Nike Imoru PhD, CSA
Growing up in England my intuition was central to the development of my process as an actor, on stage ... when I moved to America it became instrumental to my work as a casting director, for the screen.
Nike (pronounced NEE-kay) is a British-Nigerian producer, casting director, actor, and writer.
In 2018, after a successful run in the titular role of Coriolanus (an all-female adaptation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus) , Nike partnered with entrepreneur-investor, Rebecca Petriello and co-founded Rebel Kat Film Fund, a film-finance company. Ms Petriello financed the production of Coriolanus: Fight Like A Bitch; and so the dynamic partnership between the two continued from stage to screen. Rebel Kat Productions is female-led. The mission is to finance quality film and television that empowers the voices and stories of women, people of colour, members of the LGBTQ and people with disabilities.
Our mission applies to narrative and story elements on the screen and to the voices and talents behind the screen, that is, behind the camera. Rebel Kat supports and empowers that same demographic to co-own the process of production, as directors, cinematographers, designers, screenwriters, producers, composers, editors, and so on.
Since 2006 Nike has worked in the Pacific Northwest, casting films, television and commercials. She is perhaps best known for casting five seasons of Z Nation, Sy Fy Channel’s zombie show. For four of the five seasons she served as the executive casting director. Prior to that she cast an array of films with budgets of $1-10MIL with name actors and directors, such as John Carpenter, Wayne Wang, Vera Farmiga, Peter Dinklage, Antonio Banderas, Amber Heard, Cuba Gooding Jr, amongst many others.
Yet despite the names, when it comes to casting, Nike views it as a personal mission to support and feature local talent in all roles. A consummate teacher of the craft (stage and screen) she is committed to developing actors particularly in those places where diversity, disenfranchisement and delinquents are to be found. Delinquents meaning those, across the diaspora, who withdraw ourselves from limiting and negative representations and creatively empower ourselves through our own gaze. She brings intuition and intelligence to her deep understanding and love of the actor; “any actor, any age, any culture.”
When asked which she preferred: teaching, acting, casting, producing or writing, Nike replied: “I’m a life-long learner so I find most things endlessly fascinating … but I do tend to think and feel everything like an actor; which is a bit like being left handed in a right handed world.”
After more than a decade of focussing on coaching actors on-set and in the studio, Nike consolidated her on-camera teaching into The Actor’s ToolKit/The Actor's Way. This on-camera studio practice and webinar series provided a process of training for the actor based on a philosophy that embodied the conscious use of Breathing, along with the practice of Being, and the integration Connecting (BBC) She is appreciated as a trusted and supportive coach, highly capable of drawing out raw talent and turning it into empowered performing.
Prior to her career in film and television, Nike was an established theatre academic, specialising in African American history, 19th and 20th century theatre history, critical and gender theories. She held academic posts at the universities of Leeds and Hull in the UK; as well as Western Washington University and the University of Idaho amongst others in the US. She has published essays on theatre and colonialism, feminism and race. Her PhD thesis, from the University of Warwick, UK is housed in the British Library.
Nike is an award-winning actress. She has a stack of national and international acting credits, from BBC Radio 4 to The Royal National Theatre, London, and her seminal one-woman performance of Medea in Delphi, Greece.
In 2017 she was honoured multiple times for her work on stage. The Seattle Times lauded all three of her performances that year, in the Seattle Times Footlight Awards as “Actor Bringing It”.
She received a Gregory Award, Best Supporting Actress, for her portrayal of Warwick in Upstart Crow’s all-female production of Henry 6th Pt 1 & II, aka Bring Down the House. The Production garnered a further five awards for best ensemble, production, choreography, Actress, director. The production has transferred to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, for the 2020 season
Her autobiographical Ode a Stage Song with Simone Bruyere and directed by John Britton was received to critical acclaim. In the same year her performance in the titular role of Coriolanus with a stellar ensemble was met with equal acclaim.
For her critically-acclaimed portrayal of Shakespeare’s most villainous male antagonist, Aaron the Moor, in Titus Andronicus (Upstart Crow’s all-female production 2012), she was awarded Outstanding Classical Actress (Footlight Award, Seattle Times), Best Featured Actress (Critics Choice Award, Broadway World), and Excellence in Performance (Gypsy Rose Lee Award).
She has also appeared in cameo roles opposite Samuel Jackson in Home of the Brave, Tom Skeritt in At Middleton, Cary Elwes in Camilla Dickinson and Ray Liotta, Ving Rhames, Christian Slater in The River Murders.