We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Chausenko and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
While my full-time job (pharmacist) may not fit the description of an artistic or creative career, I more than make up for it with my part-time interests (modeling, acting, and music). Ever since I started modeling over 12 years ago, I have always had a passion for both scientific and creative pursuits. I started playing the piano around age 5, and the flute/piccolo at age 10, and received a scholarship to college where I received a B.A. in Music. After college, I went to pharmacy school in Texas where I also took modeling and acting classes, and did a community pharmacy residency in Colorado where I currently live. No matter what my current interests may be, I have always had an artistic pursuit. Creative careers let you think independently, express individuality, and help you become more well-rounded.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am fortunate to have an extremely diverse modeling portfolio which sets me apart from others. I have done all different kinds of shoots in many environments with different photographers. I definitely do not adhere to an “Instagram wall aesthetic” as my photos are all over the place in terms of style and I prefer it that way. While I have had some amazing opportunities, the path I took to get where I am today was not easy. I figured I wasn’t going to make it financially as a professional flutist, so I went I went to pharmacy school and received my PharmD. My modeling career has also not been easy. I have been rejected countless times for different shoots and have been snubbed in a very cliquey industry. I’ve been told I’m ‘not runway material,’ ‘too old,’ ‘too sexy,’ or ‘not sexy enough’ among other things. However, these experiences have helped me grow as a person. I realized that I am not a fit for all shoots and have to embrace my individuality. There will always be someone who doesn’t like you, but you have to be confident in who you are.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Denver is such a great city in that there are so many things to do especially outdoors. Skiing and snowboarding at Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, and Vail is amazing in winter and hiking and mountain biking in Estes Park or Boulder is great during the summer. I would also recommend one of the hot springs like Strawberry Hot Springs in Steamboat or Ironwood in Glenwood. Denver also has some incredible restaurants-if you want an unforgettable date night, Guard and Grace, Osteria Marco, Coperta, and El Five are great options. For a more casual time with friends I recommend the rooftop of Linger, outside seating at Postino, desserts at D-bar, or the spicy chicken ramen at Uncle.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to thank some of the amazing Denver-area photographers who helped me build a solid and unique portfolio and strengthen my modeling ability: Tony Clapp, Don Hales, Jenni Summer, Radek Hruby, Jonny Edward, Noelle Wood, Ginny Haupert, Aija Germaine, and Justin Harned to name a few 😉
Jenni Summers, Don Hales, Radek Hruby, Ginny Haupert, Aija Germaine, Elizabeth Cortes