Meet Niki J. Borger of Ubiquity Entertainment
I came to Los Angeles in September 2018, full of hopes and dreams about my new life as an actress in Hollywood. I had spent almost a year preparing for this transition, working hard, saving up money, and then I was finally here! And my first 9 months were amazing! I went to acting school, the New York Film Academy, had great classes and amazing classmates. I also got to shoot a lot of short films during that time – so life was amazing.
Of course I missed the stage. Before, I had been working as a musical theater actress, singing and dancing every day. I missed the working out and the rush that comes with performing on stage but that was the worst problem I had back then.
And then, everything changed. My stepdad back in Germany got very sick and for weeks they couldn’t find out what it was. He was losing weight at a rapid pace. Then, the last week of June, we got the news: Pancreatic cancer. They immediately did the surgery and he survived. I had to be in Los Angeles during that time, I was waiting for my work permit to be granted and during that period, I wasn’t allowed to travel. It was hard to not be able to help, but my mom kept telling me that it was okay, that there’s nothing I could do being back home either.
My stepdad recovered and started his rehab. Things were getting better, but it was still Pancreatic cancer. My mom was certain, that he had only so much more to live. She was very stressed out.
On the morning of August 7th, I got a call from my stepdad. He was supposed to be still in rehab, but he wasn’t. My mom had had a heart attack or stroke while driving and then crashed into a truck. She was immediately dead. The police had informed him in rehab and then taken him home.
I hardly remember that day. I know that I went to the International Office next and found out, that my work permit had just been granted – I could go home. The next weeks were a blur of somehow making everything happen that had to happen for her funeral and preparing everything for my stepdad to get along by himself.
The first week of September I returned to Los Angeles, finally being able to work. But I had trouble getting out of bed, seeing the purpose in what I was doing. I wanted to tell stories, I wanted to act, I wanted to inspire. But as I was still quite new to the city, the country and the industry – it was not easy. And I questioned whether it was worth the effort at all.
And then things changed. Within a week of being back, I got an agent. 3 more offers followed the weeks after. Another week later, I got offered the role as a regular in an upcoming TV show in Miami. And the month after that, I got a supportive role in a feature film, that was to be shot in Los Angeles and Mexico. It was as if somebody had flipped the switch and suddenly everything was falling into place. More role offers followed for shows, films and shorts. It was simply amazing.
Then, Covid-19 happened and all projects got postponed. I spent a couple of weeks being frustrated. I had this one chance of proving that I’m a talent, 12 months to show everybody what I’m capable of. And then my home had to break away and the world had come to an end. Obviously, that was a bit dramatized. And ultimately I realized that the timing doesn’t matter. That it all happens for a reason, and a good one too!
I chose to believe in the best of life, in the fact that life happens for me, not to me. So now, I’m using the time of the quarantine to prepare the upcoming projects, to work out, to write. I finished the two short films I did myself and got them into numerous festivals. I even got awards! None of that would have happened without the quarantine. So I keep trusting that everything is going to work out in the end. I’m sure it will!
I think I can honestly say that the past 12 months were the hardest in my life so far. With my mom’s passing, I also lost my home back in Germany. My stepdad and I don’t get along too well, hence, home for me – that was her. And now it’s gone. I spent a lot of time grieving that and grieving her early death. And I probably still have much more time ahead to do so.
Frustration in general was a big struggle for me, and I guess my colleagues in the industry can relate to that. A lot of times it’s about who you know, rather than what you’re capable of. If you’re not born into that setting, it’s hard to get started.
Then there were those times when amazing things happened. But as they were so close to the devastating events, I had a hard time enjoying them. Most of all, I felt overwhelmed with everything going on. I spent days just lying in bed, trying not to think or feel anything. To the point where I thought: My life is completely pointless, so why live at all? I had amazing people around me that helped me through this. Really, there are no words big enough to emphasize how much help I got from my friends and my brother. Without them, I don’t know what would have happened.
Ubiquity Entertainment stands for Unity in Quality – this is the company that funds most of the projects I’ll be filming next year. It is a new production studio, that revolutionizes the TV and Film industry in several ways. First of all, everybody working there is incredibly talented and amazing at what they’re doing. Nobody got in there because of connections or because somebody owed them a favor. Second, all the people I have met so far are really nice and great to work with – no matter their position. Mutual respect and a friendly work environment are the basis for cooperation. Ego trips are not tolerated. And thirdly, everybody is united in the idea of providing content of the highest quality. Everybody works hard and does their best to foster that goal. And so far, it is working out amazingly! I can’t wait to actually get on set and start filming!
I think there are several aspects that define success: You love what you’re doing. You love the people you’re working with. You’re making good money. You’re staying healthy. You provide value to others by what you’re doing. That are my main criteria.
But there’s an additional one, that might even be more important: If any of the main criteria isn’t met, you keep pushing, working hard on yourself and your craft, transforming – until that goal is met. Because – let’s face it: things change all the time, new challenges come up all the time. So, success is not only the moment in which things are perfect. To me, success is the ability to make them perfect, again and again – no matter what life throws at you. To make the best of everything that happens – that is success to me.