An Afternoon in Hollywood (or How to Stress Out Your Overprotective Cuban Mother)

My kids (Lucy, 19 and Jonathan, 16) have been doing homegrown improvisational comedy for years now. I've written about this lots of times. Both of them are quite good. (Yes, I know I'm the Cuban mom and I confess to a certain amount of bias, but they are. Shut up.)

So the following exchange which was initiated by Lucy came as no surprise to me:

  • Lucy: Mom, I want to take an Improv class.
  • Me: I love that. It's a great idea!
  • Lucy: For 8 weeks.
  • Me: That's not too long. You should do it!
  • Lucy: It's in Hollywood.
  • Me: Hollywood, Hollywood? *maintains poker face while freaking out inside*

Disclaimer: I had no objection to her going to the class, even if it was in Hollywood. But I'm a Cuban Mother. I was at least going to go with her to her first class (whether she liked it or not) and make sure there was nothing life-threatening about the place. Nice website does not necessarily equal not-shady. (I know. Shut up!)

Lucy had no objections to us dropping her off and hanging out in Hollywood while she was in class. (Smart decision on her part.) Which is how Jonathan and I found ourselves prowling around thrift stores on Hollywood Blvd. on a recent summer afternoon.

Let me share the highlights...

Hollywood blvd

There were a plethora of characters, of course, on Hollywood Blvd. I especially enjoyed the pairing of Marilyn Monroe with the Incredible Hulk with the Storm Trooper looking on, but that's not important right now.

To kill time, and to distract me from my own wild imagination, I decided to introduce Jonathan to World Famous Pink's Hot Dogs on La Brea that I remembered fondly from my misspent youth in LA. (That, and I was hungry. Shut up.)


The walls are covered with photos of famous folks who have eaten there. Jonathan declared that one day his photo would be on that wall. (He's not egotistical, just goal-oriented. LOL!)

We ran into the owner, Richard Pink, himself. Jonathan explained to him that this photo would be valuable one day when he was famous. (My kids are nothing if not confident.)

Richard pink

All of this was going on while killing time in Hollywood waiting for my 19-year-old daughter to finish her first class and keeping myself occupied and distracted from the thought that I had dropped my 19-year-old daughter off in a foreign place somewhere on Hollywood Blvd. Not quite sure when it happened that she became, not just Lucy, but "my 19-year-old daughter." Where do those crazy-drama-thoughts come from? (I blame my Cuban DNA. I know. Shut up.)

Lucy, in the meantime was texting her reassurance:

  • This place is great! Very clean and air-conditioned! (This proved to be quite soothing to my over-the-top-there's-danger-everywhere Cuban mother imagination. According to this logic, air-conditioning is never to be found in seedy places, is it?)
  • The instructor is very nice and so knowledgeable!
  • The other students are awesome!
  • I'm having a great time!
  • I'm alive! (She totally gets me.)

A good hour before she got out, I made sure we were parked and waiting. (Por si acaso, you know?) I assure you this was me exercising tremendous self-restraint. (I know. Shut up.)

  IO West

I'm happy to report that she lived! And has been going back on her own (I know. Who AM I? Shut up.) and has been thoroughly enjoying the classes.

Apparently, there have been others who have been through this experience and have lived to tell the tale.

Io training

I know. Shut. UP!

Thanks, Improv Olympics West for taking good care of my 19-year-old Lucy.