Review: An Evening with Nik Walker


Sabrina Zhou

A panel of performing arts teachers sat with Nik Walker, as he explained his life as an actor. Sabrina Zhou/Sagamore Staff

The excited chatter of Hamilton fans could be heard throughout the auditorium. People of all ages, both families and individual students, anxiously waited for the anticipated alumni to speak. The overwhelming response to the event was evident, as the tickets sold within hours and the auditorium consisted of many people.

On Mon. June 12, the high school hosted an evening with a high school alumni, Nik Walker, who is now a member of the broadway show Hamilton. Walker was invited to provide some insight on his career and what foundations he had in Brookline, in terms of performing arts, music, and theater programs.

K-12 Performing Arts Coordinator Kenny Kozol began the event by introducing Walker, while praising the performing arts programs in the district for providing students the opportunity to explore music and theater.

Walker answered questions from performing arts teachers, Summer Williams, Mary Mastandrea, and Mark VanDerzee; and members from the enthusiastic audience. Walker attributed his entry into the performing arts to a supportive family and a safe environment for artists in Brookline.

Walker spent some time acting in regional productions before moving on to Broadway. He felt that most regional shows provide the best of both worlds; acting in a big show without the pressure of being on Broadway. He learned to hone in on his skills in a safe space, which he believed to be an important part of developing as a performer.

Walker then spoke about what it was like to be an actor on Broadway. He explained how the life of an actor is when performing a play is like going on vacation. The harder part is auditioning and finding roles. According to Walker, the most important thing in every production is to always be open to criticism and improving because every performance should be considered as another rehearsal.

“Why put yourself in a mindset where you think you’re going to get it perfect because you won’t,” Walker said.

The audience learned that he did his first show at the high school as a freshman. For Walker, it was hard being surrounded by a class that mostly consisted of upperclassmen, but he found it beneficial to adapt to new environments. He obtained many things from the class, ranging from a “let’s go” mindset from his peers to trusting his teacher’s decisions and doing his work whole-heartedly.

“That [theater] was what gave me joy, that was what gave me purpose,” Walker said.