Gary LaVard is an actor and model with one hell of an impressive resume. He’s worked on Oprah’s Greenleaf television series as well as Ryan Murphy’s comedy-horror show Scream Queens. As a model, he has graced the pages and covers of several national publications. Perhaps his greatest modeling achievement, though, was being chosen as the body cast used to make a statue of Olympian John Carlos giving the Black Power Salute. The statue is now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, where more than 250,000 visitors people see it every month.
Gary admits that none of these accomplishments came to him easily. He has spent years putting all of his efforts into building his career. When he isn’t on set shooting a film, he’s auditioning for new parts or emailing his bio to potential project partners. Any free time gets devoted to keeping his body in amazing shape (it’s OK to feel jealous of a man who looks this good) and practicing his craft.
When Gary sees a hurdle, he heads toward it with confidence. If that hurdle proves too high to clear, he takes a step back and tries again and again until he reaches his goal. He’s not the type of man who lets rejection get in his way. He’s so focused on improving his craft as an actor and pursuing new opportunities that he doesn’t even have time to let failures hold him back.
How would you describe your grooming routine, and what is your goal?
Being and working in the public eye, grooming is extremely important to me. My routine includes eating well; I recently became a pescatarian and that’s helped tremendously with how my skin looks. That, along with drinking water and using QUALITY beauty products has helped create the appearance I want; Which is preserving my youth and living a healthy, active lifestyle.
What does your typical day look like, and what do you do to make it productive?
It varies. However, a typical day for me can include me being on set filming new projects. And If I’m not filming, I’m auditioning. With the power of technology, a lot of my auditions are video, so I spend a great part of my day preparing for them and then actually filming them. I typically keep myself busy and productive by researching companies I would like to partner with for my brand… such as BSG! I’ll spend a ton of time sending out emails with my bio, resume and pics/video offering collaborative opportunities. And if I’m not doing those things, I’m studying and mastering my craft as an actor.
How did you choose your career and why?
I like to think that my career chose me (lol). I became inspired and caught the acting bug after playing a zombie on the show, The Walking Dead. I instantly knew from that moment that acting was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The excitement and thrill it gave me; How genuinely happy I felt in the moments of being on set; The hard work, long hours, seeing the finished product and being able to become something of my imagination; All are reasons why I enjoy acting and made it a career.
The BSG battle cry is Pride In Your Work. What does that phrase mean to you?
To me, pride is about being proud. So when I see the phrase “Pride In Your Work,” I immediately think of someone (like myself) who takes the necessary steps (despite how difficult it can be) in making their dreams and visions a reality; Someone who has a genuine love and passion for what they’re doing and are able to inspire others… in any career field. It also means sharing your talents and gifts so I can give others hope.
What are your personal and professional goals right now?
Some of my personal goals include the continuation of bettering myself as a human being. Rather it’s mental, physical, spiritual – I want to continue being my best self. Professionally I’m becoming more involved in creating my own projects. My goal is to now write, direct and produce my own series and films, and really be that innovative, creative person that inspires many people.
If you could talk to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give?
I would tell a younger me to 1) never give up on your dreams despite the roadblocks and challenges that come along the way. 2) Create your own opportunities; Never wait for anyone to hand you breaks. Go after them. 3) Be yourself unapologetically and embrace your differences/uniqueness. And lastly, NEVER compare your journey to someone else’s; Be patient and trust the process.
What are the most important things you do to make yourself more appealing to a potential partner?
1. Workout – It’s a MUST I keep the body tight and healthy.
2. Beauty – keeping my hair groomed and fresh.
3. Personal hygiene, making sure I smell how I look… GOOD (lol).
What’s something you recently bought that changed your life?
I recently bought a BMW 428i – and that changed the way I hit the road each day (lol). It gave me a level of confidence that trickled into other areas of my life such as beauty and fashion.
What designers, artists, trend leaders or other people are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by creative individuals who have the confidence and swagger to rock their own personal style and can care less about what others think. It inspires me to do and be more like that.
Most times I go off of how I’m feeling that day, and if I need some inspiration or ideas, Pinterest aid in that (lol). I’m also inspired from within my own circle of friends. I feel all my friends are pretty fashion forward. If I had to mention bigger names, I would say Pharrell and A$AP Rocky are very fashion forward and I tend to get ideas from their styles.