As someone who’s done the LA grind, you could call it, I’m always curious to hear the stories of others who’ve done it, and continue to do it. Not necessarily those who’ve “made it,” but everyone else. Those just getting started, motivated by a dream, and those who’ve been at it for years, and are maybe right on the cusp of breaking through, and everyone between.

Essentially, the proverbial “struggling artist.”

After my mother died from breast cancer in the early 2000s, I moved to Los Angeles, with the age-old story you’ve heard before: pennies in my bank account, no work, no place to stay, motivated by a dream. I loaded up my Mercury sable sedan with all my belongings, and made the drive from San Francisco to LA, where I thought my dreams of making movies as a writer/director would be realized.

But not-so fast my friends…

In short, I hated my brief time in Hollywood. I think we all know that feeling that comes over us when we’re in a place where we just don’t seem to belong, and isn’t for us, for one reason or another. You just feel it. You may not have felt it before you got there, but once you do get there, and you live in it for a period of time, enough to get a sense of it, you come to realize soon enough that you don’t belong there.

So I left, and moved to New York, and have been here for over 10 years. Clearly, it’s more my speed, otherwise I would’ve left a long time ago. I’m just one of those people… packing up and leaving a place when I don’t feel how I believe I should feel, is something I’ve never hesitated to do. 

All this to say, a hat-tip to all of you grinders who are out West (although, really, wherever you are), working your asses off to reach whatever goal you’ve set. Some of you might recognize yourselves in the stories told by the artists in Robert X. Golphin’s indie documentary The Other Side of Hollywood: Do or Die, which the filmmaker describes as a no holds barred exploration of the realities of surviving and succeeding in Hollywood.


Directed & Produced by multiple award-winning filmmaker Golphin and Singer-Songwriter Victor Brooks, II, the production features screen veteran Steven Williams (Linc’s, The Blues Brothers, The X-Files), Hip-Hop pioneer Mopreme Shakur (brother of Tupac Shakur), entertainer and social activist May May Ali, recording artists Brian McKnight, Jr. & Niko McKnightDavid Arnold (Comedian, Head Writer for multiple Tyler Perry sitcoms), actor/model Shalon Davis, Bo Brown (“Love Ranch”), singer-songwriter Donovan Fordham, actor/artivist Damone Williams and many more.  Among the project’s executive producers are International House/Dance Recording Artist Julie McKnight, and Christopher L. Brooks of Brooks Entertainment, LLC.

A trailer for the film follows at the bottom of this post. 

There’s also an official fan page on Facebook which you can access here:

No ETA on when the film can be expected to debut: