Maninder Chawla | Life Coach & Acting Coach

About Maninder Chawla

Maninder Chawla, also known as Nikki, a NY based actor, standup comic, model, and professor, was raised in New York.  She is a Kit Kat chocolate lover and can hula hoop! Maninder is an alumni of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University.  She was nominated best supporting actress for the award-winning short film, Fresh Blood.  She appeared on the crime series REDRUM on Investigation Discovery and you may have seen her face on SNL skits.

In addition to her on screen work, Maninder has played various roles, classical and contemporary. To name a few: Hastings in The Tragedy of Richard the Third at Stratford Upon Avon, England for The Oxford Shakespeare Company, Janki in The Color of Vengeance at The New Perspectives Theatre Company, Zarina in Where Children play (Berkshire Fringe Festival), Lady Capulet in Romeo & Juliet,  and Shoba in A View from Versova.

Maninder discovered her passion for this beautiful thing we call “art” at the age of 12. She pursued her love for acting and standup comedy while she was a Kindergarten teacher. She realized that she had to make a decision about her career and she chose her love for acting. Her wonderful acting teachers, Gene Lasko and Elizabeth Kemp, were a big part of her journey to find her true self.  She has never looked back.

Maninder has been entertaining people since she was a kid.  Her audience were her family members! She would do impersonations, and do crazy stunts at home just to get a laugh. She even liked making herself laugh. At school, she laughed so much that her third-grade teacher had to move her seat all the time so she wouldn’t disturb her classmates.  Maninder’s parents were called frequently to come to school for parent teacher meetings. The biggest complaint from her teacher was that she was a “Happy child”.  She never thought that was an actual problem, because nowadays people pay people to be happy, which we call therapy.

She had reoccurring dreams of being on stage with a mic telling jokes. She didn’t understand why she had these dreams until she took a chance and got on stage one day at a comedy club in New York. There on stage, she felt a belonging, she saw smiling faces, a reflection of herself. She wanted to see more of happy faces and became a standup comic. Not only did standup comedy bring joy to her life but led her to journey into the world of acting. Here she is.