There are times in our lives when very special people drop in and make a large impression. In my case it was Tommy Garrett from Highlight Hollywood. We have been virtual friends for what seems like forever now and recently he asked if he could do an interview of me. It can be found here
- I grew up in the Southern U.S. And I grew up around a lot of elderly ladies, who were widows. These ladies taught me that I could do anything I dreamed of, and I listened. My teachers were all very supportive, and growing up next door to a great-grandmother and a grandmother as well, helped to build the confidence I needed within myself to succeed, I believe. Being surrounded by love and people who encouraged me taught me that no matter what I wanted to do, that it was never impossible. Tommy lightfoot Garrett My godfather was Telly Savalas, and he taught me to dream big. I had several very famous mentors, including Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck and the Bell family (creators of The Young and the Restless and the Bold and the Beautiful,) and Aaron Spelling, who was considered a god in Television - (Dynasty, Fantasy Island, Love Boat, Charlie's Angels), you name it, he did it. Surrounding myself around successful people I credit with my inner happiness and courage and confidence.
- I generally read between four to seven books at any one time, catching at least 2-10 chapters of each per night. I could never sit and read one book at a time. My mind is constantly racing for interesting things and interesting subjects. So, I have at least 4-8 by my bedside each night.
Q. What’s the first thing you look for when reviewing a book Tommy?
- Authenticity. The story has to be real to the writer. The writer must somehow passionately convey the first chapter to me, or it's almost a loss from that moment on. There's only one book I couldn't finish, "The Clan of the Cave Bear." It just felt so inauthentic. I felt like the author [Jean M. Auel] was trying to describe too much, it was as if she seemed to be trying to convince herself, so it didn't interest me to complete it, and I desperately tried." I have enjoyed many of her other books very much.
Q. I’m nutty about pets, as you know Tommy. Will you tell me about yours?
- I have a Cocker Spaniel dog and several cats. Animals are unique, in that they only want to love you, and receive love, and food and water. They are simply evolved to teach us how to love unconditionally. I love birds too. If I could keep up with the cleaning, I'd have many birds. They interest me very much.
Q. During a bit of research a while back I noticed that you were an author. Do you self publish? How many books have you written and in what genre?
- I self publish some of my books, and have had others published by a publishing company. It's important that I work at my own pace and I find that publishers push deadlines a lot. I have enough of them of my own, and I am self-motivated, so, I don't need anyone to tell me what I should do and how to do it. So, self publishing has been a dream for that reason alone. View Tommy's books on Amazon Here
- No, I don't have time for hobbies, nor an interest in them. I think hobbies are to fill time. I frankly don't have time that I need to fill up with anything at all. Life and work keep me busy, and hobbies you have to take time, you have to do it often to be good at it. I don't like sports, I don't play cards, I have no interest in video games, and instead of being on a golf course listening to boring chatter or a tennis court sweating, I'd rather be getting something productive and most of all, important to me, done.
Q. I’m guessing your current job is quite stressful at times. Would you ever want to change jobs and if so what would you like to do?
- Stressful is putting it mildly. I work very much with people that are high-energy, high-end and high maintenance. It's what I do best. But, I'm lucky that at this point in my personal and professional lives, that I choose who I want to work with and for, so no, I would never change what I am doing. I can't imagine doing anything else. And stress is simply part of life, its' a good thing, I suppose. I don't have diabetes or hypertension, so I suppose my stress is mainly good and conducive to organizing and setting goals, not pulling my hair out, as if that'd be possible at this point.
Q. What type of people really get your back up?
- The only type of person I have no empathy for, no need to be around or even to know, is a bigot. I had a neighbor in my childhood who worked for the CIA, and he traveled the world, especially the Third World, the Middle East, Sub Continent, you name it, he was very flawed, but one thing he taught me, that has stuck with me, is that only a fool or a moron hates others for things they have no control over. The fact that America is a very racist country bothers me to a great extent, to the point that I simply won't deal with a bigot or a racist. And even worse to me than a racist, is a person who denies that the person is a racist, as if I'm stupid and wouldn't recognize it. I grew up in the South, I recognize racism, just like people who grow up in a rain forest recognizes reptile life. So, at this point in my life, I've probably lived most of the years I will be alive on this earth. To waste a moment, hour or ten seconds arguing with idiots who claim they are not racist, they just don't like someone is not worth my time. And I have a keen ability, always have, even in childhood, that once I am done with a person, I never go back, there's no looking back, no second chances, no hard feelings, just nothing.
Q. When you attend various events. Do you want to laugh or comment when someone comes along in an ‘unusual’ design?
- No, I think at this point in my career seeing odd things or unusual things or designs is a part of life. There's nothing usual or normal or boring in my business. I think I'd laugh if I was in a room filled with usual people at this point. And I have an ability not to show anyone my emotions or what I really feel. I'd say it has come in handy over the years.
Q. You live in the whirlwind world of showbiz – how do you chill out?
- Taking a long walk or a short nap. Reading is very important to me. I have absolutely no desire to be around people, so when I'm not around them, I'm happiest. As a child I never endured or exhibited boredom, and as an adult I found out that was only because most kids or most people don't like to be around themselves, don't want to use their minds. They want to be around people all the time to stimulate them mentally and emotionally. I love silence, I could live in Siberia and never see people or go outside. I love solitude, others seem to be impossibly unhappy with it, not me! I live for the day to shut it all down, social media, the Internet and to just be amongst the things and people I choose to be with. I don't need external things or a lot of people around me to be happy.
Q. How do you stay so trim and impeccably turned out Tommy? What do you wear to relax?
- I don't eat a lot, I don't get hungry. I can go a few days with just water and juice. So, I don't snack on things as many people do. I like fresh fruit and veggies and water. So, my weight has not been a problem thus far. I love pyjamas when I relax. I could stay in them all day.
Q. Do you have a strict diet Tommy?
- Not intentionally. I just don't like fattening foods or junk food. So, it's not a self imposed diet, just my tastes are simple, I guess.
- Work, enjoying what I do. It's always hilarious to me that I have people trying to stir controversy, by defending a person they don't even know except on TV or in a film, and many of these people I've known for years. So, work stimulates and excites. And I detest people who try to pick fights with me. That's not smart or safe or sane. And I am done with that person forever once it is attempted. I don't need excitement, my life is exciting enough. I am living my dream, I work hard even to this day, when probably I don't have to, and would still be just as successful. So, I don't like drama. I like peace.
- I have a syndicated classic TV show "Hollywood Classics," I've done films and yes, I enjoy the lightheartedness of it, but it's also a lot of work. So, I try to just do what I do, I try to just enjoy my work, because I realize I have worked very hard to do these things.
- I made a goal when I was a child never to appear on TV or in a film and not wear a suit. I think being in someone's living room is not only an honor, but I owe them respect, and that's my way of doing it. So far, the TV execs and film directors have allowed that in my contract. I wouldn't do a role if I couldn't wear a suit and tie.
Q. Finally Tommy, you have a special interest in the veterans of war. Can you tell us a bit about that?
- Yes, since 2011 our troops have been fighting wars overseas and I know how tough it is for them to be away from their homes, their families and friends. So, I write to dozens of them per day and send care packages once a week to support them. Everything that I am doing is a direct result of living in a free country and the Western World. Freedom is not free, so I won't ever forget the people who make my life and my happiness, freedoms and safety possible.
- I should also add that other than racists, I revile sexual predators, and have used my power in the industry and my media presence to always stand up for victims and fight against sexual predators, and in this (entertainment) industry, it's rampant.
Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
8549 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 697
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
So there you have it my little chickadees. An exciting insight into the Tinsel Town world of Tommy Lightfoot Garrett and I should probably add that this is not Tommy's private address in Beverly Hills :-)