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Tom Guajardo met Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt at a pool party, proposed to Kelly Ripa (for a screen test), smoked cigars with Gary Busey and got tough love from Tony Plana. You know this Optimist at the gym, you recognize the tiger’s glowing yellow eyes on his real estate signs, but you don’t know about his acting career!
After becoming runner up at the JCPenney hispanic model contest and doing local commercials in San Antonio, he made the leap to Hollywood. He talks about the two reality tv’s shows he starred in, his 5 years in Hollywood, and more!
The Big Break
Tom Guajardo has been CrossFitting at Optimistic for three years, but growing up Tom claims he was a clumsy and chubby kid, so instead of playing sports he became involved in creative pursuits like theater. But in high school, he got his growth spurt and things changed when girls started looking at him “differently.”
His grandmother submitted him to the JCPenney hispanic model search. He won the local competition in San Antonio, and was flown to New York for the national competition where he was runner up. For a year he modeled all over the US. When he got back to San Antonio, he began acting and started booking commercials.
5 Years in Hollywood
After graduating from St. Mary’s University with a degree in communications he moved to Hollywood to pursue his dream of acting. Taking advice from his uncle, he put a limit on his dream- if he didn’t make it in 5 years, he would return home to San Antonio. While in Hollywood he did extra work, was the stand in for Kevin Costner and Brad Johnson, and starred in two reality tv shows. In “Chains of Love” Tom was physically chained to 4 women trying to find “the one.” He didn’t end up finding true love, but this did mark the end of his acting career.
Tough Love from Tony Plana
While in Hollywood working as an extra, Tom met Tony Plana. When nearing his 5 year mark in Hollywood, bills piling up, and no big break in sight, he asked Tony for help. Instead of setting Tom up with agents and connections, Tony gave him tough advice. He told Tom that with all the hard work he put into acting, maybe it wasn’t the right path for him. Heartbroken, Tom went back to San Antonio to start his real estate career. Little did Tom know that he would call Tony years later thanking him for his advice.
More From the Episode
What were some challenges in Hollywood? What are common misconceptions about acting? Tom Guajardo shares more crazy stories in Hollywood and how he’s had to deliver the “Tony Plana” speech to others. Use the links above to listen to the full episode.