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Spotlight on Arkansas performer Brandon Nichols

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As reported here, an elite group of young performers from the Central Arkansas Performing Arts Academy (CAPAA) in Cabot will entertain at the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios in Florida during spring break.

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This article is the first of a series that will spotlight each of the performers in the group, which is known as the CAPAA Players.

Fittingly, the first profile is of Brandon Nichols, 22, of Cabot, who serves as the artistic director of CAPAA and who has directed most of the stage productions there since its formation about three years ago.

Brandon is a 2010 graduate of Parkview Arts/Science Magnet School in Little Rock.

Q: How did you get interested in performing arts?

A: When I was six years old my grandmother took me to see a show at the Children's Theatre [at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock]. Ever since then, I wanted to be on stage doing what I saw the others doing.

Q: What was your first role?

A: Andre in How To Do Homework Without Throwing Up.

Q: What other roles have you played?

A: Ryan Evans (High School Musical), Anthony (Sweeney Todd), Corny Collins (Hairspray), Angel (Rent), Joseph (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), and the list goes on.

Q: What role(s) do you hope to someday play?

A: Mark (Rent), Gabe (Next to Normal), and Carmen Ghia (The Producers).

Q: If you had to choose one--acting, singing, or dancing--which would it be and why?

A: That is hard to really answer. I want to perform in musical theater as a profession. So all three go hand-in-hand with one another.

Q: What (Who) is your favorite . . .

. . . Broadway musical?

A: Rent

. . . actress?

Idina Menzel

. . . song?

"Take Me or Leave Me" [from Rent]

. . . singer?

Idina Menzel

. . . movie musical?

Rent

Q: What is the best thing about performing arts?

A: I love getting to meet new people. You eventually become a family.

Q: What is the single best memory you have related to performing arts?

A: Working on Rent. It is one thing to be in a show and become close to one another, but performing in Rent, a musical about acceptance and friendship, really brings a group together.

Q: What advice do you have for those interested in performing arts?

A: Never let anyone or anything get you down. The way to succeed is to continue trying your best. In the long run, you will always come out a winner.

Q: Can you sum up your life with one Broadway song title?

A: As of now, I am pretty pleased where I am. I'm teaching what I love and spreading my knowledge. I would eventually like to branch out again and move back up north to pursue my dream and passion. [The song?] "No Day But Today" [from Rent].

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