2015 Best Student Actress Nominee: Sierra Pilkington as Olympia in The Boston Conservatory's "Big Love"

Before we announce our 2015 ArtsImpulse Award Winners, we are proud to present our 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series. 

NOTE: If you were nominated for a 2015 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award, and you would like to participate in our 2015 ArtsImpulse Nominee Interview Series, please email us at brian@artsimpulse.com.

Photo Credit: Zach Strand.

Photo Credit: Zach Strand.

Sierra Pilkington might have played the youngest (and most spoiled) sister in Charles Mee's Big Love, but that did not detract from her strength and conviction when she was biting someone's face off! Sierra's Olympia was strong and nuanced, playing for love and for keeps, convicted in her pursuit of a man but only one who was worthy of her. In her Interview, Sierra tell us more about being a student at The Boston Conservatory, the last song that she sang at an audition (we love that song!), and her next project at The Boston Conservatory!

Hi, Sierra, and thank you for interviewing with us.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi! Thanks so much for interviewing me! I was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, to the lovely parents of Mary and Don Pilkington, and have a twin brother named Dakota. I was blessed with the opportunity to go to public school and grow up surrounded by a supportive family, sports, and the arts. When I’m not in school, I love hiking, going on adventures, meeting new people, dancing, working out, and doing arts and crafts. 

Talk to us about Conservatory life.  What made you decide on The Boston Conservatory? Describe your day.  How would your days be different at a liberal arts university or program?

For me, Conservatory life is very different than my public high school. Growing up with Dakota meant growing up with sports, and I miss that. Don’t get me wrong, I love Conservatory life, and living in Boston is awesome with so many different colleges and so much art everywhere.

I decided on The Boston Conservatory because I wanted an adventure, to live away from home, not to mention the amazing program that I have the privilege of attending. At The Boston Conservatory, I feel like I have grown so much as a person as well as a performer. I’m excited to take what I have learned, go out into the world, and enjoy where it takes me! 

What is Charles Mee’s Big Love?  Who was your character?  Did you relate with her?

Olympia (Sierra Pilkington, The Boston Conservatory '16) in Charles Mee's Big Love at The Boston Conservatory (Photo Credit: Alexis Sheer). 

Olympia (Sierra Pilkington, The Boston Conservatory '16) in Charles Mee's Big Love at The Boston Conservatory (Photo Credit: Alexis Sheer). 

Big Love is an incredible story about finding love and discovering what you want. All of the characters in this show speak about what love is to them and who they believe they are based on what the world has told them. 

I had the honor of playing the part of Olympia, the youngest sister of the three. There is such a strong bond between the sisters and what they go through together. Olympia is the spoiled Daddy’s girl who always gets everything she wants. She is not used to having to do things for herself. I learned so much from Olympia and she showed me a lot about myself. I relate to her through the way that she loves her sisters, even though she can’t stand them sometimes, while also relating to her through her passion and love for life. 

A big part of Big Love was the relationships among the sisters.  Do you have any siblings?  What is your relationship like with them?  Did you use any of these relationships in your performance?

I have a twin brother and he is one of my favorite people. Growing up with a brother was awesome because we have learned so much from each other. I got to use our relationship in many different ways as inspiration for choices in Big Love, such as the funny memories we share, the times we don’t get along, and the other times when we are like best friends. I am very thankful for our relationship, and I’m excited to see how it continues to grow. 

Of what are you most proud?

In this particular production, I am most proud of learning stage combat, and how to kill someone. I never thought in a million years I would be ripping someone’s neck off with my teeth and getting covered in blood. It will always be one of the most thrilling experiences I have had on stage. 

What is the last song that you used at an audition?  Why did you choose this song?

The last song I used for an audition was “On My Way” from Violet. I chose that one, because it’s one of my favorite songs to sing. I love the feel of the song, and Violet is a role I hope to work on one day. 

Movie night!  What are we seeing?  Are we going out or staying in?  What snacks do we have?  Are we inviting anyone to join us?

Anything except for horror, and let’s go out and make it a night on the town! Popcorn is the bomb and one of my favorites. Anyone and everyone available is welcome to come! 

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?  What would you do?  Who would you take with you?

I would love to go backpacking through Europe. I just want to meet people, explore, and enjoy the beautiful earth and the people in it! 

Do you believe in unconditional love?  Do you believe in unconditional lust?

Olympia (Sierra Pilkington, The Boston Conservatory '16) gets revenge in Charles Mee's Big Love at The Boston Conservatory (Photo Credit: Alexis Scheer). 

Olympia (Sierra Pilkington, The Boston Conservatory '16) gets revenge in Charles Mee's Big Love at The Boston Conservatory (Photo Credit: Alexis Scheer). 

I believe in the unconditional love of God. I don’t know if I believe in unconditional lust or not. Still experiencing life and learning as I go along. 

What are some of your biggest challenges as a performer?  What do you believe is your biggest strength?

One of my biggest challenges as a performer is not trusting myself. I freak out about the smallest things, and hope I don’t forget everything.

I believe my biggest strength is being present throughout the performance. 

Do you have any upcoming projects?

I am starting rehearsals for Aida this coming week at The Boston Conservatory, directed by the incredible Danny Hutchins! I’m very excited to be working with this awesome cast and crew!! 

Do you have anything else to share with our ArtsImpulse readers?

I am so thankful and very blessed to be where I am today! I have an awesome support system and I’m excited to see what the future brings!