I’m flat on my back, with faces all around me.
From absolute darkness, my eyes open.

Where am I?
What happened?

The lights are up and I’m laying in the center of the stage, and the whole cast is looking down at me….my director, the stage manager, my dancers’ heads forming a circle of concern as I gaze up and try to make sense of how I got here.

And then I feel it….my ankle, throbbing, and pulsing.

Nikol, are you ok? 

And it all starts to flood back….standing out in the audience watching my dress rehearsal of the musical, Little Shop of Horrors.  My Ronnettes standing up on the balcony stage left doing the exact choreography I asked them to do.  I realized I had given them some bad direction, so I went running down the audience steps to hop onto the stage to change it.

And because it was dress rehearsal, the lights were out in the audience.  The stage, however, was fully lit….so I ran completely in the dark.

And what I didn’t see was the orchestra pit was lowered, just one foot. Just one foot in the dark, and down I went.  I sprained my ankle so badly, I went into shock and passed out immediately.

And woke up on my back, center stage.


When we think of Center Stage, there is such a quick association.  You, standing there, feeling the glow of the lights on your face, your adoring fans cheering for you…

Or are the lights burning, and you hear only silence?

If we could truly inhabit a place of peace under the lights, one where we felt confident, and at ease, what would it take for you to get there?

How would you fill the seats, and how would you stand there knowing you had something WORTHY to say?

And most importantly, how would you stand there consistently, instead of feeling a quick flash and then finding yourself flat on your back?

I don’t think any of us are looking to be a One Hit Wonder, sell one big painting, write one book, or give one speech.  We’re actually having a real conversation around how to truly stand Center Stage over and over, without broken bones and broken spirits.

We’re talking about having a rich and prosperous life based on your Creative Gifts.

So, probably best not to go running in the dark…..


I grab my suitcase and walk through the open doorway, closing it ever so gently as the music begins lightly; Andrew Lloyd Weber’s soft ballad emerging from the orchestra pit.

I place the suitcase center stage, and sit down on it, taking a moment to look out at the thousands of audience members. Both spotlights are on me, I inhale, and then begin to sing Another Suitcase in Another Hall.

It’s 2005, and I’m on my first National Tour, the 25th Anniversary production of Evita, working with the original Broadway team, and tonight I am on for the role of the Mistress.

I practiced for this moment, rehearsing for weeks as the understudy, waiting to stand here and sing a solo to the largest audience I have performed to, and I wasn’t nervous.  In fact, I felt free.  I felt fantastic, and as each note emerged from my throat, I felt even more strength for my abilities.

Standing Center Stage, I sang.  Standing Center Stage, I claimed my spotlight, the one I had been working so hard for in my career, with all my training, and with all my heart.

And those 7 months on the road with Evita, to this day, remain some of the most magical in my life.  I was happy, fulfilled, prosperous, and doing what I loved.

Isn’t that what we are talking about?

It was a far cry from the 20 something who went running in the dark, blind to what twisted my ankle, blind to the floor falling out beneath me.

So, what are you blind to?


What if you could improve your sight and learn how to stand under the lights and gaze out at thousands of enraptured faces?

Well, now you can.  You can learn not only from my 20 years of experience on the professional stage, but from the top experts in the field, sharing all their knowledge on mindset, marketing, social media, strategy, and pricing.

You can learn how to prosper in this marketplace, and thrive in your Artistry.

You can learn how to truly make a living from your Creative Gifts, and earn what you are worth.

I’ve brought them all together for a very special event, so you don’t have to twist and fall as I did.  You don’t have to go through these challenges alone, or struggle with methods that promise a “quick fix” and then don’t deliver.

Take a moment with me, close your eyes, and feel the lights on your face.  Now imagine that under those lights you are happy, fulfilled, and earning a living doing what you love.

That’s Center Stage, and it waits for you.

Come join us and reserve your Free Front Row Ticket today.
CLICK HERE to sign up.

Bring your suitcase.  We’ve got your back. Let’s get you off the floor and standing tall.

Come learn how to be Center Stage and In Demand.



Photo credit: Caitlin Cannon Photography

The Creative Thread

Gift Bag

I quickly throw down my yoga mat in the front row, having just made it in time for class. With the best intentions to arrive early, the NYC subway had other ideas.

Facing my teacher Ali, I sit elevated on my blanket, folded over so my tight hips can release and my knees rest. I sweep my hair into a ponytail grabbing the tie from my wrist, and settle just as she begins to speak.

I need this today.

“So, I cleaned out my closet, which is great, but now all the bags of clothes are in my living room…”

She recounts the story of her mother coming over and trying to find a place to sit, compassionately saying, “You will move these things all in due course.”

As Ali looked at her mother unable to fully relax in her home, her answer came clearly.


Ali knew in that moment there was one thing she could do. She could take one of the bags that was set aside for a friend and deliver it to her. Or she could take one of the bags that was set aside for Salvation Army and drop it off.

So she did.

And she felt so good about accomplishing this simple task, she went to the grocery store to buy some rice, and smiled at another shopper who was having a bad day.

What happened for that shopper?

Maybe she went home and hugged her husband, or called a friend, or sat and played with her dog. She took the kindness that was shown to her, and passed it on. Ali not only touched a stranger, she touched all who the stranger came in contact with, and a chain was begun.

All this from a bag of clothes.


I remember sitting in the audience for the Tony award winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I was with a close friend and during intermission, we turned to each other, almost too stunned to utter much more than,

“I LOVE this…”

Curious Case w Ali

I was at an artistic buffet of collaboration, ensemble work, brilliant staging, and focused storytelling. I witnessed the bare stage turning into a grid the lead could literally draw on, sitting at the edge of my seat, giddy with discovery.

I felt I was seeing not only the creativity of the original author, but what each member of this production had brought forth.

The ensemble played different roles and created the environment. They were the chairs, the doors, and even the emotional states for the protagonist as he progressed through his fears. They lifted him and turned him upside down.

I walked out inspired. I walked out with a visual playing in my head, and a desire to create.


Months after, I was hired to choreograph the Zarzuela El Laurel de Apolo for Repertorio Espanol, and when the director began to speak about how we were going to turn Daphne into a tree, I felt myself sitting on the edge of my seat again.

The little seed that had been growing since seeing Curious Incident was planted in the minds of my director, lighting designer, and set designer. As I began to throw out ideas, their eyes lit up, and soon we were all throwing water and fertilizer into the pot.

It began to grow and take shape.

Our first rehearsal with the ensemble on forming the tree, I shared my vision, and invited the cast to play. They accepted with glee and gratitude, and their energy was high.

Now they were a part of the process too.

Our closing night of El Laurel de Apolo, we had to turn people away. The show was sold out, and the audience stood with vigor and joy, clapping at the end.

Daphne Tree

There was a brightness in the theatre, from the stage to the seats, a thread from the bowing of the cast and creative team, to the patrons.

I stood, looking out from the stage, acknowledging the audience, but also remembered clapping with the same vigor months ago at what began this journey for me.

I wonder what the audience members did when they went home?


We have a great opportunity as artists, to reach an audience with our stories, our songs, our paintings, and dance. We have the opportunity to connect and create a thread.

What if we approached our art this way, with one simple step?

What if we looked at the seed in order to create the whole?

Sometimes, it won’t be linear, and in fact may be a map going out in all directions, but the effect will be the same whether it’s what we receive from a smile or from the lights lowering as we settle into our seats. And the possibilities of how many lives it will touch is endless.

You actually possess a great power. Did you know you set so much in motion with one action?

You choose the beginning.

So, what is the one thing you can do today, and what can you receive as inspiration?