Nicholas Thurkettle is a writer, actor, and filmmaker, working independently in Los Angeles and Orange County with the continuing goal of bringing good work to audiences anywhere he can find them.
Thurkettle graduated from Bradley University with degrees in Theatre and Music and a Global Scholar option from a semester of study at Hull University in the U.K. At BU he served as chapter president of honorary theatrical fraternity Alpha Psi Omega. His one-act play Between 3 and 4 won awards from BU’s Creative Expo and the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. KC/ACTF also twice awarded Thurkettle prizes for theatrical criticism. He honed those skills writing hundreds of arts/entertainment features for school newspaper The Bradley Scout and city paper The Peoria Journal Star. The ACTF awards earned him a fellowship from the National Critics Institute to attend the National Playwrights’ Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Connecticut.
Thurkettle got his foot in the Hollywood door through a script-reading internship for film producer J. Todd Harris (The Kids Are All Right) at the 20th Century Fox-based production company Davis Entertainment Classics. He rose to the position of Director of Development, focusing on the creative development of such films as 29 Palms, Devil’s Pond, and Burial Society. He then followed Harris to IPW Productions to serve as Director of Development and head of the story internship program, where he developed projects based on IPW’s catalog of re-make and adaptation rights, one of which became Dimension Films’ Piranha 3-D. When independent financier/producer Room 9 Entertainment (Thank You For Smoking) purchased his comedy screenplay Queen Lara, it led to the end of his executive career as he focused on his creative ambitions full-time.
Beyond screenwriting, his writing appears in many venues – including three published books, audio dramas, stage plays produced all over America, prose stories, magazine articles, and his blog.
As an actor, he moves between stage, film, and voice-over work. Favorite stage roles include Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Valentine in Arcadia, and Renfield in Dracula. Since 2012 he has performed every summer with the heralded outdoor festival Shakespeare Orange County, and in 2014 was named an Artistic Associate with the company. He served as Casting Director for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. On film he has appeared in multiple independent feature films as well as shorts and web series – in 2016 he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature at the Love International Film Festival for his role in Reclaiming Friendship Park.
His voice work includes video games, commercials, audiobooks, foreign film dubbing, and the award-winning sci-fi/fantasy/horror anthology audio drama podcast Earbud Theater, for which he is also a writer, producer, and director. In 2015 he received an Audio Verse Award for Best Actor in an Original, Long-form, Standalone Production for his role as “Cthulhu, Jr.” in the Earbud episode This Monstrous Life. He is also the principal narrator for the Brick Moon Fiction podcast showcasing new short stories from up-and-coming sci-fi and horror authors.
In 2015 he sat in the film director’s chair for the first time on the short Samantha Gets Back Out There, for which he was also editor, art director, writer, and producer. The film had its world premiere at the Laughlin International Film Festival, and won an “Honorable Mention” as well as being named a Finalist in the All-Festival Comedy category at the IndieFest USA Film and Music Festival. He followed that up in 2016 with The Retriever, which he edited, wrote, produced, and directed. It premiered at the Gallup Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best Comedy Short and Best Male Performance in a Short; then played in the popular “Murder and Mayhem” showcase at the Muscatine Independent Film Festival.
Thurkettle’s ongoing relationship with his alma mater Bradley University includes an award-winning undergraduate screenwriting course, which he teaches on-line from California. He has guest lectured for Columbia College of Chicago’s “Semester in LA” program and the Mt. San Antonio College Theatre Department, spoken on panels at the Creative Screenwriting Expo and the Willamette Writers Conference, and judged for both UCLA’s MFA Screenwriting Competition and the Nicholl Fellowship.
He enjoys cross-country road trips, roller-coasters, and competing on game shows; and is a proud member of the Writers Guild of America and the Orange County Playwrights Alliance.