Thomas Orlina - Creator, Host and Executive Producer
Thomas Orlina is a Creator, Host and Executive Producer based in Los Angeles. A childhood fascination with show business led to a degree in Cinema and Television Arts at CSUN and then a career in the entertainment industry. Inspired by his family, Thomas took on many jobs behind the camera before following his passion to be on camera and creating the docu-series reality show Your Time With Thomas. He is currently working on his talk show Two Besties Together with his best friend Malia Baldovi, and the two recently released the single “Summer Vibes”. Thomas is a force— creating and working and pursuing his goals, with plenty more coming!
How did you create your career path? And were you always interested in entertainment?
I started off by attending Cal State University Northridge. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the Cinema and Television Arts program and began working in the entertainment industry. From working in publicity to business legal affairs dealing with talk shows and unscripted reality TV to eventually corporate communications in the film division. During my journey with these various jobs, I found my passion in on-camera hosting and producing that led me to developing and creating my own content. Ever since I was 5 years old, I’ve loved show business and was fascinated with the entertainment industry.
Why did you start Your Time With Thomas? What was the favorite experience with YTWT?
I’ve always been a very creative person and when I found the time to produce my own content, I went for it and developed my own docu-series reality TV show. Being on-camera as talent is something I truly enjoy so I figured why not make my own show and talk about things I feel people would be interested in. It’s a one of a kind concept and I’m proud of it and grateful for all the opportunities it has brought me. The show requires you to put your personal life on the internet and I’m thankful to have gained a lot of interest from the media and from people around the world who are still connected with me to this day. My favorite part of the experience was being able to show people what I can do creatively and also having the ability to connect with people who felt inspired by the show or felt connected with me on one of the topics discussed in the episodes.
Who/what has been instrumental in your personal and creative growth?
My family continues to inspire me and is a big component to my personal growth. I have a dad and mom who juggled two jobs each growing up and two sisters who are constantly working so I’ve been around hardworking people and that has given me the foundation to continue to work hard for what I want in life. Creatively I find my growth from following entertainers like Ryan Seacrest, Paris Hilton, the Kardashians and other celebrities who’ve given me motivation to continue to evolve and build my personal brand. Every person that I’ve met in the entertainment industry like producers, publicists, makeup artists, hairstylists and studio executives have all been fundamental to providing me with knowledge, keeping me fresh and forward thinking when it comes to me being the talent and staying current.
What is the inspiration behind Two Besties Together? And what is it like working with your best friend?
As the creator of “Two Besties Together,” rather than having it be like “Your Time With Thomas,” which was a docu-series reality TV format, I opted to make a talk show format for this project. It’s a talk show that includes three segments which are called “The Topic”, “The Product” and “The Throwback.” It’s a fun and interactive show. We feature our friends and followers like Celebrity Fashion Designer, Michael Costello, Global Beauty Guru, Patrick Starrr and Grammy Award Winner Cardi B in a special section of the show which we call, “Besties Of The Week,” where people from around the world submit their photos with their besties. It’s been a great experience working with my bestie Malia on this show because we’re having fun on-camera and impacting our viewers with subject matters that are important to us. Through the show we’ve found other passions we wanted to explore like music, writing a song together and dancing.
Your single “Summer Vibes” just came out, how did you two work together on that?
After we completed the first season of “Two Besties Together,” we wanted to add a new layer to our resumes and decided we were going to enter the music industry and collaborate by writing a song. We knew we wanted to write a song that was going to resonate and be impactful to our fans and something that sounded timeless. We got together with our friend, musician, Kyle Rutchland and came up with the lyrics for our song “Summer Vibes.” We spent time writing it together and recorded the song in the recording studio. Everything we did was filmed so we look forward to sharing with our fans and followers our journey from behind the scenes. We worked with choreographer Cameron Lee who’s worked with Britney Spears and most recently performed at the Billboard Music Awards with Paula Abdul. We wanted the song to include choreography and so he created an original dance routine for the song. We finished shooting the Los Angeles themed music video with director Jimmy Page. Both Malia and I participated in directing the video with him. We’re excited for the release of the music video which is coming up very soon.
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How important is representation and visibility of Filipino Americans in your work?
It’s extremely important to represent for the Filipino-American community. I’ve been an advocate for Filipinos for a long time and always try to include something about my heritage in almost every project that I do. Episode 5 of “Your Time With Thomas,” focuses on the Filipino community. Last year I visited the Philippines for the first-time and was featured on CNN. It was a surreal experience to share my story in front of the country and a moment I will never forget.
Do you have any advice for those wanting to break out in the entertainment industry?
I would say to network and meet as many people as you can. This industry is all about who you know so be sure to listen, pay attention to people, build those relationships and get to know them. I would also say to be authentic and stay true to who you are as you navigate your way through the industry.
Are there any exciting projects or events you have coming up?
We have a lot of footage from all the behind the scenes creating our song “Summer Vibes” so we’ll be producing a lot of new content which is really exciting. I was just featured in Paris Hilton’s new music video which included cameos from Kim Kardashian and YouTube beauty influencer Nikita Dragun. I can also be seen in an upcoming Netflix movie starring Meryl Streep. I’m looking forward to the release of the “Summer Vibes” music video and all the Hollywood red carpet movie premieres this year.
Photos courtesy of Thomas Orlina