Lights, Camera, Action!: Nicky Redd on his Musical Theater Career


Photo courtesy of Denise Thomas.

As a freshman, the journey to high school is nothing less than intimidating. However, for ASB freshman class president Nicky Redd, high school is more than homework assignments and school assemblies. Not only is Redd a well-known and friendly classmate around campus—he also happens to be a thespian with a wide background in Musical Theater. This year, he landed a lead role in Classical Academy’s production of “All Shook Up” and is very excited for the experience.

“It’s fun to be a lead role, and it’s really cool … being a freshman, because I know I am really young,” Redd said. “It is cool being with all the 18-year-olds and the people who have been here for such a long time and getting to work with them.”

Having participated in 18 shows in his lifetime and this being his sixth year of theater, Redd is no stranger to the stage. “I have been doing CYT [Christian Youth Theater] all my life, so coming to another theater group is kind of weird,” Redd said, since “All Shook Up” is his first CAHS performance. “Everyone is super welcoming and super nice; I learn a lot because everyone has also been doing it for such a long time.”

Although the overall experience is rewarding, musical theater is not all fun and games. When it comes to preparing for shows, a lot of work and dedications go into making high-quality productions. As an actor, Redd puts a lot of effort and time into becoming a character for the show he is currently working on.

Photo courtesy of Emma Filley.

“I have to study [my lines] and make sure I understand them, and then I have to re-run them over and over again. And then when I remember my lines and I know that I can do it without thinking about the lines, that’s when I start thinking about acting and I put some emotion into it.”

In addition to the difficult task of memorizing lines, there is also the nervousness and stress that comes along with auditions. Before every audition Redd has a certain routine to help him prepare, “First I pray that [the audition] actually goes [well], but I also have to save my voice, and I don’t drink dairy. It’s kinda weird but it helps. I just drink tea.”

“It is hard because you have school and you have lots of homework and, since I am also on ASB, I have to go to all of the events, so it’s just kind of hard to balance everything,” Redd said.
Even though he is a freshman, Redd was called back for two different Broadway shows: “Matilda” and “The Christmas Story.” Although he did not receive the role he hoped for, Redd is optimistic and thankful to be given the opportunity in the first place. “I think my life would have been totally different if I made it to Broadway, but I am definitely glad about where my life is right now because I like where I am right now, and I like being at Classical.”