When it comes to performing arts at Penn, Nick Hunsicker, who uses they/them/theirs pronouns, has done it all. A night owl and falafel truck regular, Nick practically lives in the Platt Performing Arts Center when they're not serving as an RA in the Quad. The busy senior sat down with Street to discuss where they've been and where they're going next.
Name: Nick Hunsicker
Hometown: Douglassville, PA
Activities: Glee Club, Penn Singers Light Opera Company, Osiris Senior Society, Vagina Monologues
34th Street Magazine: So, what have you been up to lately?
Nick Hunsicker: A few things: I’m in tech week right now for the NSO Show. It’s called Tick Tick Boom, it’s with Front Row Theater Company, and I’m music directing that with my best friend. That goes up this weekend, everyone should come see it! And then I’m also gearing up to start music directing the Penn Singers show this semester. Those are my biggest commitments. I’m also choreographing the opener for Glee Club and Penn Dance.
Street: Take me back to Freshman Year Nick. Why did you decide to join the performing arts community?
NH: I did Penn Arts, which is a pre–orientation program. It was a really, really, formative experience for me. I met a lot of seniors and juniors when I was an incoming freshman, who really mentored me and guided me through what sort of performing arts I wanted to be involved in. That’s sort of how I landed on Glee Club, which was really foundational for me. That’s how I found what I wanted to do here, and what kind of performance I wanted to do. I started in Glee Club as a piano accompanist and then sort of gradually moved more and more towards music direction and things like that.
Street: Do you have a preference between performing and producing?
NH: I definitely prefer music directing, specifically conducting shows. I love the rehearsal process that goes along with it, but to me there’s no other feeling like conducting a show in front of a live audience. That’s my favorite thing.
Street: You were an RA in the Quad last year. What was that like?
NH: It was honestly really fulfilling in terms of helping new students, I really did enjoy that experience, and I loved working with my staff. It was just really difficult to balance being an RA and all the responsibilities that come with it and then doing what I’m doing in performing arts.
Street: Speaking of what you are doing in performing arts, tell me about your senior society.
NH: Yeah, sure! Osiris is a lit senior society. I think right now we have around 30 members, just random seniors throughout the performing arts that have demonstrated a capacity for leadership. We try to make sure a bunch of different groups from all over are represented, so not only just PAC (Performing Arts Council) but even groups outside of it. We do philanthropy events like Collabs for Charity, where we do a collaboration between Osiris members and donate the funds raised to an organization. We also do a showcase in the spring that showcases all of our senior members one last time before the year ends.
Street: What’s a typical day in the life for you?
NH: I don’t like to wake up too early...ever. So I always wake up around 10 or 11 a.m. with just enough time to get to my first class. This year I only have class on Mondays and Wednesdays, which is very exciting. So I go to class, then straight to work at Platt House, and somewhere in between I’ll usually grab lunch at the falafel truck. Then I’ll leave Platt House, grab dinner, and come back to Platt house for rehearsal, usually every day from 7 to11 p.m. Honestly, I live at Platt House. It’s ridiculous how much I’m here. There’s like a Penn Dance/Glee Club GroupMe with like 70 people, and multiple times people have messaged, like, “@NickHuntsger are you at Platt House? I left __ at Platt House.” And I’m just like, “Yep, I’m here!”
Street: Any future plans after Penn?
NH: I definitely want to do a gap year. I just want to spend a lot of time traveling. I’m thinking of possibly doing the Wildlife Conservation Society for a little while with my friend, but that’s up in the air. In the general future, I’m sort of deciding between going for a PhD program and into academia, and then going into the theatrical arts. I have no preference between producing, musical development, directing, conducting...I would just love, in any artistic capacity, to be involved in that.
What was your Common App Essay About?
Me sitting on the northwest corner of my kitchen table.
There are two types of people at Penn…
Competitors and leaders.
#1 Item on your Penn Bucket List?
Never been to any sort of Greek Life event, maybe that? Hopefully a sorority, not a fraternity.
What’s your guilty pleasure song?
"Boys" by Charli XCX. (Ed. note: That's not guilty!)
Give your freshman self one piece of advice:
I’d say take it one day at a time, and it’ll all happen.