Student Spotlight: Nicole Bloomsmith
Acting is the only thing that Nicole Bloomsmith ever wanted to do.
“The first thing that interested me in performing was ‘Annie.’ Yes, the movie ‘Annie,’” she said. “More accurately, that's what first interested me in singing -- in front of anyone at any time. There was never any stage fright in my bones. I also loved to imitate Shirley Temple. That's going waaaaay back. Thank goodness I have the most lovely, supportive parents on earth.”
In addition to acting and singing, Bloomsmith also studied violin. She decided to pursue music education at College of DuPage, but after one semester she realized her heart was in acting. So she took an acting class with Amelia Barrett and never looked back.
Along the way, Bloomsmith made an important – and surprising – discovery.
“I actually looked forward to class, and I never saw that coming,” she said. “I learned to appreciate the social sciences. And I finally became academically disciplined. I grew up in my three years at COD.”
Bloomsmith also got her professional start with Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, the professional resident ensemble at College of DuPage. She since has worked with some of Chicago's best theater companies and continues pursuing her own projects. Her latest is a new Songwriter Series to feature her original work, and her EP “Find Me” will be released in fall 2017.
Chicago credits include Steppenwolf, Northlight, The Hypocrites, Oracle and Strawdog, where she is an ensemble member and last performed as the featherbrained Miss Leighton in “Once in a Lifetime.” Her next project at Strawdog is playing Betty in the U.S. premiere of “Pillars of the Community,” which also will be the inaugural show in Strawdog’s new space.
Bloomsmith continues as the eponymous host of the late-night cabaret “Nikki and The City,” headlining her quirky originals and fun covers with some the hottest musicians in the city.
“I’m surrounded by Chicago talent and I’m learning what inspires me and am constantly seeking it out,” she said. “My personal goal is to continue challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone on stage whenever I can. My career goal keeps changing. There are no guarantees, there's no security, and you have to make a lot of compromises. It’s hard work! Because of the generosity and openness and encouragement I received at COD, I have the tools and the confidence to pursue this dream no matter how ‘impractical’ and uncertain.
“As far as the Theater program goes, I have always said and will continue to say to anyone who listens how proud I am of my education at COD. I was incredibly fortunate to attend a school that is so rich in the arts and has amazing teachers and mentors in Connie (Canaday Howard) and Amelia. The classes I took, and the relationships I made, the experiences and opportunities that came along with being a student in the Theater program have shaped the artist I am today. And once I began to understand the kind of artist I am and the kind of artist I can be, I learned who I was. I will forever cherish my years spent there.”
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