van nuys airport

You learn to fly, and you fly the way you feel. There’s nothin’ like single engine, single seat flyin’. When you got the power, you can get in and around those white things up there, and man, it is just out of this world…they call ‘em clouds.
—  Ernie Bankey, Jr, P-51 WWII Triple Ace
One Six Right, directed by Brian J Terwilliger 

Adventures in La La Land: Flying High

When I realized I was going to be on the West Coast I contacted all my closest friends to plan drinks and coffees and catch up. One of the first people I contacted was Teacher Dan. I met Teacher Dan when I was seventeen and attending a musical theatre summer college course at USC. Teacher Dan has always been super supportive of my career and we’ve stayed in touch and become good friends over the years.

Teacher Dan said he was free Wednesday to get together and wanted to know if instead of getting coffee, I would want to go up flying with him. Turns out Teacher Dan is also a Pilot Dan! That sounded like too much fun to pass up and I told Pilot Dan to count me in!

I have to admit that I was a little nervous. I’ve never been in one of those little airplanes out over the water like that….eek!!…Plus I didn’t know how long Teacher Dan had been Pilot Dan…I really hoped he knew what he was doing!!

I met Pilot Dan at a tiny airport called The Van Nuys Airport and we headed out to a tiny plane. Dan brought me a diet coke and a headset. The headset was so we could hear each other when we were way up high and the plane was making a bunch of noise. I could also hear people who were keeping track of our plane giving information about where to land and take off and what other planes were in the air. The diet coke was to to keep me caffeinated and alert. Although, I was already pretty jumpy and alert and the little bit I did try to drink ended up on my shirt when we hit some rough wind. Oops!

Pilot Dan even gave me stuff to do and asked me to help him with his checklist before we took off. I didn’t know if I was the best one to do this since I’ve never ever flown or watched anyone fly a plane before, but I wanted to be helpful, so I went through the little checklist, helping make sure we were all set to go.

EEeeek!! Flying was so much fun!!! I was surprised at how quickly the little plane got up in the air. We flew from LA to Santa Barbara. Then we had a little lunch and flew back. The best part of the flight was taking off in Santa Barbara right over the ocean. On our way back, Pilot Dan took the plane off autopilot and let me steer!!! It was pretty scary! I had to keep the plane level and follow the coast line. It was cool, but I felt a bit relieved when Pilot Dan took back over. I wanted to look out at the beautiful ocean and mountains from way up high.

On our way back I asked Teacher Dan what made him want to become Pilot Dan. He said it was something he had always been interested in and he also said he liked how learning how to fly a plane forced him to become very focused. He explained that you can’t think about anything else or you could put yourself in a lot of danger. Then he said, “When you are flying, you are truly ‘in the moment.’ It’s really nice.”

I have had many acting teachers talk about being ‘in the moment’ when working on a scene.  Being ‘in the moment,’ is being completely committed to the scene, listening to your acting partner, and experiencing what the character is going through rather than planning ahead or thinking about what lines are next. There is something really satisfying and centering about putting aside any distractions of one’s own life and focusing all of your attention on one scene and one character and what they are going through.

Flying up in that plane was one of the best things I did all week while I was in LA. Talking with Pilot Dan made me not just excited to recommit to staying ‘in the moment’ in my acting scenes for auditions and performances, but also to recommit to staying ‘in the moment’ in life. Sometimes I can spend a lot of time in my little Brooklyn apartment making lists, and contemplating, and fretting over what to do next, but I have so many wonderful things happening all around right now! Whether I’m working on audition material, hanging out with friends, writing a poem, or listening to a good song, my little time in that airplane reminded me to spend a little more time completely committed to and enjoying the moment I am living in right now and not to let distractions get in my way from experiencing every second of my little lucky life completely.

Unscripted by Emily Kinney - February 9, 2009

The world’s only flying WWII Boeing B-29 Superfortress comes in to land at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles. The WWII bomber will be on display and perform flight tours this week at the airport.

Picture: ZUMA/REX

Watch on

One of the best documentaries I’ve seen in YEARS. It’s so beautifully shot, and seamlessly blends historic photos and documents with modern day.  So many of these chasing shots are beautiful. perfect light, amazing cinematography over fantastic locations….but a morning flight with a bare, polished aluminium P-51 skirting through clouds. The stuff of dreams I tell ya.

We had been thinking those shots from the other day were taken at the Van Nuys airport, but with the new pap pics of Calvin at the gym the 19th where he’s in the same outfit and has his gym bag, we are more inclined to believe the ones of him and Taylor were taken leaving the gym. Splash ran with that they just got back from a vacation, but at this point I find that very unlikely. Our thoughts being that she just showed up quick for these shots, and then they left in separate cars. These shots were completely set up because contrary to popular belief, the paps don’t just magically find you unless they’re called lmao. These shots also just conveniently came out right after that National Enquirer article was released. The same article Tree alerted us she knew was coming a week ago… Tree knew exactly when that article was coming, so they set something up, held them for a day, and then released them when they needed it. This then brings me to my next point.

I had said it would be interesting to see if People and Tree News stay quiet on these shots, and neither of them said a peep. Not one word. They’ve been extremely quiet for the last two weeks actually… They said nothing about the car shots where Taylor looked mad, all Tree News said about the BMI awards was that they didn’t know where Calvin was (no spinning), they said nothing about these new shots, and they didn’t even write anything on Taylor’s IG video of her parents in Nashville. People Magazine… The same publication that just a little over a month ago wrote FIVE over the top articles on Taylor and Calvin in ONE week?? Not only that, they’ve been shoved up Taylor and Calvin’s asses for months… Yet they had nothing to say about these new shots of them “kissing”?? Seems like they’re under Tree’s control at the moment, as is E News. To even further demonstrate Tree is behind their silence - People wrote an article today about Calvin’s accident, and they didn’t say a word about Taylor. No spinning it, nothing. They’re fine with writing about him, but the two of them together? Nope. 

As of right now, Taylor hasn’t flown back to LA, and I really don’t think any vacation pictures are going to be posted (that is if it’s even legit, which we still don’t know). If they were going to post, that probably would have happened yesterday to shut the media up. I’m also still majorly side eyeing Tree, ahem, I mean People and E News, for being so quiet. Their silence is my main take away from all of this…