From Theater shows and Stage plays to Television and Film appearances, the UK’s Nicola Gardner is living out her dream of performing for the world stage. Not to mention, very humble and educated, this amazing performer is a role model for so many others around her. With a bright spirit and a very sharp sense of humor, the world is her oyster.
On leaving drama school, Nicola Gardner was cast in the lead role of Beatrice Joanna in ‘The Changeling’ for Aspects Theatre Company. The role of Lucretia in Shelley’s ‘The Cenci’ followed. Theatre roles have been nationwide for Nicola including the recent part of Gladys Nyika in Ankur Theatre Company’s production of ‘Mwana’.
Nicola has built an impressive TV resume having appeared in numerous prime time productions such as ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Emmerdale’ and ‘The Royal’. ‘Brookside’ opened the door to featured roles and Nicola played the part of Vonnie Johnson whose troubled teen Jerome (Leon Lopez) became the protégé of relative Mick Johnson (Louis Emerick). In addition, Nicola has also appeared as Anne Finn in ‘Merseybeat’ and in ‘The Royal’ as Sister Theresa.
Nicola’s talent for comedy was recognised by Granada Television resulting in a part in ‘The World of Lee Evans’ followed by the role of Angelica in Yorkshire Television’s ‘Lamb of God’.
Nicola has worked extensively in radio, most recently in ‘Whoopi Goldberg’s Country Life’, ‘Number 10’ & ‘Bad by Default’ all for BBC Radio 4. As well as a performer, Nicola is also a writer and has created comedy sketch material for radio & television. Nicola also writes the material for her stand-up character, ‘Florence the West Indian Lesbian’.
Here is what Nicola had to share with the readers of Examiner:
Hi Nicola, please describe how and when you first got into performing:
I first got into performing as a young girl at about the age of 6. I went to a Theatre school in Manchester and studied Ballet, tap, modern dance, drama and elocution.
Growing up, who were some of your biggest inspirations in the acting world?
My biggest inspirations were Whoopi Goldberg, Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington. Like Whoopi, I have a variety of characters that I perform as well as performing stand-up comedy.
What type of training have you done, if any?
I trained at the North Cheshire Theatre School, I’ve also attended training workshops at the TVI Studios, Los Angeles. In addition to this, I hold RADA Shakespeare acting certificates.
In your career so far, what has been your favorite or most memorable role to play?
The role I have loved the most was playing Vonnie Johnson in ‘Brookside’, as this was a popular soap opera on TV, it opened many doors for me and was so enjoyable to play. The character I played was a single mother and at the time so was I!
What other projects do you have coming up?
At the moment, I am the compere of a Comedy show called ‘Get up, Stand up’. Being the compere is such a good experience and I can flex my comedy muscles! I have also been asked to appear in a play called ‘Florence’ by Maurice Bessman about a woman seeking asylum from Zimbabwe.
If you could work opposite one of your favorite actors or actresses, who would it be?
I would love to work with Morgan Freeman. He seems to be such a wise person and a really accomplished actor. I could learn so much from him!
What are your plans as far as career wise for the future?
I want to do more television work particularly in the US. When I was in Los Angeles recently, a Casting Director referred to me as the ‘Black Jane Leeves’. Jane Leeves is the British Actress who was on ‘Frasier’ so I’m looking for comedy roles of that type. I’m also a presenter so I’m always busy with a variety of projects.
For all the aspiring performers out there trying to break into the entertainment business, what would be your advice to them?
My advice to aspiring performers is get into a good drama school, love what you are doing and persist until you succeed! Also, avoid the company of negative actors as much as possible!
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