Arts for Youth Spotlight: Nick McReynolds
Abingdon High School student lives to be on stage
By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | August 27, 2014Nick Reynolds freely admits what makes most people cringe – his mom possesses embarrassing childhood videos.
"My mom has these extremely embarrassing videos of me trying to duplicate musicals I'd seen in my living room when I was four or five and making my whole family sit and watch," he says. "I guess you could say it's been an ongoing passion."
His mom believed he had a flair for singing, so she sent him to the Barter Academy. "I took classes there, and after that, one production led to another. I've been lucky to have stayed so involved in community theater all these years. I've been blessed to have been a part of 14 productions at Barter, Paramount Theatre and my high school," Nick says.
"I love the idea of being in another world and getting to explore and make new characters my own. There's a certain intensity in taking 500 people on that ride with me every night. Oh, and of course the fun costumes. I'm a big fan of period pieces. It's so much fun to live in another era. So of course I love theatrical staples such as "Thoroughly Modern Millie,' "Anything Goes,' "Grease' or anything like that. It means getting to express myself without necessarily having to be myself. There's no feeling on earth like the thrill I get on stage."
Recently Nick played Joseph in Theatre Bristol's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
"It was such a privilege to perform Joseph. The cast was so spectacular. They made "Joseph' unforgettable. Each night was a new, exhilarating experience. I learned more from being in "Joseph' than I have in any other production. The show was so incredibly fun and went by way too fast.
"It was incredibly humbling and rewarding to portray Joseph. His character was a dream role of mine for a long time beforehand, so I was beyond thrilled when I got the call."
Nick says he approaches his roles by making a list. "The first thing I do when I get a character is write down our similarities and differences, then from there I try to think like them as much as I can. I often think, "What would Joseph do?'"
He's made lists for his roles in "Anything Goes," "Bye Bye Birdie," "Thoroughly Modern Millie," "Grease," "Seussical," "The King and I," "A Christmas Carol" and many more.
He gives credit for his success to his "amazing choir director, Jane Morison, who taught me almost everything I know about music. Also, my parents, siblings, grandmother, best friends and band director for always being so supportive. Professionally, I idolize the musical talents of Frank Sinatra, Sutton Foster, Michael Bublé, Joel Grey and more, all of whom I take inspiration from."
He plans to pursue a career in musical theatre. "Performing is who I am. It's what makes me happiest, so I plan to stick with it. Between shows, choirs and directing a band, music has literally become my life, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
Nick is the drum major of his high school marching band, as well as a piano student and trumpet instructor. He's also a member of Highlands Youth Ensemble, which had the honor of performing in Greece with John Rutter this summer.
He is 17, a student at Abingdon High School, Abingdon, Va., and the son of Todd and Michelle Reynolds.
Nick Reynolds in Theatre Bristol's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."