NIKKI PIERCE stars as Emily, the lonely video game designer at the center of SCI FI SOL, the music video adventure series currently blasting from The Underground Multiplex. She is an actress and improviser that has performed at such esteemed venues as The Annoyance Theatre and iO(formerly ImprovOlympic). She has worked as a choreographer for Second City and her band, “Brunettes With Bangs” is too cool for you. She also enjoyed a long run as producer and performer in the Reader-Recommended show “The Davenports”, an improvised soap opera about “Lincoln, Nebraska’s billionaire first family of dance”. Her hero is Bo Jackson and she has a beautiful daughter that knows karate. Her blog, “Naked Lunches” is funny and strange, as are her tweets, which you can read @nikkinikkip
How has living in Chicago shaped your career as an actress and comedienne?
After a class with Mark Sutton, I knew I wanted to move to Chicago to study at the Annoyance. I felt my sense of humor and his style of teaching really clicked, and I learned so much about myself and what I wanted to do. I also used to be horrendously uptight and lacked any sort of non-linear thinking. I wouldn’t say I’ve beat those weaknesses by any means, but I’ve learned to use them to my advantage rather than having them hinder my work.
What is Brunettes with Bangs?
Brunettes With Bangs is an electronic girl band consisting of four brunettes with bangs. Unfortunately, one of our members is modeling and acting successfully in LA, so we’re on hiatus right now. The other two members are pretty worthless, but our manager told us that four is the magic number when creating teen craze, so we went with it.
How would you describe Sci Fi Sol?
It’s like jumping into a fantasy world, but with less dragons and fairies, and more megapixels.
How was your experience playing the character of Emily?
The food was amazing. The cast and crew are still some of the most professional I’ve worked with to date. I’m a rambler, so when someone approaches me and says, “We’re going to need you to do this role without saying a word”, I thought, “Like, all day, or just while we’re shooting?” It was a fun challenge and an amazing skill to learn. I found in process that you really have to bring your own personality and self through to the character. It wasn’t about creating an Emily. I was cast because someone saw Emily in me. I just had to feel the feelings and do work, son. Thank you, Big Black Boykin.
I did have a neurotic fear that someone would notice that my hair was getting longer, or was different from shot to shot. I spent usually an hour in the mirror looking at a picture of myself and making sure the two matched. They never did, and I’m sure no one is sitting anywhere thinking, ‘Man, check out that chick’s hair – what a big disappointment that this obviously wasn’t shot on the same day!”
What’s the most exciting news you’ve received recently?
I was really excited to hear that my main squeeze was getting promoted. My only squeeze, really…I don’t know why I said that. My daughter’s kicking ass in school and karate, and is just really shaping up to be an awesome little lady. I guess everything is going really well right now. I may also just be more open to realizing the good things that are happening, and not focusing or fretting on what may or may not be ahead.
What do you write about on your blog?
I hear random conversations between two people, log it mentally or sometimes jot it down, then write a character monologue based off of one of those people. I am fascinated by other people and how they talk to each other. I find conversations particularly fascinating because I am pretty socially anxious. I grew up in the South and I was very shy, and was always afraid that anything I said was going to be taken the wrong way, or laughed at, or might hurt someone’s feelings. So I usually stayed quiet. I know that sounds contradictory, as I said previously that I’m a rambler, but I ramble because I’m anxious. I end up thinking, “You’re being particularly boring or confusing, Pierce. Fix this.” So I keep on talking, and then I’ve circled myself into a place where people probably think I’m really strange.
I try to enjoy it all and keep moving forward.
We understand that you suffer from Eurotarachnophobia*. How has this affliction affected your life?
I’m positive one day it will happen, and I will have to scream my way to the ED and explain to someone that it has happened, and have them laugh in my face while I cry and pray none of the inevitable 300 teeny spiders have set up home and need to be forcefully or chemically evicted. I mean, that has to be the worst possible thing that could happen to anyone ever.
See Nikki Pierce in a new episode of SCI FI SOL each week here at TUGM or ON THE BIG SCREEN as part of Wendesday Rewind at The Logan Theatre, Spring 2013.
*Fear of spiders coming out of your vagina