For as long as Thomas Orlina can remember, he has always been glued to the TV, watching the morning news programs and being intrigued by the television anchors. At the age of 5, while most kids were busy playing, Orlina would make up his own news segments and pretend to be a reporter with his father who would play his camera man. He knew then that being in front of the camera, entertaining and informing the audience was his calling.
"As my dad and I pretended to do those imaginary news segments, I just remember loving being in front of the camera and feeling so comfortable. It was so much fun and it just came naturally to me! I just always assumed that’s what I’d do when I grew up."
Now years later, Filipino American Thomas Orlina is an unstoppable force in the entertainment industry. He currently works on several of the most well-known entertainment companies including AfterBuzz TV and Warner Bros. and Orlina does not shy away from working on numerous projects at the same time, just like his role models, Ryan Seacrest and Ellen DeGeneres.
“I think Ryan and Ellen have worked so hard to get to where they are, seeing how they’ve evolved over the years has given me inspiration to never give up and take on multiple projects at the same time.”
Thomas Orlina received his big break working at TMZ where he learned what being in the Hollywood business was really like.
“I learned very early on that this business moves so fast! If you’re not ready in an instant when opportunity arises, then you might be in the wrong industry!”
Currently, Thomas works at AfterBuzz TV as a host and red carpet correspondent. When asked about his experience at AfterBuzz, he says “The great Maria Menounos and Keven Undergaro (who are also the creators) have inspired me to work on improving my hosting skills and have shown me how to be a multi-dimensional host. That means having the ability to handle different genres of programming, and take on subject matter that is either lighthearted and fun, or more serious subjects. They’ve given me a lot of key pointers on how to separate myself from the rest of the field.”
And he has definitely separated himself from everyone else. 2017 was a successful year for the producer and host. In addition to covering numerous red carpet premieres, hosting the after show for Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York,” Orlina got his first Producer job at C Squared, where his main responsibility was to create original entertainment news segments.
But perhaps Orlina’s biggest accomplishment was the premiere of his original self-produced show, “Your Time With Thomas” an eight part YouTube series which not only takes the audience through different parts of Southern California (and one episode in Vegas), but more importantly, captures Thomas’ personal life as he deals with topics that most of us can relate to; including friendship, dating, community, family and his Filipino culture. One of his main goals in producing “YTWT” was to inspire others.
“I told myself at the very start of this, if I was going to make a show, I wanted it to have meaning and provide inspiration to the viewer. At the end of each episode, I have a segment called “Takeaway” which allows me to incorporate my mantra which is to always end things on a high note. That’s why in each episode, I leave you with a message of hope and inspiration that you can hopefully take with you and carry over into your own life.” He adds “I think certain life experiences have made me the way I am. I grew up feeling like I had to portray myself a certain way for people to like me but later in life i realized that wasn’t the way I wanted to live. When I decided to let my true self shine through and let go of worrying about what others might think, I gained so much confidence. Now I’m in a place where I’d like to give that same confidence to people who might have felt like me growing up.”
Orlina’s series has definitely resonated with many. His episodes garner thousands of views on YouTube. When asked about the success of “YTWT,” Orlina says, “We live in a world now where people are looking for what I like to call “snackable” content and with the short length of the episodes (about 8 mins or so) and the many different topics we offer, it’s really appealing to almost every demographic. Whether people are drawn to the subject matter of the episodes or the travel aspect or perhaps the messaging in the takeaways, those are all things that make it stand out as unique content and the reason why people connect so well with the show.”
So it comes as no surprise that Season 2 of “Your Time With Thomas” is in the works. In addition, Orlina is excited to announce a spinoff.
“This year I’m premiering what I’m calling a “spin off” of YTWT which is going to be titled, “Your Time With Thomas: The Experience.” It’s a video log format which will be more intimate than my original show. The videos will be shorter and the way I’m producing each of them will be fresh and exciting for viewers. This is not to be confused with, “Your Time With Thomas: The Shuffle,” which is already an interactive segment where we feature fans of the show asking questions and providing feedback. It’s been such a rewarding experience to expand and create more unique and intriguing content to continue building the brand and expanding viewership. For the next season, you’re going to see even more of me, so look out! I’ve been approached with some interesting opportunities, so I’m weighing out my options now and I’ll try and take on as much as I can and say “yes” whenever possible! I’m excited about all of the possibilities!”
"Now for 2018, it’s going to be about looking towards my future like, Where do I want to be 5 years from now? 10 years from now? With that in mind, I’m really going to focus on what I need to do to get there and take the steps necessary to make my vision of the future a reality."