MEET A MEMBER - TONY GIBBONS
Meet Tony Gibbons from Wolverhampton who moved to LA two and a half years ago to further his acting career.
Was there a particular reason you chose LA?
The sunshine!? I had always had this feeling that one day I would live in America at some point, but never really knew where. When I started acting in my twenties I realized I wanted to move with acting in mind, so it was really between LA and New York...and we all know LA has the better weather!
What do you miss most from home?
Apart from the obvious answer of family and friends, there's not really too much that I miss to "can't live without it" levels, but if I visit home my first couple of days are very much filled with fish and chips, Full English breakfasts, and curry! I'm also lucky to have friends willing to bring mini 'care packages' when they visit LA!
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What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since?
How relaxed it was here. The first time I came to LA was just on holiday - but with half an eye on things for the future, acting/work/living wise - and I just found it a very relaxing and chilled place. I know a lot of people have a very different opinion, but I still think of it very much like that. For me, its a big city without the big city feel, and I think that's why I like it so much.
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus Wolverhampton?
Not the traffic! Everyone in LA complains so much about the traffic, but I don't think its even as bad as back home. If anyone's tried to get from Wolverhampton to Birmingham in rush hour, they'll know what I mean! A big difference I see in the people though is positivity. We're a city full of dreamers, so I think the people here are more hopeful, and supportive of people's pursuits.
|Visit Salsa & Beer|
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us? I was going to say 'Salsa & Beer' Mexican Restaurant in the Valley, but seeing as I can never get a table I don't think its all that hidden!
I recently discovered Brand Park Library in Glendale, which is located right in the peaceful and scenic Brand Park. I've found it a great distraction free place to get freelancer work done when you don't want to be cooped up at home or working from a Starbucks.
There's also a good hike there with a great view!
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here? If you haven't already, then come and visit! You can never know for sure before making a move like this, but I think coming and spending some time here before investing all that time and money in a visa essential, and you'll probably fall in love with it!
Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given?
I wasn't given this advice personally - it's a Richard Branson quote - “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”. Obviously there are limits to how far you should push this one, but I think its a great attitude for business. I'm a photographer as well as an actor. I specialize in actor headshots, and back home I only took headshots and behind the scenes stuff, but since moving to LA I have taken on some weird and wonderful jobs - all initially out of my comfort zone - just because I had the confidence to say yes to the opportunity, and then figure it out - I've also become a better photographer as a result!
Lastly, how can we find out more about you ? Are you working on anything at the moment?
A film I worked on last year has just been picked up by Sony, so hopefully that will be released soon, which is exciting, and I'm gearing up for a film role shooting soon in Ohio, which I'm also really excited about!
My photography can be found online at http://www.tgheadshots.com/
tonygibbonsphoto.com/ (for all those new 'non-headshot' jobs!).
I also just made an actor website, because someone gave me some advice that I should have one, you can find it at TonyGibbonsActor.com
I'm on Instagram at @tonygibbon5 and @tg.headshots, though I mostly just post pictures of coffee and donuts!