Before social media, reality TV, cell phone cameras, and bottle service, Los Angeles was one girl’s paradise…

Author and Vinnie Chase, circa 2006

My nephew, Cal, is currently in Los Angeles as a WGA writer, SAG actor, and bonafide multi-hyphenate and yet he still regularly laments that he could experience Hollywood the way I did, in the 90’s and 2000’s. He moved to LA as a bright, young upstart and landed on my Malibu couch just in time for one of my beach house summers. That was the year that Adrian Grenier from Entourage was my roomie and I hooked Cal up as his in-house Hollywood Hills bartender, even though he didn’t know how to make a drink. He still gets a far…

I guess when it comes to gangsters, I’m happy Forbes knows who to ask.

Courtesy of Forbes

Do I really think a former mob hit man can make it big in the brand world? Stranger things have happened. We live in a time where bankrupt reality tv stars can become president and amateur porn stars can grace the cover of Vogue. Is it only ok to be shameless and entertain us or does the American public draw the line at committing actual crimes? Murder even? I’ve repped my fair share of Casino owners, Nightlife impresarios, NBA team owners, UFC Fighters, Pro Skateboarders and the occasional rock star. What they all have in common is a fearlessness and…

Some of these were even in my Amazon cart the day I met Jeff Bezos, and he still didn’t judge me.

Photo of the Vatican Staircase by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

Back in March of 2007, I was very much alone at a gorgeous, highly exclusive Oscar Party that my 7 year old daughter had really been the one invited to. She was a cherished Malibu playdate for the granddaughter of Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg, and since she really couldn’t be expected to drive herself there, I was lucky enough to be her plus one. At one point, some light rain started and the food had just been served making the lovely outdoor tables obsolete so I wandered into one of the rooms of their stunning Beverly Hills estate…

And that’s when I really learned something.

Oprah drawing attention to an amazing work of fiction and coming under fire from the Hispanic authors community.

It wasn’t until I had finished devouring American Dirt and was on to the author’s forward, eager to learn more about how this tale had come into the world, when I realized this was the book getting so much negative press a few months ago. In general, I scroll by news that relates to “cancel culture” or “outrage” over someone’s success or attention with an eye roll. My thinking is that both parties on either side are looking for said attention and my version of cancel culture means that they both cancel each…

I’m totally ready for my copper room and bed now, thank you.

Photo by Ilze Lucero on Unsplash

“We’ve seen viruses just blow apart,” says Bill Keevil, professor of environmental healthcare at the University of Southampton in the UK. Keevil seems to be the only person giving interviews about the anti-viral properties of copper; in all my online research his name keeps popping up again and again. As far as I can tell, he’s been shouting this at the world since about 2015. He even landed an opinion piece in Newsweek that same year that was just a reprint of an article he published on The Conversation. Not only has he tested every dangerous superbug on the planet…

My ‘Top 8 Favorite Documentaries That Aren’t Boring’

They can’t all be Tiger King

My love of documentaries began many years ago-the combination of history nerd and a short attention span for non-fiction narratives. While this list won’t impress any academics or film buffs, it won’t turn off any superhero movie fans looking for a good time, either. I was recently afforded the opportunity to executive produce a documentary film series about the fall of the USSR for an upcoming release date commemorating the 30 year anniversary. It is a real thrill for me and a genuine dream come true…

Why JOKER Was A Love Letter To My Childhood

My brother, far right, somewhere around ‘89

I put off watching Todd Phillips critically-eviscerated, billion-dollar megasuccess for quite a while, so forgive me if I’m late to this party. Most people who watched every excruciating minute of this two hour spectacle wouldn’t necessarily use that term to describe the film, but for me it was a beautiful, stark, and stunning example of how mental illness unfolds in the real world, and, in particular, how I watched it unfold for my brother.

I may have put off watching Joker for a few months, but it’s nothing compared to how…

Valerie Michaels

Media entrepreneur and documentary film producer

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