Actress Nia Holloway, who plays the adult Nala in the Broadway Atlanta production of “The Lion King” (currently running at the Fox Theatre through Jan. 28) hails from Norcross, Georgia. Holloway attended Norcross High School and was a member of their basketball team prior to joining the touring production of the hit Disney musical. Holloway first joined “The Lion King” cast five years ago at age 17 and continues to perform with the cast all around the country. After the Jan. 13 performance of the show, VOX had a chance to interview the young star. [See Sydney’s review of the play here.] Holloway’s talent is matched only by her humility, and she gives plenty of advice to teens looking to follow their dreams.
VOX ATL: Tell me about your journey to where you are now. What hardships or setbacks did you experience along the way?
Holloway: “I started when I was 17, so I started right out of my junior year of high school, and some of the things I had to deal with were finishing my senior year of high school on the road. My father actually came on tour with me and helped me on my first year of tour. Just dealing with school eight hours a day, having a tutor which Disney provided … it was really difficult the first year and just being without my family, but it was definitely all worth it!”
VOX ATL: What’s your favorite part about what you do?
Holloway: “My favorite part about what I do is being able to travel the country and visit so many different places and be able to be in contact with so many different people. The special thing about being on the tour is you get to connect and experience the country. It almost feels like a working vacation most of the time.”
VOX ATL: Where are you from?
Holloway: “Originally, I’m from Harvey, Illinois, but I was raised right here in Georgia.”
VOX ATL: What or who inspires you?
Holloway: “I always believe in having your reasons right, so my family is definitely what drives me. When it comes to intention, it has to be something that’s close to you, so my family for sure.”
VOX ATL: What advice would you give to teens who are looking to pursue their dreams?
Holloway: “I would tell them to believe in themselves and to every single day do something that dives into their craft, whatever it may be. Every little thing — anything you can do — every single day, do that and get closer to what you want, ‘cause a lot of people focus on the big things when you get on the big stage, but it’s the little things along the road that help you get there.”
“The Lion King” is playing at the Fox Theatre until Jan. 28.