Giving the Perfect Gift- A Conversation with Nicolle Campbell

The holidays are in full swing and the feeling of giving is in the air. This author could think of no better person to sit down and chat with about the art of giving than founder and owner of The Actor’s Scene, as well as legendary gift-giver, Nicolle Campbell. 

TAS Owner, Nicolle Campbell

Nicolle, You are the queen of gifts! I learned that quite quickly when starting at TAS. Not only do you love giving gifts, but it is always clear that you put a lot of thought into each one you give. Has that always been a big part of who you are? 

My love language is gifts. I’ve always been a big gifts person; giving and receiving. It’s how I show love, trying to give the right gift to the right person. It’s not about material things. To me love means putting a lot of thought into the gift you give a person. It means that you know that person, that you are thinking about them, and want to invest time in that person. It’s making that person a priority in your life. I want people to understand they are important to me, and I show that not just by getting them things, but things they are going to value. Things that show them that I am listening to them and care about them. 

Before we dive into the work you’ve done through TAS let’s remind our readers how it all got started. This year marks 20 years! First off, congratulations. That is incredible! How does it feel?

Thank you! It’s a huge milestone to be sure. Obviously I hoped I’d get here one day (giggles). In starting out you hope to survive the first year, then you hope to get to five years. To be at 20 and still going strong it’s really amazing to me. Plus we have weathered a lot of crises in the business world. The recession in 2009, a strike after that in the industry, then Covid, and now with the Writer/Actor strike just ending… well, it hasn’t always been smooth in those 20 years.

What was the inspiration that started TAS, how did it come about? 

I was the training director for a different acting school and our philosophies didn’t match. They wanted quantity over quality and I didn’t agree with that. So I decided to open my own studio. I focused on quality over quantity. I wanted there to be value in what people were paying for and I didn’t want to give false promises. I wanted people to learn, grow, and feel confident. It’s tough out there and there is a lot of misinformation so I made sure education about this career was a big part, both for the students and their parents. To be open and honest with them about this industry. That was my whole philosophy around starting the studio.

TAS Owner, Nicolle Campbell

We are all so glad you made the move to start TAS! It’s not only a place about giving actors the knowledge and confidence they need, but there is a huge focus on giving here. Whether it be Give Back drives, partnerships with charities like The Joy House, or through Charity Chats, like the upcoming one with Jordan Blair Brown (See graphic for details).

Was working with charities part of starting the school or something that was born out of the school’s success? 

It started pretty early on. We have always done some sort of charity work. Even in the early years we always did “TAS Gives Back”. Maybe not to the extent we are able to now, but we’ve always done it in some way shape or form. Charity drives, shoe boxes, going out to different organizations and helping out.

I’m a big believer of giving back to the community that has given to us. They have allowed us to be in business so we want to give back to that community. As the company has grown we’ve been able to do more charity work to reflect the success we’ve had. 

That’s wonderful that charity has been at the forefront of this company. Do you have some memorable moments from these partnerships?

One memorable moment was the big Texas flood in 2015. We organized a huge drive through the studio. All of us at TAS and our students brought mounds and mounds of stuff. The whole Red Room [the largest classroom at TAS] was piled full of it. Somebody with a truck volunteered to load it all up and drive it all down. That was a big memorable moment to see us all come together to give and help out through a disaster.

Another memory was when we first started doing the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. We had a TON of shoeboxes. All the students came and dropped off shoeboxes and supplies. We had coaches come in and pack loads of boxes. We ended up with a tower of Shoeboxes in the Red Room. That was a really cool moment. 

Amazing! What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever given? 

My favorite one was when I gave the cruise to the staff for the 20th year. Just seeing everybody’s reactions, they were all so different and huge. It was so powerful. It was by far my most favorite gift given. 

That was an incredible gift for sure. We can’t thank you enough!

What’s the best gift someone has given you?

Several years ago the staff all chipped in and got me bookshelves to go with my desk in my office. It was something that was valuable to me. I was redecorating my office and had just gotten rid of some old furniture that was falling apart. The bookshelves were a very thoughtful gift. 

As far as my personal life goes my mom and grandmother were the best gift givers. My mom always gave me cool clothes I’d get to wear throughout the year. My grandmother always gave me toys. So one of my favorite gifts she gave me was stilts that I loved and would walk all over the neighborhood with. The other gift from her was a stuffed teddy bear, and I still have him. 

As an adult my favorite gift my husband gave me was an Emmitt Smith Jersey. I love football and Emmitt Smith is my favorite player! He was really thinking of me and what I like, and it wasn’t anything I had thought of myself so it’s my favorite. I wear it every year for football.

What gift giving advice do you have for our readers?

My advice is to sit down and think about the person you are planning to give the gift to. Think about who they are and what they like. Does that person like to paint? Do they like sports? Fashion? What are the things they spend their time doing outside of work. If you can pinpoint that you can develop some ideas around getting them something they spend their time doing. From there you can start looking up online “Good gifts for people who _____”

You know a lot of people say that Christmastime has become too commercialized and materialistic.

When you look at the start of it all- wisemen bringing Jesus gifts to honor him and show him love- that’s what it’s all about: love and honor. That’s how you take the commercialism out of it. Focusing not on the volume of gifts, but giving to show your love to that person. That’s what it’s about.

Want to get involved in giving back with us? Or just want to take a look at all the partnerships TAS is involved in? Head to our website and visit the TAS Giveback page for all the ways you can help! 

Ready to get started? Reach out today!



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About The Author

Kirsten Krehbiel

Kirsten Krehbiel is an Atlanta based actress, director, and writer who enjoys bringing people new truths through the art of storytelling. She has a love of acting both on camera and on stage, having been lucky enough to be a part of incredible productions in both worlds. Kirsten joined the TAS team in 2020 as a coach, a job she loves because it lets her watch first hand as students grow and gain self confidence as actors. When she is not creating or coaching, you can find Kirsten hanging out with her grumpy cat on their back porch. 

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