Although it is Martin Luther King, Jr. to whom the phrase “I have a dream” is usually credited, we’re guessing just about everyone has big dreams, big plans for themselves. But it’s those with entertainment industry aspirations — particularly in the actor/singer/model categories — who perhaps possess the most irrational, wildest-eyed optimism. Despite the fact that 99.9% of these hopefuls dismally fail in their quest to become the Next Big Star or even to earn a living, year after year these transplants arrive in LA by the busload from all manner of strange places like Wichita, Kansas and Pepper Pike, Ohio and Fumblebum, Tennessee. (We may have made that last one up.)
And then there are those rare few transplants whose showbiz dreams actually come true.
Back in the mid-1990s, a young college grad from Detroit moved to Los Angeles. Like so many others who came before and after him, this guy named Geoff Johns was pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. Idealism in his head and stars in his eyes; big talent and bigger dreams. Something like that.
Just like Yolanda, for instance. And now look at her. She’s 76 years old. We are that old. Really! We were born in Hollywood and from the time we were a tot everyone instinctively knew we were the next Bette Davis. And then, dozens of ruined casting couches and countless bottles of two buck Chuck happened. Now here we are. Divorced, alone, with a no-good husband who left us for his not-cute but ample-chested secretary. But you know what? We got it. We got the jewels, the clothes, the Caddy, and the big house. And we don’t dream any longer, y’all. Life may have passed us by but we still made the best of the precious few bones we were thrown.
Yes, babies, it’s a damn cold-blooded Ho-wood world out there. But somehow, it wasn’t that way for Mr. Johns.
Call it good fortune or call it skill, but in less than 20 years Mr. Johns has ascended from his status as an out-of-work screenwriter to perhaps the biggest name in comics today who is not named Stan Lee. And so the story goes, it all started with a simple cold call to a local production office. While the lackeys at the office were figuring out which one of them would get to destroy Mr. Johns’ dreams via the telephone, the call was mistakenly transferred to the big producer boss himself. Mr. Big Producer Boss liked what he heard and offered Mr. Johns the lucky internship that kick-started his journey to success and the accompanying fame and fortune.
Fast forward to 2016. Mr. Johns is now an acclaimed “comic book and television writer, film producer, and television producer”. And just this July (2016) it was announced that he has been promoted to President of DC Comics/DC Entertainment. He remains in his longtime role as Chief Creative Officer (CCO). He has produced the best-forgotten Green Lantern film and the more-recently-released and (also best-forgotten) Ben Affleck-starrer Batman v. Superman.
A big new job usually comes with a commensurate big new paycheck. And thus, it was this year Mr. Johns and his wife Sonia Choi went on the hunt for a big new house to celebrate.
Now, you all know that Studio City is one of the hottest up-and-coming luxury markets in LA. It seems the long-standing stigma about “living in the Valley” that petrifies Beverly Hills beotches is finally dissipating. The neighborhood is hot, hot, hot and celebs are flocking there in droves. Okay, maybe “in droves” is exaggerating it a bit, but the migration is happening. You’ll recall it was Yolanda who first told y’all about both Bruno Mars and Chloe Moretz secretly moving to the neighborhood within the past year or two.
Meanwhile, prices are creeping ever-higher. For example, the record for biggest sale ever in Studio City has been broken not once but twice already this year (most recently with a $7,600,000 purchase made by Gavin Rossdale, aka ex-Mr. Gwen Stefani).
A couple months ago, a mysterious and well-shielded entity calling itself “The Crunch Time Trust” very quietly paid an even-steven $6,000,000 for a big house in the hills near the western end of the neighborhood. The house in question was never on the open market, so unfortunately Yolanda has no interior pics to share with y’all. But we do just happen to know that our boy Mr. Johns (and Ms. Choi) were the buyers.
What else can we tell you? Well, the two-story Traditional was built in 1948, sits on a .78-acre lot and has a mansion-sized 6,063-square-feet of interior space with 6 bedrooms and 7 water closets. There appear to be several large very-green patches of grass and a free-form swimming pool with a concrete deck surround. There are panoramic views over pancake-flat San Fernando Valley out back. Naturally, the property is walled and gated and has tall, mature and gorgeous liquid amber trees out front for maximum privacy and beauty.
Oh, and the house also has a faint celeb pedigree. From 1989 to 1993, it was owned by actor Patrick Swayze, may he rest in piece.
As it turns out, Mr. Johns and Ms. Choi are not new to the Studio City neighborhood — they’ve lived there for at least the past five years. In fact, their current home — while much more modest than their big new house — is so close to their newly-purchased one that they could haul all their junk over on foot by cutting through a neighbor’s yard. What is it with all these folks majorly upgrading their residential circumstances while staying on the same block? Found your comfort zone?
While his new house may have just a wee bit of celebrity pedigree, it turns out that Mr. Johns’ more modest current home has it in spades. Mr. Johns bought it way back in April 2011 from How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris. Records show Mr. Johns (and Ms. Choi) paid $1,570,000 for the single-story, 2,408-square-foot ranch sprawler, privately situated up a long, steep driveway.
Mr. Johns has not yet sold his little celeb-pedigreed Studio City rancher and as of today, the house is not on the (open) market. But if you’re reading this and you happen to be shopping nice little house in Studio City and you’ve got somewhere between $2 and $3 million bucks to spend, don’t be shy. Go on and cold-call Mr. Johns and see if you can work something out.
We’ve got a good feeling you might get lucky. Just as Mr. Johns did all those years ago.