#CommitToYou in MISSBISH Apparel | Nikki Howard

Author: 4 / Photos: Christina Choi
03.06 / #CommitToYou

In a time when the pressures to lead a social media-worthy lifestyle have hit an all-time high, staying true to oneself often comes at a price. It has also become increasingly more difficult. That's not the case for Los Angeles-based model and actress Nikki Howard. With a strict schedule (that some might think is crazy) and an ultra-understanding friend crew, Howard seemingly holds the recipe for success. We recently caught up with Howard after a MISSBISH collection event for a closer look at her daily routine, what keeps her mentally and physically strong, and how she puts herself first. 

As a model and actress, you’re balancing a pretty busy schedule. How do you keep body, mind, and spirit in check?
My morning routine keeps me sane, though pretty much everyone in my life thinks I’m an absolute psycho. Every morning I wake up at 4:45, eat the same breakfast, walk my dogs, write a list of 10 things I’m grateful for from the day before, and then I work out. Something about knowing I will start my day the same way gives me a sense of control, which, in a profession that lacks stability, I desperately need. And working out early, I’m able to still make insanely early call times. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment on days when I have nothing to do!

Do you find that it’s easier to live a healthier lifestyle in LA compared to when you were in NYC?
Absolutely. The thought of having to leave my apartment in Harlem wearing 10 layers of clothing, walking through the rain to and from the grocery store, then walking with multiple bags to the top floor of a six-floor walk-up, then cooking is exhausting enough for me! Now that I’m in LA with a car I have no excuses.

What’s your most favorite part of modeling?
I get to dress up and work with insanely talented people who are always interesting and fun. Being able to have photos that show the hard work and collaboration of everyone afterward is the icing on the cake.

How about acting?
Everything. Comedy is my forte so being able to help someone escape from any stress, pain, or sadness they may be experiencing and being able to make them laugh and forget their worries for even a moment… It just fills my soul with happiness.

When was the last time you felt nervous in front of the camera?
The last time I felt nervous in front of the camera was the other day when I was self-taping an audition for a pilot that I really wanted. Any audition that I want, I always freak out on the inside beforehand… And also during.

"Surround yourself with people who want you to be happy, not those who rely on you for theirs."

What are your pre-shoot rituals?
I pack a bag with a charger, a gallon of water, and, like four jackets because I’m always freezing. I also leave an hour early to get anywhere so I have time to grab coffee.

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming gigs? Where can we expect to see you next?
This question is so depressing I can’t even answer it because I have no idea, haha. (Editor's Note: We have a feeling we'll be seeing Howard sooner than she thinks.)

How are you hoping to inspire the next crop of young models?
Hopefully, by showing them you can be silly, have a personality, make a fool out of yourself, and still be beautiful. In my experience, people think models are stuck up and mean because they’re pretty? Sometimes, its true, but definitely not always. Every time I meet someone, on set or not, I hope to change their mindset of how they think models “are.”

We recently kicked off the #CommitToYou campaign, which encourages BISHes everywhere to start putting themselves first. How do you put yourself first?
I have a small group of friends who understand my lifestyle and accept it. They know I don’t go out and party, I can’t go out to dinners every night because I have a very specific diet, I go to bed early and wake up early. They never hold that against me or try to pressure me to change because they know it’s what I need. Having a group of friends that is so understanding of my needs allows me to put myself first without feeling guilty.

What advice do you have for BISHes to make this their mantra?
Surround yourself with people who want you to be happy, not those who rely on you for theirs.

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