Nicholas Wainwright isn’t your average college student. The Brick resident is the founder, owner and creative director of Daydreamer Productions – a theatre company by teens for teens. They have done benefit work for the wounded warriors, Berkeley and middletown relay for life for four years, toys for tots, book benefit for a childrens library that was wiped out by Sandy and a food drive for the food bank. Nicholas is also a Volunteer for Wounded Warriors, Relay For Life and more.
As the 2015 People’s Choice Mover & Shaker, we had to ask Nicholas what makes him a Mover & Shaker:
Ocean Happening: What motivates you every morning?
Nicholas Wainwright: Every morning is a new, exciting adventure, I have at least 12 projects I am working on or planning at the moment and they all excite me- I continue to look for more everyday. I know what I am doing is great learning experience for the teens/young adults of Ocean County, and there is a marvelous feeling that comes with that.
OH: What inspires you the most and why?
NW: People coming together- to enjoy being a part of or coming to support the work and professionalism that goes into the shows/projects I develop. When you see people learning, having fun, and smiling, that is the biggest inspiration.
OH: What galvanized you to start your own theatre company?
NW: Daydreamer Productions was started by me in the summer of my freshman year of high school at the OCVTS Performing Arts Academy. I noticed there was a lack of opportunities for teens/young adults in the performing arts during the summer months. This was to be one of the first theatre companies in Ocean County completely run by teenagers- backstage, onstage, running the technical side of the shows, everything. Now five years later, the team behind the magic has grown, with a cast/crew of over 50 teens for this summer’s upcoming production of Disney’s TARZAN and the company has gained a supportive following from the community as well as respect/awards from notable arts companies such as: NJACT, Asbury Park Press Peoples Choice, and the Walt Disney World Resort.
OH: Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
NW: Taking the company to perform at The Walt Disney World Resort has to be one of the biggest achievements; however, I would have to say that the most innovative of achievements was being able to give people that do not normally have the chance to see theatre a live nighttime spectacular event World Of Color; which includes over 30 LED stage lights, bubbles, fog, lasers, confetti, and more. It was the perfect finish to the Berkeley/Lacey Relay For Life of 2014 where we premiered the show, and I am thrilled to say we are touring this show all over Ocean County this summer with six performances lined up! Starting of course where it all began at the Berkeley/Lacey Relay For Life- a wonderful cause worthy of the very best entertainment. World Of Color is a truly magnificent way to reach new audiences all over the county and get them excited about the arts!
OH: What has been the biggest challenge that you have overcome?
NW: Getting people to see past my young age, and trying to instead make them see the talent and stories I had to tell. It is difficult to put the trust of an extravagant project in the hands of a teenager. However, I believe Daydreamer Productions has proven that age is nothing but a number when it comes to the arts, and that anyone with the talent and the drive has the right to tell their story.
OH: What is the biggest accomplishment that you would like to achieve over the next 5 years?
NW: I would like to wind up as a successful theatre director, I am currently attending the University Of The Arts in Philadelphia for a BFA in Theatre Directing. Where I wind up directing will be based entirely on the opportunities available and where the arts need support. However, a dream of mine has always been to be able to direct a nighttime spectacular at the Disney Parks. I also would love to see the success of the musical I wrote, Rippled Reflections, and to see that grow and get produced. But right now, it is time to finish school and help keep the arts alive and well here in Ocean County.
OH: How do you think your friends and co-workers would describe you?
NW: Creative, full of big ideas, and determined to make those big ideas come to fruition.
OH: What is your favorite place to go in Ocean County?
NW: There are a couple answers here! I loved my time at the OCVTS Performing Arts Academy, it truly was a wonderful place to grow in my craft. All of the theaters in Ocean County hold a special place in my heart as well. My first big musical was at the Strand Theatre in Lakewood. But overall, my favorite place to be in Ocean County is wherever the arts are alive, as they are such a vital part of American culture, and I do not know where I would be without them.
OH: If you could go back in time and talk to yourself ten years ago, what advice would you give?
NW: Start planning sooner- write down every crazy idea you come up with as a child, because in a few years, it is quite possible they could come to life!