From the stage of the Buford Fine Arts Center to a nationwide Publix commercial, Nick Clark is making a stab at the big screen with his original short film “M∙T∙H∙D.”
Pronounced “Method,” “M∙T∙H∙D” is a tale Clark wrote about seven actors playing historical figures from the 1960s who find themselves training together in a small, remote wilderness cabin on a current day New Year’s Eve. Clark stars in and directs the thriller comedy.
Originally from Flowery Branch, Nick is the son of Kelly and Jim Clark and big brother to Jillian, who graduated from Buford in 2020. He is a member of Christ the King Church in Braselton.
“Growing up, I always knew exactly what I was going to be when I got older: either a magician, a drummer or a baseball player. Maybe even a magical, drumming baseball player,” said Clark, who also enjoys playing piano.
It was in middle school that he discovered his life’s passion when he joined his school’s acting class.
“It was strictly to impress a girl,” Clark admitted.
But Nick discovered love in an unexpected way; he fell in love with acting. When Nick came to Buford as a ninth grader, he dove right into the theater department and lit up the stage in each performance. As a freshman, he played Baby Bear in “Shrek the Musical”. In his sophomore year, he landed the role of Second Officer Lightoller in “Titanic the Musical.” During his junior year, he was Spyder in “Jekyll and Hyde” and Zacky Price in “Big Fish.” He ended his acting career at Buford playing Britt Craig, the Reporter in “Parade” in the fall and the title character in “Peter Pan” in the spring of his senior year.
While at BHS, Nick was active with the Student Leadership Executive Council, Beta Club, National Honor Society and the school’s Thespian Troupe 2971. During his freshman year, he gave baseball a try, but, after a week of tryouts, discovered baseball wasn’t his game. Nick wanted to focus on the arts and academics and gave it his all. He took eight AP courses and, as a sophomore, advanced to the state science fair. He was part of the state champion One Act teams in 2013 and 2016 and performed onstage with the troupe at the 2016 Georgia High School Musical Theatre “Shuler” Awards.
“While the Thespian troupe was definitely influential, being a member of the Student Leadership Executive Council has directly translated into being a director and producer of a movie,” Clark said.
Clark fondly recalls his AP literature class with Dr. Tim Harris, saying if he could repeat any one high school moment or class, it would be that one.
“It was the closest thing I ever had to an ‘O Captain! My Captain!’ moment,” he said.
“I really loved Mr. Wig — AP stat,” Clark said, referring to Mr. Kent Wiginton. “He cared a great deal for his students, and even got Nick Clark to enjoy math! Also his bowtie game was strong.”
“Peter Pan, senior year,” he said, without hesitation, was his favorite memory from high school.
“I asked the audience, if they believe in fairies, to save Tinker Bell,” he said. “A little girl shouted back ‘I do!’ I ended up giving her my senior rose during bows.”
Nick graduated from Buford in 2017, and, as he toured college campuses, was drawn to the “weirdness,” as he called it, of actors immersing themselves into character. It was through that experience that the idea of writing the script for “M∙T∙H∙D” was born.
For the next few years, Nick would call Florida State University home. He graduated from FSU in 2021 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting and a minor in commercial entrepreneurship and has racked up credits for a SAG card. While at FSU, he played the lead role in several FSU College of Motion Picture Arts screen productions, including “Have a Nice Night,” “Left Unsaid,” “Formalities” and “Love Therapy.” He is currently listed with an agency in California and has played other roles in regional stage productions as well as regional and national commercials for Tallahassee National Bank, Jack’s fast food chain, Zaxby’s and Publix, to name a few.
Along with some friends from FSU and BHS, Nick has just finished wrapping “M∙T∙H∙D,” which was filmed in North Georgia from Jan. 2-8. Clark launched a crowdfunding campaign and raised nearly $17,000 for the project that involves a number of his fellow BHS theater alums, including McKenzie Boyd, Joseph Torres, Justin Mathews, Brayan Sepulveda and Mackenzie Staples.
Clark moved back to Atlanta to work on the film project and splits his time between home and Tallahassee, where he is currently building a car with a friend and editing the film project, set to be released in the winter of 2022 on Vimeo.
Whether the film succeeds or fails isn’t the end goal for Clark, however. Clark’s endgame for the film is to spark self-examination in others.
“We’ve witnessed an uprise of shocking content over the past decade, particularly with the addition of TikTok,” Clark said. “People have literally licked toilet seats … dumped romantic partners for clout. It’s reproachable, but it’s real. Our culture has normalized the most vile extremes one can go to for 15 seconds of fame.”
Clark wants his film to “hold up a mirror” and cause people to think about what things are really important in this life. Success and fame, according to Clark, are not those things. In fact, in his short years, Clark has learned that sometimes failure is to be cherished above success — that it is the far more valuable teacher.
“A big part of being an actor is facing rejection,” Clark said. “Throughout high school, I had a lot to be thankful for, but I also felt like I got my fair share of rejection during auditions. But it taught me resiliency, humility and perseverance.”