We had the good fortune of connecting with Larissa Blanz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Larissa, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I would not consider what I do a business, I see it as a passion. I love acting, abstract theater plays like Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit.” I am really into movies with crazy plot twists. I’ve always considered myself a Tarantino Girl.
After studying at the Lee Strasberg Institute for Theatre and Film, two very important mentors Sharon Angela and Alani iLongwe, explained to me how important it is to write your own scripts, create your own characters and own world. For some reason I was always afraid to share my inner thoughts with the world. It is hard giving someone your script to read. It was more personal for me like my own diary.
Something changed in me during the pandemic.
Pre-Covid I would go to a bar full of people who would tell me stories about alcohol, drugs, and crazy sexual experiences. Since I was not surrounded by that evil sprit anymore I felt spiritually awakened.
My habits changed. Instead of going out or having a beer at night, I meditated, finally began to do yoga, and had an idea for a script that was really different. Those were all things I was interested in doing, but something always stopped me from actually starting.
Without the personal growth and change I have made in the last year, this script would have never been what it is now. I am grateful that I found the right co-writer and co-creator Teagan Barnes. She is my partner in crime in real life and in front of the lens. The two of us managed to find a team full of creatives who are super supportive. Plus we collected half of our budget to make this project happen! “The Pink Room” is still collecting donations until we reach our dream budget to feed the crew, access locations, and test for Covid. Working on “The Pink Room” fulfills me everyday. Our fanbase is slowly growing and we hope to show you the end result soon!
“The Pink Room” is a script about two cousins named Betsie Bolton and Annie Brown, with contradicting personalities living together in LA. They begin to sell drugs because they want to prove that girls can do it better than boys. Annie is the classic good girl who has never been introduced to drugs until Betsie, the notorious party girl gives her a little push. Completely wasted, they come up with a brilliant idea of bringing drugs to the market. This dramedy is playing with feminism, addiction and coming of age.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What separates me from others is that I like art that isn’t pretty. I like dark things, like a dirty alley way or a graffitied dumpster. Rain inspires me and makes me feel at home. Even though I would only complain about it if I lived back in Germany and saw it nonstop. I can never make a decision so I like to give my characters that internal struggle, and make them messy. I make them “not pretty” even if that means just from the inside. Maybe even have them be a touch unlikeable. A female villain. I am very attracted to the idea of writing more stories for female antagonist, that are likable in a way. Betsie Bolton, the character I am portraying in “The Pink Room” is exactly that. As she gets an inoccent girl hooked on drugs. On one hand, we hate her for that. On the other hand it’s clear that she is helping Annie get out of her shell and become the woman she was meant to be. One of the questions we ask in the script is “when do you become an addict?” Is it in your DNA? Or is it the people you surround yourself with? Or is it all “destiny”? The answer is tricky and different for everyone. Either way, it’s definitely not pretty.
Getting where I am today wasn’t easy. I assume that is everyone’s answer. We all have our baggage to carry and that is what makes us so unique. I guess the hardest thing for me was leaving my entire family to move to a city I have never been before to do something I always wanted to do as a kid. Being in LA changed my entire view of everything I believed in before. I’m still learning how to not be so hard on myself, but rather living in the light, living gratefully and peacefully. I’m overcoming challenges easier now by journaling and meditating. It helps taking a step back and reminding myself how far I have come. What where the things you wanted a year ago? I often realize I’ve achieved so much and I just need to trust the process and timing.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love hanging out on Melrose. They have the best thrift stores. Of course, I am always on the hunt for the best designer clothes. You can usually find me digging through the rags of Jet Rag, Crossroads, Buffalo Exchange or the Melrose Trading Post. The constant change of the Melrose street art is super refreshing, especially if you are into the street art scene. I would take my friends there because you can always discover so much.
When meeting up in groups was still a thing, I enjoyed going to the FD and Concrete photo meetups. Those were great to make connections with photographers and models. My friend and photographer Jazmine Lee Ann, was the one who originally invited me to go. We worked a lot in the past together and she would always ask me to model for her.
The two of us made a lot of friends during those nights. There was always a lot going on. Planning unique outfits for the meetups was probably my favorite part.
I also have to add, that I love Los Angeles and especially California for its nature. We are so lucky to be living in a place like this. It’s a blessing to be able to go on adventerous hikes, hang out by the ocean in Malibu, take a trip to the desert in Joshua Tree, or up to Mount Baldto see some snow. This state is so special to me, just like all the beautiful people living in it. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Since coming to LA, my friend circle has extended over the years. I also gained a team full of creatives who are always willing to make some magic happen at any time. I am extremely appreciative for all the connections I have made over the years.
Last week I got the wonderful opportunity to be featured on the cover of MobJournal. That would have never been possible without the amazing team on my side. The team included phenomenal photographer Wendy Smith, talented stylist Bonnie Lawrence, and hair stylist Sophia Canez.
I would like to give a special shoutout to my fantastic friend and make up artist Alyssa Romano. She did my make up for MobJournal, “The Pink Room,” and so many different shoots! She is one of my favorite make up artists out here. Alyssa always specifies a flawless look for you and will take a lot of time for you to prep prior to shooting.
One of my all time favorite photographers is Mike Filanc. He is such a professional, and always makes me feel super comfortable. He knows the best spots in LA. The reason I am such a big fan of Mike is that he really understands what you need and captures your personality in each photo.
Mike Filanc @mikefilanc Wendy W. Smith @thewendy28 Ming Lo @mingtelo Caprice @primemakeupartistry Make up credit: Alyssa Romano @makeupbyalyssaromano Caprice @primemakeupartistry