For most of his life, Richard Gutierrez, decked in Louis Vuitton pieces, ponders on longevity and timelessness
This is an excerpt from MEGA Man’s April 2023 cover story.
When an industry is filled with good-looking people who live in nice houses and drive fast cars, it’s easy to forget that running it takes a certain kind of acumen. We’re talking show business. The second word is easily ignored, when in fact, it requires the same amount of guts, persistence, and good judgment to last in the industry as it does in other bankable endeavors. Talk to Richard Gutierrez—and he can tell you the hard truths about being in the business of pleasing an audience.
Playing by his rules
“It’s a young man’s game,” Gutierrez, 39, tells MEGA Man, laughing hard, as he answers questions about longevity in showbiz. Part of the big Gutierrez clan in the industry, he has been performing since he was four years old, and only had to stop working to finish school. When he graduated from high school, he was offered projects he couldn’t resist.
“I’m young,” he continues, still laughing. After a thought, he shrugs and turns serious. “No, it’s tricky. I haven’t been staying on top. I was gone for a while. Showbiz is rough. You’re not always on top. You’re gonna have days when you’re down. There are gonna be days when you don’t have projects—that happened to me. But I embraced it. I embraced the process of taking my time—if you need to disappear for a while, recalibrate your senses, then do it. That’s what I did.”
It was a lot of grueling hours of work and non-stop movies and TV shows before that much-needed pause happened. After high school, Gutierrez thought his acting career was simply a “once-a-week thing,” and something that could earn him a few bucks. Eventually, he began loving his craft. “My dad did it, and I learned a lot from my dad,” he says, remembering his earlier days. “I learned to love the industry, the people, the work.”
A few years into the business, he saw the practical side of his job—he could start buying the things he wanted. “When my dad was telling me stories about working as a young kid, it was just like a wild imagination—him working at that age,” Gutierrez tells us. “So when the opportunity came, and I was given a chance to do that, I did it. I tried to work so I can earn for myself, I can buy whatever I want at a young age. It started like that. Then I started looking at it as a profession.”
It was a daily grind, and anyone who was exposed to that kind of continuous attention and hustle can find his path becoming hazy along the way. That’s why, in some ways, Gutierrez is thankful for that break he talked about in the beginning of our conversation.
“When I disappeared for a while, I discovered myself,” he says. “I think it is very important as an artist to know yourself deeper—apart from the fame, the money, the attention. You can get all of that. It’s hard—as a celebrity, it’s hard to manage that sometimes, especially for the young ones. I went through that when I was young. You can get lost pretty easily.”
What kept him going—and what keeps him going—he says, is his passion to give something good to an audience that he’s been engaging with for most of his life. “I think that’s my purpose,” he tells us after giving his statement much thought. “I’m just going with the flow, but I think it’s really for the audience. As long as I have that yearning inside me, trying to create better content, trying to push the industry forward, help the industry somewhat, give the audience better material, then I want to be part of the industry’s growth.”
That’s an advantage of starting in the business at a young age, he says: you see it flourish right in front of you. “I’m just blessed to have the support system that I have,” he says. “My family is there, Sarah [Lahbati, his wife], the kids. I can easily focus on my purpose and my goals because of my family. That’s important.”
Read more about Richard Gutierrez’s drive to perfect his craft in MEGA Man’s April 2023 issue, now available on Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.
Photography DOOKIE DUCAY
Creative Direction ANDREW ENCAPAS
Art Direction MARC YELLOW
Fashion Direction RYUJI SHIOMITSU, assisted by BITHIA REYES
Styling DAVID MILAN
Grooming Direction MIA CASTRO
Makeup LALA FLORES
Hair ARCHIE GILBERO
Video Production REGINA ACERON
Videography KIERAN PUNAY
Shot on location CASA BELLA HOME AND LIVING
Special thanks to STENIE COYIUTO-TAY and JOSEPH TAY of CASA BELLA HOME AND LIVING and JEANGER NAVARRO of LOUIS VUITTON