On the Couch with Nigel Huckle

Nigel-Huckle-photo-by-Brendan-ThorneWho is Nigel Huckle?
Nigel Huckle is an optimist, a performer born in Australia and raised in the United States, with an ambitious streak and an intellectual mind always hungry for more knowledge.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I would like to worry less. I am finally stepping into an era of complete trust in myself, my artistry and my capabilities, but I’d be lying if I said I was already all the way there. I am still learning from my experiences and from the people around me.

This is an interesting perspective shift from my last On the Couch in January 2020. Perhaps we spend our entire careers battling self-doubt and impostor syndrome as we progress, and that’s okay. I can feel myself managing it better and better every day.

If you’re asking if I have regrets? In my personal life, sure. But professionally, no. I don’t think I’d be bowing by myself on the stage of the Sydney Opera House if I hadn’t pushed my way through a summer in the 2011 Apprentice Company at Flat Rock Play House making $50 a week with one day off the whole season, among plenty of other character-building contractual engagements.

Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by people who get up every day and just keep going. Sometimes – maybe a lot of the time – this life we’re given isn’t all that easy. But the people who persist, who don’t give up, despite any and every setback, make me feel like I can do it too. So I do, and it’s led me to the most fulfilling moments in my life, including this one right now.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I definitely feel like the teaching itch is coming on. I’ve had the most amazing teachers to help me build my career (again, see my last On the Couch three years ago), and I feel like I’ve had such a diverse array of professional experiences that I’m ready to pass that on to some amazing young performers.

I also came from an upbringing that was quite realistic about the business of being a performer, but I’ve got the optimistic streak to impart that experience in a way that excites our next generation of performers. Teachers are amazing, and I’d like to lend a hand.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I really loved my time in San Diego. It’s like LA (which I controversially love), but more relaxed, cleaner, more colourful and more easily accessible. The beaches are really nice. The neighbourhoods are really welcoming with their own interesting vibes. The food, coffee and nightlife scenes are fantastic. I’m a foodie, and I went to this breakfast place called Morning Glory, and their menu was insane. I had a bloody mary with celery foam on top. Epic.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
When I’m in Sydney performing at the Opera House. It’s Circular Quay, baby. The views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera Bar, Bennelong or Quay for my foodie babes. Need I say more?

What are you currently reading?
101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think by Brianna West.

What are you currently listening to?
My podcasts on rotation are Las Culturistas with Matt Rodgers and Bowen Yang, Pod Save America, Seek Treatment with Cat & Pat and the Slate Political Gabfest.

Happiness is?
A really warm day with a soft breeze. The washing is on the line. The errands are done. I’ve eaten a great meal. There’s nothing really to do but sit on the balcony and let my mind wander.

What does the future hold for you?
I’ve made bad habits of thinking too much about the future. It stresses me out a bit. Although I’m a bit transient right now, I’m at peace knowing that I’ve just got to focus on my Miss Saigon experience right now, and that the next decision will present itself when it’s time.

Nigel stars as Chris in Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s award-winning musical Miss Saigon – which plays Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre from 29 October 2023 (opening night – 3 November) before playing the Festival Theatre – Adelaide Festival Centre from 2 January 2024. For more information, visit: www.miss-saigon.com.au for detail.

Image: Nigel Huckle – photo by Brendan Thorne