Debuting as the most-watched comedy in more than four years on ABC, “Not Dead Yet” is a testament to living in the moment—and it’s something actress Angela Gibbs (she plays Cricket) takes to heart. “I know my character would relish in the moment. So I am too!”
You’ve had a lot of different roles. What sticks out to you glam-wise for getting into a specific character?
“Glam is important when developing characters. When preparing for a role, I always create a biography with the character’s history. Based on her background and beliefs, I begin to have images of what she dresses like, how she accessorizes. Does she wear bold colors, wear lashes, or love hoop earrings? Does she love her natural hair or wigs? Or is she hiding behind muted colors? Is she conservative or bohemian? Glam is essential in rounding out the humanity of the role. Of all of them, I feel like the wardrobe and hair are the most defining. Once we know that, the accessories are easy.”
What drew you to the “Not Dead Yet” role?
“First, let me start with the fact that I absolutely love my character’s name, Cricket. Love it! When I read the character description it said that Cricket is: ‘Nell’s beautiful, free-spirited friend who lives in the moment.’ Cricket is living the way I want to live. She also is compassionate and open to meeting new people even though she is dealing with a huge loss. And finally, I was drawn to the multi-generational relationship with Nell and her friends. In my own life I am surrounded by younger people who ask for advice and the exchange is equally beneficial. This is a dream come true for me.”
How does the immediate success of the series feel?
“To learn we were the most-watched comedy debut in over four years on ABC was a serious high for me! Everyone really worked hard to put this show together—our creators Casey Johnson and David Windsor come from the ‘This Is Us’ world so they’ve given the show a lot of heart. The genius of our director and EP, Dean Holland, allows us to feel creatively empowered to explore the nuances of our characters. Our other producers and execs, as well as the network, have been so supportive, it feels like a family. We all are so connected. It is wonderful to know that our chemistry transferred to the screen and touched our audiences. I am hopeful we are blessed with another season, at the same time, I know Cricket would just relish in the moment…so I am too!”
What are some things you do for self-care?
“I am a firm believer in self-care. It’s the oxygen mask we hear about on airplanes, we must make sure we put it on ourselves first. I used to get depleted and realize it too late, on the way to crashing. Now I know that it is not selfish to be self-loving. I do my best to meditate daily and if I find myself too busy, I make sure I set 10 minutes aside throughout the day to make a short gratitude list, it works wonders for dealing with worry and anxiety. We often forget how fortunate we actually are. Focusing on what is working gives me peace. Massages are a must and I make sure I get a couple in a month for sure. I am a swimmer, and I must tell you, water does it for me. Being in the water or watching the ocean…does wonders for my spirit.”
What are some of your must-have beauty items?
“Beauty starts within and eating well is huge! I love nutritionally packed—yet tasty—smoothies, and it’s a great way to have quality fuel to get through the day. Collagen in my smoothies is a must for skin and hair. I love a good moisturizer, active serums and weekly exfoliation in my skin regime. I learned late how important wearing an SPF is! However, now I don’t go anywhere without out applying it—it is truly a must have. When I am not filming, I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I love a colorful lip, so my red or chili colors are always tucked away in my purse!”
What advice would you give to your younger self?
“I would tell my younger self that the word ‘no’ is a complete sentence. I used to spend so much time people-pleasing I barely had time to learn what really mattered to me. I would advise my young Angela that her voice has value, and she is worthy of her dreams. Most importantly, I would hug her tightly and gently whisper in her ear, ‘Honey put on your crown, it’s already been bought and paid for!’ Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou.