Interview With Nikki DeLoach

Hi all!! Just last night, I had the chance to speak with the enchanting, talented Nikki DeLoach!

This lady is no stranger to Hallmark fans, having appeared in many fan favorite films over the years.  She's also appeared on shows such as North Shore, Windfall, Days of Our Lives, and Awkward.  Nikki brings talent, class, and humor she's become well known for to every role she plays. She has been acting since she was in preschool and has just about done it all: modeling, singing, writing, and everything in between. Since I'm sure you're as excited about this as I am, we'll get started right away!
Photography: Crown Media

Mercy: What started your interest in acting?
Nikki: My earliest memory is I was 3 years old and I was watching Singing In The Rain with my grandmother at her house. All I could think was, "I want to be that." I just became obsessed with it after that! Every movie, every musical.  I asked my mom if I could take dance, I got into commercials, and then I got into stage plays and it just kept going from there. But really and truly, it was watching Singing In The Rain when I was 3 years old with my grandmother.

Mercy: What is the most rewarding part of being an actress?
Nikki: Telling stories that connect people, telling stories that make people feel something, being somebody's happy place to go for an hour or a couple of hours. Telling stories that are relevant. I feel like storytelling is a connecter; it connects all of us and helps us build empathy. Sometimes you don't know what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes, but when we watch it on tv or see it in a movie, it makes us feel something, it makes us feel for the other person. For me, I've always just wanted to be a storyteller that connects people with the characters that I play and with the stories that I tell. I feel like we can do that as people in so many different ways! You do that in your interviews, you tell a story of someone else. And for me, everything that I do - I also write now, I produce, I have a blog - and everything that I do is geared towards telling stories that help people connect with each other and not feel so alone in this world.

Mercy: What advice would you give an aspiring actor or actress?
Nikki: Well, the first thing I would say is, "Are you doing this because you really want to be an entertainer? You really want to be an actor? Do you really want to do that? Or are you doing it because you just want to be seen or because you want to be famous, to be known by people?"  Because if that's why you're doing it, go figure out some other way to make that happen because it is hard. It's really hard and you have to really love it to stick in it for a very long time. I've done it for over 30 years and I love it, or else I would have figured out something else to do with my life because it's so hard to be a working actor where you can pay your bills doing this job. That would be number one. Do you love this enough to be able to make it through the valleys as well as the peaks?
And if you are, I would say find a place to train and really, really practice. Work on your skill set, work hard at it as if it was any other job like being a lawyer or whatever it is. Work really hard at it and take that part of it seriously. I would say as far as everything else goes, the business side of it, don't take anything personally! You have to be super good with rejection.  People tell me no all the time and I'm like "Great, I'll see you tomorrow!" You have to really not take things personally and let rejections roll off your shoulders. But most importantly, I would tell every single person who wants to be an actor - find something else in your life to do that also fulfills you. Don't let this business be your everything, or it will swallow you whole. If your happiness is dependent on making it, getting that guest star, being a working actor, etc, if your happiness is dependent, really, on anything that exists outside of you other than yourself and your relationship with God or whatever it is, your kids...that can always be dangerous. Because if you're not able to do that thing - and most of the time as an actor you're NOT able to do those things you love to do because jobs are hard, you want to fill your time and you want to fill your space with other things that really make you happy. That was a game changer for me.  I became a teacher many, many years ago and I love to teach. It's something that I do anytime I'm not on set and it fulfills me in this really beautiful way. Maybe things aren't going my way in the acting world, I have that to lean on, that I really enjoy doing.
Photography: Ryan Plummer/Crown Media

Mercy: What do you do to prepare yourself for a role?
Nikki: That part of it I love as well as the doing! I went and trained at a studio called Warner Loughlin Studios in Los Angeles. She uses an incredible, very unique technique that I fell in love with and I've used ever since. I use her technique, I work with coaches. I usually do a couple of lessons with coaches where we go through the entire script. And the technique that Warner uses, it's really in depth and it's a lot of work but if you do it right and you do it fully, then you're going to be walking on set completely prepared and ready to go. You are going to know who that character is in and out. For me, when I walk unto set, I don't want to be figuring out who this person is. I want to know who this person is before I get to set so that, on set, the only thing I'm concerned with is listening to my fellow actors while we're in a scene. So prep is actually a really big part of any job that I get.

Mercy: What is one of your favorite parts of working with Hallmark Channel?
Nikki: I love doing romantic comedies! I'm such a fan. That's what I grew up on. When Harry Met Sally, any Meg Ryan movie- You've Got Mail, Pretty Woman. You name it, I've seen it in terms of romantic comedies! Beside musicals, when I got older that's what I watched. I learned comedy from watching these movies and Hallmark is a place where they're really in tune with doing romantic comedies. That's what the format is for the show. I really love doing that type of material. Secondly, they are so wonderful to work with! They treat you so well and are so kind. They are also a company that actually walks the talk. They say that they are a family friendly company, they say that people matter; they're the heart, right?  They are the heart of television! You feel that when you work for them. You feel like you're part of a family and that you really, really matter. That does not happen everywhere. Because of all of those reasons, I really love working with them. There's no other network on the planet where you would be able to pick up the phone and call the president of the network and have a conversation, but you can do that with Hallmark. They have open doors to everyone and they take such good care of the people who work with them. It's a really beautiful thing.

Mercy: What is one of your favorite Christmas traditions?
Nikki: There is nothing that tops spending time with family, spending time with the people that you love. The holidays are so special because people get off of work and I get that quality time with my husband, or my mom or dad, or my kids.  It's just wonderful.
Photography: Nikki
  Secondly is I really feel that this time of year, it's so important to remember to give back. I love the things that I get to do with places like Children's Hospital, where we get to sponsor families that are going through the toughest time in their lives. To be able to be Santa for them, to shower their hospital rooms with all their wishlist of things that they ever could've hoped for, for Christmas!
I love being able to host dinners and parties where I bring my friends over and tell them how grateful I am to have them in my life.
So for me, really and truly it's about making sure you connect with those people that you love and get that quality time in. Make sure that they know how much they mean to you. That's all my favorite parts of the holidays.

Mercy: How do you balance work and motherhood?
Nikki: I don't, I just don't 😄.  I mean, I do my best and I actually feel like I do a really good job.  There are some days where I lay my head on the pillow and I'm like "You know what? I am amazing. I did these 40 things with work, I was able to be there for my kids, I did all the things, I had such a great day!" And then there are some days where I work a 16-hour day and I didn't get the time I needed with my kids. And that just has to be the way that it is sometimes. Balance is something that I've just had my fill of. Instead, the way that I like to think about it is, I'm going to do the very best that I can today. That's it. I have a big work day ahead of me but I'm going to carve out whatever moments I can to be with my kids.  Or, "You know what? My workload is actually light today so I'm going to get Hudson out of preschool a little early and we're going to go do something really fun together!" For me, it's all about waking up every day and just saying, "I'm going to do the best I can for all the people that I love and I'm going to throw balance and the idea of balance out the window because I'm never going to live up to it."

Mercy: Can you tell us a little bit about Reunited At Christmas?
Nikki: I sure can! It's about this family who has gone through the holiday shuffle, and the holiday shuffle can look a lot of different ways. For this family, their parents got divorced so the kids were kind of bouncing back and forth between the mom and dad and they hadn't really been together as a family in a long time. For other people it can look like somebody gets married and moves to another city, or it becomes too hard to travel with the whole family, but either way the holiday shuffle is when you are moving around and bouncing around and the whole family is not able to come together for the holidays. So, the matriarch of the family, Nana Madeline, she passes away and her dying wish is that the entire family, all of them, spend one last Christmas together in her house doing all the traditions that they used to do together. That's where our movie begins, and we see this family come back together and what happens during that time. Is there tension, is there joy, is there anxiety, are there surprises that happen along the way, are people different than they used to be?  We live all of that out in the movie, and plus, then there's this romance!
Photography: Ryan Plummer/Crown Media

It's woven into it between my character Sam and the character of Simon. They haven't been together a long time but they're definitely in love and early in the movie he asks her to marry him. It is a question that Sam really struggles with. She had her heart broken in the past, plus her parents' marriage didn't make it so she's really scared of failing and not getting it right. We have to watch the two of them figure out how they're going to stay at Christmas with the family and how they're going to manage the emotions of what they are feeling about this engagement.

It's an idea I developed and pitched to Hallmark and developed with them. In the beginning, the reason why I really wanted to make this is I wanted to tell a story of an entire family, an ensemble, not just a female lead. Also, I wanted to show the importance of making an effort to be with your family over the holidays because before you know it, those years pass you by and you can't get that time back. I think that we made something that is really special and I love the story that we told in it.
I really hope audiences love it!

Mercy: Lastly do you have any upcoming projects you cans share with us?
Nikki: I actually have a website that's ongoing. I do it with one of my besties named Jen Dede. The name of the site is called What We Are. People can go check that out at welcometowhatweare.com.  It's a place for women to go and express and celebrate their beautifully, unfiltered selves.  We tell really weird - some of them are weird :) - but really real stories about what we go through as women.  That's something ongoing that I'm always working on!

Nikki, thank you for taking the time to do this.  It was a pleasure to have you on my blog.  Readers, my opinion of Nikki, if anything, has only gotten higher since talking to her.  She is a truly classy lady who brings her very best to everything she does.
Photography: Crown Media

Whether you have never seen this actress in a film, or you're a longtime fan, I encourage you to tune in tonight to the Hallmark Channel at 8/7 c to watch Reunited at Christmas!
It's a movie you do not want to miss that I'm pretty sure will become a family favorite.
I would also encourage you to click through the link below and follow Nikki on social media-

Twitter
Instagram

Thanks for reading!
~Mercy

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