Bradley Gibson took the stage as Simba in The Lion King earlier this month and he’s exactly where he belongs. Gibson remembers sitting in the audience of The Lion King thirteen years ago. The embodiment of living in purpose and generosity, he shared with Lapalme Magazine about his style, his self-care regimen and what this landmark role has taught him.
What is your style? My style is comfortable yet stylish without being too trendy. I’m always afraid of being too trendy. I feel like I’m not cool enough to do the absolute most.
What would be the absolute most and what would be not doing it all? Doing the most would be wearing every current trend on your body at the same time even if it works for you or it doesn’t. The opposite of that is finding a great balance of what you’re drawn to and what flatters you.
Who inspires you? My family. They’ve always pushed me to work hard and to follow my dreams. I only do what I am doing because no one ever told me that I couldn’t.
When did you develop your personal self care regimen? I wouldn’t have called it self care in high school but definitely started back then. I was training pretty hard to pursue a professional career even before college. I was in dance classes, doing community theater and learning to appreciate physical fitness and weight lifting on the side while training in the field. That went further by the time I went to college. I realized that to fully do what I wanted to do and do it well being physically fit only benefited me. Whether it be for the appearance but also my body being able to handle a job
On the road to Lion King, what have you learned about yourself? I’ve reassured myself that I’m a hard worker and I’m doing exactly what I’m suppose to be doing. You hope that along the way living your dream or working that you’re standing in your purpose and this is reminder to me that I am.
Do you remember the first time you saw The Lion King? Yes. Lion King was one of the first movies I ever saw in the movie theater as a kid with my mom and it was the first broadway show I fully remember seeing. I saw it in high school on a New York field trip with my choir about thirteen years ago.
What have you learned in your role as Simba? The show requires a lot of diligence and strength from every single person in the company. The show is hard whether it be vocally taxing or whatever it may be for a single person in the show. My body has to feel good, I have to be vocally aware because I sing quite high in my voice at certain parts in the show and need that energy ready to go every night. I’m still learning what my body and my mind needs to do because the show is so beloved by tourist, by New Yorkers, by the world really. The show’s been seen by over 95 million people since it opened on broadway twenty years ago in some parts of the world. The expectation is high and because it’s Disney and everyone has a connection to Disney in some way, when they come to see a Disney show on broadway, the expectation is definitely not low. They’re not coming to some random show they know nothing about, even if you don’t know The Lion King, you know Disney’s name is attached to it, so you expect a high quality.
What are you grateful for today? I am grateful for my community and circle. I know I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if I didn’t have a great support system around me, whether it be my family, my friends or my fellow artists and the cast. We all have to be good to each other because if you don’t have that, it’ll be hard to make it through your day if you’re around negativity and energy not benefitting your life.
Follow him on IG: @bradgibson13 and Twitter: @brad_gibson91
Photographer: Robert Pauley III / Welthē Images @weltheimages
Assistant: Christian Hicks @christian_hicks
MUA: Carla Rios @carlarios7600