Actor, Producer, Comedian
Nic Novicki took a circuitous path to Hollywood.
The New Haven, Conn., native was booking standup comedy shows within a week of his 2001 arrival to Temple University. While pursuing degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship at the Fox School of Business, Novicki also studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Eventually, his interests in consulting and viral marketing steered him toward a career in entertainment. Within two weeks of earning his Fox undergraduate degrees, he had appeared on HBO’s hit drama, The Sopranos. He’s also appeared in Boardwalk Empire and Private Practice.
An actor, producer, comedian, and filmmaker, Novicki, a little person who’s worked on more than 100 TV and film projects, launched the Disability Film Challenge in 2014. He markets it as “a 48-hour film race,” with all entries featuring at least one disabled actor, director, writer, or producer. Submissions tripled in the competition’s second year, with entrants vying for mentorships with famous filmmakers and production equipment.
“When you have a disability and you’re trying to be a filmmaker or an actor, it’s not so much about getting the job. It’s about getting an opportunity,” said Novicki. “One in four Americans has a form of disability, but less than 1 percent of TV and film characters are portrayed by disabled people, which means few even get auditions. The Challenge allows people with a disability to hold the fate of their careers in their own hands.”
Here’s a glimpse into a day in the life of Nic Novicki:
Nic Novicki is flanked by writer/director Kevin Jordan (left) and writer/ producer Steven Martini (right), in Novicki’s office at Cross Roads of the World. The trio is collaborating on the development of a movie.
Thursday, Aug. 13
8:30 a.m. Head to my office at Crossroads of the World, in Hollywood.
9 a.m. Conduct a developmental meeting with my writing and producing partners Kevin Jordan, a veteran film director who worked with legendary producer Martin Scorsese on 2005’s Brooklyn Lobster, and Steven Martini, a TV and film writer whose work has made it to the Sundance and Toronto film festivals. The three of us are developing a movie that we hope will shoot in Sri Lanka in 2016.
11 a.m. Apply our edits to the story, with Kevin and Steven, before presenting the finished product to our financier. We also present our business and marketing plans, and some of the visuals behind our project.
12 p.m. Made a call to my lawyer to go over an agreement to shop a television show that had only recently been presented to me. Together, we address a handful of points we’d want to make before my partners on the deal were ready to sign off.
1 p.m. Quick lunch.
1:30 p.m. Begin coordinating with sign-language interpreters that I’d need to have in place for the opening night of the HollyShorts Film Festival, to take place later that night at the famous TCL Chinese Theater. Dickie Hearts, the winner of the “Best Filmmaker” award in my Disability Film Challenge, is hearing impaired. The winners of the “Best Film” and “Best Actor” awards in the Disability Challenge were also shown.
2:30 p.m. Head to the offices of the Producers Guild of America, for my final mentoring session with the Producers Guild Diversity Workshop. I served among many program mentors.
4 p.m. Return to the HollyShorts Film Festival for opening night.
8 p.m. Attend a HollyShorts opening-night after party at Hollywood’s Ohm Nightclub.
10 p.m. Make my way to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, which routinely hosts the industry’s best comedic acts, for a special occasion. On this night, the UCB Theater put on a show to celebrate its 10-year anniversary in Los Angeles. While there, I hung out with comedians Brian Swinehart and Terence Leclere before going on stage for my set.