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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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Theatre student is recipient of Jacobson Creative Spirit Award

Courtesy art of Nicole Romero winner of the Jacobson Creative Spirit Award.

2017 has been an eventful year for City College theater major Nicole Romero, as she accepted $1,000 in scholarship money and will graduate with five associate degrees in May.

Romero, 26, came to City College in 2008 as a zoology major. During her time here, she has switched her major four times to psychology, anthropology, criminology and finally theater. She even took some pre-requisites for the nursing program.

While studying criminology, she took a theater class and found her passion for the art. Finally, she realized what she wanted to do with her life.

In March, Romero won the 2017 Jacobson Creative Spirit Award, an award for students pursuing a career in a creative field.

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For the scholarship, she submitted images of her work with makeup, which included a colorful clown face, a raccoon and an old man and woman.

Along with her makeup work, she also submitted a 350-word essay discussing the struggles she’s faced with family and education.

“I talked about my family and how I don’t really have their support,” Romero said. “They show a little bit but they’re not really there for me, so I had to do things on my own.”

From 2010 to 2011, Romero struggled with alcoholism, didn’t attend classes and lost her financial aid. She has since gotten back on her feet and refocused on her education.

“I came back and my first few semesters got 4.0s,” she said. “Once I lost my financial aid it was more about coming to school and learning than coming for free money.”

She now plans on transferring to UCSB this Fall with the goal of graduating with a bachelor’s in theater. She intends on using the scholarship money to help pay for books.

While Romero dabbles in just about every area of theater, she said her favorite part of her major is acting.

“Theatre art and acting are my ways of expressing the things I wasn’t allowed to as a kid,” she said. “We weren’t allowed to cry or show certain emotions but here I can do it all. It’s not me, I’m playing a character, but it feels like I’m taking those emotions from my personal life and putting them into that character and that’s how I portray them.”

In Fall 2015, she played Skyler in City College’s production of “Good Kids,” directed by Katie Laris, which deals with sexual assault in high school.

“I find her work quite affecting,” Laris said. “She brings her own life experience immediately into her work as an actor and she has so much heart. You know that she cares about what she is saying.”

Makeup and stagecraft tie for her second favorite areas of theater. She even plans on doing the lighting for fellow student Carl Adams Stumle’s one act in May.

Romero will be graduating in May with associate’s in criminology, liberal arts and three in theater arts.

After graduating from UCSB, she said she wants to move to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting in television and movies.

“If that doesn’t work out, another passion of mine is teaching theater, specifically acting, to at-risk youth,” she said.

Romero is even considering starting her own foundation, with the goal of giving guidance to the troubled youth of Santa Barbara who need an outlet for their emotions.

Romero is also considering continuing psychology classes in the near future and pursuing a career as a therapist, after receiving her theater arts degree at UCSB.

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