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Interview With Actor Geo Nikols

Updated: Jun 2

Photographer: Denise Vasquez Actor: Geo Nikols

Featured interview PROMOTE Magazine issue 3 April 2024

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

I was born in Melrose Park Il, but raised in Elmhurst, just outside Chicago. When I was 10 or 11 we moved to Las Vegas. My dad got a great job offer, so we moved out here. Going back whenever we could. Even growing up out here in Vegas, I worked for my dad from time to time, and we were surrounded by others from chicago. So that "chicago" mentality is still there in me. But Vegas is where I actually grew into the person I am today.

Did your environment growing up have any influence on you creatively: Your parents? Schooling?

My dad loved the movies. I grew up watching silent films, classic pre code films, and really everything. He is the reason I love the films, filmmakers, and performers I love. He really fostered that in me. I wanted to do what they did. So I took acting classes throughout middle school and high school, I went to university to study, performed on any show I could just to learn and grow and tell stories. My family was always very supportive, as long as I stayed vigilant, do what I want and need to do but make sure I work hard to keep myself afloat while I pursue this. My mom took me to San Fran when I auditioned and got called back for Julliard, but mom and sister made shirts that said "i'm a geo fan" when they saw my shows in high school. But it was my teachers, like John Armond who really pushed me. My high school teacher, one of them at least, Carrie Vlaming, cast me as Macbeth. I had only done the comedy shows and improv shows, but I loved Shakespeare, so I really put myself into it. Ever since then I have always just made sure I was continuing to practice, keep working to keep fresh, write, create, and use my training to keep myself ready for any role at any time.

Which came first performing in theater or film?- Theater first. Theater is the ancient way, the primal way, and doing it makes me feel so connected to the audience, because you can feel them and their energy. You have an immediate reaction, you feel what you are doing and its a thrill. When I started to do more film and multimedia work I really loved the process and the collaboration. I also really liked the idea that you can try it multiple times and pick the best one. It's like a rehearsal but now you can put together this piece, and you can be a little more small. You can really change your voice and your reactions and be more natural. Depending on the theater or the role or style of show, sometimes you have to be bigger, even slightly, but on film you can really just try stuff and capture the best. But nothing compares to the stage where you walk out and you have that time and that time only to deliver this story and do your art.

Did you study theater & film? If so, Where did you study?

I studied acting with John Armond and in High School. Then I Studied Film and Theater acting at UNLV, while studying with my ensemble and partaking in training sessions, writing sessions, and also actively working in theater. I was learning formally, and then putting it into practice, and doing other aspects of the theater, like writing or designing, or producing, i learned it while I did it, I learned it from others, and I'm so happy I have such a diverse tool box to use.

What did you learn by performing overseas as an actor?

I learned that no matter what you do or where you do it, the only thing that changes is the space and the rehearsal room. Ya know, your physical location changes but as long as your cast and crew trust each other, as long as you keep focused and do the work, it's universal.

Do you prefer acting in the theatre or on films?

It's a mixed bag. On film, you can really take the time to work on the character, really dive into it and having multiple takes and set ups, you can really push yourself and try things and have very close and intimate moments that can be captured. But again, there is nothing like doing something live, the crowd is involved, it becomes a communal thing. On a stage or in front of a camera, doesn't matter, I love it.

What inspired you to want to make your own movies?

Sometimes you have to tell your own stories and work with people you know in order to expand and grow your career. I've done so much theater but since a casting director can't see those shows, they don't know what I can or can't do. So.. making your own material helps get that message out, it shows these people out there what you can do, and if you can grow your career and tell personal stories with friends, it's a win-win.

What are the challenges you face making your own films?

First, be sure you have the script that can support your vision. Second, Scheduling! The hard part is just getting the cast and crew together and getting it done. Scheduling is always the worst and most challenging part.

How did you become involved in the 48 hour film festival?

Years ago, I did a couple as an actor with my friend John, and I loved it. Recently, in line with trying to find collaborators and filmmakers to work with, I dove back in. I went to a couple mixers and I found a team that vibed, and boom, we did another festival right after together.What do you like about festivals?

What made you select Lincoln as the actor you wanted to portray for this interview?

I thought of characters in film that i connected with, but also what i would look like, not because I'm a stickler for things like that, but i wanted to be able to portray the character for this because It's a celebration of film and actors and i thought i had to find someone i can do, especially since i played a "sort of" Lincoln in the past. And the fact that I admire Lincoln and the actor who played him just seemed to merge well. A character who we know the deeds and actions of, but whom we don't know the intention or the psychology of that well, it's intriguing to think what was going on in his mind. The personal tragedy and loss he suffered, the road that took him to the white house, the war, all of it, just makes the character all the more interesting to inhabit.

Have you received any nominations or awards as an actor?

I've gotten a few nominations for some theater work and the 48 hrs I've done, Films i was in won awards. More to come though.

Where can people find you online? IMDb? Website?

I'm going to be launching an actual IMDb, but people can find me on there. Also on facebook as Geo Nikols, Instragram @Geonikols

Anything else you want to add?

Being a storyteller is challenging, but so worth it. People have told stories since the days of the primordial cave men, we did it to express our dreams, our imagination, the mysteries of the world and cosmos we see, we still tell stories to answer questions, we still tell stories to be human. So I'd say to people, keep creating, art is the expression of our humanity. keep doing it. It's worthwhile.

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