Learn more about "Nikki", Isa Musni!
Where were you born?
San Francisco, CA
What is your favorite food?
Tell us about your understanding of your character, Nikki, and what you bring to your performance of her.
Nikki has to decide between the comfortable life she knows with her boyfriend, Boying, and the aspirational life she's "supposed" to have. Boying's "bad boy" boyfriend runs with a crowd she can relate to. She knows this community of Filipino-Americans--she fits in, she understands these people and they understand her. But once Boying is incarcerated, Nikki is forced to reconcile with the fact that this is not the life her parents came to the states for her to have. Nikki feels the pressure of a society that sees an Asian immigrant and expects her to be a "model citizen"-- to simultaneously exceed expectations and blend into a community and culture that is different than the people she grew up with.
I can relate to a simple romantic dilemma like "he's no good for me," but "my baby daddy's in prison" is a challenge. I sympathize with Nikki feeling "othered" as a brown Asian girl in America. I know how tough it can be looking so different from everyone else in a classroom and what a relief it is to see other Filipinos doing things you do. While some aspects of her life require research and imagination, I'm able to tap into my own personal experiences to deduce how she feels.
Describe your most favorite moment as a dancer.
It's hard to think of a single instance but a couple days ago my mom sent me these texts telling me that my five year-old sister Frida said that "Isa is the best dancer" and "I want to see Ate on stage, mom." My sister's seen me perform many times. She's the fan that I do all this for.