2002 graduate finds success on the small screen

Carly Jibson, a 2002 graduate of Shores, has found success on the stage and small screen. (courtesy photo)

Carly Jibson, a 2002 graduate of Shores, has found success on the stage and small screen. (courtesy photo)

Meghan Adams, Staff Writer

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From the Shores auditorium to Broadway in New York and finally to Hollywood, Carly Jibson has come along way.

It all started in the music program at Shores, but now, Jibson can be seen on not one, but two, television shows.
The first to come along was The Guest Book, which is a half hour sitcom on TBS.

“(When I saw the role,) I read a woman who was ferocious, unapologetic, strong, funny, sexy and witty, and get this – not one mention of her physical appearance. And guess what, 15 years later, I was back in fishnets and corsets again and was never more ready,” said Jibson referring to her TV role as Vivian, who is a bikini bar owner, after Jibson wore the same items while performing at Shores in Guys and Dolls.

Next came One Mississippi, which can be seen Amazon. Jibson said she had been a big fan of comedian Tig Notaro, and as soon as she heard, they were casting a big role for season 2, she knew she had to be a part of it.

“I was really moved by all of the subject matter, but mostly the way they dealt with the death of Tig’s mother on the show. I felt like I had never seen it spoken about or handled with so much authentic truth,” Jibson said. “There was no way I was leaving that room without the job – and I didn’t.”

That go-get ‘em attitude began at Shores, where she performed in three musicals – Joseph and the Amazing

Technicolor Dreamcoat as Potiphar’s Wife, Guys and Dolls as Adelaide and West Side Story as Anita.

“Every role taught me something different about myself because it challenged me,” Jibson said. “Guys and Dolls was a tricky one because it was my first time being the lead in a show. Having that pressure and responsibility, I learned what leadership was and how important it was to be an example.”

After high school, Jibson promptly moved to New York to pursue her Broadway dreams, auditioning for the First National Tour of Hairspray, where she eventually secured the lead role of Tracy Turnblad, which she played until 2005.
This role, being her first, changed her life forever, she said, because it gave her the ability to do what she loved and meet many new people along the way.

“It was also a crash course in education that you really can’t put a price on,” Jibson said.

While working on Hairspray, she landed a role in another Broadway show, Crybaby as Pepper Walker. The show opened on Broadway in the spring of 2008.

After her Broadway shows, Jibson took time off to find out who she truly was.

“I was 18 years old when all of my dreams came true. It happened so fast, so many changes, so much growing up in such a short amount of time,” Jibson said. “It’s easy to lose sight of who you are, when you’re in the midst of what you’re doing.”

While in her off time, Jibson started writing stories, producing concerts, and even made an album.

“It was the best and most confusing time of my life, but incredibly necessary,” she said. “I will always refer to it as ‘the crash of 24.’”

During this time, Jibson discovered she was done with theater.

“It just didn’t fulfill me the way it once did, and I really struggled with that realization,” Jibson said.

Three months after her mother passed away, Jibson packed up everything and moved to Los Angeles to start a new life.

“I was too broken to be scared at that point,” she said. “All bets were off because it was time to go do what I promised my mother I would do: live.”

In her adventitious move, Jibson landed her two current roles.

She said she has been struggling with that since she arrived in Hollywood.

“I had to pass on a lot of jobs. Jobs that went on to make other people lots of money,” Jibson said. “My overall objective was more important to me than just being able to say I had ‘made it.’ If you’re not doing things with any moral convictions or on your terms, that’s not really ‘making it.’”

Jibson said she is now living out her best life.

“It’s been a lot of ups and downs, and that’s putting it lightly, but I’m 33 years old, and when I look back at what I have accomplished so far in the 15 years of my professional career, I’m very proud,” she said. “The best advice I can give is to have a strong sense of who you are. This industry is all about judgment, competition, disappointment, soaring highs and devastating lows. We are all dying, okay; we can’t avoid that. And that’s the equalizer; that’s big joke at the end of all this. You work hard, you learn, live, love and then die, but the best way to do it on your terms, honestly, is to soak in all the joy that you can. That’s how you win. Do the best you can, be the best person you can and never take life too seriously.”

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