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Beauty Fashion Shopping

Quick & Simple Holiday Shopping

Holiday crunch time is a drag. Go easy on yourself. Here are a few stylishly uncomplicated suggestions to get you started.

Dad Brand Apparel hatsDad Brand Apparel

Dads only want one thing right? Yes!  Simplicity! Make him first on your list this year with a groovy, no-brainer gift he’ll actually use.
($30 & under)


showpo athletic wearResolutions can be daunting. Fear not!
2018 will be the year of the “GLOW-UP”. Australian online retail giant, Showpo. (Show Ponies across the pondbest known for their ultra trendy, must-have athleisure gear, will keep you motivated well past January. Mix and match sweaters, crop tops, leggings, and sets!
($50 and under)


worthy of love leggingsWorthy of Love Leggings

Worthy of Love leggings by Four Athletics, benefit girls rescued from sex trafficking via the non-profit organization Saving Innocence. For every Worthy of Love leggings purchase, Four Athletics will donate a pair of its best-selling black 7/8 Omni leggings directly to Saving Innocence to give to a rescued girl in need.
($30-$175 … check the website for sale pricing).

Gothique Haircare Set

gothique hair care shampoo and conditioner

Beauty ingenuity.

Moisture Balance Shampoo from Gothique Products is a rich, old-world blend of chamomile, sage, rosemary, nettle and aloe extracts and cherry almond essential oils that nourishes and revitalizes all types of hair, and leaves a faint delicious scent in your hair.

Like the Moisture Balance Shampoo, the Detangling Conditioner is rich in nutrients yet extremely lightweight, allowing your hair to feel and be healthy without sacrificing volume. Ingredients include wheat germ oil (providing protein, Vitamins E and B, and minerals), grape seed oil and carrot oil (rich in Vitamins A and C) and have the same beautiful scent.
($27 for the set)

Food Review – SeaSnax – A Better Snack Choice for Now and Later

Reviewed and Contributed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

In the time of COVID19 all holed up in our apartments here in the city of Los Angeles, (YOU, of course, dear reader, may have the luxury of living in a comfy, spacious home – ah, we dream!), with the minimization of physical activity – cooking and more frankly, eating – to our simultaneous delight and chagrin, has become a primary focus.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

At the onset of the pandemic, arriving at the grocery store confronted us with two certainties – the panicked frenzy of supermarket shoppers stocking up for apocalyptic famine (which luckily has not happened so far), and the horrifying expanse of empty shelves in the once consoling, comfort food aisles.

Oh, the pain to dream of lining your extra top kitchen shelves and storage closets with favorite junk foods to get you through your sixteenth binge of Schitt$ Creek, Harry Potter, Westworld, DC Comics & Marvel Universe movies…and discovering dust balls accompanied by leftover bread ties and ‘temporarily out of stock’ signs where the life-affirming Peanut Butter & Jelly used to be.


Now that we’ve gotten a handle on the trips to the grocer’s thing, and we’ve all been learning at least a modicum of shopping restraint, it might actually be a good time to contemplate our snacks.  Because, let’s face it, the sheer boredom of too much time on our collective hands is most likely straining everyone’s will-power and reason against shameless nibbling.

Personally, I’ve been doing a 6-week, stay-at-home, victory lap of slow, home-cooked meals and self-enforced, conscientious recipe & food list development.  My days have been filled with Keto shakes mixed with fresh fruit and other phytonutrient powders I already had in the pantry and a definitively delicious, balanced, late-day meal of clean proteins, medicinal, garden-grown herbs & colorful vegetables.  But snacks, well, I have to admit, it’s been a struggle.

Like many people, I’ve occasionally put on my protective mask and made a secret trip to the local neighborhood corner deli, pharmacy or restaurant side shop to acquire my most favorite gooey dessert (I purposely don’t keep this stocked in my freezer as my scale tends to beat me up otherwise) or the saltiest munchie I could find to quell the anxiety of my couch looking way too attractive than it normally would.  Luckily, I’ve kept that to a bare minimum.  Thankfully, there have been better choices than corn chips in my purview.  And happily, I had the opportunity to sample some healthier alternatives prior, which has offered a bit of relief on the days when I just can’t seem to hold out.

Gia On The Move, Tracey Paleo, food review, snacks, SeasnaxWait for it…SeaSnax.  Yes, Sea as in Seaweed.  Like that stuff that washes up at beaches…  (What? Eew! Yuck! Like, not ever!)…and in point of fact, surrounds your favorite sushi roll.  So there!

Of all the brands I’ve tried in the last several years, SeaSnax has consistently landed in my checkout cart, long before I was offered a sample box to write about.  The major reason is that on a pure dietary front, SeaSnax are made with 100% pure olive oil as opposed to less healthy, artery clogging vegetable oils or oil ‘blends’ that you often find even in better quality foods.  For me, the olive oil also gives this light snack a much more palatable taste, which otherwise, on its own, can sometimes be a bit ‘different’.

What’s super-AWESOME about them is that they are paleo, vegan and keto certified and contain ZERO artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Nor do they contain any genetically grown materials.  And since SeaSnax are made from seaweed, they naturally contain vitamins (B1, B6, C), vegetable protein, fiber, iron and other minerals and trace elements that are good for you, even at their nominal portions.  It doesn’t hurt either that a single pack is only 25 calories.

SeaSnax released several truly exciting flavors this year, and OMG+++ are they GOOD!!!

In addition to their original roasted seaweed strips  there’s now, Barbecue, Jalapeño, Onion and a seriously outstanding Lime.

And their new Chomperz (try the Jalapeño, trust me on this! ) which hit the shelves as well, are even tastier.

Remember old fashioned Bugles?  Imagine that curly, crunchy awesomeness…but with flavors…

“I don’t even have the vocabulary to describe how delicious each one actually is!”

And unlike their artificially manufactured counterparts, Chomperz contain just six ingredients: seaweed, glutinous rice flour, rice bran oil, tapioca starch, sea salt, and the vegetable they are flavored with such as Onion, which is insanely delicious.  And an entire package only contains 80 calories.

The company touts all its snacks as “strangely addictive” and they would be right.  Their award winning premium roasted seaweed snacks are also sustainably grown.  Great for kids and adults.

The only downside apart from just not liking the taste or idea of seaweed is that prices vary from store to store, region and location.  You can pay as little as $3.99 but I’ve seen pricing well over $5 per package for Chomperz at certain health food stores.  They are orderable online, which, at this time, is especially is a plus.

3 Things You Need to Succeed: An Interview with Mark Wilding

By Kevin Hopps

Copyright © 2020 Gia On The Move

According to Mark Wilding, the three main things you must have to succeed, in addition to talent, are: “A persistence, a learning curve, and a thick skin.” Clearly, all were instrumental to Wilding’s success as a writer and led to his writing the play Our Man in Santiago, which will open soon at Theatre West.

Mark Wilding

“I really admire actors,” Wilding says, referring to their persistence and perseverance. “They get knocked down, but keep coming back, going on casting call after casting call, suffering rejection after rejection, until, finally, they get their chance, they get that part they were trying out for.”

Passion is another thing that Wilding thinks could be added to his what you need to succeed list. His own passion for writing started blossoming when he was attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Although he was majoring in economics, he was also writing, usually a humor column, for the school’s paper, The Daily Collegian. “I took a couple of journalism classes,” Wilding says. “Then, in my senior year, I interned for a local newspaper. After college, my first job was as a sports editor at a weekly paper just outside Atlanta.”

In the early 80s, while in his late twenties, Wilding decided he wanted to write for television or the movies. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any connections in the business. But still… he persisted. “I had saved a little money,” says Wilding, explaining that it wasn’t that much money and that he had no job prospects. Nevertheless, he moved to Los Angeles. “For a while, I slept on the floor, on a mattress that a friend’s dad gave me.”

While working as an assistant buyer for department stores, Wilding continued writing, not journalism, but the currency of the hopeful Hollywood scribe: spec scripts. He took a UCLA Extension class in screenwriting. “I wrote a couple of bad movie scripts,” he says. He also became a member of Theatre West, workshopping short scenes to some plays he was attempting to write.

Finally, in the early 90s, one play he wrote, A Company Man, a dark comedy about “a Fortune 500 man on the run,” won a festival prize and was produced in Santa Rosa, and then later in Los Angeles at Actors Alley.

Fortuitously, a Disney executive happened to see Wilding’s play and offered to help set up some interviews; open a few doors for him. But even though doors open, you still have to be ready. “A lot of people often get an opportunity, but don’t take their shot, they’re not ready,” says Wilding. He, however, was ready. “I had my play and a Seinfeld spec.”

Wilding may tell you that a lot of success is “luck and happenstance,” but he had practiced what he now preaches: he had persisted, he had been learning his craft, and his skin had thickened. “On my second interview, I got my first television writing job,” Wilding says. And, the rest, as they say, was history.

Since that fateful day, Wilding has written and produced many television shows, including Ellen, Charmed, Grey’s Anatomy, and Scandal. Currently, he’s one of the executive producers on Good Girls.

In fact, it was during a hiatus of Good Girls that Wilding decided to write another play. Back in high school, he had read a Harper’s Magazine article written by Gabriela Garcia Marquez. It so intrigued the young Wilding that he made a copy and kept it. Now, many years later, he had decided to write a play based on the article. “I first thought it could be a movie,” Wilding says. “But I wanted to see it up on its feet. With plays, as with TV, you’re more likely to get to see what you write.”

The article was about a comically flawed and failed coup attempt by the U.S. government to overthrow the president of Chile in the early 70s. Wilding’s play, a farce inspired by the article, takes place a few years after the real events and imagines the CIA bringing in a clueless agent to take yet another shot at a coup. “Yes, there’s an understated theme or message,” Wilding answers when asked about one. “I’d say that it’s: No good deed goes unpunished.” Wilding workshopped the play at Theatre West.

“I started with about twenty pages. There was no outline. I knew a few of the tent pole scenes. I knew what I wanted to do. I had a vague idea of the ending. But there were dozens of drafts. I was getting a lot of good notes from people.”

Finally finished, and after a reading with favorable responses, Our Man in Santiago is about to be performed at Theatre West in front of an audience (Previewing March 11 & 12; Running March 13 through April 5). And now that Good Girls is back from hiatus, Wilding is back working at Universal Studios, just down the street from Theatre West, finding time to pop in during his lunch breaks, to catch up with the play’s director, Charlie Mount, and to watch rehearsals.

“I admit, with the play opening in March, there’s some nervousness on my part. First, there are the reviews. What is it someone said about critics: ‘They go in after the battle and shoot the wounded’? And, of course, I’ll go to the play, stand in the back, mouthing every single line. A habit, which my wife keeps telling me I have to stop doing. And I’m sure some of my friends will come. I’ll be in the theatre; I’ll see their reactions. I mean, if they are in the privacy of their own living rooms and they hate something I wrote for Scandal or Good Girls, I’d never know it. But this… this will be different.”

Photo (above) by Charlie Mount: The cast of ‘Our Man in Santiago’ – Nick McDow Musleh, Steve Nevil, Presciliana Esparolini, Gerge Tovar and Michael Van Duzer

Copyright © 2020 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”. For more information please review our reprints and permissions page.

What if you could just be who you are? ‘Gifted’ at Sacred Fools

An interview with playwright Bob DeRosa and director Rebecca Larson

By Matt Ritchey

Copyright © 2020 Gia On The Move

Every weekend, it seems, a new superhero movie opens at the box office; stories of humans with special gifts that, in the best stories, cause them as many problems as they solve. Bob DeRosa’s new play Gifted, playing at Sacred Fools, is a superhero story for people who like three-dimensional, realistic characters who are burdened with more down-to-Earth powers.

Ash’s (Kacie Rogers) power is instantly knowing about someone’s romantic life – mostly how it will end. Most people are, of course, very excited to hear a psychic tell them about their love life, but no matter how much they say they just want the truth, they don’t, they want to have good news. It’s a brilliant piece of writing that asks great metaphysical questions and answers just enough to keep you thinking after the show is over.

Gifted is a powerful, heartening play and production, which reminds us all that even if we think our gifts are inconsequential, we matter.

Highly Recommended

Bob, you give an account of how you came up with this story in the program but was there something that finally made you say, “Okay, I need to tell this story now”?

BOB: I wrote this originally as a screenplay 20 years ago and it almost got made a couple of times. It started my career and led to work, but people kept asking me about it and whenever I would tell people what it was about, this thing would happen their eyes and they’d say, “Oh, I’ve always had the gift of …X.” so there was this feeling that this story was still important and still needed to be told in some way. I was a member of Sacred Fools and one of the perks is that I could submit a script through the New Works Development Program. Rebecca was one of the curators at the time, and last year, they set a deadline for proposals. I said, “Y’know what? I have a few weeks off, this is my moment.” I wrote it feverishly, sent it to Rebecca and she said “Yeah.” Because of our conversations and how deeply she understood the story and was connected to the story, I couldn’t imagine anyone else directing it.

There’s one aspect of the show that was gorgeous and I’m wondering whether it started out in the script: the dance sections. They were beautiful and evoked feelings of what can’t be expressed in words. Was that in the script or brought in during the workshop?

REBECCA: It was me! You know, in filmmaking, you have the benefit of the POV shot. In theater, you don’t have that, so How am I going to look through Ash’s eyes? I can play with Time, Sound, and Light. What does True Love Sound like? Is it an orchestra? Is it heartbeats in sync? How do people move? Is it a guitar and bass but they’re not tuned together? We threw all of that away eventually because we didn’t have a composer, but what we could do was hire a choreographer. Because you can tell how people feel about one another if you look closely enough. Are their feet pointed at each other? When they laugh, who do they look at? So we just took that to the next level.

BOB: In the script, it was very simple place-holder stuff like “Something happens here” and then Rebecca chose to work with Tavi Stutz whose worked for Cirque du Soliel, he’s Russian ballet trained, and bringing him on as part of the team blows my mind because I never thought it could be that. I always thought it would be something sweet but (Rebecca) figured out a way to make it really emotional.

I loved the minimalism, specifically excising many props and using light and sound. Did that come out of workshopping or it was planned ahead of time?

REBECCA: I think Bob and I were on the same page a lot of the time: We just don’t want this to be a play about cups. I said, “We’re not doing any scene changes, people know what a wine glass looks like, people know what it looks like when you flip a coin” and Jamie Robledo said, “Oh, I’ll just put a sound on it” and it was brilliant. And then our scenic designer Madeleine said “What if we put the set in the sky?” and she and our light designer (Matt Richter) got together to hang all these practicals. Bob and I agreed early on: “The simpler the better. The audience will get it.” If the story is good, you can get away with murder.

BOB: I don’t have a traditional theater background, I learned about theater doing the Orlando Fringe Festival and the best shows I’d seen in those days, were two actors with a couple of boxes and a hat. I expressed that and Rebecca embraced it to the “n’th” degree.

REBECCA: I love that the script is a love letter to portal relationships. Portal relationships are relationships that are not forever, but the one when you get to meet yourself in a new way. And they’re important. I went through one of those two-year relationships where I fell in love and it changed who I was on, like, a molecular level – who I am and what I want. But I’m not with that guy. On the one hand, I thank God that I met him and on the other, I thank God that we broke up. And I could not have done this life without that portal relationship. It’s a doorway you have to go through. And I love that this relationship changes Ash and makes her a little more willing. I just wish there was a little more love for those relationships that aren’t “The Big One.” Because they’re just as important. They’re pivotal and beautiful.

Was there something that surprised both of you in this process – either about yourself or the material?

BOB: Being a screenwriter can sometimes make you feel like you’re not a very deep writer because you’re serving so many masters and just trying to work your way through the forest. And every writer has those moments of self-doubt but I’m sitting there in rehearsals watching Rebecca work with these incredible actors and there are some deep scenes where they’re into the work and I’m watching this going, “Oh yeah, I wrote this!~ I actually wrote some stuff that is special and meaningful, and these artists are digging in and baring themselves” and it reminded me that I can write something special and effective for people. I’m a better writer now for having worked with Rebecca on this play.

REBECCA: I can really relate to all of these characters. Every day I would wake up and think, “I’m a Randy!” and the next day I’d wake up and say “Oh my God! I’m a Marla!” From a very young age my specific, bossy, passionate personality made me a “bad girl.” It made me not fun to be around, “nobody likes a ‘know-it-all.” I grew up Mormon and I’d read the Book of Mormon and go “Hmm… this has inconsistencies” – I always felt like the kid in The Emperor’s New Clothes who was like: “He’s naked!” And I’ve always been fighting that part of my personality because I thought it made me wicked, to think I knew better and to question and to have a vision and be exacting. And so my whole life my personality was like, “Hey, Rebecca, you’re a director!” but the other part of my personality was like, “No! Don’t step on toes! Don’t be too bossy!” So what a meta-joke that the first play I would ever direct would be a play about “maybe you should just be who you are.” There was actually a piece of dialogue that Bob and I talked about where Marla goes to Ash and says, “You’re treating your gift like it’s something you should run away from, but what if you ran to it and through it?” Rebecca, what if you’re just bossy and that’s what the world needs from you the most? For me this story is my story. It’s about claiming yourself. It was a beautiful experience.

Photo (above) by Jessica Sherman: Kacie Rogers and Marc Forget

Copyright © 2020 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”. You may review our policy here.

DIY Botanical Skincare: Mandi Nyambi’s Pivotal ‘Fresh Face’

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

You never again have to be a ‘Beauty School Dropout‘ when it comes to the care of your skin.

Gia On The Move, Tracey Paleo, beauty, reviews, Fresh Face, Mandi Nyambi, Flower School Los Angeles
Gia and Mandi ‘mixing it up’ at the Botanical Skincare Workshop hosted by Flower School Los Angeles DTLA

As an addendum to a Botanical Skincare Workshop by skin tech scientist, writer and entrepreneur Mandi Nyambi M.S., hosted at Flower School Los Angeles (DTLA) I’ve spent the last couple of weeks reading her book, Fresh Face, and trying out luscious class made DIY recipes of chemical-free and GMO-free ingredients on my face and body.

As it happens, this past year, I’ve been investigating a host of new and reformulated natural beauty products to one degree of satisfaction or another. Not all formulations are skin-friendly or even work as claimed, as I discovered. But it has led me to a new understanding of the efficacy and divinity of high-end natural and DIY at-home care. Not to mention a much more heightened awareness surrounding what’s FDA regulated in anything that goes on the face, near the eyes, on the body, or in baby care. Which is even more frightening when you start looking at labels. In actuality, there’s almost none, even in products that claim dermatological testing or doctor-formulated recommendations. (If you’d like to know more about that, get the facts on The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website.)

Now, I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘true-believer’ in anything. I’m equipped with a healthy sense of eye-rolling ‘whatever’ when it comes to buying into the next new thing. But this tryout of Fresh Face recipes has altered my perception and skepticism – but good.

After only the first week, my microbiome from top to bottom healed from seasonal dryness, environmental impurities, and hormonal blemishes. It felt and looked brand new, fresh, silky, supple and glowed with a newfound radiance. Like, yeah, I looked at least 5 years younger. And that’s not just the ‘feels’ part of the experience.

An accurate expectation for preservative-free, botanical skincare includes a lesson by Nyambi on why not all ingredients are microbiome friendly. All skin is not created equal. Nor is one formula for everyone. Not all oils or other organics should be used on the face. And, nothing lasts forever once mixed. Certainly not like the hand lotion your grandmother saved in her lingerie drawer for 10 years. In her book, Nyambi lists, in order of pore-clogging possibility, which ones are more likely to harm rather than heal.

You will still have to spend some time and a little bit of money building, fortifying, properly cleansing, exfoliating – not micro-tearing – and hydrating your skin. But…and this is the good news…it’s ALL within your control. And it IS safe. Assuming that you give yourself a reality check on your current beauty regime, and are open to lifting yourself out of the foggy hypnotic hype of packaged drugstore or corporate department store products. Which is not to say, they are monstrous. Only advocating that there is another way to go.

There is so much mix-it-up information packed into this little table read. 30 stress-free everyday foundational regimes and routines built on ordinary kitchen stuffs. The recipes are instructive, easy to whip up and beneficial for all skin types. There are even eating tips that support the translation from healthy gut to healthy dermis. And, everything used in the preparations can either be ordered off of Amazon or found right on the shelf at your local Los Angeles (or elsewhere) independent or chain grocers like Lassens, Whole Foods, Erewhon, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts and Ralphs (and local farmer’s markets which goes without saying, really). And they are practically edible.

Confession: Yes, I tasted a few whiles mixing before adding Jojoba and Hempseed, SeaBuckthorn, and Squalane oils. Yummy!

Nyambi’s Fresh Face is inspirational to the goal of action which is indeed the point. Because, as she writes, “We all deserve a loving relationship with our skin” and “Everyone deserves the tools to make themselves feel healthy and beautiful.”

The book is purse-size for quick perusal while shopping and is highly organized into small, uncomplicated chapter vignettes. You’ll get to the important information quickly and be on your way.

Highly Recommended

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

‘Supportive White Parents’ Expands at The Second City Hollywood

Reviewed by Matt Ritchey

Joy Regullano’s inspired musical about reconciling oneself with how they were raised has moved from its debut at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and into The Second City Hollywood’s Second Floor theater  (6560 Hollywood Blvd.), playing Fridays at 8 p.m. through December 13th. It has expanded with new music The Sam and Tony Show and new lyrics by Regullano.

Directed by Frank Caeti and with great performances from the whole cast, the show is even more charming and funny than its previous iteration, including a brilliant new song about white parents shopping for “exotic” meals at Whole Foods, and even a dig at incel culture. But what has remained is the humor and heart in a story about accepting people as they are and understanding that love comes in different forms.

Highly Recommended

“When an Asian girl tells her parents she doesn’t want to be a doctor anymore, she wishes on a shooting star for supportive white parents. This Second City Hollywood original musical will love you no matter what.”

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.


SaMo Pride First-Ever Calendar of Family & LGBTQ+ Friendly Events

Press Release

Downtown Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Place and the City of Santa Monica are unveiling a robust calendar of fun, family-friendly events, and experiences for the first-ever SaMo PRIDE. More than 20 events throughout the month of June will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, individuality, inclusivity, and love in every color, anchored by a nightly display of lights spanning the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place, the historic Santa Monica Pier Bridge and City Hall.

“The inaugural SaMo PRIDE celebration will bring our community value of inclusion to life through a lineup of opportunities for all ages,” said Mayor Gleam Davis. “We look forward to having the community and our neighbors come out to help inaugurate what we hope becomes a new annual tradition in Santa Monica.”

With a focus on family-friendly and inclusive art, events and community connection, Santa Monica city partners are gearing up for a full month of activities to generate awareness and acceptance and celebrate our diversity.

“We launched SaMo PRIDE with a handful of planned signature events, in hopes that there would be an outpouring of support from the community,” said Mackenzie Carter, director of marketing and communication, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. “We’ve seen a tremendously positive response and are thrilled to offer a full lineup of fun, family-friendly events in locations all across Santa Monica.”

Signature SaMo PRIDE events and experiences during the month of June include:

June 1 – June 30 from Sundown to Sunrise
Miles of Pride
Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place and Santa Monica Pier
The world-famous Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place and the iconic Santa Monica Pier will be lit up with all the colors of the rainbow throughout the month of June with the “Miles of Pride” light installation spanning miles of city streets.

June 1 – June 30
Colors of Progress
Third Street Promenade
Colors of Progress is an art installation by artist Phil America, created in partnership with Tre Borden/Co and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., that will present a visual oral history of the LGBTQ+ movement and will be displayed at Pride festivals around the U.S. When fully installed, hundreds of colored, hand-painted flags with quotes from members of the LGBTQ+ community about their histories, futures, loves, hopes and dreams will hang above the Third Street Promenade. The art installation will culminate at the WorldPride | Stonewall 50 celebration in New York. The flags are inspired by the protest signs from the historic Stonewall Riots which were used to spread a powerful, important message that changed the course of history. Fifty years ago, the Stonewall Riots took place in the West Village in New York City. This act of retaliation and demand for respect sparked the LGBT movement, leading to increased equality around the world.

Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Santa Monica Pier Deck
Smorgasburg is “The Woodstock of Eating” and one of the largest open-air food markets in the country. With more than 90 food and shopping vendors, a beer garden, live DJs and more, Smorgasburg welcomes thousands of guests per week year-round. Smorgasburg returns to the Pier, along with special programming, decor and treats, for the SaMo PRIDE kick-off.

Wednesday, June 5 at 11 a.m.
Kids Club with Twinkle Time
Santa Monica Place, Third Level Dining Deck
June Kids Club will feature interactive activities and a performance by award-winning kindie music performer, Twinkle Time, who will sing her hit song, It’s Ok to be Me. This song is all about acceptance and inclusivity, encouraging kids to accept every person, color, and race.

Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m.
Frank DeCaro and Pandora Boxx present Drag!
MLK Jr Auditorium, Main Library
601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Author Frank DeCaro, in conversation with special guest Pandora Boxx, celebrates Pride with the release of his new book, Drag! Combing Through the Big Wigs of Show Business, an irreverent look at the history of drag queens, and their impact on pop culture and politics. A book sale and signing will follow.

Thursdays, June 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 3 – 6 p.m.
Live Music under “Lanterns of Love”
Santa Monica Place, Center Plaza
Santa Monica Place presents free live music every Thursday evening in June under “Lanterns of Love;” an overhead colored lantern installation that spans across Center Plaza in celebration of SaMo Pride. Commemorative Pride bandanas will be given away to guests in Center Plaza.

Fridays & Saturdays, June 14, 15, 28 and 29 from 8 p.m. – Midnight
House Aquatic Happy Hour Pop-ups
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Tickets: $45, benefiting Heal the Bay
In celebration of Santa Monica’s first-ever Pride, the Santa Monica Pier is delighted to introduce Happy Hour Agency’s House Aquatic, a colorful mash-up inspired by the childlike fantasy of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and the grandiose decadence of Ball culture. Guests are invited to an immersive, sensory experience with specialty themed cocktails and performances.

Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m
West Coast Rising: Gay Liberation In the Golden State.
MLK Jr Auditorium, Main Library
601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Celebrate Pride with a special screening of six short documentary films exploring the early days of the Gay Liberation movement in Southern California. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Gregorio Davila, as well as a preview of his upcoming feature-length documentary L.A. A Queer History.

Saturday, June 15 from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Pride on the Promenade Festival
Third Street Promenade
Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with live theatre and musical performances, a DJ dance party, youth art project, games, Instagrammable moments, LGBTQ+ resource center, food, drinks, and a signature SaMo PRIDE moment.

Friday, June 28 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Cinema on the Street: “Love, Simon”
North end of Third Street Promenade near Wilshire Blvd.
Enjoy a special outdoor screening of the award-winning film, “Love, Simon,” based on the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli. The teen comedy-drama follows 17-year-old Simon Spier as he navigates coming out to his friends and family while falling in love with an anonymous classmate he met online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Rated PG-13.

For more information, sign up for the SaMo PRIDE newsletter and full view of calendar of events..

About Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) that works with the City of Santa Monica to manage services and operations in Downtown Santa Monica that promote economic stability, growth and community life within Downtown Santa Monica. DTSM, Inc. manages the Property-based Business Assessment District (PBAD) that encompasses the area bounded by Ocean Avenue (W), Wilshire Boulevard (N), Lincoln Boulevard (E) and the Santa Monica Freeway (S).

About Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier Corporation (SMPC) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, public benefit corporation dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Santa Monica experience for all visitors. SMPC provides impactful location-specific programming year-round, upholding the Pier as a relevant world-class destination that is free and open to all.

About Santa Monica Place
Located steps away from the Pacific Ocean in Downtown Santa Monica and adjacent to Third Street Promenade, the unique, all-outdoor Santa Monica Place is home to Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Hugo Boss, BARNEYS NEW YORK, Nike, dozens more shops and an inspired collection of restaurants and entertainment experiences including True Food Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory, Sonoma Wine Garden, The Curious Palate, ArcLight Cinemas, The Gourmandise School, the new Cayton Children’s Museum, and more. Santa Monica Place also is home to a growing set of engaging, digitally native brands, such as b8ta, Ministry of Supply, Monica + Andy, Peloton, Indochino, and others.

For more information, visit or interact with us via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Access our Concierge services anytime via text: (310) 499-2928.

About The City of Santa Monica
The City of Santa Monica is a full-service municipality working on behalf of Santa Monica’s 93,000 residents. We are a community of 8.3 square miles along the Santa Monica Bay with a mix of residential neighborhoods, an expansive parks system, vibrant business districts and world-renowned destinations, including the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade. Santa Monica is an inclusive community that puts the highest value on sustainability and wellbeing. For more information on City news, events, and ways to get involved, visit You can also follow along on Twitter (@santamonicacity) and Facebook and Instagram (@cityofsantamonica).

‘Small Little Safe World’ Isn’t Quite Ready For Maturity

Reviewed by Matt Ritchey

The easiest part of creating a play is writing the script. Don’t get me wrong – it is also the hardest part. Creating work from an idea takes long hours and months of work, refining and rewriting. It’s incredibly hard, especially if there is a deadline and the project needs to go into production at a set time. Conversely, if there is no set deadline, then you get the huge benefit of time. Time to refine, time to workshop, time to rewrite. Throwing out and reworking words on a page cost nothing but time. Productions cost money and time. And rushing an idea can lead to problems.

Small Little Safe World, playing at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre, feels extremely rushed, both in production and writing.

Ultimately, Small Little Safe World is a white male sex fantasy in which a young girl desperately wants an older man and corrupts him with her sinful ways until he is forced to turn her away and grow up. New-in-town twenty-one-year-old Erin (Julia Coulter) blatantly hits on forty-eight-year-old Dave (Pete Navis) employing no subtlety and practically hitting Dave over the head to invite her over to his place. After a date or three (of more exposition and backstory), Erin hands Dave a notebook where she has written a bunch of fantasies – she wants him to pick one and they’ll enact them when she comes back next week. Dave and chooses a story where he plays “Daddy,” calls Erin “Little Girl” and they go through father-daughter fantasies ending in sex. Every Thursday. All of this creepy incest roleplay is Erin’s idea, remember, and she has specific rules about how he must always treat her like his daughter.

Erin continues to “corrupt” the older man by not so subtly encouraging him to drink wine, even though he’s spent his life wisely avoiding alcohol since his father was an alcoholic. But he succumbs and starts to drink. A good start to a character downfall and conflict….. but no. Dave handles his drinking perfectly and now apparently just enjoys a glass of wine. Dave has a moment or two of “oh, hmm… I don’t know if this is a good idea” when Erin pretends to be a fourteen-year-old wanting to have sex with Daddy, but then he acquiesces and is totally fine with it. Over and over again. For all the father-daughter roleplay, not once does Dave act like a real father and question why 21-year-old Erin is obsessed with this particular fantasy or why she won’t engage in an adult relationship. Everything’s fine. It’s all extremely safe, theatrically speaking. No conflict, no stakes.

In fact, the final straw is when Erin tries to create conflict by destroying the only photo Dave has of his dead mother. But rather than entering conflict, Dave gives up and says “it’s over.” Of course, this leads to a shocking line about Erin’s relationship with her real father, who is also conveniently dead, having killed himself after Erin’s mother’s divorces him… I’ll bet you can guess why. The destruction of his mother’s photo, somehow, makes middle-aged Dave worldly and in the finale, he’s seen returning from a months-long hike along the coast, Erin somehow having opened his eyes to the world allowing him to leave San Diego.

I initially thought this play was written by a twenty-year-old. If it was, it would be easier to forgive the exposition and lack of nuance or knowledge of the myriad of emotions an older male character would have in this scenario – a twenty-something can only imagine what that would be like. Playwright Michael Eichler is not in his twenties. And this is not his first play. There is an interesting character study buried in the idea of Small Little Safe World, something that could benefit from time and rewrites and workshopping.

As it stands, it feels like a first draft by a novice, with the first half of the show almost entirely exposition and characters talking about their backstory which ironically, adds nothing to the story. Director Bo Powell and his actors have little to work with in terms of character and dialogue, but this is when acting and direction need to toil overtime to pull the material to a higher level. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in this production. What the audience is left with is a story with poorly-handled mature themes and thin characters produced by young artists eager to do a show.

In defense of this production, it IS called Small Little Safe World. The title is meant to be an allusion to Dave being sheltered and still clinging to memories of his dead mother, not wanting to explore the world or himself. But the title is indicative of where the play exists in its current form. The production is small and safe – this has nothing to do with budget, as productions with no budget can be more impactful than million-dollar extravaganzas. The smallness and safety is in the writing and performances, neither of which are ready for a larger, more mature world.

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

‘The Curious Palate’ Santa Monica: Supporting Local Artisans, Serving Sustainable Foods

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

A recent private press tasting at The Curious Palate at Santa Monica Place had my taste buds bubbling with delight. Five courses of truly fresh fare, all completely produced and perfected in their kitchen, was an authentic, eye-opening revelation…simply that real, whole food with no awkward surprises could be done with consistency, and without cutting a single corner. Absolutely unlike any experience (at least that I’ve had) to date. There really is something extraordinary happening here. And it’s sitting right under the very noses of health and taste conscious Santa Monica residents and tourists. What excited me most about this restaurant also got me thinking…

Do you really know your food? Do you know where it comes from? What goes into that gourmet holiday feast, soulful stew, romantic refection, plain flavorful fixin’ or gastro grub?

Sure, we’re all very woke these days about choosing organic meats, non-hormone pumped poultry and environmentally safe-caught fish and obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables that give us a nutritional edge to our health, beauty, and conscience. If nothing else, most of us can add ‘label snob’ to our life resumes when it comes to shopping and carbon footprint awareness.

But how much thought are you really giving to the chain of growing, raising, catching, harvesting, processing, and getting it all to market? All that time! So much effort!

And cooking! The chore of decisions every step of the way from menu-to-meal on the table. Have you actually ever thought about all the pinches of packeted or bottled extracts, seasonings, zests and essences that round out or thicken or add that finishing touch of gusto to the perfect recipe?

‘Do you know your food?’ is the question that adults are asking a whole generation of kids subsisting on a diet of fast foods and plastic wrapped edibles from super shopping centers and quicky marts.

Comestible aficionados will insist they know all they know when it comes to their favorite epicurean delights and where to obtain stuffs for cooking at home. Somehow though, that doesn’t always translate when dining out.

Insist to the contrary all you want, but many of us who have worked in the restaurant business know what really goes on in commercial kitchens. I’m not talking sketchy, just not entirely transparent. You know, the kind of ‘oops we skipped that part’ kind of menus that even at vegan and vegetarian establishments have customers questioning potential allergic reactions to ingredients.

So, is it really possible to know every single addition to your favorite restaurant prepared meal?

Yes, absolutely! That is if you are dining at The Curious Palate. This is your fantasy casual, couples, friends and family-friendly dining experience so available you might feel like if you blink it might disappear. (Not if we have anything thing to say about it!). And they’ve taken on ALL of the work involved to serve their community.

For co-founders Elliot Ruben and Mark Cannon who pride themselves on whole foods and sustainability, cooking is all about connecting with people – and the earth. That means they are always exploring new ways of supporting artisans and local producers who can provide them with fresh, natural ingredients.

Here are a few important facts about The Curious Palate:

  • All sauces and condiments are hand-made in-house (includes jams, peanut butter, ketchup, coleslaw, sauerkraut, etc.).
  • All meats are antibiotic free and hormone free and come from sustainable agricultural farming.
  • Fish & shellfish are sustainably harvested and delivered fresh daily.
  • Produce is pesticide free and majority organic; purchased at local farmer’s markets at least 3 times per week for freshness and availability.
  • Only wholesome, natural ingredients are used (i.e. non-bleached flour, no corn syrup, rice bran oil, no artificial additives or preservatives) and that includes the pastas made in their kitchen daily.
  • The Curious Palate uses paper straws and compostable to-go cutlery and cups.
  • Compostable waste from the restaurant is sent to a composting facility

Both the lunch and dinner menus are filled with incredible variety. In addition, they have 20 taps of craft beers, cider, and kombucha direct from independent local brewers. There is a kids’ menu. They are currently partnering with Tutti Frutti Farms, Cadoro Bakery, Wong Farms, and Valdivia Farms – all family owned/operated businesses.

They also recently were added to GrubHub, making their food more accessible to the public through delivery.

Here’s what we sampled! Visit for your own experience!

All photos by Lily Fassnacht.

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher,addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

Natural Beauty Empowered: Environmental Working Group Establishes New Standards

Contributed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

As pop-ups go, the exclusive press event recently hosted by The Environmental Working Group (EWG), the national environmental health organization, featuring EWG Verified™ products, Le Pop Up Abbot Kinney was hands down one of the most exciting, healthy natural beauty discoveries to date.

environment health beauty

Sampling EWG Verified™ participating brand partner personal care products and interviewing EWG staff and scientists about the new criteria for the beauty industry offered no-bull enlightenment and an empowered way forward for everyone concerned with what’s going into their skin care.  And for good reason too.

Fact: There have been NO NEW LAWS since 1938 regulating what goes into beauty products (including baby products) or how they are tested. It’s the wild west out there and consumers themselves have been the more-or-less guinea pigs for an industry that is banking on your willingness to spend extraordinary dollars without asking too many questions.

Fact: EWG is a national environmental health organization that uses game-changing (for 25 years), original research to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.

EWG Director of Healthy Living Science Nneka Leiba and EWG Vice President Jocelyn Lyle along with EWG researchers were on hand to answer questions about their high-bar, high-standard program, what it means to be verified, and about the 1266 personal care products that have already met EWG’s strictest health criteria.

Gia On The Move walked away with a shopping bag full of new knowledge, not to mention products samples…which…we will be testing in the coming weeks and featuring here with information about them and on where and how to purchase.

Stay tuned and look for our upcoming reviews on many of these products and companies, all of which have either designed or reformulated their products to meet the all-natural standards of EWG and hopefully yours.

Photo (above) by Tracey Paleo

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher,addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

Los Angeles Streetwear Clothing Brand OtherLinks Leading a Retail Rebellion

No inflated prices. No high-profile showrooms. No celebrity sponsorships. No pop-ups. No marketing hype.

Tucked away in a warehouse space in Los Angeles, premium streetwear brand OtherLinks is quietly leading a retail rebellion.

The company’s founder, Laure-Cecile Lafond-Fenonjoie (LCLF) has some bold ideas for the direction that streetwear can move in, using a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model that cuts out the middleman as well as the high premiums that consumers end up paying for retail spaces.

In the direct-to-consumer model, companies manufacture and ship products directly to buyers and sell at a lower cost. In comparison, the standard retail model has fashions going through many mediums before it eventually reaches consumers, with watered-down, made by risk-averse brands. The model also allows brands like OtherLinks to experiment more freely with their designs and collections, as they can respond quickly to consumer behaviors and demands. By using the D2C model, OtherLinks isn’t simply competing with other streetwear labels like Comme Des Garçons and Supreme in terms of the product; they’re competing more efficiently and effectively in their practices as well.

OtherLinks uses this model to reach an even broader base of customers who are wild for avant-garde collections of streetwear staples. From their online store, they can serve fashionable clientele who reside all over the world.

The model is a benefit to both the consumer and the company’s bottom line. It also forges a much more substantial connection with customers. The quick turnaround makes it essential to listen to the consumer base, (what they have to say matters.) All OtherLinks, social media channels are open to accepting suggestions and feedback from customers. In fact, ‘customer’ is an outdated term for wearers of OtherLinks apparel who are considered ‘Brand Actors’ for their participation in shaping the company’s direction.

This unique approach is directly inspired from street performance.  OtherLinks designs their clothing to be worn and seen in the urban spaces that we share with others.

“When you’re in the streets, you have the ability to change what you see and how you participate in the community.”

Sweaters to full tracksuits are made from premium, hand-spun Mongolian wool and offered at reasonable price points (in large part thanks to the D2C model). The brand also partners with up-and-coming street artists whose works appear on a range of t-shirts. They promote the work of these partnered artists on their website and are continually looking for more talents to work with and lend their platform.  Partnering with artists not only injects fresh creativity into their designs but also opens up OtherLinks to other perspectives of what kind of items that true street artists prefer.

OtherLinks sells exclusively from their website to their target customers who do their shopping almost exclusively online and seek the instant gratification of seeing, buying, and receiving with speed, and effectively cuts out all of the noise.

The upside on the company’s margins is reason enough to adopt the model exclusively.  Under one roof at OtherLinks, you’ll find design, sales, web development, and marketing personnel dedicated to providing fashionistas with a higher level of streetwear attire. Their size and setup allow them to move fast – a new design can arrive at the warehouse, be photographed, and be online and on sale in a matter of hours.



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