Fitness guru and founder of Burbank Athletic Club Greg Bedrossian knows what it means to beat the odds. Born with a hole in his heart, he was advised throughout his life to avoid strenuous exercise. But instead of giving up, Greg dug into deep personal reserves of will and became a personal trainer, eventually opening Burbank Athletic Club.
Today, his CPR- and AED-certified trainers have picked up on his knack for bypassing perceived physical limitations. Through their fitness classes and training programs, the staff strives to help their students embody the same grit and determination in shaping their own bodies. The high-intensity classes—including cardio kickboxing and a boxing-Pilates fusion known as Piloxing—ramp up the difficulty as time goes on. Vinyasa, flow, and other forms of yoga are available as well, led by experienced yogis. These are contrasted by low-impact, high-intensity spinning classes, which work the body but also the mind, as clients must recognize that no matter how hard they pedal, in the end they go nowhere. Classes are often supplemented with individual workouts in a vast gym filled with weight machines, free weights, and cardio machines.
From 18 studios scattered around Los Angeles, Lori Moran Music Studios’ armada of instructors offers all-ages voice, piano, guitar, violin, and composition classes. With teachers who have worked on films such as Dreamgirls and Dance Flick, world-touring operatic productions, and Grammy-nominated choral CDs, the school can cater to virtually every musical taste—from classical to jazz to pop. Students choose the emphasis of their lessons, whether they want to work on their public performance skills, write their own songs, sight-read scores, or simply be able to play musical chairs during a power outage. Many will also get the chance to show off in recitals, concerts, and showcases.
A graduate of the accolade-draped halls of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, instructor Jessica Dooley whip-stitches basting beginners into fully-fledged seam wranglers during her private sewing lessons. Calibrated to serve fabric fanatics of all ages and abilities, Jessica’s lessons come with basic sewing supplies such as needles, thread, and embroidery chain saws, as well as project-specific gear, and the use of her own sewing machine and/or serger. Each two-hour in-home lesson unloads reams of knowledge within the private confines of area homesteads, where intrepid tailors can tackle cloth creations ranging from simple dresses and vests to complex miniature costumes for literal pet-shop revivals of Cats.
Wrightway owner and professional polo player Erik Wright purveys a lively club equipped with knowledgeable instructors and more than 25 healthy steeds. Students breeze in to Wrightway for a one-hour polo seminar outfitted in trousers, a helmet, and boots or heeled shoes, after which instructors complete equine-sport ensembles with a complementary horse, mallet, ball, and British accent. Lessons correlate to the pupil's skill level, so beginners can pick up the basics of the sport and intermediate contenders can hone chukker-dominating strategies. Opt for a one-on-one tutorial for personal attention or gather equestrian-curious confidantes and schedule a private group bout at the Bel Air Polo Club, which offers sessions seven days a week, or nine days a week in horse time.
Were it not for the discerning ears of Harvey Kalmenson, the childhood classic All Dogs Go to Heaven and the popular video game Call of Duty might sound much different. Alternatively, under the skillful direction of Cathy Kalmenson, 329 voices lent their vocal talents for the 1992 Emmy nominated television mini-series The Wild West. Those are just a few examples of the Kalmensons' casting prowess in a long list of high-profile clients. The veteran husband and wife duo of voice-casting directors are the team behind Kalmenson & Kalmenson, a casting company that scouts actors for voice-over work (clients include celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Jim Belushi) and teaches the art of inflection at voice-acting classes. The companies also cast for commercials with a résumé that includes casting for the original Budweiser Beer frogs, Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger, and the voice of BMW.
Promoting positive socials skills through gleeful play, Under the Sea Indoor Playground, named one of the area's best indoor play spaces by CBS Los Angeles, gives kids a colorful landscape of obstacles, toys, and floor-to-ceiling murals to play in. Throughout the three locations, youngsters of various ages ramble through soft-padded activities such as the soft moon bounce, or exorcise pent-up energy scaling the sea castle. Meanwhile, parents and guardians can watch proudly from nearby seating or join in and challenge children to good-willed games of foosball. For younger children, Under the Sea turns down the tempo of play with a soft baby corner, toddler swing, and learning-oriented play equipment. Under the Sea is designed to help develop social skills, coordination, and self-esteem with a colorful cast of painted octopi, mermaids, and sea monkeys mistaking the playground's yellow slides for sea bananas.