It’s been while since I’ve done a Twenty Something Series post, but we are back at it! This time I am featuring the beautiful and talented Kelly Gibbons, a former classmate of mine!
Kelly made the decision to leave school and move from South Carolina to L.A. to pursue a career in acting and singing. Find out more about Kelly below in this interview, plus some of my favorite original songs by her!
What made you decide to move to LA?
My dad’s sister has been living out here and working in the entertainment industry for over 25 years. We started visiting CA when I was about 4, and that was around the time I discovered the world of music and theater and became really passionate about it. I decided that I wanted to eventually end up here and that was that. So, I guess it’s a goal I have been working to achieve for about 18 years now.
Was it a scary decision?
The decision wasn’t as scary as realizing that I was going to have to be 100% on my own from here on out. I have been pretty independent since I was around 17/18, but my parents were always right up the street in case anything was to go terribly wrong. The scariest thing is just the reality that I am actually a real adult now.
How did your parents feel about the move?
I am lucky to have one of the most supportive families in the world. They have been to every show since the very first concert I put on in my living room when I was 5. They were a little apprehensive about me being so far from home, just because I have never lived more than 30 miles away from them, but they know how head-strong I have been my whole life about getting out here to work on expanding my creative path a little more.
What do you hope to gain from the move?
I don’t think there is any one particular gain that I want from it, I just enjoy experiencing new and different things. Moving from Columbia, SC to Los Angeles is like moving to a whole new world. There are natural pro’s and con’s for both places, but it’s less about specific gains for me and more about coming into my own and figuring out who I am. So I guess I hope to gain personal growth?
I am not even 100% sure that I will stay in LA for the rest of my life, I only knew I was moving out here about 2 weeks before it happened! But I think that this is the right place for me to start and I’m really excited to see where it leads from here.
How do you like LA so far?
I am loving it! Parking is a pain, but the weather is amazing and the people have been great.
What was the hardest thing about moving?
The hardest thing about moving was spending every dime I have getting out here and having to start my savings back from scratch, haha! It’s not easy trying to save money and start a new life at the same time! It was hard leaving my family and friends, but staying in touch these days is so easy with all of the technology that we interact with on a daily basis.
There’s always a downside to being so far from friends but I’ve learned one of the good things about people is that if they are a good friend, they’re locked in for life. It’s hard to miss people who you talk to everyday! The time-zone difference isn’t that fun; I am three hours ahead of everyone back home so sometimes when I get off work and want to FaceTime a friend, they will already be in bed. But all in all, its not really like leaving my friends, its more like expanding my friend circle.
What type of music do you like to sing the most?
I would never be able to answer that! I have had so much exposure to so much music in my 22 years of life that I can’t even pick a favorite genre to listen to! My dad raised me on The Beatles and Chicago and The Eagles, and then in high school I was into the punk-pop/indie/emo thing. Back home I worked in a record store for the better part of 3 years and I got really into classic and current R&B and cool, current, underground indie bands. I guess it would depend on my mood. I like to sing the songs that understand how I feel at the time.
Who are your musical/theatrical influences?
My influences are constantly changing. Right now I am really into Lana Del Rey. I love Amy Winehouse and John Legend. I am getting into Lorde, as she keeps coming out with new things. I am also really into mainstream artists like Katy Perry and Kings of Leon. Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine has an incredible vocal belt.
Theatrically Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Mendzel are untouchable. Taye Diggs is up there with those two. All of them also translate to film beautifully. Cinematically, I would say I love the passion that Leo DiCaprio puts in his work. Natalie Portman is amazing at connecting with different kinds of characters. I think Lizzy Caplan is very up-and-coming. With theater and film it’s so different because an actor can be defined as good or bad with just one role. If the wrong person is cast for a role it can ruin them pop-culturally as an actor, even if they’re amazing. It’s very cut-throat!
At one point, I did think that I was going to go to college. I had been accepted into SCAD in Savannah and spent a lot of my senior year making the final plans to move to Georgia. I don’t know why, but I never felt a connection with the idea of college. I sort of felt like I was doing the things I could to make my parents happy. They have always been very focused on education and my sister did everything in order and so I was trying to fall in line, but my heart wasn’t really in it.
I have a hard time committing to something when my heart doesn’t, so I felt very conflicted. I knew that I wanted to do music or acting, and I knew that those things didn’t necessarily require a degree for success. I felt that spending 4 years in a classroom studying about those things wouldn’t help me progress as quickly as going out into the world and grasping them for myself. I ended up having a few hiccups in my senior year and ultimately college didn’t go as planned, but I’m not disappointed in myself for not going.
I took a year off from the education system, but I eventually went to a technical college… for 3 weeks. I knew myself too well to think that I could feign interest in academia for a whole semester. But all-in-all, I wouldn’t be where I am if I had gone down that path. College degree or not, I am living the life that I have wanted to for the majority of my life.
I am working on a top rated television show, working towards releasing my first music demo, and making connections in this industry that might not have been possible if I had gone down a different path. I am extremely happy, and I can’t wait to see what else life has in store for me.
Check out Kelly’s YouTube Channel here!
Here are a few of my favorites:
If you are a twentysomething doing something great or you just have an interesting story to tell, email me at india@TheReddBlogger.com and let’s talk about getting you featured on here! #Positivity
So far we’ve had a two twentysomethings who are engaged and live in LA, a twentysomething who’s been shot twice and survived, my own personal experience of being in Seventeen Magazine, my quest for abs, a twentysomething who’s studied abroad and now HATES clubbing, one of my favorite YouTube Gurus, and my own personal disdain for the club (is this unheard of for a twentysomething? Let me know.)