Name: Alysaa Ramos
Age: 26 and damn proud of it
From: Jupiter/Palm Beach, FL
Lives in: West Hollywood/LA, CA
College: FSU >>—–>
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology (pre-vet)
Current Job: Junior Publicist / Writer / Computer Genius / Socialite
Fore score and…about two years ago, I came to visit a random guy in LA that I met a week before in Vegas where I was partying away my sorrows after my ex boyfriend in Palm Beach broke me up with my perfect, PGA Tour playing, Matthew McConaghay looking boyfriend while we were in the Hamptons, and then a week later quitting my perfect Corporate Philanthropy Coordinator job while throwing an event in New York because my old, bald, ugly, British supervisor tried to take credit for it.
Obviously I knew it wasn’t the safest or most rational way to take my mind off things, but I went anyway, and a weekend trip to escape my misfortunate events turned into “I went to LA to visit and decided to stay.”
The guy that flew me out turned out to be a sociopath, a likely result of being a 32 year old failed actor, who was obsessed with the idea of dating a girl not from LA and thus hardly let me leave his apartment on Hollywood and Vine, but luckily I always happen to know the right people at the right times.
I recalled meeting a friend’s sister a month before in Florida who is an actress and lives in Studio City, and on a whim sent her a Facebook message (not thinking she’d reply or anything) telling her my sketchy situation and offering drinks if she ever had the time. To my surprise, and much appreciation she replied saying she’d let me know, then moments later, replied again but this time inviting me to a small get together at a very well known actor’s house that night.
I went from expecting no response, to feeling like I was in a movie or on a show like 90210 in minutes, it was surreal. We got along great, and after accidentally smashing the sideview mirror off the guy’s car on the way home from the party and getting screamed at by him, my new friend offered me her guest room in Studio City.
At this point, I was still unsure what I was doing. I was having way too much fun attending red carpet events and parties with my friend, and experiencing what it was like to be thrown into the industry scene, even though I was no where close to being a part of it. She’s an angel for letting me stay with her for so long, but I knew I couldn’t just live in her life for ever, so I decided to start looking for jobs, and told myself if I found one, I’d look for an apartment. It sounds silly but there was one palm tree that stood out at the top of the hill near Laurel Canyon that I could see from her balcony that for some reason I’d always stare at and think about staying.
I applied for any job or gig that I could do from my computer. Although I studied biology, I felt like I was a good enough writer, and smart enough to do some relative freelance work. Then low and behold I stumbled across a posting that most people would dub extremely creepy, but I saw it as my ticket to living in Hollywood.
The extremely detailed and neurotic posting for free room and board in a house in the Hills in exchange for working 25 hours a week for a magazine sounded like fate to me, and I immediately applied.
The editor in chief was an extreme narcissist, his emotions would range from extreme anger and irritation to apologetic and appreciative, and the 1920′s built house off Laurel Canyon was creepy, run down, and haunted (I never slept there once in the two weeks I lived there), but I had a place to hang my stilettos while I figured out my next move.
I ended up being really good at not only editing, publishing, and programming the magazine but writing as a journalist as well. I was sent to cover red carpet events, product launches, parties, and even a food and wine festival in Central California, and anything I wrote was automatically published on LASplash.com. The only downside was that I wasn’t making money, my boss was borderline psychopathic, and my actress friend or other friends were still picking me up every day because I was too scared to sleep in the haunted house with the old black cat that slept on my bed…and the footsteps I heard on the banister several times and once downstairs in the library.
I met lots of new people, mostly because we went out almost every night and I would talk to just about anyone who I’d come in contact with. One person I met at a charity event, Dennis DeSantis appreciated my involvement with charity back home, and when I told him about my sketchy situation he immediately called a friend of his, the editor in chief of Icon Magazine, who instantly offered me a job in advertising sales.
I suck at sales, so it wasn’t really working out, until one day when she called and asked me to interview a shoe designer, Ryan Haber, who was in LA and write an article about him. I was more than ecstatic to do so, and she ended up liking my writing and making me her new Celebrity and Fashion Writer.
I was beyond thrilled, and immediately began the search for an apartment. Except I was having no luck whatsoever. Not only was I looking for a studio, which are extremely expensive, but I was looking in all the wrong places, not knowing the difference in the areas of Hollywood yet. It was the last day of my search and I had decided that I would look at two more studios and either settle with one I couldn’t afford, or move home.
The last studio was in East Hollywood, the size of stiletto box, and likely haunted, so sadly, I was about to give up. Suddenly, I got a text message from a friend I knew, ironically enough, through my roommates back in Florida. She told me she was working at a bar called Pink Taco in Century City and a girl named Amanda that she was bartending with had a roommate that just decided to move home due to post-almost-famous-in-Hollywood-depression (she made the MTV top TV meltdowns from when she was on Real World).
I immediately took the offer, even though I wasn’t familiar with the area of West Hollywood, and it was about $400 more than my room in Palm Beach, which I was also still paying rent for. I also shocked the hell out of my new roommate Amanda and more so, the girl who thought she was going to have a lot more time to dwindle in Hollywood before finding a replacement roommate.
The apartment was a really nice two bedroom on Melrose and Fairfax. My roommate was a bartender who had been in Hollywood for a while which helped me learn a lot about the lifestyle, and also to meet a lot of really good people. I didn’t have my car, and after a month, still only had my initial carryon suitcase and whatever clothes I bought, so I would spend a lot of time walking her husky, Stella all over West Hollywood. Also from this new apartment, I could see the same palm tree on top of the hill that I could see from the other side of the hill in Studio City from my balcony.
Soon I realized I was running low on money, and as glamorous as the “starving artist” thing sounds, its not. Luckily, fate came at me again out of no where. A friend I knew from college (FSU) who previously was on, and almost won Big Brother, was the general manager of several SBE nightclubs. I had previously asked him if there was anything I could do in the SBE office work wise, but knowing my lack of serious job-ness, he came up with a better idea. He pretty much made up a position for me and my other friend from FSU, Stephanie, who had also just moved, that pretty much paid us to do nothing. All we had to do was show up at the hot new club that was opening, drink champagne, and say how much we liked the club, and we got $150 a night, two nights a week.
So the club gig, and the writing gig were enough to barely cover rent, but I was ok with it. My mom finally realized I wasn’t coming home so I admitted that I signed a lease for an apartment, and she reluctantly, but thankfully packed up my apartment and started sending me some things. The first box she sent me was three weeks late. When I finally found it, I realized that the original box had gotten torn open in transit and re-boxed with the original torn box still in it…and a Kindle reader that was addressed to someone in the LA Prison. I didn’t think much of it until two weeks later when I got an email from a U.S. Soldier stationed in Iraq asking me if I was Alyssa Ramos because “if so I have your little green notebook thingy, passport, birth certificate, and social security card.”
Apparently half of my box had gotten mixed into the care package that was meant to be sent to an army base in Iraq. While the soldier admitted that they dressed up in the girl clothes and took photos because they thought someone was playing a prank on them, he discovered my agenda planner with my life identification in it and decided to hold on to it. He was sent out to a smaller base but promised to send it back when he got back to the main base. I was so touched that I promised John Reyes that I’d help do whatever I could to publicize the book he helped write about his experience in the army, Angels in Sadr City. It was a real life Dear John story except he came home to his fiance and they now have an adorable baby girl.
After my angelic mother shipped the majority of my clothes as well as my car to California, the move was official. All I had to do next was figure out what the hell I was going to do.
Since I was in Hollywood, I figured I might as well model to make some easy money, except I hate modeling, and the majority of the shoots I booked I sold out on. But for some reason I chose one photo shoot that would turn out to be yet another fateful event. While I was probably just considered as another “aspiring model” I started a conversation with the owner of the house the shoot was at. He noted that it was owned by Neil Strauss, author of The Game, and immediately I recalled hanging out with a guy a few weeks before who said he was Neil Strauss’ mentee and lived with him in the Hills. Long story short, he didn’t believe me so I texted the kid for proof and upon showing him, we immediately became friends. This new friend happened to be one of the best upcoming literary agents at CAA…the best talent agency in Hollywood. But his connections didn’t come into play until later, we were merely best friends who threw pool parties all the time.
Obviously in my first year in LA, I attempted to go to every party, event, and club, and meet anyone and everyone I could. I dated, but it was always an epic fail. My first boyfriend was a French promoter, so enough said there. Then I attempted to date an older, “mature, successful” guy. He ended up being so mature that he held me hostage in Dublin for three days after I didn’t want to stay in Europe with him all summer (he hated me being in LA). The only good thing I got out of that relationship was a really good story for a screenplay.
After that catastrophe I held off on the relationship thing for a bit and focused more on increasing my amount of jobs and on serial dating. I was up to about five freelance gigs; ghostwriting novels for Jeff Rivera, a well known author who I wrote about seven novels for and twelve ebooks, content writing for Seeking Alpha (a stock blog), Mojiva (a mobile marketing company), a private publicity company I started that removes negative Google results for people, and my Icon gig. I was also going to A LOT of dinners. So much so that I hardly needed to even buy groceries. It may sound bad but I enjoyed talking to people and ended up making a lot of new friends…and some enemies.
Then on a trip to Chicago called Chiami, I fell in like with a guy who I thought lived in Miami and we spent a magical weekend together. Then I found out he actually lived in Guayaquil…as in Ecuador…as in South America. So for the next sixth months I traveled to Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Nicaragua, and several trips to Miami to see him. Obviously it didn’t work out with the distance and all…especially when he came to visit me in LA for a week and realized how much different our lives were and how insane I was after my birthday party. But oh well.
So while I was ending yet another relationship, everyone from my home town was getting married or pregnant. Including who I thought was my best friend since middle school, who didn’t include me in her bridal party, yet asked girls she hardly knew. After that fun filled wedding weekend I decided it was time for me to seriously start making moves and make a name for myself before I ended up like everyone else.
Then fateful event number six..or seven occurred when I was trying to help my CAA agent friend interview new personal assistants. “Why don’t you just let me do it, I’m here all the time anyway”, was my genius idea that I didn’t think he’d go for. And he didn’t at first, worried that working for him would alter our best-friendship which had now advanced to brother and sister level…but he was about to leave for a month for Thailand and didn’t really have a choice so gave me the job, giving me enough money to cover my rent each month…which was pretty much like storage rent since I got to spend the majority of every day at his nice house in the Hills, which I could now see that very same palm tree I saw in the beginning, but almost at eye level.
And so I finally had enough time and money to start my own writing projects, which I wrote daily by the pool. Being a personal assistant to my best friend was the best job I had ever had…until I got offered the same job that would pay three times as much and require three times less work.
With even more free time, money, and a poolside hilltop view of LA, my opportunity to work on my writing projects increased drastically. After two-ish months I finished my screenplay, and the un-thinkable happened. I hadn’t realized how rare it was for a young woman to be a writer in Hollywood, especially one that had no interest in modeling or acting, and also how valuable all of my accumulated contacts would be. My “bro” / CAA agent who believes in me no matter what, sent me the paperwork to submit my screenplay for coverage right away via messenger, a package that many people spend years waiting and hoping for.
Turns out the industry MUCH rather prefers hearing obnoxious stories about a Hollywood socialite, so that is the premise behind my blog. I am aiming to gain a following and some sort of outline for a Young Adult novel that will be similar to Gossip Girl in Hollywood.
Upon realizing that I have way too much talent, knowledge, and drive to be someone’s personal assistant, I quit, traveled a bunch, and landed a job as a publicity assistant at a well-known publicity company, The Honig Company (known for past clients like Lindsay Lohan). Turns out I’m good at publicity and have been promoted to junior publicist, which I currently do for money while I continue writing the novel.