Those of you who saw last night’s fantastic opening performance of Spring Awakening will certainly recognize this student! Nicholas McGovern ’14 only made his Klein Theatre debut in last Fall’s Into The Woods, but since then he’s had a whirlwind of a career, going from his background in baseball to appearing in Harvey, The Woman In Black, and now in Spring Awakening as Melchior for his Senior Project! Having already acted in multiple plays, musicals, and short films, and even studying at the Atlantic School of Acting, Nicholas is already poised to enter the world of professional theatre when he graduates!
The Department of Theatre and Dance set up an interview with this determined young actor.
T&D: What is your major?
T&D: What’s your hometown?
Nicholas: Springfield, VA. Shoutout to Daventry, what’s good.
T&D: What’s your main focus in theatre?
T&D: How did you first get involved with theatre?
Nicholas: Boy oh boy, well I didn’t develop an interest in it until I came to school here. I guess I took an acting class in middle school but it was required. It was required here too. I didn’t really have a family with any theatre background so I owe all my interest to UMW.
T&D: What is your favorite show you’ve worked on at UMW?
Nicholas: Spring Awakening put me through a lot but it’s definitely the work I’m most proud of. Last year getting into it, I didn’t really know what was involved in a character realization process but studying in New York this summer I developed some groundwork as to how to approach my “process.” It became work and not just an extracurricular activity, which in turn makes it more rewarding and fun for me.
T&D: What are your plans after graduation?
Nicholas: That’s a good question. As for now I think just to endure the struggle as a young actor and work whatever side job that I can while auditioning. I’d like to move to New York but independently. My parents have already done enough for me so it’s time for Nick to be a big boy.
T&D: What is your favorite word? Least favorite word?
Nicholas: I don’t know. I like words. I don’t know if I have a favorite word. I guess if I had to pick one it might be selfless. I admire selfless people and it’s a quality I find is brave and valuable, so you know, it’s not a fun word per se, but it’s a good word. My least favorite word is quit.
T&D: What is your favorite kind of candy?
Nicholas: I buy a lot of sour gummy worms. Like the generic 7-11 kind. They’re not even that great, I’ve just developed an addiction I suppose– it comes and goes.
T&D: If you could work on any play or musical, which one would it be?
Nicholas: A Streetcar Named Desire. I don’t look very Polish but I love me some Stanley Kowalski. Marlon Brando’s one of my favorite actors and I have a lot of admiration for his work. He changed the game when he originated that role on Broadway.
T&D: What’s a fact about you that most people wouldn’t expect?
Nicholas: Uhh, I’m a movie crier. I may or may not own a copy of The Notebook. I’ll leave that up to the imagination.
T&D: Who would be some of your biggest professional influences?
Nicholas: Like I said, Marlon Brando. Christain Bale. I haven’t seen enough Broadway to be influenced by a lot of stage actors. I saw David Hyde Pierce in Masha and Vanya and Sonia and Spike– he was incredible. I really enjoy actors who put their best into what they do. Can I throw Tom Hardy in there too?
T&D: What accomplishments or contributions would you like to be remembered for when you graduate?
Nicholas: I hope that our production of Spring Awakening is a meaningful one for our department. My performance in particular. I hope to be remembered as an actor who really dove into his work and not a baseball player who stumbled into acting. Because I’m an actor. It’s what I am at the end of the day.
T&D: Do you have any interests outside of theatre?
Nicholas: Sure. I mean, I think I’m a man of simple pleasures. I enjoy meaningful conversation and a quality glass of whiskey. I don’t keep up with sports as much as I used to but it’s helpful with my family because all of them have an athletic background.
T&D: Spring Awakening is a very complex play, and Melchior is a very complex role. What have been the challenges of this process? Have you learned anything from it?
Nicholas: Yeah. I think as an actor you’re drawn to more complex roles. Especially myself. I find I relate better to more emotionally and intellectually complex people. I’ve got a mind that kind of goes a thousand miles an hour which you wouldn’t expect from a former jock but it’s a big reason why I wasn’t really that good at baseball or other sports I played. But challenges that came from this show were more stylistic as opposed to content. You know, nudity on stage or violence weren’t really anything that intimidated me, you don’t get opportunities to do much of that in your career, so embrace it while you can I say. I was studying material this summer that was a more contemporary realistic style of focus at school, so to come back to a musical and have to let go to of some of those styles for the betterment of the show was tough. My first idea of Melchior was much different than the one that we found was going to be best for the show.