Make time to expand your life experiences. I always worried that if i wasn’t constantly working that I would fall behind somehow or that the week I took off work would be the week I would miss an opportunity. It is SO important to take time away and refresh your mind and spend time traveling, experiencing new things or seeing family. When I look back it is those moments I remember and cherish the most.
As a part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Coco Lloyd.
Coco Victoria Lloyd is a British / Australian singer, writer, actress and producer. Coco grew up in Hitchin, England. She attended Stagecoach Theatre School where she studied music, drama and dance.
Coco began her professional career in London with acting roles in ‘Footballers Wives’ and ‘What would happen if?’ Her first big music break came when she was picked for a project at Sony London which would then lead her into a girl group for a popular UK talent show. The band reached the UK no1 top chart spot with their cover charity single ‘You Are Not Alone’.
After leaving the girlgroup, Coco came back to London and started working on her own band called ’Nevermind’. Nevermind gained national recognition with their first single ‘2 Lines’ which appeared on several BBC stations before finally getting playlisted on the coveted BBC Radio 1.
After the break up of Nevermind, Coco went back to study acting full time in London and NY. Coco recently shot her first leading feature film role in ‘The Hex’ . Other recent credits include film festival favorites ‘Saurian Shudder’, ‘New You’ , ‘Trypophobia’ and the TV pilot Berlin. Coco also founded her own film production company in 2018 with the second feature filming in late 2019. Coco currently resides in Los Angeles.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up an only child in a small town in England called Hitchin. I was raised by my Italian mother and grandmother which was where my love of Italian food began! I studied the arts from age 6 at weekend stage schools before finally pursuing performing full time at 16.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I always loved performing! When I was a kid I used to put on ‘concerts’ at home for my family where I would dress up as my favorite singers and sing along to their records! I would even make my cousin join in so that i could have more than one Spice Girl in the show haha. Since my school was more focused on the academic side I begged my mum to put me in weekend stage schools so that I could have more time acting and singing. As soon as I left school I knew that was what i wanted to do.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
There have been hundreds that would fit here!! But my favorite story looking back is when the girl group ended in my early 20s I was living in London and decided one day to pack a bag and move to LA. I didn’t know anyone I just had one number of a woman i had never met before who had worked with a friend of mine. I booked a flight and went straight to the airport to start a new life. As Jane Fonda said it’s never too late to start over!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One of my first auditions was for a well known feature film and as I was so young and VERY nervous — I completely blanked as soon as I started and ended up having to read mostly from the script. However one of the pages was stuck so I skipped 2 pages by mistake and in the moment I had no idea why the actor was saying different things to what was on my page. I took a sip of water to calm myself and ended up having a choking fit! For sure my most embarrassing audition and over time I learned to calm my nerves before going into a room.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are so many people who have helped me to be where I am that It wouldn’t be fair to name just one!
To those who have given me a chance to do what i love over the last ten years (you know who you are!) I am forever grateful and I hope one day to give others the same opportunities.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
All i can say is i’ve ‘failed’ 1000 more times than I have succeeded in this industry. I don’t see it as failure anymore, but rather that getting to do what i love every day is a success whether that means acting at home or in a production — I do it because I love it even if there is no reward. I went years without getting a paid acting job and i’ve slept on sofas and scraped by for bills pretty much my whole 20s. My advice is to not let fear stand in the way of doing what you love as life is short — go for what you are passionate about so you have no regrets!
What drives you to get up everyday and work in TV and Film? What change do you want to see in the industry going forward?
Performing is really the only thing I truly enjoy. I have done many side jobs over the years to pay the bills and the only time i feel alive is when I’m doing something creative. The change I wanted to see has already been happening recently — giving opportunities to new artists that don’t have the best or most extensive credits. Everyone needs that first job and someone to take a chance on them.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
My first horror film comes out on Amazon Prime Dec 15th called The Hex (it is available for pre order now)! I’m also working on 2 short films that I hope to have released in 2021. I started my own production company last year and I would love to spend a lot more time developing projects behind the camera alongside acting.
We are very interested in looking at diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture and our youth growing up today?
It’s SO important that we have an exciting and diverse industry — that is the world we live in and it should be represented on screen! There is room for all ethnicities, cultures and looks and we are headed in the right direction for equality. I also encourage actors to film and shoot content in different countries if you get the chance — I just visited South Africa to film The Hex and it was one of the best experiences of my life — I’m ready for the next adventure!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Don’t take No to heart. When I first started auditioning I would cry and be devastated if I did not get a role. I would take it so personally and start to doubt myself. I wish I knew that it is not the end of the world! All you can do is your best and the rest is outside of your control. Be kind to yourself.
- Your health is MOST important. I spent most of my teens and 20s in a constant state of anxiety. I would overthink EVERYTHING and never get enough sleep or real food. Remember if you have your health and fresh air you can do anything! Never take it for granted. Make sure to sleep and eat well and put your mental health first.
- Make time to expand your life experiences. I always worried that if i wasn’t constantly working that I would fall behind somehow or that the week I took off work would be the week I would miss an opportunity. It is SO important to take time away and refresh your mind and spend time traveling, experiencing new things or seeing family. When I look back it is those moments I remember and cherish the most.
- DO NOT compare yourself to other people. This is really easier said than done with social media I know, and I still catch myself doing it. There is never going to be someone walking the exact same path as you and nothing is a race or competition. Just focus on the way that you want to spend each day to make it happy, the rest will fall into place.
- Don’t give up on what you want in life! Even if you had the worst day in the world, have a bath, eat some pizza and have a good nights sleep. Tomorrow is a new day to start fresh!
Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.
- Being British, tea is the savior of any problem. There are very few things that can’t be made to feel better with a cup of tea. My favorite is Twinings 1706.
- I love scents and find them really calming. My current favorites are Temple Spa Repose, and Jo Malone Wild Bluebell or Wood Sage & sea salt. I spray them for perfume but also into the air when I need to de- stress.
- I truly believe that having a pet is healing and being around my dog Cola is the best feeling in the world!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
‘Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck’ — Dalai Lama. I feel this quote is so relevant in life, so many times we focus on the things that we didn’t get, have or achieve but the reason could be that something else better was meant for you. Never be sad things didn’t work the way you wanted — life has a great way of surprising you when you least expect it!
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Kindness! I cant say it enough, the world needs people to be kinder. I wish i could try and tackle the topic of online bullying and channel the negativity into positive change. So many suicides stem from the internet and it’s devastating.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
There are two! Drew Barrymore and Kim Cattrall! I just love them both. They are both so funny, honest and real. Lunch with them would be incredible!
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
I post most days on Instagram — @iamcocolloyd
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!