Student Spotlight: Nmandi Thompson

We are thrilled to celebrate Nmandi Thompson, an actor in ArtStream’s Gaithersburg Theatre Company. She is an extremely talented actor who has performed on stage and virtually.

Nmandi met up with us to share her passion for acting and why she loves performing at ArtStream.

How did you get started with ArtStream?

I got started in ArtStream about two years ago when Imagination Stage said that I had to exit at age 21. So, I transferred from Imagination Stage to ArtStream after that. So, this is my third year, and I’m really excited about the show I’m working on.

What show are you working on now?

We’re brainstorming ideas right now. We just got started, so we are sharing ideas. It’s the first show I’ve been in that isn’t a musical. I’m really excited about it. It’ll be different but very cool.

That’s awesome! When you’re putting the show together, how do you come up with your character?

When we first come up with our characters, we try different voices and pick names. Then we come up with scenarios and a title for the show. We try to come up with the best ways to be creative.

Very cool. It sounds like a lot of collaboration.

That’s right. We all work together to make the shows. It’s fun, especially getting to be creative together. I also like how every show is different and the audience has never seen something like it before.

Do you get nervous when you go on stage?

The thing about being nervous is you just need to take a deep breath. Take your time and the other actors on stage will help you. If you forget a line, just keep going. I think sometimes we think that the audience knows more than they do because if they’ve never seen the show before, they won’t know if you mess up a line.

Things have been really different while classes and rehearsals have been virtual. What has it been like doing ArtStream from home?

I’m just trying to stay positive and optimistic. ArtStream helped me feel better when the pandemic hit. I could distract myself with classes even though they were online. I also got to be in a show virtually too. We worked really hard and were able to do I’ll See You Somewhere in Dreamland. We filmed it on Zoom and it was so much fun!

I saw that show, and you were terrific in it! What activities do you like best at ArtStream?

I think I like doing the classes best. My favorite classes are the acting ones. I like being in the shows too.

What do you love most about acting?

I just love it. I think the reason I love acting is because I love watching movies and the behind-the-scenes. I like seeing how other actors and actresses work.

What would you tell someone who isn’t sure if they want to try an ArtStream class?

I’d say to give it a try. Try your best and don’t be nervous or give up because you’re going to have a lot of fun.

How does ArtStream make you feel?

It makes me feel really happy. My favorite part is collaborating. It takes the whole team to make a performance.