BWW Blog: Adam Lendermon of Maltz Jupiter's A CHORUS LINE - Interview with 'Vickie Vickers'
For my last interview I chose both a local and one of our beautiful cut dancers (Vickie Vickers). She is a transplant to South Florida from NYC. I look forward to seeing her every night onstage, because she looks fantastic in her costume. Enjoy.
"I want you to tell me your name, real name if it's different. And I'd also like to know where you were born..."
My name is Nikki Allred, born Candace Nicole Allred. I am from Lovington, NM, but currently reside in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
"What made you start dancing?"
I was born with a condition called congenital hip dysplasia, which basically meant that I had no hip sockets. After a minor surgery, casts, braces, and prayers, my hips finally developed. The doctors told my parents to get me involved in some sort of physical activity to build muscle strength in my hips to prevent arthritis. They chose dance and enrolled me when I was 2 ½. I have been hooked ever since!
What is your first memory connected with A Chorus Line?
My first memory of A Chorus Line was when I was very young, probably four or five. I had seen the movie, but my Mam-ma used to play the original cast recording in her car. She had a huge influence on my love of musicals and music. I used to love singing along to "Dance Ten, Looks Three" and "Montage". I had no idea what I was singing, but I knew I wasn't supposed to sing it anywhere but in the car. I remember when I was finally old enough to understand what they were ACTUALLY talking about. Boy, was that a shock! But I always understood the intensity of the show, even from a young age. I remember auditioning for stuff as a child and the opening lyrics would be ringing in my head!
How do you relate to the character on the line that you are playing?
Well, my character is rather short-lived, but I can tell you what it's like to be Vicki, the cut dancer. It is actually kind of tough. Everyone on the stage is "auditioning" for a certain amount of places on the line. That is exactly how it is in the business. You audition with people that are your friends, but at the end of the day, you want it just as bad as the next. We have all been cut, when it was that job you were "totally right for!" But, it's a reality of the business. Even though I am staged to make ridiculous mistakes and I know the outcome, I still find when I get the chance to dance I give everything I have. Obviously, I know that he can't mix up the cards and keep me, I always feel a bit better knowing I danced my heart out. After all, isn't that what auditioning is about-giving it your all? Oh, and I might try to play the "hot damsel" card after I royally mess up. It doesn't work so well, haha! Better luck next time!
Who has most inspired or nurtured you as an artist?
Being from a small town of athletes and cowboys, my interests were foreign to most people. Since they didn't understand, a lot of people were critical and not very encouraging. But my parents and teachers were always so supportive! I honestly can't name one person individually who has inspired me most. I have been fortunate enough to have so many amazing dance educators throughout my life. My childhood dance instructors in Hobbs, NM, my college director-Neil Hess, and my favorite jazz instructor in New York-Stephen Harding, all played a part in my pursuit of this business. In this unpredictable and unstable industry, sometimes all I had was class. All of my instructors kept me going through injury recoveries and slow periods. I might have walked away from this or might not have considered being a teacher myself if it weren't for these amazing people. All of them fueled my passion and I am forever grateful! Each one saw something different in me and shaped me into the dancer I am today.
What is your favorite story to tell about something that has happened to you onstage?
My favorite story ...hmmm? There was the time my dress wasn't zipped. And the time that I said my line backwards. And the one time that I said something random during a 10 out of 12 hour tech rehearsal. But my favorite would probably be during one of our first performances of Hairspray. During the title song, all of the girls strut around in their big wigs while the guys follow them around with a can of hairspray with fog in it. Though it was only a fog, if one inhaled the substance you definitely got a little choked up. So my partner came up behind me and pointed the can at me, as choreographed. When the time came, I sang the word "hairspray" and looked directly at my partner. Just then he sprayed the can, but the nozzle was tilted the wrong way. Instead of going over my head, it went straight in my face. I tried to refrain from gagging and laughing, but I can guarantee that I missed a few notes that show!
"What do you do when you can't dance anymore?"
I don't love this question, not going to lie. I am that girl that wakes up every day so happy to do what I do, whether it is rehearsal or a performance. But I have also found a wonderful outlet in teaching and choreographing. I find myself inspired and fulfilled by so many of my students. Educating the artists of tomorrow might be one of the most gratifying things in the world. And when all of the knowledge that you have passed on comes together in their mind and you are present to experience it, it is truly amazing. I feel like I did something good, something right. So dance will always have to be a part of my life, because it is a part of me. But I am okay sitting on the sidelines and passing on my passion to others that want to share it. As the song says, "the gift was ours to borrow." When the time comes, I know that I will have borrowed more than my share. It will be time to pass it on.
Originally from New Mexico, Nikki obtained a BFA in Dance from West Texas A&M University. She is currently performing in A Chorus Line at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Some of her past credits include Singin' in the Rain (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat- Mrs. Potiphar, Hairspray- Tammy (Actors' Playhouse), Carousel-Louise (Cumberland County Playhouse), 42nd Street-Ethel (Fireside Theatre), On the Town-Ivy Smith, and Mame-Gloria Upson (Stage Door Theatre). She recently had her debut as a choreographer in Ruthless the Musical at Actors' Playhouse. Nikki is also a dance and drama instructor at Pine Crest School, as well as a tap instructor for Ballet Elite. She currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, FL with her future husband. www.nikkiallred.com