THD: Hi, Nikki! I know your on set right now in Puerto Rico. Is there anything you can tell us about this upcoming movie?
Nikki: It was a lot of fun to make and hopefully that will translate!
THD: How old were you when you decided you wanted to be a model/actress?
Nikki:I knew I wanted to be an actress in the 5th grade. I had an emotionally rough childhood and acting gave and still gives me an outlet that allowed me to escape my reality to one where I knew the outcome and could freely feel. As for modeling, I used to look at my moms old portfolio and started modeling at 16 in Miami when I was old enough to drive myself to castings. Haven’t stopped since.
THD: When did you decide to take it seriously, and what changes in your life did you have to make to do so?
Nikki: I auditioned for my first school play in the 5th grade. I then auditioned for a performing arts middle school about an hour from my house for the theater program. I was accepted and attended there for 3 years but because I had to take a car, 2 busses and a train to get there (one way), I wanted to go to a high school close to my house. I did theater there as well as community theater. When I was 16 I got my license and as soon as I could work, got a job to put money in my gas tank. I worked at Starbucks on the weekends at 5am and enrolled in the OJT (on job training) program at my school during my senior year so I could leave early to either work or go to castings. Then at 18 I auditioned for a performing arts acting conservatory in NYC and received a scholarship there and moved shortly after graduation. I modeled while in school and after 3 years in manhattan I moved to LA!
THD: What is your daily routine like?
Nikki: 5:15 am – wake up, eat breakfast, feed the dogs
6:00 am – head to the gym and train either with my trainer @mrmvtfit or on my own
7:15 am – walk the dogs and get ready for the day
If I’m not working on set, I’m at castings or auditions. But generally I’m in bed before 10.
THD: What has been your most exciting job so far in your career?
Nikki: I got to work on The People vs OJ. Probably the most surreal moment was sitting in a trailer in the middle of Cuba (Cuba Gooding JR.) and David (David Schwimmer) . I remember thinking: “Never forget this moment. This is insane”.
THD: What has been the most disappointing moment?
Nikki: To be successful in this industry you must always forget your disappointments!
THD: What is your philosophy on taking jobs? Is it about money? Advancement? Will you do anything? Do you have limits or restrictions?
Nikki: I made a career plan for myself at 15. It was extremely strategic. Pay your dues. It was like a ladder. I worked for free when I was young to get a book and a reel started. As far as restrictions and money, let’s just say I’ve got a great team who handles my stuff!
THD: What is your dream job?
Nikki: I’m living it!
THD: Who is a role model to you? Whose career would you like to emulate?
Nikki: My mom. Hands down!
THD: What is your favorite hair product?
Nikki: Right now, Morrocan oil. The salt water is drying my hair out and it’s been helping!
THD: What do you think about hair extensions and how does it affect your self-esteem or how do they make you feel?
Nikki: Love them! Definitely a fan of the temporary ones. Who doesn’t wanna feel like a damn Kardashian?!
THD: What is any advice you have to young girls that want hundreds or thousands of followers on IG and want a successful career in modeling and acting?
Nikki: I started at 16. There was no Instagram or social media or anything. I walked into agencies (30 lbs heavier) and was told by 30 and 40 year old people that I was too fat. I’d walk into casting offices and get rejected daily (still do!). I lost weight after working out and eating right and I’m so happy with my body now. And I still get told no. Now I get told I’m too skinny, but by people on Instagram. The moral of the story is: be happy with YOU! when you are, no one can hurt you!
A big Thank you to Nikki Howard for collaborating with us this month. Stay tuned as she will show all the Dames out there how to use your Secret Extensions by The Hair Dame and all her little tips and tricks with them. She is such a DAME!!
Amalia Moscoso, The Hair Dame