by Phil Warren
So you’re on board. You’re ready to explore the limits of your existence, or at least how to do a blanket stitch. You want to learn something new! Where do you look?
The main resources I’d recommend:
Meetup.com - Find people who do what you would like to do, and join a community! Make new friends, who you will be surprised to find are happy to teach you the skillset they love!
EHow.com – Find instructions to do just about everything.
Google - Seriously. You’ve been on the internet. You know how this works. If you don’t find the answers on this page, just google it. Google the crap out of it. Google til you can google no more.
While Google can reveal more than I ever could, localized to your neighborhood, I thought I’d offer some suggestions.
Here are just a few things that I would suggest, or have been suggested to me, EVERY ONE OF WHICH IS OBTAINABLE IF YOU AREN’T AFRAID TO TRY NEW THINGS!
For those just looking to grow:
Shy? A little timid? Not quite comfortable voicing your opinions at a dinner party, much less dancing half-naked in front of a crowd? I’ve had more than a few friends approach burlesque as a tool to fight this anxiety, and succeed! You’ll never need to perform, but it’s a self-confidence builder and possibly your only opportunity to wear a bikini made out of Splenda packets. It just so happens the glamorous Penny Starr Jr has opened her burlesque school in Los Angeles, with a special super-bowl(esque) class on February 6th! I’m told the best way to learn to do burlesque is simply to go to shows and meet the girls, however, as they are friendly and inclusive.
All Star Burlesque Classes - Run by Penny Starr Jr, who taught my friend Ali Oops, pictured to the left.
Lili’s School for Wayward Girls – Run by the legendary Lili VonSchtupp, this is not a beginner’s course, but a polishing course for burlesque dancers looking to step up their game.
Curious about the more reserved side of socialization? Want to rediscover the joys of staying in with some close friends and playing some games? Maybe you want to look into Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, or simply some more esoteric board games! It doesn’t seem like a new skill at first, but you’d be learning a new past time, and in my book that qualifies.
Game Empire - Hosting gaming sessions every Wednesday night and Sunday during the day, I understand this a great place to pick up new gaming skills in Pasadena.
Melrose Music and Comics – Hosting Magic: The Gathering sessions every Friday night, this shop is owned by the family of one of the Brave Newbies met in the first month of this project. So you should go there repeatedly.
Want to bring a little classical romance into your adventuring? Maybe something to do as a couple, with your partner in crime? Maybe you just want to be a little more light on your feet, or want to meet someone special in a less-boozy environment? In Los Angeles, as well as every major city, the number of dance studios and groups is innumerable.
3rd Street Dance - Offering inexpensive classes catering to every level of dancer, one can learn salsa, tango, and various disciplines of swing dancing with groups of skilled dancers. This is my personal preference.
Isabelle’s Dance Academy – Offers drop in classes for $20, specializing in salsa and tango. A favorite of some of my friends, though focuses largely on couples. Read more »
by Phil Warren
As promised, I extended my comfort bubble to include a sewing circle. Seeing as I don’t, or rather didn’t, know how to sew, I found an incredible place that teaches classes on sewing, knitting, and various other crafty things. This shop, called Hands on 3rd, brings people together to teach them new skills and create a communal bond.
I met one of the three partners who own and operate the shop, Renee. She explained to me that she and her partners wanted to move away from the societal trend of learning things online. She firmly believes that part of the magic of learning a new skill is the connection you make with those you learn it with. I was touched, because her ideology is so close to that of The Brave New’s.
Firing up my Singer sewing machine, I spent 2 hours futzing about and trying to ignore every masculine instinct to stop sewing and go arc-weld something. Surprisingly, it proved to be a very enjoyable experience, and the girls I was sewing with were incredible. Most of them were about my age, and all were there for different reasons. Winnie had just purchased a house, and wanted to learn how to make drapes. Heather was a new mother, and wanted to be able to sew things for her daughter. Sue wanted to cross something off of her bucket list, and learning sewing was the next big thing for her to do. Read more »
Brave Newbie Writers
- No Weekend Left Behind An adventure group dedicated to ensuring that when the work week is done, the weekend lives up to it’s potential.
- The Eskhaton The life and times of Cub, an adventurer I respect blossoming with energy who sucks the marrow out of life.
- This Tumblr Will Change Your Life Part instruction manual, part therapy, part religious cult, part sheer anarchy, this is a day-to-day quest very similar to “This Book Will Change Your Life”