"Chupacabra Territory" is a horror thriller movie based on the legend of the Chupacabra; a creature that many believe is responsible for the disappearances of numerous people.

Actress Sarah Nicklin plays a pivotal role in the film as the character of Amber. With more than seventy credits to her name, Sarah has forged a niche for herself in the indie horror and science fiction genres, and she has also landed roles on television.

Sarah recently discussed her part in ‘Chupacabra Territory’ and her experiences working as a performer.

Acting

Blasting News (BN): What inspired you to become an actress and how did you the role of Amber?

Sarah Nicklin (SN): I’ve always had a very active imagination.

When I was younger one of my favorite things to do was to play “make believe” games with my sister in the woods behind our house. I guess theater and acting was just the next logical step.

I was terribly shy when I was little, which was one of my biggest early challenges in pursuing this career. The main reason I stuck with it when I was little even though I was terrified was that I was that I was completely in love with the child star Jonathan Taylor Thomas and was convinced that if I could become a big actress that we would meet and immediately fall in love and all that stuff! Of course, my motives have changed a bit since then, but that’s really what pushed me into it!

The role of Amber was brought to me by Chris Maltauro. I had known Chris and his now-wife Jessica Sonneborn from previous productions in New England before moving to LA.

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Once I moved to LA, we continued to be friends and when it came time to put together the cast for “Chupacabra” Chris asked if I’d be interested.

So, I met with Matt McWilliams the director to learn more about what they envisioned for the film. It sounded like it was going to be a really fun time to work on and I would be playing a character that I hadn’t really done before and also a style (found footage) that I hadn’t done before either, so I signed on.

BN: You’ve done a lot of work with independent horror films. Of all the characters you have played, which have been the most interesting, and what would be your "dream role"?

SN: My favorite role I’ve played is Laura in “Exhumed” which is a film that is very near to my heart for many reasons.

I also really enjoyed playing the character of Laura because it was a challenge. Laura is an adult who was supposed to be the next leader of a cult, but she’s trapped in a 14-year-old mindset and has failed which has led to the cult disintegrating.

The movie picks up once the cult has already died and their final attempts to keep it alive and to survive in a world where none of the members belong.

I think my dream role would be something like Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone or Natalie Portman in Black Swan. I’m drawn to dark, dramatic projects, more so than horror specifically, all though there does seem to be an overlap. I like highly emotional slow burns that are character focused and allow the audience to go on the journey with the actor.

BN: Can you tell us a bit about your experiences with “Chupacabra Territory”?

SN: Chupacabra was a bunch of fun to shoot. It was literally like being at summer camp and making a movie at the same time. That can sort of be said for most films, but with Chupacabra specifically, we were literally at a cabin in the woods all camping out together while in production.

The cast and crew really became a family. It was a lot of night shoots and got rather cold at times being in the mountains in a skirt and tank top covered in blood in the middle of the night, but everyone on set was really good about throwing giant warm coats and blankets over us in between takes and making sure that everyone was well taken care of!

Entertaining

BN: Do you have a particular genre of film that you enjoy partaking in most, outside of your genre work?

SN: I think my favorites are dark dramas. I’m not as excited about films that are heavy on gore or typical horror tropes. Horror isn’t my main goal as far as where I want to be and the work I want to do. I really love fantasy, period pieces, and Sci-fi, which I wish I was doing more of all of those. Anything in the LOTR or GoT type worlds or things like “Deadwood” or “Westworld” would be a dream world for me to play in.

BN: So far, what have you found most rewarding about being involved in the entertainment industry?

SN: I think the collaboration with other creatives is always amazing. There’s nothing like being around other people who are all working together to achieve the same goal and to tell the best story that they can within the confines that we’ve been given. Being able to explore the human condition and learn about yourself and humanity in the process can really be an eye-opening experience.

BN: Where do you want to be in ten years, career-wise, and what kind of advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an actress?

SN: I would like to be a series regular on either a dark drama or fantasy or sci-fi TV show - something on HBO would be ideal since I love pretty much everything they put out. Or starring in larger film projects similar to things like “The Conjuring” or LOTR would be amazing. I could die happy at that point.

As per advice, be aware that it is an entirely unforgiving industry. You will have to put in mountains of work just to move forward a single step. If there is anything else in this world that you can do and be happy doing it, do that instead.

Most people get involved in acting because they love to act, but unfortunately, that is only a very small part of actually working in the industry. Anyone with starry eyes of getting fame or fortune is going to be sorely disappointed. You’d have better luck getting struck by lightning than becoming a celebrity.

I’m sure anyone reading this is thinking “yes I’ve heard that before, I know it will be hard, but I’m willing to do it.” I was one of those people - it’s even harder than I imagined it would be, and I expected it to be hard. There is no roadmap to working as an actor. You have to figure it out as you and learn from friends and others around you who are working. There is no such thing as “overnight success” or all of a sudden “making it.”

Be prepared to sacrifice everything - friends, money, dreams of having any normal stable life. You have to be in it for the work and the process and not for the result. And if you still want to jump into this crazy business, you have to know that it’s not about you. You’ll be rejected over and over again, and you’ll have no control over it. It won’t be about your work or your look - it will just be that someone else fit the director’s vision better than you did, even if they’re not as talented or as pretty or whatever. This business is not about you - it’s about the work and about the stories that we are telling. We are just one piece to a much bigger puzzle, and every so often we get lucky enough to be the right piece for that specific puzzle.