Born and raised in New York, Nia Fairweather recalls her earliest memories of performing back to her days as a six year-old putting baby powder on the floor to perfect her moonwalk. (She’s a huge Michael Jackson fan!)

Nia, whose film, OORDEEL, has gone viral with over 320,ooo collective views on-line, is thoroughly enjoying the discoveries that come with being an actress-writer-producer. She likens her joy for telling stories to that of a one year-old having their first taste of ice-cream. She can’t get enough.

“I AB-SO-LUTE-LY love what I do. Storytelling is my purpose. I love the collaborative nature and euphoria that comes with bringing a story to life ”

AF: In OORDEEL, the film is very POWERFUL and spirited. What was the motivation or inspiration in writing and acting in the film?

NF: In my neighborhood, crossing paths with individuals who live on the streets is a norm. They are my neighbors. Some of us even have the same work schedule! I empathize with them and often wonder “What is his/ her story?”.

One day while riding the subway, I was jolted by the manner in which passengers responded to a homeless man begging for donations. People were unfazed. Some simply diverted their attention so not to make eye contact. While, others were so bothered by his ask that they replied with a series of grunts, rolled eyes and a few snickers.

On many occasions, I’ve witnessed the ways in which passerby cast judgement on these individuals who are simply trying to survive, like the everyone else. This occurrence on the train was no different than previous observations I’ve had, but, it really really bothered me. From this bothered place, Vanessa was born.

Vanessa, is a mixture of individuals with whom I’ve had brief encounters, close friends of mine and a dash of some personal stuff. I wrote OORDEEL as a way to give voice to Vanessa and all of the individuals she represents.

I was so passionate about Vanessa, that OORDEEL (which means judgement in Dutch) quickly became a story I had to tell. And so, I did!

AF: What have you taken away from the character that you portrayed in OORDEEL on a personal level?

NF: Hmmm…Vanessa is special. My exploration of her has taught me a lot; many of which I find hard to express at times. From her I’ve learned, what power feels like. The power of declaring who you are. Holding onto your known truths and beliefs, regardless of what others may think about or feel towards you. The power of being in the driver’s seat.

As a storyteller, OORDEEL is one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had. Having more involvement in the production, other than solely being an actress on set, has deepened my appreciation for the ensemble behind-the-camera (writers, directors, producers, gaffers..etc) and the process it takes to bring a story to life.

AF: Are there any future projects on the horizon?

NF: I’m very fortunate to have met and worked with some amazing artists on my journey thus far. Currently, I’m in the development stage for a couple stories I’ve written. I’m super excited and I look forward to collaborating with some of these artists as well as new ones to bring these stories to life.


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