FO·MO

ˈfōmō/

noun

informal

  1. anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
  2. “I realized I was a lifelong sufferer of FOMO”

Urban dictionary definition: The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great.

My definition: DON’T MISS THE EVENT.

Luckily, I’m here to provide you with all things you’ve missed, in this popping city of Los Angeles. My name is Shirley Ju, and I live, breathe, sleep Hip Hop. Coming from the Bay, I grew up to the hyphy movement. That being said, turning up is all I know. This will be a weekly recap of the dope events that I myself felt like I couldn’t miss, and you guys wish you were at.

Thursday, January 5

Tonight was the official red carpet premiere of Sleepless starring Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union and T.I. at Regal L.A. Live downtown. This was the exclusive screening before the actual film is released to theaters. I’ve been to this theater a million times, but have never been in theater #1, isolated to its own side of the building. This is where all the premieres take place.

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Next to the red carpet at the Sleepless premiere in L.A.

The movie was at 7:30 p.m., but we were advised to arrive no later than 6:45 p.m. It was mayhem (in a good way). There were people everywhere. Some were dressed real elegant, and some were casual. I kept peeking the red carpet to see if I could catch a glimpse of Mr. Foxx himself.

Of course not. Homeboy was late. The movie actually didn’t start until 8 p.m., upon his arrival. He’s the star of the show, so he gets a pass. We enter the vast theater on the first level, only to be redirected to our seats, which were up on the balcony. Yes, balcony. I actually took the elevator up on my second trip.

The second trip was definitely to grab more popcorn. They took care of us tonight. Unlimited popcorn and soda. Bless up. This movie is all action, which had us engaged the entire time. Jamie plays an undercover cop who is trying to get back his son who’s been kidnapped. It takes place in Las Vegas. For those of you who love Sin City, this might make you feel some type of way. T.I. showed up in the opening scene, which had me all excited. I love seeing Tip on the big screen. 

Before the movie started, they brought the cast on stage, introducing them one by one. Gabrielle Union was looking fire in her low-cut gown, Michelle Monaghan (who plays the badass lady cop) received a lovely round of applause, and Jamie Foxx sealed the deal.

I was really excited the entire time because I thought Jamie was posted in our theater watching the film with us. Wrong. I was informed he dipped right after he popped on stage. Smh. I was laughing afterward because one of my friends described this movie as a “black Taken.” Accurate. Be sure to catch it when it hits theaters on January 13!

Friday, January 6

The beginning of my (dreaded) birthday weekend. Tonight, my brother took me to see Amélie, A New Musical. How did this happen? He literally Googled “things to do in L.A.” We wanted to do something special, other than seeing a movie- we do that all the time. Sometimes, it’s hard being sober (from alcohol). Celebrations aren’t as easy.

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The very thick program for Amélie.

The show took place at Ahmanson Theatre on Grand in downtown L.A. Tickets at the cheapest price were $45, which put us on the balcony. Man, the orchestra seats went as high as $200. We actually lucked out. When my bro first looked them up today, there was only one seat left. I told him to check again a little later, and two miraculously opened up. “If at first you don’t succeed. . .”

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Our view of the stage.

We showed up surprisingly at 8 p.m. on the dot. There was staff in the hallway screaming out that the show was starting in five minutes. I don’t think being tardy here is as casual as other events. When we walked in, everyone was in their seats. The lights dimmed shortly after. We were in the second row up top, right at the end. So glad we didn’t have to climb over people.

The musical, based on the five-time Oscar®-nominated film, is about a girl in France coming to find herself (and a boy). It lasted about an hour and 50 minutes, and we enjoyed every minute. It was cute, funny, quirky, entertaining. . . the list goes on. All the performers received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end, which actually gave me chills. These performers literally do this every single night, and twice on Saturdays. Every single move or line is strategic and rehearsed. Respect.

Upon exiting the theater, I notice the majority were pretty well-dressed and put together. This was definitely a night they were looking forward to. It felt like we were in New York, the city known for Broadway. I felt truly blessed to be able to see this. Thanks bro.

fences

It wasn’t even 10 p.m. yet, so we made the very indecisive last-minute decision to catch Fences at Regal L.A. Live at 10:15 p.m. Hey, it was down the street. That might have been the deciding factor. The movie did extremely well, coming in hot with 95% ratings. It stars Denzel Washington, so you know it’s a must-see. Also, my girl said she cried, which made me really want to see it.

This film is based on a play, similar to Amélie, but reverse the direction. It sees Denzel as a powerful, controlling father figure in the 1950s. With this in mind, his desire to be so holy and religious actually backfires, and does the exact opposite. He ends up subconsciously hurting his loved ones more than he is able to see. 

The fact that Denzel also directed this blew my mind. He’s GOAT. But the real GOAT in the movie was Viola Davis. Man. She was phenomenal. There was one scene that had me screaming “Oscar” (in my head). Them two together. . . damn.

The movie is two hours and 13 minutes, so you have to commit. Honestly, you don’t even notice the time. Filled with emotion, the movie showcases some real life issues that people go through. Based off the audience reactions, I really think everyone in the theater enjoyed it. It was too real not to.

DP App

Saturday, January 7

Productive Saturdays are the best. Today started out with a dope complimentary photo shoot for the DP APP SOFT LAUNCH. I received the invite in my inbox and had no idea what this was for, but free pictures with some of the hottest photographers in L.A.? And it’s downtown? Sold.

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The founder of the DP App.

DP is a subscription service that provides monthly, professional content for your individual or professional brand. This platform connects anyone to the top photographers and videographers in the industry. It took place at FD Photo Studio downtown, by the fashion district. They directed me to Briana, who was a doll in accommodating me right away. I find out that white Steph Curry (Darin) is her husband, is the founder. It turns out I wasn’t the only one who thought that. He legit calls himself @techcurry on IG. Amazing.

Basically, you can subscribe for $250 a month. The fee includes a photoshoot, studio costs, equipment, backdrops, lighting, photos, and an amazing photographer. You end up with a month’s worth of billboard, magazine quality photos. This is perfect for artists, aspiring actors/actresses, models, your company, you name it.

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Fuel for the shoot.

I was so awkward. I hate taking pictures solo dolo. It was fun, though. I actually knew the photographer shooting, shout out to Maxwell. It was clutch because I actually needed a new headshot. On my way out, I ran into a couple girls I knew. You would think L.A. is huge, but the media industry is actually pretty tiny.

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The Fit Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This weekend was The Fit Expo in Los Angeles, the biggest fitness expo on the West Coast. It’s a two-day event at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Holy hell, I was not ready for this. All I had was The Yoga Expo to base my expectations off of, but this felt ten times bigger. This might have also surpassed the Los Angeles Auto Show, which I thought was enormous as well.

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Cookie dough protein bar samples.

We walk in around 2:30 p.m. to a mad house. I literally could not focus my eyes on one thing at any given second. We were given a map which contained a layout of the place for us to refer to. Performances were on the outskirts while the vendors were lined up down the middle. Hello, samples. I enjoyed the healthy snacks, but then it turned into samples of protein bars and shakes. Not my favorite cup of tea.

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Did someone say massage?

Per their website, The Fit Expo is a “family-friendly event which brings together thousands of fitness enthusiasts ranging from bodybuilders and powerlifters to jiu-jitsu and karate participants, personal trainers, group exercise instructors, competitive athletes and even the weekend warrior.” I must say, I felt like I didn’t belong. Everyone was so fit and muscular. My girl fit the part (she owns a gym). I definitely didn’t see any kids either. . .

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The ultimate test of balance.

There was literally everything here, like this balancing string. It reminded of the horizontal ladders at amusement parks, where you get a prize if you make it to the end. This wasn’t for a prize, though. This was legit to train and improve your balance and coordination. The vibes here were similar to The Yoga Expo: companies and brands promoting and offering discounts on their services. Everyone was really friendly. IMG_6776

The Muscle Contest.

The bodybuilders were a trip. Every competitor had a spray tan that made them look orange. Dark orange. I know that’s on purpose to highlight their muscles, but damn. Plus, their heads did not match the rest of their beautifully sculpted bodies. After the judges scored them, I realized I have a huge problem with the competition being solely based on looks. Don’t get me started, I won’t stop.

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The Kombucha hype is real.

The best part of the entire expo were the “street gymnasts.” These (ripped) athletes push their bones, muscles, and joints to the max, doing tricks that the majority would label as impossible. “How Sway?” was the theme here. The official name is Battle of Calisthenics. I’m talking one-arm pull-ups, hanging from a vertical pole horizontally, doing push ups on each other in the air. . . I wish I could explain it better. These guys defy gravity. And they were cute. Carry on.

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No calorie energy drink.

I was not a fan of this all-natural, no calorie, energy-burning drink. I had my girl finish it, she didn’t mind it. We make our way over to see the dodgeball competition, which I felt was a bit serious. People were screaming at each other and balls were being thrown hard. This wasn’t your average high-school PE class dodgeball. We also couldn’t get over the mile-long lines to get a photo with fitness celebrities. Unreal.

This was definitely so great to check out. I felt like with everyone in the building haveing a common interest in fitness, it created this unspoken, automatic bond. Tickets are $30 a day, but most gyms have discounts for $10 dollars off. Huge thanks to Nora Kate for allowing me to cover the event.  I was informed this was the 14th year they are doing it. That’s incredible. I’ll definitely be back next year!

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Blvd3, we meet again.
Last stop for the evening. Whew, it’s been a long day. Goal for the night: turn up. One of my best homegirls took me out, which wasn’t the easiest task in the world. We hit a club called Blvd3 on a Sunset in Hollywood. I’ve actually been here once before, years ago when it first opened. It looked a lot nicer tonight, like it grew into itself.

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The fireplace calling my name.

If you haven’t been, this spot is known for its free tacos and chocolate-covered strawberries. For real. They give these out at the latter part of the night. They’re so smart. Everyone is probably so faded at this point, the food gets treated like gold. I also think this may be the reason for the $20 cover.

I was really hesitant because I had been boycotting L.A. clubs for over a year. We literally just had our own dance party all night. It was beautiful. The DJ played a lot of throwbacks, mixed with some Yeezy and Drizzy. My homegirl somehow ended up with three neon light-changing glow sticks at the end of the night. Dead. Shout out to her roomie who let us reign in on her best friend’s birthday party. It was all good vibes tonight.

Sunday, January 8

The pre-birthday anxiety is real. I went to a Clippers game last year on my birthday, and thought I’d keep the tradition alive. Today, they take on the Miami Heat at 12:30 p.m. at Staples Center. The Lakers just annihilated them a couple days prior, so they were probably hurting.

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L.A. Clippers versus Phoenix Suns.

Shout out to my homeboy for mobbing with me. We pulled up at halftime lmao. But hey, tickets were $6 on Stubhub. That’s almost insulting. I legit trolled the site for a day or two, and watched the price go down cent by cent. I ended up giving in at six dollars flat, 20 minutes after the game had started. Reckless.
We had a blast. We snuck down to section 116, next to the PR section. We chose the worst time though. Everybody was up and about, out of their seats. This meant all the empty seats were just a tease. No one ended up coming. The universe was on our side today. Shout out to CP3 and my boy Crawford. This was a fun game to watch. Of course, they won.

This tweet is actually false. I wanted a free shirt so bad. Every game, they hype the crowd up by blowing them out of a machine. I told homeboy he had to catch me one for my birthday. He failed. The couple next to us caught one and ended up giving me theirs because they saw me eyeing it. They said to pretend he caught it for me. There are good people in this world. Day made.

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The World Famous Laugh Factory.

Now, the decision of the century. What to do to ring in the big 2 6? Sunday night meant one thing: Chocolate Sundaes at The Laugh Factory on Sunset. This is hands down my favorite comedy show in L.A. Once you go, you will understand why. Just the name itself gives it away. 

Per their Facebook, it is executive produced by Pookey Wigington, hosted by Donnell Rawlings and Ron G, with music by DJ Sidekick. The DJ threw it down, playing all the bangers in between acts. Shout out to all my people who came out tonight, especially with work in the AM. Good company is the key to life.

All the comics were literally hilarious. It was a riot up in there (a good riot). There’s a 8 p.m. or 10 p.m. show, and we chose the latter. Tickets are $20, well-spent. Our favorite act had to be Donnell Rawlings, who writes for The Chapelle Show. He shouted out Paul Pierce in the building. Definitely did not notice him at the game earlier lmao. 

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#Hollyweed.

Monday, January 9

It’s officially my birthday. I am 26 and I have no idea what time I was born. This is my last day off before I start school, so I really wanted to take advantage. I wanted to hike and my girl did too, so we were out. ICYMI, someone recently changed the sign to Hollyweed (it’s fixed now). Guys, I have this poster in my room. No lie.

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A foggy Monday in L.A.

We went around 12:30 p.m. It was a perfect day for this: foggy, not too hot, not too cold, empty. It was great, minus the struggle being so real. Two years ago, I hiked to the Hollywood sign on my birthday as well, but that was literally nothing compared to what we did today. Shout out to my girl who knew her way around. The key to hiking in L.A.: go with someone who knows what they’re doing. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gotten lost at Runyon Canyon.

We did it to ourselves. We intentionally chose to park below the observatory, and we also chose to skip the shortcuts. The uphill climb was the worst, but the burn felt oh so good. We both were saying how much we needed this. Not only for the physical but our mental state as well. Getting to the top was not easy. We found out after the fact that round trip, it’s six miles. Damn Daniel.

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The American flag waving at the top.

It was so worth it. You can’t not go to the top. The trail takes you right above the first three letters (“HOL” ). The view overlooked all of L.A., on either side of Hollywood. It was so breathtaking. We had to take a moment to soak it all in. And then my hands started to get frostbite.

We were beat. We joked about how we wanted to Uber on the trek back. The one thing about hiking is remembering that all the hard work you do to get to that one destination point, you have to do twice. You have to go back. Mind over matter is the key.

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Welcome to Arts District Brewing Co.

I couldn’t figure out what to do for the evening. It is a Monday night after all. I wanted a spot where I could just kick it with the homies, without having to provide the entertainment. Arts District Brewery Co. was the majority vote. This was a dope spot in arts district (by Little Tokyo) with drinks, food, and games. The games were what sold me.

My one homegirl got there before everyone and alerted me that it was shut down for a private event tonight. Shout out to her, she finessed the bouncer into letting all of us in. All we had to do was say we were there for the Redbird company party. Literally walk inside to an open bar, free food, and free games. How Sway?

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Lots and lots of chicken.

It literally couldn’t have been more perfect. My friends feasted on their chicken and cookies, with the option of ordering any drink off the menu. It was hilarious. All the people actually attending the party were turnt. We also found out Redbird is a restaurant in downtown L.A., and it’s really nice. One of my homegirls had eaten there. That was the best part.

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What’s up, Skeeball.

Skeeball was fun. Free games ftw (for the win). There was also ping pong, life-size Jenga, a dance floor where everybody was having the time of their life. This reminded me so much of Office Christmas Party, which none of my friends had seen. No one felt what I felt.