We had the good fortune of connecting with Costa Nicholas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Costa, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“It’s not easy. If it was easy, there’d be no Kerry Washington. If it was easy, there’d be no Taraji Henson. If it were easy, there’d be no Octavia Spencer. But not only that, if it were easy, there’d be no Viola Davis. If it were easy, there’d be no Mykelti Williamson, no Stephen McKinley Henderson, no Russel Hornsby. If it were easy, there’d be no Denzel Washington. So, keep working. Keep striving. Never give up. **Fall down seven times, get up eight.** Without commitment, you’ll never start. But more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So, keep moving, keep learning, keep growing; see you at work.” This was a speech given by Denzel Washington in 2017, and though he is primarily addressing actors of color, his words hold true for anyone in any difficult position. Especially to me who has always had a fighter/warrior spirit and mindset toward things. “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” It goes to show that when things seem lowest, when all is darkest, find the strength and the courage to get up and push through one more time. Because though it would have been easy to stop there, you may have finally missed your true moment to succeed.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an actor first, but I also direct and write. It certainly wasn’t an easy road, and there’s still plenty more to walk. The hardest part about it is you’re constantly battling some sort of Catch 22. Want to book TV shows? Well you need to have some good TV credits to your name to be considered. How do you get the big auditions? With good representation. How do you get good representation? By having impressive credits and experience. You can piece together the rest of the cycle, I’m sure. And the only advice that can be given? “Just keep going, just stick with it.” Infuriating, but also simply the truth. There is no formula, there is no “right way”; everybody’s path to what “success” will look like for them is completely different. So take all the advice you can, apply what works best for you, and constantly look ahead and move forward. Because you’ll find you’re meeting more people, taking more classes, auditioning more, booking a few more things here and there. Then you lose momentum and it all goes quiet. But you keep moving forward, and before you know it, you’re filling your plate again, but with stuff that you’re a little more excited about.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Of course there’s the common sites; the Hollywood studio tours, The Getty, The Griffith. But there’s also driving (or riding if you’ve got a motorcycle) the PCH, Big Bear, Malibu, Ojai. I would tend to keep things to the outdoors like that. As for restaurants, there’s my own place of employ, Osteria Mozza, the 1 Up in Sherman Oaks, Big Bar, Home, and Messhall Kitchen. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Right now I want to give a shout out to my acting coach and friend Matthew Corozine. I studied with him for several years while I was living in NYC, but then obviously hadn’t since moving to LA. After the pandemic struck, he brought his classes on line via zoom, and I was able to jump in once again. This allowed me the opportunity to be able to keep active with my career and keep the muscle fresh and active even while the world had slowed to a crawl. It also kept me connected to people, thus keeping me sane!
Linkedin: Costa Giannakopoulos
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