We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikole Denise and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nikole, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I tell people all the time I did not choose comedy, comedy chose me. I have been a hairstylist since 1997, and that was always my passion. But at a time where I had to quit my career due to the birth of my second child and went through a short bout of postpartum depression, I began to hear comedy in my head. I would hear what I am saying, and then the laughs. I thought I was losing my mind until I told my sister. My sister was like “Nikki you’re funny just do it” And this is how comedy chose me and we are in love… lol
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
This comedy journey has been one of the hardest and most fun things I have ever done. When I started doing hair I was in high school. I knew at 7 yes old I wanted to do hair. But when I started doing comedy I was in the middle of postpartum depression, two kids, and a husband who really didn’t want me to be a comedian, but I had such a deep passion to do it. So, finding the balance between taking care of home and getting out on stage to do my 10,000 hours and hone those skills has been crazy. I’ve never taken a Comedy class which is what most people do once they decide to pursue comedy. They have someone teach them the ins and outs. I just hopped on the stage and said “I’m gonna let this fire that I feel in my spirit lead me”. And that’s what I did. My first few shows I ever did people could not believe that it had only been a few months. And then I did more shows and people could not believe it had only been a year since I started comedy and so on… I just tell my experiences in life on stage. I talk about what I know which is my husband, my kids, my family, my tumultuous teenage years of being ridiculously crazy. I’ve turned all my horrible experiences into something people can relate to and laugh at.
No matter if the world knows who I am or if I become big and famous and well-known, I am so proud of myself. I was so scared to get on the stage. I was afraid of what my family would think, if people thought I was funny or would I fall flat on my face and fail, and I still decided to jump and do it anyway. That’s telling fear to F-off and that’s what I stand behind.
I have to say that I am super excited about this journey. I have no clue what this life, the Universe, God, has in store for me but I know this is the path that they put me on and I’m pretty sure if I was put on this path it’s “for purpose on purpose “and I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When my friend comes in to town first of all we are doing brunch at East brew café in Eastvale California. It is a small, quaint little café with the best avocado toast I’ve ever had in my life. One of the nights we will find ourselves at Club 54 in Pasadena a dope little club lounge. We’ve never had a dull moment there. It’s cool, it’s inexpensive they have the best music, even the security guards have danced with us. Just a dope vibe. Or Kiss N’ Grind in LA is a dope vibe too. But we will find somewhere to hit a dance floor.
Then at some point we will hit the beach and just hang out by the water and get our minds right. I’m a big advocate of connecting with the ocean. I feel like that’s where my spirit is most settled. So, we will just connect and chat and have a cute little picnic on the beach.
And because it’s me of course at some point we’re going to hit the town at night and go to a comedy club so I can hop on a mic. And I’m going to try to make my friends get on the mic and do something funny or say something funny just because of the experience. Doesn’t mean you have to be a comedian just hop on an open mic. Talk your shit and enjoy yourself. Like comedy karaoke.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It is never easy to make a career change. I remember when I started telling people I wanted to do comedy and the response I got was somewhat negative from some, and pessimistic from others. But my sister Danielle has been so supportive throughout this journey. She encouraged me to do it, told me when I sucked, encouraged me some more, and has been one of my biggest encouragers. My parents and husband, once they saw me on stage and do a show were blown away by the fact that A. I was funny, and B. that I was really good. Now they have been some of my biggest supporters and tend to always be in the crowd even when I don’t want them there. Just kidding I love them.
Sheldon Botler Photography Www.SheldonBotler.com