Jimmy Vibert '13 arrived at Fitchburg State in 2009 considering a career in criminal justice. While he enjoyed his coursework and learned a lot from his professors, he felt it wasn’t the path he was supposed to pursue after graduation.
Still, the Taunton native credits Fitchburg State with helping him identify future goals. As a student in the residence halls, he said, he thought about investing in real estate in the surrounding neighborhoods to rent to students.
That entrepreneurial spirit led to a job selling cars, and later inspired him to move to California (where his brother had also moved). It didn’t take long for Vibert to entertain dreams of making it in Hollywood.
“I always had big dreams,” he said. Taking acting classes made him a student once again, and Vibert was soaking in every detail. “I started to do background work, as an entry into the field.”
He booked work on the HBO series “Winning Time” - about the rise of the L.A. Lakers basketball dynasty - where he got to meet professional actors like Wood Harris and Mike Epps, and see how they conducted themselves. Vibert loved the “organized chaos” of the set.
Soon after his work on the show wrapped, a casting director asked him to audition for an independent film called “Red Camaro.” He got the starring role, and worked long hours on the 10-day, no-frills shoot that followed.
Vibert’s education continued as he watched the winding road that independent films take between production and distribution. Additional shoots followed months later, and this past July he finally saw a poster for the crime thriller on social media. By late summer, “Red Camaro” was accepted into the Las Vegas Film Festival (and is streaming now on platforms including Amazon Prime, Google Play and Tubi). Its Los Angeles premiere is scheduled for Nov. 4.
“This project is really like a thesis,” said Vibert. “I’m a student of life. Fitchburg State played a big part in that. This is a new environment, but it’s the same things: arrive on time, listen, and take notes.”
While Vibert is still in the real estate game by day, he’s hopeful his career in the entertainment business continues. “My ultimate goal is to book a series regular on traditional commercial broadcast television networks in the acting space, but I’m also taking time to understand more about business,” he said. “I find that actors focus only on being ‘the talent,’ but the talent can get the short end of the stick. I’m focused on understanding the business side.”