Ross Gibson



EP 55: Ross Gibson (autogenerated)

Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it. Episode 55. Okay, let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Ross Gibson. Are you ready for this Ross?

[00:00:13] Ross Gibson: [00:00:13] I am ready, Dean

[00:00:14] Dane Reis: [00:00:14] All right. Ross competed as an international tumbler for his home nation of great Britain. For many years. He wants several world and European metals and his greatest achievement was the silver medal at the world cup final in 2002, after earning a dance and musical theater degree from the prestigious lane.

[00:00:34] Theater arts and Surrey. Ross moved to Las Vegas in 2000. And then for, to begin his career as the lead role of Redbird in Cirque, du Soleil Mystere at treasure Island, Ross has also performed as the lead character of the trickster in a circus Kusa and mr. Piggy in love. He also owns the nation’s leading body painting company, skin, city, body painting with his business partner, Robin SLO Nina.

[00:01:01] And in any spare time he has he artistic directs circus couture, a prestigious annual charity show, combining circus, fashion, and arts to raise money for pediatric cancer research for a local childhood cancer clinic, where they have raised over $2 million for the cause. Right. Ross. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps, who you are, and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:35]Ross Gibson: [00:01:35] So, um, yeah, my name is Ross Gibson that you covered, and I do perform currently in a soak to sleaze, uh, Mister at treasure Island, hotel and casino. When I say currently I do mean pre and post, uh, covert times as a pharmacist have. Temporarily closed is in Las Vegas and across the nation now. But yes, I play the character of the Redbird, which is a very acrobatic dance character kind of weaves, uh, weave my way in and out throughout the show.

[00:02:03] And yeah, do one of the main, uh, acrobatic acts called a Teeter board and power track act. And, uh, that stems from my, uh, the sport that I, uh, competed for great Britain in, which was the sport of tumbling, which basically running down a. Uh, forcing me to track and performing a series of, uh, tumbling, acrobatic elements down.

[00:02:21]Um, and I combined that with dance to put together a kind of an elegant, uh, artistic, um, acrobatic bird character that I play in such delays. Mr. Uh, personally myself, I’ve been married to my husband for five years coming on six years now. And we have a beautiful five-year-old daughter. Named

[00:02:41] Dane Reis: [00:02:41] Fantastic. I love that. And I love that you said that in your role as the red bird that you like to bring a bit of 

[00:02:50]some elegance.

[00:02:51] to the entire role. And I could not agree more because I’ve seen mustier a couple of times and hands down, I feel like you’re dancing better than many of the dancers.

[00:03:01] And you’re doing the acrobatics cleaner than many of the acrobats. It’s amazing. You’re such a star in such a highlight in that entire show.

[00:03:09]Ross Gibson: [00:03:09] Thank you.


[00:03:09] Dane Reis: [00:03:09] All right. Well, let’s move on to the next section here and look, Ross. I am a sucker or a good quote. What’s your favorite quote? You’d like to share with our listeners.

[00:03:21]Ross Gibson: [00:03:21] my good quote, I think is, uh, you make your own sites. I’ve always been a true believer in that and decisions that you make will eventually lead you on a whatever path you’re supposed to lead on. And, um, uh, and you’re the one who, who chooses that path with, uh, with whatever life decisions you take.

[00:03:37]So you make your own fate

[00:03:39]Dane Reis: [00:03:39] And do you have any specific instances in your career where you can attribute that to, and some really big highlights?

[00:03:47]Ross Gibson: [00:03:47] I suppose. If you will, with that with Cirque du Soleil. Um, I had auditioned for circus, um, back in, um, 2000 and they had chosen me for, um, some of their shows then after the audition, but I’d turn them down.  even though I knew that Cirque was a very prestigious company to work for, I turned down a lot of the roles because, um, I wanted.

[00:04:08] To be playing a character in the show and to be able to be used for whatever the assets that I had to offer. And, uh, so they were quite taken aback by somebody who auditioned for them. And then suddenly turns down an opportunity. Even though I went to a workshops at their headquarters in Montreal, and we did three week, four week workshops, and they would offer contracts to people that they like tonight.

[00:04:32] I turned them down because none of the roles were. That I felt were right for me and really embodied everything I could offer. So, uh, I suppose that was kind of me making my own fate by holding out for something I really believed in that was, that was right for me. And that was, that was something I was willing to, uh, to settle in full.

[00:04:51] Dane Reis: [00:04:51] I love that. I love that you knew what you wanted and you said I’m not going to settle for. Anything less. I love that. And let’s go to this next section now. And of course, Ross, you are an entertainer. I. I am an entertainer. And I think that you’d agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest and personally emotional industries in existence.

[00:05:15] And, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and to have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while of course, yeah, there is an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles and challenges and failures.

[00:05:36] We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you, you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:05:50]Ross Gibson: [00:05:50] Um, I think in the industry that I work in, uh, you know, we’re doing 10 shows a week, uh, we’re doing really high level acrobatics, um, high level dance.  you’re doing a lot of the same movements over again. There’s a lot of repetitive strain injuries that can come.

[00:06:03] with what we do with performing 470 shows a year. So we perform. . And so I think it’s learning how to, to change things up enough and to let your body cope with going through the rigors  uh, of doing that many shows, uh, the same tricks over again, the same landing positions over again, the same leaps on the same leg.

[00:06:26]Uh, it’s knowing how to be able to. To go against your comfort zone and do something that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable with, but just because it’s actually, it’s, it’s saving your body and it’s saving those, uh, unnecessary injuries that just landing on the same leg the same way we’ll do year, year after year 

[00:06:43] Dane Reis: [00:06:43] Absolutely. I can absolutely relate to that because you can, you can be the most simple little moves. It could be just. A little half little bot bot, you know, and it doesn’t even have to be that intense of a move or that impressive, but it’s that petition that break those muscles down. So, so much over time.

[00:07:02] The next thing you know, you’re out on injury. So I love that you have consciously taken. A moment to think about, okay, how can I still do this choreography? How can I still do the role properly and effectively, but still do it healthily so I can do this longterm so important, such incredible advice as well for anyone listening out there   and you bet, and next I want to move on to the section that I like to call your spotlight moment.

[00:07:32] That one moment in time that you realized. Yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.

[00:07:48]Ross Gibson: [00:07:48] I really remember the very first, um, musical theater show I saw, which was, uh,  the musical cuts by Andrew Lloyd Webber. I was maybe 10 years old and. We had the front row seats. And I remember the cat start with all the cats come out of anywhere and sing the first song, uh, you know, to the audience.

[00:08:07] And they really just focus on one person singing it to the person. And this is female form of focused on singing it to me. And I just, I was just captivated by this, um, Uh, by this connection I had with, uh, uh, with the audience, uh, we started with this performance, uh, performance and the, and the, and, and how she, how she captivated me and how she just had pulled me into her performance.

[00:08:30] And I thought, I remember then then thinking that that’s what I want to perform on stage. And I think it was my first, um, first ever, uh, Day in the musical at the musical fifth school at Lancaster arts. When. It was the first time I’d really actually had to kind of sing and dance and act in that first class where they were just working out where or everyone’s niche was.

[00:08:52] And I didn’t have a great voice, uh, but I could, I could, I could dance and I could act. And, you know, I could, I could hold a note I guess. And I think that was the first time I was around other people. Who’d come all. From all over the country to, to perform at this college and to train and learn from some of the best teachers.

[00:09:10] And I think it was then that I, that I realized that I had chosen the right path. And that was, that was where I wanted to be, whether it was going to be musical theater or not, it turned out not to be, but I knew that performing was the right career path

[00:09:24]Dane Reis: [00:09:24] Yeah, I love it. It’s it’s such a, it’s such a good feeling when you, when you found your people, you know, and I want to piggyback on that question and let’s talk about your number one book moment. Walk us through that day and the audition and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it, what was going on in your life?

[00:09:44] And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book moment?

[00:09:50]Ross Gibson: [00:09:50] I think something that very interesting, that happened with me with, uh,  uh, with the performing arts college, um, lane theater, arts. So it was a huge, you had to, you had to audition to get in. Um, and it was kind of later in the year, um, very, very much passed all the sign and, uh, sign up process that I had decided that was where I wanted to go and I’d call them up.

[00:10:10] And I was just about to finish my, uh, university college degree, which was French in business, you know, very different to what I actually do. Um, and, and I remember. speaking to the administration, people at the college and then saying, I’m sorry, it’s too late. The auditions tomorrow. It’s too late to sign up, but you could get in next year.

[00:10:27] And I, I, I wouldn’t let them off the phone with me. I said, no, I have to do it. I have to do that tomorrow. I will please. I’m just, I’m just one person. You’ve got to be able to fit me in. And, and I really had to push for myself. And at the end, I think I have pushed so much that I had. Kind of bothered the lady on the other end of the phone that this guy just kept pushing and she kept saying no.

[00:10:50]Um, but she said that when she hung up the phone, something just nagged away at her that she, that I, I wanted it so much. I was so driven to do it, that I was getting to the point of getting upset that I couldn’t turn up, that she decided to call me back and tell me that a position had become available.

[00:11:06] Somebody had, uh, had pulled out and, uh, and I, and I could have it. Uh, that, that, that, just that audition position. Um, that addition place I remember that it was the point. I hadn’t even auditioned yet. I couldn’t hear it might not even get the audition, but I remember thinking, well, that was what I needed to do.

[00:11:22] I really needed to prove to someone on how much I wanted this. And then it’s up to me  to prove how much they can do it after that. So just the fact that , I got that audition. Um, which I shouldn’t have done because I was way beyond all the rules and regulations of the time of when I should apply for the audition.

[00:11:39]Um,  I really got it because of, of how much I convinced her that it was right for me to be there and it was right for them to have me in a way. 

[00:11:47] So yeah, it was before anything happened. It was the kind of the start of it that I realized that I kind of had booked it.

[00:11:54] Dane Reis: [00:11:54] Yeah. I love that though, because it’s also proving that, like you said, you have to be your own best advocate. You’re the only one really looking out for you. And especially in this industry, that’s so competitive. And to learn that lesson straight away, just getting that audition is. Massive. It’s, it’s a lesson that many people don’t get the pleasure of  experiencing much later into their careers.

[00:12:21]Ross Gibson: [00:12:21] yeah.

[00:12:22]Dane Reis: [00:12:22] All right. Well, let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And of course we are amidst this crazy global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:12:40]Ross Gibson: [00:12:40] I honestly don’t have the confidence that every single show that there was. In the nation or in the world that was performing, uh, rights up until, March 15th. When I said, I call it the world ended, you know, that was, that was the week where day by day, everything was shutting down.

[00:12:57] You know, first of all,  it was this sporting sporting world NBA shut down. Then the sh then we were told the shows were shutting down and the casinos were shut down in schools. You know, it was that one. I don’t believe every show is going to be able to come back.

[00:13:10]Um, Unfortunately, I have, I have, do have high hopes for the certain slight resident shows in Las Vegas. I think there’ll be easier to come back and hopefully people will be staying in shape enough to be able to get back into their shows.  Um, so at the moment, the only thing thing that we can do, I can do from my role is to keep, keep my body fit and healthy.

[00:13:31]Um, with  Las Vegas circus center, uh, has opened up, which has, uh, a power tracking, great draggy facility. So I’m training there, uh, as, as much as I can. And, um, the other things that I’m having to do is just focus on different, um, revenue, you know, uh, financial revenue ideas. And, uh, fortunately I do have the body painting company with my partner, Robin.

[00:13:53] And my husband as well is an artist. Uh, , but all the jobs that we had there, all the corporate jobs, where we were body paint models to fit a client, it’s a brand or go or signature colors and send out, send our performance out to performance, all these different events. Um, those are not happening either, but we’ve actually moved into the art gallery world.

[00:14:13] And we’ve found a great art gallery in Summerlin in Las Vegas, which is kind of the high end area of Las Vegas. And, uh, the gallery is called art to art activity village, and we have so many, we’ve done so many body paints of models over the years that we’ve, we’ve also documented these great works of art with brilliant photographs and pictures.

[00:14:34] And it’s, it’s such amazing artwork of, um, of body art. We call it a modeling of beautiful models with beautiful artwork on them, and then combined with great photography as well has made these great pictures. So we’re actually. Uh, making these a lot of these pictures into a, um, uh, a collection, uh, to sell in this, in the arts or art gallery.

[00:14:54] And we’re actually working on a whole new collection called the living wallpaper collection, which is where we find fabrics that really inspire us fabrics or patterns. And we body paint the models to match the tiny kind of, to camouflage into that fabric. And then when we get the pictures done and made into a canvas portrait, we frame it.

[00:15:15] On a background that has that fabric on the background. So you have this kind of three D perspective image of the fabric pattern and then a model painted as that pattern. And then that’s framed in a beautiful frame as well. And it looks, it’s something that really combining, you know, fabric patterning with artwork, with photography, with modeling.

[00:15:34]Uh, so it’s kind of combining all the mediums of, of the art world. So that’s something where. We’re doing it’s one of the only things we can do at the moment, but it’s just, you know, got to come up with ideas, got to keep creative and busy.

[00:15:46] Dane Reis: [00:15:46] absolutely. And that is such an amazing. Idea what you’re doing and combining creating all of those different art forms. I said, wow, I definitely need to stop by and have a look 

[00:15:59]and let’s move on to one of my favorite sections of the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions.

[00:16:09] I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?

[00:16:16]All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:16:24] Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:16:31] Love it. Third question. What is something that is working for you now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.

[00:16:44]Ross Gibson: [00:16:44] moving into more of a directorial side of stage instead of being on the stage.

[00:16:49]Dane Reis: [00:16:49] Fantastic. And the fourth question, what is the best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video podcast, maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.

[00:17:03]Ross Gibson: [00:17:03] I would say. YouTube videos. I really would YouTube videos of, uh, performers. I hand balances, dancers, uh, artists, just seeing what everyone else is doing out there in the world. And that being enough motivation to keep me doing it as well.

[00:17:19] Dane Reis: [00:17:19] Absolutely. YouTube is such an amazing resource for almost everything I think. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry. What would you do or not do, would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:17:42]Ross Gibson: [00:17:42] I’m happy with everything I did.  I would’ve kept it the same. 

[00:17:48] Dane Reis: [00:17:48] Love it. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in the industry that you’d like to leave with our listeners?

[00:18:00]Ross Gibson: [00:18:00] when it comes to performing on stage and performing with others and form for an audience, trust her instincts. If something’s not feeling right for you, , it probably means it’s not right to be done.

[00:18:10] Dane Reis: [00:18:10] that is such incredible advice. Artistically from the very practical standpoint of  the physical part of things for injury and things like this. such good advice. And to wrap up this interview, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:18:32]Ross Gibson: [00:18:32] Uh, rights at the moment. Uh, we’re really going ahead with everything with skin city, body painting. So you can find us at skin city or on our website,, city, body Pretty much. If you just put a put in body painting, Las Vegas, uh, SEO is pretty huge. So we come up, we come up right there and you can always find me at, at Ross Redbird on Instagram.

[00:18:58]And lots of pictures of me  

[00:19:03] Dane Reis: [00:19:03] Fantastic. And for everyone listening out there, I have put all the links to everything Ross just said in the description of this episode. So you can go ahead and check them out. Ross, thank you so much for being on the show today.

[00:19:16] It has been an absolute pleasure speaking with you.