Los Angeles based actress and comedian Nicole Travolta debuted her one-woman show “Doing Alright” at the legendary Groundlings theater in Los Angeles to a sold out crowd on January 30th. Her next (sold-out as well) show is scheduled for February 20th. The show is show is based on Nicole’s life experiences growing up and adulting, and is described as “A one woman show about a compulsive shopper who freed herself from debt and shame one spray at time.”
Nicole has also appeared in the sitcoms Two and a Half Men on CBS, The Middle on ABC, and Anger Management on FX. We asked Nicole about balancing acting and comedy, what audiences can expect from her one-woman show, and advice she has for others wanting to get into comedy.
Check out our conversation below.
Did you know that you wanted to do both acting and comedy, or did it just happen?
Nicole Travolta (NT): I’ve wanted to be an actor since I was a little girl. I used to have my mom tape me performing at a very young age, and then line up my family and have them present me with an Academy Award. I’ve always loved the art of becoming different characters, but the comedy came later in my life. A casting director, who also became a dear friend of mine, pushed me to lean into my comedic voice. Once I did that, the rest really started falling into place. Comedy really helped me be unapologetically myself and feel comfortable in my own skin.
What do you like specifically about performing comedy?
NT: I love tapping into the silliest version of myself. It’s thrilling to be kooky and to not take myself too seriously. Creating characters and doing impressions I find to be the most fun because you get to fully embody another person. Playing with voices, faces, and mannerisms, and thinking about what the characters’ thoughts would be, really lets me lose myself in the most creative way. And wearing wigs and costumes tie a bow on the whole experience. The sitcoms I’ve worked on have also been so much fun. On each and every job, I would pinch myself that I get to come to this happy set every day; all you do is laugh and make other people laugh. And these days we NEED to laugh!
What can you tell us about your one-woman show “Doing Alright”?
NT: The show really takes you through my life and how my rock bottom set me free. I grew up in a home where material things equaled love, and I emulated those same habits as an adult. I was a compulsive shopper, which among other things, led to a divorce, a mountain of debt, and a whole lot of shame before I was 30. I was working as an actor, but at the time I was in such a bad spot emotionally that the auditions just stopped. I ended up taking a job as a spray tanner, which introduced me to a plethora of characters. Since I do impressions, I take you on a chaotic journey of some of the clients I’ve met AND the bizarre world of spray tanning. I really wanted the audience to leave feeling like they went on this wild ride with me. In my heart, I knew the show would be fun, but what I didn’t know is that so many people would resonate with it in so many different ways.
What is your favorite thing about being a storyteller?
NT: The honesty of it! It allows you to connect with people in a way that I can’t even put into words. After my first show I felt like I was on the moon. Being able to connect with 100 people at the same time is such an unbelievable feeling.
What advice do you have for upcoming storytellers that specifically want to get in to comedy?
NT: Don’t hold back. You don’t have to get up there and tell all of your deepest darkest secrets, but go deep and find things that make you laugh. Your audience will connect with what is authentic to you! Take big swings. I think the most successful people in comedy are the ones that take the biggest risks and don’t worry about what others may think about them. You aren’t going to please everyone!
What’s the best advice someone has given you about acting/comedy?
NT: Enjoy the journey. And it’s a hard one. The journey can be long, lonely and grueling. You spend a lot of time wondering when the big job is going to come, and also wondering if you should’ve been a doctor instead lol. When I look at the person I was 10 years ago vs. who I am now, I am so proud of how far I’ve come!
Another one is to create your own content, whatever that is for you. I promise you, it’s so much more rewarding to drive your own creative ship, than to sit around waiting for the phone to ring. It took me years to figure this out, but once I got out of my own way, it was so freeing.
More information on “Doing Alright” can be found here
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