By RAVINA PATEL
The October artist of the month is Ryan Nicholson (Sr.). As president of the school’s choir program and a member of Madrigals, Footnotes, theater and ceramics, Nicholson is heavily involved in the arts at University High School (UHS). When asked how his involvement in the arts has affected his high school experience, Nicholson said, “It’s given me the creative outlet I need. You can’t survive the day without a little relaxation time, and that can be whatever you want. Some people do sports, journalism and all of that stuff. I like the arts!”
Nicholson adds that his passion for the arts originates from his love for creating, especially when it comes to creating feelings. His goal in performing is to effectively communicate his feelings with the audience.
Mr. Justin Olvey (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.), who nominated Nicholson, describes him as a role model for other students who want to participate in the school musical and choir. “Ryan is the epitome of the often overlooked, egoless, talented performer. We all know about the divas and the annoying performers who flaunt their abilities. Ryan quietly puts his head down, gets to work, and gets the job done. He’s never satisfied with good enough and that attitude is infectious.”
Ms. Ranae Bettger (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.) calls Nicholson a well-rounded artist, capable of singing, acting, and throwing (using a potter’s wheel to shape clay). “His sense of curiosity and bravery sets him apart from his peers. He is willing to take risks on stage, exploring and discovering the texts he tackles. Ryan makes unique, insightful and creative choices evidencing his ability to have a voice as an artist.” As a member of theater, Nicholson has performed as Little Jake Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun, Mr. Egeus and part of the ensemble in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pinocchio in Shrek! The Musical. He will play Mr. Bach in the upcoming fall play Stardust and intends to be part of the musical later this year.
Nicholson plans on pursuing his passion for the arts in college as a vocal performance major and as a professional. When asked what advice he would give to other students interested in participating in arts programs, Nicholson said, “Just follow it. The arts are 100% practice. Never give up because you did something wrong, or it didn’t work out exactly like how you wanted it to.”