Where you grew up and your background can often have surprising effects on our lives and careers. We’ve asked folks from the community to tell us about how their background has affected them.

Jon Hall | Singer-Songwriter & Music Producer

I was born in Thousand Oaks, California and quickly moved to Indiana and Arizona. I found my way back to Thousand Oaks at 9 years old and my family has lived there since. Though the majority of my childhood was spend in Thousand Oaks, my family all agrees that our favorite place to live was Prescott Arizona. The outdoor rock climbing, Sedona trips, and close community made for some of my most fond memories as a child. When I returned to Thousand Oaks our family got heavily into the church and we were the go to family for featured music. I had wonderful parents that let me pursue all of my interests. I was very into sports at a young age, playing club soccer, baseball, basketball, and football. Ultimately football was the one that ended up getting me a full scholarship to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Read more>>

Tuesday Thomas | Comedian, Actress, Writer & Icon

NY. when you grow up you think the whole world is like you and your area. In ny it prepared me for anything. when you are surrounded by all types and colors of people you don’t think twice that we are all in this together. I moved around to other cities and it struck me odd when life long residents of other places said” OMG dont go to that neighborhood its so unsafe” and i’fd think, bitch I walked through Harlem in the 80’s to see a friend and didn’t blink once, the area you describe has one streetlight out and two homeless people. lol. that aint nothing to worry about I’m prepared for anything. not much fazes me. by that I mean throw anything in my path and I am equipped to navigate through it calmly People think NY mrs are callous and uncaring. not true. we are very caring, we just know how to deal with anything, so lets cut the crap, deal with it, move on and get back to life. if we didn’t care we wouldn’t help get you through it. The fact you don’t like our no nonsense manner is a you issue, not an us issue. Read more>>

Jeanette Chasworth | Conscious Interior Design

Born and bred in the greater LA Area, SoCal is my home. My parents created in me a love of homes, beauty, history, and art which I use every day in my Interior design company. Our homes are a reflection of who we are, they shape how we live, and how we feel. They can cause chaos and distraction in our lives or they can empower give energy for a happier life. My mom had polio when she was young and she had some physical issues because of it. She loved moving the house around and experimenting with new ideas. She changed things to suit our growing needs and also to accommodate her physical boundaries, or rather to make sure we didn’t do things to impair them. And she was always looking for ways to improve how we lived and she did that by moving furniture, changing wallpaper/paint, etc. She had no idea she was grooming me for an interior design career in making homes that harmonize with their owners. My dad was 40 when I was born. Read more>>

Evie Maina | Film Maker & Cultured Founder

I am from Nairobi Kenya. Born and Bred 🙂 Kenyans are generally light-hearted and friendly people. The weather here is to die for as the equator passes right across Kenya therefore we have the sun practically all year round. Culturally, Kenya is made up of 42 different tribes plus you can get people from different parts of the world here. It is indeed a melting pot of culture. This coupled with my upbringing really made me appreciate the beauty of culture from such an early start. Being kids, my parents would always have visitors from different places around Kenya and the world and this made me see there is a whole cultural world from my own little world back then. Also, coupled with the fact, we were made to read books and magazines that talked about different places across the world. Read more>>

Flo Vinger | Founder & CEO

I started my career as a go-go dancer in New York City. I had such a love for dance that I became a professional dancer then, actor, and expanded into writing and directing. If you told me then I would have created and launched VING Vodka in Los Angeles as the first wellness-minded spirit in the world, I would have thought you were nuts. I’ve grown up in an Italian American family where values, family, and honest work were drilled into me. I’m also a big risk taker and very self-analytical so, all that combined I realized there wasn’t alcohol on the market that was transparent or spoke to me… so, I created VING Vodka. Read more>>

Paula Loos | Production Designer

Great question…. I’m from Amsterdam and started working in film after graduating the Graphics Design school and the Film school In Amsterdam. In the Netherlands the reach of the audience is on most films not wide. Globally not many people speak Dutch. For me it was always making an Global impact. And that what brought me to Los Angeles to Design Films and commercials. Since I’m from Europe working in the US, the movies that I design have an global vibe to it… all people of the world will experience to be related to designs and so the film. Read more>>

Phil Korz | Professional Comedian & Comedy Festival Producer

I am from Newark Delaware, small town in a small state. Besides being the first to sign the Constitution, tax free shopping, and some nice beaches, Delaware doesn’t get a lot of credit. In fact, most people I have ever met either tell me that they have never been to Delaware, they have only passed through on 95, or they reference the scene from the movie Wayne’s World when they say “Hi I’m in Delaware” in the most melodramatic boring tone of voice. I believe that Audrey Plaza and I are the only two people who have ever left the state. Delaware isn’t a comedy mecca by any means but it is, on the other hand, a unique central location. From my home town you are basically one to three hours away from major cities such as; Manhattan, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Baltimore. When I started Stand up, I could drive to all these locations for shows with no problem at all. Read more>>