Guest Director @ Moorpark College
Nick's Director's note in the Almost, Maine program:
Almost lost in a nearly epic tome of notes included in the script , Jon Cariani quite simply says: Almost, Maine is “a play about real people who are really, truly, honestly dealing with the toughest thing there is to deal with in life: love.” To me, that is the Rosetta Stone of this play.
It’s easy to miss the point of this play. It would be simple to make it saccharine. Or play up the laughs for pure comedy. It’s difficult to fight for the reality, especially when the moments of magic seem to fight so hard against that much needed realism. But, when you really think about it, love is magic.
I mean really… think about it.
Think about the astronomical, infinitesimally small chance we have at love. All the things in this life working against us. All the piles of junk that can easily (and often does) get in the way of letting someone in. The debris. The mounds of baggage. The left overs of past lovers and heartache left behind to rot. To love again: all that “past” has to be stripped away, piece by piece. One has to be left bare – naked - in order for love to even have a chance to sneak in. We have to raze our defenses. Be open. Be vulnerable. It’s scary. I hate it. It’s falling without a net. And, personality, it’s the best thing to have ever happened to me.
Support of this vision was incredible. The first few meetings with scenic designer Brian Koehler blossomed into one of the most beautiful and metaphoric sets I’ve ever seen (not to mention a treasured friendship), Mickey Howell and his total buy in on the unconventional and representative lights, Sophie Gana and her stunning dedication and those Northern Lights, Haleh Risdana and the simple and clean costume/make-up design, John Loprieno and the trust to allow it all to happen, this insane cast and their bravery and trust in me to be able to tap into an emotional vein and bleed tears on so many nights… Nobody cut corners when it could have been easy to do so. I’m so unbelievably proud to be part of this production.
Love is struggle.... And so is putting on a play.
Love is leaping when your self-preservation tells you no.... And so is being emotionally vulnerable in front of a bunch of strangers.
Love is brave... And so are these actors and this crew.
Please accept this piece of us. It hurts to give. And it’s all the more precious for the pain. And thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with us tonight.
THE MERRY DREAM OF VERDI
Bernie Segal Productions
The Merry Dream of Verdi is the true story of Bernie Segal and the risk he took in opening the Los Angeles staple, The Verdi Restaurant. This Broadway style musical featured musical direction by Catherine Matejka Bell and featured wonderful performances by Omar Crook, Jamie Mills, Lauren Newell, Bradly Cashman, AJ Hamilton, Kenneth Lopez, and Kristin Towers Rowles.
FREDDY AND ME
The San Francisco Playhouse
One day, Bryan Curtis White was walking down the street in his brand new green and red striped sweater. All it took was a passerby yelling, “Yo, Freddy Kruger!” for Bryan to spiral into a deep existential crisis where he was forced to confront how people truly saw him. Unfolding with deeply personal confessions, song, and a recap of all seven Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Bryan and I developed this poignant and moving one man show about the homicidal murder that torments the soul of even the nicest of men.
At San Francisco State University
This is where I really cut my teeth, directing ten plays in four years. At SF State I directed on a thrust stage, main stage, and black box. It’s here where I discovered how one can use every corner of a space (not just a stage) to stage a production. I’m sure it included some bumps along the way, but I dared to go big, was proud of what I accomplished, and learned a lot in the process.
- He Hale Kou
- Island in the Hills
- Inside / Out: A Lovesong for Orson Welles
- Songs in the Key of Whale
- Idiot Box
- Watercolor Girl
- Fourteenth Street
- Go, or Go Ahead
- Know Thy Enemy
- Greatest American Porno