Nicole Collins is December’s Professional of the Month. Collins is an actress, emcee for the NBA Pelican’s, Q93 radio host and a mother.
Q: When and why did you move to NOLA?
I moved to New Orleans in August 2005 from Alexandria, La to attend Dillard University. I knew early on in high school that when selecting a school it would be in New Orleans because I’ve always felt attached to the city and it was developing its reputation as Hollywood South. Plus as much I love Alexandria for its help in developing my character, I’ve always known I had to get out to thrive. I’d visited Dillard several times and fell in love with what the institution had to offer.
Q: Is NOLA your permanent home, or do you plan on moving on to a different city?
New Orleans is my permanent home. My base will be here and I will travel for periods of time for acting roles and hosting engagements.
Q: What excites you most about working with the Pelicans and being a radio host on Q93?

I enjoy meeting and interacting with people. People are very interesting and I value who I come in contact with. I enjoy happy vibes I am able to share with people. I also appreciate the high energy that both professions require and generate. (As an actress: I enjoy transforming into other psyches; the exploration of different lifestyles and creating characters that are lifelike are very rewarding for me. It also makes me feel very accomplished and fulfilled to inspire people through becoming another person and telling the story of the character I’ve become).

Q: What is a typical day like for Nicole Collins?

This depends on which day you catch me. The great thing about everything I do is that none of it is routine for me. However, I am a mother everyday and everyday there’s a new experience with my toddler. I am starting to get her involved in activities and I’m not sure out of the two of us who has more fun. If I’m on air on said day, I’m researching topics to speak on to make sure I have a good show. A Pelicans’ game day consists of a lot of primping and preparing for in arena promotions. Lately I’ve been dedicating more time for writing my own projects to act in and once I’m finished writing I begin the production phase. One thing that is consistent for me is that I’m always studying and learning. I pay attention to everyone I come in contact with. This is how I’m able to create characters and how I’m able to become characters. It has to make sense. Since I’ve done more film/TV writing, I’ve watched more film and television series.

Q: Do you belong to any professional, social organizations?
I am a member of the Screen Actors Guild
Q: What are you hobbies? Do you do any volunteer work in your spare time?
I love karaoke. I love performing and since I do it professionally I like to have fun with it as well. Don’t expect a Grammy award-winning singing experience though. I get a lot of at home practice with my audience that includes my daughter, who is also an active participant and my dog Phoebe. I enjoy stress free arts and crafts projects. One of my most treasured past times is duck/bird feeding at city park or the lake. I also enjoy training interns at the radio station to become on-air personalities. I try to volunteer when I can. I do not have a set volunteer schedule but I do a few community service activities throughout the year.  This weekend, for the third year in a row, My daughter and I, along with other friends with toddlers are delivering Holiday Cards to the elderly.
Q: What are your views on being a black professional in NOLA?
I feel like I’m an individual put here to make a difference in the world through my talent. I feel blessed to have accomplished as much as I’ve accomplished and to inspire others to chase their dreams and goals. There’s a lot more that I want to and will accomplish and with each venture I’m becoming more polished, seasoned and ready to take on the next step. New Orleans gives me hope and a strong foundation to keep building upon. I thank this city for its inspiration
Q: Do you see areas in that need improvement in the community for black professionals? If so, how do you think that can be fixed?
I am very proud of the amount of my peers who are successful and/or working towards success. I can name 2 pages (or more) full of people who are grinding and persevering through different types of obstacles in a variety of career fields. Not only are these individuals working towards their career of choice they are inspiring others through service and mentorship along the way. If we keep this up we can make sure that the wave of black professionals continues to increase in the city.
Q: What’s next on the horizon for you?
I recently completed my first short film titled Daffodils & Dandelions. I wrote and starred in the film directed by Gian Smith. The project also features Dj Slab 1, Uptown Angela, jusCookie, Davida Chanel, Jag, Angel Saunders and more. I am thankful to the faculty and staff of Algiers Technology Academy for allowing us to use their facility. I am currently submitting the film to film festivals. I am in post production of another short film that I wrote and directed, For Noels Sake and in pre production of an untitled project that will be directed by DaVida Chanel. My character, Patrice Glover, returns to HBO’s Treme December 22, 2013. My role in 12 Years A Slave has brought about a lot of upcoming opportunities as well. I am currently filming a web series, Open Mike, created and directed by Gian Smith which will be released in the Spring of 2014.  Most of the independent film projects that I am working on are in partnership with the production company Progressive Black Experience.
The NBA All Star game is here in New Orleans in February and I plan on being very busy that weekend. The top of the year is also very busy at Q93 with the holidays and Mardi Gras. I also have a toddler’s birthday party to plan and a dance recital to get ready for 🙂

Nicole’s Favorite Things

FAVORITE BOOK: Produced by Faith, DeVon Franklin

FAVORITE FOOD: Any non-fried shrimp dish. I also love charbroiled oysters

HIDDEN TALENT: I’m a former all-star cheerleader and my toe touch is still pretty good.

WHAT’S ON YOUR DESK?

  1. Photo album of my daughter’s birth
  2. Journal
  3. Bible
  4. Business cards
  5. Inspirational artwork
  6. Photo of Gian and I

For more on Nicole, visit her website  www.JNicoleCollins.com

Instagram: @J_Nicole504
Twitter: @J_Nicole504