Rising Star Richard Cambridge Of Gran Turismo On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Entertainment Industry

Interview with Guernslye Honorés

Guernslye Honore
Authority Magazine

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Contribute and people notice. Vote when you’re asked to. Contribute. Take responsibility. Be informed to vote in an election even if it’s raining, even if you don’t think your vote will count. We live in a democracy you should make your name heard. Some demographics do not vote, which means their needs are not catered for and their voice is not being heard. We all need to input for the greater good, otherwise those who do vote are going to rig things in their favour even more.

As a part of our series, we had the pleasure to interview Richard Cambridge.

Richard Cambridge is a film actor and producer, known for feature film Gran Turismo, Golden Years, Hollyoaks and The IT Crowd.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in rural England with my dad, and drama was generally an escape for me. As soon as I was old enough, I got a job selling programmes in the theatre of the nearest city. It was a train ride away, so I saved every penny and as soon as I was able to I bought a rust-bucket of a car which enabled me to take more shifts and not use the train…. plus I could also have some more independence taking parts in other drama groups all around the local area. I learned to take that car apart, I upgraded it as often teenagers do, partly because of the financial benefit of doing it yourself, but I did start to understand the engineering of a car. Having a car gave me freedom I was a member of multiple drama groups all across the area growing up and loved it.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I went to a normal, comprehensive school where we didn’t really have careers advice. It was at a time where University was for the privileged and was free (YES FREE) and drama school cost a lot. I had some offers of university places to study engineering. Applying for drama schools was out of the question, they were too expensive and they weren’t for people like me. I didn’t know anyone in film or television. I didn’t know anyone in the theatre but I went to a workshop run by the actor Peter Duncan. I asked him how would one pursue this as a career and he put me in the direction of Spotlight and their directory, at the time called ‘contacts’, which listed a number of agents in London. I purchased that by mail order, promptly wrote to many of the agents and was successful in getting a meeting with one and then booked a commercial shortly afterwards. I was accepted into the National Youth theatre and spent a few summers working with them, including in the West End. I thought that I was going to be successful because of that initial win, but as it turns out, life as an actor is full of ups and downs, and there are lots of rejections along the way. I joined another agent and started auditioning, mainly for commercials, and for films though the The Stage newspaper. I was offered the lead role in a feature film, which turned out to be one of the very first DVDs produced by a company that made laser discs. This led to me working professionally as an actor ever since.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

As an actor, I’ve been lucky to be part of projects that let me travel all over the world. I remember going to South Africa to shoot a commercial. I was told it was for a tourist board, but it turned out to be the Dutch tourist board! Filming in South Africa in Cape Town! There are two main beaches one has a lovely warm ocean. The Indian Ocean and the other has a very cold cold Ocean, which has penguins swimming in it. If you stand on the top of the Table Mountain, which we did, you can see the dark blue meeting with the green. It turns out we were filming on the beach with the cold water and yes, you’ve guessed it we were jumping in and out of that water all day. I have never been so cold in my life. They had foil blankets to try and keep us warm, but I will never forget that day. We had a good time we got everything done and I returned home without frostbite, but knowing a little bit more about the tip of Africa.

It has been said that mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

In one of the first films I was in, it was a short film shot on 35mm film (which was very precious and required a lot of budget and big lights and setup). We were filming in a barn. I was sitting on straw bails in the corner of the barn up high opposite the female lead, and the huge camera, It took hours to set up. The crew and us actors were all in the corner of the building, I saw the Producer come over and speak to the director. They had a very concerned conversation and a break was called shortly after. An hour or so later, coming back on set everything was 180 degrees turned around….lights, everything all pointed out to the main barn across the farm equipment and into the darkness beyond.

We did the scene again and moved on, running late. I later spoke to the producer, just interested in what was happening. What they said was “I’m paying for this huge barn and farmyard, I want to see it.” I always remember that and I’ve taken that on board and mentioned it as carefully as can when producing my own projects.

In life, it often feels safer and easier to put ourselves cosy into a corner, but sometimes it's better to open up, embrace what’s ahead and look out into the darkness where the magic might happen.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I have a big studio film out in cinemas around the world in August 2023. That's a big deal for me. I’m working on two projects now. Day to day, I run a website for actors called WeAudition which is a website and app that lets people make better auditions. I’ve been running that with another actor friend over in Hollywood, LA, since 2015, and I’m pleased to say it’s hugely successful and enables me to help many other actors on their journey. That has been a wonderful help for me personally also. Secondly, when I get time, I’m co-writing a very exciting film which is about trust and truth and how technology can mislead us. It’s slightly political but deep down it’s a character led commercial thriller — I hope that it will find an audience.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

If you’re an artist, a filmmaker or an actor, you need a side hustle. You need another source of income — or at least the flexibility to be able to embrace opportunities when they come along and to have the resources and energy to keep going and chose your path.

I’ve been very lucky in that I started my own business in my late teens, initially helping people with their technology and making websites. A side hustle is something aside from your passion that provides a source of income. It might be a part-time job or a business. I’m proud to say that now I don’t work for others anymore as a freelancer, my programming is restricted to WeAudition, for which I’m a co-founder. It's beneficial that it is also related to acting and filmmaking.

Look after your mental health and there are certain things that I do and I would recommend doing for your mental health. I am a big fan of journaling and I can talk all day about that. I talk about that on WeAudition.com and we give some examples and templates to our members.

Making sure that you make choices in your life that keep you open to opportunity I think is very important.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

The reflective bubble effect. No diversity in the media leads to polarisation which harms everyone.

1. This sounds like catastrophizing, but we need to move towards compromise and inclusivity as a society if we are to overcome the immense struggles facing humanity. Are we really going to maximise artificial intelligence for the masses, and adapt to climate change by arguing or defining ourselves as tribes based on the 0.1% genetic difference from person to person. Remember everyone is technically 99.9% identical to every other human on earth.

When demographics produce and consume content within their own pockets of belief or culture, we get a bubble which without the ability to mix in compromise or other view opinions, reinforces that belief and polarises it. For instance, in the past white middle class people making TV content with white middle class faces, which says only the ‘higher status’ jobs/role models can be just while middle class people. That's just inaccurate.

Often stereotypes emerge or are utilised and associations are made with skin colour or other cultural bias. There is a rise in religious content being funded and produced at the present time and this in its storytelling uses this effect to its advantage.

2. Diversity is very important and I’m a big champion. Young people seeing differently abled people and different heritages of character in all careers and roles on screen remove their bias in their life going forward. It just does. WeAudition as a business is a huge supporter of this and this is something that we have been championing since day one I’m proud to say that we are very diverse community of actors, plus we actively support underrepresented demographics where we can.

It’s so important that we see a representation of the real world on our screens. I have a young family and I have made it our mission to make sure that our publications and our screen viewing covers a range of different topics, cultures, viewpoints, heritages and I’m proud of that, why should the outward facing media NOT be inclusive or representative of the real world we live in?

3. We are seeing great polarisation in viewpoints on a number of issues in society, including politically a divide between the far left and far right, when in fact most people are probably centralist, or open to debate on a lot of viewpoints.

The only way we can work together and overcome this in-fighting is by talking with each other understanding each other and having a normalisation of people representing jobs and social status’ with varying views views across all mediums with all genders, all shapes and sixes, colour of skin, and also all the other things we talk about with diversification, sexual orientation, different skills, and abilities.

I’m a big believer that everybody has super skills, just divided up in different ways, so many people who might be under represented or in lower paid jobs, might well be gifted people with extraordinary skills in certain areas that the academic institution of our society doesn’t always recognise.

It’s something I’m quite passionate about and we need to see diversity in all areas. The area of film and television is privileged in this respect in that by its nature it is viewed by others, and in that respect that gives it a responsibility to set that standard. I’m really pleased to say in recent years casting has been more inclusive. We have an opportunity as thought leaders and creators of visual and audio content to break these bubbles and see other points of view, others culture and break down barriers and reduce unconscious bias further. We also have an obligation in my opinion to create content not just for entertainment value alone.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why?

1. 80% is good enough. Move on.

Being perfect in the battle might mean…. you fail at the war.

I always want to do things better. I want to get this interview perfect, write the perfect response. Sometimes you have to just move on. It’s something from my software programming brain that I try (and often fail) to do with life. In a software startup, you design and build something and you have to see if it works. Sometimes you can be fixing problems that never exist, sometimes if you don’t release a feature or a product, you will never find out if it’s even needed, or what the bigger problem is.

Sometimes in life, good enough is good enough, and actually being perfect at one thing might mean, you fail at lots of other things.

2. Do the big things first

There’s a glass on the table with three big rocks and is it full. However, you can tip half a glass of pebbles in. They fit. Is it now full?

You can pour in half a glass of sand. Is it now full? Yes, sure…. But you can also now pour in half a glass of water!

What’s the moral of the story? is it that there’s always more that you can fit into your day? No!

If you didn’t put those big rocks in first and then the smaller rocks and then the sand and then the water there’s no way that would fit in that glass.

So you need to get the big things in your life sorted first. The small things can fit around them.

3. Don’t listen to other people say.

Don’t give a stuff about what other people say. I can’t emphasise enough if you believe it…do it, if you wanna do something…do it, it doesn’t matter what other people think what matters is what you think and the only person you can really cheat is yourself, and as Baz Luhrmann says “The race is long, and in the end, only with yourself”.

4. It’ll be ok, There is time

In the end, it’ll be okay if you believe in what you’re doing and you’re doing the work it will turn out okay if you think there’s a shortcut will you try and cheat it do you think you can get bigger results without putting in the effort are you gonna lose. Look at your feet, take one step at a time.

You’re going for a walk. It’s an all-day ‘hike’. You just put 1 foot in front of the other all day. Easy. At the end of the day, you might look up and say ‘wow I’m on the other side of the mountain — — how was possible’.

5. Vote. Have an opinion. Have a say.

Contribute and people notice. Vote when you’re asked to. Contribute. Take responsibility. Be informed to vote in an election even if it’s raining, even if you don’t think your vote will count. We live in a democracy you should make your name heard. Some demographics do not vote, which means their needs are not catered for and their voice is not being heard. We all need to input for the greater good, otherwise, those who do vote are going to rig things in their favour even more.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Journal. Mental health and mental well-being are really important to keep going.

I found journalling in adult life and it’s been a real game changer for me. I like to either write out on a piece of paper several things at the beginning of my working day if I’m working from home or if I don’t have the option to do that, without fail, I always do a set of 30 things in my mind to myself. I say certain questions to myself and it reframes my mind to be more positive and productive during the day.

We incorporated this into WeAudition and I was brave enough to share some of my findings and my own journals with the community and it’s been very popular. During the Covid lockdown time, I did live journaling on camera… a bit of a leap of faith really but over 12,000 people joined us for sessions every morning at 9 am UK time. It possibly might have been more if I were sensible and did it at a US friendly time, but I did it in many ways. We have now extended some of the popular concepts into printable sheets that members can download and fill out or complete online. The format is some affirmations and gratitude, some to-dos and just reframing of the mind making lists of positive things. I find it really changed my perspective for the better.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire 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. :-)

I’d like to see universal income to cut down on bureaucracy of government and welfare. So humans don’t need to worry about paying the bills and feeding themselves. There are some really difficult questions to be asked and answers to be given with the advent of AI and robotics and we are moving into time for humanity whereby we may go into more into the bubbles and tiers of essentially rich poor without a middle class. I hope we can collectively overcome some of the obstacles be able to feed everyone and support the planet.

A universal income would cut the need for means testing, and bureaucracy, and cut the need for people to have to get a job when there are non available because everything has closed and robots do all the work. It could also be the start of creating opportunities and businesses for some people, but it will take away the inequality of education and opportunity across generations that is inherently in the capitalist system now and the quashing of reward for hard work that exists in the alternative more socialist society.

I think it’s something we need to look at in the future and I hope when AI is involved with government, which it will be, it comes up, and there’s implemented that works for all humans not for big corporations and their shareholders — which is the alternative more likely outcome.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m grateful to my wife Hermione for everything that she does. We’re a good team. She’s a big part of my life and I’m very grateful to her.

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

It’s a marathon not a sprint. If you’re a creative, you need to have other things in your world, but also you need to take care of yourself in your mind for when the opportunity comes along.

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, especially if we tag them. :-)

I don’t think they’re gonna see this I don’t think they’re gonna reach out, but I would love to have a dinner with my grandma. I love to sit down with my wife and my granny together. I think that they would get on. They are so similar in many ways and I think they’d like each other. They never got to meet in person, just missing each other by a few weeks.

That got deep unexpectedly.

On that note, I’d better leave you to it. Thank you for your questions, thank you for having me!

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram @richcambridge

Please DM me and say that you read the interview, it would be great to connect with your readers.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

You also! Thank you.

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Guernslye Honore
Authority Magazine

Guernslye Honoré, affectionately known as "Gee-Gee", is an amalgamation of creativity, vision, and endless enthusiasm.