Q: Where are you from and where are you located now?
A: I am from Elkhart, Ind. and I am currently living in Los Angeles.
Q: What did you study while you were at Ball State?
A: I studied Telecommunications with a focus in video production.
Q: What took you out to California?
A: I moved to California because, after I’d graduated, I felt that If I stayed in Indiana I’d be making commercials and news. I wanted to do neither of those things, so I packed my bags to come out and work in television and movies.
Q: What have you been doing since arriving?
A: When I first arrived, I was incredibly unemployed. Since finding work, I’ve been working in television. I worked on a few small projects and then started on American Ninja Warrior last year. After that, I worked on Hell’s Kitchen for a while. Now, I’m back at Ninja Warrior with a little promotion. Currently, I’m working on American Ninja Warrior as an associate producer. Some friends of mine here, from BSU actually, work on independent stuff on the side. I’m also in the early stages of putting some music together, which has been a lot of fun.
Q: How were your experiences working with American Ninja Warrior and Hell’s Kitchen?
A: The experiences working with American Ninja Warrior and Hell’s Kitchen have been positive. I really enjoy most of the work I do, but every so often work is work.
Q: What generated your interest in the filming industry?
A: I’ve always been interested in movies. For as long as I can remember, they’ve been my favorite thing. I think a lot of that goes back to my Dad. He’s a movie buff and I guess I’m carrying on the torch.
Q: How is it being that far away from your family and Indiana?
A: Being this far away from family and friends is the hardest part of living here. It’s not the cost of living. It’s not learning a new city. It’s being away from almost everyone I know. Nothing stops when you leave. Nothing goes on pause. I’ve missed birthdays, holidays, celebrations, emergencies, and all in between. That’s hard for me. And sometimes I feel a bit selfish that I left, but I’d rather be here working hard by myself than back there and miserable the rest of my life.
Q: Your run a blog, Amateur Analyst, that focuses on critically reviewing movies. What got you started on that and what are your goals with it?
A: I started that blog, honestly, because I was super unemployed and needed something to do. It ended up getting a little traction there for a second, but I’ve had a hard time keeping up with it since getting work. It used to be that my goals with it were to get noticed and possibly picked up with some other publication, and for a while I was working hard to achieve that. Now, it’s more of a time to time hobby. If someone were to offer me money to write, I still would, but it’s more on the back burner now.
Q: What was your favorite movie to review?
A: I really enjoyed writing about American Sniper because I hated that movie and enjoyed stirring the pot of conversation. I also really enjoyed writing about Nebraska Having just moved to Los Angeles when I saw it, it made me nostalgic for home and it was rather cathartic writing about the Midwest.
You can read Nick’s review of American Sniper here.
Q: What are your long-term goals?
A: My long-term goals are to work in the film industry. I haven’t made it there yet, but when I do, I don’t care at what position I start, there will be no looking back. I’d love to produce movies, but I’m open to a lot of different roles.
Q: What inspired you to join Phi Delt?
A: Joining Phi Delt was a strange experience initially. Like most guys in the chapter at the time, I’d never wanted to join a Fraternity. I had very, very negative ideas about what that meant. I remember the moment I wanted to join though. Back then, recruitment events were more disguised as “hang-outs.” I was at a house on Jackson and I was talking to Edsel (Bond 702). He was wearing a Minor Threat shirt and we talked about Comic-Con for about two solid hours. I thought, “This is a Fraternity?” Hanging out with the dudes, I saw that it wasn’t about the “Frat culture” you see in various media or even around BSU’s campus. It was about brothers. That was something, and still is something, I can get behind.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your experience in PDT.
A: My experience with PDT was great. I was a weird kid. I’m still kind of weird. But I always felt like I fit in with INK. The stereotypical “go to college and sleep with a lot of women and party like a madman” mentality left my mind fast and I wanted to concentrate on building friendships. And I built some of the strongest in my life. Don’t get me wrong, partying like a madman still happened, but I was with people that genuinely cared for me and I for them. Being in Phi Delt was my favorite part of being at BSU.
Q: Who were your role models in Indiana Kappa and why?
A: That’s kind of a big question. I looked up to a large number of the guys, but I think RT was my biggest role model. I always knew that if he was for something, it was probably a good idea. He’s a fun guy with a great head on his shoulders. Also, I’m a pretty uptight kind of guy and I never got that impression from him. Calm, collected, patient. Those are things I wanted to learn and I think he played a big part in that.
Q: Tell me about Game-a-Thon and why you brought it to Phi Delta Theta?
A: Game-a-Thon was something I started my Freshman year at BSU. My roommate and best friend, Andrew, help me set it up with the gaming club on campus. We went to one of their meetings and pitched the idea and they were stoked about it. And it ended up going very well with something like $800 coming in just from the club itself. Then I pitched the idea to PDT when I was pledging. I remember specifically Harky saying, “That’s f**ing impressive.” I knew that if I brought it to PDT, it would grow instead of dying when I graduated. The first year doing it with Phi Delt, we only brought it something like $300. I was kind of frustrated by that actually, but I learned a lot and it started to build more and more each year after that. Now, I see it still going on and I’m proud of the guys coordinating it. Guys, make it bigger. Make it better. Get more people involved. Those were the things I struggled with, but with hard work, you guys have the ability to make it grow.
Q: What are your thoughts on how the philanthropy event has done over the last six years?
A: I’m so stoked to see Game-a-Thon still running,and I’m proud of the men that take care of it now because it seems to be in good hands. And at some point, I’ll come visit for it. I was on the stream on Twitch.tv this year and I was so happy to see almost no one I knew there. Except Kobitz. He’s never leaving. But to see an ocean of people that I’d never met and some I might never meet was a strange and proud moment for me. It’s still living and I’m so proud of the men working it.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to undergraduate members, particularly those studying telecommunications?
A: Undergrads, work hard, man. Work hard. Immerse yourself in your projects. I slacked off a lot, and I’m paying for that now in the workforce. Work hard on your projects and assignments and build that work ethic, determination and diligence that you’ll need when you graduate.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to current undergraduate members of Phi Delta Theta?
A: I was told that PDT is what you put into it, and that is so true. If you want a rewarding experience with the chapter, put a lot into the chapter. Sometimes you might feel like you’re spreading yourself thin. But that’s okay. Years later, you’ll look back and think, “Yeah, that was good.”
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
A: Just do things. You want to move away? Do it. You want that dream job? Get it. Decide what to be and go be it. Half-ass nothing. Whole-ass everything.