5 Questions with Victoria Nieves
Confetti Stages Inc is staging its nineteenth edition of Confetti Fest this weekend and next in the historic Albany Masonic Lodge on Corning Place in downtown Albany. Over the years, this mainstay of the Capital Region theater season has seen hundreds of actors working on dozens of original plays, creating opportunities for everyone involved to practice their craft or learn a new one. I’ve only recently met Victoria Nieves, but she has quickly made her mark in the Capital Region working with Walloomsac River Theatre Company on “Love/Sick,” Bunbury Players in an all-women “Twelfth Night” and Harbinger with “The Motherf**ker with the Hat.” I took the opportunity of Five Questions to find out more…including where she’s from.
PW: Do you remember when you first felt that acting or theater was for you?
VN: For as long as I can remember, acting was always a dream of mine, but I didn’t actually start pursuing it until last year. When I was little, I was always into musicals and movies from the Golden age of Hollywood, and I was in love with watching people perform on stage at ballets and high school performances that my mom brought my sisters and I to. I saw my first Broadway show when I was 12; it was Annie Get Your Gun with Bernadette Peters, and as soon as the show started, I just had this profound feeling of knowing I needed to be onstage. I couldn’t understand it at the time, but I remember feeling back then that I felt like I was at home being in that theater.
PW: You’re fairly new to the area, right? Give us the brief history, where are you from, how did you wind up in the Capital Region, and how the places compare in their theater communities.
VN: Actually, I was born and raised here, but just emerged into the acting scene last summer and had no idea what the theater community here was like until then. I wish I had known sooner! After high school, I thought I would move to the city and pursue my dreams of acting, but life had other plans for me and I became a single mom, so I became a nurse as a way to provide for my daughter. Between raising a child and being a nurse, for several years, I didn’t have any free time or a chance to pursue any hobbies. Now that my daughter is older, and I work normal hours, I’ve been able to do things for myself, and I finally appreciate living up here thanks to the theater community. It’s the most supportive community I’ve ever been a part of!
PW: Who do you play in Confetti Fest, and what do they do?
VN: I play Lilith in The Last Stop; she’s pretty much God’s secretary. She registers new mortals when they arrive in heaven.
PW: What is your favorite thing about Confetti Fest?
VN: My favorite thing about working on Confetti Fest is playing Lilith! She’s the first woman ever (before Eve), which, to me, is pretty iconic! She’s sassy, confident, wise and embodies woman empowerment. I feel like the role was written for me and it’s a privilege to originate it!
PW: How has theater changed your life?
VN: Theater has changed my life for the better in so many ways and even more so now that I’m a performer. Acting has forced me to have stronger boundaries and to do what’s best for me, which has fostered a great sense of self-love. I was always chastised growing up for being too dramatic and sensitive and was never allowed to freely express myself, so I hid who I was for so many years. Now that I’m a performer, I’m encouraged and embraced for expressing emotion, and I finally feel accepted which feels amazing.
Confetti Fest XIX runs October 6-8 and 12-15 at the Albany Masonic Temple, 67 Corning Place, Albany, NY 12206. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances are at 7:30 PM, with 2:00 PM Sunday matinees.
Given the recent uptick in COVID cases, audience members are asked to wear masks to performances.