Tales From LA

Tales From LA Tales From LA brings the stories of Los Angeles to the rest of the world. The website features Bruce Chapnick's stories and provides interviews with successful entertainment professionals who share their perspective on working in the entertainment field.

06/16/2019
Daddy Diaper Diaries - Ep. 1

Happy Father's Day everyone!
Instead of getting nostalgic and sad about running out of time with my own father, this time I'll make a DEDICATION.
So Dad, I know you're around the Heavens somewhere surfing the internet like the rest of us today. I hope you enjoy this little piece of comical fiction I conjured up. I understand you a lot more today now that I'm a Dad too.
This pilot episode was previously on Amazon Prime. If you didn't have it then, well you have it now. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please share it with whoever you think might appreciate a laugh now and then.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAhZyCPIpHI

Ger's a goofy-cool new Dad who wants to Blog about his travails while juggling a needy baby, his (formerly) Russian wife Olga, and the non-English speaking M...

Tales From LA
06/16/2019

Tales From LA

Tales From LA
12/27/2018

Tales From LA

03/20/2018

An Open and Shut and Locked Case

It’s 5am and today’s the day--time for some family vaca. Gotta hop in the car for LAX and get on that flight headed for Puerto Vallarta. We booked this trip 6 months ago, mostly because it’d take about 6 months to save up the money to pay off the credit card we used for it. Of course, it’s less affordable than we’d like it to be, but hopefully it’ll be worth it!
Since it’s the dawn of a new day it’s time for my wife to be right about everything again. So far, she’s been right all along about prepping for our journey—that it pays to pack over the course of several days instead of last-minute.
It was a week’s worth of, “Ger, you’ll never be ready…Ger, you’ll forget something...Remember last time…remember that time”. Motioning to the mound of fresh laundry on the couch she offers, “Fold it and put it in here!” dropping the suitcase at my feet. She says, “How can I make it any easier?” She’s right, of course.
So, I’m packed, already. My wife’s packed, already, too. Baby Melodie, who we call “Mel” for short, is packed as well.
But Olga wants to pack more; this time in Mel’s new suitcase. She wants to add Mel’s new life preserver that has worked so well in the new community pool we can newly access. (Yes, I have a new suitcase as well.) We are celebrating our family’s first major new vacation together with new, new and more new. I convince myself the LAX airport and LA traffic is never new, but the plane might be.
On track for departure, suddenly Olga struggles with Mel’s case. She suddenly realizes that Mel, last night, toyed with the combination lock on the case! Somehow the combo got reset, and we have no access to Mel’s new treasure trove: clothes, toys, diapers, shoes, sandals, swim wear and other baby paraphernalia necessary for vaca.
To arrive 2 hours before departure for our international flight, plus commute time to LAX, we have to leave NOW! The All-Inclusive vaca all now hangs in the balance for however long it takes us to act. Our house-sitting buddy/taxi to LAX, named Winky, whips out his phone and says, “You Tube it! Search picking suitcase locks!”
My proud, yet thwarted wife nervously chuckles to herself while jamming a screwdriver in and around the clasp holding the case shut. Meanwhile, I march around the room dignified and ready.
I casually stuff the remaining items into my suitcase. You Tube streams, “Jiggling it back and forth might break it, but if you ease it just right…” or, “flip the case upside down and sit on it while you try…”. The best clip is: “There are 1,000 possible combinations for the lock, but trying each is the quickest way to…”.
Olga accidentally busts the handles off the zipper. Her hands are now obsolete in this task, opening Mel’s case. She surrenders to trying the 1,000 possible.
Lucky for us, we hit gold at 260. Yes, I said we. Of course I helped somehow, I’m sure.
“Let’s Go!”, she says.
Later in the car, Olga admits, “That’s the number. I remember now. Last night I was feeling the wine. Mel and I had her suitcase and played with the lock last night. It’s 260. That’s correct.”

02/10/2016

Life is a team game.

01/01/2016

Happy New Year everyone! Looking forward to 2016!!!

In my refrigerator...it's everywhere.
12/18/2015

In my refrigerator...it's everywhere.

12/09/2015

I meant to post this good producer's work containing his observations of Scott Weiland last week closer to the tragedy. The producer, Joe Szopa, also happens to have one knack for writing. Check out his perspective in this Tale from LA--in fact when he first ARRIVED in LA!

Posted: December 5 at 12:47am · Los Angeles, CA

Just found out about Scott Weiland tonight. Very sad news to hear. STP was the first band I saw as a fresh college kid in LA. Ryan Ayers and I were riding around LA in his Ford Ranger pickup when heard announcement on The World Famous KROQ for a free STP show for the first 200 people in the door. KROQ sponsored the filming of their new music video for the song "No Way Out." Fans who participated were encouraged to bring in their own video camera where they were asked to tell the story of how they got to the show. Anticipating a surge of fans, we decided to make an adventure out of it and arrived at 11pm the night before. Turns out, we were the first ones in line and nobody else showed up all night. The security detail were very impressed with us. We slept on the sidewalk outside the El Rey with nothing but lawn chairs and sweatshirts. We saw some crazy things that night. Some blonde cougar lady in a red sports car tried to pick us up and take us back to her apartment. Around 2AM a drunk teenager fell off his bike and slammed his face on the sidewalk. He was bleeding pretty badly, and his friend managed to pick him up off the ground and they rode off. I remember freezing most of the night and feeling like we were ill-prepared.

Around 5AM a couple die-hards joined us in line- two high-school aged sisters. We watched the sunrise together as Wilshire Boulevard came alive for another day. We spent the entire morning watching the crew set up for the event as the line grew longer, trading places in line to go to the bathroom. I don't remember eating much all day, but I think the girls shared some snackfood with us.

Finally, the moment came where they opened the doors. The security staff let us in with the first wave and we jammed up against the barricade.

We waited several more expectant hours before the band showed up. The crowd went nuts, and they told us they were going to shoot several takes of "No Way Out," followed by a full set. So there we were smashed against the barricade with the weight of 770 surging fans behind us, rocking our brains out, as Scott crawled across the stage like a creature, straddling the barricade with his hips wildly gyrating in our faces (I'm talking beyond comfort zone level here), shirtless and sweating all over us, reaching out to the fans beyond. From the way I'm describing it, I guess it could have been someone else's worst nightmare, but it was an amazing show. Scott was a true showman. He knew how to work a crowd with his slinky swagger. It was mesmerizing.

After the concert ended, we lingered for a minute. The security guard who noticed us from the night before and helped get first choice at our spot on the barricade grabbed us and told us to stay put. She disappeared backstage for a few minutes and came back with a tall, frail, man with a mohawk wearing a silk bathrobe (or at least that's how I remember it). It was Scott. He talked to us briefly, and thanked us for staying out on the street all night. We were totally unprepared for this moment and didn't have anything for him to autograph, but we were able to pose for a photo. I'm sure it's somewhere in one of my college albums, but I don't have it handy. He looked totally exhausted, and seemed like he was pretty shy. He didn't have anything to give us either, so in a quick-generous moment, he gave Ryan his pack of Marlboro Reds. He said something like, "Uh, here. Sorry I don't have anything with me." It was a totally surreal moment that neither of us were really able to process until we were back in his truck. We too realized how exhausted we were from this epic day.

A month or two later my neighbor Danny knocked on my door. He asked me if I'd seen the new Rolling Stone issue. I said I hadn't. He opened it up. Inside, there was a photo from the perspective of backstage towards the audience Scott Weiland arms up in a holy pose looking skyward, back to the crowd, with the entire El Rey rocking out behind him. In the bottom left corner you can see Ryan and me. Ryan looks normal, gazing upwards and smiling. I didn't fair so well. My friend Danny said I looked like I was taking a crap. He's right. It's not my best moment caught on camera, but definitely one to keep as a trophy pic.

When the music video came out, we looked for ourselves but weren't able to really distinguish if we made it in. After just checking again, I'm also happy to say I made it in! At :21 you can see my face in profile on the left. The girl next to me was one of the two that we met in line.*Side Note: At 2:04 you can see one of the worst tattoos ever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmBwF89PNUQ

Stone Temple Pilots aren't a band that I listen to very frequently anymore. They're somewhat relegated to the digital graveyard on hard drive deep inside my old Mac laptop, smashed somewhere between the Smashing Pumpkins B-Sides and Third Eye Blind. I almost feel guilty now that I haven't listened to them in a solid couple years. They were one of the most meaningful bands to me growing up and when I hear them I'm reminded about what a talented group of musicians they were.
Scott, thanks great memories. That show entirely shaped my future. It verified all the reasons I moved to LA. It kicked off the epic adventure of my life here, and it catapulted my love for live music into a new realm. You guys had something special going on.
#ScottWeiland

11/23/2015

Exploding Babies

Babies are powerful. They truly are. And I wonder why militaries around the world have failed to identify such potential weaponry all this time; sheer disgustingness. My baby, whose identity I am forced to conceal, is a fraction of my size, and yet she has tamed this Goliath. Respect this.

Babies smear. They splatter. They urinate without warning. The intervals are so unexpected, and sometimes coincide brilliantly in an orchestrated fashion with a barrage of other countermeasures that destroy tidiness, quiet, peacefulness, and order; in addition, just when you think a baby’s done, they have only begun. They have infinite ammunition. A favorite device they employ, what I call the stink bomb, gets expelled with a merciless smile. And they stop at nothing. Your pleas are met with unintelligible cooing.

This threat must be anything but ignored; if you try...they...they will cry.

09/28/2015

Violence and murder is a poor way to spend your time. Given that, I look forward to killing every fly in East Hollywood. First blood was drawn at my family’s Sunday dinner.
As with any nemesis, we knew it already existed. For the past few weeks, we took note of the escalation. But this evening was beyond belief, and now I plan a trip to Home Depot. Mom says she wants to ride along. So you know.
I’m sure flies are important in some capacity regarding our ecosystem. Given that, I look forward to wiping their army clean off my patio and my domain.
They set out to ruin our Sunday dinner. They tried—and once the seventh wave arrived, they did.
I saw about 30 flies gathered on my wife’s unattended dinner fork, as she scurried away to protect our crying newborn.
And so it has begun.
I feel it necessary to explain the atrocities, because we are the victims. It took three adults to try to hold them at bay, but to no avail; yes, the flies kicked our asses.
We deployed counter-measures immediately as they descended upon us. First, we set out the cat food remnants to lure them away. (Indeed, we have no cats, but we snatched some from the neighbor’s cat dish. And, where were the hummingbirds we feed to help us?). The cat food, a viable distraction, we thought, placed far away from our newly grilled steak. I told my honey the plate was too far from the table, but no matter it was a futile ploy.
My Mom is a tough character. Surely, the flies would never thwart her successfully. Ole Ma, a new granny due to The Adorable wrapped in cloth on my wife’s lap, grabbed a fan in order to artificially create a typhoon over our dinner. Then, two fans, to send hair a-blowing and napkins afloat. The squadron of flies snorted at us, chortling how they would drink the fresh blood from the fairly pricey New York strip steaks I had just taken off the grill. But no matter. We had more devices...and more flies.
We tucked tin-foil around plates. We spread fresh napkins over our steaks. We pressed more napkins deep into the salad bowl. Surely, the flies could never make contact. But, more came. Mom and I exchanged a grim look.
So, after the fans, the covers, the waving arms, and laments...we finally made the command decision—RETREAT! We surrendered and fled.
Today, I concede much like a general who has drawn his sword from his scabbard to hand it over to the enemy, I yield. Yes, East Hollywood flies, today you are the victors. But, there will be another bloody Sunday.

09/04/2015

About 13 years ago I read this book. I dug through Robert McKee for about 30 minutes to try to find..."You're willing to risk time. You know that even the most talented writers...didn't find success until they were in their thirties or forties, and just as it takes a decade or more to make a good doctor or teacher, it takes ten or more years...You're willing to risk money. You know that if you were to take the same hard work and creativity that goes into a decade of unsold screenplays and apply it to a normal profession, you could retire before you see your first script on the screen...You're willing to risk people. Each morning you go to your desk and enter the imagined world of your characters. You dream and write until the sun's setting and your head's throbbing. So you turn off your word processor to be with the person you love. Except that, while you can turn off your machine, you can't turn off your imagination. As you sit at dinner, your characters are still running through your head and you're wishing there was a notepad next to your plate. Sooner or later, the person you love will say: "You know...you're not really here." Which is true. Half the time you're somewhere else, and no one wants to live with somebody who isn't really there. The writer places time, money, and people at risk because his ambition has life-defining force. What's true for the writer is true for every character he creates: THE MEASURE OF THE VALUE OF A CHARACTER'S DESIRE IS IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO THE RISK HE'S WILLING TO TAKE TO ACHEIVE IT; THE GREATER THE VALUE, THE GREATER THE RISK." End quote. I can tell you from life experience, the aforementioned is true. But I can also say this to you and all my writer friends--you can wait, but never wait to live your life. Those who do are foolish.

My good friend Tom Lialios is a successful entrepreneur who has done everything from launching his own corporate and com...
08/10/2015

My good friend Tom Lialios is a successful entrepreneur who has done everything from launching his own corporate and commercial video business to independent filmmaking to now creating his own hellacious HOT coffee called DEADLY GROUNDS! I helped volunteer to sell his coffee, and let me tell you this stuff was grabbed like HOT CAKES. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to more opportunities like this with Deadly Grounds coming to the West Coast to spread their FIRE! The coffee is available online I recommend you giving it a try by visiting their website (address on their poster!) or liking their page Deadly Grounds Coffee on their FB. They make great holiday gifts as well---the artwork is a SCREAM! and will warm up any holiday party and make your host happy they invited you to help serve coffee at the end of the festivities! :)

Tales From LA's cover photo
07/15/2015

Tales From LA's cover photo

05/06/2015

From an aspiring filmmaker in LA named Arthur...

"It's crazy to think 4 years ago I was a lost kid trying to figure out what he was going to do with his life. Having nothing else to look forward to, I decided I would kill some time at Woodbury University until I figure things out. Fast forward 4 years and i'm about to graduate college having found a passion for something I never knew existed in me before. I've made a lot of friends. I've lost a lot of friends. I've been tested and pushed to my absolute limits, and I won't lie when I say its taken its toll on me. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Every semester there was a voice in the back of my mind telling me to quit, and every time I told myself "I'll stick it out for one more semester". That voice is still in my head, but its not so loud nowadays. Looking back on it, all the highs, all the lows, and everything in between...I wouldn't change any of it, because it's been some of the best days of my life. If there's one thing I've learned through all of this, it's that you shouldn't have a plan in life. Just go with the flow, and eventually things will all fall in line.
Cheers."

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