The Ballard Talisman

A dream in the making

Claire Peters, Cub Reporter

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Freshman Nicola Anderson was already on the stage doing what she loved at five years old. She started in a small role in a St. John’s Christmas play, and she began to figure out her passion. Anderson knew she wanted to work in show business.

At first sight, you may see a short, blonde haired, freckle-faced girl, with a sassy attitude; but after talking with her, you start to see a girl who is working hard towards her dream.

Her dream of acting first erupted as she watched the Harry Potter series. After reading the books as a little kid with her parents, Anderson was fascinated how all the scenes she imagined were coming to life. “I’d been reading these books for my whole childhood, and once I saw the movies,” Anderson said. “[talking about the movie] was like everything was real. And since then it [her dream] was the idea of bringing stories to life whether it’s acting, directing, or writing.”

But it didn’t just stop with a dream. She decided she wanted to try acting out herself.

Throughout elementary school, she wanted to be doing it non-stop. Anderson was acting over the summer in the Seattle Children’s Productions. She was always eager to sign up for any plays or films.

Her parents provided her with immense support. Anderson always felt like she could rely on them for help. “My parents really encouraged me to act,” Anderson said. “They would help me memorize my lines and find ways for me to get into acting programs over the summer.”

And the amount of acting she did, helped her on the stage at her school plays. It allowed her to understand the process of working on such a large project, and the understanding of how it feels to be on the stage.

Luisa Bloch-Garcia, a friend of Anderson since fourth grade, points out how dedicated Anderson was, and the talent she had brought at a young age. “I’m not quite sure how long you specifically have to work on a play, but she definitely works very hard,” Bloch-Garcia said. “She has – and has always had — a god given ability to act.”

It wasn’t until on her plays though, that she became fully dedicated to acting.

Throughout elementary at Salmon Bay k-8, Anderson had an enormous interest in acting.  But, once she received the role of the dog, in the “Phantom Tollbooth”, it created a new devotion to acting and performing. “I liked it and I had an interest in it,” Anderson said, “but it wasn’t till fourth grade that I wanted to incorporate it into my life and actively want to do it.

As time passed Anderson became more and more dedicated to it. She was starting to audition for the larger more important roles and pushing herself to memorize the larger monologues.

In fifth, her class was required to put on the famous production “Twelfth Night” written by William Shakespeare. After auditions, Anderson landed the role she tried out for, one of the lead roles, Olivia. “It was the role that I wanted, it was a big role! I had to memorize this big monologue, and when I got the role, I felt accomplished.”

As Anderson was starting to receive the lead roles in the majority of the plays that she was in, Anderson was figuring out that acting was an escape from the real world.

As she was acting, she could feel all the stress inside her just melted away. “It totally takes the pressure from [friends, school, grades] away, when you’re actually there and in the moment, you can completely disappear,” Anderson said. “It doesn’t even need to be a well-written play, you can still become a completely new person; just getting into that mindset is really fun.”

As middle school began, she was continuing to act non-stop but started to notice before plays she was getting very nervous and freaked out.

Anderson was beginning to lose the confidence in herself as she was acting. Gaining a little bit of stage fright, she was figuring out different ways to be included in plays aside from what she had been doing. “I’ve just kind of been looking at ways other than acting, I’m worried about judgment,” Anderson explained. “Being behind the scenes, writing scripts, and directing, you’re still doing the same creative work you’re just not putting yourself out there.”

Andersons’ older sister Mia Anderson was aware of her interest in the topic and told her about the film program at school.

She’s beginning to learn more about how to reach her dream — aside from just thinking about getting there. The idea of being in Ballard High School Film Program grasped her attention. She felt a need to be in the program, and that it would help her get to where she wanted to be. “It just sounded right,” Anderson said. “I was just immediately interested in making movies. Especially cause the program was so professional.”

When finding out she got into the program, she knew it was going to be a challenge, but she was willing to work hard and spend time on it.

As high school started, and she began the film program she knew it was the right decision for her. Although, her idea of what she wanted to do shifted a little bit. Instead of wanting to become an actress, she became interested in directing movies.

But she still wasn’t giving up on her main idea. “If I could direct [professionally] that would be incredible,” Anderson said. “I’d be happy doing anything in entertainment. Just my dream would be contributing to a movie that made people so excited they were looking forward to seeing just the trailer.”

Anderson is currently dreaming big and shooting for the stars as she continues to take the path leading her to entertainment. Anderson loves the film program and the challenging new concepts that are brought, she is excited to see the opportunities that come.

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A dream in the making