Some actors have talent in many mediums; if they are fortunate, as they develop, they find the one medium they stick to and excel at. For actress Devin Nikki Thomas, the one medium she excelled at was theater, and she's gone on to be a producer, writer and my one-time co-host on Inside Acting as well.
Nikki stopped by this space to talk about her career:
What is your goal as an Artist?
I want create great work that others find inspiring. I want to use my art to make this world a better place. Specifically through promoting positivity and helping to create a paradigm shift to show different images of minorities in the media.
Do you explore any other artistic mediums?
Yes. Absolutely, I don’t think anyone who is “artsy” just sticks to one medium. I think the gift of understanding other types of art just comes along with it. Like a buy one get one free deal, I suppose. With that said, my foundation is in dance and musical theatre, including stepping (sorority/drill). I used to play a few instruments in school and I like to paint. I love and appreciate all art forms, but I wasn’t any good at any of them. Theatre is the one thing that I found consistently fulfilling and was excited to learn about, even to this day. Theatre is “the one”. They say that when you find it, you just know.
What’s next for you?
That’s hard to say. I would say, “establish world peace”, or “become a super star actress within the next week or so”, but that seems like I’m trying to be cool. I’m not really that cool. What’s happening now is that I recently produced my first film “Dark Therapy” through my production company “Unitivity Productions”. I also will be on the Fourth season of “Anacostia- The Web-series”, written and directed by Anthony Anderson. I still audition and take acting classes regularly. I also write for Enspire Magazine (based out of NYC) and am a teaching artist at Savoy Elementary School once a month.
When did your passion for art begin?
You know, I don’t really know. As long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in theatre. My parents exposed my brother and I to art, plays, and instruments at an early age. There was something special about the lights and the costumes that I just loved. So, my parents got me into musical theatre and dance. From there, I had my first theatre class. I loved it.
Is your family supportive of your endeavors?
My family is completely supportive of my artistic endeavors. From running lines with me to helping with character development, they are a phenomenal support system. In fact, my family was tremendously supportive throughout the production of “Dark Therapy”.
What are some of your favorite projects you’ve done thus far?
Wow. I’ve enjoyed each of the projects that I’ve done thus far. The most fun experiences for me have been working with Andrea Lewis on “Black Actress”, and Harold Jackson III on "Under the Bourbon Moon". I enjoy acting, period, but those two projects symbolize artistic growth for me.
Of course, I have to mention “Dark Therapy”, the first project that I’ve worn multiple hats for. It was a great experience. I had a lot of fun working with the extremely talented Chad Eric Smith, (the Co-writer and Director) Carl Randolph and Bob Yoho from Morphiage (Special Effects and Pyrotechnics), Omar Juarez and Manuel Santos of Bad Splice (Cinematography), and Michael Balasia (Sound Engineer).
What influences you?
Great work, period- great writing, great acting, and great music influence me. Or really, anyone who is passionate about their craft. Things like that inspire me. When people persevere despite the odds, when people are determined to live the life that they want to live and walk in their purpose, I love that.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
Wow, I’ll give you the abbreviated list because the full would take us into the middle of next week. Let’s see. I really admire Will Smith, Spike Lee, Will Packer, Lee Daniels, Kristin Wiig, Tina Fey, Taraji P. Henson, Regina Hall, Nadine Ellis, Key & Peele, Emma Thompson, and Steven Spielberg.
How can casting directors and fans find you?