Talking about movies With Res Marlowe and Val Zavala on "Life and Times Tonight."

About - LA Roots

I was born in Los Angeles, so I grew up with multiculturalism and media. 

My first book, Romancing the Southland, was a pretty big hit, with great reviews and very good sales.  You can see more about it by CLICKING HERE for Creative: Books.

My mother passed away about the same time as the book came out.  It deeply affected me and I wanted to change my life do something to help people, so I went back to school after a 20 year hiatus to become a teacher.

Ironically, something I had done to help other people ended up changing my life in a profound way I would never have expected.  I was chosen to be the representative teacher for the Los Angeles Nagoya Sister City Association out of a pool of applicants in the Los Angeles Unified School District.    I had no idea at the time that this would change my life forever...

Movies were a big part of our family and my mom actually became an actress after my father passed away.

I taught Adult ESL for Los Angeles Unified at Manual Arts Community Adult School in South Central Los Angeles.  I worked there for two years and I will never forget the kindness and warmth of everyone.

I was in newspapers and on TV and radio a lot as "Mr. Romance."  I did not choose that name myself, so don't blame me haha.

I wrote a book about Southern California called Romancing the Southland.  CLICK HERE for Creative:  Books to check it out.

Mom and dad dressed up to go to the Academy Awards.

I taught a lot of seminars about the culture and history of Southern California and romantic places and things to do.

 I taught middle and high school students from Japan, China, Taiwan, and South America on study abroad programs at Osaka Sangyo University Los Angeles.

80's dude aerobics instructor...

I also did some dramatic writing and producing.  CLICK HERE for Creative: Drama to check it out.

Some personal issues and issues with the publisher caused me to drop off the media map for a while and move to San Rafael in Northern California.  But I came back to LA.

Going to Grumman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to see a movie was a big family favourite.  I made a tribute to it on our Tumblir blog, East West DreamsCLICK HERE to check it out.

I put a lot of the first hand knowledge I had of LA into the scenes set in the city in my mystery novel, Shanghai Passion.  CLICK HERE to go to Creative: Unpublished and check it out.

Being a Studio Tour Guide at Universal was one of the best experiences of my life.  I feel a lot of warmth and gratitude about this.  I am still friends with many of the tour guides and staff of Universal.

For my teaching experience in Los Angeles, check out my teaching website, www.balaoshi.com

Yes, this is an actual pin from the 80's. No, I did not wear it much.

But I'm grateful for the media coverage I go, because I actually got an offer from a publisher before I even started writing a book about it.

My doctor father had some movie industry patients.  So I got to be in a TV commercial when I was 13 and my parents went to the Academy Awards every year!  I went once, when I was in my senior year in high school.

While I was working at Universal. I wrote a movie history book called Romance in Film.  We did the debut at both Universal Studios, Hollywood and Florida, the same weekend and I was on TV on both coasts!  CLICK HERE for Creative: Books to check it out.

It's funny the things you remember from growing up and how they influence your life.  I think my parents had an interest in things Asian and we had some Asian stuff in our house.  This was the large Chinese rug in our living room.  I mentioned it in my upcoming book, Asian Dreams (see Creative: Unpublished). As a little boy, I used to push my toy cars around that golden border and pretend it was a road.  Little did I realize this was my future.  

I also wrote about it in my first book, Romancing the Southland, mentioned below.