Nicky is an actor, presenter, writer, speaker, coach, blogger, mummy and my lovely sister-in-law. She has always been self-employed, designing her career as she goes along and loves helping others do the same.
Nicky is a big dreamer and always has lots of ideas. We were really excited when she agreed to this interview as we had lots of questions for her about memory techniques, motivation and confidence. We also spoke to her about children's books of course!
How do you memorise your lines for an acting role?
Learning lines for an acting job is an essential and learned skill. When I learn lines I make it a focused activity and give myself a time limit i.e ‘I will be learning lines for the next hour and want to know the next five pages of script well’. I make sure I manage distractions- no telly, no phone and a quiet space. I really try to understand the sense of the scene so I know the circumstances, rather than just concentrating on the individual lines with no context. I tend to walk around and say the lines out loud and I find bringing energy to the process is more productive, rather than sitting and simply scanning the lines.
What advice would you give to children who are trying to improve their memory?
I would encourage little challenges every day and making it fun. It could be games in the car whilst looking out the window, memory games at the kitchen table or memorising sections of books whilst doing silly voices. Grab a friend or family member to make it more interesting and short, sharp bursts will be the most efficient. Also drinking lots of water seems to wake my brain up so it may help you too.
As a life coach, what are your top tips for staying motivated when things aren't going quite as you would like?
Get clear on the detail. Figure out what you want and where you want to go. In my own life, I tend to waste time and procrastinate when I don’t know what I am working towards. When in doubt, I get a large piece of paper and move all my ideas/tasks out of my head. This makes me feel less overwhelmed and more productive.
If children need a confidence boost, what advice would you give to their parents or carers?
Communication. Sometimes as a parent there is a pressure to over schedule; lessons, clubs, play dates- it can all become too much. So go back to talking. Find out what makes your child feel good, what they like and what they need. Ask open questions and keep the conversation flowing. Before I became a parent; another parent gave me the advice ‘Parent the child you have’ which I always come back to.
If parents or carers are finding it hard to juggle their work life and their family life where could they get advice?
Whatever you want to do, it is likely someone has done it already and has a tried and tested method. In terms of advice, get clear on what you want to know and what you need help with. You Tube is wonderful as has such an array of content. Surround yourself with those who believe you can, not who you think you can’t.
If you could do something else for the day what would it be and why?
Perhaps a popstar- not the main chick but a backing dancer or singer. I would love the creativity, travel and the general daily adventures. Or perhaps a make up artist- although it is never something I have looked into as I am hopeless at doing other people’s makeup- my own is a little smudgy and thrown on.
Who or what has inspired you the most?
This changes on a daily basis but I always seek out inspiration. I am always looking for moving stories, tales that beat adversity and learning new ways to ‘make it happen’. I do make sure I am very connected with what I want from life and always write down my ideas so I know where I want to go- this can be very inspiring especially on a gloomy, sleep deprived Wednesday.
Which books do you love reading with your little boy Oscar?
Around 9 months he really started to love books- he liked them before but mainly to gaze at or chew. Now he recognises certain stories and knows what he coming next. ‘Dear Zoo’ by Rod Campbell is a fave at the moment. Plus loves any book that have babies in- he likes to kiss them all.
What is your favourite children's book?
If you could spend a day with one of the PrenderPals who would it be and why?
Oscar the Ox, of course.
(Nicky is Oscar's Mummy!)
We hope you have enjoyed this interview with Nicky, it has certainly given us lots to go away and think about.
If you would like to know more about what Nicky does and how she could help you, please visit her website at www.nickyraby.com.
She would also love to hear from you by email at firstname.lastname@example.org