(CELEBRITY) PERSON OF LA 15: The Real Pseudo-Celebrity and The Fake Pseudo-Celebrity

There are many celebrities in Los Angeles. And, like any social group, there are different tiers, classes, and airs associated with them. Here at Hollywood Field Guide, we will be detailing several types of celebrities. We kick off our celebrity entries with two different types of Pseudo-Celebrities: the Real and the Fake.

The basis for celebrity is being an entertainer or spectacle or at least some sort of public figure who has and maintains—be it intentional or not—a following. The Real Pseudo-Celebrity is a credible actor or musician who simply has not reached that high of a level of success. They are well known and coveted in certain circles but are too obscure or unknown to the masses to actually be classified as a “celebrity.” They are very well adjusted and normal. They’re great conversationists and very nice. You’ll be surprised to know they live even the vaguest of public lives.

You won’t know a Real Pseudo-Celebrity until after a few drinks and talking about “work,” where you have your “A-HA” moment of their celebrity. You may be at a party with friends and start socializing with a perfect stranger. After some time, the two of you start talking about dodge ball and how hard the sport is. He starts giving you tips and advice on how to be a better player. After a lengthy conversation with him, you excuse yourself to ask a friend, “How did he know so much about dodge ball?” Your friend laughs and looks back whispers, “He was the black guy in Dodgeball.” You try to play it cool but come to the realization: you had a run in with a Real Pseudo-Celebrity.

The Fake Pseudo-Celebrity is the exact opposite of the Real Pseudo-Celebrity: they have had a bigger run-in with public media, they are over the top, and they make their presence be known (mainly through their lack of intelligence). These persons are the flash-in-the-pan types of celebrity that should be long gone, invisible to the public eye. And, most are and should be, if it weren’t for these persons unhealthy attachment to attention. Instead of creatively reinventing or trying to harness their temporary fame into a long term investment (a la, producing, buying real estate, etc.), they instead make a livelihood from snowballing club appearances.

You will know a Fake Pseudo-Celebrity, because they will make it very well known that you are in their presence and that they were once a (that one girl—you won’t remember her “name”) from Rock of Love III: Bus or that guy from Daisy of Love. These people will likely drive you in the opposite direction and won’t engage you enough to even talk to them (unless you are of the smaller mindset that enjoys them, thus coddling their fame) (NOTE: it is okay to talk to them if one is trying to be ironic—but do not stroke their ego. Your conversation/interaction should be like their career: flash-in-the-pan). You’ll most likely leave the restaurant or club or bar you were at because of this person. Then, you’ll realize: you had a run in with a Fake Pseudo-Celebrity.

Now, both of these types can interchange: a seemingly Real Pseudo-Celebrity may be a megalomaniac asshole who you cannot even think to look at and a Fake Pseudo-Celebrity may be an intelligent, sweet, and well intentioned individual. Take everything in strides with celebrities. They’re all different and all confusing. It’s always good to proceed with caution and many grains of salt.


The Real Pseudo-Celebrity is a joy. They are a breath of fresh air and a Los Angeleno you hope to encounter and hang out with again. They really are great people. The Fake Pseudo-Celebrity makes you want to claw your eyes out. Being in their presence is like subjecting yourself to nails on a chalkboard.


PERSON OF LA 14: The Gay Frat Boy

We’ve spoken about different groupings and how they border each other here in LA, but never have really taken two completely different groups and combined them. Well, hold on to your hats: here’s an interesting combination that is sweeping the town!

Take a Frat Boy, multiply his Bro loving ways to an erotic extent, add in some muscles, a low key (somewhat ashamed) demeanor, divide by a flawed fashion sense, and—Voila!—you have the Gay Frat Boy! These men are very interesting in that they are just like any other Fraternity brother—but they are not attracted to men.

In our encounters in other cities, we’ve met Frat boys who go from man’s man to full queen, but never the types that LA have. They keep most of their Frat Boy identity intact and even tell stories from “their college days”—but never really make it known that they are gay.

These guys are usually on the fast track to monetary success (in agency or PR fields, if young; executives in film and television, if older; sometimes, they pop up in creative arenas) and keep their machismo façade at the forefront of all activity. When you do find out they are gay, you don’t get it and won’t get it because these guys are clearly heterosexual and you just think “it’s the alcohol talking.” But, like any other gay man, they enjoy a good penis every now and again.

But, unlike other Los Angeles gay men, they do not ever go to West Hollywood to gay it up or to a gay bar. Ever. It simply is not their style. They are very clean cut and very proper and very hetero. They are—essentially—every gay man’s fantasy: the straight man who is actually gay.

It seems that their lack of participation in gay lifestyle may be that they aren’t fully comfortable with their identity or they feel that it threatens their career. Thus, these men keep things under wrap. They usually move to LA because they can be “themselves” and because they’ve followed courses of life that require them to be out here (mainly business ventures).

These men are very guarded and very, very hard to crack. They are nice, they are bro-ish, and they don’t like attention. They do not hang out with gay men and do not really know how to meet them. They come in all ages and are all markedly successful: they are—essentially—Frat Boys gone right.


These guys are truly perplexing, harmless, and enjoyable. And, if you really want them to talk about boys, get them a Jack and coke and you are set: the gay floodgate has been opened! (But, they still won’t accompany you to WeHo to gay it up. It just is not them.)

TIP: For all you gays wondering how to crack these guys, you have to play it cool: don’t over gay it, play hard to get, and ignore them. They’ll come to you if you don’t come on to them.

WORTH THE HYPE? American Apparel Factory Store

The Gist: American Apparel is a Los Angeles institution. It originated in LA, it rules a few LA fashion scenes, and it definitely is as omnipotent as Starbucks is in Seattle. Because American Apparel is based in Los Angeles, we are blessed to have the company’s factory downtown in the garment district, which has the attached American Apparel Factory Store, a haven for those cheaply made clothes you love discounted to about 30% cheaper than retail price!

Pros: The store is fairly large and everything is discounted. You can rummage through some $5 bins, if you like, which usually contains some experiments gone wrong (sometimes right). The Factory Store also has many items that have not hit stores for dirt, dirt-cheap. If you scope certain price tags, you can find items that have highlighter marks, which denote an extra discount. The store also has a generous sized California Select vintage section. Definitely worth a peek.

Cons: It’s downtown and a hassle to get to. Things really aren’t that much cheaper and there are no returns. You are also quite likely to spend more than you intended to spend when coming because everything is so. damn. cheap. The company has also taken a turn for the ridiculous, which makes finding the clothes you actually want (or need) hard. We also advise that you try everything on: the sizings are all fucked up in this store.

Verdict: WORTH IT. Admit it: you like American Apparel, but not the price. This cuts out all guilt. You can also put together 2 - 5 days worth of outfits with clothes from this store by only spending $120! That’s pretty great. It’s also a good place to go if you want to rub in your Williamsburg friends that LA is still more awesome than New York. Take that, Brookyln!

LETTERS FROM THE WEST: High-School-Friend-Turned-College-Roommate

Dear Neal,

So, I understand that you are thinking about moving to Los Angeles, yes? My mom mentioned that to me when we last spoke. She also mentioned she ran into your mom, who asked her to ask me for some advice regarding moving to Los Angeles. She said you wanted to go to USC for graduate school for film--is that right? (Or, am I making this all up?)

In any event, I don't think your moving out here would be a good thing. Now, I know you may feel ready and prepared to "make the move," but it wouldn't be right for you. Remember in college when you were a freshman and lived with me for your first year? And, at the end of that year, you transferred back home to the university my mother now attends for "continuing studies," because you couldn't "handle the big city"? You remember that?

Well, if you don't remember, I do. I remember you whining about how you hated living in the city and how you would drive home every weekend to see your family and how you never left the apartment to explore or do anything but watch television and play with action figures. Now--call me crazy--but for someone who couldn't handle the "big city" in a small city for six months , I don't think you are going to fair well in Los Angeles at all.

Yes, you can drive. Yes, you enjoy movies. Yes, you may even know a thing or two about working a mini-DV camera. But--I'm sorry, Neal--city living is likely not for you. And, Los Angeles is a huge fucking city on the opposite end of the United States, so you will not be able to drive back home so your mother can do laundry for you and make you "feel better" about yourself and your life choices. That doesn't happen.

I recommend you hanging back home with your family and to keep dressing up with James, Barbie, and Morgan to see those comic book films at the Regal 16. Maybe fly out West for Comic-Con one day. However, don't get too attached: I do not recommend your moving out here. LA is a dog-eat-dog alternate universe--and you are a runt. Don't even think about it.

In Christ's Love,

PS. How about them Dodgers?


PERSON OF LA 12: The Small Town Airhead

Most Los Angelenos are not from Los Angeles. As most urban centers are, the city’s citizens are a mish mash of cultures and people from across the nation and world. Rarely is the question “Where in California are you from?” posed to a Los Angeleno. Instead, “How long have you been in LA?” is the more fitting question, since no one is really from here.

That being said, many of the Groups of LA are just geographical communities that have found each other in Los Angeles. One particularly surprising, innocent, and aloof group is the Small Town Airhead. These persons are a little bit Celebrastalker, a little bit Dream Big, and a little bit sorority girl: they move to LA hoping to “hit the big time,” but are too caught up in the glitz and glam of Hollywood that they never actually leave their small town mindset to graduate to something more mature and suitable for the city. Instead, they lose focus of their own aspirations and team up with another STA (or Celebrastaker or Dream Big or Worldly Frat Boy) and decide to be in awe of the city together—but never to actually make a mark on it.

This type of country mouse are usually women. They come to LA after finishing their small town college to either “get into entertainment” or “to get famous.” The ones hoping to get into entertainment studied "TV" but don't know how to actually use a camera. They settle into a talk show production job or land a healthy gig on Lifetime, before they leave the show to take care of their baby. The fame seeking STAs usually want to act or model and have wanted to since season 6 of America’s Next Top Model. They are usually hold jobs as a hostess at a restaurant and will get okay work until they leave their pursuits to take care of their baby.

This group is the type who lives in LA and still purchases Us Weekly, People Magazine, OK Magazine, National Enquirer, and like magazines. The still read TMZ on the daily and are definitely members of the Church of Perez Hilton. Now, there is nothing wrong with reading any of those publications; however, reading all these entertainment gossip magazines in Los Angeles instead of Daily Variety is like working in Paris trying to get into fashion and reading Allure, Cosmopolitan, Lucky, Self, and Redbook--instead of WWD, Vogue, Apparel News, and JC Report. The disconnect is clear.

Small Town Airheads enjoy going to Beverly Hills when they want to “go somewhere nice” or to Hollywood when they “want to go out.” They have a terrible cheese ballness to them that makes them utterly unbearable: they want so badly to live Paris Hilton's life and be her contemporary, but do not have the means or intelligence to do so. Instead, they live life how they think she lives hers, which leaves them going to the places that the girls on The Hills hang out (or the girls on Paris Hilton: My New BFF or the girls on Beverly Hills: 90210). They all end up marrying Worldly Frat Boys.

The Small Town Airhead means well but is one of the most annoying LA wannabes. They are quite depressing and really should just return to their small town instead of longing for this unattainable life. They want so badly to be a part of Hollywood, but can’t even act like a functional human being when they spot a cast member from Project Runway at their local supermarket. The STA is a sad Person of LA—even though they have no idea they are.


They are pathetic, they are annoying, they are unbearable to talk to, and they just do not belong in Los Angeles. They’re a type of person that really want, want, wants but will never “get it.” They’re worse than what you may thinka Valley Girl is.


PERSON OF LA 11: The HGMV (Hipster Gay Male Vegan)

The hipster is quite a rife creature in Los Angeles, which makes it a surprise we are just hitting our first entry on them (mainly bcause we feel Robert Lanham’s The Hipster Handbook covered this best, as it tactfully predicted and—it can be argued—created the twentysomethings who predominate urban hot spots today). However, one male hipster sub-group that crosses into a hipster dietary group that entered the hipster homosexual group is most fascinating: The HGMV, or “Hipster Gay Male Vegan.”

These guys are at a cultural clashing point that makes a lot of sense but makes zero sense. These guys are absolutely repulsed by the thought of eating meat for reasons that "make them better people" and "prove they have morals." They aren’t raging PETA people, but carry that same annoying “Oh, you actually eat animals?” chip on their shoulder. They won’t ever chastise you for eating meat but—like all hipsters—will judge you with their eyes. You’ll know they disagree, even though they assure you they “don’t care what you eat.”

Similarly, that hipster vibe just ups the ante when it comes to irony: they are gay men who don’t eat meat but willingly eat “meat.” These guys secretly find it very funny that they will gladly suck a dick but would never even think about adding a thimble of cream to their Fair Trade Coffee.

Thus, we are brought to the point of their existence in all of their communities: they clash against everything in the most successful of ways. They clash against their veganism in their pseudo-cannibalistic eating of male flesh, they clash against gay culture in their naturalism and desire to be anti-perfect diet, and they clash against hipster ideals in that they actually stand for something without being plagued by vapidity. These men are the best and worst of all they ascribe to. They are a very specific urban creature that is to be loved and hated.

In Los Angeles, these guys are creating a new market, where they have found a creative outlet through their dietary beliefs and creative urges: catering and dining. They also are good people to point you to the best vegan cuisine in town as well as dispensing advice on alternative meal ideas. (However, they are a bitch to work around, if they are invited to a dinner party.)

These guys are, generally, “nice,” but—as mentioned before—have some major chips on their shoulders. They are fun and inventive and may also get you caught in their mindset. This hipster/gay/male/vegan subset is gaining ground and growing: expect a lot more fabulously snobbish vegan restaurants to be opening in the near future.


These guys really aren’t bad. You’ll think they are perfectly normal and swell. However, like most normal people, once you hear the “vegan” bomb, you’ll think differently of them. (Which is why they are a 4, instead of a 3)

PERSON OF LA 10: The One-Degree

It’s all too common to hear about someone’s “famous” friend or relative out in Los Angeles. Everyone is trying to brag and one-up each other on how semi-famous they are by association. People in LA are in a perpetual pissing contest, trying to win the title of having seen, met, or known the most famous celebrity in their social group. (See: Celebrastalker)

However, for every desperate famous friend seeker, there is someone who is actually in with a celebrity. These people are the One-Degree, a people that actually are one degree away from a famous celebrity. These people know a celebrity personally and are fairly involved in the celebrity’s life (just in a non-professional arena). They are sometimes related to said celebrity or were friends before they were famous. These people don’t even really notice or realize this friend is famous: the celebrity they are one degree away from is just like anyone else they know.

One-Degrees are quite nonchalant about their being close to a celebrity. They do not brag or gloat or rub being close to a celebrity in people’s faces (the One-Degree who does this is called the I KNOW SOMEONE YOU DON’T—post to come). They usually are fairly close in level of success and lifestyle as the celebrity—they just aren’t as high of profile. Thus, the celebrity they are close to are commonplace: their celebrity friend is normal.

These people can sometimes have a chip on their shoulder because—lets face it—they aren’t poor and aren’t uncultured. They easily turn down their nose to a 99¢ Store and refuse to eat anywhere else but Lucques or the like. These people almost have a celebrity mentality, just without the celebrity. There is nothing wrong with that.

The One-Degree are tolerable and usually are or end up becoming West Coast Yuppies. They function on a higher level, outside of the Los Angeles, because of this famous person they are close to. Even if they haven’t actually done everything their celebrity friend has, they have definitely learned from them and know exactly how to walk the walk and talk the talk.


The One-Degree is harmless. They may have an icy façade, but they are by no means mean or harsh or unbearable. They are just trying to live their life—a life that involves a celebrity.


The Fourth of July...YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?

Thanks America

WORTH THEY HYPE? Amoeba Records

The Gist: Amoeba Records is the Criminal Records or Hyde Park Records or Virgin Megastore (RIP) of Los Angeles. It his humungous, has tons of music and DVDs, and puts on nightly concerts. It is truly a spiritual place: music and movie buffs spend hours there scouring through CDs and DVDs and records and books hunting for music relics. The prices aren’t ridiculous and it is close to a lot of cool attractions (Hollywood and Vine, Arclight, that new Urban Outfitters, and some bars). If you are visiting Los Angeles, it is worth a peek in just to get a sense of the environment. You won’t regret it.

Pros: IT’S HUGE!!! Everything is laid out neatly and is well organized. They have a great system going and 123487459726876182734 employees there to help you—and none of them are antagonizing. You never will have a problem checking out, since there are tons of people working the checkout counter. They also validate your parking, if you park in the Arclight complex. Their discount bins usually hold GREAT finds. They also get some stellar acts to come and play their free concerts (Pop Levi, Abe Vigoda, Mandy Moore, Jill Sobule, Yo Gabba Gabba!, etc.).

Cons: IT’S HUGE!!! This is bad because even after the hundredth time you visit Amoeba, you will not have conquered the store. You also will spend more than you anticipated because your mind will only be thinking “MAN THESE ARE GREAT DEALS!!!!” Parking also sucks; however, just park at the Arclight complex: Amoeba validates your tickets. It’s not worth the hassle of trying to park in Amoeba’s lot. Impossible. Also, if you aren’t into record, CD, or DVD culture, you may be annoyed by the people who hove over one area for long periods of time searching: they’re busy scouring for their relics. Don’t bother them. Just kindly move around them and revisit that area later.

Verdict: WORTH IT. This article was flawed from the start. There is nothing bad about Amoeba. It’s perfect. It is the reason to live in—or just visit—Los Angeles.

PERSON OF LA 9: The West Coast Yuppie

There’s a lot of money floating around Los Angeles. For many citizens over the age of thirty, they did not move to Los Angeles until later in life, after they had broken into The Biz in New York City or Seattle or Miami or Atlanta. These people reached the peak of their success in the late nineties and finally shipped out here in the early 2000s.

These are the West Coast Yuppies. They aren’t that different from East Coast Yuppies (see: Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock’s characters in Best In Show); however, they have something with them that the Easterners don’t have: they are incredibly jaded regarding their city. They’re just over it and, as a result, over their jobs, the lifestyle, and The Biz in general. And, since the culture of Los Angeles is like no other, their object obsession manifests itself differently than other cities’ Yups, which is based in their attempting to live vicariously in other cities.

The junction between LA Yups isn’t that surprising and is all an attempt to capture the glories of cities they deem "better" but in the confines of Los Angeles: they want a cute low-key, modernist house in the hills, they want their Prius, they want their mailed diet-food, they want to fly Virgin Air, they want their cocktail and dinner parties, they want reservations at The Hungry Cat, they want their Sunday New York Times, they want to go to Sur La Table, they want tickets to see Away We Go at The Arclight, they want their vacation in Laos, they want their Friday nights to be at Cobras and Matadors, they want to maybe dabble with Botox, they want their kitchenware from William-Sonoma Home, they want their Netflix with Cassevetes films, etc. Their mindset is a combination of late 1970s bohemian (which is a desire to be their age in that decade in NYC), 1980s materialist, 1990s grunge kids, and 2000s aged hipsters.

And, the best part: they obsess over their hate for Los Angeles. When they first moved here, they were spry, fresh, and excited about LA since it was new to them. Now, they’re still spry and fresh, but Los Angeles isn’t that new to them. They’ve seen it all before. They now are sitting on a nice cushion of cash and—frankly—want to be in New York City or Seattle or Miami or Atlanta: back home. They’re tired of the constant sun, the lack of rain, the palm trees, the celebrity culture, the prices (well, actually they don’t care about that)—they just want something more low key.

The West Coast Yuppie wants a city that matches their mindset: they all want to be in New York City, which is the Mecca of pop culture, fashion, design, and logic. They all want to leave, but they won’t. Their work is in Los Angeles. They also secretly want to be the old lady who lives on their block in the Hills who is boho chic well into her nineties.


The West Coast Yuppies aren’t bad people and are actually some of the best people in the city since they are so NOT LA. They are well-connected, fun, dry, and know how to have a good time. However, they can be easily mistaken for the California Native Yuppie. It is very, very important to note the difference. The WCY are angels to encounter compared to the CNY.


PERSON OF LA 8: The Lie-To-You

One thing you will learn when moving to Los Angeles, California and get involved in The Biz is that there is a certain type that—in the words of Marilyn Monroe—will “pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” These people are the Lie-To-Yous and they will charm the pants off of you in order to exploit something about you. They aren’t malicious people (mostly), but they could have sold a large flatscreen television to Helen Keller.

These Hollywood citizens have been in LA since talking pictures were first introduced to the world. They were once movie producers and turned into band managers and now are back to producers, mostly. However, now these “producers” lurk in the shallow, murky waters of reality television: they are the masters at selling--literall--shit.

Back in the olden days, the producers would steal up kids with stars in their eyes who were the Marilyn Monroes and the Cary Grants (and later the Britney Spears and the Lindsay Lohans). These people see that a person (usually young and naïve—or just stupid) has “something” they need: a product--be it beauty, hilarity, music, or an attractive vagina. They convince them that they will be a “star,” get the person that stardom, and run them ragged until they are forgotten or meet a tragic ending due to their overexposure.

In that case, things have changed now. Today it's more akin to juicing a lemon: rough, quick, sour, and disposable. Since fame and media has become so super saturated in the world (thank you, Internet), commoners and boys/girls-next-door are trying to jump into the action without any experience or reason: they just want to be known and loved and celebrated, which manifest itself as a need for a camera on their face. That being the case, many Craiglist ads now solicit for reality shows, which are bought and sold everyday. Thus, a sucker snatched up every minute.

The producers of these shows look for manipulability in these personalities, which means they want someone with a body or who is laughable but have zero brain power. The “zero brain power” is the most important part because the Lie-To-You is there to fill in the emptiness between the ears. When these persons who are their victims finally come to from their brainwash (which happens frequently on set--which is why The Biz has on set Story Producers), they are talked back into the hoax: “Don’t you want to show them what you are made of? You need to explain that you are worth it! Don’t go down without a fight!”

Thus, a fight on Flavor Of Love occurs, a person has 15 minutes on The Soup, does one or two interviews on a few channels, person gets an agent, person gets dropped by an agent, and producers laugh in their offices about that girl a few months ago who did that thing a few seasons ago—what was her name? "I don’t know, but I have a dinner at Mastro’s now. I need to hop in my Mazeratti. Later, bro."

These people are the grease that makes the Hollywood Shit Machine run. They make a lot of money, aren’t the brightest, but can manipulate the shit out of anyone because they can convince you of anything. Unless you want to be a featured player on a one season run of a reality show, try to stay away from these people and ads on Craigslist.


We really wanted to give these a ten, but some are actually tolerable. Most are not. Most are just mean. Most will make you want to stab your eyes out and deafen yourself as to avoid their evil.