Don't be a Dick, Just Be Yourself
Nomi Cohen has crammed a whole lot into her varied and impressive career. The talented performer and producer has worked extensively in musical theatre and television, and is currently in Jersey Boys at Christchurch’s Court Theatre. Her advice to her 22-year-old self is full of whiskey and wisdom.
Drink spirits, they’re better for your voice
I know you think wine is more economical and yes, being able to get it from the supermarket does make it a little easier, but whiskey is much better for your voice and it works out about the same financially.
I know you don’t like whiskey yet - but you will and the sooner you learn, the sooner you will be able to wake up after a night out on the town and still be able to belt your tits off come showtime.
There is no timeline
Having goals is super important - but putting them into a timeline will only create disappointment.
So much of this industry and how you fit into it is out of your control, putting any sort of time pressure on yourself to achieve a grander idea is ludicrous. Sure, if you are putting on your own work and you book a theatre, then yup, probably write a show so there’s actually something to show people. But you can’t be trying to book a TVC within a year. It’s not actually up to you.
So much more goes into casting than talent
You absolutely have to be good at what you do to book the job.
But when you don’t book a job, there are so many other potential reasons. Your hair colour, your height, you don’t look enough like the mum they’ve already cast, they have already cast your ‘type’ in another role and they need balance, you don’t have the ‘essence’ they are looking for, the director knows that person and knows they can deliver (one day you will be on the other side of the table and you will see that that last one is a biggy, and it’s not a bad thing).
Sure, it will take some time but someone will give you a chance, and then you’ll be one of the people that the director knows. And all of this means that there is no point trying to look like other people! Why would you want to create MORE competition for yourself?
Just be yourself. Don’t be a dick, but be yourself.
Write down that stupid idea
One day you’ll date a comedian and he’ll teach you two things.
One: write down your thoughts, especially the ideas you have that you think are stupid. You will come to learn that the ideas that make you laugh because of how stupid they are, are the ones that you will enjoy creating work from the most.
Which brings me to...Two: making your own work will bring you the most joy. I know you want that big stage or screen contract right now and I get that! They are great for the bank account and great exercise as a performer and you will enjoy them. But you will get the most joy out of the things you make yourself. You will be the proudest of yourself for these things and people will like it. People will enjoy your stupid humour!
Catch Nomi Cohen at the 2021 Bread & Circus Backyard Buskers Festival performing in What the Quiz is This? Click here for info.