Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Beverley Hills, ANOTHER White Party and a Bud House meet up

Hey guys,

I had to do a post on Beverley Hills, I could not resist talking about how incredible the area is in LA. It is insane, completely insane. The money in this area is unimaginable. The shops, the cars and most importantly of course, the houses! They are absolutely huge! This is the area where the majority of the movie stars live and the directors and just anybody with vast sums of money. There is a famous street called Rodeo Drive where the houses are renound for being completely insane and it is so true. House after house is just like a dream and makes you want it so much. In a strange way it made me feel like I want to strive to achieve what these people have done in their lives, whatever it might have been. A different area of Beverley Hills was in the Hills itself, which was where the location of the first white party was held. These houses are extremely private with gated off areas that are often patrolled 24 hours a day by security, but the views of the city that they have from there is incredible. It’s just a different world, but an exciting one and very very different to that of anything you see in England.

After an afternoon and evening in Beverley Hills and popping into a little club in Hollywood in the night, it was time for another LA white party! It was back to my sailor suit, with a new white shirt after the events of the last party caused me to throw it away. A new town inside LA was the venue, called Glendale. A nice part of the city, very suburbial and very quiet too, but some lovely places, like the one we were at. This time you will all be very pleased to know that it went well and NO spillages! Which means my Sailor outfit is ready to rock out for the next white party! Ha. The party was cool though as got to meet Natela’s friends and chat to them about her all night ha ha. These parties were very “swanky” with a free bar of course, a barmen and a live jazz band just to add to the sophisticastion of the party! Yes I know what your thinking, what am I doing there! (I was thinking it too a little bit ha).

To end another week off in style, we met up with friends of ours from Bud House. I know I keep mentioning the show, but the amount of people that live over here from the show is unreal and it’s so important for me out here to see them and to feel like I have a group of friends here too, which is important to make me feel settled in this brand new city. We went to Santa Monica for some Beach Volleyball, where my Maverick and Goose skills went down well and then off for some bowling. Now I would love to big myself up and say that I was amazing and beat everyone, but it would be a huge lie and Natela would kick my ass! I was terrible! Natela beat me, as did other bud house female representatives! I was not happy, but blamed the change in environment. Ha ha (always an excuse)

Venice Beach and the Gym

Hey,

Labour Day weekend, my first weekend in LA and we head to Venice Beach on the Monday for the day. Now Venice Beach is completely different to any other beaches in LA. It is a very diverse area around Venice beach, which made for a nice change to that of the nice place of Santa Monica. There were loads of stools down by the beach front and a lot of street entertainers to keep the thousands of people entertained. We met a friend of mine here too from Bud House, Hilton, which was great for me to see him and made me feel more settled knowing that there are other people here and friends of mine in the City.

After a great weekend, I knew I needed to keep myself entertained and busy during the days and wanted to stay in shape too for the meetings with the modelling agencies which I had planned for the following week. So, I decided to sign up to a gym, a gym that was absolutely huge! A 24 hour gym and a 15 minute walk from the apartment in Hollywood, so perfect. Now when I first went down to the gym to workout I knew it was going to be very strange. People love to stare here no matter who you are they just do. And it was no different, so I embraced it and just stared harder back and made people feel uncomfortable like I had done ha ha. There were some weird and wonderful sights in the gym though. About 50 Arnold Schwarzenegger’s working out, from nationalities all over the world (these were clearly actors who play roles as the muscle guys in films) and a woman deciding to practice her dance moves whilst walking on the treadmill! I was slightly impressed I’m not going to lie, but I’m also not going to lie about the fact that I was hoping that she was going to fall off! That would have been true Hollywood entertainment!

It was important for me though to make sure that I kept myself as busy as possible whilst I was here and to take advantage of having free time and not being able to work here at the moment as I haven’t a visa to do so.

James

1st Weekend in LA

Hey guys,

Just quickly, I really hope everyone at home is good and that good things are happening to each and everyone of you. Missing my friends and family a lot too and hoping everyone is well.

My first weekend was a true welcome to LA. We spent the a few hours at the beach in Santa Monica, which was beautiful. Such a huge beach that seems to go on and on and theres so much space there its crazy. The sun shining and all made for a perfect start to a perfect weekend. We went shopping though before the beach for the most important thing when your in LA, white pants! (or trousers as we English call them) It is a common in LA to have white parties, probably so everyone can show off their Hollywood tans i guess. Something that can’t really happen in England very often ha. We crawled the shops looking for a pair of these trousers that I knew were going to make me look like a sailor! That and the white shoes we were also trying to get hold of! But the trip was successful and the sailor outfit was in order and we were on our way to the first of many white parties here in LA in Beverley Hills.

Now, I had no idea what the location of this party was going to be like. You hear so many stories of Beverley Hills and it’s a really big area too, full of enormous houses or mansions is a better word for these. We were truly in the Hills though, driving higher and higher up the Hills overlooking one side of the city. It was incredible. We were greeted on arrival to the party by Valet parking. Now we don’t have this in England, or if we do it’s in the most exclusive of places. In LA though, Valet parking is absolutely everywhere. Entering the party I was amazed. The place was beautiful, a really cool, trendy house or Bachelor pad as it was really there for. Swimming pool, the lot and with the most amazing view of the city night lights. I could not believe I was actually here. And to make things better, it was one of my friends from Bud House, Daniel’s, best friends place. Meeting up with people from Bud House, who I considered friends, was something I was really looking to before coming out to LA and the first weekend saw me meet him and Richell from the house too. Perfect venue with perfect company.

Lets get to the typical me part about this party. So, the scene is set, a white party and almost everyone is in white, a beautiful colour that makes people look great, but a colour that will show up any stain or mark. Yes, you know exactly where I’m going with this! I que at the bar (no shock) and some complete “douchbag” (the American’s love this word over here) decided to swing round in front of me and practically throw his red wine all over me. The Englishman covered in red wine at a white party! No shock at all. My entry into LA society swiftly went right downhill ha ha.

Bar the spillage and the ruined white shirt, it was a great night and a great first weekend in LA for me. I had started to become and feel part of everything out here and was starting to really enjoy myself with Natela too.

James

The first few days in LA – getting personal

I have been extremely jet lagged since arriving in LA even though typical me told Natela that “I never suffer from jet lag” ha ha. But I was exhausted and my sleep was all over the place, that with a completely different change of environment and the changes of my lifestyle here made it become stressful. Natela was working hard still and I was in the heart of Hollywood, like a lost puppy, relying on support and guidance, when all Natela wanted was my love. Sounds a bit deep I guess, but became really tough for both of us to adapt to the environment. Now one of the many best things about our relationship is how we think and that we both seem to know what each other is feeling. We reached the point where I was becoming frustrated by sitting around a lot and not knowing where to go and having to wait until Natela was finished with her work, and she was frustrated with me disrupting her routine and having to look after me like I was a child. It was tough I tell you. But like the roller coaster journey we have been through with the up’s and down’s we sorted everything out. I have grown up a lot over the last few months and Natela is the main reason behind this. She encourages me to talk about everything and be open and honest and that has benefitted our relationship so much. And it helped us move forward with the new situation and start to have fun in the city and with each other.

I decided to give Natela some space, go and watch the England game in an English pub on Sunset Boulevard. The English pubs get everywhere all over the world it’s great! Ha. After being happy that England won, I had a walk around and started to get to know my surroundings. I am staying right in the heart of Hollywood! Its crazy! I walked a long way down the famous Hollywood Boulevard, looking at all the stars on the pavement and in complete awe of the place. A place that many times I had seen on TV before and everybody knows about it and I was here! The sun was shining and I started to realise what an amazing place this was and that I could be very happy here.

James

LOS ANGELES, USA - The Adventure Continues

Hey,

I’m writing to you all the way from Los Angeles! How my life changes around so much is crazy!

So after the adventures of Bud House and meeting the girl of my dreams in Natela over in South Africa, I decided that I couldn’t be without her and to move over to the states and live with her over here. The words brave, crazy, insane, ballsy, were all used by friends and family over my move, but I did not want to live life with any regrets. I worked near enough nonstop when I was back from a little break in Ibiza with friends after Bud House. I wanted to get as much money together so I could enjoy my time in LA, because who knows what will happen and how long I will be here for.

One thing about my life is that I never know what’s round the corner and going to happen next. Sometimes this can be a negative, as it often will give me a huge sense of instability, which can be hard to cope with. But on the positive side and the side that I look too, it is so exciting! The unknown. The fact I never know what I will be doing from week to week or month to month. My life could and does often change in a day, in a phone call, in an experience, its just the way it is. Work is exactly the same. One big job to come through wherever I am can be completely life changing. That’s often why so many people stick in the industry just waiting for their big break to come. Some people wait a matter of weeks, some a matter of years and many a matter of decades for that break.

Now I never get personal in my Blog posts, as the idea of this blog is to just tell people about my life in the modelling and TV industry and to go into depth about the real side to it away from the bull shit. However, my personal life has never crossed over to my career until now, so I feel it important to talk about it together with my work whilst I’m over here.



Arrival in LA was crazy! Myself and Natela had been waiting 7 weeks for this day to finally arrive and the day had come and here I was in the USA and more importantly here I was with the girl of my dreams. Perfect I thought and I could only think this the whole time I was away from her. This is a huge move for me to be away from home, away from my friends and away from everything I have known for the past however long in my life, even though I had my adventures in between. This was different. This was moving to another country for a girl. A girl I had met in a ridiculous environment in South Africa and in the Bud House. A girl I had only met for about 5-6 weeks. A girl that I knew very little about. A girl that is from a different country. But a girl that I couldn’t be apart from any longer. Natela took over my thoughts in anything and everything I did, when I was in Bud House and when I was back in England after it. I could never get her out of my mind and I knew that I needed to be with her and find out for certain that what I was feeling was real. By doing this, I knew I had to dive into the deep end and move in with her in LA (something I have never ever done in my life). So that’s exactly what I did.

During our time apart some people close to me questioned whether I was making the right choice to move out here, and understandably so. I responded in the same way to all of these questions, “I live my life with no regrets”. It is one of the only philosophical thing that I follow in my life and it has been so important for me over the past 3 to 4 years. I knew deep down that I would regret not having the guts to move out there for potentially the rest of my life. Now, this might sound dramatic and crazy, but I know it would always be something that would continue to lie on my mind, whatever situation I got myself into.

So, here I am in LAX airport and feeling ridiculously nervous about the whole situation, first of all about getting through customs and second of all and of course most importantly seeing Natela again. The whole time we were apart we kept in contact the entire time thanks to technology! What a wonderful thing, skype is, emails, text messages, phone calls and facebook! Yep we went through all necessary devices to keep in regular contact and even though we missed each other greatly, it actually turned out to be a god sent for both of us. It gave us time to get to know each other on a pure platonic level, which meant we got to learn so much about each other and to fall in love with each others personalities, which doesn’t happen very often.

Walking through the airport, tired, nervous, but was so excited to finally see her standing there waiting for me! She looked phenomenal! My heart was beating so fast at this point, but I was finally able to hold her tight and to kiss her beautiful lips. All that waiting and happiness at last that we finally made it to each other.

James

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Bud House Continued

Hey Guys,

32 contestants from all over the world being brought together by football in a house full of Budweiser in South Africa! The fun was is clearly on its way! I’m sure some of you would have looked at the link http://www.budunited.com but there was plenty more that went on during this show. Some differed slightly from what was shown too. TV world of course ha ha.



There was a lot of drinking throughout the time in the house with only a handful of us who drank every single day! With the drinking came erratic behaviour a lot of the times, silly dancing, a lot of childish behaviour, but was all good fun and a great release from the real world. 32 adults behaving badly! Now the Budweiser itself became a bit repetitive and after many complaints to production, we managed to get some other alcohol into the house. The funny thing with this was that we had to drink these drinks in Budweiser bottles, and every time we got other alcohol, I was there with 2 bottles in my hand! It added to the fun of the evenings I tell you.



Now, I don't ever write about my personal relationships in this blog, but I now have no choice!!! I fell straight away for the gorgeous Russian representative, Natela whilst I was out there. Natela was technically crew and there was always this divide between cast and crew that hung over us all whilst we were out there. But from day 1 I was absolutely smitten by her and she made my experience in the bud house so special. We had so much fun, flirting, giggling, messing around, being silly together, but with all that had some great chemistry, which made it a perfect combination. One funny memory is literally 3 or 4 days into the experience, I sneaked into her room for a kiss (as their were rules preventing this) and I got caught by 2 members of production. It was hilarious! I was like a school boy being caught behind the bike shed or something, I went bright red, started panicking and stupidly thinking I was going to get sent home etc. It's so funny thinking about it all now, but at the time it was like a really serious thing ha.

Like I said in the past post I could be here all day talking about Bud House and I'm sure I will talk about the experience for many years to come too.

Some specific memories I have is having the joy of going to watch England play in Cape Town against Algeria. It was one of the most amazing DAYS of my life. Now I emphasise the word, days, because the night was terrible as England put in a horrendous performance. The day partying with England fan's, singing and cheering was just sensational. What an atmosphere that was being created by the England fan's and one that I will never ever forget.


So many funny memories to reflect on as well, like when Denmark got knocked out and their representative Frederich was extremely pissed off and decided he needed to take it out on something. So, like the Viking he was he picked up a huge ladder and lifted it above his head before placing it back on the ground (OK maybe throwing it)! There were 3 incidents that involved a fire hadron as well (nothing to be proud of and we all know that we shouldn't use them for any reason other than a fire). The 1st, again by Mr Denmark, saw him attempt to spray Miss Spain (Amanda) and Miss Honduras (Anabella). But the girls locked themselves in their room and the over excited Freddie couldn't hold back any longer and just sprayed it at the door. This just meant that it rebounded back into his face! Apparently he has a lot of premature incidents in his life ;-) (just kidding mate) The 2ND incident was Adriano (Mr Brazil) going for the smoke machine affect over the pool, which I have to say he pulled off extremely well! He kind of fired it in a dominant 'Male' way if you know what I mean. What a bazooka that was! ha. And 3rd had to be me of course. The incident involved me being like the small kid in school who gets into trouble after the bully hands them a loaded gun. What I mean by this is simple. On the last night in the house Mr sensible and quiet Switzerland (Martin) got a fire hadron and gave it to me and said, go on spray it. Now under that much peer pressure I had no other choice but to let off the hadron (which I had never in my life done before). To say I got a bit excited by this is probably an understatement to be honest! I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed it constantly until there was no more to come out! The room was completely white, people were white, though Ollie only had himself to blame as he was the only one who ran into the room whilst I was spraying it, as everyone else vacated! Silly boys hey?



From the plain stupid (but funny) to the serious times in the house. None more so than the Ubuntu Charity project we worked on out in South Africa. All cast members, with the help of the production team and Budweiser, helped to transform a run down sports facility into a fantastic venue for football for the school. It was the most rewarding moments of my life helping out and seeing the look on the children's faces when we arrived. They live off very little, but the sight of us brought the biggest smiles on their faces. It was truly incredible and each and everyone of us felt that amazing feeling helping out at the school. But the work didn't end there. Mateja, Miss Slovenia, decided to come up with the amazing idea to play a charity game of poker and raise money for the school. Now we started this thinking at most we would raise a couple of hundred dollars between us as we didn't have access to cash very easily. Even that would have been a nice touch from all of us, but it wasn't enough. And the game started with everyone making silly moves going all in then buying back in with the on going catch phrase "ITS FOR THE KIDS!". And after crawling round the production team too, we managed to raise over 1500 dollars! It was an incredible achievement from a spare in the moment charity game of poker and one each and everyone of us were so proud to achieve. It brought the whole house together for all the right reasons and was actually one of the best nights in the house if not THE best night we all had.

If you haven't seen the show do check it out on the website at budunited.com because it was an amazing experience for me and every single other person involved in the one off experience.

More posts coming so check out what life after Bud House holds for me

James

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Bud House - Living in the House

Hey Guys,

So I am writing you a continuation from the previous post as I attempt to catch up with everything since I last posted 3 months ago!

We all entered the surroundings of this beautiful house knowing that the adventure was about to start. The buzz around everyone was crazy, the cast and the crew knowing what an exciting roller coaster lies ahead of us all. The crew knew they had a long 5 weeks ahead and the cast knowing exactly the same, but as cast we didn't really know what was going to be happening for us all.


First things first and a lot of production needed for the opening shots of everyone arriving in the house, which was something that everyone had to get used to, as although its called "Reality TV" there still needs to be many different areas created to ensure that the shots look structured. We were all really excited and it became known to us by 3 casted bar staff (who were there to make announcements to all of us during our time in the house) that we would be rooming as 4 and in our groups that our countries were located in for the tournament. Now the show had a huge American theme running through it which was extremely clear from the start for all of us. ESPN tracking a lot of the house action, the production were made up of mainly Americans and a lot of the focus was put on the American contestant, Austin. 1st game for USA vs. England! So, what better for a reality tv show than to see the American guy and the English guy battling it out, not just on a football sense but in the environment of the house too. This was obvious to me from the off and was something that made me slightly uncomfortable with, as production like to try to feed me lines to say to dramatise the situation with us both. But I knew what I signed up to. I had done it all before and learnt the hard way about saying whatever and not thinking about the consequences at a later date when the show goes out to a few Million on TV. So, I kept to the limits, but wanted to be a big part of this show at the same point as well and to enjoy it all to the fullest.


It was all very exciting though and I was not complaining (at this stage anyway ha ha) about being out in a beautiful country surrounded by fun loving people. The unknown of what could be occurring over the next 5 weeks spurred me on to really give it my all and have so much fun. The start of the experience certainly showed that to me as I really enjoyed myself, got to know everybody very very quickly and surprisingly to me got to like everybody too. There wasn't one person from the start that I did not warm to at all. I formed very quick bonds with people and found a way of communicating to all of the contestants whatever their age or wherever they were from. None more so than 2 lads from the start, Ollie from New Zealand and Freddie from Denmark, who funnily enough was on my flight and slept like a complete weirdo on the plane that everyone was laughing at ha ha. These 2 were very down to earth guys and made my time in there even better. Always nice sharing banter like you would have at home with close friends and to find that immediately was a great surprise to me but a welcomed one.


Now during these updates I'm not going to go into detail about any of the games at all, as I am in the process of starting up a second blog soley for football and my feelings towards the game and the teams I love.

We all partied hard together in the house, which helped everybody let their hair down (if they had some of course) and to relax around each other. There was traditional music put on for our entertainment on some nights, DJ's coming in to let us party and let DJ Surge (MR Portugal, Sergio) take to the decks. Numerous activities to keep us interested, none more so than Poker! Poker became the house phenomenon and it started with just 4 players and led to at one stage I'm sure about 15 of us playing at once.

We watched a lot of football in the house, which for me was great because my interest in the game is so incredibly huge! 3 games a day for the first couple of weeks was tiring though I must admit, but was fun to experience how different fans reacted to their teams, whether they won or lost. Ones who stood out for me was Felipe (the musical god from Chile) who was quiet up until Chile were playing, but showed this raw emotion come out during the games which I really admired. A true true supporter. Maria (Miss Greece - and also an old work colleague at smart live casino randomly) showed her emotions through tears and passion, which was great cause you saw how much her country and her team meant to her. These qualities for me in every individual in the house made me respect them all so much. I wanted to see how everybody reacted when their teams played and for that I did not miss one of any of the teams first games, which I was proud of.


When these games got exciting, so did the atmosphere in the house, what an experience it was all turning out to be and it was only going to get better and better (apart from England of course)

I could be here all day writing about Bud House I really could, and this is all shortened down but another bud house chapter will be coming soon.

James

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Bud House - The start


Hey,

So, its been a long long while since my last update, 3 months!!! And an incredible amount has happened since my last update. So, I'm going to start with the Bud House experience and detail how it all was from my eyes. This will include production details, details of my expectations and the details of what I really thought about the whole experience.

I arrived in Cape Town after a long flight and through customs and into the arrivals lounge. This wasn't a normal experience as there were lots of people hanging around and people in all different colors of different nations being represented in the world cup. And yes these people were my fellow contestants in the reality show. First thing all of us wanted to do was to talk to each other, get to know each other, as in every day life this is a natural thing to do when you meet people. Now the scene is this, all contestants sitting around, bored, excited, nervous, absolutely full of emotions, with the age range being from 25 to 42 and we were NOT allowed to talk! It was completely insane and something that nobody had experienced before (well not necessarily nobody as I had similar experiences in Shipwrecked). The production had people assigned to keep this group of people quiet! Impossible job and for those people I apologise for being one who couldn't stop talking ha ha. Those who know me best will not be surprised one bit to hear that ha ha.

We then were Shepperd through the airport, with cameras set up everywhere, people everywhere wondering what on earth is going on, which actually I have to say was kind of fun. There was a lot of laughter and already a lot of banter was flying around all contestants, as we were there as football fan's after all. We had a few big scenes to shoot in the airport of the whole of the cast arriving in South Africa in preparation of the football world cup. I happened to be the first one to be filmed going down the elevator and in an England t-shirt caused a bit of a stir in the airport! Now the reason why was because one of our defenders, Mr Rio Ferdinand had just pulled out injured and his replacement Michael Dawson came out to South Africa straight away. Nobody in SA knew who Dawson was, and as I was being filmed in the airport people thought that I was actually him!!! (I WISH ha ha).

As a group we were put on a bus and taken to a nearby hotel for the next couple of days. The bus journey was the first opportunity that we had to really talk to each other (even though we were told not to many times). Being the "bad boy" I sat myself at the back of the bus which was my way of talking without being caught as much. Banter was flying amongst many and specifically with the French representative Daniel, and the New Zealand rep, Ollie. I knew straight from that moment on that we were going to have so much fun out there all together.

Arriving at the house was extremely exciting for all concerned as it had been a long few days and much longer for some having to travel from all over the world and take 3 flights to get to South Africa. The house was fantastic, a Spa and Golf resort located in St Helena Bay approximately 2 and a half hours outside of Cape Town on the West coast. It was beautiful, white and had been turned into a movie set! It was absolutely crazy! Production crew everywhere, Budweiser everywhere! Heaven ha ha.

This was where the real adventure for all of us began!