Nick Francone on Wicked as his lucky start, answering the phone, and reading like a storyteller. Nick is a scenic designer for theatre and an art director for television and film. This husband and dad of twins takes us on a brisk run-through of his career with insights from his 15 years as an assistant designer on Wicked to his more recent work as a production designer for New Years Eve with Carson Daly in 2019 and 2020. Fathers in June final episode.
To assist everyone who works in performing arts and entertainment across the country, The Actors Fund is collaborating with the community to help navigate these challenging times.
- 2:17: Waiting on Reparations podcast
- 5:10: Where are you calling from?
- 5:40: What have been some highlights of your design career?
- 8:28: How did you get the WICKED gig right out of grad school?
- 10:49: Is your career freelance? What’s the role of the union in your work?
- 14:08: How would you compare your life now with what you grew up with?
- 17:50: How did your parents feel about you going into theatre?
- 23:15: Did you have a back-up plan?
- 25:06: What’s the biggest risk you’ve had to take?
- 27:20: Have you gotten any big rewards that would surprise your younger self?
- 28:10: How has your transition been going into art direction for TV/Film from theatre design?
- 33:10: What are some aspects of your job that a student considering scenic design wouldn’t know about?
- 36:06: What was your role in designing the Pope’s visit to the Yankee Stadium?
- 37:25: You wrote a book! How did you get inspired to do that?
- 39:30: Has being a dad changed your approach to your career?
- 42:12: Do you consider yourself bi-coastal?
- 44:48: Have you “made it”?
- 50:45: What’s your typical workday schedule designing for Apple TV?
- 52:00: Was there anyone you saw in your early days that inspired you? See it to be it.
- 54:08: Do you have any recommendations for listeners?
- 59:38: Is there any way listeners can connect with you?
“To my surprise, I’ve done an awful lot of new, strange work.”
“I worked on Wicked for 14-15 years. It just kept going.”
“I have a lot of goals in life that aren’t just entertainment-business related.”
“If I wasn’t in entertainment…I don’t think I would be in something not involved with risk. It’s not in me to do less.”
“People ask ‘how do you decide what to do?’ and I say, ‘I answer the phone…I see who’s calling me and make my decisions on that.’”
“Entertainment is a juggernaut–every single show needs people to contribute to the art.”
“My career is all about work–meeting people, doing the best I can, being the kind of person people can rely on to do top-quality work.”
“I recommend reading…people don’t do it a lot, but I think you should.”
“Most of the jobs I get these days as a designer–I get them because I’m a storyteller. And the way I became a storyteller was by reading a million stories.”
“Find out how something’s made, then watch it…study it, then enjoy it–especially if you’re a designer.”
“If you’re doing it and you don’t like it, stop doing it.”
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DYBP theme song, “Ditch” © 2020 by Dean Keith