Nicole Wilson: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Today’s Notable Young Professional is Nicole Wilson, who found herself counting down the minutes before she could leave the office and run to the theatre, a realization that encouraged her to pursue performance arts full-time and now sees her starring in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, currently playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I work as an actor and theatre creator and also run my own math tutoring business, The Math Room. 

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Before going to theatre school I was working at SAP as a financial software consultant. I started  studying, then performing and coaching improv comedy in the evenings for fun, and quite rapidly found myself counting down the minutes before I could leave the office and run to the theatre. I had always been drawn to performance in the past, but this was the final catalyst for my decision to pursue it full-time.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is that I get to do something different each day. There is no monotony in the life of an artist. I am constantly auditioning, working on a current project, seeing theatre or working on my own creation. I feel extremely lucky to have such deliciously varied days!

The most challenging part is trying to find work-life balance. When you love what you do as much as most artists do, it becomes very difficult not to think of every encounter, situation, and crisis as potential inspiration/material for the work. Trigorin (my lover in a current production of the Seagull I am working on) says it best: “Here I am talking to you, I am excited, yet every minute I’m thinking that my unfinished novel is waiting for me. I pounce on every word, every phrase we speak, and I store them away because some day I will use them.” It’s both wonderful and all-consuming to be so passionate about something.

Ask any actor and I am sure they will tell you that in times of crisis they have watched themselves to see how they respond physically and emotionally.

What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
My frequent bouts of vertigo, which I believe stem from anxiety.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Creating my own work in the theatre (and hopefully getting steady paying work), owning a home and being able to financially support my momsicles.

What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge has been simply believing in myself. It sounds silly because all actors necessarily believe in themselves to some extent or we wouldn’t be able to get up on the stage and perform. However, keeping one’s self esteem up can be tough when daily life is filled with rejection, criticism, and reviews. 

I’ve come to realize that colleagues are often critical or quiet after seeing your work because of the competitiveness of the industry. For me, the best thing actors can do is encourage and commend each other for the risks we take when we go on stage or on camera. I strive to do this when I witness others’ work. The very act of acknowledging the courage it takes fellow actors to put themselves out there helps me to recognize that in myself.

What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success for me is being able to make a living doing what I love to do. 

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
There are three teachers I had at George Brown Theatre school (Leslie French, Hume Baugh, and Jordan Pettle) who truly allowed me to take time to explore my work and to do so in a physical way. Instead of expecting results immediately, they allowed me to try a lot of unusual things (some of which didn’t work) without feeling as if I had failed. These three teachers taught me what it really means to act and to invest in a character. 

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I do. I must confess though that it was advice that was given to me by Leslie French. “It’ll happen and then it’ll be over.”

It’s the best thing I’ve been told. It helps me keep perspective through the highs and lows. 

Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Pizzeria Libretto! Their Gragnano is delicious, the pizza is to die for, and it’s reasonably priced. Oh, did I mention it’s about a three-minute walk from my house? 

When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
Drinking wine and playing nun bowling with my love, Alexander Offord, talking on the phone for hours with my momsicles, texting my dad as he travels around the country, skyping my brother and his newborn, and trading funny stories about our parents with my sister Jessi!

Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
Greece with my mom. We went to Athens and a few islands a couple of years ago and had the time of our lives. The weather is stunning, the history is fascinating, and the architecture is beautiful.

If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
The Bear Necessities from The Jungle Book.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Math research.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Toronto Pig Save

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
A very old Android.

 

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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