Nicole Iman Burgess was born in East Orange, New Jersey and raised in Long Valley, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Michele Burgess and Berkeley Burgess. Nicole discovered dance at the age of three and began playing piano at age five. She performed in her first stage play at age ten. Having discovered a passion for performance, Nicole joined her middle school cheerleading squad. When Nicole was eleven, her parents moved to Durham, North Carolina where she continued to dance, cheer and play piano. She attended Durham Academy for high school where was captain and choreographer of her dance team and appeared in musicals like West Side Story and Grease for which she won awards for choreography. Outside of high school, Nicole was on a competition cheerleading and dance team. With a growing penchant for sports, Nicole took an interest in fencing her freshman year of high school. She trained with a private coach at Duke University and practiced with the UNC Chapel Hill fencing team until she was a senior in high school. She traveled to Penn State University for a fencing camp where she trained with Olympic fencers and University coaches. Nicole planned to fence in college however decided to pursue a career in fashion design when she was unable to get a women’s fencing scholarship. Nicole attended NC State University where she continued to dance and act. She later transferred to Meredith College where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in French.
Nicole landed her first WebTV hosting role with TriangleBlvd, a creative service and video production company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. With TriangleBlvd, she hosted more than thirty commercial and promotional videos for the City of Raleigh as well as for many other hotel, restaurant and retail establishments throughout North Carolina’s Triangle area. While at Meredith, a fellow classmate insisted she begin acting professionally and she has since appeared in many regional and national commercials. Nicole has been in several short films, including Heart of the Dead which won the 48 Hour Film Festival and was a candidate for the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival. Nicole received a Best Actress Honorable Mention for her role in the short. She has appeared in the independent feature Union Bound (2016), and had a small role in But Deliver Us From Evil (2017). She plays the lead in WhoRyde Bless Your Heart (2017), Voidfinder (2017) and Homecoming, set to release in 2018. Nicole studied at Ward Acting Studio in Durham, NC and performed in several theater productions, including Almost Home, which was a benefit production for the American Red Cross. In January 2017 she was cast as one of three lead women in the independent play, Un-Shame On You, which was performed at 7 Stages Theater in Atlanta, Morton Theatre in Athens, GA, Princess Theater in Alabama and Douglass Theater in Macon, GA. In 2018 she played the part of Tazzy in renown playwright Sylvester Stevens' production of Office Girls in Leflore, MS. She studied with GregAlan Williams at the Actor's Breakthrough in Atlanta, GA as well as Obba Babatunde in his Master Class at the Black Southern Film Festival in Durham, NC.
In December 2011, she self-published her first novel, Ingrid Darling (available on Amazon.com), about a young woman on a journey of self-discovery. Nicole describes Ingrid Darling as her attempt to balance the reality of the world with an inner understanding of the Self and the cosmos. She also self-published a short story called Verite, available on Amazon.com.
In August of 2015, Nicole reignited her passion for design and launched her jewelry line, 12 Gems Jewelry, which incorporates healing crystals in one of a kind handmade jewelry. 12 Gems Jewelry has pieces available at 12gemsjewelry.com