We had the good fortune of connecting with Malia Miglino and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Malia, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I truly believe that people’s stories can heal, change and unite communities. I live by the notion that all stories are important and everyone has a story, it’s just a matter of having a platform to tell them. I think that when I decided to start telling historical stories and visiting historical sites, even though not every location was famous or well known, people were engaged because I was dedicated to telling the story truthfully and I’d like to think by doing so, made it more human and relatable. It is paramount to me that I give people voices that haven’t been allowed the opportunity, especially when dealing with graveyards and the deceased. I hope my success is largely in part due to peoples excitement about learning about these people they’d maybe never heard of and enjoy my passionate and strange version of storytelling.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Personally, the drive to create comes easy. I’m inspired by so many things and desire to tell so many stories that history has forgotten but it’s not an easy task, especially when you are an indie filmmaker. I think the biggest life lesson I’ve learned so far on my creative journey is how important asking for help is. Ego is a necessary evil when you are an artist, if you can’t get behind your art, no one else will. That being said, ego can also keep you from evolving and growing and personally, I think I definitely suffered from that for a bit. Thankfully, my friends are great at shaking me out of my own stubbornness and because of that, I started reaching out to people to help me elevate my content. I’ve really tried to embrace risk this past year and part of that risk is getting more comfortable about facing a lot of historical injustices that have happened and exposing why certain stories have been buried. At the end of the day, I strive to create authentic and entertaining content for people that hopefully makes them laugh or learn something, extra points if both.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am absolutely smitten with LA history so anytime someone comes into town I take them on a walking tour of downtown. We start with Olvera street where they can visit the Avila adobe which is the oldest surviving house in Los Angeles, then we grab some taquitos from Cielito Lindo before heading over to Union Station. I’ve always loved the architecture of Union station so much, it’s one of the few train stations left where you can still imagine the glory days of locomotive travel. Next up on my downtown tour is always the Bradbury building, the iron staircase is truly one of my favorite things in LA. We’d head across the street to Grand Central Market, grab some snacks from Clark Street Bakery and then I’d point out the Million Dollar Theatre next door and explain why that theatre is so important. The rest of the day would be hitting up the Biltmore, Alexandria hotel, the Last Bookstore, grabbing happy hour cocktails at the Wolves DTLA before catching a big band at night Cliftons Cafeteria. The rest of the week would be spent touring through Pasadena’s many historic sites including all the horror film locations in South Pasadena, walking Griffith park, picnicking at the Hollywood Bowl during the day, happy houring at Figaro Bistro in Los Feliz or brunching at Little Dom’s. We’d catch a show at the Troubador or the Viper room and mediate at the SRF Lakeshrine and of course, no matter how cheesy, I’d make them walk Hollywood Blvd and take in the glories of Old Hollywood. For cemeteries – we’d sit amongst the sculptures of Forest Lawn’s Glendale memorial cemetery, visit some of LA’s founders and most important citizens at Evergreen cemetery in Boyle Heights and Angelus Rosedale cemetery near West Addams, admire the myriads of kiss prints on Marilyn Monroe’s grave at Westwood memorial and pay homage to rock gods at Hollywood Forever. We would day trip out to the site of the St. Francis Dam disaster. Last but not least I would take them to my favorite store in Los Angeles, Bearded Lady Vintage / Mystic Museum in Magnolia Park and grab donuts at Donut Friend in Highland Park while downing an almond chai from Jones Coffee in Pasadena
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to give a huge shoutout to the large community of #Creeps who have supported my content for years and are so brilliant at always suggesting locations I’ve never heard of to visit and research. I don’t think I could have continued making my shows over the course of the last few years if it wasn’t for their support. I’m not sure when I started making the shows more for them than for myself but I’m certainly grateful it happened. The #Creep community definitely bleeds into my family and friends who are the most supportive people even when my ideas terrify them. Pro tip – if you have friends or family that happily venture into abandoned and supposedly haunted locations….keep them forever.