Nicolle (Rubenstein) Campbell
Buford, Ga., (originally from Enid)
Owner of The Actor’s Scene: an acting studio in the suburbs of Atlanta that trains actors of all ages for film and television
Bachelor of Art in Speech/Drama and Mass Communications, 1993
Nicolle was highly involved in both theatre and various aspects of mass communications while attending Northwestern, so after graduating in 1993 with two degrees, she moved to Atlanta to pursue an acting career. She knew that someday, somehow she would find a way to make a living in the field.
After several acting jobs including industrials, independent film and commercials, she started a traveling theatre group, and then became training director for a national acting school. After working at this acting school for awhile, she opened The Actor’s Scene in August of 2003. In less than one year, Nicolle had one of her students signed and auditioning in New York City for shows on Broadway, in major films and for television.
Now, after only a few short years operating her own business, Nicolle was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the national competition Actors Models and Talent for Christ (AMTC), the most prestigious event of its type in the world. She became only the sixth recipient to receive this award in the 27-year history of AMTC. AMTC is a competition where actors, models, singers and dancers perform in various competitions that are judged by industry professionals.
“Nicolle is a dream developer,” said AMTC Chief Carey Arban. “She takes the talent that God gives young performers, molds it, makes it marketable, and places these hopeful stars in the national spotlight. She has launched hundreds of careers, building self-esteem in the process.”
Nicolle said teaching at The Actor’s Scene is the highlight of her life because she is able to work with actors of all ages and help them to realize their dreams.
“It’s so cool to be watching TV and seeing one of your students on a commercial or in a TV show, or going to the movies to see one of your students!” she said. “I have had successful students in all genres of the entertainment world, including starring roles in the Hannah Montana movie (Lucas Till, who plays Miley Cyrus’ love interest), starring roles on Broadway, TV commercials and print. The greatest joy for me; however, is when a parent will write in or tell me how much confidence and self-esteem their child has gained by taking acting classes at the studio. We are helping to create a better generation, and it’s very rewarding to be a part of that.”
More than 100 students under her school’s direction have gone on to major work in the industry, such as India Scandrick, who starred in Lion King on Broadway in New York City as young Nala in 2007; and 7-year-old Mary-Charles Jones, who has guest starred on Grey’s Anatomy, filmed more than 10 commercials and filmed “Father of Invention” in New Orleans this summer where she plays Kevin Spacey’s daughter. Another success story is Kelsey Sanders, a member of The Stunners music group, who starred in the movie “Au Pair Kansas” due out this year. She's also on all the covers of the "Private" books and stars in the web series.
Nicolle recently married her college sweetheart, a few years removed from when they first dated.
“Life is funny,” Nicolle said. “Mark (Campbell) was my first boyfriend, and we met as freshmen at Northwestern and dated our sophomore years. He transferred to a different school, and we eventually drifted apart. He married after law school, but after a great, loving nine-year marriage, his wife died of cystic fibrosis.We reconnected after that and were married a year later.”
She now has a preteen step-son, who Nicolle has been training in acting. He is doing pretty well.
Nicolle said in January 2009, he and the rest of The Actor’s Scene students took part in the AMTC competition. He won Grand Overall Child Actor and signed with agents all over the country. He was set to have the lead in a television pilot to be filmed over the summer that was going to be pitched to Nickelodeon, but the downturn in the economy interrupted those plans. Nicolle said the company hopes to find the funding soon to continue with the project.
“This was an outstanding achievement for him, but great validation for me,” Nicolle said.
As for the future, Nicolle would like to open multiple branches of her acting studio around Atlanta and possibly expand into other states.
When Nicolle has spare time she likes to watch television and go to movies and plays. She also is an avid football fan and plays fantasy football every year. she also likes to hike, teach her dog new tricks and spend time with her family traveling or just playing board or video games.
"I am the champion at Sorry!
Hobby - fantasy football
Color - purple
Type of Music - Christian
Music artist - Casting Crowns
Book - Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
Food - Chocolate and Mac N Cheese
Movie - Grease 2
TV Show - Survivor
Actor/Actress - Morgan Freeman
Season - Spring
Drink - Water
Favorite Sport to Watch - Dallas Cowboys Football
Pet or animal - My dog Tito and my cat Sebastian
Favorite Toy as a Child and/or Today! - Malt O Meal, my stuffed bear
Favorite Flower - Tulip
Favorite Day of the Year - Christmas
Vacation Destination - Anywhere tropical
Q & A with Nicolle:
Q: Why did you choose Northwestern to earn your degree?
A: First I received scholarship money from NWOSU and second, I wanted to go to a small school so I could get hands on experience starting with my freshman year. It was a great choice for me. My college years are some of the best, and I have so many great memories.
Q: How did Northwestern help prepare you for your current job or the jobs you’ve held along the way?
A: I use sooo many things in my business that I learned from NWOSU. The other great thing about a small school is the professors have more time to establish a relationship with their students to help them learn more. I use so many things now that I learned in my communication and acting classes that I learned from Terry Winn, Doc Stewart, Delbo Leach and many others. My lessons there are invaluable.
Q: For life after graduation in general?
A: The professors there helped me to believe in myself and nurtured my confidence while teaching me the things I needed to know.
Q: Advice that you would give to a prospective student trying to make a decision on where to go to school? Why should they choose Northwestern?
A: For the reasons I stated above -- smaller school means more one on one instruction, opportunities to be involved in your major right from your freshman year. Many students in the big schools would have to wait till they are juniors or seniors to be on the newspaper staff, be on the radio or TV station, be in the plays--I did that all right away. My other advice is to get involved in activities. They enhance your college experience so much!
Q: Advice to recent Northwestern graduates about entering “the real world.”
A: Keep your expectations realistic. We live in such an instant gratification society these days that people do not want to wait for success, or work hard for it over a period of time. You can't expect to start out at the top. You have to work your way up and that takes time, hard work and perseverance. Also, never underestimate the power of networking. Try to meet as many people in your industry as soon as you can. If that means volunteering to intern for free for a period of time with someone who could help you later--by all means do it!
Q: Advice to all students about things they should focus on while in college to get them prepared for “the real world.”
A: Attending class and getting good grades. These things tell employers that you are dependable and hard working!
Q: What was your favorite “elective” class or “general education” class when you were attending Northwestern and why?
A: Soap opera and TV acting because we made a soap opera in class and filmed it. I still have it to this day and it is hilarious!
Q. Did scholarships and/or financial aid/campus job play any part in your ability to attend school? If so, please explain how these helped.
A: Yes, they were a vital factor in my decision to attend Northwestern, and the scholarships I received throughout school made it possible for me to stay and graduate.
Q: How involved were you on campus?
A: I was involved in just about every club imaginable! I was in Castle Players, Alpha Psi Omega, Speech team, Northwestern News, TV station, Radio station, Student Government, Band and others. These clubs and activities were some of the best tools at making me feel a part of the college community. They gave me a sense of purpose and belonging and created some of the most fun and memorable moments of my college career. You can't fully experience college without being involved!
Q: Did you live on or off-campus?
A: Both. I would recommend all freshmen stay in the dorm as it helps you to meet people right away and get involved in campus life. These things will help combat the shock and loneliness of being away from home for the first time.
Q: They say that failure and/or mistakes sometimes can be the best teacher. Do you have any stories/advice about times when you’ve failed or made mistakes, but it’s taught you an important lesson?
A: The biggest lesson I have had in life, is that things happen for a reason. God may close doors and you may not understand why at the time, but if you have faith, bigger and better things are waiting for you through the next door.
Q: What does it mean to be a Ranger?
A: My husband and I have a debate about how where you go to school affects your career life. I think too much emphasis is placed on going to big schools with big names. I have found you can be just as successful going to a smaller school if you possess the attributes of success. It all depends on the individual--their work ethic, drive, personality and intelligence. Being a Ranger to me means, being proud of where you came from, but also pushing yourself to always improve and being a better person.