Tag Archives: Carla Nickerson

CARLA NICKERSON – Creative Artist Extraordinaire Update


Carla Nickerson

Carla Nickerson inhales oxygen and exhales energy!!! Always on the go, I’m glad she took a moment to share with us!


2015 has been a very busy year for Carla…


Carla Nickerson Mockingbird 1

   Carla with St. Edward’s University drama students in To Kill a MockingBird Nov. 2015


Carla Nickerson Griot Design

(Griot Style) Designed this dress and hat for the cover of Occhio Appela Magazine, October 2015 issue


Carla in Satchel Paige & Kansas City Swing at Austin Playhouse (Feb/Mar) Carla Nickerson


Carla Nickerson Griot Melba MooreCarla’s (Griot Style) design for Melba Moore’s Listening Debut Party


You move seamlessly from acting to singing to painting to fashion. Are your skills in these various areas natural or nurtured talent?

I think “seamlessly” is very generous. I don’t really give either art form the focus I’d like to. Visual art is the discipline that comes most easily followed by acting, fashion design and singing, in that order. I have to work hardest at singing.


Looking at the difficult task of developing a sustainable career in the Arts, how have you managed to maintain your artistic level of excellence?

Austin is touted as some creative Mecca, but few Artists here earn a living wage by solely creating their own art. The hype is so persistent that I routinely have people say to me: “Hey, I’vm thinking about doing what you do (painting, acting, designing). I need contact info for people who hire you and when can I come check out how you do it?”

I get to create to my own level of standards by having a “day” job and working autonomously other than theatre/film. I love Austin, but no longer attempt to cultivate a market for my work in this town beyond (for the time being) performance.


 CARLA NICKERSON AS A COPYou have a very interesting background, can you tell  our readers what your previous career was? How  did you transition from that to what you do now?  How has it helped?

That question is usually comes when people hear about my career as a police officer. I was a sworn peace officer in Austin for seven years patrolling the streets and helping people in various ways including taking them to jail. The real ‘transition’ was going from Artist to cop–it took everyone by surprise and I can’t easily explain why I was so drawn to that line of work. Likewise, having been an actress and portrait artist made me a better cop. There were countless times when my well-honed observation skills saved the day and maybe my life a few times. I never drew my gun, never had a fight–other than ducking a fist once–in all those years. It also helped me tremendously working undercover sting assignments.


You are an equity actor. Can you explain to our readers what being an equity actor means? Its benefits and its challenges?

It means that you work for (at least a semblance of) a living wage and that you pay into a pension fund and earn social security and health insurance; it protects you from having to work overtime without pay; It also means especially in Texas that the roles are few and far between. I don’t recommend it in Austin until you’re WELL seasoned and not needing to accumulate more experience. I worked free and for very little for decades before joining equity. I’m comfortable with being labeled difficult to afford.

CARLA NICKERSON AND ME AT ABTF 2013 copyYou have won multiple awards for your talent. In deciding what roles to accept what do you consider the most important detail?

There’s not just one. Who’s producing it? What’s the storyline? Will it fit into my current time constraints? Is it something new, capable of stretching me into unexplored territory?

You currently hold the position of Program Coordinator at the City Of Austin’s Office of Arts & Cultural Resources. How do you manage to so many different projects/businesses and maintain a ˜day job?’

I’ll answer that if I ever figure it out. It can be difficult, but what a rewarding burden to bear!


What would you consider your dream role?

One that required me to travel to Cuba or Ghana/Anywhere in Africa or Asia. Short of that, my dream role is always the next one.

 What is next for Carla Nickerson in 2015?

I’m excited about playing the lead role in The Story of Six Tusks, a feature film being shot this summer. Besides that, have a book illustration project that will continue at least another three months, and I’m in talks about a small role in a film being shot this fall. I’ll also be working in behind-the-scenes roles with Spectrum Theatre Company, which I co-founded.


Mountaintop Marc Pouhe and Carla Nickerson


Women Making History



Forgive the sports metaphor but I couldn’t resist!

Yes, I know! March is traditionally Women In History month! Believe me there will be an abundance of articles, blogs, interviews and press coverage about women who were trailblazers and I appreciate and respect them all.

However, I thought that I would put a different spin on March’s theme. JWHill Productions is going to spend the month highlighting contemporary women who are making history.

These fire-breathing, dragon-slaying, king and queen birthing women that we will highlight this month have each grabbed the torch, burned bushes, chopped trees and even spit fire to get to where they are now…and they’re not close to being finished! Check them out below ‘Women Making History’!

Women Making History.

final new logo (1)

The Mountaintop : A Review



Mountaintop Marc Pouhe and Carla Nickerson

I will preface this by saying that I viewed the epic movie, SELMA! and the stirring play, The Mountaintop, within twenty-four hours of each other. While I was fairly young and living in the north when these events took place, I do have memories of dinner table conversations, front porch discussions, back porch arguments about the pros and cons of stirring up white folks and it being the perfect time to demand equality for our race and not so impartial news reports about both.

I remember the pride and reverence that everyone, well, everyone in my world, had in regard to Martin Luther King, Jr. I remember hearing his comforting voice, the hope in the call and response of the Negro people, as we were known then as he issued his peaceful giant’s call to action. A call to dignity…calls to equality…a call to justice…a call to destiny.

However, with all of the love, admiration and pride many of us had and have for Martin Luther King, Jr., we forget that he was human, a man subject to the same failings, faults and fears that all men and women experience.

It is here where The Mountaintop experience really begins, not with the often quoted “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech rendered hours before at the Mason Temple for the sanitation workers but here- at the Lorraine Hotel, 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis TN on a stormy Wednesday night, April 3, 1968.

The opening claps of thunder as King enters his hotel room, tired and disappointed; put the audience on notice that this is not going to be a usual night.

The Mountaintop pict Carla and Marc

While Marc Pouhe’s physical appearance doesn’t match that of Dr. King, his mannerisms make the connection. Searching for listening devices that have become part of the décor wherever he goes, pacing while waiting on trusted friend, Ralph Abernathy to bring him his Pall Mall cigarettes. He calls the service for a cup of coffee and is informed room service has stopped for the night but for him they will make an exception. Enters the spirited, sassy, at times irreverent maid, Camae (portrayed by Carla Nickerson) with a vocabulary totally unlike that of the Church of God in Christ audience he just left.

At first she appears to be in awe if not a little intimidated by Dr. King but that soon passes as a connection develops between them that dissolves status, titles or stature. Her funny nature blends with his sometimes open and sometimes guarded demeanor as the increasing bursts of thunder visibly affect him.

The Mountaintop Carla Nickerson and Marc Pouhe

We see a side of Martin Luther King, Jr. that the public was seldom if ever privy to. Yes, there are glimpses of his ‘appreciation of women’ but what we see that is more important is his vulnerability.

I am limited as to how much I can reveal without ‘spoiling’ it for others but I will say that their conversation covers the major areas of human opinions including politics, violence versus non-violence, (Camae has a unique take on how Dr. King could approach the race issue) to touching on his interaction with his wife and children.

The play has a few unexpected twists and for some may be a little over the top in certain areas but for all it is or isn’t, we get a little insight at what it’s like when a god isn’t on the pedestal.

While some say that Ms. Hall has blurred the lines between the temporal and the eternal, I think it was her destination all along. It’s a journey we all have to make, where what we believe is real meets what we know is truth.

Join Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Marc Pouhe’) and Camae (Carla Nickerson) at the Austin Playhouse weekends until January 25th in Katori Hall’s dramatic and to some controversial play, The Mountaintop, directed by Don Toner, Artistic Director, Austin Playhouse.

#mlk, #themountaintop, #Selma, #marcpouche, #carlanickerson, #dontoner, #austinplayhouse, #theatre, @jeanettewhill,  #blacktheatre, #blackpower, #camae, #ujimamagazine, #history



Jeanette Hill Productions
(JWHill Productions)
The Amen Circle