“I feel like I almost fell into theater by accident,” says Nick Brown, Elizabethtown Area High School class of 2014. Now he has starred in over twenty musicals and is currently touring nationally with Finding Neverland, a musical about a writer who creates the story of Peter Pan.
From choir, Nick made a lot of friends who danced, leading him to start dancing at E-Dance Center in Elizabethtown. When high school came, he auditioned for the first of many musicals, Pippin, directed by Mr. Kevin Biddle. It started a chain reaction. Nick would participate in all of his high school musicals.
In his senior year, Nick had already applied to several schools early action intending to major in Psychology and minor in LGBT studies. However as graduation approached, he realized that theater might be what he wanted to do as his career. “I think [not originally applying for theater programs] was [due to] the fear of hearing no because I’m aware of how competitive it is.” But his friends and family encouraged him to audition. He says they told him, “If you don’t audition, you won’t know.” But he had a problem: He had waited so long that most of the auditions were closed.
Nick only auditioned for one school, Temple University. “It was already the top of my list as far as academics and financially and the city of Philadelphia. I went to auditions and fell in love with the program, the vibe there, and the energy of the professors and everything. And I remember in the audition room the director and the assistant director of the program were looking at my resume and said, ‘Oh I see you were already accepted for psychology to Temple.’ They then said, ‘Well I think you’re going to have to change your major.’”
Just like that, Nick was going to school for theater.
When I asked Nick what he would like every EASD student to hear, he said, “It sounds so cliche, but it’s so true. If there is something you find in your studies or your extracurriculars or whatever you do in school or outside school that you’re passionate about and love, do that. Explore your passion at the university level or go right into the workforce after high school. Everyone’s path is different, but you can go into something that you love. Another thing I would say is to be curious: be a sponge and take in everything you can in different areas. You can have multiple interests. So follow your passions and stay curious. Don’t be afraid to dip your toes into different things and get outside your comfort zone, because that’s where the magic happens.”