“I just know that I love the arts.”
Hera Nalam is a performing arts fanatic actively involved in the local arts and culture landscape.
“There’s an ongoing joke in my life right now, because I have so many jobs. I consider myself a multidisciplinary artist. I act, I sing, I write songs, I teach kids songwriting, I am a sales associate, stylist and also a program facilitator,” she says.
Nalam’s love for the arts developed during her childhood. She grew up seeing her mom perform music and direct plays.
“My mom has always been involved in the arts and was always doing something creative,” she says. “If there’s one person who I really look up to, it’s my mom.”
Nalam is a self-taught musician who started playing at the age of 13 on her mom’s old guitar. The best part about being a self-taught musician, she says, is that “when I picked the guitar, I did it because I wanted to. It was personal, and I got to know how I work.”
Though Nalam is often seen with a guitar, her heart really lies in acting, which led her to join the acting program at the University of Winnipeg.
“I hadn’t realized until acting school that I loved performing so much,” she says. "I had sung in choirs, but acting was something I enjoyed the most and is my bread and butter.”
As an actor, a question Nalam often gets asked is if she still gets nervous before going on stage. To prepare for a performance, she said she trained herself “to ride the (nerves) and let the energy flow.”
Her musically energetic persona is reflected in her home, which is filled with guitars, tiny Yodas and cozy vibes. She makes music and jams sitting by the window on her bright, orange couch, while her cactus “Charlie” shimmies to her tunes.
Charlie bit my finger
“Charlie is a cactus that I bought for my own self. We have a lot of plants, but I wanted one that’s mine.”
Mirror, mirror on the wall
“My aunt gave this to me.”
“That beautiful, orange couch, I am keeping that couch forever. It holds a lot of memories.”
“This is a Mexico memory. It was (from) the first bachelorette party I’ve ever gone to. We all wore tiaras and were taking over the night.”
“I have a lightsaber. It’s the weirdest thing, but I like it. I turn it on when I’m bored.”
“This is a container of the cheesecake I had bought from Waitress, the musical, during intermission. It was the first musical I had ever watched on Broadway. I kept the container for (the) memory.”
“My sister saw this and asked ‘why do you have a photo of a different family in your room?’ This family photo is a prop from the first feature film I (did).”
“This is Andrea Macasaet, who is debuting on Broadway really soon. I feel honoured that I got to work with her.”
Published in Volume 74, Number 8 of The Uniter (October 31, 2019)