Welcome to Farris•Reel

I’ve enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. Whether it’s stories, poems, or song lyrics, I’ve always found comfort in putting words on paper. Writing is a form of expression that provides a window to the soul while delicately tiptoeing along lines traced by a pen. It gives you freedom to step outside of yourself while sharing some of your most vulnerable qualities and experiences. Listening to and reading stories gives you a perspective other than your own and can spark a world of imagination and creativity. Words come to me at all hours of the day and night forming thoughts, songs, and stories in my head, and I’m constantly looking for ways to document them that will convey the underlying feelings they provoke in the moments they appear and preserve their lingering influence that continues to shape my perspective. I consider this project a performance of words and stories that will continue to unravel and grow, hopefully inspiring visitors along the way.

My desire and hunger for creativity was undeniably shaped my by father. My early childhood was encompassed in his musician world with him always sweeping off to intriguing and mysterious gigs at night at local venues like Rose Cafe just blocks from our home in Venice, Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach, or the elite and historic Yamashiro restaurant in Hollywood. Most of the time these scenes were no place for a kid, with music persisting well into the night and often early morning hours in intimate rooms filled with layers of cigarette smoke, free-flowing alcohol, and unforgiving decibel levels. I’ve always been a night owl and was usually awake well past my bedtime waiting for my dad to return from these gigs. The smell of smoke that was stuck to his clothing (his number one complaint about almost any gig) ironically was like fuel for my imagination. I’d picture him on a stage with a full band commanding everyone’s attention for hours and soothing people’s moods, while carefree adults danced away in front of him as the nights faded. The times I got to witness this for myself were a treasure.

I also often got to see my dad in his casual artist routine as he rarely missed a day of practice. In between nights of gigs he would play music on Venice Beach, the Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade (when cars could drive through at night), and on the streets of Westwood Village. These were the places where he’d meet intriguing characters, mostly artists, musicians or entertainers of some sort, from all walks of life. My dad was a pioneer of Los Angeles street performance culture in the 80’s to what we see today. I would go watch him play, and others as they followed suit taking to the streets to share their art. My mind would always wander to the story behind each performer. Where did they come from? What was their journey to get here? What motivated them? Where did they go at the end of the night? Everyone has a story to tell and stories come in many forms.

In those street playing days I’d see my dad’s compassion for everyone he encountered as he’d sometimes bring someone he just met, and who probably couldn’t remember what a home-cooked meal tastes like, home for dinner without hesitation. Maybe it was partially his Louisville charm, but my dad also had an uncanny ability of judging character and could always tell where a person was coming from and where they were in their struggle. Maybe that’s the gift of a true artist, or even someone who’s been through the struggle themselves. They can feel the drive of another soul, the passion and dedication to their art, and the connection between them on the most basic human level: energy to keep going. This is where my dad’s many lessons in humility and kindness were instilled in me, and I always imagined myself sharing these stories of his influence at some point in my life.

Thinking back to some of those earliest motivations of imagination and drive for the art and power of storytelling, this forum is my latest endeavor to bring words to life beyond a screen. I’m using this space to share stories and visualizations of my thoughts, ideas, and experiences as I explore all the things I find mystery and beauty in along my journey. Come along for the ride from discovering unique local bands and performances to admiring captivating street art, intriguing urban design, natural landscapes, and cultural activities that all add to the character of the neighborhoods we call home. Look out for features of creative connoisseurs. This space is about exploration and appreciation for creativity and soul growing experiences. I’m driven by people around me who pursue their passion and have something creative to share with the world. Pop in to say hi, see what I’ve been up to, suggest ideas, and find out about interesting events to explore on your own.

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