Hollywood, USA – it’s where the star chasers come out to play! For decades, people from all over the world have traveled to Tinseltown to experience the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and famous, and if luck befalls them, to catch a rare glimpse of a celebrity in person. As a post-grad present, I took a trip to the entertainment mecca and had quite a few awesome star-studded encounters!
Wondering how you can get closer to the celebrities? Here’s my guide to searching for the stars in Hollywood…
Currently the home of Glee, Community, and Big Time Rush, Paramount Studios (which just celebrated its 100 years in show business) is the only remaining motion picture studio in the Hollywood district. Paramount offers daily tours of their studio lot, where guests can learn about the history of the studio (you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for television innovator Lucille Ball), discover some industry secrets (how did they film the parting of the sea scene in The Ten Commandments?), get a behind-the-scenes look at their sound stages and film sets (their New York Street backlot has been used in various films, including one of my favourites, Breakfast At Tiffany’s), and maybe even see some actors along the way. On our tour, we saw young actor Curtis Harris, who plays Miles Preston on the Nickelodeon show, The Haunted Hathaways, and was more than happy to stop and say hi!
Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, the Hollywood Bowl is the largest amphitheater in the US and is heralded as one of the most amazing outdoor venues on the globe. The Bowl hosts magnificent musical events during its summer season, allowing audiences to see the stars under the stars. I went with my good friend and fellow The Hudsucker editor, Ashleigh to see an all-star cast consisting of Samantha Barks, Ashlee Simpson, Lucy Lawless, Stephen Moyer, and Drew Carey perform in Chicago: The Musical, and I can guarantee that the Hollywood Bowl offers great sound, great views, and all that jazz!
The Hollywood Museum truly is a secret gem of a Hollywood memorabilia treasure trove! Found in the Max Factor (the legendary make-up artist to the stars) building, the museum has over 10,000 authentic items on display, providing extensive representation of the stars from both Old and New Hollywood. It is heaven on earth for admirers of the silver screen sirens (and sirs) from the Golden Age of Hollywood glamour – you can enter the make-up rooms where Lucille Ball became a redhead and Marilyn Monroe became a blonde! Speaking of Marilyn, the biggest star of them all has an entire floor dedicated to the irresistible icon and her legacy – the collection includes her famous black dress from her USO tour. There is so much to uncover within the exhibits – from Harry Potter costumes and props to Hannibal Lecter’s jail cell from Silence of the Lambs – that the Hollywood Museum really does have something for everyone!
A trip to Hollywood isn’t complete without finding your favourite celebrities’ stars along Hollywood Boulevard, but watching the unveiling of a new star during a Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony is a cause for celebration! Every so often, a respected member of the film, television, radio, music, or theatre community will be awarded this prestigious recognition, and an official presentation ceremony is thrown in their honour. I happened to come across a posthumous Walk of Fame ceremony for the late Peter Falk (best known for his role on Columbo). Many of his closest friends came to share their memories of their beloved hero, including Ed Begley, Jr., Paul Reiser, and Joe Mantegna. There was even an appearance by the delightful Dick Van Dyke! You never know what famous faces will turn up for these events!
For a different kind of stargazing, venture up to Mount Hollywood and visit the Griffith Observatory. Immortalized by James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause (there is even a monument dedicated to him), the observatory is a leader in public astronomy (thus, admission to this astronomical adventure is FREE to all visitors!) as well as a Los Angeles icon. You can look at celestial beings through their gigantic hubble telescope, examine the scientific exhibits indoors, and catch one of the shows at the planetarium. Best of all, the Griffith Observatory offers incredible panoramic views of LA. The time to go is an hour or so before sunset, so you can see the city in the day and in the night. You will find yourself falling in love with the City of Angels, as I have!
Where have you spotted the stars in Hollywood? Share your stories and recommendations in the comments below!
All photography was taken by yours truly, and can be found on Flickr!