In a candid, in-depth piece, journalist Timothy Farrell interviewed Tisch Drama alum Nik Walker '10 on his career, what it was like to play the role of Aaron Burr in Hamilton, and how his time at NYU shaped him into the actor he is today. Below are excerpts. Read the full article here.
* * * * *
“Being in Hamilton demands your full physical, mental, and emotional attention," Walker said. "You know you are in the big leagues being in this show... but this isn’t something that happens often for performers. I got into this business because I love it. My number one rule is ‘don’t ever follow the money.'"
A lifelong love of the theatre led Walker to attend NYU, where he trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Now, many years later, he said it's common for him to call the teachers he met through NYU and thank them.
“I would not be where I am without them,” Walker said. “I learned that theatre is a craft and a business, and they taught me how to work in this business.”
One of his most important mentors was Louis Scheeder, the founder and director of Tisch Drama's Classical Studio, who began teaching at the school in 1989.
“Nik Walker was one of the best students I have encountered at NYU,” Scheeder said. “He was always on time and always prepared, prompt beyond belief."
Walker said when he teaches others, he relays what Scheeder taught him.
"The information was just so valuable,” said Walker, who made sure that attending Scheeder’s retirement celebration was part of his negotiation for his national tour role of Burr. “I told them I will not be at the show that day. I needed to be there for him.”
Additionally, Kent Gash, the founding director of Tisch Drama's New Studio on Broadway, was a main influence.
“They in particular shaped my education,” Walker said. “I will never pretend to be an overnight sensation. It took me 10 years to get this kind of role (Burr) and that is a pretty short time in comparison to many others. I am very proud of the ‘slow and steady to win the race’ concept that I learned at NYU.”