The multiple terminologies describing disability in this article come from the preferences of Nicolas.
Nicolas Noblitt is a 14-year-old differently-abled advocate, actor, and dancer who currently resides in Tyler, Texas. He has Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Dystonia, hearing loss, and wears glasses. Before landing the role as Mike Jr. in the upcoming movie “The Contractor,” he began acting after learning at a young age how much he loved dancing and performing in his wheelchair. Dancing and speaking in front of audiences as part of Infinite Flow, Los Angeles’ inclusive professional dance company, he became comfortable talking about inclusion and about how his life is impacted by cerebral palsy and hearing loss.
What started your journey in becoming an entertainer?
From a young age, I’ve always enjoyed talking, so any time I would get in front of a microphone I would just talk and talk. Also, I lived in Los Angeles, and acting was something I was exposed to and grew to love, so I started taking acting classes and investing in my craft and it grew from there. You have to invest in what you love and hopefully good things will come.
As described as a dynamic wheelchair dancer, what do you love the most about dancing?
I love dancing because it gives me the opportunity to show my creativity and emotions through dance.
Tell us all about “The Contractor.” What was it like filming for a movie like that? What was it like working with high-profile actors like Chris Pine and Ben Foster?
It was really awesome to meet Chris Pine and Ben Foster. They were both really nice. They’ve been in so many different movies and are known by so many and it was such an honor to work with them. We even played catch together on set! It felt like I was with my family. They were like a dad and uncle to me. So, it was pretty great getting the opportunity to work with them.
Why are you an advocate for individuals with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and hearing disabilities?
Aside from being a differently-abled person myself, I noticed a lack of accessibility to get around in certain places. I also noticed a lack of activities for the differently-abled. Activities such as wheelchair basketball, baseball, wheelchair tennis, etc. Having activities that also allow differently-abled people to participate helps increase diversity and inclusion. As a disabled person myself, I just want to help bring awareness to the differently-abled, so that people with disabilities can also experience some normalcy and fun in their lives.
The world of entertainment lacks the diversity of people with disabilities. How does it feel to be a trailblazer for other entertainers with disabilities?
It feels good to infiltrate a space in entertainment that wasn’t initially created for differently-abled people. My biggest pet peeve was seeing an abled-bodied actor or actress in a role for a disabled person, that a differently-abled actor actually living with the disability could have been cast in. I do think directors are starting to think outside the box and are now including roles in TV and film for people like me. So that’s good!
What would you like people to know about being an advocate for people with disabilities and your experience with Epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy? How do you think your disabilities support and prepare you for a career in entertainment?
I think having a disability myself, I am able to relate and provide more insight and authenticity to a role for a differently-abled person, versus hiring an able-bodied actor to play a role that comes more natural to me because I actually live with the disability.
Why is mental health important as an entertainer?
Having a healthy state of mind as an entertainer is important because there are so many auditions and moments of rejection where staying positive is key and helps me continue to stay motivated.
What is your advice for people currently struggling during these times? What keeps you inspired?
Speak up when you’re feeling down, never give up, and keep positive people around you, so you all can uplift and encourage each other through challenging times. My family, teachers, and mentors with the dance program I am involved with help me stay inspired. A quote that my dance teacher Marisa always says that sticks with me is “Dance can be translated to any type of body and any ability” so I think that applies to so many things in life rather you’re disabled or able-bodied
Do you have any parting thoughts for our audience?
Share positive information with others, speak your mind when necessary, and join the conversation.
Written by PositiveVibes Magazine