CLASS OF 2020: Featuring Carter Nicklaus. Creative! Committed! Courageous!

Student Interviews on the Impact of the Arts

The Burbank Arts for All Foundation is proud to highlight students in the CLASS OF 2020 who have been part of the robust arts community in Burbank Unified School District classrooms. We hope you enjoy reading about their experiences and getting to know them as we celebrate an important milestone in their lives: high school graduation.

Today, we present to you Carter Nicklaus, who studied music in elementary school and theater at Burbank High School. Carter will be attending California State University, Northridge, this fall, where he will be studying film production through the school’s Cinema and Television Arts program. Congratulations Carter!

Learn from mistakes, do projects because you enjoy them more than whatever incentive you think you will get, and don’t get discouraged if things don’t turn out perfect.

Carter Nicklaus pictured above. Photo courtesy of Carter Nicklaus.

My name is Carter Nicklaus and I am 18 years old. I have worked in theater, photography, creative writing, and prop-making.

What was your first experience with the arts while in the Burbank Unified Schools? I have pretty much grown up with art. Both my parents and brother are artists, and art has always been part of my life. I remember learning music in elementary school with my teacher Mr. Hollis at Jefferson Elementary School, as well as working with clay and kilns around that same time.

What art experience in the schools are you most proud of and how did it impact you? The work I am most proud of artistically so far was the work I did as part of the Burbank High Drama program. I was a puppeteer in Little Shop of Horrors and a sketch writer for Kids on Stage. I also had different acting roles in many high school plays, including that of John Proctor in The Crucible. It was a fun couple of years.

What advice do you have for younger students interested in doing something like what you do? My advice to younger students is the advice I would give anyone – just go for it. I lived for years with fear and stage fright; anxiety toward putting myself out there did nothing for me. I didn’t really realize this until high school, but no one cares that much if you mess up, so just have fun for yourself. Learn from mistakes, do projects because you enjoy them more than whatever incentive you think you will get, and don’t get discouraged if things don’t turn out perfect.

Please share your plans for your future after graduation. Are you going on to college? If so, where and what do you hope to study? After high school, I will be attending California State University, Northridge, studying film production through the school’s Cinema and Television Arts program. I also have at least one unannounced project that I am excited to talk about when it is closer to being finalized. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you expect the arts to continue to play a role in your life and if so, how? I am not sure where I will be in five years, but I know I will be doing art. I write nearly every day. I build things in my backyard out of apparent junk. I paint and I play music. I love to entertain people and tell stories, so I hope to be doing that for a living eventually. My dream would be to write screenplays for features or television, but anything that I can put my skills towards and that is worthwhile would be great.

Carter loves photography; pictured above is one of his many photographs.

You can view the rest of Carter’s work HERE.

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