MEET NICHOLAS HOSKING WHO MOVED TO LA FROM SURREY IN 1997 (to avoid getting a real job!)
|Photo Credit: Patrick Holland|
Was there a particular reason you chose LA?
I had fallen into acting in Sydney when I won a green card in a lottery so LA seemed the obvious choice. However I avoided it for two years (choosing instead to work as a ski photographer in Aspen) but I knew I would regret it later if I didn’t give LA a go so I didn’t go back for a third winter in Aspen and changed my ticket to Los Angeles, where my only goal was to see if I could get a speaking part on anything that would get shown in the UK.
What one thing do you miss from home?
The first thing I do whenever I go to England is to head straight to a Marks and Spencer Food Hall or a Sainsbury’s and buy all the food I miss (including Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, Scotch Eggs, Sticky Toffee pudding, Galaxy Milk Chocolate, a pint of English Milk, bottles of various Ciders, a carton of custard, some clotted cream and a packet of Chocolate Hobnobs) so I suppose I should say its English Comfort Food I miss. But actually what I really miss is not replaceable and that is all the family things I have not been a part of in the 25 years since I left the UK. And in hindsight, completely missing out on what I think of as the “Cool Britannia” years; when Robbie Williams and Coldplay ruled Pop Music; and The Office and The Royal Family ruled TV.
What do you find is the biggest difference between living here and the UK.
There is no shame in LA in having a menial job, or even several menial jobs to pay the bills while pursuing one’s ambition. Jobs here are more like stepping-stones to the career one really wants. My memory of the UK is that whatever job you have, it is assumed that you can’t do any better. For example, a Chauffeur in the UK is assumed to be just that, whereas a Chauffeur in LA is assumed to be in Law school, or an actor, or trying to sell a script etc.
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
It was the Silver Spoon (a classic American Diner in West Hollywood serving inexpensive simple yet delicious food, where Celebrities could eat without being gawked at, you could take as long as you wanted to eat your meal and most of the staff had worked there since it opened). It just got knocked down to make way for what I see as the epitome of ugly Hollywood dining – a two month waiting list for a reservation, everything cookie cuttered for the franchise its hoping to become and according to those that have eaten there, disappointing food. So instead, my hidden gem is the Bat Cave from the 1960’s TV show. I assumed the cave entrance was built on a set, but it actually is the mouth of a cave in Griffith Park and to this day looks just like I remember it from TV.
And Greystone is really good if you have visitors in town who want to see a Mansion up close and you don’t have your own one to show them.
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?
If you have a chance to live here and you want to, then you should. If its not what you wanted it to be, you don’t have to stay.
Give yourself a fighting chance by arriving with a work permit for the type of work you hope to do and also for the job you may need to get to pay the bills. Don’t expect an employer to “sort out your work permit”. It does happen, but very rarely.
If you’re coming here to work as an actor, make sure you can do a standard American accent. Most likely you’ll always get hired for British parts, but every casting director is going to ask if you can “lose your accent”, and if you can’t demonstrate it with confidence then and there, you will see a flicker of disappointment come across their face, as they wonder what else you haven’t bothered to learn.
The Australians are very good at this and if they can learn it, so can you! Liz Burnette in Venice is an excellent speech therapist and dialect coach and has helped a good number of Brits. And she is affordable, if anyone wants her contact info let me know.
Lastly, how can we find you on the internet?
I’m easier to find in real life, I work Monday – Friday (and the occasional Saturday) at the Chase Bank by Pavilions in West Hollywood (at the North West corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Robertson, diagonally across from The Abbey). If you’re pissed off with your bank, come and see me. Hopefully you don’t already bank with Chase! But even if you do, I might be able to help you. The branch number is 310-275-3158
For those insisting on an internet presence, here’s a link to a short film I worked on, it was an entry in the Toscars Film Festival 2011, which is put on by Brits in LA each Oscar season.
I occasionally log into facebook, but not nearly as often as I should. If you’ve tried to reach me and I haven’t got back to you yet, I will. Unless I’m deliberately ignoring you, which is unlikely unless your name is