We had the good fortune of connecting with Tony Vivio and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tony, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’m someone who has lived by mostly taking risks. Risk is something that appears frightening at first, but it can ultimately be the best decision you’ve ever made. As someone who loves to perform, the biggest risk I ever took was leaving home and moving to Los Angeles in order to pursue my career goals. Some might think it’s very easy to do – but let me tell you it isn’t. So many other things factor in to you moving states and starting over. There are also so many things that you have to consider when you go for something that you aspire to be. But if you don’t go for it and at least try, you’ll never know if it was worth it. Failure isn’t something I think about anymore. If I were to try something and it didn’t work, I wouldn’t consider that failure. I would consider that having done what you could, and if anything, you’ve educated yourself further. Something not working out is only an extension of how we learn. Every single day I wake up, I continue to think about the next risk. All I can say and suggest for anyone who feels trapped in a life that they don’t feel belongs to them – take the risk and change it. We only have one life. Let’s make it a happy one. Don’t settle just because you think that’s all you’re worth.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love to tell stories. All types of stories. The ones that focus on truth, ones that focus on curiosity, and the ones that leave people open minded by the end. I want people to see something of mine and leave feeling inspired. I want them to leave motivated, educated and on a path to generate an important dialogue. Last summer I directed a short video project that dealt with Black Lives Matter and it was a very important piece that I wanted to put out into the world. It was a short contribution that I could give to remind others to be kind to one another. It’s important we remind each other on a daily basis to spread love and kindness. We all have bad days but the beauty of the next day ahead is that we are restored grace. It is renewed and we have the chance to try again. Lead your life with empathy and compassion. The stories I want to tell I will make sure include both of those things. I want people to laugh, I want them to cry. I want them to feel everything. Stories can provide so much wonder and really nurture the soul in several ways. I hope the stories I tell can give people hope. To say this journey has been easy would be a lie. It’s been a struggle but one that I’m still willing to fight for. Each day I have to find a new thing to focus on in order to keep the motivation. We’re all human and we all have bad days. It’s important that we don’t allow those bad days to get the better of us. It’s imperative that we listen to our bodies when they tell us something is wrong. If we don’t, we won’t have the energy in order to stay afloat and keep going for what we want. No matter how hard the struggle, road blocks, or curve balls that life throws at you – keep pining. This life offers us a chance to live it to the best of our abilities. I want the world to know that your dreams are important, that life is what you make it, you get what you give, and that its okay to not be okay all the time. Part of your success is climbing up a very scary ladder and upon the way you may stumble and even fall off of it once or twice, but the goal is that you keep climbing and you don’t allow the ground beneath you to scare you. They say one step at a time. So take that ladder one step at a time. Climb it carefully, move at a glacial pace if you need, and just take a deep breath along the way. You’re going to be fine.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many fun places that come to mind. One of them being Universal Studios. It’s almost a crime if you don’t treat someone to the experience that is Universal Studios. Personally speaking. Of course I’m bias because my love for film is extremely high whereas it may not be the case for everyone else. But it’s a Los Angeles staple. It’s the place that you can see what makes Hollywood for all that it is. The famous sets, buildings and so much more. It’s a historical landmark. Not to mention it has rides. So you’re getting both a film education and an adrenaline rush. Need I say more? The places I recommend eating include Anejo Cantina and Grill = serving up delicious food and cocktails. You can find this fun hot spot over in Sherman Oaks, California. In addition, make sure you walk the entire strip of West Hollywood and dine at Fiesta Cantina while you’re at it. If you’re someone who enjoys a good drink, socializing and a delicious tower of nachos with everything on them – look no further. I can go on for hours about all the places I personally love – but for now I’ll stick with the aforementioned suggestions above

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are plenty of people I can credit for my small successes thus far. It all begins with the people back home. My family and my dearest friends who’ve always supported me. My champions, the ones who have said from the beginning that I was talented and creative. Words can provide a ton of power. Some people think words don’t hold anything but I assure you that they do. Words of encouragement can go a long way. So yes, I want to take this moment to shout out my wonderful family. My sister Shannon, my brother Kevin, my father, and my late mother who unfortunately isn’t with us anymore but I know that she watches over me every single day. I believe in some magical way she is still with me in spirit. My mother was my biggest fan and the strongest supporter of every dream I’ve ever had. I have to thank her the most. She rooted for me in times that I couldn’t even root for myself. The second set of people I need to shout out are my friends. It’s important to surround yourself with honest, loyal and loving friends. The friends that will tell you the truth no matter what. The ones that will never put your dreams down and make you feel less than. The people you need in your circle are the ones that will give you undying love and support. It’s not to say that you can’t have friends who rip off the band-aid, so to speak, and really lay it down for you when you need to hear something you try to avoid. You need that as well. So yes, I want them to be known. I have an entire list of names I wish I could put here. But if they’re my true friends and they’re reading this, then they know exactly who they are. My phone only holds a handful of numbers – and if you’re in it – then you’re on this list of THANK YOU’s. I love you all.

Instagram: @tonyvivio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TonyVivio

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmA_CK9dlDj3FD5tOHBxJbw

Image Credits
Lacey Wood, Melissa Lomeli and Art Barbosa.

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