We had the good fortune of connecting with Annique Arredondo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annique, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
That’s a very interesting question and one that deserves a lot of attention. There were certainly a multitude of factors that inspired the inception of Player One, including having worked for terrible former employers. I remember saying to my partner, “I will never work for anyone again. I don’t know how I’m gonna do it, but I swear I won’t”. The drive and the gumption to want to work outside of the systems and procedures that had been instilled in me to follow (get hired at a “good” job, secure that job, stay at that job indefinitely for money, benefits, etc) was something that only snapped itself in me when I hit a personal epiphany. In my final former job as an personal assistant to a well known actor, I found myself working 15-16 hour days, constantly condescended to, and even felt pressured to come back early from major surgery. It wasn’t until I was let go for “not doing enough” that I realized that unless I could find a way to break out of the institutions that kept me as a worker bee, I would never have the freedom and life i had always envisioned. That was the main impetus for the major life pivot, that start for ultimately manifesting the life and business I did want to have. By allowing myself to think outside the institutional box, I was able to channel a level of creativity, boldness and confidence I wouldn’t have beforehand.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I originally came to LA for the film industry, and it’s still an industry I’m involved in, as I’m an indie film director and writer. I spent about ten years in the industry, getting my MFA in film, and avidly working at a film school helping other with their creative projects, then pivoting to personal assisting for a time. As anyone who has worked in the film industry knows, it is never easy. It is a grueling, grinding labor of love, one that I’ve made more peace with since opening my own business. For a time, I thought that the only way I would able to be creative anymore was through creative endeavors at my business, but I’ve learned to balance my original creative intentions with my current one. I can do both, and it’s actually been through the gift of COVID ( yes, I said gift) that I’ve discovered who I am as an artist more than ever. I’m a Latinx woman, just turned 40, with a realm of stories inside her; a litany of stories to still tell. I am proud of 2020 for, if nothing else, revealing the ineptitudes and archaic nature of not just governmental institutions, but of the creative ones. 2020 has been wild, filled with plenty of pain and sadness, but I’ve learned that it’s now more than ever that the world probably needs my stories, which are BIPOC, minority based angles and perspectives that only now are beginning to make their way into mainstream media. They say that you’re a true writer when you’re constantly writing – that includes in your head – when it’s what you can’t imagine ever stopping, when financial means or gain isn’t a factor in why you write, when you HAVE to create. I have to create now more than ever and I think that’s being the most authentic form of an artist. Writing for me isn’t about a life career specifically anymore; it’s therapy and it’s my personal form of the Elysian Fields.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First, lol, are we talking pre-COVID times or now? I’m just gonna go with pre-COVID, since, let’s be realistic, we’re all gonna be in this for awhile longer and it’s nice to dream If the Getty Museum was open, I would definitely take them there. Having lived in Europe, I appreciate the Getty so much; free for all to explore and such amazing gardens and views. That would definitely be stop one. I’d love to take any beach deprived babes to Malibu for some gorgeous, lesser known and frequented beaches. Then, for linner (or dunch, your choice of verbiage) we’d hit up Cafe Figaro in Silverlake. Haven’t been there in ages but the best onion soup, and sandwiches, all served with a side salad. After that, I’d take them for a stroll around little Tokyo in Downtown (shopping at Daisy!) and if anyone was still hungry, grab some ramen afterwards. Then, we’d finish the night off at my bar, Player One arcade bar for some drinks, vintage arcade games and overall fun, amazing times.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I could not have done this new chapter of my life without my beautiful life partner and business partner, Chris. Our relationship and the incredible tenacity and dedication he’s had the entire time to envisioning Player One, committing to the idea and being such a supportive rock of strength and courage. The second shout-out NEEDS to go to my absolutely amazing, loyal, gorgeous staff. I truly never envisioned having such hard working loyal companions in the bar. Every single one who has been there for the long haul is someone I am so grateful to work alongside and call a friend. The universe blessed me with their beautiful skills and talents. Lastly, I have to give a shout out to our family and friends and loving community who have supported Player One from the beginning and even through now, in the darkest and harshest of COVID times. I could not have done any of this without everyone above!