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Issue: Summer 2017

Why I Love Hollywood

By Erik Estrada
I was in my 20s when I first came to Hollywood to chase my dreams and become successful enough to make sure my mother never worked a day in her life again. She was always my motivation. I told myself if I didn’t make it by 30, I would go back to New York and become a cop, as I originally planned. Instead, I ended up landing the role of a cop on CHiPs as Officer Frank "Ponch" Poncherello and provided my mom the life she always deserved.

Hollywood is a very trippy place of both broken dreams and dreams come true. My advice would be to give yourself time to get yourself out there without letting the people who want to devalue your worth get in the way. It might be Hollyweird to some people, but what you come to discover is that it can be Hollybeautiful, too.

Now, as an established actor, I continue to carry a vote at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and host the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade. I remember when I first went to Hollywood Boulevard and saw the Grauman’s Theatre and was in awe of all the stars that had literally made their mark there as I grew up watching all their movies and all the classic westerns. Fast forward to 2007 and I was inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and left a mark of my own – one of the most popular Walk of Fame ceremonies since Gregory Peck!

So make sure you really want to reach your dreams when you come to this magical city because the journey will be tough, but it will eventually fill your heart, soul and mind. Whatever motivates you, use that to keep you going and achieve your goals, especially if your dream is for someone you love. DH