An Interview with Nichole Goodnight of the NoSleep Podcast

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I’ve been listening to the NoSleep Podcast for several years now, so having the opportunity to interview the bulk of the cast along with my old friend Anthony has been a real trip and an absolute pleasure. It’s been a very humanizing experience to be able to put a backstory to the voices I’ve heard over my car speakers for so long.

Although new episodes generally drop late Saturday evenings, I tend to save the episodes for later, thus new episodes of NoSleep tend to accompany me on my journeys to and from work during the week. While mundanely sitting in the stop-and-go traffic that is as much a Long Island staple as pizza and bagels, whenever I hear that a tale is going to feature Nichole Goodnight, I usually awake from my daze and become a little less glazed over.

Nichole along with a few others is absolutely one of my favorite voice actors on the podcast, and one that I truly feel gives the show that little extra something special. Her versatility and dedication to the craft of voice acting are always apparent, and the characters she embodies are always infinitely memorable.

With all that being said, it was a treat to have the opportunity to interview Nichole Goodnight for our ongoing series of NoSleep interviews. Among other things, Nichole and I chat about what she’s been up to during the last year and a half, her early days as a voice actor, her inspiration and origins, some of her favorite NoSleep moments, and a whole lot more.

If you would like to learn more about Nichole Goodnight and keep up with what she has going on, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Once you’ve done that, dig into this interview with Nichole. Cheers.

Andrew:
Nichole, thank you for taking the time to speak with us here. How are you? What have you been doing to pass the time?

Nichole:
Oh gosh, of course, thank you so much for reaching out! I’ve been doing okay. Honestly, most of my time is spent working or gaming. I’ve really grown to love streaming on Twitch on both my own channel and on NoSleep’s channel! It’s been really fun to play games and interact with people and it’s really the highlight of my night when I do it!

Andrew:
Tell us a bit about your backstory. What are your origins? How did you become interested in horror and subsequently, voice acting?

Nichole:
Ooh, I love a good origin story. So my love of horror started at a pretty young age! When I was younger, I would split the time between my mom’s house and my dad’s house. My dad never really paid attention to the fact that I was pulling Dean Koontz and Stephen King books off the bookshelf at a fairly young age, and honestly, that would be my ritual every time I went to my dad’s house. I’d find one I hadn’t read, and read it in the time I was there. Then the next time I visited I would find a new one on the shelf I hadn’t read. Eventually, when I was old enough to drive, I could just drive to the bookstore and buy a new Dean Koontz book for myself.

Voice acting was honestly a super personal decision to keep what my mom loved alive. I lost her when I was 18, and she always loved my voice and would sing with me in our living room. She always said she hoped one day that I could do something with my voice. Every time I get to voice act, I like to think she’s somewhere smiling. <3

Andrew:
Tell us a bit about how you first became involved with the NoSleep Podcast. Did you ever think it would grow into what it’s become today?

Nichole:
I first heard the NoSleep Podcast before I even knew that the NoSleep subreddit existed! I was watching a friend draw online, and in the background she had the podcast playing. I was absolutely captivated by the stories and found out that it was NoSleep. I googled and found that they had a section for volunteers and then I closed the page because I figured I didn’t have the talent to do something like that. Months later I was super regretting my decision and gave it a go. That was almost seven years ago! I never even could have imagined it would grow as it has.

Andrew:
Let’s go back a bit, before NoSleep, you worked on some small commercials and some animated shorts on YouTube. Tell us more about those. You’re one of my personal favorite NoSleep cast members, so it’s always fun to go back look at earlier works.

Nichole:
First off, awww, thank you! That’s so sweet! I don’t know if anyone realizes how much that means to me, hearing that you enjoy what I enjoy doing! That being said, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh gosh I keep that first animated short tucked away pretty well. I was AWFUL in it! I was talking to someone that was on the project with me though recently and he said, “If you don’t see what you could have done better in earlier stuff it’s probably a bad sign.” This actually REALLY stuck with me because he brought up such a good point. So whereas I’ll never outright say what it is because I’m incredibly embarrassed by it – I’ll leave some breadcrumbs. That YouTube video from 2011 currently has over 6 million views. This video was a fan animation of a show that came out roughly a year previously. It was a beautiful Lament. 😉

As for the commercials, I found all of those through VoiceBunny! They are a place that I always suggest for finding small jobs to build up a resume!

Andrew:
Over time, how has your style and approach to narration and voice acting changed? How do you feel you’ve evolved as you’ve gone on?

Nichole:
I’ve definitely gotten better at preparing to record! I never really knew the importance of hydration until I got into narrating longer stories. I think in the beginning I also maybe sounded less sure of myself? I’d like to make it clear that even now I am still nervous that I would narrate something in a way that the author was envisioning. but I SOUND more confident about it! I think touching back on the previous answer, I definitely feel like I’ve gotten better at the craft and hope to continue to grow with it!

Andrew:
What is it about horror and storytelling in general that you love the most? What has drawn you to it over time?

Nichole:
It’s the emotion put into it. It’s being able to tell someone’s story and try to make others feel the emotions that you’re feeling when you tell it. I love trying to get better at conveying those emotions and keeping people captivated by a story.

Andrew:
On the subject of horror, what subgenre within are you most fond of? Psychological? Slasher? Occult? Gothic? Which is your favorite, and why?

Nichole:
I would probably have to say Psychological. Can I blame my love for The Silence of the Lambs? I do love slasher and gothic and all sorts of other subgenres, but psychological will always be the top for me.

Andrew:
The NoSleep Podcast is in the midst of its 16th season! It’s been a great one. I’ve enjoyed this season’s theme. The pacing is much different than last season on so many levels. I’d like to dig more into that. Aside from the obvious, what’s the through-line that we as listeners should take away from this season?

Nichole:
This is a fun question because it seems that everyone takes away something a little different! I would say that with any season we do, any theme or set of stories, find something that is important to you and hold on to that. Some people like the bookstore aspect itself of the search for a bookstore, some like the mystery, some like the social media photos and adventure, some love it all and don’t have a favorite part. Find what you love in what you’re listening to. <3

Andrew:
You’ve been with NoSleep for some time now. That said, looking back, what are some of your favorite stories that you’ve been a part of, and some of your favorites in general, and why?

Nichole:
I still can’t believe it’s been almost seven years! Wow! “The Diner” (S4E9) will always have a special place in my heart as it was my first story. It may be easier to make a nice little list for this question!

  • S4E24 – “Why You Can’t Talk to the Dead” – I really enjoyed the emotion that I got to play with in this story and often come back to it as one of my favorites, for sure.
  • S5E6 – “The Puzzler’s Box” – This was just…super fun. I really enjoyed the story concept and had a great time with the story in general.
  • S5E15 – “Happy Childhood” – This…just…it goes places.
  • S8E1 – “How many Fairies?” – This is the first (and last, oh no) time that I got to voice not one but two little boys. I thought that was super neat!
  • S8E24 – “The Town I Grew Up in was Torn Apart by a Serial Killer” – This whole story really just sticks with me.
  • S10E7 – “Christmas with Mr. Strings” – It’s just so good! I love this story!
  • S11E20 – “Remy” – I love this story and the emotion, but also the fact that I had to record it in a single room Air BnB that I shared with three cats for a month in a house that had one other person renting a room and the owner of the house himself. It was actually really nice, and he was an amazing host. He super was understanding about having to record as he was a musician himself!
  • Sleepless Decompositions Volume 1 – “The Door” – Again, emotion. There’s a part in here where it sounds like I’m crying or have been crying. That is not acting, I absolutely was.

Honestly, there’s so many and not all of my favorites are even on this list, but it’s a good starting place! I love every story that I’ve had the honor to be cast in and am always so thankful for the chance to bring an author’s work to life!

Andrew:
As a voice actor, how do you get into character? Does come easily for you? That is to say, are you able to snap in and out of character, or does it take a lot of preparation? What types of characters do you most enjoy acting out and why? Which types are the most difficult?

Nichole:
Oh, this is a fun one! It honestly depends on the age of a character. For children, I will usually look up kids talking on YouTube which…sounds incredibly creepy honestly. Also for children, I’ll slouch, move where I talk from in my throat, and try to say a line that I will then use as a grounding line, something that if I lose the voice I know I can say again and slip back into it. For teens and adults, I don’t have much preparation. My favorite kinds of characters to play are ones that have been through or are about to go through something terrible or some deep trauma. I know…that sounds odd. I just really love conveying emotion and find it enjoyable to do. When you can relate to a character, it’s almost like you’re not even acting. For the harder characters, honestly, children can be pretty hard too. The older I get, the harder I find it is to stay in voice for a child – even while using the grounding line! I still love to do it though. Sure, I may not sound exactly like an 8-year-old girl, but I think that I sound as decent as I can for a 36-year-old!

Andrew:
2020 and early 2021 were truly horrific on many levels, and yet I personally took a lot of comfort in the depths of NoSleep. Does that make me a sadist? [Laughs]. In all seriousness, why do you feel shows such as NoSleep are important? Especially coming out of the insane times we found ourselves in.

Nichole:
[Laughs]. Not at all! You’d be surprised (or maybe not!) at the number of people that I’ve heard from that say that NoSleep has brought them a lot of comfort in really trying times. Honestly, it’s brought even myself comfort through the years. I don’t quite know what it is – if it’s the stories, listening to a person recount horror while you’re safe at home, or just knowing that there’s passionate people putting out media that you enjoy, but something there brings comfort and honestly, it makes me incredibly happy to know that something that we all do over at NoSleep – something that we’re all so incredibly passionate about – can bring comfort and joy to people. There’s really no greater feeling than knowing that someone loves what you love so much to do.

Andrew:
Where is horror as a genre headed? The idea of how we consume all types of media has changed. Is social media a detriment to the creatives of the world, or is it going to help
push the genre forward and elevate its players?

Nichole:
Horror is changing so much, that is absolutely true. There’s things that are happening in today’s day and age than a decade ago, no one would have even imagined would happen. As the world ages and grows, I feel there will always be new thoughts and ideas for stories. It’s amazing the talent that is all around us.

Social Media I feel can go either way. In some ways, I wish it wasn’t as prevalent as it was. In other ways though, I feel the more resources someone has, the more they can do. If I didn’t have a way to connect with new people, I can honestly say I’d not have branched out much myself. Being able to be connected to so many different people from all different fields and walks of life is almost mind-blowing.

Andrew:
Aside from horror, and voice acting, what else are you passionate about? How do those passions inform your art?

Nichole:
I do love True Crime, which one could argue is a form of horror. I love singing (though I’m not good at it) and often can be found belting out songs in the comfort of an empty house. I’ve always loved acting, too. Even before I even thought I would get into Voice Acting, I took some courses in college. I’ll never forget the monologue I recited from the play I Ought to Be in Pictures. It was a section that was filled with so much emotion and getting to portray the emotion of the scene really made me feel like I wanted to do it more if that makes sense.

Andrew:
Being that this is started as a music publication, I may as well ask, what types of music are you into? Are you into vinyl? How important is music to the aesthetic of the NoSleep Podcast?

Nichole:
My taste in music is…interesting and I never quite know how to classify it. I’m definitely one of those, “I like all sorts of music,” types of people. I can say that among my absolute top favorites are The Crüxshadows, Ghostfeeder, Sonata Arctica, Johnny Hollow, Mori Calliope, and of course, Brandon Boone. Seriously, if you haven’t heard Prey//Pray by him I urge you to check it out (though honestly, all of his music is absolutely phenomenal). Other than those specific bands, I’m really into Classic Rock (70s), music from the 80s and 90s, musicals, really just all over the place.

As far as vinyl goes, my secret is that I very much WANT to be into vinyl, but haven’t the slightest idea of where to start!

I believe that the music is honestly integral to the podcast. That isn’t to say that the voice acting couldn’t carry the stories by itself, it absolutely could, but when you pair that with Brandon’s work? Stunning. He has this amazing ability to write the perfect piece for every single story he works on. He captures emotions and atmosphere and honestly I could gush on about his work all day. Could NoSleep work without music? Sure. Would it be the same? Absolutely not.

Andrew:
Last question. Beyond NoSleep, what’s next for you? Anything exciting on the horizon?

Nichole:
I do actually have a few projects in the works! I can’t speak out on either of them yet but I’m SUPER excited for both of them and can’t wait to share. <3

I can say that one is going to be a fiction-based podcast and one, non-fiction!

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, Andrew has always loved writing and collecting physical music. Present-day, Andrew is proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict for fellow music addicts. Andrew lives on Long Island and works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer Music website by night.
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