Finding Her Light
As a child of a successful samba dancer and a local musician, it didn’t take long for Nicole to grow weary of putting her OWN dreams as an artist on hold. In 2005, she quit her job running scripts for highly-stressed news producers and began her journey as a working actor and non-profit humanitarian. Since that first day she stepped out of the newsroom and onto the stage she has evolved creatively and spiritually through various artistic productions at Bindlestiff Studio, Shelton Studio, StageWerx Theater, Off Market Theater, Brava Theater, The Public Theatre, CAP21 and Herbst Theater to name a few (details listed on her acting vitae).
Acting On Set
Her film credits include “Amy” in the indie movie, Glory Boy Days, which premiered at the 2008 Slamdance Film Festival & the 2008 SF Asian American Film Festival. Nicole then stretched her action adventure abilities as "Esther" in the Sci-Fi web series Eve: Beauty & the Blade. EVE: Beauty and the Blade was an 'Official Selection' for the Action on Film International Film Festival in Pasadena, California. In 2009, she starred as "Grace" in the dramatic short film REVE, which premiered in Spain at the Marbella International Film Festival. She was cast as a resident doctor in the award winning independent film, Fruitvale Station, produced by Forest Whitaker, directed by Ryan Coogler and featuring actors Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer. She was cast as the lead in the short independent film, Love Flare, produced by Killer Films and Stony Brook University. Currently filming in New York City, Nicole plays the lead character named Khae on the international comedic industrial sitcom, Wall Street English, which will be released overseas in 2017. She is currently traveling all over the world meeting her Khae super fans!
Pulling No Punches
Wanting to perform more of her own writing, Nicole took her first stand-up comedy workshop under Kevin Camia in 2007. In just a year, her stand-up experience exploded. Nicole has brought laughter to the following venues: Bindlestiff Studio, Speech Therapy's Comedy, San Jose Improv and the world-renowned, San Francisco’s Purple Onion. Nicole also had the honor to open for comic genius Dave Chappelle several times at the San Francisco Punchline and The New Parish in Oakland, California. She is currently writing comedic sketches and a web series highlighting her life growing up in the Bay Area.
Under the tutelage of acclaimed comic/solo performer and FX's "Totally Biased" host, W. Kamau Bell, Nicole Maxali wrote and performed her very first one-woman show, Identification Please, in 2008. Identification Please, directed by Allan Manalo & produced by Bindlestiff Studio, played a three week run at The Thick House in April 2009 and was selected as part of the 2009 Kearney Street Workshop’s festival, APATURE.
With the continued help of W. Kamau Bell (SF's Solo Performance Workshop Series) and under the direction of Paul Stein (Comedy Central Stage, Hollywood), Nicole performed her first full length one-woman show, Forgetting the Details, in November 2011. Funded by Theatre Bay Area and the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Forgetting the Details premiered at Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco. Since relocating to New York City, Nicole has performed I Heart Lola at the famous Joe's Pub at The Public Theatre in New York and at the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue Conference at Harvard University. She also performed her acclaimed full length one-woman show in the Mid-West at The 2013 Minnesota Fringe Festival.
Putting Nicole on the NYC theater map, Forgetting the Details made its New York Off Off Broadway debut at the 18th annual New York Fringe Festival with sold out shows, standing ovations and five more rave reviews (which you can read here)!
Calling the Shots
Nicole is no stranger of what happens behind the scenes of a theater production. In 2008 she successfully co-produced an original musical Love in the Time of Breast Cancer at Off Market Theater with fiscal sponsorship by California Pacific Medical Center and South of Market Health Center. From 2009 to 2010, Nicole also co-produced "City Solo" at Off Market Theatre. City Solo was a weekly solo showcase which featured the best of the best solo artists in the Bay Area. During it's highly successful twelve month run, City Solo was highlighted in the SF Chronicle, SF Examiner, SF Weekly, East Bay Express and the Bay Area Reporter.
Nicole produced the highly acclaimed two week run of "Fortunate Daughter" at the 2012 New York Fringe Festival. "Fortunate Daughter" is written and performed by Thao P. Nguyen (a fellow solo performer from SF's SPW series). The run was a wild success with sold out shows and rave reviews from NYTheatre.com and TheatreReviews.com
In 2016, Nicole co-produced the New York premiere of Marisa Marquez's all Asian-American female cast play, "Ms. Oriental" which received an amazing write up and feature on NBC news.
Currently, Nicole balances her artistic life of writing/producing and acting while also working as the Entertainment Director of MARY Magazine in New York City.