Meet A Member - Dionne Neish
photography Ewelina Kosik
Was there a particular reason you chose LA ?
The weather! I know everyone says that, but its a big draw! I have actually always wanted to live in LA from the moment I knew it was the mecca of film and I wanted to be a part of that. To me it was the most obvious move to make. It was my childhood dream I suppose, and I never quite got over that - the glitz and the glam of what it is to be in Hollywood! So in 2003 when i came here to do a acting course at TVI, and see if it lived up to my expectations, I fell in love and never wanted to leave.
What do you miss most from home?
My Family! The time difference and being so far away is a killer. Thank God for FB and WhatsApp and all that,
What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since ? If so why ?
My impressions when i first arrived for a holiday was bright, hopeful, REALLY friendly shiny people and it pretty much stayed that way, until moving here to live. It can be quite isolated coz its such a big city, if you don't find the right people to hang with. There is a shadier side to LA but I think thats every large city really if your naive. But Hopeful has always stayed with me. I feel like the impossible is possible, there is an optimism and friendliness to Americans that you occasionally see back home.
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus London?
Transport. Optimism, Culture. There is more segregation here in LA though, they say this is a melting pot of the world, It isn't, London is! Everything is very defined here from street to street you know when you're in a different neighborhood. I find London is more mixed in culture (though we do have defined areas). I think different cultures seem to mix more back home, but that could be to do with space.
Do you have any hidden gems in LA that you want to share with us?
Melrose Place, love that area it reminds me of Primrose Hill. Santee Alley, I love a bargain and when a friend took me there it was bargain heaven, its like a Primark in LA. Any thing DownTown. I've seen this area grow over the years, it reminds me of New York. But my biggest love is the Hollywood Bowl (not a hidden gem lol), no matter how many times I've been there it always feels like the first time. Its like being transported back to a kid and my idea of the Hollywood dream. I love it there.
The Normandie Club, a bar that is similar to a speakeasy great specialized cocktails, decor and good music.
A lot of people have misconceptions about LA - did you ?
Funnily enough I didn't have many, I'd done my research. But the one thing I do remember, which astounded me, was looking for apartments and coming across ones that come without fridges, cookers and furniture. I was like "What!!! I have to rent that stuff??!". That baffled me.
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here ?
Be prepared. Don't just hop over and think that you can settle in. I would do a recce to see what neighborhoods suit you. Can you handle being stuck in a car for hours? - the driving can be a killer. Have enough money as you need a car - Though I've proven you actually can live without one now that lyft and uber are around. Be open. Network, don't be afraid to do that. I didn't do enough of this early on when I moved. As an actor giving advice I would say do improv class in any of the top schools in LA
Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given ?
Always take Fountain oldie but a goodie. Create your own work, don't ask for permission don't wait for the phone to ring. Start creating, writing, filming, whatever it is; start doing it now.
Lastly , how can we find out more about you ?
My latest film that I shot earlier this year is now released this week it's called Martian Land, it's a sci-fi, action adventure film you can check it out on iTunes:
|Visit iTunes page here|
My website: www.dionneneish.com