After two-and one-half years, and with their first baby on the way, Massachusetts transplants Heidi and Brian McNeany seem completely at home in their seventh floor Park La Brea tower apartment.
“Miracle Mile is just such a convenient area,” says Heidi. “Here you can walk to things, which is rare for L.A. You can walk to the grocery stores, you can walk to The Grove, walk to parks and they’ve got the museum here.”
While six years ago Heidi spent a stint living in Park La Brea on a Boston University intern program, she and Brian returned shortly after they got married. Heidi had been hired as a program coordinator, helping up to 90 Boston University students each semester (all who reside at Park La Brea) find their way through housing and internships in Los Angeles.
“The students come out for a full semester and are primarily interested in working in the entertainment industry. The majority are looking to get experience, make connections and to get integrated into the Boston University network here, so that once they graduate, they can get a running start,” she explains. “Overwhelmingly, the kids take well to living in Park La Brea. A large number, in fact, sign leases with Park La Brea after they finish the program.”
Heidi held her position as coordinator until last month, when she left to balance motherhood with supporting Brian’s burgeoning home-based business as a regional director for Pinnacle Performance Company. “I teach presentation and communication skills,” explains Brian. “It’s all about teaching corporate employees to be more calm, more confident, more credible in any communications scenario.
“The program is based on the same techniques that professional actors learn, so it’s all about body language, vocal dynamics, gestures, movement and having a clear intention.”
The McNeanys first met while performing together in dinner theater in Cape Cod, and acting is something that Heidi hopes to return to while raising a family and working with Brian.
Asked if they pine for New England, Brian pauses and glancing out the window smiles widely, “Sometimes we miss the seasons, there’s no doubt, but it’s hard to complain when its 70 degrees in January while it’s in single digits at home. I’m at a home office, but it’s really nice to have a cleaners and a Fed Ex location right here that I can walk to, and there’s even a town car service that’s based out of Park La Brea.”