An interview with “The Guestbook” Star Carly Jibson

[EDITOR’S NOTE- WE ARE AGAIN STRUGGLING WITH OUR PHOTOS LOADING. WE WILL WORK WITH OUR DEVELOPERS OVER THE WEEKEND AND/OR THROW OUR MACBOOK INTO A POOL… PLEASE BARE WITH US]

Gosh, we just love promoting fun and new stars as they start making it big! Lizzo… is it too late for an interview? Yes… okay… that’s fine.

Well, we lucky caught Carly Jibson via Instagram and email and wrote a brief article on her, recently! And, she agreed to chat with us for one of our infamous 10 question interviews! Well, there’s no need to delay. Let’s find out what she told us!

Bold Magazine: Carly, we recently connected after finding you on The Guest Book. Tell us about your experience on the show! 

Carly Jibson: The guestbook is, to date, is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had! Having both the luxury and freedom to develop a true one-of-a-kind character like “Tickles” was incredibly liberating and humbling. Now, I realize that might sound strange being that we are talking about a foul mouthed, blackmailing, stripper from the mountains, BUT, getting to discover and then play the duality of her from season one to season two, was so creatively fulfilling. It also doesn’t hurt having a leader like Greg. I cannot speak highly enough about what it is like to work under the twisted genius that is Greg Garcia. He is as kind, patient and generous as he is masterful, humorous and always in control. He leads with respect and grace in a way that creates such an incredible environment that encourages you to not only flourish, but grow. I had the BEST time on this show. Watching each guest star come in and do their thing each episode was like taking a master class in comedy. Of all the jobs that I have had, I think I will miss this one most of all. RIP Tickles. 

Bold Magazine: LOL- Twisted Genius? Only the right people will know that’s a true compliment! So, Carly, how long have you been acting for? 

Carly Jibson: WAIT, ARE WE EVER NOT ACTING?!? Lol!! I mean, that’s hard to answer. I’ve been attempting to entertain people through humor my entire life, but I’ve only been getting paid to do it since I was 16, lol…almost half my life I suppose? I don’t know, I can’t really remember a time that I wasn’t doing this. 

Bold Magazine: Hah! Yes, we are always acting! But, you also sing? Tell us about that? What’s this concert we’re reading about? 

Carly Jibson: I do sing! You know, it’s sooo interesting because for the first decade of my career that is what I was known for. It wasn’t until recently that I realized since I moved to LA to put all of my energy and focus into Film and Television that I sort of…unintentionally left that part of me behind…and that kind of made me really sad. Someone recently said to me “Oh, I didn’t know you sang.” And I was like, “Really, queen? Dang…” So I’ve been thinking maybe it’s time to dust off the pipes and show the children what we do! Although, now I’m nervous that I’m gonna be all rusty and dusty cause…it’s been a minute! But, stay tuned. She might be belting a tune near you quite soon! 

Bold Magazine: Dust them off! Dust the off! Carly, how’d you get into acting and performance? 

Carly Jibson: Well, okay…instead of giving you the quintessential “I got scouted out of high school at 17” story (which I did) that I’ve told a million times…I will share with you a never before told story about the FIRST time I ever sang in public. Now I warn you, this might make me sound like a diabolical sociopath, but in the name of comedy, that is a risk I am willing to take…

I was about 6 or 7 years old and my grammar school was putting on one of those end of the year performances for the parents. You know, the one where you make your own costumes (multi-colored marker paper bags as masks) type things, anyway our grade was doing a song called “Michigan,” because that where we lived. Now, weeks prior auditions had been held and there was a spot for a solo in the middle of our grades song and I wanted that solo more than I wanted the new life size Barbie doll that had just hit the shelves that fall. I practiced and practiced and I had it DOWN. I was a shoe in! There was no way Mrs. D wasn’t gonna give it to me…or so I thought. When they announced that another girl had won the featured solo, I was crushed. She wasn’t even that good! (Okay, the reality is, she was probably ADORABLE and deserving) but I was a hubris, selfish 7 year old and I just couldn’t accept that! Cut to: the day of the show, y’all. We were all getting ready in the classroom getting ready to walk down to the caf-a-tor-rium (hybrid cafeteria, auditorium, gymnasium) and I could tell that our little soloist was looking a little nervous, so I went to….comfort her. I asked her if she was okay, was she nervous, was the idea of messing up in front of the whole school and having everyone laugh at her giving her anxiety. Was she afraid of throwing up…you know the kind of questions you ask someone when you’re trying to be “helpful.” (I told you, this story does NOT make me look good.) Before we knew it, it was showtime. We walked down the hall and I offered to hold her hand. She was having a full Judy Garland meltdown before my little eyes and I began to feel nervous that she wasn’t going to be able to pull this off, maybe I went too far? I just wanted to shake her up a little bit, not send her over the edge! Well, the number started and it wasn’t long until it was solo time. The music began to vamp and…nothing. She froze. She was completely frozen. Everyone was looking around. What do we do? Mrs. D gave an encouraging nod and began to play the solo music again, but still…nothing. The crowd began to stir, we were falling off the rails!! The 5th graders started to snicker, this was a disaster! So….I did what any heroic person in a emergency would do….I stepped forward and sang the SHIT out of that solo. And that began the beginning of my career. LOLZ! 

Now, you may think I’m a full blown monster for this, but that girl grew up to become a nurse! And if I hadn’t derailed her dreams of being a singer at the age of 7, then we would have one less REAL hero in the world. So, YOU’RE WELCOME, AMERICA! Lol! 

Bold Magazine: Oh dear God, we can just imagine little “encouraging” Carly. Speaking of other jobs, was there ever another dream? Or a different resume? We always find it fun and interesting to hear about our interviewees previous lives before they “made it.” 

Carly Jibson: No. Never. I mean I’ve been very fortunate and have not had to have many “survival jobs.” Though I did bartend from time to time, and genuinely enjoy that! I would STILL do that now! It’s really fun! 

Bold Magazine: Awesome! We hope it’s okay to say that you’ve just recently been on a lot of folks’ radars. What’s it like seeing your dreams come true and seeing your face on the small screen? 

Carly Jibson: Of course it’s OK! Anyone in this industry will tell you that it takes 10+ years to become a “overnight sensation.” 

Yeah, it’s really wild. There is never a time that you see your own mug on the screen and feel completely comfortable with it. It’s hard to not immediately start picking yourself apart and think “oh shit, that’s the day I started my period. I was so bloated and my skin looks like oatmeal!” It’s especially hard in this day in age with HD and 4K not doing ANYONE any favors and it is impossible to hide your imperfections. But then you just say, “whatever, I’m human, and this isn’t about ME, it’s about telling a story, and that’s more important than insecurity or vanity.” Plus, at this point it is what it is, and the check already cleared, so fuck it! 

Bold Magazine: Well, we are all about imperfections here. Feel free to find comfort in your humanity. Carly, you played Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray on Broadway! What do you like better? Screen or stage?  

Carly Jibson: They are completely different animals. There really is no comparing the two. I love them both for different reasons. There’s nothing like a live audience, and a live show. The energy, the feeling of being shot out of a cannon and whatever happens, happens. It’s magic. But I will say that TV and film speaks to my sensibilities more. I like the ever changing element. I like working really hard on something giving it everything you have and then throwing it away, leaving it there and moving onto the next thing. There’s something very challenging about it that I enjoy. The only thing I would say I miss, is the audience response. The first couple scenes I did on the guestbook I remember thinking “um…am I not funny,” (because there was no audible laughter) so getting used to relying on your instincts is critical, and again part of the new challenge that I enjoy. 

Bold Magazine: So true- that has to be a challenge. Speaking of challenges, talk to us about your body positivity. What does being body positive mean to you? 

Carly Jibson: You know, this is been a very interesting “hot topic” lately and I’ve been getting asked this a lot, which is so interesting because for the longest time, nobody talked about it!

For me, I just think it’s such a strange thing to talk about. Not because I’m offended or anything but because it is so odd to me to attempt to quantify someone by something that is ultimately…a variable. It’s not who I AM. It’s something that fluctuates and can change and alter at any given time, so being qualified by that terminology and or put in some sort of category as a result of it is such a very confusing concept to me. To be honest, until recently I haven’t even given this much thought. I’ve always been incredibly comfortable in my skin, at any weight, because it isn’t “who” I am. My weight doesn’t ultimately define me, my ability or my character. 

As far as working in the business in concerned, I’ve been lucky enough to play characters that have been written by intelligent and brave writers that do not rely on the cheapness of that narrative to get the laugh. And that is what I look for in roles and truly what I am eventually trying to change in this industry. I’m not interested in apologizing for who I am and order to be deemed worthy. I’m not interested in making a joke first about the way I look in order to gain acceptance. Listen, I take ZERO issue with actors who have made a career out of that and I certainly don’t hate their hustle, I have a great deal of respect for it, and in a lot of ways they paved the way, but it’s time to redefine our idea of “tolerance” and “acceptance.” I think the only way to truly do that is stop making beautiful, talented, gifted actors do and say demeaning things for other peoples entertainment. Why does she have to be “fat Amy?” Why can’t she just be Amy and deliver the exact same brilliant performance? I just don’t get it. I mean don’t get me wrong, I LOVE making jokes, I’m just not interested in being one. 

With that being said, it’s a hard dichotomy because in order to live bravely in the world, you have to be confident and have pride in who you are and sometimes that gets misconstrued with people thinking you’re trying propagate or condone some kind of “unhealthy lifestyle.” And that’s not my gig, at all. All I’m trying to say is that life is a journey, and we are all at different stages of our journeys at different times and the most important message is; no matter where you are in said journey, you are ALLOUD to love yourself and celebrate exactly who you are. 

This concept can prove to be difficult for some to swallow, and I have found that people don’t always support that way of thinking. They don’t always love when you’re unaffected by their judgement. But I have found that the types of people who take issue with the way I look, dress or choose to live my life unapologetically is because they, themselves, cannot. And I decided a long time ago that one “weight” I would NEVER carry, is the insecurities of other people. 

Bold Magazine: We love that you’re working with those writers. We have some “Official Bold Bosses” like Janet Conroy-Quirk who really try to find the same kinds of writers. So….. here’s a question… You’ve been posting some fun, yet vague posts on social media on some new projects. We’re sure you won’t give us all the good stuff. But, what can you share?

Carly Jibson: Sadly, I can’t say anything just yet, but I do have some really fun stuff coming down the pipe that I can’t WAIT for people to see! I can tell you this, it will be a nod to the early part of my career…she’s dusting off her dancing heels…

Bold Magazine: Ah! Blast! We thought we’d try. Lastly, Carly, what makes you BOLD?

Carly Jibson: I really think boldness comes from self love. Now, I know that sounds like a really easy thing to say, but it isn’t truly easy to DO. Self love is a daily practice. It’s about figuring out who you are, giving yourself persmission to be that, and trying like hell not be be afraid of it. I think living boldly is really just about figuring out what’s really importantly in life, free from influence by anything else. And that is the greatest struggle. Because honestly, it isn’t about anyone else’s idea of success, happiness or truth. This is YOUR life. It isn’t about “checking boxes” or reaching achievements. It isn’t about money, fame or adoration. All of that is fun and nice, but it’s ultimately fleeting and empty. I think it’s about trying to leave this world a little better than you found it whilst always pushing to be the best version of yourself, and realizing that the process comes with many pitfalls, but recognizing that those “failures” are way more important than the “triumphs.” Because those are the moments that really teach you who you are and, if you let them, can be the most liberating and humiliating moments of catharsis. To me, being bold. …is being YOU, flaws and all and celebrating that every moment you’re blessed to be alive. 

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