Nikki Hulowski is an actor, comedian, improviser, writer and actor combatant who was raised on the farmlands of Athabasca, AB.
Since graduating from the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program in 2015, Nikki has dove headfirst into the world of comedy and film- her two passions. First dipping her toes into the improv and sketch comedy world during her high school years, she took a break from the craft(s), only to return to join the ranks of Rapid Fire. Nikki is also one of the five members of the sketch comedy troupe, Marv n’ Berry. When not making jokes and pretending to be other people, Nikki bartends around the city, practices her machining skills and beats the crap out of other people on stage and film.
TV Shows: The Office, Sense8, Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, Transformers, Suits, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, True Blood, and, and, and…
Movies: Warrior, The Judge, Gone Girl, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Wind River, Dumb and Dumber, Dumber and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, A Clockwork Orange, (Honestly, too many to type; this is an unfair question.)
Actors: Daniel Day-Lewis, Tim Roth, Margot Robbie, Robin Williams, Dave Chapelle (Yes, he is an actor too, and a well-crafted one)
Video Games: Mario Party, The Sims, … Do regular old puzzles count? I also love board games. Books: I love a good historical fiction or straight up textbooks. Once I start reading, I have a hard time stopping. Also, 50 Shades… Because… Get some. Also, the Discovery of Witches trilogy; I’m not kidding.
Music: Oh God… Everything. I don’t have enough space. Most recently on repeat: Charles Bradley, Alt-J, Bon Iver, Kygo… Everything.
Websites: Netflix, Cracked.com, Gmail, www.marvnberry.com (Not kidding, our website is pretty.)
Food: Strawberries and Yogurt, Oatmeal, Medium-rare Steak, Oysters, Lettuce wraps, Borscht; I could eat that for days on end. From around the city: Butter chicken or Mango Chicken from Guru on the Westside, Monkey Hot Pot from Cafe Mosaics, Classic Breakfast from New York Bagel Cafe, Steak Oscar from Vons, anything Duchess Bake Shop, etc…
Words to live by: What people think of you is none of your business.
I am a professionally trained clown as well as my main job as an actor/comedian, so I have a tendency toward physical comedy more often than not, while my upbringing helped develop my filthy sense of humour; I can be pretty vulgar without even trying.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH RAPID FIRE?
A friend was a senior member in the company and got me an audition without my knowledge. I was petrified at my audition, but for some reason this wonderful company cast me and the rest is history.
WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL IMPROV SCENE?
Commit and connect. Commit so hard and connect with your scene partners even harder.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU CAN OFFER AUDIENCE MEMBERS ABOUT GIVING SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVISERS?
Whatever honestly inspires you will inspire us. If “Dildo” is what inspires you, then you might have issues that we need to talk about— but in all honesty, give us suggestions for what YOU want to see, NOT what you think will be funny. Let us make the jokes about something that you suggest, rather than suggesting the joke itself; the joke can be created naturally and lets us all be surprised and eventually satisfied together! (That’s what she said.)
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT SHORT FORM VS. LONG FORM AND VICE VERSA?
I think my humour comes out more in short form; it’s fast-paced, witty and forgiving. Long form lets me lose myself in the best possible way; you can build a world full of characters, style, relationships, create deeper meanings to simple things and then just bask in all its glory (or insanity).
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR IMPROV STYLE?
It honestly depends on who I am improvising with and how comfortable I am with my fellow improvisers—the more comfortable I am with another improviser, the weirder my improv gets (ex. less physical boundaries, less boundaries in regards to content in the scene). I am a professionally trained clown as well as my main job as an actor/comedian, so I have a tendency toward physical comedy more often than not, while my upbringing helped develop my filthy sense of humour; I can be pretty vulgar without even trying.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT ON STAGE?
There are too many but for the sake of keeping this interview short: The first time I ever improvised with Steven Hurst, we had the most loving, whilst also disturbing scene that I can recall to date. It started with me playing a jock dude who wanted to take the prettiest girl in school (Steven) to the school dance and ended with us grabbing each others’ butts and tangling our tongues openly on stage to the amusement (and horror) of a sold-out crowd. The best.
WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF RFT?
I am a full-time actor and comedian in the film/television business as well as being trained and dabbling in the theatre world and otherwise. I am one of the five members of the sketch troupe, Marv n’ Berry (www.marvnberry.com) and am living my bliss with those other four hooligans in the group.
HOW DOES IMPROV COME IN HANDY IN YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE?
When does improv NOT come in handy?! It teaches you trust, commitment, hard work, focus, listening, how to engage and be engaging, and, and, and, and….
DESCRIBE WORKING FOR RAPID FIRE IN A SINGLE SENTENCE:
It’s performing with Family, not friends.