Creative Types


Ryan Scott Oliver, Composer & Lyricist

Ryan Scott Oliver, Composer & Lyricist

One doesn’t always associate Pasadena with bicoastal living—Beverly Hills or Malibu are more associated with a New York and a glamorous show-business dual residence. But Ryan Scott Oliver is not glamorous—people who grow up in East Pasadena and Sierra Madre rarely are, and thank goodness for that. He is, however, in show business, specifically as […]

Brigham Yen, Blogger-Realtor

Brigham Yen, Blogger-Realtor

First of all, yes, that’s his real name. Brigham Yen was born in Provo, Utah, when his father was pursuing his Ph.D. at BYU, and he thought he’d give the name of the university to his son, because it would be unique. And it is. (“Contrary to popular belief,” says Brigham, “there are not that […]

Laurie Ochoa, Editor

Laurie Ochoa, Editor

Laurie Ochoa, editor of the much-talked-about new L.A. literary quarterly Slake, grew up in Whittier, close enough to Pasadena to decorate floats with high school friends and camp on Colorado Boulevard to see the parade. She was drawn to words as a student, and set out on the path to being an editor right out of school—first […]

Mary McNamara

Mary McNamara

Even if you’re only the most casual reader of the Los Angeles Times, you’re sure to have read lots of pieces by Mary McNamara, a 20-year veteran of the paper who’s been an entertainment reporter, features writer, columnist (family travel and driving being just two of her specialties) and, now, the paper’s TV critic. The […]

Peter Hannan

Peter Hannan

When I was growing up in L.A., Glendale was considered anything but creative, and it certainly wasn’t the least bit silly. Today, however, it’s home to many talented and creative people — people like painter/writer/producer/songwriter/cartoonist Peter Hannan. A clue to his genre came early in his career, with the title of one of his books: […]

Love, Leave, Laugh (Repeat): Tracy McMillan

Love, Leave, Laugh (Repeat): Tracy McMillan

Writer Tracy McMillan, in high heels and a teased-out afro, is somehow both regal and gangly, with an open face, porcelain latte skin and huge eyes. Her friendly, goofy smile disarms you; her razor wit and keen intelligence keep you massively entertained-slash-enlightened — much like her amusing, amazing memoir, I Love You and I’m Leaving […]

Christopher Slatoff: Sculpting Life

Christopher Slatoff: Sculpting Life

Christopher Slatoff looks like a sculptor. Standing over six powerful feet tall, with a cherubic yet introspective face framed by a shaggy, graying coif, he’s somewhere between Michelangelo’s David and Moses. Chris, who has a BA in sculpture and once made a living traveling the world’s beaches sculpting sand, is a professor at both Art […]

Sonia Marie De Leon de Vega: The People’s Conductor

Sonia Marie De Leon de Vega: The People’s Conductor

I met Sonia Marie De Leon de Vega a couple of years ago and was immediately struck by her intelligence, passion and intensity. Statuesque, with tumbling black hair and a commanding, smiling presence, simultaneously sensual and intellectual, she could be a character from an Isabel Allende novel:  dashing, generous, grounded and forceful. Sonia surprised me […]

Brian Elerding, Actor

Brian Elerding, Actor

If Altadena native Brian Elerding looks familiar, that’s because he’s starting to show up on TV and movie screens a lot. He took a star turn in a hot Super Bowl commercial, has appeared in several indie movies and TV shows, and has three projects coming up: an episode of the new NBC series Parenthood, which just […]

Ian Whitcomb

Ian Whitcomb

Ian Whitcomb, Altadena’s ukelele/accordion stylist, Tin Pan Alley expert and songwriter extraordinaire, has kept a daily journal of his adventures in Los Angeles since 1972. A born raconteur, with a well-educated Englishman’s command of the mother tongue and a biting wit, Whitcomb sees all, tells all, and makes it incredibly, wryly funny. The Huntington Library […]

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Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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