TAEM- The Arts and Entertainment Magazine has a strong background in the horror genre theme of movies and an extreme interest in that segment of the motion picture industry. One of the more active players in that area is actress Sarah Nicklin. In the first five years of her career she has starred in more than seventy projects based out of New England. Now living in Los Angeles, she is pursuing her career with earnest.
Sarah, tell us about your childhood start in theater and how it set in motion your desire to pursue this professionally.
SN- I’ve always had a very active imagination. Even when I was younger one of my favorite things to do was to play “make believe” games with my sister in the woods behind our house. I guess theater and acting was just the next logical step. All though, I was terribly shy when I was little, so I really had to work at getting over that in order to pursue this, even though I think it still shows at times. The main reason I stuck with it when I was little even though I was terrified was that I was that I was completely in love with the child star Jonathan Taylor Thomas and was convinced that if I could become a big actress that we would meet and immediately fall in love and all that stuff. Of course my motives have changed a bit since then, but that’s really what pushed me into it.
TAEM- Describe the education that you undertook to enhance your career.
SN- I studied theater at Emerson College, which is basically the NYU of Boston. It was a four year program that covers whole bunch of traditional techniques as well as basically just getting you comfortable in your body and with using your voice. Then there were also a lot of improv and scene study classes where you go over how to break down scripts and find your objective and the moment before and all that other “technical acting” stuff. I just think it laid a great foundation to start building on and one of the main reasons why I chose it over some place like NYU was that is had classes that were geared specifically for film acting vs. theater acting, which not many colleges do and is really where my main interested lay. Since then I’ve also done a bunch of workshops and private scene studies with acting coach and so on.
SN- My first stage role was in 6th grade and it was the “sad girl” in Bye Bye Birdie and I was terrified. Thank God I really didn’t have any lines. All I had to do was not laugh while this guy tried to cheer me up, which really wasn’t difficult since I was so scared with the audience right there. My first film role was in a short, La Bolsa, and I was the lead and again, I was so nervous! At least by this point I had gone through high school theater classes and shows and had been accepted into Emerson’s program, so I had gotten over some of my stage fright, but this was my first time acting with people who I had never met before, which was the scariest part of it all. Luckily everyone was really nice to me and we started with some of the other actor’s scenes, who messed up worse than I did at first, so seeing that made me so much more relaxed!
TAEM- Please tell our readers about your earliest roles and how they gave you confidence in acting.
SN- I was really lucky to start off doing a bunch of films with a lot of the same filmmakers, which I think really helped a lot. It’s so much easier when you’re comfortable around the people you’re working with. The more I did, the easier it got. But the real thing that gave me a big boost was something that another actor said one night when he drove me home. This actor was very well respected in the area and we’ve since become very good friends, but that night he compared me to another local actress who I greatly respected and thought very highly of and he said that he thought that I was better than she was. That one compliment meant the world to me at the time and it really changed everything. It was the first time that I felt like someone believed that I could actually do this, and then to top it all off, he recommended me to another local director, who became another big influence on my life.
TAEM- In 2006 you played in the video, ‘Detour Into Madness- Vol. 2′. Please describe that film for us, and your role in it.
SN- Detour was one of my first indie films ever – done by Timberwolf Productions. It’s a collection of 5 shorts that all have some sort of connecting tone or themes. The short I was in was The Lesser of Two Evils, which is about two girls (lesbians) who have taken hostage some bad men who have gotten away with doing some terrible things, thinking that we were going to be teaching them a lesson, but of course, there is a twist at the end. I was the more innocent of the two girls, being corrupted by the other who was really the driving force behind capturing the two men, but she was able to talk me into torturing these men later on in the film.
TAEM- The following year you performed in two films: ‘Sanity or Survival’ and ‘Splatter Disco’. This was followed by your appearance in two episodes of the TV series, ‘Brotherhood’. Tell us about these projects.
SN- Sanity or Survival was again by Timberwolf Productions and was originally part of a feature called Forced Survival. The production of Forced Survival ended up getting delayed, but the director wanted to release the portion that the other actress, Alex Cipolla, and I had done, and so Sanity or Survival was born.
Splatter Disco was my first indie feature and my nerves really came back on this one because it had some “real actors” in the cast – Ken Foree, Lynn Lowry, Debbie Rochan, and Trent Haaga. So I was very excited and very nervous to act with them in this “real movie”. I was also still in college at the time, so had to run back and forthe between Boston and Providence and skip some classes in order to be part of it, but it was so worth it!
The Brotherhood was my first time on a “big” set. I just had a small featured extra part as a prostitute in one of the brothels, but it was great to be able to see how “the big guys” ran a production.
TAEM- In 2008 you played in a spate of films that included ’27 Dresses’, ‘Beyond the Dunwhich Horror’, and ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’. Describe your roles in these, and the themes behind these productions.
SN- 27 Dresses and My Best Friend’s Girl were again just featured extra parts, so there’s not much to tell there. All though, I was supposed to have a bigger featured part as one of Katherine Heigle’s bridesmaids in 27 Dresses, but after getting the part they called me back and told me that I was in fact too short since they wanted all of the bridesmaides to be 5’6”, which I am not, so I got bumped down instead.
Beyond the Dunwich Horror was another feature indie done by Scorpio Film Releasing, the same production company that did Splatter Disco, and it’s based on the book The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft, a renown New England writer. His books are famously difficult to adapt to film, so this film takes place 70 years after the end of the book, which allowed to have a bit more fun with the plot while still giving a lot of throw backs to the original story.
TAEM- The following year found you extremely busy portray various roles in six films and producing one of your own, ‘Nun of That’. How thrilling was producing a film for you, and tell us all about this production ?
SN- This production was one of my favorites and one of the most fun. It’s basically an action comedy about a vigilante nun who come back from heaven to fight the mob. It was my third feature with SFR and we’d all grown really close with the making of the past two, so on this one a lot of us took on other roles to help out with the production. Ted Marr was the main producer of the film, but I help him the best I could to keep things running smoothly and to move the production along, and even though I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, I was just happy to be there and help out, that ended up getting me an associate producer credit.
TAEM- If you weren’t busy enough you played in nine films last year in titles such as ‘Choices’, ‘Atomic Brain Invasion’, ‘Zombie Alliance’, The Disco Exorcist’, and ‘Stephen Romano Presents: Shock Festival’. How were you able to keep up the stamina to play in so many projects, and able to keep the character roles separately ?
SN- Haha – and those are only the ones you know about I really am just completely in love with acting, so I do it as much as I can. I’m a little neurotic about not working and it I don’t have “too much” going on, then I’m not doing enough. After Nun of That was released and was pretty well received locally, there was some chatter about the film that helped me get roles in other projects and in other people’s projects who had been involved in the film. So I took on as many as I could. Luckily, everyone was really good about working with schedules so I was able to puzzle piece all the schedules together and make it work. The directors really helped in keeping the roles separated. The would just give reminders if something was a little off or not quite consistent with what we had already shot.
TAEM- This year has been busy for you as well. You have appeared in six productions, including performances in three episodes of ‘Chase Belafonte’s Working Title’. Describe the theme behind each of them and the various roles that you played.
SN- Working Title is a mock-u-mentary webseries about a really bad indie film production company who just has terrible ideas, no resources, and yet somehow manages to continue to make films. Especially if you’ve ever worked on a film production, it’s a really funny parody.
Two other of my favorites so far this year are The Salinger Spies and Exhumed. The Salinger Spies is a webseries about the daughter of James Bond and how she tries to cope with being a super-spy and also with being a teenager. It’s a really fun cute series which also involves fighting nijas, which was a lot of fun.
Exhumed is my 6th feature with SFR and the last thing I shot in New England before moving to LA. It’s a beautifully done moody psychological thriller. The entire feature was shot in a 10day straight shoot and I really just can’t say enough good things about the production. It ran so amazingly smoothly and we were all so completely devoted to the script and from what I’ve seen, the footage is absolutely beautiful.
TAEM- You are also in six new projects this year as well. Can you give us a sneak preview of them ?
SN- Other than Working Title, they’re pretty much all in post at the moment.
Working Title is available to watch online at www.workingtitleseries.com.
The trailer for Exhumed is available on vimeo and it will also be premiering on Nov. 11th in Foxboro MA.
The Salinger Spies trailer is also available on vimeo as well.
The trailer for Among Them was just released and is available on youtube.
His Take on Her also recently premiered and the full short film is now available on youtube.
Cost of The Living has a trailer available on youtube and will also be premiering Oct. 28th in New London CT
And I don’t think there is anything available for Missing William just yet, all though I’m very excited to see that one even though I only had a small role since it stars Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford.
TAEM- Sarah, you are probably one of the busiest actors that we have had the pleasure to interview. I know for certain that those reading this interview can’t wait to find out what you have in store for us next. We want to thank you for spending time with The Arts and Entertainment Magazine and wish you much luck in all that you do.
SN – Thanks so much for the interview!