Over Two Decades of Acting, Melanie Nicholls-King Shares Industry Insight
Actress Melanie Nicholls-King Opens Up About Her New Series, Falling Water
We had the privilege of speaking with the wonderful, Ms. Melanie Nicholls-King as she takes on a brand new character in the upcoming USA series: Falling Water. The series also stars Lizzie Brochere, Will Yun Lee and David Ajala. Melanie plays the role of Ann Marie Bowen in the supernatural drama that is based on a dream had by three strangers. The strangers realize they are dreaming parts of the same dream. As they delve deeper into the meaning behind their connection to each other, they realize that the implications are much larger than their personal fates, and the future of the world lies in their hands.
It was an honor to be given access to a piece of Melanie’s personal life as she broke down the highs and lows of her career. She made it clear that she is so much more than her resume and that her success hasn’t come without blood, sweat, and tears. She’s revealed herself to be such a darling woman with a sweet spirit. Take a look as we get to know Melanie Nicholls-King a little better…
Parlé Mag: You’ve done a great job of establishing yourself as an actress, how did you get your start?
Melanie Nicholls-King: Thank you. I started in Grade 5 with the “Wizard of Oz”. My first professional job was in Vancouver on a show called “Street Justice” with Carl Weathers.
Parlé Mag: Did you always envision yourself as an actress?
Melanie Nicholls-King: Although I always loved acting, I wanted to be a doctor until my last year of high school when I had to apply for colleges. As I was filling out my applications, I worried that I would “what if” my life away so I applied to theatre schools and I GOT IN!!!! 🙂
Parlé Mag: You have a new show that’s about to debut on USA, “Falling Water”, tell us about this project…
Melanie Nicholls-King: “Falling Water” is a psychological thriller. It investigates the dream world and how it intersects with the ‘real’ world. I play Ann Marie Bowen, the head of “The Green”, a group that believes that dreams are powerful tools for peace.
Parlé Mag: What drew you to the character that you’re playing now?
Melanie Nicholls-King: I relate to her commitment to her truth and her desire to help others see their light.
Parlé Mag: Should we be expecting any major surprises from this series?
Melanie Nicholls-King: Yep, there are a lot of surprises in store. 🙂
Parlé Mag: Any there any other projects that you’re working on that we should know about?
Melanie Nicholls-King: I’m always working on other projects but right now they are in the development stage. As soon as the papers are signed, I’ll let everyone know. 🙂
Parlé Mag: Your longevity in this business is amazing, what has been your strength?
Melanie Nicholls-King: My strength has always been my family and my friends who are like family. This business can chew you up and spit you out and if you don’t have some calm in the storm, it’s a very lonely journey. My family and friends love me whether I’m working or not and that makes all the difference.
Parlé Mag: Were there ever any low points or points where you’ve doubted yourself?
Melanie Nicholls-King: There were many low points and times I doubted myself. I’ve heard no many more times than I’ve heard yes and there have been long periods in between jobs where money became very tight and I wondered how I was going to pay my bills. I’ve had to borrow money from friends and family to get by sometimes. That’s the part of the ‘overnight’ success that people don’t see. The struggle is real.
Parlé Mag: I want to take it back a little bit, you were on a pretty popular show back in the 90’s and early 2000’s called the “Famous Jett Jackson”. Where were you when you heard about the passing of Lee Thompson Young?
Melanie Nicholls-King: I was actually in my car on my way home from an audition when my friend called me and told me. She assumed that I had heard already. I had to pull the car over because I became so emotional. That was a huge loss for me in a way that surprised me. We hadn’t been in touch and yet I still felt connected to him and was so happy and proud of his success.
Parlé Mag: You were also on a show called “Rookie Blue” how did you get the opportunity to work on that project?
Melanie Nicholls-King: Like most of my jobs, my agent sent the audition material to me. Because it was shooting in Toronto, I taped myself doing the audition and sent it to the casting director there. They liked me enough to want to see me in person so I flew weeks up to Toronto (on my own dime) and auditioned for the producers in the room. I got the call a few later and 4 days after that I was flying up to Toronto to start shooting.
Parlé Mag: After 6 seasons did the canceling of the show come as a surprise to you and your cast mates?
Melanie Nicholls-King: I think we felt pretty blessed to have as many seasons as we did so we weren’t surprised but it was still sad to think that we all weren’t going to see each other as a group again.
Parlé Mag: What would be the best piece of advice to give an aspiring or even struggling actress?
Melanie Nicholls-King: My advice to anyone just starting to think about getting into this business is that if there’s anything else that they are passionate about, they should pursue that. Like I stated earlier this is not an easy business and you have to have so much patience and almost no choice but to stay in it if you really want to make this work. If you then decide to still continue on this path, then be prepared to thicken your skin. You will hear no more than you will hear yes. There may be times where you don’t know where the money is going to come to pay your bills but you have to find a way to continue to be able to do your art. Create a life outside of this business that fulfills you and feeds your soul. Nurture your relationships – family and friends. Stay ready and open for those opportunities that WILL come as a direct result of that readiness and openness. Only stay in it as long as it feeds your soul. There are a lot of people who started off as actors and realized it’s not the life for them and are at peace and fulfilled with Plan B. When there’s more lows than highs and I’m not just talking financially, it may be time to see what else is out there for you. Even at this point, I am open to the possibility that there may be another chapter on the horizon and I trust that I’ll know in my heart when it’s time to close the chapter on this one. I am much more than just an actor. It is what I do now and I try not to get boxed in by the belief that that is all I have to offer the world as my work.
Parlé Mag: How do you want to be remembered?
Melanie Nicholls-King: I want to be remembered as an actor who was able to touch people with what I offered to the world. That a young person, especially a young black woman will look at me and see herself and know that she too can achieve whatever dream her heart creates. I want to be remembered as kind and generous of spirit and someone who loved to laugh and that I never took my blessings or other people for granted. That the stories I chose to tell benefited the world in some way instead of taking away from it. When I am remembered, I want that person to have a smile on their face.