Rising Star Freddy Giorlando: Why We Need The #BeLoveGiveLove Movement Now

#BeLoveGiveLove — state three things you love about yourself, tag and state three things you love about three people, and then nominate them to do the same. I truly believe that it is only when we give ourselves permission to love ourselves that we truly allow ourselves to love one another. Asa part of our […]

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#BeLoveGiveLove — state three things you love about yourself, tag and state three things you love about three people, and then nominate them to do the same. I truly believe that it is only when we give ourselves permission to love ourselves that we truly allow ourselves to love one another.

Asa part of our series about stars who are making an important social impact, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Freddy Giorlando.

Freddy Giorlando is a multi-award-winning actor and filmmaker from New Jersey. He began studying acting at HB Studio in New York, followed by performing Off-Broadway in New York City. In 2016 Freddy made his television debut on HBO’s Vinyl directed by Martin Scorsese. Later that year he produced his first television production partnering with Rob Alicea of Leaving Normal Productions on Adulthood, which premiered at HBO’s 2017 New York Latino Film Festival to critical acclaim. In 2018 Freddy took home the award for ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy’ for his work in Adulthood at the inaugural New Jersey Web Fest. In 2019 Freddy would return to his roots on the stage co-producing and playing Biff Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman at The Secret Rose Theatre Company in Los Angeles, California. Freddy is currently in pre-production for season one of Adulthood, which he will co-produce and star in. Freddy currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Thank you so much for joining us Freddy! Can you share with us the “backstory” that led you to this career path?

First off, I’d like to thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to share my story; I’m very grateful for the opportunity. Ever since I was a child growing up I always enjoyed making people laugh and performing for my family and friends. As I got older I realized that was my way of communicating and connecting with people. Whether I was being the class clown all throughout my school years or performing in talent shows and school plays, that was my way of living and expressing myself.

After high school around 2006, I came to the realization that college wasn’t for me and I soon dropped out after one term. I then got into the sport of boxing and thought I was going to become a prizefighter. I would drive from New Jersey to Brooklyn almost every day for two years and train at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. The dream to become a fighter was short-lived as God had other plans and blessed me with my son Anthony on February 20, 2008.

Around 2008 my life completely changed again. I was now working with my father and his trucking company delivering refrigerators throughout the week just to make ends meet, but, for the first time in my life I wasn’t fully happy. While I was proud to be a father, and felt extremely lucky, something was missing and I began to develop anxiety. For the first time, maybe ever, I had no idea what direction my life was headed in. This is when acting came into my life and saved me.

On my 21st birthday, I decided to finally attend my first acting class and was immediately hooked (and never looked back). Finding acting brought me back to a place, not only that I loved, but to one that would change the direction of my life and career forever. Much like when I was younger, clowning around and entertaining people, I fell in love with performance and the craft that becoming a professional actor entailed.

Acting has not only been a beautiful way for me to express myself, but incredibly therapeutic. It has allowed me to grow as a person and how to deal with my anxiety, which at points in my life, was debilitating. Through performing, character study, and eventually reading Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, I learned that I could build a life I, and my son, could be proud of. The greatest lesson I have come to learn is this: You can only truly grow as an artist if you’re simultaneously learning and growing as a person.

For the past decade, acting has brought so many incredible opportunities my way, but most importantly, has brought many amazing personal and professional relationships into my life. I met my current producing partners and friends Rob Alicea and Scott Rocco seven years ago. They quickly took me under their wing, mentored me on how to successfully produce, all the while having fun while doing it. It’s been a truly amazing journey thus far.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career? What was the lesson or take away that you took out of that story?

Man, I can go on for days haha. In 2016 I had the honor to meet and work with one of my film heroes: Martin Scorsese. Being a part of HBO’s production of Vinyl was an experience I will never forget. They say to never meet your heroes, but acting for this legend of cinema exceeded my expectations.

Most of my major career highlights and unforgettable memories come from the all-encompassing experience of producing content with my friends. Whether it was working with my friends at Leaving Normal Productions on our show Adulthood, or working with friends to manifest and execute a successful production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. This is where producing has parallels to parenthood — you are essentially giving birth to something you’re both, proud of, and would do anything to protect.

My main takeaway is this: If you put your mind to something, focus up, and put the work in, your dreams will come true. And if you’re fortunate enough to create things you’re proud of with talented people you love, that is my definition of success.

What would you advise a young person who wants to emulate your success?

When you find your calling and make the decision to pursue it, throw everything you have into that pursuit. You must believe in yourself and your dream fully and continue to nurture it day after day. Stay focused and make consistent choices on a daily basis that align with your purpose and your mission on this planet. Avoid distractions and release the things that don’t serve you. When you live life in the present, going from moment to moment (just like in a great acting scene), you open yourself to the beauty that life has to offer you. Though there may be challenges, something will come if you continue to apply that pressure. Lead with your heart and refuse to conform to societal pressure and/or someone else’s idea of what you should be doing. Trust in the gift of life’s journey and enjoy it fully.

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?

It would have to be my mother and my son. I think my family would agree that, for as long as any of us can remember, my mother has always been the rock and the glue that holds us together. Her positivity is contagious, and her faith is unwavering. Her support knows no schedule or time limit. She has always been there for my brothers and I no matter what, and continually picks the family up with her words of faith whenever we might go through a trying time. It is her spirit and faith that taught me how to also walk in faith in whatever I do.

My son came to me unexpectedly at an early age. He has been the biggest blessing and the greatest source of inspiration and motivation in my life. He’s literally the driving force in everything I do. My desire to always take care of him in the way my parents always took care of me has given me the strength to persevere in the face of adversity. I can undoubtedly say that continuing to see him grow, receive a great education, and thrive in anything he puts his mind to is a feeling that I can’t put into words.

How are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you are working on right now?

I’m currently working as one of the mentors with Engage The Vision, a non-profit organization that mentors fourth and fifth-grade inner-city kids once every week during the school year. Knowing that we’re a small (sometimes big) part of the kids’ lives, helping them to be their best selves both in and out of the classroom, has been one of the coolest and most rewarding things I’ve done since moving to Los Angeles.

Can you share with us the story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?

There wasn’t such a program available when I was their age, and I know how impactful such mentorship can be for a kid. We utilize positive psychology in our interactions with the kids, break it down in easy to digest terms, and help show them how it can (no pun intended) positively impact their day to day. Also being a father myself I empathize with some of the kids not having role models in their life to guide and teach them healthy ways of thinking and living. The work we do together is very powerful and means just as much to me as it does to them.

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

I am proud to say that so many great kids have been impacted by Engage The Vision. Being that we see and work with them on a weekly basis, spotting progress does not go unnoticed. From developing a better sense of self and more confidence, to understanding that problem solving is best handled with positive words and actions, to seeing these kids actually look forward to attending school and the program, they are growing and excelling in ways we could only hope. It has been nothing short of an honor and a blessing to be there consistently for the kids. I know we are making a difference.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

Yes! If you’d like to get involved you can follow us at @engagethevision on social media and visit our website ETV.COM. Many of our mentors have come to the program by way of social media or word of mouth, so I can’t understate the impact of spreading the word.

In addition, we are always happy to partner with investors or corporations looking to step in and help sponsor the program. Sponsorship and donations allow us to provide more opportunities for the kids, whether it be field trips to awesome places or essentials/supplies for school.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Trust in the process. When I first began my career I was concerned with so many things that were completely out of my control and allowed them to deviate my focus and get me down. Control what you can, which is the quality and consistency of your work.
  2. Stay focused. It wasn’t until I invested all of my mental and physical energy into realizing my goals that I started to see results. Focused is all about the quality of the time you spend directed at your work and not always about the amount of hours you spend.
  3. Stay present. Tony Robbins says, “Energy flows where attention goes.” I’ve witnessed that fully. If you allow yourself to stay present and utilize your breath, you bring both a sense of peace and newfound energy to whatever you are focusing on. Don’t live in the past, but also don’t spend too much time in the future. Be grateful for every moment knowing that now is all there is.
  4. Go with your gut. As I started getting older I really started tuning in to what I like to refer to as that inner voice or feeling known as your gut. If/when a situation presents itself that doesn’t feel right, or an opportunity that doesn’t ring true to your soul, listen to your gut. Nothing feels better or more powerful than when you align yourself with people, places and things that your heart feels content opening itself up to.
  5. Don’t wait around. It wasn’t until I started producing my own content with friends that I fully came into my own as an artist. You can choose to wait around for permission to create and build the career you want, or you can manifest that for yourself. If there’s a story to be told, tell it. If there’s a picture to be painted, pick up the brush. It’s up to you. And that’s the best part of all.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

#BeLoveGiveLove — state three things you love about yourself, tag and state three things you love about three people, and then nominate them to do the same. I truly believe that it is only when we give ourselves permission to love ourselves that we truly allow ourselves to love one another.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?

“Walk by faith, not by sight.”

Once I stepped into my power to create, knowing I was part of the greater whole and part of the creator, everything clicked for me. I learned to throw myself into whatever projects or goals I had fully, because I had faith that if I can see it in my mind, I can hold it in my hand.

Having faith also means to be unwavering in your resolve, knowing that how you choose to live your life won’t always be something everyone can or will get behind. With belief, consistently making choices that align with your purpose, and learning to love the process, you begin to manifest goals and dreams that once seemed unattainable. Your imagination is the paintbrush to the canvas known as your life. Make it a beautiful picture.

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Leonardo DiCaprio. It was his portrayal as Jack in Titanic that first truly spoke to me as a kid. As a sensitive and vulnerable kid, I saw myself in that character. To be both real, honest and unapologetic in that expression had more of an impact on my life than I could possibly understand at the time.

Beyond being a phenomenal actor, DiCaprio has been a role model for me as far as his philanthropic work is concerned. He has always been adamant and consistent in his work to preserve the environment and use his platform for the greater good.

I look forward to, much like Leo, continuing being someone who uses their voice to help make the world a better place each and every day.

Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring, and we wish you continued success!

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