Nikki Osborne: Forge Your Own Path | Grace Alumni

News - Sept 13, 2021

Grace graduate, Nikki Osborne, has had a wide-ranging career in the entertainment industry. From acting roles to hosting the famous game show Quizmania, and now as one of Australia’s premier stand-up comedians, Nikki has had to work extremely hard in an industry that in recent times has often borne the brunt of the COVID pandemic. 

Nikki was kind enough to speak to Grace recently about her career journey since leaving the College, and what’s coming up for her in the future.

Hi Nikki! Thanks for taking the time to speak to Grace about what you’re up to these days and how you got to where you are. You’ve been a presenter, television host, actress, model, and now a comedian. Can you give us a bit of summary of your career up until now?

Well, I’ve never been a model but that’s an assumption many make. Dunno why. I only look good from the left!

I started out in drama school at QUT and graduated with a bachelor of the arts. I then spent 15 years slogging it out as an actor. I think my job/conversion rate was about 1 job to every 30 auditions. So, to anyone who wants to be an actor, be prepared for a lot of unpaid work.

The highlight of my acting career was playing Delvene Delaney in The Paul Hogan Story. I also branched out to TV presenting, but not the boring stuff, Live TV as the host of Quizmania and then I joined Mick Molloy on his sketch comedy show. I then moved across to sketch comedy and worked on the show Kinne for a few years. The best thing I ever did, however, was move across to stand-up comedy and write my own material. Since then, I’ve performed at the Opera House twice for 'Just For Laughs', been on every comedy panel show, went on 'I’m a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here', hosted 'Just For Laughs Uncut' for Channel Ten two years running, and now, I’m excited to say, I’ve just had my own show green-lit. Filming in October.

We all have visions of where we think we’ll end up while we’re still in school. Was this journey radically different from the career plans you had while at Grace?

I thought I was going to move to LA and marry Leonardo DiCaprio. If anyone said to me, “You’re gonna end up being a stand-up comedian and write your own shows,” I would’ve laughed at them.

How have things changed for you as a professional during the COVID era? How has the industry, especially stand-up comedy, fared in the last 18 months?

TV is surviving but live stand up has almost died. I was meant to tour Australia last year and my entire calendar was wiped on Friday the 13th of March. This year, I’d been working up to a show run during the Brisbane Comedy Festival - cancelled. Most comedians have had to get another job during the pandemic. I’m one of the lucky few who still have TV work and brand sponsorships.

What subjects did you study in your senior years at Grace, and did these help with your development in the entertainment industry?

I studied Drama, Art, HPE and German. All bar German have been incredibly useful. English was perhaps the most beneficial as creative writing has been a must for my career.
Do you have any favourite memories of your time at Grace?

I loved putting on a good show at Grace. I also loved our sports days.

Any exciting projects coming up that you’re involved in that we can look forward to watching?

Keep an eye out for ‘Bush Barbs VS The World’, which has been picked up by a major network with the announcement for a release date coming soon! Also, ‘Just For Laughs Uncut’- unless you’re under 15. It’s quite naughty!

What advice would you have for any of our students looking to pursue a similar career path to you?

Write your own stuff and shoot it. Create create create. Don’t wait or ask for opportunities. Build your brand and they will come. Anytime I stop and put my hand out I get nothing. As soon as I start creating stuff and sharing it (on FB etc) people gravitate to you and want to work with you.

To keep up with Nikki's adventures, follow her feeds on Facebook and Instagram. For more information about Grace's own performing arts programs, explore our curriculum or contact Grace Academy.

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