Why would you call your company Hollywood Top LLC?
I’ve always heard that if you call yourself or your company “Hollywood”, then more than likely you won’t make it in Hollywood. So, why would I call my company Hollywood Top LLC, when I know I have doomed myself to fail in Hollywood? There is a very good explanation, but first I need to explain what the “Top” means in the name.
If you have ever served in the U.S. military, then more than likely you know the term “Top”. However, just in case you are not familiar with the term, here is a brief explanation. The rank of first sergeant has existed in the Army since 1781. The first sergeant (E8) is generally the highest non-commissioned officer rank in a company-sized unit in the Army (First Sergeants are also ranks in the USMC & Air Force). In the Army, First Sergeants are generally referred to the term of endearment by their soldiers as “top”, “top sergeant”, “top soldier”, “top kick”, and “first shirt”. When I was stationed in Southern California (SoCal) as a first sergeant, my soldiers would refer to me as “Top”. This is why many of my friends and colleagues refer to me as “Top”.
Now for a brief explanation of why I call the company “Hollywood Top”. When I was stationed SoCal in 2008-2010, I had the pleasure of meeting Hollywood celebrities at different speaking engagements and events that I would be invited too. I met Vince Ferragamo who was a quarterback in the NFL and CFL. Vince Ferragamo was attending an event at the LAX USO to hand out Thanksgiving dinners to troops traveling through the airport. I was able to meet other celebrities.
Other celebrities that I had the pleasure of meeting and actually hanging out with were Jon Voight, Kevyn Major Howard, and Michael Gregory. You may know Jon Voight from some of his early movies like Midnight Cowboy, Deliverance, and The Champ. He also was in movies like Heat, Mission Impossible, Anaconda, and Transformers. Jon has recently played “Mickey Donovan” in the Showtime series called Ray Donovan. You may know Kevyn Major Howard as “Rafterman” from Full Metal Jacket and Michael Gregory who has acted in a wide variety of films and TV shows, such as General Hospital, Robocop, Total Recall, and Eraser. Each of these celebrities is very pro-military and veteran.
In my first sergeant office, I had a wall dedicated to all the pictures that I had with each celebrity. My friend came into my office and with one look at my wall said, “You are not Top, you’re Hollywood Top!” My soldiers overheard him say this, and decided that they would start calling me “Hollywood Top”. I didn’t like the moniker at first, but it began to grow on me.
When I decided to start my own military film and television consulting company in late 2015, it was not a difficult task coming up with a clever name. The only name that I could possibly use for my company was Hollywood Top LLC. I need to thank my friend Jesse and my soldiers from the 304th Sustainment Brigade for helping me make an easy decision on the company name. And…That’s the story behind the name.
Now to choose a logo for the company…which one should I choose?
WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!®
In 2012, I sat down with my mentor, Michael Del Monaco Sr. who is a Vietnam Veteran, to discuss how one generation of veterans passes on knowledge to the new generation of veterans. We wanted to define the passing of this knowledge by using a motto, phrase, or slogan. This is how the WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!® movement was formed. WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!® is defined as one generation passing on knowledge to a new generation. This new generation accepts this knowledge with the intent to pass it on to the next generation keeping the flame of knowledge lit from generation to generation. Once this knowledge is received by the new generation they proclaim that the future is safe by saying WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!®.
The WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!® movement initially was only intended to define how one generation of veterans passes on knowledge to a new generation of veterans, but we realized that WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!® applies to any mentor-mentee relationship. What defines a great mentor-mentee relationship? According to Merriam-Webster, a mentor is defined as “a trusted counselor or guide” and a mentee is defined as “one who is being mentored”. This mentor-mentee relationship usually starts at childhood, as a parent begins to mentor a child on what to do, what is right from wrong, what is good and what is bad. Mentor-mentee relationships can be formed when a child is in school, where a teacher or a coach mentors a student or an athlete. If one belongs to a religious organization, the religious leader mentors the faithful on the religious beliefs. A president passes on their knowledge and values to a nation with the belief that the future is safe, WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!®.
Paving the way!
Recently, I was honored to travel to Washington D.C. to celebrate Veterans Day with all my fellow veterans on November 11th. I was honored to meet a group of veterans who served during the Vietnam War, but rarely receive recognition for their service. These groups of veterans are women who volunteered to serve during the Vietnam War when conditions were very unfavorable. Whether they served with the Army Nurse Corps, Army Special Service, Donut Dolly’s, American Red Cross, or as a civilian, these women volunteered and risked their lives to serve their country. These brave women were not always treated well while serving in Vietnam, often being victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault. In my opinion, they were the pioneers that paved the way for the Me Too Movement, and readily passed on the knowledge to new generations after they returned. I was particularly moved when I was at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, where I witnessed two young women in their 20’s hug and thank the women who served during the Vietnam War for passing on their knowledge to their generation. This epitomizes the meaning of WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!®.
There is a long list of mentors that I would like to let know WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!® because the knowledge they passed on to me has been passed on to a new generation. My parents, my brother and sisters, teachers, professors, coaches, military leaders, religious leaders, and friends have all shared their knowledge with me. I will be forever grateful for this knowledge and I will always insure that they know that the future is secure by proclaiming WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!®.
Let them know…WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!®
Everyone has a mentor that they would like to thank for being there for them. Visit our shop to purchase WE’VE GOT IT FROM HERE!® merchandise to let your mentor know that you are grateful for the knowledge that they passed on to you and that you will pass this knowledge to a new generation. Hollywood Top LLC is committed to helping veterans, so we pledge to donate a portion of every purchase to help out homeless veterans in need.