The first thing that hits you when you step off the plane in LA is just how eager people are to help you out here - or at least that's what I've found. I've been perpetually impressed with waitresses, bar tenders, shop workers - pretty much everyone I've come across in the service sector, have all been exceptionally polite and almost too eager to help.
My daughter wants to be an actress. Words that should strike fear into the heart of any right thinking parent. I've gently tried to discourage her from what I perceive as a harsh life, but she comes alive on stage and has held on to this ambition to the exclusion of other childhood dreams. Luckily my daughter is only seven and there is plenty of time for sense to prevail, but were she to continue on her path, what should she know?
When we experience someone being genuine we believe them. Be that a politician, someone asking for help at work, or the member of staff in a store who genuinely seems interested in helping us. We notice when people are being real, when they forget about trying to impress but come from a genuine desire to connect with us in that moment.
For twenty-five years Andy Nyman has worked in theatre, film and television. As an 11-year-old boy, he sat in a Leicester cinema watching Jaws, "There I was, a stocky little curly haired Jew seeing a stocky little curly haired Jew playing the lead in a film, I released this isn't fantasy. I could actually do that."
In the last three week in my capacity as a public speaking coach, I contacted agents and tweeted BAFTA nominees. This was in a genuine effort to offer my help to them to create something other than the weak and formulaic, predictable speeches I saw some give at the Oliviers this year. Here's where it all went wrong and what we can do about it.
After an unfortunate encounter with a young French boy, I had sworn to myself I would garner some 'me time' and step away from the fray. So I am wondering quite how I seem to have the grand total of four young men, of varying degrees of eligibility, all vying to arrive down my chimney this Christmas.