By Alyssa Freyman
For the Forsyth County News
Nick Eibler has made it big on Broadway.
Years of dance classes, voice lessons and taking part in musicals at West Forsyth High School have finally paid off. Eibler joined the ensemble cast of “The Prom,” which is playing in New York City until Aug. 11.
Eibler started his interest in theater as a child. VHS tapes of Disney movies and Rodgers and Hammerstein movie musicals inspired him to follow his passion. He says he loved to put on shows for his parents and reenact some of his favorite scenes from “Wicked.”
“I think it was always in me, but all of that just fueled my desire,” Eibler said.
His love of acting only grew, leading him to audition for shows like Mary Poppins as a child.
Ironically, he says he didn’t realize he had made it in the theater world until he was turned down for a role in Mary Poppins.
“My voice teacher at the time called me and told me, ‘It’s OK to cry, but if you’re going to wallow too much and act like you aren’t good enough then this business isn’t for you,’” Eibler said. “Weirdly enough, I think that is when I thought I made it. I was already playing with the big boys, and I was only in fifth-grade. I didn’t get it, but I had to realize that I wasn’t always going to get everything. I had to be OK with that and move on.”
His gift for theater showed as he got older, eventually getting him the Georgia High School Musical Theatre award for best actor in high school.
Eibler studied at Texas State University for four years under the guidance of director Kaitlin Hopkins, who became one of his biggest mentors. There, he was taught about wellness, the business side of acting and how to survive in the real world as an actor.
Eibler’s first professional debut was “Twist: An American Musical,” which was performed in Alliance Theater in Atlanta and the Pasadena Playhouse. His favorite show, however, was Cabaret, where he got to play the role of Emcee.
“The director completely re-envisioned the show and highlighted a lot more of the queer culture that was prevalent in Berlin pre-WWII,” said Eibler. “Our version of the Emcee was very androgynous and a glamorous showman/woman, so to speak. I truly stepped into that world and the Emcee’s heels every night and lost myself onstage.”
While acting is what he does most of the time, Eibler also enjoys directing and producing. He has directed numerous shows, including the first annual Broadway Backwards Cabaret at Texas State University.
“I love directing a show: having a vision, helping the actors create the characters and stepping out and letting everyone else do the job,” said Eibler. “I love the big picture mindset of it. I also love producing because I love having a vision for something and basically making it happen. Though both are wonderful, there is just something about acting — losing myself in a character, having that experience, telling a story — that they don’t compare to.”
Eibler’s time in New York City has been nothing but eventful. He loves being immersed in the theater hub of the world, and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Eibler says it’s been a struggle, since the show had already started before he was cast, but with hard work, he’s been able to learn all of the dancing and have fun with it.
He said that he hopes that others who are wanting to pursue theater do so. While he knows it may be a struggle sometimes, the reward is bigger than the heartache, Eibler said.
“If you want to perform, do it,” said Eibler. “There
are so many people who will tell you that if you like something else just as
much then do that because there will probably less heartache and more
stability. While some of that may be true, I have to disagree. If you love this
so much, then do it.”