym Playlist, a place TRS songs don’t usually go.
Unfortunately I feel like so much work into the music that the lyrics were an after thought. Some of the songs are super repetitive which I’m used to hearing with pop songs on the radio, but is not usually Bryce’s style.
Overall I enjoyed this album because as always you can tell Bryce is super passionate & he puts so much effort into his work. I have to give him props for that even if I wasn’t able to connect with the lyrics this time around. In my perfect world, a future album will include lyrics in the style of previous album “Do You Feel” with music in the style of “Zoetic”.
Favorite Tracks: “Cold War”, “Same Air”, “Get Over It”, “FL, CA”


Concert Review
The Venue – I’d never been to The Troubadour in Los Angeles before, but was pleased with the venue. Parking was convenient, $12-$15 for Valet, & the area seemed safe. There’s two rooms, the first is super small off the left & has the bathrooms, a bar, & the merch table. That area was super squishy crowded, but the main room was pretty spacious – or maybe there just weren’t that many people there. There were seats available on an upper level & another bar in the main room. The drinks were fairly expensive though, $9 for a Jack & Coke. It might look like a dive, but don’t forget you’re in LA. One cool new (to me) thing about this show was that they were selling Giving Keys that said Zoetic on them. Giving Keys is a charity that employs those transitioning out of homelessness to stamp empowering words on keys. The idea is that you’re supposed to buy a key with a word that means something to you, wear it until you feel like you’ve accomplished a related goal, then pass the key on to someone who needs the empowerment from that word. I’ve wanted a Giving Key ever since I first heard about the company, actually I talk about them in Vlog #2!, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to buy one.

The People – As I said in my previous TRS Concert Review, the crowd at these shows are pretty respectful, mostly women or couples. There was an overly enthusiastic guy standing right next to me that was kind of weirding me out, but he wasn’t being aggressive so eh, to each their own! One thing that surprised me was the amount of children! I’ve seen teenagers before, I’ve been a teenager at a TRS show (!!), but these were kids younger than 10. It seemed like a weird parenting decision to allow kids out late at night in such a loud setting, but what do I know about raising kids!?

The Performance – The music was harsher than I’ve ever heard, but that’s the nature of “Zoetic”. It seemed like there were a few technical issues, a couple times the music sounded off & Bryce looked off stage at the tech & looked sort of irritated/frustrated. There was definitely one problem where his guitar wasn’t sounding right or something & he looked for the tech – & nobody came. He kept looking around & was holding out the guitar while trying to continue singing, but no one came. Bryce did his best to stay professional & ultimately it was kind of funny, a moment that showed a real human side to the show, but was probably stressful for him. As you’ll see in the video, Bryce brought a Fan on stage to play Cello during “Never Knew” – a VIP experience he’s offering on his website. I couldn’t hear one note of the Cello, I felt bad. My mom was sitting in the upstairs seating & said she heard it & it was great, so I’m not sure if there was a sound issue, or maybe that just wasn’t the best venue to use a Cello..?

Final Verdict: Obviously amazing, awesome, magical! I didn’t wait for Bryce to come out after the show because I’d been at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (!!!!) all day + had to drive back to Orange County, so I was ready to get going. I have plans to see him THREE more times, PHX Rebel Lounge, SNA Constellation Room/Observatory, & SF Bottom of the Hill. I will probably wait for him in SF because that’s the first place I met him & that’s the last stop on the “Zoetic” Tour, so it’ll be a nice bookend. Of course, if you like TRS I definitely recommend seeing him live. There’s not a lot of time left, but click here to see if he’s playing near you!

What do you think? For those of you that hadn’t heard of TRS before, did I make you a fan!? If you’re going to any of the shows I’ll be at, let me know in the comments below – I’d love to meet up! Please remember to SUBSCRIBE/LIKE/COMMENT/SHARE to my YouTube & this blog, thanks for reading 🙂

Vlog #2 – Melrose Ave Adventures Part 2

Hello all! Please click play on the video below to watch the continued adventures of my friends Jeremiah, Jeri, and myself as we do some shopping and explore Los Angeles! I’m still learning how to film and move around, talk to the camera, how long to make eye contact with the camera haha, things like that – so please bare with me as I go through this learning process.

A little explanation of our first stop – Sevenly. Sevenly produces unique “cause art” with profits going towards designated charities depending on what the product is. I have previously talked about them in my Veteran’s Day post. Normally they sell shirts for a week, then retire the style or apply the profits to the next Charity, so you have to act somewhat quickly if you like something or the specific charity it’s supporting. They don’t have a “Sevenly store” but for one weekend they decided to have a sale on old shirts. As I’m financially strained at this point in my life, I haven’t been able to support Sevenly or many charities as much as I’d like to, so when I saw the words “SALE” – I knew I had to stop by & see what they were offering. I ended up falling in love with 6 shirts & the causes they supported, but tough decisions had to be made and I only walked away with 3, descriptions are below!

Something I didn’t mention in the video – the location we were at is the Sevenly headquarters, but there is an actual store attached called “Share and Do Good”. They sell charity items as well, some from the Sevenly website & some from other brands that support specific missions. So if you’re in the SoCal/Orange County area, please don’t hesitate to go check out “Share and Do Good”!

I purchased these 2 shirts…
1. Black Flowy Tank – “Be the Change You Hope to See in the World”, one of my favorite quotes! This top supported Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, which gives a cuddly stuffed animal to a child undergoing chemotherapy. This print is still available on the Sevenly website but I don’t believe Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program is a designated charity anymore.
2. Black Oversized Batwing Top – “It’s Not Okay” This shirt supports a charity called The Sheepfold, which helps women & children take shelter from Domestic Violence.

The following 3 items are the shirts from the video I did NOT purchase.
3. Grey Flowy Tank – “Slavery Exists when People Stay Silent” I’m not sure exactly what charity this supported but it was geared towards helping woman escape from Sex Slavery in the United States. I don’t believe this is available anymore.
4. Black T-Shirt with Eagle – “Fallen but Not Forgotten” This design supports TAPS – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors – a Non Profit that supports the families of fallen Military members. This shirt was insanely difficult for me to leave behind. Currently this design is still available on the Sevenly website – at full price $28 – which unfortunately for me is just not something I can pay for a shirt, especially knowing I could have purchased it half price. However, I’ve signed up to Volunteer with TAPS at the Disney 1/2 Marathon the first weekend in September, so I’m really excited!
5. Purple T-Shirt – “Destinies are Made When People Get Involved” Again, unfortunately, I’m not sure exactly what charity, but it was made to support families dealing with the loss of a child. I can’t find this design on the Sevenly website, so I’m assuming it’s no longer in production.

If you liked any of the shirts in this video & can’t find them on the website, please don’t be afraid to contact Sevenly. Mention that you watched my video, tell them which shirt you liked, & perhaps they’ll be able to help you. I am in NO WAY making promises for them, but I have talked to their Customer Service before & they were extremely polite & helpful.

So there’s a little background & more information for you. Hope you enjoy our adventure, FOLLOW me to stay up to date on all my posts! If you’re reading this on a mobile device, click on an individual post title (rather than looking at the Home Page), scroll to the bottom & fill out the email form. If you’re looking at this post on your laptop/desktop, the form will be on the top right of the page. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns & I’ll help you as best as I can. Thanks for reading!

Announcement/Event Recap! – NBC Universal Audition

Today’s post is going to be part Announcement, part Event Recap, part Personal.

To start, I’d like to share with you all that I received my first Acting callback!!! I’ve been an Extra in a few movies and music videos, but this is the first time I’ve actually been called back for an audition. I can’t reveal too much because it’s in pre production & I haven’t actually been cast yet. Even if I don’t get cast, I’m extremely excited because I came to SoCal to pursue an Acting career…but never really made any moves because of where I was living/my living situation/my job etc. I’m honestly not that focused on my Acting career any more because I finished school & chose a career path I’m very excited to pursue – but obviously to make a career as an Actress would be a dream come true. I’ve recently begun applying for parts just to see what would happen, so it feels great to have made it through 3 rounds of an Audition.

The Audition was for a non-airing TV pilot, so even if I’m cast it’s very likely my screen time will never actually see a screen, haha! I sent in my picture to a Casting Agency, answered some questions, & after they were reviewed, I was invited to participate in a Skype Interview/Audition. I talked to a really nice Casting Assistant, answered more questions (!!!), & was eventually invited to attend an In Person Interview. I drove out to Los Angeles to NBCUniversal (!!!!!!!!!) for the filming. The whole process was really fun and I was able to network with the other people there to audition. On another note, I saw Comedian Gabriel Iglesias in the NBCUniversal lobby & I’m slightly ashamed to say that I snuck a really bad picture of him because I was so excited 😀 His picture is below along with some really silly Selfies I took that day – enjoy! Click on them to make them full size!

I don’t usually talk about stuff like this but…the personal part of this is a reflection of how I’ve been feeling lately – get ready for some preaching! I really want to express how much y’all should appreciate the people that love you. So cliche but it’s seriously true. This doesn’t have to mean your family – I realize not everyone gets along with their family – but whoever truly has your back, value them. As my life has changed, graduating, moving back to SoCal, my Internship, my job search, this Audition, my love life, my friends & their accomplishments (babies, marriages, & such), etc etc, I have been thinking about my grandparents and dad a LOT. I wish they were here to offer me advice & cheer me on. I know they’re watching down from Heaven, but it’s not the same. However, they must have known I’ve been occupied by these thoughts because I had an interesting encounter the other day. I was walking through a parking garage late at night & all of the sudden I smelled my Grandpa’s cologne. It hit me & I immediately recognized the scent, it was so strong I looked around to see if someone was walking near me that might have had the cologne on – but there was no one around. I’m not usually one to believe in supernatural stuff like this, but I feel like there’s no other way to explain what happened & honestly it’s comforting to know that the people we love have ways to reach out to us even if it’s not with words. So my bottom line is, love the people that love you! One day all you’ll have is memories & you’ll want to feel like you did your best to let them know you loved them.

Okay, I’m done! Have a great week – I have some more exciting posts coming up so click that FOLLOW button at the top right to stay connected with me! Thanks for reading 🙂

1st Vlog on YouTube! Melrose Ave Adventures featuring @JeremiahHowe & @JeritheGiraffe

I’m so excited to announce I have FINALLY filmed my first Vlog for YouTube!!! YAY!!! Please don’t judge too harshly as I’m still getting the hang of filming & editing – let me know in the comments here or on YouTube what you think & please FOLLOW me! You can view the video on YouTube by clicking here! Or just look down below!

Also, please feel free to follow my friends featured in the video, Jeri & Jeremiah!

Jeremiah has a Vlog Channel as well: YouTube.com/JeremiahHowe
You can follow him on Social Media: @JeremiahHowe

You can follow Jeri on Social Media: @JeritheGiraffe

& of course, you can follow me: @MissAl_Leigh 🙂

Event Recap: Be Social PR & DASH Boutique presents JNB Trunk Show

Hello lovelies!
About a month ago I was invited by Be Social PR to attend the launch of JNB Jacqueline Nicole Brown Jewelry at the Kardashian’s DASH boutique in Los Angeles. I’ve covered events before for TNT Tauna, but never for my own blog, so I was excited, yet nervous, to attend this event on my own and represent myself and this blog.

The event was simple and classic. Aloe infused cocktails were provided by Harlowe and FlashTag brought their photo booth for fun, on the spot, print photos. You could definitely tell the store was curated by the Kardashian brand.

As an unemployed college student pretty much everything was out of my price range, but I enjoyed looking at the beautiful designer clothing and JNB Jewelry – a mix of Hollywood glamour and bohemian chic. I loved the California State necklaces and anything with the geode type pendants, called “Druzy Stones”. I’ve been seeing a lot of that style recently.

I did break down and buy a Voluspa Candle. It was more than I would usually pay for a candle – $12, but the packaging was so beautiful I knew I could find use for it after the candle burned out. I’m a sucker for packaging. Having no previous experience with this brand, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this candle had a long lasting and potent fragrance while being burned. I had it burning basically 24/7 after purchasing it, so I already need another. I’m definitely a fan!

On top of attending this event, I was also lucky enough to be a JNB Dash Bash winner and win a JNB midi ring! I never win anything, I was beyond thrilled! You can see the ring below in my gallery of pictures of the event.

All in all, it was a great night! Please check out all my pictures. Thanks so much to Be Social PR for inviting me and to all the amazing sponsors for showing off their goodies!

I’d love to get to know more PR companies and brands looking for promotion, if you would be interested in having me write a recap of your next event, please contact me at MissAl.Leigh@gmail.com

Sephora.com, Inc.