It’s one thing to see and be in the city of Los Angeles. It’s another thing to meet a person who’s been here for more than 40 years, embracing the place so much that in his own words, “It’s the greatest place on the planet.”
Meeting Cerdan Smith is a highlight reel for my personal venture to know and learn more about a city counted as the entertainment capital of the world, where Hollywood is, where the Lakers play for, and where the Mamba Mentality was nurtured right before our mesmerized eyes.
Cerdan, a multi-hyphenate of a figure who does designing, painting, acting, singing, videography, poetry, and celebrity interviews, is certainly the type of person I’d love to converse with. Having a coffee chat with him is being with a legitimate professional authenticating the great things that have been said about L.A.
“I’ve been in Los Angeles since 1977,” he said, beaming. “You just have to look for the good in L.A. There’s so much to enjoy and learn about here. Be aware of your surroundings. It’s the greatest place. It really is.”
The contagiously positive thinker who brought along his partner, blues singer Lady GG, at our first meet-up, showed me some of his laudable artworks, age-old copies of several features about him, and how a man grateful for a life where he should be could look way younger than his actual age. I marveled hearing his experiences meeting world-renowned sports figures, actors, singers, and public servants, and absorbing his genuine optimism, with one-liners like: “Los Angeles has it all, the weather, the resources…”
Celebrities who have his artworks include Magic Johnson, Simon Cowell, and Ellen Degeneres. His list of interviewees is as stellar, having spoken with the likes of Jerry Brown, former governor of California, baseball great Tommy Lasorda, and actor Lou Diamond Philips whom he described as a “great guy, marvel of a man.”
He was pleasantly surprised that Philips’ mother is a native of Zambales, Philippines, then amiably said it didn’t surprise him that the actor’s very nice. He took pride in saying he has Filipino friends, with one of them, Pascuala Garcia, instrumental in helping his career take off.
When asked about his thoughts on Hollywood being the go-to place of wannabe stars, he expressed, “The Hollywood dream is more lucrative than it has ever been, and more difficult than ever. You have yin and yang. People have to determine whether or not they’re able to endure the rejections; they have to determine how much rejection they can take.”
Just two years back, Cerdan’s request for access to the 93rd Oscars Virtual Media Center was approved. That’s a cool case of approval having it.
Breathing glitz and glam way back before social media came into the scene, he feels compelled to promote the importance of proper guidance. He said, “The generation of today does not have access to the guidance that the generation prior had. Sadly, in the ethical sense, they’re not getting their fair share of the American dream. That’s why you see outrageous things on social media. They do whatever and don’t care about how they can become famous. ”
At present Cerdan is working on a documentary about himself and the people who have touched his life in one way or another. He shared, “We’re gathering video clips. It’s about talented people that have a dream; the struggle to be successful. People who help me will tell my story through them, will tell their story how hard it was, who they sang with.”
With the various versions of himself spreading wings and flying high, Cerdan Smith is like a song with strong recall, blessed with good renditions, and all of which loudly heard in the airwaves for in the last 45 years, he has been in the right place, and the right vibe.