“You drank the Kool-Aid. Wait, what’s vegan for Kool-Aid? Tree sap? Well you drank the tree sap.”

Blacktress and her friend Iyanla are walking out of the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City after just taking in a matinee performance of a play:  The Convert, about a young girl in colonial Africa who falls hook line and sinker for Jesus and abandons her African culture for Christianity and Western ideals.

Spoiler alert:  The whole thing ends in a bloody mess.

“Damn that chick really drank the Kool-Aid didn’t she?”  Iyanla says lighting the American Spirit she bummed from a sort of cute guy standing on the corner.

Iyanla doesn’t normally smoke, but after three plus hours in the theater, the girls have gobbled up every near -edible thing in the bottom of their purses and she’s desperate for anything that might keep hunger pains at bay.

“I know.  Assimilation is a motherfucker.”  Blacktress says, “Now please let’s eat.”

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Photo by Miles Orion Feldsott

Each year throngs of actors relocate to the wild wild west to take part in what could be known as the modern day Gold Rush:  the pursuit of golden statues and golden stars on Hollywood Blvd.  If they are at least half as lucky as they are talented, they’ll have a shot in hell.  But leaning on a good smile and a BFA will have the weak clicking their heels back home before their studio apartment lease expires. Successfully navigating the journey requires adapting a skill set rarely taught in theater school.  It’s a business.  It’s a game.  It’s a jungle out there.    Go hard or go home.  But on the road to Oscar there’s a lot of down time.  Be bold.  Be brave.  Be Blessed.  And good luck!   Photographer Miles Feld and actress Diarra Kilpatrick take to Griffith Park to learn how the strong survive…

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