This month’s Promising Playwright is Nikolas Baker! Nikolas is a rising junior at Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC) and has been a proud and enthusiastic member of Young Playwrights’ Workshop for two years now. We picked his brain about writing, YPW and more!
As part of Young Playwrights’ Workshop, Nikolas has become a valued member of the group, contributing clever writing ideas, a fun spirit and positive energy. As a lover and doer of comedy, his favorite project as part of the Young Playwrights’ Workshop so far is "The Diddies," a project wrought from a sketch comedy workshop session held by teaching artist Rebecca Ballinger. “I’m a big fan of comedy and writing comedy,” says Nikolas. “I make myself laugh a lot more than I probably should.”
Nikolas’ creativity comes from many different places, but mostly from himself. “I sometimes pull things from things I’ve seen from other media, like TV shows and what not, and then I pull things from my life and combine them together.” For Nikolas, though, coming up with the idea is the hardest part of the writing process. It always depends on his mood. Sometimes he can think of ideas when he’s emotional, other times when he’s feeling good. “It’s like trying to get to Texas from DC on foot. It’s hard; you probably don’t want to do it, and it’s probably going to be hot because it’s summer.”
But the best part of writing for Nikolas is being able to put oneself into the story in creative ways. “You have multiple ways of conveying yourself,” he explains. “You can write a biography about yourself, or you can write yourself into a story. In the story I’m writing now, I’m putting myself into a bunch of characters without even trying to.”
Nikolas writes with the Workshop and on his own time too. But a lot of his joy from writing comes from being produced as part of Young Playwrights’ Workshop. “I like when people see my work out there. It makes me feel good.”
In addition to writing, Nikolas enjoys tinkering with electronics and has been known to modify computers and telephones for fun. In school, his favorite subject is English because it gives him another opportunity to write. Someday, he wants to publish a graphic novel or comic, combining his gift for words with a genre he loves.
Nikolas plans to take part in the Workshop next year and can’t wait. For him, Young Playwrights’ Workshop is the place to be. “It’s fun! Everything about it is fun. The people are fun, the activities are fun, and it’s just a fun place to be.”
If he could offer any advice for future writers, or for those interested in Young Playwrights’ Workshop, he says to never miss an opportunity for an idea. “If you have the idea, write it down. Don’t let the opportunity pass by.”