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Supporter Spotlight: Nicholas Rice

Nicholas Rice’s earliest specific memories of The AFC are of visiting its offices when he felt down on his luck early in his acting career.

If he wasn’t getting auditions and his career seemed at a standstill, he would visit The AFC and make a modest donation.

“It would be my way of saying to the universe, “See what I just did? Maybe now do something for me,’” he says with a laugh. “I know you’re not supposed to make deals with the universe, but this is how I thought, and it just made me feel good.”

Rice has now been working as an actor in film and TV and on stage for 42 years. Between gigs, he is a substitute teacher for the Toronto District School Board. He has also trained in the martial arts for 22 years. He says that his training in karate may have been “my best acting school.”

“I have little aptitude for it, but it can still be done,” he explains. “It has taken a lot of the fear out of acting for me.”

Rice’s commitment to The AFC rivals that of his martial arts practice: he has been a regular donor for decades.

“There’s a component of selfishness,” Rice says when asked why he gives. “I do it for myself, it makes me feel good.”

Yet he also likes hearing about the people his donations have helped. He says he sees stories of people who have received assistance from The AFC, “and I don’t know most of these people, but I’m happy we’re part of a family and I’m glad I can help them in my small way.”

Rice has found himself recommending The AFC to colleagues going through difficult times and he says this reinforces his commitment to the organization.

“I feel very comfortable being able to say, ‘Try The AFC, they’re good people. I know them and I think they’ll be able to help you.’”

Rice also recommends The AFC to colleagues looking for a gift for their director or for a cast for opening night.

“I will say ‘Well, you could get a bottle of booze, you could get any number of things, but why don’t you make a donation to The AFC?’”

For Rice, these donations have evolved from giving during tough times to something he does whenever the occasion arises, such as an unexpected windfall or an opportunity to thank someone.

“If someone slips me a comp or bends over backwards to get me in for free, sometimes I will send a donation to The AFC on their behalf,” he says.

“You can always make a donation in someone’s honour and how can it not be appreciated? It’s an inherently good thing to do, it makes the world a slightly better place and Lord knows we need it.”

The AFC is extremely grateful to Nicholas Rice for his ongoing support.

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