The Female Empowerment Series: Nicole Travolta
Our next guest in honor of Women’s History Month is none other than fabulous funny-girl Nicole Travolta.
Nicole you are “doing alright” in your one woman show. Tell us more about it?
“Thank you!! For the first time in my life, I really feel like I am doing alright!
'Doing Alright' is about how I was a compulsive shopper that hit rock bottom. The spending led to a mountain of debt, a divorce, and a whole lot of shame. I was a working actor, but the depression was so bad I really just stopped getting jobs. I took a job as a spray tanner, and it became the very thing that saved my life. I take you on a journey through my life, really starting with my family. I start with specifically my mom's upbringing and her marriage to my dad. It's really a story of how life imitates life and what you have to go through to break the cycle. Since I do impressions and characters, I take you on a ride of some of the...shall we say eccentric, tanning clients I've met along the way."
"After doing two shows, the wildest part of this whole experience has been the outpour of love that comes after. Not only are people getting a laugh, but the story is hitting the audience in ways that I never thought possible. I got a message from someone I didn't know the other day telling me how my story made her feel less alone. My heart was on the floor and bursting, that I could make an impact like that on someone, just by telling my story. I really wanted the audience to feel as though they were on this journey with me in real time. So when I get this reaction, I feel like I’m doing something good.”
What does female empowerment mean to you?
“Female empowerment to me means elevating women's voices. I love hearing about other women’s journeys. How they got to the place they are now, or the current journey that they are on. If we empower one another to take a leap of faith, take risks, be bold, and truly support each other, I believe we can do great things as a massive army of women.”
Which women are you inspired by? Who are your role models?
“I am inspired by my mom. Her and I have been through so much together. Life was not easy. But I have always admired that she figured it out, no matter what the case. She is a survivor.
I’m also so incredibly inspired by so many women in comedy. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there and not take yourself too seriously. There are so many that I love that have made it to the top (hi, Jennifer Coolidge!), but I admire them all. I see so much talent on social media. Women that are grinding every day and putting out new material. Women that are risk takers. Laughter is the best medicine, and there are so many amazing women providing that on a daily basis. I look up to them all.”
What advice would you give your younger self?
“I would tell my younger self, “You might not feel it right now, but one day you will look back on the person that you were ashamed of, and you will be proud of her. Because you got through the darkest of times, and came out of it stronger than ever. I would also tell her to slow down, think before you “do”, and stop trying to grow up so fast!”
How important has humor been in your life especially when dealing with big challenges?
“I would say humor saved my life! I was able to turn such a dark time in my life into a solo show, and find all sorts of humor in it. It’s still painful, but to find the comedy in such a chaotic time in my life…it’s cathartic. Doing different characters, it completely fuels me. To lose yourself in becoming a completely different person and thinking about how that character would live their life, down to what they eat as a snack...nothing better!”
We will send The Million Roses to a woman of your choice. Who would it be and why?
“One of my best friends, Saffronia. She is such a strong and amazing force of a woman. She gives back to others and is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. Having her in my life has been such a gift. We support each other to be fearless and go for things that scare us. We listen to each other through the good times, and the bad times and there is never one ounce of judgment. The friends that you can share the small everyday details of your life with are the best kind, and are so rare to find.”
Which rose box would you choose for them? Which colors and style represent her?
“The white box with hot pink roses. Because she is bright with a lot of sass!”
“I can buy myself flowers” - what would you choose to treat yourself?
“I would choose to treat myself to a vacation. Ideally somewhere tropical. When I hit my rock bottom and things were so bad, I wondered if I would ever get the chance to see the world. Being able to do that now, is such a huge growth for me. Life experiences mean so much more to me than anything material. And there was a time that it was the complete opposite.”
What can we do collectively to support women?
“Encourage other women to follow their dreams. Support each other, instead of comparing each other. Listen to their stories, and support them to be completely and utterly fearless. There is nothing more powerful than a strong and independent woman!”
Your life philosophy and mantra?
“The old me is not my enemy, they’re an important friend who helped me develop the person I am today”
You often impersonate Jennifer Coolige in your sketches. What do you think would be her advice to women?
“I admire and look up to her so much! I would think she would tell women to never give up on their dreams. And don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind!”
Follow Nicole on social media here and check out her latest comedy show Doing Alright here! Follow our interview series all throughout the month of March for more inspirational take-aways from fearless women in support of Women's History Month.