Welcome To The Join Up Dots Podcast Interview With Lunden De Leon
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Introducing Lunden De Leon
Lunden De Leon is today’s guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast interview.
Lets get this straight…some women are go-getters.
Some women are business-minded.
Some women use their struggles as building blocks for their success.
Today’s guest does all of these things.
Born in Barbados but raised in South Carolina she had her fair share of ups and downs before she came to be known as the powerhouse she is now.
After a brief stint as a Burger King employee as a teenager, she was bitten by the entertainment bug.
After seeing her gospel-singer father perform and with total belief that she could make it, she decided to pursue her dreams.
She found herself in Hollywood, homeless and with only $200 to her name.
How The Dots Joined Up For Lunden
After attending a model calling, due to solely overcoming her “hungry and penniless” state at the time, she not only booked the audition.
She also scored a one-year modelling contract the same day.
Not long thereafter, she made her small screen debut on the hit series Vital Signs.
Filmed in Los Angeles, but broadcast in Germany – in which she starred as a young woman trying to make it in the United States.
A story-line not too far off from the rising star’s own life.
And now she was up and running and she continued to make a name for herself with a host of subsequent movie and television appearances.
These included the NBC sitcom, Just Shoot Me!
But her biggest break, however, came in 2003 when she launched her very own record label, Dirrty Records.
Upon the label’s success in its home of Los Angeles, a second branch was set up in South Carolina, where the entrepreneur still calls home.
So were did she get the belief that the only way to move was forwards?
And when did she get fist inkling that success was to be had if only she kept hustling like mad?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start Joining Up Dots with the one and only Lunden De’Leon
During the episode we discussed such weighty topics with Lunden De’Leon such as:
How she ended up hitch-hiking across America as a young girl, and is amazed at the ballsy nature of her character to do such a thing.
How she recalls singing into her hairbrush for hour upon hour like most small girls.
Until she knew that it was time to go after that dream.
Why people are frightened to let go of what they have in life, even if it doesn’t really make them happy everyday.
How the most important thing you can have in your life is your own personal belief that you are going to achieve what you want.
How To Connect With Lunden De’Leon
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Full Transcription Of Lunden De Leon
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello, everybody, and welcome to another packed episode of Join Up Dots. Yes, this is Episode 281. And I love the kind of shows but really linked to what the voiceover man said at the beginning. people that do not give up on their dreams and they go for it because the lady that we’ve got on the show today has certainly done that. Now, I suppose what we can say is some women are go getters. Some women are business minded, and some women use their struggles as building blocks for their success. And today’s guest does all Those beings born in Barbados but raised in South Carolina, she had a fair share of ups and downs before she came to be known as the powerhouse she is now. After a brief stint as a Burger King employee as a teenager. She was bitten by the entertainment bug after seeing her gospel singer father perform, and with total belief that she could make it she decided to pursue her dreams, and actually found herself in Hollywood homeless and with only $200 to her name. Now after attending a model calling due to Sony overcoming a hungry and penniless state at the time, she not only booked the audition, but scored a one year modelling contract the same day things were looking up. And not long thereafter, she made a small screen debut on the hit series vital signs filmed in Los Angeles, but broadcast in Germany, in which she starred as a young woman trying to make it in the United States a storyline not too far off from the rising stars own life. And now she’s up and running and she has continued to make a name for herself with a host of subsequent movements. Television appearances, including the NBC sitcom just shoot me. But her biggest break, however, came in 2003 when she launched her very own record label dirty records upon the label success in its home of Los Angeles, a second branch was set up in South Carolina, where the entrepreneur still calls home. So where did she get the belief that the only way to move was forward? And when did she first get the inkling that success was to be had? If only she kept hustling like mad? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Lunden De Leon, how are you Lunden?
Lunden De Leon [2:37]
I am well thank you for that amazing introduction. Thank you.
David Ralph [2:41]
You have got one of those lives. I’m gonna cut to the chase on this one London, you’ve got one of those lives that is film worthy, isn’t it? And when you sort of read that you think this is a film in the making of Have you ever thought of doing that?
Lunden De Leon [2:54]
You know what I have it? No, not at all. And, you know, just like in Bye Oh, I just knew, hey, this is something I wanted to do. And I just went out and I did it.
David Ralph [3:05]
So you haven’t got these inklings of actually having a film with a very attractive UK podcast in it. All that kind of stuff a bit of damage from the United Kingdom.
Lunden De Leon [3:19]
Maybe in the future, maybe in the future?
David Ralph [3:21]
Well, don’t leave it too long in the future because he won’t be glamorous anymore. I’ll tell you what he’s, he’s decaying above a minute. So if we take you right back in time, which we like to do on Join Up Dots. Well, you somebody that was, you know, will you somebody that was flamboyant, as a small child, were you somebody always singing into a hairbrush and dreaming of big dreams?
Lunden De Leon [3:46]
You know what, funny enough? Yes, I was always singing it to my hairbrush. And my dad in addition to be in a gospel band, he was also a minister. So in my house, I was raised in a very, very strict Baptists household and it was you know all about gospel music and going to church so yes, I was very young I was very much into entertainment I loved you know from Diana Ross to Run DMC to the Sex Pistols. However, I thought I had to hide and listen to that.
Unknown Speaker [4:17]
Well, the Sex Pistols
Lunden De Leon [4:19]
hi to listen to secular music.
David Ralph [4:22]
Oh, why what why was that your your father didn’t like it.
Unknown Speaker [4:25]
Lunden De Leon [4:28]
they didn’t allow it.
David Ralph [4:31]
But what it was just against what they believed in or they just didn’t like the music anyway. Yes.
Lunden De Leon [4:36]
I’m just against what they believed in.
David Ralph [4:40]
It’s funny how lives have changed and tastes have changed because nowadays, I would find that hard to believe that that would still occur. I think nowadays because we we can get mp3 players in and we can get on our iPads. We can pretty much tailor our entertainment to ourselves can’t wait. And I suppose in the days that you’re talking about and When I was a kid used to play it, and everyone could hear it in the house, and so the doors would open, turn that rubbish down. That’s not music, bang, bang, bang. But nowadays people have got more flexibility to their entertainment today suddenly.
Lunden De Leon [5:14]
I agree. Absolutely.
David Ralph [5:17]
So is that a good thing? Is that a good thing that people are more aware of what is out there and are able to dip in and dip out to actually sort of fine tune their own personal tastes?
Lunden De Leon [5:29]
Yes, it is. It’s a great thing. That’s why you know, with Pandora and you know, just, you know, going online and iTunes, you know, just to have that, like you said that flexibility, then yeah, to discover music to you know, listen to music and, you know, unlike me growing up, it was either gospel or nothing. So to have that option to, you know, just just explore.
David Ralph [5:54]
So So what was it that you really wanted to do if we if we were talking to the younger London like, we will do like Each one at the end of the show, but was it going to be a singer? Was it an actress? Or was it just a star? Was it the entertainment spotlight that you liked?
Lunden De Leon [6:10]
I want it to be a singer. You know, like I said, When I saw my dad on stage for the first time, just the way you know, through his music, he touched so many lives, I’d say, you know, that’s what I want it that’s what I want to do when I get older. So definitely a singer
David Ralph [6:25]
and I’ll used to the singer today.
Lunden De Leon [6:29]
Now when I was little I can I could sing but for you know, once I got older, my boards changed and that’s one of the reasons why I started the the record label and just my passion for music. I knew a lot of great bands who, you know, they had great music, but they didn’t have anyone to support them. So I wrote up a business plan I found some investors and I started at a records. So I knew I wanted to be in the music industry. Just not in not behind the mic
David Ralph [6:59]
is interesting. Isn’t it but you wanted to be in the music industry and most people are being and certainly in my head, I would try to create my own personal talent and try and get a record contract and create a buzz. But you decided to go the opposite route and actually create the thing yourself. Was that sort of unheard of at your at that time.
Lunden De Leon [7:20]
And here’s what was unheard of being a woman of colour a black woman, and because my dirty records as a punk label, so there were a lot of naysayers in the beginning who said, you know what a black woman cannot start and, you know, run a successful punk record label. So that was somewhat unheard of and a lot of people just didn’t believe in me, but I had to find people who believed in you know, my dream who was just as passionate as myself, who puts out that you know what, I feel that she could do it.
David Ralph [7:53]
But you had that personal belief yourself that that that never gonna go
Lunden De Leon [7:59]
David Ralph [8:01]
Is that a key thing for the listeners out there when they when they’ve got a dream and they’ve got a passion. And the first thing that they do is they turn to the person sitting next to him in their office, their cubicle or whatever. And say, gee, you know, I want to be the next Whitney Houston and more often not people go out No way. There’s only one Whitney Houston, you’re not going to do that. Is it? The way to go forward to then find people that do believe in you and just surround yourself by that positivity bubble?
Lunden De Leon [8:31]
Absolutely. That’s very important. Very important. And I had everyone from you know, there were certain people in my family to you know, some of the people that I work with to you know, investors who said, Hey, no, you can’t we’re not going to put our money behind you because we don’t feel you can do it. A black woman doing punk rock? No way. So, um, you know, I was lucky enough and you know, thank God, God sent the right people in my life, who were also free spirited. You know, I like to say who believed in me and my dream.
David Ralph [9:05]
So what did they say about the other people didn’t see that this is always an interesting question because I find this time and time again, where people go through a rocky period of getting anything going. And you become like a success vacuum I called it London where First of all, you start off with all the people go, that’s never gonna work as never going to work. And then once you proceed past that stage, you go to position that you’re on your own. And when you get to a stage when a few people start collecting round you and then over people went said, No, it wasn’t gonna work. Come back to you and go, Oh, I always knew that was gonna work. Yeah, I could see it right from the very beginning and you become like a success vacuum and you suck it in. So what do you think those people that didn’t believe in you that on that first stage, what did they see that the others didn’t
Lunden De Leon [9:52]
know? They, they saw my passion. You know, they saw that hey, you know, whether we you know, back her or not, she’s Do it. So just that passion
David Ralph [10:04]
and what was it your track record? Because obviously you’d already moved to Hollywood and you you’d made a name for yourself in modelling What was that? A big point to it, I can see but you’re not somebody that just lays on the sofa and doesn’t get get things going you are a hustler.
Lunden De Leon [10:20]
Absolutely. And also my bio, you know, like I said, I was I was homeless for a short period of time in our lives from you know, crashing on a friend’s couch to you know, at one point I I lived on the beach. However, I was not going to let that stop me from you know, from my dream, I wasn’t gonna let it stop me from you know, pursuing whether it was acting or modelling or you know, music. So, like I said, maybe it was, you know, that passion that they saw, hey, look, she’s, you know, she has a dream she’s gonna go for it, or you know, just my story but our baby It was just you know, God just sending the right people in my life at the right time.
David Ralph [11:04]
If you can tell him now million dollar question and you were the smaller version of yourself, and you could see the future, and you could see that you were going to go to Hollywood, you’re going to end up homeless, you’re going to be sleeping on the beach. Do you think that belief that you had in yourself would have been strong enough to carry you on?
Lunden De Leon [11:24]
Unknown Speaker [11:26]
Lunden De Leon [11:28]
Absolutely. Not at all. No doubt.
David Ralph [11:32]
So tell us about that moment. You’re at home. You’ve seen your father singing. And when you decide I’m going to make a go of it. What made you go to Hollywood, was that just the sort of where the stars were? Or did you go to other places on the way to there?
Lunden De Leon [11:48]
Now I went straight to to Los Angeles, and I know a few places that I thought of going it was either Florida and Atlanta. R LA. And I just chose Okay, I’m going to Los Angeles. I did not have any money. You know, growing up, we grew up very poor. We didn’t live in the projects, but the house right near the project. So, you know, my family, they did the best with what they what they had. So I just I took a summer job at Burger King flipping burgers. I saved as much money as I could, and I pretty much hitchhike and you know, jumped on the Greyhound bus and went to LA. I didn’t know anyone, but I felt Hey, look, what do I can either stay in the deep south and, you know, just who knows why what most of my friends were either pregnant or ngl. So it’s like, okay, I don’t have anything to lose, I need to go on. And I didn’t and and so I went what I’m sorry, I sort of kept talking. So yeah, so I just I went out to LA and I just you know, like I said, I knew there was nothing back in the south. Courtney
David Ralph [13:01]
and I are you connected to any of your sort of younger friends, the ones but as you say, we’re pregnant or on the wrong side of the tracks into bad stuff. Do you? Do you see any of them now? Or if you totally
Lunden De Leon [13:14]
I see them from from time to time.
David Ralph [13:17]
And are you an inspiration to them or by an inspiration to you when you look at them? Do you think? Yes, I’m so glad I made this move. I’m so glad I took that extra effort. I’m so glad that I had a dream and I followed it through.
Lunden De Leon [13:31]
So little bit about and, you know, yes, I do look at them and say yes, I am glad that I left and went to, you know, Los Angeles, I’m glad that I did take that step. And you know, there are times that I’m in the store and you know, one of them will come up to me and say, You know what, your inspiration to me, you know, you get an out of the deep south. And you know, during that time I was only about maybe 1718. And like I said I didn’t know anyone didn’t have any money and they I said, hey, you’re my inspiration. A lot of them said, Hey, I wish I would have taken that step. I wish I would have, you know, left town and you know, gone to college or, you know, just just turn my life around. What do you think people don’t take
David Ralph [14:13]
that step? You know that the world is littered with those stories. I wish I did this. I wish I did that. But people don’t do it. And that’s what this show is tailored for. It’s tailored for the people out there that have got that fire in them, but for some reason, they’re rooted for some reason that they hold themselves back from going for it. And more often than not, if you do go for it, you got a fair chance of achieving it, maybe not to the sort of, you know, the highest levels, but certainly to a better position and enjoying your life more than you’re currently in. Why do you think people just just don’t, don’t do it?
Lunden De Leon [14:52]
I think it’s fair.
Just being afraid, just you know, being afraid to get out of their own way and just do it.
David Ralph [15:00]
But he was afraid. He must have been afraid when they started hitchhiking across, you know, as a father of daughters. I would hate that for my daughter to be hitchhiking across America.
Lunden De Leon [15:11]
You know, and looking back, you know, now, you know, as my older staff, I’m like, God, I can’t believe I did that. But during that time, I was young. I didn’t care. I just, I just wanted to do it. I just wanted to get away. I just wanted to start, you know, just start out with something fresh, something new. I knew there was something bigger out there for me. So I was not No, I wasn’t afraid. I just went for it.
David Ralph [15:36]
And did you tell your parents but I I’m gonna hitchhike across America. Don’t worry. I’m gonna be all right. Did you tell them or did you just go?
Lunden De Leon [15:44]
And I told my mom.
David Ralph [15:47]
So your dad was the scary one was he?
Lunden De Leon [15:49]
My dad was the scary one. Yes. I told my mom she wasn’t born in the beginning. But then she just she great, gave me her blessings. And so go ahead and you Now go on and do it. What you need to do.
David Ralph [16:04]
And what year was this London where when you did this?
Lunden De Leon [16:07]
This was back in 1991 1991.
David Ralph [16:10]
So we still hadn’t really got into the the easy connectivity with mobile phones and things like that. So absolutely. Now you setting off you were pretty much unless you could find a phone book somewhere or a telephone you you were young, contactable that that must have been quite scary for your mom.
Lunden De Leon [16:28]
Oh, yes. For her. Absolutely. Well, my parents Absolutely. I mean, even today, my mom she still you know, she talks about it. She said you now.
Yes, I was afraid but I know it was something that you want it to do.
David Ralph [16:43]
She gave you a gift.
Lunden De Leon [16:46]
Yes, she did.
David Ralph [16:48]
Well, what a brave decision, but any parent to go. I don’t want this. I really don’t want this because as a parent, you just want to protect your kids. You just want to wrap your arms around them and make sure that no harm comes to them. But of course, that’s the worst thing you can do. When somebody wants to make a go of it, you’ve got to sort of say, look, go, go, you have my blessings. But please be yourself. Please be careful. Don’t do anything stupid. And right, and Did you do anything stupid looking back on it? Did you sort of do do you look at anything and go? God, I wouldn’t do that. Now. I was young. And, you know, I believed in myself, but no, no different means, you
Lunden De Leon [17:29]
know what I cannot. I did not do anything stupid. Maybe it’s being embraced and, you know, very spiritual home. And, and especially being in Los Angeles. I had roommates and, you know, I knew other people who were, you know, doing drugs, and you know, the whole cast and couch. But I was never attracted to that scene. I never got involved in it. So now I have no regrets.
David Ralph [17:55]
That’s a perfect way to be, isn’t it? So you’ve, you’ve created this story for you. You You created this movie to be made and I’m going to push for this London. I want to see this movie. And you have no regrets. At the same time. There’s there’s no sort of dark underbelly. It’s just a lady, a young girl going for her dreams.
Lunden De Leon [18:15]
David Ralph [18:17]
I’m gonna play some words. Now I really emphasise what we’re talking about. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [18:22]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
Lunden De Leon [18:49]
Is that about right? That’s powerful. That is and yes, it is very powerful.
David Ralph [18:55]
heard that before.
Lunden De Leon [18:57]
Now, my first time
David Ralph [19:00]
So So what is it about? Is it the father’s point of view but he doesn’t believe or is it just the fact that Jim Carrey saying you can fail and doing something you don’t like? So you might as well take a chance and doing what you love what what side of me? Because I I learned a lot from side to side depending on what mood I’m in. Whether it’s a crying shame that the father didn’t do it always brilliant, but Jim Carrey did it?
Unknown Speaker [19:26]
Unknown Speaker [19:28]
So, what would you feel
Lunden De Leon [19:32]
if it was gone, you know, going for what you love? Because at least you can say hey, at least I try. You know, even if I fail I try. And and that was the thing what my story you know, even if I went to LA and I came back home, you know, flat on my butt. At least I gave it a chance. Instead of just sitting around and you know, today at the AGM at St. God, what would have happened? What could have happened? No. I went
David Ralph [20:01]
And I suppose the question is how do you know that you love something? How do you know that you’ve got that total belief in having a go at something you love? Because I think the majority of people out there and I was like this for years and years and years, I could tell you what I didn’t like doing because I’d done it and I didn’t like doing it, but actually doing what I loved. That’s a difficult question.
Lunden De Leon [20:27]
I know what I love when I love it when I agree that when I just can’t let it go. That’s how I know hey, this is something I love, when I’m passionate about it.
David Ralph [20:39]
And what is what’s the ultimate passion that you have?
Lunden De Leon [20:46]
I love acting.
I love being in front of the camera. I love and you know taking the scene from script to screen, becoming that character
That’s what I love. That’s my passion.
David Ralph [21:03]
And it wasn’t your passion from an early age. It doesn’t sound like it was this is a passion that you discovered.
Lunden De Leon [21:08]
It’s a passion that I discovered. And like I said, at an early age, my passion was music. And once I went on that audition, well, I was hungry. You know, I had no money. Like I said, I was homeless. And someone told me, Hey, come with me tag along to an audition. And I thought, you know, what, what do I have to lose? Let me give it a try. So I went on this audition, I booked the job. And that was my, that was the modelling audition. And then from that I went on to acting. So once I started acting, I just knew Hey, you know what? Music I love this acting. This is something I’m really in love with.
David Ralph [21:52]
But But you say it went on you obviously hustled things in LA in Hollywood. Don’t just go on delay. You Pete. You really are keep on knocking on doors.
Lunden De Leon [22:02]
You do? Absolutely you do. And say they’re knocking on doors or either you have to keep knocking on doors or you have to find someone who’s willing to knock on doors for you. I was lucky enough to find an agent who also knocked on doors, in addition to my step, submitting for acting gigs and picking up the phone, calling up cash and directors, you know, having general meetings, you know, just thinking up out of the box ways to get myself in front of a producer, director casting
David Ralph [22:34]
and is a sort of message that everyone should take on board but you’re stronger with other people around you. It might, it might seem easier in a way to just do it yourself, but you can knock on more doors with a crowd.
Lunden De Leon [22:50]
I agree. You sure can.
David Ralph [22:53]
So So when when you get there, because this is fascinating. I can’t quite grasp how you had such beliefs. Enter the age, but kept that belief going, was there times out there when you fall? I’m gonna go on I’m gonna go home this is this is just not where it’s gonna work for you or was it just that single minded path
Lunden De Leon [23:14]
that single minded I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to. I didn’t. Now I live here and I love the South. But back then I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want to be in the deep south I didn’t want to go back to you know living in the ghetto I didn’t want to be poor. So I knew Hey, there’s there’s more for me in LA so now I didn’t. I didn’t want to come back here.
David Ralph [23:40]
Even even if you had no money at all, you would have still kept on chipping away.
Lunden De Leon [23:46]
I didn’t care. Even if I had no money and had to live under a bridge in downtown Los Angeles. I would have done that. That’s a chance I just you know wanted to take Because I felt I look even though I’m down now, I’m not gonna stay down.
David Ralph [24:06]
Now you listen to that listeners, you play that every morning you have that on your mp3, have it on your iPad. Just because you’re down now doesn’t mean you’ve got to stay down. Now that is hugely powerful. That is that is dream of making. And if you can have that spirit inside you to keep on going when it just gets tough, and it gets tougher than the toughest time you can imagine. But you still think there’s an end product as a goal to be had. I believe you’re more likely to achieve it, don’t you London?
Lunden De Leon [24:39]
David Ralph [24:44]
Now being a role model, there must be so many people that look at you as somebody that they can press for information to sort of ease the way do you kind of have advice for them? Or is it simply Do what you’ve done.
Lunden De Leon [25:03]
I mean, here in the Carolinas or just anyone who comes anyone who comes to you so
David Ralph [25:07]
well say somebody in the Carolinas comes along and says, London, I’ve been singing to me hairbrush for the last two years, I really want to make a go of it. I want to go to Hollywood. What kind of advice would you give to them?
Unknown Speaker [25:21]
Lunden De Leon [25:24]
now with the internet, you know, now with social media, things are so different than it was back then. And you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. You know, you can record and put it up on you know, iTunes and I mean, there’s so many avenues now. So what I want them to do the same thing that I did, and like I said, Now with the internet, no, absolutely not. And that was one of the reasons why I came back home just to help other people. And you know, if there’s, you know, some young person who, you know, like myself have a dream, instead of having to, you know, go through working at Burger King and hitchhiking all the way, you know, 3000 miles from home. And you know, I let them know I give them information, I show them a different route, an easier route.
David Ralph [26:16]
And it always is an easier route is now.
Lunden De Leon [26:19]
David Ralph [26:20]
I think this is a sort of message that so many people don’t realise. But when you start playing to your true strengths, in many ways, life gets easy and we touched on this time and time again. But when you are finding life just a slow day in day out is because you’re not quite doing the thing but you was put on this planet to do.
Lunden De Leon [26:43]
David Ralph [26:44]
So So what was your core strengths? What was the things that really set you apart?
Lunden De Leon [26:51]
so that when everyone else Whenever one else want to give up, I mean, even in with my situation and the things that I went through, most people would have given up. Most people would have, you know, got mom or dad on the phone and say, Hey, send me a bus ticket or you know, whatever to come home. I did. So is that determination? You know, it’s just letting go and let God
David Ralph [27:24]
and you’re willing to take the punches, you’re willing to just keep getting going.
Unknown Speaker [27:29]
There you go.
David Ralph [27:31]
I’m gonna play a little speech talking about taking the punches. I wasn’t gonna play this because you led But hey, I think it means a lot.
Unknown Speaker [27:38]
Listen to this. You mean nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take it keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.
David Ralph [27:55]
Now that’s the famous beach from rocky six bungee but you’re back at your Life and think yes, I’ve taken some hits. And although they rocked me on my heels actually they weren’t too bad now or do you go oh you do feel bad?
Lunden De Leon [28:13]
I do. I felt no they weren’t so bad they weren’t too bad. It was all a learning lesson and all those hits it somewhat moulded me into the person I am today.
David Ralph [28:26]
So is it good? Is it good that we get here? Is it good but you worked in a king is it good but lived under a bridge is all that kind of stuff?
Lunden De Leon [28:37]
Yes, I built character. It made me a better person. It made me appreciate the success that I have today.
Yes, absolutely give us
David Ralph [28:47]
a level of the success but people that aren’t aware of your name. What kind of level are you on? If we if we say I don’t notice this all the Julia Roberts and the Tom Hanks are the absolute listers and we went down the alphabet. Maybe this is a harsh question to ask, Where Where would you Where would you position yourself
Lunden De Leon [29:07]
ABC position? So that is that is a great question. I’m a list Absolutely not. You know, I’ve been so fortunate. I just did a movie called last. Gosh, the last days I just did another one called the lake house. And I just did a TV movie with his name was called the play call and family matters electric called the Steve or I’m sorry, irken show. I played his wife. I was also on a TV series called vital signs and a lot of stuff I’ve done so I’m not an A as a maybe a B.
David Ralph [29:47]
But he’s pretty good in there.
Lunden De Leon [29:50]
Yes. You know, I’m working. So I’m very fortunate.
David Ralph [29:56]
And would you like to be in a list when you when you look at the sort of the sort of top Guys, Denzel Washington’s and all those kind of people, did you look at it and go? Yeah, that’s what I’m aiming for. Now, because you’ve been doing it for so many years, you kind of go, No, actually, I might have wanted that when I was younger, but I’m happy where I am now.
Lunden De Leon [30:15]
There you go, I’m very happy where I’m at. Whether it’s the independent film or you know, local theatre or you know, TV movie, I’m very happy.
David Ralph [30:25]
And how do you get all this coming to you? How do you get all these opportunities? Is it through your agent? Is it because you built your name, your your portfolio? How do you get these opportunities?
Lunden De Leon [30:37]
All of the above? My agent, like I said, my portfolio You know, sometimes someone hit me up on Facebook, independent producer, hey, I’m doing a movie on what you’d read the script. Let me know if it’s something you want to be a part of. So yes, all of the above.
David Ralph [30:56]
And do you like the fact that you’re doing different things all the time? Have you done more Stage work Have you done that kind of acting?
Lunden De Leon [31:03]
I have Yes, I’ve done here. Absolutely. I love theatre I have such great respect for the air. You know I like TV are you know our fam if you mess up they can cut and reshoot with theatre What you see is what you get. So I love the air.
David Ralph [31:18]
And easy scary though it’s bit does does he? Do you get more butterflies then then when they go action on a film?
Lunden De Leon [31:26]
I don’t know. It’s like I said it’s become that theatre. I mean, it’s becoming that character is just having and just being true to that character. So you start to take yourself out. You know, I take myself it’s not London is whomever I’m playing at that moment. So no, no butterflies.
David Ralph [31:44]
And you have a mic words London, you’re halfway through a play and then suddenly, you’ve been doing it a while and you start thinking about what to have for lunch, and you suddenly can’t remember what you should be saying. Do you have a mic it up?
Lunden De Leon [31:56]
Oh, it happens all the time.
It happens all the time.
David Ralph [32:01]
Does it? Does everyone do that? Did did they make up?
Lunden De Leon [32:07]
Oh, yeah, I mean even you know some movies are even theatre you can see bloopers and you know, some of the a list actors are fumbling or forgetting their lines. So yeah, it’s natural.
David Ralph [32:18]
But you’re you’re totally comfortable with it. You don’t feel pressurised to be perfect every time?
Lunden De Leon [32:24]
Absolutely not. I don’t feel there’s a such thing as perfection.
David Ralph [32:30]
So so let’s phrase it to, to what you’re doing now. You’ve had all these successes. You’re really happy where you are. You’ve moved back to Carolina, South Carolina. So you’re probably very sweaty because it’s a sweaty place, South Carolina. I’ve been there and it was um, I dripped constantly in the summer. So it’s a very, very hot place. What Yes, and mosquitoes in the summer. I don’t remember them. I just remember thinking I’m going to stay in the air conditioning. It was it was very unpleasant, but beautiful to look at. So what are you aiming for at the moment? what’s what’s on your radar?
Lunden De Leon [33:05]
What’s on my radar is just giving back to the community and helping the community and since I’ve been here I’ve ran for Council for city council and it’s just getting out there rolling up my sleeves and you know helping maybe you know, whether it’s the little old lady down the street or you know, the little kid you know, with an after school programme you know, it’s it’s just about giving back so that’s what’s on my radar
David Ralph [33:32]
is a true felt people who get to a certain point and I’ve achieved a certain amount do generally start giving back or when when you’re on your you’re up ascendancy it’s very much about me, me, me, but you get to that point and you think, well, I’ve done the me is now for them.
Lunden De Leon [33:52]
Absolutely, because it’s like, what’s the point? If you’re not going to get back then what’s the point in you know, all the success and you know, accolades, you have to give back. You have to reach back out. So I feel it would be in vain. You know, what’s the point of me going and travelling all the way to LA and, you know, going through the things that I went through, okay? Yes, I’m, you know, able to do TV and film. But hey, I have to give back. I have to help someone else.
David Ralph [34:19]
You. You remind me though and you, you probably go, I’m nothing like this lady. But you remind me very much of Oprah Winfrey. She seems to have that total belief in what she’s doing. She’s totally unique to herself. And she’s obviously got a story of overcoming so much. Do you see similarities? Or was that just me from the United Kingdom listening to you to
Lunden De Leon [34:44]
Oprah’s amazing, and yes, I do, even in her story, the things that she went through. So yes, I do see some similarities. But thank you so much. That’s a what a compliment.
David Ralph [34:57]
Well, what what is it about Oprah because we Don’t know as well over here. If you get in Ghana, watch one of our programmes, you’ve got to seek it out. So it’s on some weird channel somewhere or others. It’s not on the mainframe, but um, what is it about Oprah that has transcended globally, but you just say that one name and people know that there’s integrity there.
Lunden De Leon [35:21]
I think it’s that word integrity. And she’s so real or she seems so real. She’s, you know, so honest. And like you said, it’s about giving back. And she’s one of those people where, even though she’s so you know, successful and famous, she just seemed like the best friend. You know, someone you can trust. So I think whenever someone hears the name Oprah, you just think okay, this is someone that I trust.
David Ralph [35:48]
It’s true, isn’t it once you know somebody by their first name, but they’re really famous. Once you say that, the Oprah the Elvis Elton you You’ve made it happen you once you once you’re a one named person.
Lunden De Leon [36:05]
Absolutely, yes. And even with her, you know, she was, I think it was 14 she was pregnant and, you know, she went through I think her uncle or a cousin molesting her. And, you know, she said being a woman being an African American woman being a woman who’s overweight. You know, she didn’t let that get in the way.
I’m fascinated. She’s definitely an inspiration.
David Ralph [36:28]
Yeah, I’m fascinated by her. But I’m fascinated by everyone who really gets to the top because in my heart of heart, I wonder why so many people don’t. And it’s obvious that’s why they get to the top because so many people don’t and so the competition gets less as you get to the top. But when you think of her story, and when you think of so many of the sort of big a listers, they seem to start with a lot less vain. Most people and it’s almost They have nothing to lose. So they, they just go for it. Do you do you think that, that middle ground when you suddenly get a reasonable income and you’ve got a job do you think that’s the dream killer, but you’re not willing to let it go? You’re not willing to risk it.
Lunden De Leon [37:16]
David you’re so right, because it’s safe.
You know, is safe and we get to a point where we get married, we have kids and you know, if I was older and I had kids and you know, was marriage during that time, how could I just, you know, run off to LA and you know, pursue my dream. So yeah, so we play it safe and we get comfortable.
David Ralph [37:39]
I, I want to say to people to let it go, let it whatever you’ve got inside you, wherever you are protecting. If it’s not making you happy is not worth protecting it. It’s worth taking a risk and giving a go. I was in a very comfortable position. It was too comfortable. And I was doing a job that I was earning very good money for a local position. And so I had a very short commute, and I could get home at a decent time. And I could see my kids and I suppose everything was worthwhile. But when it gets to the point when you realise that you are coasting, and you’ve got an opportunity to, to give something back, as you were saying, and make a difference to the world, you realise that that comfort is not comfortable at all. It’s just something that you will look back on and you will go, man, man, I had a chance I didn’t get a chance, but I just decided to sit on the sofa watching jack Bauer in 24. Instead of working harder in the evening and fine tuning my talents and my skills and giving it a go, did you but what we’re talking about is London. Do you believe in the side hustle? Do you believe in people not just quitting their job and going for it because that is quite frank. Too frightening for so many people with responsibilities. But do you believe that so many people can get up a couple of hours earlier, go to bed later and try to create some kind of passive income, some kind of income stream, which means then that they have got the flexibility of being able to pay their bills to get their dreams ago. Do you believe that that is a sensible route?
Lunden De Leon [39:21]
I do. And I believe when there’s a will there’s a way in a something we really want to do. We have to make time. So yes, I do. In that, like you said, whether it’s to, you know, an hour, two hours, you know, early in the morning get up earlier, or you know, later at night, so yes, it is.
David Ralph [39:41]
Because you are a very attractive lady and you seem to never sleep. I don’t know how you’re doing it. So where where do you get in your energy levels for because the fact that we’re speaking now and it’s Harper state on a Friday morning, so it’s what five four what’s the time where you are?
Unknown Speaker [39:59]
Yes, right. It’s a little after four it’s a little after four and yeah,
David Ralph [40:03]
you sound like it’s this lunchtime you sound alert you sound you know that this is your time. Did you
Lunden De Leon [40:12]
sleep? Go ahead I’m sorry.
David Ralph [40:14]
Did you have limited snipe?
Lunden De Leon [40:17]
Oh, you know normally this time I’m not working and yes I’ll sleep for about maybe four hours but I’m constantly working but you know when you’re doing something you enjoy you know for me I don’t even see it as work I just love it so much and there are times I have to make myself go to sleep because I’m enjoying what I do.
David Ralph [40:38]
Which which is different, isn’t it? Well, when you when you in a position that you don’t like, Oh my god, the alarm clocks gone off. Oh, I need to get up. And when you’re doing your thing, you don’t want to go to bed. You want to stay up because there’s so many amazing things to do.
Unknown Speaker [40:55]
Bear to go.
David Ralph [40:57]
I agree. Simple doesn’t mean London is safe.
Unknown Speaker [41:03]
Why is it
Lunden De Leon [41:04]
not better? It is I believe it is simple we just make it hard sometimes we come up with excuses
David Ralph [41:13]
what’s what’s the worst excuse you’ve given? What what’s the what’s the one that you look back on? Or maybe you’ve never given an excuse but do you have one that you look back on and think I could have really could have really made something better but no, I held back.
Lunden De Leon [41:29]
Oh, wow, let me think.
You know, I always went for it.
I always went for it. You know, I felt that hey, if there’s an opportunity, I need to go for it. So no, I never held back.
David Ralph [41:48]
Do you think you’re ever gonna be like that? Did you do you think when you get older Do you will you will the London that we see now run out of steam. Can you imagine?
Lunden De Leon [41:57]
I can’t imagine that. No I hope not
David Ralph [42:03]
I’ve got this image of yours one of these, you know, these hundred and 20 year old grannies sitting on a shelf kind of kind of line up porch. And all the kids sort of come out because you’ve got wisdom and you’re there and nobody knows how old you are but you’re you can come to for advice and you tackle and you lean forward and with your finger you you sort of you showed them the way you’re going to be that the gospel
Lunden De Leon [42:30]
Wow, well I will take that
David Ralph [42:33]
and and come to your approach. I’ve come to your coach, as long as you as long as you got air conditioning on it.
Lunden De Leon [42:40]
I was gonna say even in the you know, the deep south is hot and humid. You’d come to my porch, always walk would come to your coach,
David Ralph [42:47]
but what what do you do when you’re not working? And you are just relaxing? Did you ever relax or are you just constantly on the go time?
Lunden De Leon [42:57]
You know what, when I when I’m relaxing it We travel I go to North Carolina or Miami. You know sometimes Atlanta so I just get up get out and go for a drive.
David Ralph [43:10]
But are you thinking all the time when you’re doing it Are you thinking or do you just switch off because I have a terrible trouble in London I have terrible trouble with switching off. I love doing it so much. But even when I’m not doing it, I am thinking about doing it. Which is which is I need to have a moment where I go right that brains done and I try my best I have a recording studio so I go to it. And when I leave and I turn my computers off, I don’t have any Apple computers I don’t have iPads. I don’t have a mobile phone. I don’t have anything so I am off of the radar. Absolutely. But I can’t switch my brain off me brain is still going
Lunden De Leon [43:53]
you know I’m I’m somewhat the same way and I try to switch us off for an hour when I’m Working out you know because in my workout I do yoga so I just try to just just let go just be in the moment
David Ralph [44:10]
but it’s a conscious decision to do you really have to force in
Unknown Speaker [44:15]
you I do
Unknown Speaker [44:18]
David Ralph [44:19]
was I’m gonna play some words now i’m doing i’m doing all the that the quotes today I don’t know what’s come over me to be honest. But um, this is this is something from a lady that we spoke about earlier. This is Oprah and this is about settling yourself down to work out what to do next when everything gets too much for you. This is Oprah Winfrey,
Oprah Winfrey [44:39]
The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself what is the next right move? not think about Oh, I got all of this stuff. What is the next right move and then from that space, make the next right move and the next right move and not to be overwhelmed by it because the You know, your life is bigger than that one moment, you know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you, because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [45:11]
It leads us nicely to the theme of the show, which is obviously we’re going to listen to that at the end Steve Jobs and Join Up Dots. But big decisions in life on a really big on a just a decision that we make big in our minds.
Lunden De Leon [45:29]
I feel is just a decision that we make back.
David Ralph [45:35]
And do you think it’s something that we can assess? by actually consciously thinking, now, okay, I can make another decision after that. If it doesn’t work out, I just make another one. I’ll change direction I’ll pivot I’ll spin I’ll do whatever. Do you think that is one of the things she says that holds people back when I think of the big picture what they want to achieve, and like, Oh, I don’t have to do this. I don’t know. had to get there. But of course, you just do the first thing. And then when that works, you do the next thing and you do the next thing. And after a while, you start to get that belief and then you carry on going, and then other people believe in you, but he’s only those once steps all the time.
Lunden De Leon [46:16]
And it’s almost like a puzzle. But yes, you’re so right. I mean, who says that there’s only for example, like myself, I could have just, you know, thought, okay, only I just stick with music. But, you know, instead of just music I want to do modelling then, you know, acting and, you know, like I was saying, want to get into politics. So who’s to say that you have to just stick to one thing.
David Ralph [46:45]
People say about, Oh, don’t know, people say they do. You’re just playing. You’ve got to settle down. You’ve got to focus in on one thing. That’s what people say.
Lunden De Leon [46:56]
But maybe, maybe you’re good at more than just one thing. So why limit yourself
David Ralph [47:02]
Do any of these things scare you, though? When you look at it, the fact that you’re thinking of going into politics? A lot of people might go, Ah, never actress, never singer going into politics. Do you ever have those thoughts in your head where you hear other people saying these things? Or do you do you just blindly go forward?
Unknown Speaker [47:23]
I just go for it.
Lunden De Leon [47:25]
Hey, let them say what they want to say.
At the end of the day, you know, it’s up to me. And I have to look myself in the mirror. I have to be happy with my decision. So hey, they can say whatever. You really don’t care. They said was before I don’t. I can’t.
It’s my life.
David Ralph [47:48]
There’s another there’s another tagline. It’s my life. I have to live it. But people don’t on that as well do that. Well, we talk about this a lot as well, where a lot of people will start on a path that their parent I’ve almost suggested for them, because they don’t know their passion. They don’t know what they want to be doing. So they go into a career that is either for the money, or the fact that they don’t know any better. And I did that for years and years and years. But when you get to a point, you think, this isn’t my path. This isn’t what I want to do. But you’ve got to that point where you’ve got a mortgage, you’ve got responsibilities, you’ve got all that kind of stuff. But take it back to what you said. It’s your life. You’ve got to you got to change you’ve got to move on. Have you heard of this book London about the the regrets on deathbed? Have you heard this one?
Unknown Speaker [48:37]
Now have it No, this this chap, I
David Ralph [48:40]
can’t remember what it’s called. But this chat went round to 100 people who are dying on their deathbed and I don’t know how he managed to do this. But he interviewed them. And he said, you know what is your biggest regret, and these people either had hours to live or days to live they were on their last legs and literally all of them the number one regret was that they lived other people’s lives. It wasn’t what I wanted to do.
Lunden De Leon [49:09]
Wow, look at that. Look at that.
David Ralph [49:15]
That’s frightening, isn’t it?
Lunden De Leon [49:17]
It is very, very
Unknown Speaker [49:19]
David Ralph [49:25]
People do it. People do it all the time.
Unknown Speaker [49:31]
Have you got children?
Unknown Speaker [49:34]
I don’t know.
David Ralph [49:36]
Did you have nieces and nephews and stuff?
Lunden De Leon [49:40]
Oh, absolutely, yes. Yeah. Plenty.
David Ralph [49:44]
And when they when they come over to you on to London, did he say to you, this is what I want to do. That’s what I want to do and you ever go it’s gonna be difficult or do you always gotta go for it? Go for it. Go Go for it.
Lunden De Leon [49:58]
I always go Go for it. Always support them.
David Ralph [50:02]
And what’s the biggest things that your nephews and nieces have have given you?
Lunden De Leon [50:07]
Oh, doctors, lawyers. Nothing in entertainment.
David Ralph [50:13]
That’s interesting, though, isn’t it doctors and lawyers because yeah, that’s kind of boring in it really. Entertainment. Entertainment. Sounds fun.
Lunden De Leon [50:21]
I know but has their dream.
David Ralph [50:25]
I was speaking to a lady who wanted to be a lawyer just because she’d seen it on telly. When I stand up, and they argue, and they in chief Oh, yeah, this is what I want to do. I want to stand up in front of people in courthouses and I can argue anyone down. But when she actually got to the point where she was qualified, she realised that 99% was just paperwork. And she literally made herself ill she did make yourself ill, and she ended up in hospital with some weird story, stress issue or whatever, and where people were saying to her You must be in a terrible state. She was thinking, well, thank God, I don’t have to go to work for two weeks, I can lay in the hospital. Wow. And she was so bad that that path of doing something bad, she thought was going to lie to up just because it looked good, but she didn’t play to our strengths. And now she lives in Los Angeles, and she’s a holistic life coach, and she helps people change their paths. And it was interesting that that the world the world that she had created wasn’t her world. It was it was a vision that she had, but she was brave enough to realise that when it all came crashing down on her, she had to do something about it.
Unknown Speaker [51:38]
Lunden De Leon [51:40]
David Ralph [51:42]
But I’m going to play the last page. We’ve done a lot of them on this one. And this is actually the theme of the whole show. And this is what Steve Jobs said back in 2005. And this is why we call the show Join Up Dots. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [51:56]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path and that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [52:32]
Powerful words Lunden.
Lunden De Leon [52:34]
That was very powerful. Oh yes.
David Ralph [52:38]
What you get from that the most
Lunden De Leon [52:52]
trying to say the right thing.
Just believe in yourself.
Believing in yourself?
David Ralph [53:08]
Do you think that is the away from everything we’ve spoken about? The hustle the talent, the perseverance? Does it simply come back to believe you actually have to believe in your heart of hearts? You’re going to do it?
Lunden De Leon [53:24]
I do. I do believe that. Yes, it does.
David Ralph [53:30]
But I’m going to send you back in time now London and this is the end of the show. And this is the part that we call the Sermon on the mic. And this is when I send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger London, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme tune now and when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [54:00]
With the speed of the show.
Lunden De Leon [54:15]
Yes, I would be about
I’ll do about 12. And what I would tell my younger self is trust in yourself. It will be okay. let go and let God
David Ralph [54:33]
that’s it. How can our audience connect with you?
Lunden De Leon [54:38]
And either aren’t Well, my email address is well, on Twitter is to London, and that’s the number to London l u and d n. I’m on Facebook facebook.com slash London de Leone or they can eat loudly at through my publicist, which is celebrity firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Ralph [55:06]
We will have over links in the show notes. London, thank you so much for spending time with us today joining up those dub. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe by joining the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. London. Thank you so much.
Lunden De Leon [55:21]
Thank you, David, you have a great one. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker [55:25]
David doesn’t want you to become a fated version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [55:51]
Yes, hello there. Do you know during the show, I was looking through the iTunes reviews. Everyone’s left. Oh, I’ve had some amazing ones. Well, every single one Amazing level five star Why will they not be five star? Because it’s a five star show, but I haven’t seen one from you. Is it something I’ve said? Is it is it me? Please tell me Is it me? Well, if it’s just not oversight, please make amends by going over to iTunes and looking for Join Up Dots with David Ralph. And if you could find a few moments to leave a five star rating and review our would be absolutely amazing and it will really push my show further up the rankings and make it more of a show that I want to deliver to you on a daily basis. So if you could do that, thank you so much and I tell you what, I might even come and mow your lawn is Sunday.