Meet Nick Slimmer: Theatre Conservatory and AIP Alumnus Returns in a Dual Role for "Seussical"

Beth Fhaner
 | Jul 16, 2018
Nick Slimmer

Nick Slimmer

Nick Slimmer has been a familiar face around SCR since 2006, the year he began his official theatre education as a student in the Summer Acting Workshop. A graduate of the Theatre Conservatory and the Acting Intensive Program (AIP), he has appeared onstage at SCR in roles ranging from Peter Pan to A Christmas Carol to Tartuffe and many others. In addition to his work as an ​education assistant in the Theatre Conservatory, Slimmer stars on the small screen as oceanographer “Will” in YouTube’s web series, “Life as a Mermaid.” Slimmer will soon be back onstage at SCR with the Summer Players’ production of Seussical. Learn more about this multi-talented, professional artist in our Q&A.

You played the Cat in the Hat in the 2012 production of Seussical. What were some of your favorite memories regarding that production?
I loved playing the Cat. That was such a fun role and very challenging one as well. You get to create not just one, but multiple characters that influence the story. I think my favorite part was creating different characteristics for all of the Cat’s different “personas.” As well as working with an amazing cast and crew, of course!

What roles will you play in this summer’s Seussical production?
This summer I play two characters, Yertl the Turtle and General Genghis Kahn Schmitz. As we dive deeper into the rehearsal process, I’ve been trying to get a sense of these two characters. In some ways, they are very similar—they are both men, or turtles, in power with a lot of weight on their shoulders. However, their personalities, speech patterns and temperament are quite different. It’s fun to find both of their places in the story and getting to play a crucial role in both Horton and JoJo’s stories.

What have you learned as an actor since the 2012 production?
I think the main difference between 2012 and 2018 is my confidence as an actor. Telling stories honestly and creating real people who tell their story on stage has become very important to me. It’s not that I didn’t strive for that back then; I’ve just gotten more training on how to live in the moment, both here at SCR and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

As an alumus of SCR’s Theatre Conservatory and the AIP program, how did this instruction prepare you for life as a professional actor?
South Coast Repertory prepares you for the “real world” in so many ways. I think the most important is how to act in a professional capacity. Hisa Takakuwa, director, and Erin McNally, ​musical director, are professional artists and expect the same from you. This rings true from everyone at SCR. All of the instructors instill confidence in you while pushing you to become the best artist and person you can be.

You currently star as Will in YouTube’s hit series “Life as a Mermaid.” Tell us about that experience.
I’ve been a part of the “Life as a Mermaid” family for more than three years now and that’s exactly what it is—a family. The series is focused on Madison the Mermaid and her sister, Valerie the Mermaid, trying to navigate through the human world. They make friends, and a little trouble, along the way including my character, Will. Will is an oceanographer with a passion for his work and little else. He doesn’t have much interest in friends or family, but that’s only where he starts his journey—you’ll have to watch to see where he ends up! All in all, it’s been a wonderful experience with a brilliant team; I’ve loved every second of it. (Check out “Life as a Mermaid”)

What are your future plans as an actor? Also, do you teach acting?
My plans are to keep working and keep learning. An actor’s job is never done. I will be teaching this summer in ​SCR's Summer Acting Workshop as an Improvisation guest lecturer. Besides that, I will be continuing to keep looking for and making stories worth telling.

What can audiences expect when they come to see the musical Seussical?
I think something that separates our production from other productions of Seussical you may have seen is the honesty and life we are bringing to this story. It is a fun, vibrant story, but these are still people. They have lessons to teach us. It’s not all about the fun dance numbers and goofy Generals, even though those are important; it’s how these characters live and what they learn.

Any final thoughts about SCR’s Theatre Conservatory and the Players’ productions?
Come see this show! Seriously, you will be so glad you did. This show is so important—especially now. I also want to thank Hisa and Erin for allowing me to be a part of such a special journey. The Summer Players’ program and performance is such a fun experience, and I’m so lucky to be a part of it. Oh, how lucky I am.

Learn more about Seussical and buy tickets.