around Town LA: Music with HEART Charity Pool Party at Tropicana co-hosted by Talon Reid, Young Hollywood Humanitarian
This Saturday, May 10th, Music with HEART will be hosting a benefit pool party at Hollywood’s infamous Roosevelt Hotel. The EDM festival will feature Gladiator, Earthbound, Joey Yamine, Grizzly and Jon Mon. Event starts at 12pm and ends at 6pm. Tickets are only available pre-sale, with less than 24 hours to go! Proceeds go to benefit Hollywood HEART, LA’s local non-profit dedicated to providing arts opportunities for youth who are at risk or affected by HIV/AIDS to build confidence and career skills. To purchase tickets visit: http://www.musicwheart.com/
I heard about the charity event through Talon Reid, a friend whom I recently met, who was helping promote the event. I was super excited to get more info and in doing so, I also learned a lot about his humanitarian efforts and entertainment pursuits. Reid is a Columbus, OH native whose charitable roots started at a young age. At the age of 8, his mother encouraged him and his siblings to give back to the community through volunteering at local soup kitchens and the art museum in downtown Columbus. His path to Hollywood actually started when he quit touring with his hardcore metal band during college. He attended a seminar in Ohio where Michael Uslan (Producer, Batman) had offered life-changing insight into pursuing a career in acting. Shortly after, Reid decided that is was time to put the music quest behind him and start fresh. With the mentorship of Uslan and support from his family and friends, he came out to Hollywood in 2009.
Today Reid runs his own company, Talon Reid Nightlife, is involved in both film and television projects and actively contributes to local LA non-profits with causes close to his heart: investing in the future and education of children, preserving the environment, and putting a stop to homelessness and human trafficking.
Below, we chat about his cameo in Selena Gomez’s upcoming music video, his volunteer and philanthropic efforts with local charities and our shared love of Metallica:
Melissa Wong: How did you get involved with Music with HEART?
Talon Reid: The event at the Roosevelt is run by a buddy of mine, Christian Najera. He’s involved with a charity called Hollywood HEART. We used to work together at Lexington Social House and we’ve worked random clubs together over the years and he has asked me to help out. I also work with local charities in Los Angeles that focus on ending human trafficking and homelessness.
I work with Love146- myself and my friend Ashley Benson and other young celebs we do fundraisers and I host them in the hills. Dane Cook came out to one recently and we raise funds to help prevent human trafficking.
I also work with Red Eye Charity- a humanitarian effort. I’ve been one of the voices for 5 years and by hosting a lot of celebrity events. We go to Salvation Army homes and spend time with kids who don’t have homes. We play sports, do arts & crafts, and we also do laundry for the homeless. Tide will sponsor it and we take them to Laundromats in south central and help with their laundry and sometimes do fun stuff laundry cart races.
Another charity I’m working with: Project Save our Surf- where my friend Shacka Smith and I serve as board members and actively volunteer. He and I take kids to our beaches and clean up the beaches every other Saturday morning.
MW: I love that- your causes are so diverse. Why do you think it’s important to give back to the community?
TR: When I was a kid, my mom had always made sure that we my siblings and I get involved in charity. When we were kids around 8 years old she took us to volunteer at soup kitchens and the art museum in downtown Columbus. I got into a skateboarding accident when I was 11, blew up my trachea but I was able to recover quickly and only be in the hospital for a few days. While I was there I was in the kids wing and I’d walk around and meet other kids and their families and came to the realization of how incredibly lucky I was. And to realize how fortunate we (myself and siblings) are to have what we have. It might not be much to us, but what we have is SO much more than what others might have. My mom’s friend worked who worked at Victoria’s Secret also served on the board of the Children’s Hospital of Columbus so I got involved with that organization at the age of 11 and also became the youngest board member.We were raised to realize we are blessed. I’ve always liked working with kids, I studied Pyschology and majored in childhood development and have always been fascinated with learning how kids learn. To learn how to teach them certain things so they come out right. Childhood is such a crucial development stage and being able to learn and live through certain tragic situations is so important.
MW: Who are some of your creative inspirations in terms of actors?
TR: Brad Pitt is my homie! And Leonardo DiCaprio, I’m always looking at what they are doing and hoping to mirror that with my path. Brad Pitt left college mid degree from Missouri to pursue an acting career. He worked in the nightlife industry and I can relate to that hustle and bustle.
TR: I actually got into it from throwing a birthday party. A few years ago, I threw my birthday party at Lexington Social House –a lounge, restaurant, and packed their patio- with a nice fun Hollywood crowd. So they asked me if I’d work part time to help them fill up the place. People started noticing my talent of being able to do so and I started getting bigger offers for bigger clubs. Now I’m doing huge events in Vegas, Miami, with Steve Aoki.
MW: Which clubs you are currently promoting?
TR: Now I host weekend events in Vegas, mansions in the hills, and parties in Miami. Now my roster is pretty saturated because there is so much to host and promote. Right now I’ve got DBA, Greystone Manor, Emerson, WET, Hakkasan and one off weekend parties. Sometimes I’ll work as an independent contractor- like last weekend I hosted an event with Paris Hilton at Sound Nightclub in Hollywood. Soon I’ll be hosting the 14 Day Party at XIV with SBE.
MW: What are some projects you are working on now?
TR: In April, I was in MKTO’s “American Dream” music video. And most recently, I finished a music video as the lead with Selena Gomez. I don’t have the release date, but that should be coming out in a couple weeks. It’s the highly anticipated single about her and Justin.
MW: Best advice you’ve ever gotten?
TR: A big quote that’s huge in my life is – it’s so big I got it tatted on my body last month. I love Metallica. So I got this lyric across from “Frantic” tattooed across my ribs: “My lifestyle determines my death style”. Basically, you have to live your life now and live it to the fullest. I’m the type of guy who’s friend might say, “hey wanna go to Mexico?” “Yeah, sure let’s go,” and be a plane later that day. One of my best friends is Drake Bell and he called me up once and was like “hey, do you wanna go get a tat? Do you know what you’re gonna get?” “And I was like no- but let’s go!” We both ended up getting random tattoos but it was awesome.
MW: Ahh, I love Metallica! What’s your advice for anyone starting out in the entertainment industry?
TR: For people trying to succeed in this business, I say you have to be your best promoter. You’ve got to be the squeaky wheel. Squeaky wheel gets the job. No one knows what you are doing except you and you have to let people know. No one’s going to promote you better than yourself. Social media is huge- another one of your best outlets. I book about 8-15 jobs a month just from social media. Also, I say travel while you’re young. Travel as much as possible.
To donate directly to Hollywood HEART, or volunteer check out: http://www.facebook.com/hollywoodheart. Or join him this Saturday at The Tropicana in the Roosevelt for the Music with HEART event and party for a cause! It’s not too late to purchase tickets: http://www.musicwheart.com.