Millions of people continue to suffer and unfortunately die with Alzheimer's and dementia. In 2005, Nicole Maxali's grandmother, Encarnacion (Encar), was diagnosed with onset Alzheimer's and forever changed their family's lives.
Maxali, who had been working for KGO-TV ABC-7 as a news producer and production assistant, was suddenly thrust with the responsibility of caring for Encar. Because even with a loving man for a father (Encar's son Junior), Nicole, in her own words, described herself as being more mature than her father during those first few years as the family dealt with Alzheimer's.
Nicole (aka Nikki) eventually left her position at KGO and dedicated more time to care for her grandmother though she was ready to move onto another phase of her her life as she increasingly began to get frustrated with the television media industry. Because around that same period of her life, Maxali fell in love with performing as she became more involved with San Francisco's Bindlestiff Studio, the United States lone Filipino performing arts center located in the South of Market District (SOMA).
Nikki was already intrigued with entertainment and the media in her youth while growing up in San Francisco's Excelsior District and studying at South San Francisco High School (SSFH). In her freshman year at SSFH, Nikki got actively involved with drama and improvisation classes as well as performing in William Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well & Bob Pickett and Sheldon Allman's musical I'm Sorry the Bridge is Out, You'll Have to Spend the Night. Additionally, she enjoyed being a part of yearbook class; and student government as the Activities Coordinator as she arranged rallies and dances.
So when it came time to go to college, Nicole had a tough choice to make in picking the school she would attend as well as her college major. Her mother encouraged her to pursue broadcast journalism as a major though she was still passionate about becoming the next Claudia Schiffer as she reminisced about that decision.
An intriguing influence on her choice aside from her family was her aunt's Angel Board, which is similar to the Ouija Board. Maxali and her mother consulted with the Angel Board, which told her to choose broadcasting as her major. Then that led to her attending San Francisco State University, which has one of the best Journalism Departments in the United States.
Nikki's father, Junior, continues to influence even with his sudden passing this past July 12th from a throat infection. Her father was always passionate about his art up until his death as he was one of the artists for a mural in the Mission-Delores District.
On November 10, 2011, Maxali debuted her show Forgetting the Details at Bindlestiff Studio. The show features her experiences with Encar and Junior and how they influenced her life as an artist. Maxali hopes that the play will memorialize her life's experiences with her family.