Since my blog is named after the Sting song “An Englishman In New York”, I'm particularly pleased that I have finally found an English man to feature in this series. From County Durham, Luke Neville is a long way from home, pursuing his passion of performance, amongst the city lights. Luke, I've a feeling we're not in County Durham any more.
I started reading Luke's blog, NevNYC, when I first moved to Manhattan and it was a constant source of comfort to read through his Manhattan experiences and seeing him come out the other side unscathed. If you read his blog (which I recommend you do) you can tell that he is a super nice guy, but nothing can prepare you for his warmth or riotous northern sense of humor. The shoot was accompanied by plenty of laughter, and we already have plans to go get Mexican food along with our other halves. I'm pretty sure it's hard to meet Luke and not instantly exchange your life stories.
Why did you move to New York over anywhere else?
I had visited NYC twice before I eventually moved here and I remember distinctly that on those two trips I had such a strong pull to the city itself. There was something in those two visits that was telling me I was meant to be here at some point. So when the opportunity came along for me to move here I thought, BRING IT ON!
Where is your favorite place in the city?
One of my all time favorite places in the city is Madison Square Park. It's a place that I just love to walk through as it reminds of those times I visited New York beforehand. My first apartment was on Madison Avenue near my school so I would frequent the park quite a bit. Now I live in Brooklyn, it's nice to wander through it every once in a while and take it all in. Side note: There is now a Wagamamas right near Madison Square Park so now I have EVERY excuse to swing by!
What is it like living, learning and working in New York?
Coming from the beautifully small County Durham, England to New York was somewhat of a culture shock when I moved here almost a year and a half ago. It's so fast paced, and back home I always thought I was a fast-paced individual. Here in NYC I think I would be considered somewhat of a snail! Training in Acting in NYC is nothing short of incredible, I'm surrounded by supporting artists, new work, history, Broadway, TV & Film I mean it's amazing! I feel very, very fortunate.
Any advice to budding young actors from Old Blighty thinking about making the leap across the pond?
I say do it! If you get the opportunity to spend any time here in New York, whether it be for a short vacation or if you're planning a big move, I say go for it! There is something electric in the city that will captivate you in your time here and it's just something you have to do! Come out here and see all the new and exciting work on and off Broadway and meet new people. I can guarantee you won't regret it. (I sound like an advert for a New York holiday package) .
Tell me about your blog, NevNYC. Why did you start it?
I actually started NevNYC as a way of documenting and sharing what I was up to with family friends. I don't know how long I will be here for but no matter how long or short I thought it would be cool to have something to look back on. It kinda felt like Bridget Jones Diary initially. As time has gone on NevNYC has grown and grown and now I'm updating weekly to lots and lots of readers which is wonderful, and so much fun!
Do you think that outsiders like us can become true New Yorkers?
Of course! New York is so welcoming to outsiders, on every block you'll find people from all walks of life, from all corners of the globe. And that is one of the most wonderful things about NYC. Although they do say that you aren't a true New Yorker until you've been here for 10 years so I have 8.5 years to go!!!
How would you describe New York in just 3 words?
Progressive, challenging and magical!
An afternoon well spent I think. Thanks Luke!