LAX Airport Scenes. Credit: Melissa Thom

L.A.

A massive tangle of highways and roads, also rumoured to contain people and houses.
Urban Dictionary

A spot of luncheon

I recently signed to TGMD — a voice talent agency in LA, and thought it only right and proper to fly down and meet my new agent, Vanessa Gilbert for lunch and chit chat.

Spoilt rotten

Things started off well. A serious upgrade and a bottle of champagne were laid on within our first 5 minutes at The Chateau Marmont. I think the manager liked us.

Huge billboards outside our window at The Chateau Marmont. Credit: Melissa Thom

We loved it — a chilled out vibe and great energy, with the most amazing turntable I’ve ever seen.

Old School Hollywood

I met Vanessa at The Smokehouse. Built right next to the Warner Bros studios, the place was infamous in the 60s for hosting costumed extras as Cowboys and Indians for lunch. Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, James Dean, Rock Hudson and George Clooney have all famously had a good chow-down in this joint.

Credit: Google

Wild Child

Turns out, Vanessa was once close friends with Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. I read a story in the New York Post of one particular recording session she was at, involving Mandrax, spaghetti and sheep. Sounds like a pretty normal day to me.

Robert Plant, BP Fallon and Vanessa Gilbert on the balcony of the Continental Hyatt House, 1973. Credit: Led Zeppelin Fan Page

Vanessa was wonderfully wise and warm, and struck me as a no-nonsense kinda gal who knows exactly what she wants — a woman after my own heart. She’s been in the business for over 30 years. We talked about the state of the voiceover business today, Californian retreats and magic mushroom animations.

Me and Vanessa putting the world to rights. Credit: Melissa Thom

No delight on Delta

I learned a few other things on this trip — never to fly Delta again (by the grace of God, I managed to talk us onto a flight that left in 10 mins, after ours was delayed three times); that LA can be freezing cold (my visions of lying by the pool in my tiny bikini were replaced with icy winds around my ears and dreams of my Arcteryx soft-shell lying in a drawer at home).

I’m really looking forward to working with Vanessa and her team at TGMD.

Her best piece of advice?

Join the Union and next time — fly into Burbank.

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