Actor; Author/Writer; Filmmaker; Playwright; Producer; Teacher/Instructor
Nicholas Thurkettle is a writer, actor, and filmmaker, working independently in Los Angeles and Orange County with the continuing goal of bringing good work to audiences anywhere he can find them.
Thurkettle graduated from Bradley University with degrees in Theatre and Music and a Global Scholar option from a semester of study at Hull University in the U.K. At BU he served as chapter president of honorary theatrical fraternity Alpha Psi Omega. His one-act play “Between 3 and 4” won awards from BU’s Creative Expo and the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. KC/ACTF also twice awarded Thurkettle prizes for theatrical criticism. He honed those skills writing hundreds of arts/entertainment features for school newspaper The Bradley Scout and city paper The Peoria Journal Star. He earned a fellowship from the National Critics Institute to attend the National Playwrights’ Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Connecticut.
He started his film career as a script reader and then story executive for film producer J. Todd Harris (The Kids Are All Right) focusing on the creative development of such films as Dimension Films’ Piranha 3-D, 29 Palms, Devil’s Pond, and Burial Society. When independent financier/producer Room 9 Entertainment (Thank You For Smoking) purchased his comedy screenplay Queen Lara, it led to the end of his executive career as he focused on his creative ambitions full-time. Since then he has optioned screenplays to producers, developed them in collaboration with filmmakers, and written the script for the Crunchyroll anime pilot Children of Ether, which premiered on over 300 movie screens as part of Anime Movie Night in summer 2017.
He has three published books and also written audio dramas, stage plays, prose stories, and magazine articles. He is the organizer and host for the Long Beach chapter of DimeStories, an open mic event devoted to 3-minute prose stories, fiction or non-fiction; and also co-produces and co-hosts the DimeStories Podcast, which features recorded stories from DimeStories events throughout the U.S.
As an actor, he moves between stage, film, and voice-over work. Favorite stage roles include Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Valentine in Arcadia, and Renfield in Dracula. From 2012 to 2016 he performed with the heralded outdoor festival Shakespeare Orange County, and in 2014 was named an Artistic Associate with the company, serving as Casting Director for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He has appeared in multiple independent feature films as well as shorts and web series, and in 2016 he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature at the Love International Film Festival for his role in Reclaiming Friendship Park.
His voice work includes video games, commercials, audiobooks, foreign film dubbing, and the award-winning sci-fi/fantasy/horror anthology audio drama podcast Earbud Theater, for which he is also a writer, producer, and director. In 2015 he received an Audio Verse Award for Best Actor in an Original, Long-form, Standalone Production for his role as “Cthulhu, Jr.” in the Earbud episode This Monstrous Life. He is also the principal narrator for the Brick Moon Fiction Podcast, showcasing new short stories from up-and-coming sci-fi and horror authors.
In 2015 he made the short film “Samantha Gets Back Out There”, serving as art director, editor, writer, and producer. The film premiered at the Laughlin International Film Festival, and won an “Honorable Mention” as well as being named a Finalist in the Comedy category at the IndieFest USA Film and Music Festival. He followed that up in 2016 with “The Retriever”. It premiered at the Gallup Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best Comedy Short and Best Male Performance in a Short; and continued on to festivals including the North Hollywood Cinefest (Nominee – Best Actor in a Short), the Phoenix Film Festival, and the Durango Independent Film Festival. His 2017 short film “The Dinner Scene” will world premiere in November at the Alameda International Film Festival, continue to the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival, and is under consideration for festivals throughout 2018. He is an Associate Programmer – Short Films for the 2018 Newport Beach Film Festival.
Thurkettle guest lectures on storytelling and screenwriting for Columbia College of Chicago’s “Semester in LA” program, the Mt. San Antonio College Theatre Department, and his alma mater, Bradley University; he has spoken on panels at the Phoenix Film Festival, Creative Screenwriting Expo, and the Willamette Writers Conference, and judged for both UCLA’s MFA Screenwriting Competition and the Nicholl Fellowship.
He is a regular volunteer for the Second Harvest Food Bank and Laura’s House, and a proud member of the Writers Guild of America and the Orange County Playwrights Alliance.