Meet Richard Shelton from London who moved to LA 4 years ago to pursue both his music and acting careers.
|photography Vern Evans|
Was there a particular reason you chose LA?
Dreams can come true! I portrayed Frank Sinatra in the hard-hitting drama, ‘Rat Pack Confidential’ in London’s West End (nominated ‘ Best Actor in a Leading Role’) and it confirmed a fascination both with him, and the lives of the Hollywood acting and music greats. I wanted to experience LA for myself, to see where those dreams became realities, and make my own dreams come true.
I’d enjoyed success in the U.K. including being a series regular, Dr Adam Forsythe, in ‘ Emmerdale’; singing at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club, for Prince Charles at Windsor Castle, at Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara Ball and with the BBC Concert Orchestra, but I still felt I wanted to grow and develop in America. LA was the right place to start following my dreams.
|photography Vern Evans|
Recording my album, ‘An Englishman in Love in LA’ at Capitol Studios alongside Sinatra’s band mates saw that dream come true, and I am very honoured to have received great reviews including; "Richard Shelton is a superior singer who tips his hat to a legend with grace and elegance on An Englishman In Love In L.A. - an album that Sinatra himself would be proud of. Well done! ★★★★" - Edward Blanco, All About Jazz
and "His selection of material is as impeccable as his wardrobe, and his style is shark skin sharp." - George Harris, Jazz Weekly
I’ve also appeared in ‘House of Lies’ and had a recurring role in ‘Jane the Virgin’ on TV. So, provided you’re prepared to work hard, dreams really can come true!
What do you miss most from home?
The small things - the every day London banter; ambling around Soho and going for an espresso in Bar Italia; poking around a bookshop;deciding to go to Columbia Flower Market on a whim.
|photo from Londonist.com|
What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? The endless possibility and scope to dream which hasn’t changed. When I watched ‘La La Land’, it summed it all up very nicely.
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus London? How long it takes to get anywhere and the necessity to plan! In London, I’d cycle everywhere.
The journey from East Dulwich to central London is only 30-minutes and I love the feeling of freedom of being on my bike. It also means you can be more spontaneous which appeals to me. But driving to auditions and meetings in LA is certainly a more comfortable and a much cooler way to travel. And if I don’t get the job, well, at least I’m rejected in the sunshine!
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us? A hike up Fryman Canyon! The steep ascent gets the heart racing and the long, slow descent allows you to dream all you like.
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here? I’m a big believer in the saying, 'We come this way but once and our time here is brief.' If there’s something you want to do in life - and you have the capacity - do it! But be clear why you’re coming. Be clear what you have to offer and keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. And then, most importantly, enjoy it!
Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given? The best advice I was given was harsh but true. Don’t ask what LA can give you. Rather, ask what you can give to LA.
Lastly, how can we find out more about you? Are you working on anything at the moment?
Lot’s of places! I’m performing my Edinburgh Festival sell-out show, ‘Sinatra and Me’ on Friday 20th January
at Vitello’s Club,
which looks at the life long synchronicity between my life and Sinatra’s, plus music from my recent album, ‘An Englishman in Love in LA’. I’m very proud of the wonderful review from Bonnie Priever who caught the show at Catalina Jazz Bar on Sunset Boulevard in December - ‘Richard Shelton - the essence of cool’ -
VIP - Text 'Shelton' to 22828
Website - www.richardshelton.co.uk
Twitter - @RichardShelton
Facebook - @Richard Shelton