Nikko Thomas has not been in LA all that long. He moved to the city not quite two years ago after graduating from the esteemed theater program at Arizona State University in Tempe. But he has certainly been using his time wisely as he has worked on finding his place in the city and in the industry. Already successful in his time here, he was able to land commercial and theatrical agents, a manager and get into a number of quality auditions, booking several, including a national commercial. But as Thomas found out, like all actors do, it’s what you do between auditions and jobs that will determine your experience and to a degree, your success. Thomas has gotten into writing his own scripts and even directed a short recently. So he is definitely making sure he expands his skill set while continuing to hone his craft as an actor.
We caught up with Thomas to get his insight into breaking into the market.
HBM: You are relatively new to LA. What has the transition been like for you?
NT: The transition has been amazing! Unlike most actors I know, I decided to live right in the heart of Los Angeles, in downtown. Downtown LA is becoming quite the gentrified city. Everyday there is so much happening, so much to absorb, and gain inspiration from.
HBM: How are you liking it here?
NT: I truly love it here. Everyday Is something new, something undiluted, true bliss.
HBM: What is the biggest difference from college to being a full working actor?
NT: The biggest difference has been that now being completely on my own, no professors, no classmates, it is up to me to maintain motivation, constantly learn and train, and keeping a clear and positive mind no matter the outcome of my successes or failures.
HBM: What is the hardest part about the career? What has surprised you the most?
NT: The hardest part I think is keeping a positive mind. We as actors face so much rejection and the damage it does to ones mental health can be so overwhelming. The biggest surprise to me has been how easy it can be to book auditions if you really put the time and dedication to exposing yourself.
HBM: How do you stay on top of your craft when you are not working?
NT: I read a lot! Whether it be plays, bibliographies, fiction, non fiction. Books on film, spiritually, self sustainability. Understanding and learning different perspectives allow growth and change. I also journal quite a bit. As well as write my own films.
HBM: What’s the biggest lesson so far for you on being an actor in LA
NT: The biggest lesson I’ve learned thus far is that, you won’t grow if you don’t allow yourself to grow, and nothing will change, if you don’t change it! Things are easier done then said.
HBM: Any advice for others moving here and trying to break in?
NT: Avoid the 5 freeway. (He laughs) Mainly don’t worry about being the lead, just focus on getting on set, everyone’s got their shot, take your time, ground yourself, and the universe will conspire.