The WRUW Girl’s Guide to Moody Monday’s LA Edition: 09 ( Q&A with Rory Uphold)

If anyone can capture the essence of a Moody Monday, it’s actress and director of the LA-inspired You Tube series OnlyinhelLA, Rory Uphold. Her nemesis list starts with parking tickets and LA traffic and ends with the declaration that she is a self-professed onesie collector for those “I don’t give a fuck” days. She started the series as a form of self-expression which she describes as a “love/hate” letter to LA. With some of her videos getting over a million hits, her series quickly has taken off. It has also given her more traction to continue on her tongue in cheek exploration of what it’s like to be single in the city of angles with “This is Why We’re Single” series with Elite Daily. We got to chat with her over the weekend and couldn’t help but fan girl over her. Go to the jump to see our conversation and learn more about Rory’s take on those Moody Mondays in LA, and to learn what she’s working on next!

Rory Uphold’s roots are actually from Alberta, Canada but we find her charmingly LA when she divulges that the acupuncturist she goes to in one of her episodes is one she has been going to since she was a child. She laughs and admits “that sounds like a total LA thing to say doesn’t it?” However, she admits that a lot of people are quite surprised that her wardrobe pretty much consists of an “all black all the time” ensemble. Living in LA, she prefers to blend in and be anonymous. It didn’t really hit her how much her series had taken off until the second season  when her Kickstarter got $17,000 in backers. Not one to slow down, she recently put out a short film called TRACTION, just shot a movie called BODIED, and is currently developing a half-hour comedy with CRACKLE. Something tells us that anonymity isn’t exactly in the cards for her.

WhatRUWearing: How do you draw inspiration for your episodes?

Rory: Honestly, 90% of all my work is based on personal experiences or things that have happened to my friends. With HelLA specifically, all of those videos are based on things that have happened (minus the Home Depot episode).

WhatRUWearing: Did you always imagine yourself directing and acting?

Rory: Actually no, I started out just acting but after a while, I didn’t see any good roles for me that I liked so I started writing my own. I never imagined I’d be doing this.

WhatRUWearing: Describe your perspective of LA in three words

Rory: Home. Creative. Tiny.

WhatRUWearing: Describe the outside world’s perspective of LA in three words

Rory: Huge. Hollywood. Plastic.

WhatRUWearing: Your day is off to a bad start…what is the first thing you absolutely need?

Rory:To go back to bed, apparently…

WhatRUWearing: What is the one thing that makes the end of the day better if you’ve had a stressful Monday?

Rory: Depends on the kind of stress, but drinks with friends or a massage and solo time. I have a pretty incredible group of artists and funny people I run with that always make me feel better… but sometimes what I really need is a night of reflection. I go to The Now to zen out.

WhatRUWearing: What’s an example of a day where your friends made your day feel better?

Rory: I was at a pretty low time period in my life and I called up my friends one morning and said, “I need coffee and want to go to Salton Sea and Salvation Mountain. So we did. After that, everything changed and was better.

WhatRUWearing: How did it make it better?

Rory: Sometimes you just need a road trip. There are so many places in LA to go to and every three hours you’re in a new place.  LA is also what you make of it, finding your tribe and sticking with those people. 

WhatRUWearing: You’re stuck in traffic. What is your playlist?

Rory: Frank Ocean’s White Ferrari. Verite. Betty Who. Dolly Parton. Willie Nelson.

WhatRUWearing: After taking a listen to Verite, we love her!

Rory: Yeah my friend actually manages Verite and Betty Who!

WhatRUWearing: What are some of your favorite beauty/hair products right now?

Rory: I use a wet brush that the hair stylist gave me and I’m obsessed with it. I also use a Je Veux hair mask religiously.

WhatRUWearing: What’s your favorite item in your closet that will brighten up your mood?

Rory: I have a lot of vintage tee shirts that make me smile. I have a Repo Man shirt and a Dirty Dancing shirt, both of which I love. I also have an extensive onesie collection that I really love to wear at home… or if I’m really not giving any fucks, to my local coffee shop.

WhatRUWearing: Tell us more about the onesie collection!

Rory: Oh, I have so many. I have a few from Onepiece and a unicorn one from JapanLA!

WhatRUWearing: Do you get a lot of looks when you wear them out?

Rory: Weirdly not as much as when I dyed my hair blue. I got so many looks then.

WhatRUWearing: What is your favorite item in your closet that is your go-to when you want to reflect your mood?

Rory: All black everything. Leather jacket. Vans or boots… I also own a lot of hats.

WhatRUWearing: We found a quote that says “shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist”. I’d love to see what your version is of this! “Shopping is cheaper than _________.

Rory: Oh man, I would disagree with this statement… but shopping is cheaper than making a movie, which is basically like my therapy. So… maybe I do agree?

WhatRUWearing: Name a couple of spots that you recommend for comfort food/drinks when having a moody Monday?

Rory: Shin Sen Gumi in little Tokyo for Ramen. Bar Stella for cocktails. Marvin for dinner. El Compadre for sit-down Mexican.  And, if you’re in Venice, you have to hit up Leona on Washington Blvd.

WhatRUWearing: What are you binge watching on Netflix right now?

Rory: I’m watching anything and everything FX right now. Everything they are putting out is fire. Insecure on HBO and Transparent on Amazon. None of those are Netflix tho! So, on Netflix, I just binged Easy, just watched Confirmed Kills, and I can’t wait to start Luke Cage…. I’m obsessed with TV so I watch a lot of it.

WhatRUWearing: What is a video idea for OnlyinHelLA that didn’t make the cut?

Rory: I really wanted to do a Jeff Garland inspired video from when he lost it in that parking lot. The video would have been me, driving around a full parking lot, trying to find parking, and just as I find a spot, I get cut off by a car who steals it. So then I get out of my car and basically go ham on the other car with a bat or a tire iron. It’s basically a video about the fantasy I have in my mind overtime someone cuts me off… I even looked into getting a car that I could destroy. The car was way cheaper than the permits and security required to pull off the video.

WhatRUWearing: Are you going to do a third season? Is there anything else you have coming up that you’d like to talk about/promote?

Rory: Absolutely. HelLA is not something I plan on quitting… it’s just become something I do in between other jobs. So, I haven’t shot anything for season 3 yet, but I for sure will!

WhatRUWearing: What are you going to be for Halloween?

Rory: A Nasty Witch…based off of the Nasty Woman remark from Donald Trump. I just hate everything he says. I’d be a subversive witch that’s misunderstood.

WhatRUWearing: Maybe you should have a pussy bow blouse!

Rory: That would be perfect and I could have my feminist lighter!

WhatRUWearing: (googles feminist lighter)

Rory: Great isn’t it?!

WhatRUwearing: We totally have to get one now! 


1. Verite, a Rory must, for those long car rides. Get her album on iTunes
2. Salvation Mountain – Rory’s Moody Monday escape for a good time and photoshoots with friends. We love everyone’s Insta photos!
3. Bar Stella – Rory rate’s this as her #1 cocktail spot in LA and it being #10 of the top 20 cocktail bars in LA, we’d say everyone agrees
4. Feminist Lighter – Rory’s trusty It’s Me & You feminist lighter brightens up her mood any day of the week
5. JapanLA Unicorn Onsie – Fun fact: Rory and her good friend, model Heather Marks, who appears in her very first episode have a tradition of exchanging onesies as gifts to each other every year. One time she gave her friend one with a bear claw on her butt!