We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Ledoux and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
The definition of success has changed for me over the years. If you had asked seven year old Nicole she would have told you that the pinnacle of any actor’s career is to be in a Harry Potter movie. Thirteen year old Nicole would probably prattle on about winning a Tony and playing Elphaba in Wicked. Twenty year old Nicole would have told you that success is being able to make a living doing the thing that you love. But now I don’t believe that success has anything to do with fame, glory, or the monetary value of my work–because very few artists get all (if any) of these things. I find success in the little moments of being an artist. Success is when my writing partner Abbey and I riff until we find the perfect joke to write into a scene. Success is the flutter of my heart right before I share a song that I’ve written with someone new. Success is every time someone connects to the art I make…whether it’s a friend who laughs at a line in my script or a young person commenting that they can relate to my TikTok video about being queer. If I’m actively creating, pushing myself, and connecting with others then I am a successful artist…or at least that’s what 2021 Nicole thinks.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
If you haven’t read it already I would highly recommed reading the “Groovy Tuesdays” Shoutout LA Article where my writing partner Abbey May and I talk about our passion project. Writing Groovy Tuesdays with Abbey and raising the money to shoot our proof of concept have been some of my most proud moments. We plan on filming this year and I cannot wait to see our brainchild come to life with the collaboration of our friends and colleagues.
As for the art I create…it’s all about queer joy, celebration, and representation. I didn’t realize I was queer until I was 19 and I didn’t come out of the closet until I was 24. The only lesbian I had ever heard of growing up was Ellen, and although she paved the way for our community, I didn’t identify with her. I didn’t look like her or dress like her. To put it bluntly–if there were more queer women in the media when I was growing up then I would have come out of the closet much sooner.
Imagine if I had idols to look up to who accurately depicted the wide spectrum female queerness: I’m talking femme and butch, bisexual and lesbian, queer women of all different sizes, colors, and abilities–maybe then I would have seen myself in them.
Representation is vital in understanding, validation, and building empathy. That’s why I strive to create the stories I would have wanted to see growing up. I depict queerness in a way that is fun and accessible–with bright colors, musical numbers, and goofy bits.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
You’re in luck because my best friend recently visited! Here’s some things you’ve gotta do.
Wake up early for a nice hike in Griffith Park where you can take in the sunshine and the views of the city. Then take a short drive to get some breakfast tacos from Homestate and iced lattes from Go Get Em Tiger in Los Feliz. They’re right next to each other and the perfect combo.
If you’re visiting on a Sunday definitely check out Melrose Trading Post — it’s an open air market with lots of local vendors. There’s always cool clothes or trinkets to be found there.
At night, get a cheese board delivered to your Airbnb from the boxed charcuterie business: Freckled Foods. Take that box of cheese, meat, and other goodies on a little drive up to the Universal City Overlook. It’s a twisty ride up into the hills but the view of all of the twinkling LA lights makes facing your fear of heights 100% worth it. There’s a little bench up there that you can eat your cheese board on as you take in the sights. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My best mentors were the ones who made me feel like I was so much bigger than I believed myself to be. I think fondly of one mentor in particular — my college voice teacher Todd Gordon. Todd believed without a doubt that I had the talent needed to be a musical theater vocalist. When I first came to him as a freshman, I had a bad case of imposter syndrome. Although I killed it in my high school production of Sweeney Todd…I was now at school with the best of the best and I certainly didn’t think of myself as the best. I remember Todd chuckling at my overly critical 18 year old self and saying, “There’s always going to be someone who can belt louder than you and there’s always going to be someone who can kick higher than you.” What a relieving thought. I don’t need to be the best…I need to be my best.
Striving for perfection is probably the most suffocating thing you can do to creativity. You have to fail in order to learn. You have to work through the embarrassing vocal cracks and messy bits in order to get a beautiful performance. No one starts off as the best…so why would I let that stop me from trying? Once I let go of who I thought I was supposed to be (a 5’2” girl who can scream belt Heathers while sliding into a split) and leaned into who I really was (a 5’9” queer woman who thrives in quirky roles and singing in soprano) I started to thrive. I began getting callbacks, booking roles, and by the end of college I was working professionally as an actor in a local theater.
Now, as an artist in Los Angeles, musical comedy is my primary source of creativity. I never would have had the confidence to sing and share my music if it wasn’t for Todd’s unwavering support and belief in me as a student.
Other: TikTok: @nicole_ledoux
Chris Wooden Lucia Towers