Friends of Kickstart: Nicole Oliver

We’ve been lucky enough to work with this Friend of Kickstart both inside and outside the record booth over the past few years. A distinguished actress both in voice-over and on camera, as well as a wonderful voice director, we are big Nicole Oliver fans here at Kickstart.

Photo by Mazen Zeiden

Photo by Mazen Zeiden

Here are Nicole’s answers to our ten vital questions about life, acting and animation.

You can find Nicole on Twitter, Instagram and at her website.

What's your favourite colour combination?
I am loving orange and turquoise right now. Otherwise, I really enjoy a neutral palette with a punch of crimson RED.  Awesome.:)

Can you think of a particular piece of media that inspired you to become an actor/voice actor
2 events are really clear to me as to why I have pursued the path I have.  

In 1995 I worked on a film called "Mariette In Ecstasy" directed by John Bailey, a renowned DP stretching his artistic limbs, whom I later had the pleasure of working with again in 2015 on Greg Kinnear's directorial debut.  Anyway…Eva Marie Saint played one of the leads, and I was a huge fan of her work under Hitchcock (North by Northwest). Production put the whole cast and crew on a boat cruise around Lake Ontario to build camaraderie…and I ended up chatting with Eva Marie. She very clearly and succinctly, through some beautiful storytelling and sharing of her self, let me know (and all the other young actresses who were listening to every word she uttered) about the realities of being a young woman (or woman, for that matter) in the "business" and the importance of preserving a strong sense of self, strength of character and a sense of humour. Her brutal frankness about her journey was, now looking back, an incredibly prescient statement on where we, as women working in the Entertainment Industry, find ourselves today- Honour your truth, speak your reality, and be a vehicle of change. The status quo is NOT OK and not a reason to continue bad behaviour and demeaning relationships.  

But, the reason I became an actress was because of Dame Maggie Smith. I am a rabid fan of her… but I performed in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" during high school in 1986.  All I remember on opening night is saying my first line and then bowing with the cast at the end. The next day, I told my parents that I did not want to be a lawyer but rather thought that acting was a good choice. Seems to have worked out ok so far. ;)

What has been the high point of your career so far?
This is tough.  So many things to choose from, and for that, I feel truly blessed.  On camera, I worked with Julia Roberts and the amazing director Stephen Chbosky on "Wonder"; the story is empowering and inspirational and the tone on set was just what I needed to reaffirm that I am doing what I am supposed to do…if that makes sense. LOL.  

Nicole Oliver as Mrs. Flores in "Ghost Patrol"

Nicole Oliver as Mrs. Flores in "Ghost Patrol"

I had a blast recording "Sausage Party," and singing as Princess Celestia on 'My Little Pony" over the years has stretched me beyond my comfort zone into new territory that has both frightened and delighted me.

BUT-- I am LOVING voice directing animation and allowing (hopefully) a place and space in the record for all performers, old and new, to grow, shine and discover voices and choices that may have been hidden, for whatever reason.  I am so humbled to be a part of nurturing talent and discovering possibility.

What do you most want to improve in your work?
Wow.  This can be applied to all parts of my world.  I want to breathe without intention and be without judgement. Listen with my heart and speak without fear.

Yep.  Easy, right? HA? lol

What's your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Just had it today.  Yoga in the morning, followed by brunch on the deck outside.  Gardened for a bit, and then had a hot tub. Some girlfriends dropped by for a glass of prosecco and a good catch up… and now we are about, as a family, to sit outside and have BBQ for dinner and then watch a movie.

What was your most memorable non-animation job?
Again, so many, but one of my first acting jobs was on a show with David Carradine called "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues." I also had a chance to work with Robert Mitchum before he passed away.  I love the history of the cinema, so having an opportunity to interface with so many silver screen legends during my career renders me speechless (which is a rare state for me for those who know me!!)

You’re stuck on a desert island with a laptop and a USB stick containing the entirety of one cartoon - what show is it?
AAARRRRGH!!!  I HAVE TO CHOOSE?!?!?!  The Bugs Bunny Show.

Pick three cartoon characters that describe your personality.
Jessica Rabbit. Bugs Bunny. Lisa Simpson.

One of our latest projects working with Nicole as a voice director was Enchantimals: Finding Home!

One of our latest projects working with Nicole as a voice director was Enchantimals: Finding Home!

What’s a piece of media you’ve consumed lately (tv, movie, music, podcast, etc) that has inspired you to create?
I am obsessed with "Westworld" and how it makes you question reality, the perception of reality, and the concept of choice and consequence.

What’s on your work playlist?
Musically, I am all over the map.  Loving "Yacht Rock," Kendrick Lamar and 80s throwback (anything Duran Duran or Niles Rodgers produced is a must!).