Creative of the Month- November 2012
Artrepreneur Nikki Young was born and raised in San Antonio. In 2000, Young and fellow Texas State University (then known as Southwest Texas State University) alum, Chadd Green, started PrimaDonna Productions (PDP for short). PDP's wildly popular short films, "Crush" and "Dating Danielle" have showcased and garnered dozens of awards through film festivals in Texas, Europe, and Asia. As producer for most of PDP's projects, her most ambitious project to date, "The Arrangement", is slated to be released in the Fall of 2013. Since July of 2012, Nikki has served as the Program Director and a show host on #goodjobtexasjr, the family-friendly social media entertainment network dedicated to spotlighting young musicians in Texas. She is also an occasional art scene correspondent on "Great Day SA" on KENS 5 and an accomplished actress having appeared on stages across Texas and screens around the world (including SXSW and the Cannes Film Festival).
Was there a particular moment/event/person that inspired you to pursue the path you are on now?
The first time I ever saw a movie, I was 3 years old and my Mom, Dad, and I were at a drive-in movie theater when we saw “Star Wars”; I knew at that moment I wanted be part of that magic!!
What has been the greatest lesson you have learned in the business?
I learned from one of my mentors, Fred Weiss, that it’s not who know, but how you know them! And from my Mother, I learned that there are 2 kinds of people in this world, those that brighten a room when they enter it and those that brighten a room when they exit it…I always try to be the first when it comes to this business.
What do you find unique about San Antonio's entertainment (film, acting, etc) community?
San Antonio is the biggest small town and everyone knows everyone. And because everyone knows everyone, you can call on someone you know who can help you see a project come to fruition or they in turn will at least know someone who can help and are excited to do so! We honestly don’t have the cattiness that some other cities have, we genuinely want to work collectively to create an artistically enterprising community!
What sort of career goals have you set for yourself?
The most important goal for myself is to just earn a living as an artist in Texas! Plain and simple. I am grateful for my agents Rome Talent and Linda McAlister Talent who keep me working as an actor, but I truly believe that the artistic ventures I am currently working on such as #goodjobtexasjr and “The Arrangement” are definitely headed in the right direction.
Are you still doing "An Affair of the Art"? Tell us more about that program.
I am so happy that the art scene in our community is thriving to the point that the local media continue to deem it news-worthy. In that spirit, in January of this year, the “Great Day SA” producers recognized that I was actively involved in the art scene that they approached me to report on those local happenings. They honored me with the esteemed title “Queen of the Arts” and gave me my own recurring segment which was last seen in September. I’ve been told by my peers that I am kind of like “Tina Fey meets ‘Masterpiece Theatre’” I think of it as Art Edutainment – fun, zany, informative, and hopefully entertaining.
The City is working hard to pursue initiatives that fall under SA2020. What would you like to see change or happen in terms of the local arts and culture by the year 2020?
I truly love that on the weekends there is such a flourish of artistic activity in every corner of San Antonio! I just wish that through proper funding we could activate enough sustainable work to create an artistic community 24/7 and not just for individual artists or non-profits, but for commercial and for-profit artistic ventures as well. #theplightofanartist #weekendwarriors
Here is Nikki in a September 1979 ad for Joske's (left) and on the set of her internet show #goodjobtexasjr with X-Factor contestant Jessica Espinoza (right). For more information, please feel free to visit www.nikkiyoung.biz and www.primadonnaproductions.com