Saturday, October 11, 2014

Spotlight On...Geri-Nikole Love

Name: Geri-Nikole Love

Hometown: Douglasville, GA

Education: BFA NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Select Credits: Higgins in Harlem Eliza Doolittle, Dir. Lawrence Thelen at Playhouse on Park West Hartford CT, [Independent Films]: "GASP" Claire (lead) Dir. Annika Kurnick, "Downshift" Grace (lead) Dir. Ryan Schmitz

Why theater?: For an actor the stage is where you grow and expand as an artist. Film & TV is great. I love on-camera work, but the focus is much larger than just the actor and the camera. Film is magic. You have hair and make-up, lighting, sound, special effects, green screens, invisible scene partners, and even after all that there's editing before the audience gets to see the final product. Stage is as real as you can get. It is truth. There is very little between you and your audience. Of course costuming, make-up, sets, lighting, sound etc are very important, but for an actor it's that immediate result of connecting to the audience; interACTING with the community you are a part of and that you are hoping to effect.

Who do you play in Providence?: Patema

Tell us about Providence: To me Providence is a story about the human experience. Several strangers are forced to interact with each other while stranded at a bus station in Providence RI. As individuals we are so much more than our first impressions. I think Providence examines how we too often take 'strangers' for granted. If you take the time and truly listen and try to understand a person, you actually get to learn so much more about yourself.

What is it like being a part of Providence?: I love this play and it's characters. I've been with the play since the NY readings, and seeing it grow has been amazing. David A. Gill is an exciting voice for the theatre world. His characters are bold yet relatable and how he presents them and their stories is entertaining and touching.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: For me it's not a particular style of theatre that speaks to me, it's more about the feeling and effect it has on me. If a play has something to say and it says it in a way that entertains me as well as makes me feel more deeply than I'm 'allowed' to, in my day to day, I'm in. Music & Cinematography. I love how music can immediately take you to a memory or state of emotion. I hope that I can create art that does the same. As for cinematography, I love the way images in motion can sometimes tell a better story than words. How color and light can change your perception and how an object can come to life just by presenting it through a camera's lens. I try to challenge myself to see life as though it was through a lens. To be perceptive rather than just observant.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: In 10-20 years, Lady Macbeth, Cleopatra, another crack at The Witch from Into The Woods (I'm sure by then I'll be able to discover more in that character than my 12th grade self), Mama Rose. As of right now I don't audition for musicals, but I hope to have a thriving Theatre career in my later days. Just live and breath the Great White Way. While I'm still 'young' I'm just looking for strong female roles that speak to my generation. Being a women of color also plays a big part in the roles I pick. I like to find characters that are universal and that originally weren't imagined being portrayed by a black women. Submit, cross my fingers for an audition, and try to win the room.

What’s your favorite showtune?: “Some People” - Gypsy & “Home” - Wiz

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Well, since I'm still at the start of my career, that list is pretty long. Bryan Cranston is definitely at the top.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Again, being a women of color makes this a little difficult. Not gonna say Halle, that's for sure. My director friends like to say that I look like Naomie Harris, so I could go with her, but if my Bio Pic will have anything exciting to offer it'll have to be done decades from now after true scandal has ensued. So I'll go with Quvenzhané Wallis in 20 years or so and it'll be called "Love's Way" cause I did it *My Way*

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Usually recommend the top 10 stuff, Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, Motown, but honestly everyone should see Providence!

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: I teach for SoulCycle so my itunes gets a lot of play. If I go by actual play count it's a tie between Gavin DeGraw's “Chariot (Stripped Version)” and Sam Smith's “Lay Me Down”. I'm currently obsessed with Johnnyswim's “Live While We're Young” & “Take the World”

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Going to the movies Solo. I've done 3 movies in one day once, and no I didn't sneak into any of them. My bank account can look like a mother of four's Saturday Matinee with the kids.

What’s up next?: I have two films currently on the Film Festival Circuit. "GASP" & "Downshift" (previously Purpose Built). 'GASP' was just at Dances with Films in LA and "Downshift' will be at Big Apple Film Festival in November and hopeful many more to come. Also, I will be working with Breaking Walls a non-profit, international creative writing and performance initiative at the EstroGenius Festival Friday, October 31st at the Ford Street Theater at 7pm. I try to keep my website updated, so please check it out for more information visit Geri-Nikole Love