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Rising Stars: Meet Nikki Hru

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikki Hru.

Hi Nikki, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I want to start this by saying I owe everything to the people who have helped me and supported me throughout my journey. I am incredibly blessed and privileged, and that deserves recognition. I didn’t do this alone. That being said, my goodness, it has been quite a journey.

I have loved performing since before I can remember. I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb singing “Seasons of Love”. Story-telling was something I was born to do, in whatever form need be. I act. I sing. I dance. I write. I do stunt work. Performing in its entirety, I can’t see myself ever giving it up. I have many other interests and even other passions, but there is no other career for me outside of this industry. Trust me, I’ve tried.

I first moved to Los Angeles when I was 18. I fell into modeling, and, for a 5’3 girl with a less than “industry standard” body type, I found a moderate amount of success. I ended up on a couple of billboards and broachers in a few magazines. Suddenly, with these successes, things started to change. It grew my social media presence, earning my label of “micro-influencer” and opening an entirely new avenue that I never would have considered otherwise. People who had bullied me in Middle School / High School began reaching out. My voice was amplified as my platform grew. People started treating me differently. It was a little overwhelming. Thankfully, I am blessed with many people in my life who make sure to keep me humble otherwise, I imagine I could’ve definitely gone off the rails a little bit (or a lot a bit), but I digress.

At this time, I was double majored in Psychology and Biology in school. I was working two additional jobs, on top of the pressure of modeling and volunteering with kids. I was very burnt out. So, after finishing my AA, I used the savings I had procured through my three jobs, and I left the country. I ended up volunteering at a couple of animal sanctuaries where I worked with pumas, jaguars, ocelots, turtles, tejones, monkeys, and more (please donate money and/or time with the Ostional Wildlife Refuge and with El Parque Ambue Ari).

I found inner balance and a lot of peace in this specific year abroad. It helped me gain perspective, and with that, I came back to Los Angeles and realized I had completely lost track of my love and passion for acting.

I came back ready to hit the ground running. But sadly, to sum up the last few years; I got a nerve disorder that left me in and out of the hospital for a year, eventually recovered, then Covid hit. It’s been a hard time, which I know we can almost all identify with. It’s as though we had those years stolen from us.

Still, I am past the excuses of timing. As I’ve said, I am very blessed and very privileged, and I recognize I have no excuse to not be working my hardest with the gifts I have been given. So now, I’m solely focusing on acting. I have been in a couple of award-winning short films, namely “Cata” and “Cotard”. I have an Indi-film in the works. Obviously, I’m on that audition and self-tape grind. Then I’m hoping to finish writing my first feature-length script by the end of August, which will then hopefully move forward with production.

This feels like I’m just entering Chapter Two (2) of my journey with my career. I know I’m talented, as so many of us are. I know I’m willing to work as hard as I need to. I know that this chapter is just the beginning.

I am so excited to see what God, the universe, and this industry have in store for me and my future.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Oh goodness, gracious. I know my path has been easier than a lot of others’, specifically because I am an able-bodied, cis-gendered white person. I’m very cognizant of the privileges that come with those aspects of my identity. Still, this has been an odd road in terms of challenges.

For starters, modeling gave me a fair few body-image issues. I don’t weigh myself, for example, because I know my health isn’t defined by that number and seeing it can trigger an unhealthy relationship with food, which I have worked to get away from. Being somewhat of a gym rat, it can be hard to ignore that scale in the locker room every day.

Further, it’s not easy being a woman in this industry. The amount of scripts that I’ve had to reject simply because they were degrading in some way is astounding. The harassment. The blurring of lines by those in positions of power. Being constantly used as a prop for the male-centric plotline. The endless scrutiny. Consistently being assumed as unintelligent or naive or whatever else; it’s not easy. You’re always in a position of picking your battles. Though, to be fair, that’s kind of just the plight of woman (especially WOC) within this country, regardless of industry.

I’m lucky in a way, the bullying I faced growing up and the discrimination I faced having been a woman in STEM both really thickened up my skin for this.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
First and foremost, I am an actress. It’s what I’ve wanted to do since maybe pre-school, and I can’t seem to run away from it. I’m not sure what would make me “special” or “set me apart”. I just know this is what I was put here to do, so I’m going to figure out how to do it while keeping my head on straight and my heart in the right place.

I really hope to one day use whatever successes I gain in this industry to make as big of a positive impact as I can.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
Life is somehow the biggest paradox. Not to mash a couple of cliches, but: Life is so short and so fast, but it is also the longest thing we ever experienced. You have the time to do everything. You aren’t too old. You didn’t “miss your moment”. You can do it, you have the time, and it’s never too late to make a change or start something new. But life is too short to NOT be doing whatever it is you love. So you have to actually do it.

Almost paradoxically, acting has really made me realize there is no other choice than to live as authentically as possible. So I very much hope that jumble of words makes sense because I want each of us to live in our truth and to love each other in our entirety.

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Image Credits

Brian Angers (instagram.com/angers4014) Tawny Horton (instagram.com/tawnyhorton) Zachariah (instagram.com/zachariah_shoots) Richard Hart (instagram.com/itsrichphoto)

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