The Most Important Lesson This Young Actor Has Learned on His Journey

Article Image
Photo Source: Elizabeth Santiago

Nigel Swinson is a young actor from New York City who has found success by being patient and sticking to his values.

Get involved in the creative process.

“I enjoy being part of someone’s idea coming to life—whether it is modeling, acting, or singing—and learning from them and others around me.”  

Find useful strategies to get ready for a role.

“I prepare for a project by doing research so that I have a better sense of the context. I also usually like to drink tea and clear my mind so I can be fully present and focused on what I want to convey in my performance.”

Cherish every step of your journey.

“Be in the moment, and try to appreciate the down times as well as the times when you’re flooded with invites from casting directors. Finding success takes persistence (submitting to lots of castings), patience (waiting in long lines), and grace (always thanking people who you meet and sending your regrets if you cannot make an audition).”

Let people meet the real you.

“I think the way to build relationships with fellow industry members is to simply be yourself. I try to ask thoughtful questions and be a good listener. Conversations that I have had do not necessarily have to do with the industry. Being well-versed in lots of things makes for a more authentic connection.”  

Don’t be too harsh on yourself about your shortcomings.

“One of the lessons I have learned is to be able to not take yourself so seriously that you cannot laugh at your mistakes. If you cannot chuckle when you fall, you should not smile when you soar.”

This story originally appeared in the Jan. 25 issue of Backstage Magazine.