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Daily Inspiration: Meet Neiko Neal

Today we’d like to introduce you to Neiko Neal.

Hi Neiko, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born in New London, CT., and resided there until I was 6. At the age of six, I was placed in my grandmother’s custody due to the substance abuse issues my mother and father had to deal with. I resided in New Castle, DE, from six and moved to LA in 2012. I was always a very artistic individual who loved to make people laugh and enjoyed entertaining my friends. There were many of my friends who constantly told me I belonged on TV. I never really pictured myself on the big screen in a big way.

Most of that stemmed from low self-esteem issues. I was in my first play in 2002 with a local church of mine and fell in love with performing from there. I went on to study theatre as a minor at the University of Delaware. I had modeled a little bit here and there and learned to use the camera. I then began to shoot other models, actors, producers, pageant queens, etc. I decided moving to LA will be a great way to launch my photography business. However, I found myself loving acting more than photography. So I got my feet wet in doing background, school films, shorts, etc., to help gain hands-on experience on sets. I sought out the best places to take classes and improv and because to really invest in my acting journey and career.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road has been filled with bumps, potholes, and everything else…haha. I wish it would have been easy, but the reality is that 99% of us will go down that same road. I’ve had projects not release footage to me, yelled at by crew on set for eating at the wrong crafty, be on sets for 12 hours with no pay, auditioned for just about everyone in LA at least once, so heard way more ‘no’s than yeses. I had to be okay with this because it is just part of the job we entrust ourselves with as actors and storytellers. I make sure to keep God first and ask him to direct my path along the way, and he helps me get through all obstacles every time.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am part of the gig economy like any other California artist. I do Uber, Postmates, Instacart; you name it to make ends meet so I can continue to do what I love to do. I love to do photography and cinematography. I am perfect at photoshop and can make some cool stuff happen in a photo. I am currently doing some online training for cinematography to one day shoot my own projects and enter them into film festivals around the world. I am known for my wit, charm, and good cooking. Yes! I am that guy who can throw down in the kitchen. I am most proud of myself for not giving up on my dreams and pushing past the negativity to be here still today, creating our future.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I love the LA culture. People here are really supportive for the most part of one another. The atmosphere is very much that of a beautiful lifestyle. You have everything here all in one place. You can go to the beach, mountains, theme parks, movies, restaurants, etc. plus the weather is unmatched! It’s the perfect place to live if you are adventurous, outdoorsy, hip, and young. The least thing I like about the city is how freaking expensive it is to live here. The parking and street cleaning is enough to drive you insane. Nowhere in the city is safe from street cleaning. I can’t stand it!

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

All images were taken by my photography company Skylord Photography.

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