ROLLING STONE: Ami Mills – Life Comes Around Full Circle

RollingStoneCoverNote: I moved to Los Angeles in 2012 for a new job and hopes and dreams of experiencing the Hollywood life. Since the move, I have attended amazing concerts, Hollywood movie screenings, big sporting events, met famous actors, musicians and experienced all the excitement of the entertainment industry. Hollywood fascinates me. I have been a loyal subscriber to Rolling Stone magazine for several years and I always enjoy reading their feature stories on music artists. I wondered what it would be like if I had a chance to meet a famous music star, spend a day with him or her and share their story to the world.

I studied magazine journalism at San Jose State University and my goal was to write for the back page of Sports Illustrated. Being published is something I find a lot of pride and joy in. I have been published in smaller magazines and have hundreds of articles online – but writing something for a major magazine is a goal I still want to achieve. Getting published, whether a magazine or a book, remains as one of my lifetime goals.

A couple weeks ago I attended a concert of an artist I first met in 2012. Watching the growth of her music career since I saw her perform two years ago made me wonder about what her journey must have been like. Taking a cue from my creative writing side and my journalist side, I decided to create a story of my own music artist. This was something I had never done before but felt like a challenge of creative writing would be great. My writing style is still a work in progress but as I write every day, I know I am getting better.  

For more details on the inspiration and creative process of this story, I’ve posted more information at a link at the end of this story. Thank you for reading and I welcome any kind of feedback. Enjoy!

Samuel Lam (10/28/14 – 11/6/14)

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The struggles of storytelling

When I wrote the Ami Mills story, I didn’t think that I would do anything like that again. It was a one-time thing for me just to wet my appetite and get me feeling good about the fiction writing I used to do. But when I started to create the story, I got excited about what other stories I could come up with.

I hate being the sports guy. I hate the fact that people know me as the sports guy. I am more than a sports guy. I can write about other things.

So I now partake in this new story. After a happy light-hearted Ami Mills story, I am going somewhere really different. In fact, this may be one of the toughest things I have to write. Of course, it’s still in its early stages but I don’t think it’s going to get any easier.

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I attended the taping of ‘A Very Grammy Christmas’

This was fun! Last year as a seatfiller, I attended the Grammy nomination special. This year, they changed it up and did a Grammy Christmas special. Set to perform was Ariana Grande with Big Sean, Tim McGraw, Mary J. Blige, Maroon 5 and Pharrell.

It was a tough evening to begin with because we had to check in by 7PM and the traffic was nasty. A 15 minute drive almost took us 90 minutes but we got right in the check-in table on time. It was a waiting game for about half an hour before we were allowed into the Shrine Auditorium for the show. They used to host the Grammy Awards there. We just found our seat and never had to move for the rest of the evening.

I had seen Ariana perform before and since this was a taping, it was OK if any artist messed up. LL Cool J our host had a few flubs but was still very interactive with the fans. Grande, even though I am not a fan of hers (Go Team Victoria), was pretty good. Big Sean wasn’t bad either. Tim McGraw was good too, but I don’t listen to his music.

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I drove all the way up to Bakersfield to see the Condors on Seinfeld night

Samuel:

This is how I spent my Saturday.

Originally posted on But at the end of the day...:

Last night I drove up to Bakersfield. I had never been there before and it was a two-hour drive I thought I would dread. Luckily I was going there because the ECHL Bakersfield Condors were hosting a Seinfeld night. I just had to go. My old college buddy Mark lives out there so it was good to catch up and enjoy some good Seinfeld fun.

Before that, we stopped by Red House BBQ in Tehachapi. Delicious!!!

Brisket with mac & cheese, fried pickles and a piece of the Indian taco bread.

After that, we chilled for a bit before heading out to the game. I didn’t know what to expect. They had a rickshaw race and a costume competition that never actually happened. It was a bummer that not a lot of people showed up. Do they not like Seinfeld?

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Toy Story 4: The big FU to everyone

When Toy Story 3 came out, I was hesitant about it because it had been too long and I felt that Pixar was reaching for straws just to get our money. But the movie was good. It was great actually. It was the perfect way to end the trilogy.

END THE TRILOGY.

But no, Pixar wasn’t having it. They’re making another one. Why? Because they know that we will bite at it. They’re giving us the double birds and saying that they know we’ll go see the movie. Our nostalgia is too strong and they’re gonna milk all our money. We are addicts and they’re giving us more drugs.

Nothing is sacred. I thought the trilogy can live forever as is. But we’re just stupid pigeons with money and they’re going to exploit that. They don’t care about us. They don’t care about the legacy. All they see is money. This is all we are.

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I just spent $100 on a pair of Back to the Future shoes

These are the officially licensed replicas of the shoes. I just spent $100 on a pair of size 11 even though I am 10.5. I don’t know why I did it but I had to do it. I may regret it now but will be excited when 2015 rolls around.

Was it worth that much money? Probably not. But that’s OK. I love the movie and this is perfect!

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ROLLING STONE: The backstory of Ami Mills

The photoshopped Rolling Stone cover for Ami Mills. I shared this photo on Facebook before publishing the story. Nobody noticed that Ami Mills is the only celebrity listed on the cover who doesn't exist.

The photoshopped Rolling Stone cover for Ami Mills. I shared this photo on Facebook several hours before publishing the story. Nobody noticed that Ami Mills is the only celebrity listed on the cover who doesn’t exist.

To read the original piece, click here.

THE BACKSTORY

On October 24, 2014, I attended a concert in downtown Los Angeles to see Madi Diaz perform. I had been following her career since I met her back when I moved to Southern California in May 2012. It was at that time when I had just moved to this new place and I wanted to get an experience of Hollywood. One of my favorite artists Rachel Platten was doing a show in Hollywood and I bought a ticket to go see her perform. The opening act was Madi, a very sweet and funny performer with a great sound for music. I had never heard of her before that day. I got to meet Madi and Rachel after the show – the first time I ever got to meet established music artists – and at that point, I started to grow an interest in the lifestyle and travels of music artists.

To create someone magically out of thin air was tough. I resisted so hard to not make the characters of this story, especially Ami, to be so similar to any real music influences in my life. I’m not sure if I fully succeeded there. I had to think of a backstory for my character that was believable but also relatable. I even created her own Twitter account to help bring her to life. There wasn’t a set plan of how long the story would go or what kind of direction it would take. In fact, I didn’t even outline the premise of the story; it just came to me. I knew that I wanted to create an artist that was really down to earth (like what I read in a Taylor Swift article by Rolling Stone) but also someone that had a difficult past. After all, who doesn’t want to read a story of triumph?

I couldn’t shoot too far and make the artist a megastar, because then it would be too easy for me to create a story with that. Instead, I thought of a relative new face for the music industry. Ami wasn’t particularly new, but for the mainstream, she was. A backstory of a journey is usually what captivates my imagination whenever I read an article on a music star.

So in nine days, I created a music star out of thin air. The first eight days were dedicated mostly to crafting and writing the story. Today, the last day, was dedicated to finalizing the graphics package and putting it together online. Here are the cornerstones of the foundation of this story.

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