Licensee Spotlight: Tash & Nick – PhD Student & Casting Director

We recently sat down to have a conversation with Tash & Nick, licensees who have made a vacant space a beautiful home in one of our South London properties. A PhD student and casting director, they share their experiences living with LOWE and their favourite things about living in East Croydon.

cushions sitting on the ground underneath posters on a wall

1. What do you do?

Tash: I am a PhD student, my PhD is in the intersection of mental and physical health. It’s specifically looking at inflammatory bowel disease. I start my fourth year in September and then I’m done, hopefully I’ll be a Doctor Tash!

Nick: I’m a casting director. I work in theatre and do a bit of screen stuff as well. Lots of short films and I have previously worked in telly and film inside and outside of London.

2. Did you always have an interest in your field?

Tash: Yes definitely. At school, I loved reading books. I thought maths was really boring, but I loved the sciency stuff and then I grew to love maths as well. When I started my undergrad I started off doing physics and material science and chemistry, and people would be like, ‘oh okay, cool’ and obviously not want to talk about it, now that I do a lot of gut-brain stuff which everyone is big into at the moment, it’s nice that people are a bit more interested.

Nick: I trained as an archaeologist. Whilst I was studying, I worked as a runner in a casting office in central London.

3. Do you work from home or go into an office?

Tash: I used to go to the office because my old flat didn’t have lots of space, but now we have so much desk space that it feels very sort of… homely but productive in here as well!

Nick: I work from home quite a lot, but then actually I’m pretty all over, I do some regional work. Last week I was in Plymouth, this week I was in Stratford upon Avon, next week I’m in Peterborough! When I’m not on the road I am working from home.

a computer screen sitting on a desk with a corkboard background and chair

4. How do you find getting to work from so far out?

Nick: It’s really easy to get to almost all of those places. I think I could get a direct train to Peterborough if I wanted to from East Croydon which is kind of mad! And I do a bit of work at The Globe, which is pretty quick and easy from London bridge.

Tash: I’m doing my PhD at King’s College London and they’ve got an office in London Bridge which is the office that I go to. My commute is a bit of a joke! It’s sort of bed-to-desk in under half an hour. And I’ve got to go up five flights of stairs in a hospital in that time, so it’s a really good commute.

5. What has been the best part of living as a licensee with LOWE?

Nick: My job is a full freelance lifestyle, I never quite know where the next job’s going to come from. With that in mind, being a licensee where I can get out with one month’s notice is really helpful. It really suits a freelancer and with it being cheaper than renting, it takes the pressure off. If you don’t get a job, or theatre is famously very badly paid, it means it’s less of a factor. I can take more jobs that I love.

6. How do you find living as a LOWE licensee? 

Tash: Our kitchen is nice! Not everyone uses it, so it feels very spacious, it’s been really nice. 

Nick: We love the licensees here, really lovely people! Everyone feels pretty relaxed and happy and it’s quite easy to cohabitate in this space, because we’ve all got our own space, plenty of showers… we even have a dishwasher! Crazy?!

7. How do you find living further out from the city?

Tash: We’ve come to realise that Croydon is actually the centre of London, centre of the universe really! It is so rapid, you pick a really random spot in London, and you think, surely, it’s not gonna be quick to get there. But it is! Maybe North West London is a bit of a faff, but everywhere else is really good.

Nick: You can get to Victoria so quickly, which means you can get a Victoria line, which is lightning! Getting on the train from Clapham Junction you’re kind of like oh I’m… I’m here! 

bed with a whiteboard behind it and a box in front, on a blue rug.

8. How do you like living in Croydon?

Tash: There’s loads of good Caribbean and North African food spots. My favourite has got to be this place called Paratha Inn. You can get a massive paratha for five-six pounds. 

Nick: There’s so much around here. Lots of South Asian and Sri, Lankan foods. There’s a really good pizza place, Raggio di Sole we really like. I also love the tram a lot, not many people know London has such a vibrant tram system haha. 

The Tram is cheap! It’s £1.75 a pop, which in this economy is good money. It’s like getting the bus but you can get much further much quicker. It’s nice going all the way out to the east bits, such as Beckenham and Addington, we’ve still got loads to explore, I just don’t feel we have the time.

BOXPARK is also a really good spot for food and drink. Croydon has really good pub game, the drinks are a bit cheaper too, so you’re not paying London prices for pints in most places. Some you can if you want to.

9. What’s next for you?

Tash: I definitely want to keep doing research and science. I don’t know where, when, how, but yeah, probably at University for a bit.

a rack of clothes hanging on a wall with a shelf above holding records

We had a lovely time chatting to Tash and Nick about how they have made a vacant property in Croydon a home! If you are interested in becoming a licensee, head to our application page!