Nick Baga's Video Performance
As featured in the February 8, 2021 DanceBlast, here's Nick Baga's Tired of Being Alone video. Enjoy! And then be sure to read the story behind this incredible video below. You don't want to miss Nick's interview!
If you don't know Nick Baga, you really should. He has an enviable list of credits and over 18 years of experience in the dance and entertainment industry. You'd think with all his success, he might be filled with bravado and maybe even a little over confident... But that's not the case at all... He's worked hard at his craft and it shows. Nick is mindful of those who came before him and is keenly aware that he has a long way to go to reach his career goals. His humbleness is evidence of a grateful performer who takes nothing for granted.
In creating this video, we can see Nick's passion for his art. We wondered how does that happen? How does someone reach a place where they can completely and without hesitation, fully express themself in front of a camera?... So we contacted Nick and he gave us a generous interview... Here it is, Drink it in! Here's the full interview with Nick Baga about the making of this music video!
A4D: What inspired you to create this video?
NICK: What sparked the creation of this video was me being asked to take part in Pangea-LIVE’s #AloneTogether. This is an online performance put together by Tracy Philips to give artists in our community an outlet to perform and also connect with fellow artists. The show is donation based to support us artists and gives each performer a chance to create two pieces based on the themes of the specific show. One piece is pre-recorded and the other is performed LIVE on Zoom. The show I took part in was themed Fantasy/Reality. This performance to Tired of Being Alone by Al Green was depicting my Reality. However, let me be clear this was not dedicated to or about anyone specific more a peek into a side of myself… I honestly am someone who cherishes being alone, but I have had my ups and downs on my journey to this realization and this piece feels like and ode to the hopeless romantic in myself.
Funny enough, I had attended to watch some friends perform at the show prior @Pangea_LIVE performance and was blown away by the talent and creativity of my peers. Tracy Philips (who is an established performer/choreographer here in Los Angeles) a friend of mine then reached out to ask me to take part. Honestly, although I spend most of my time ‘staying ready' to perform and be able to jump to action should any opportunity arise, I was a bit nervous at first and contemplated declining the offer. Putting too much pressure on myself, I briefly forgot about the extreme high I get preparing to perform and performing itself. So in the end, with the nudging of a good friend KC Monnie, I said yes.
A4D: The video is so revealing. Was that intentional?
NICK: While listening to my playlist of favorite songs looking for something that speaks to a deep truth in myself, I started to visualize the performance. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some really inspiring projects where the filming was all done in one shot and I knew right away that I needed to approach this in the same way. To tell a full story, I wanted it to be a fight for me to make it through the whole piece and to take the viewer a full ride with me.
For about two days I listened and listened to the song non-stop until I felt I had mapped out a performance moving throughout my apartment. From there, I reached out to the great friend who pushed me to take on the challenge KC Monnie (another talented sought after dancer/choreographer) to ask if he’d be willing to help. After he agreed, I wanted to get him excited and show him how much of the idea was already fleshed out. So then I filmed a camera blocking with the music, without me performing, to send him the traffic and camera choreography so he could get a feel and study his movement before our actual shoot.
On the shoot day, it was one of those perfectly harmonious shoots. Where both parties were excited, motivated, and supportive. We began rehearsing a few times and once we felt we figured out any problems needing solving, such as shadows, more seamless transitions, we began to just go for it. We probably attempted about 20 takes. It being a full one shot sequence, we had to get everything right. We locked in 7 solid takes that we both agreed were usable… and right before calling it quits we decided to go for just 1 more take. That final take ended up being the most magical of all and the one we decided to go with.
A4D: How do you prepare yourself to reveal so much emotion?
NICK: Well, I will start this off by saying I am quite the passionate person. I have always felt I exude a lot of emotion when I perform, ever since I was young. However, I am also an actor and have been training for quite some time. Over this past year, during lockdown I decided to dive in head first with my Acting/Creative Coach Shelley Mitchell to treat my time as if I was in a conservatory. So it was important for me to take this opportunity to blend my acting and dance together, as that has always been my dream. I love telling stories through dance and movement but now am also feeling almost as confident as an actor as I do as a dancer and feel it’s important for myself to merge the two.
A4D: What are your hopes for this type of storytelling? Surely the audience ‘feels’ your pain and despair along with you. Viewers can’t help but feel empathy for your struggle.
NICK: My hopes with this type of storytelling is to move people, to feel, and be inspired. We all have a vulnerable side and with social media and the way society is, I feel we rarely share the depth of ourselves and try to always wear a mask of confidence. I am a lover of life, the ups and the downs, and feel through them all wholeheartedly. With this performance, aside from tapping into the obvious feeling of longing for someone, there’s also an inner battle happening with me… where although I am alone, and have moments of being lonely, I am not sure that I would trade my aloneness for a partner even if the opportunity arises because there is something so beautiful about my life and my freedom.
So it is attempting to dig deeper to myself asking what do I really want? Am I open enough to allow someone in my world or do I love my world so much that I would choose to be alone over a partner? I think we all go through these internal battles. But I will say, I felt more comfortable in my skin, with where I’m at and my life after I made this project. It was something inside me that needed to be danced out.
A4D: We love the final scene where you pound your chest and the camera moves beyond the window. How did you come up with that?
NICK: Well, I love how the horns come in at the end of the song, they always stand out to me… so for the final dance sequence, I wanted to keep simple and focused on just that sound… as if it were my heart speaking. The pounding of my chest was me feeling the extremity of all that I’ve sacrificed for love, all those moments I’ve tried to be that ‘Knight in shining armor’… all those failed attempts, lonely nights, and desperation. When no words or dance moves could suffice, pounding my heart drove the message deep.
A4D: What’s your best advice for them, especially during COVID-19 and ways they can use this down time to their advantage?
NICK: I’m really grateful this project was received well and personally it felt like a breakthrough. I’ve been a professional in this industry for 18 years and a part of many great projects and surrounded by so many remarkable talents… and that is precisely what almost held me back from creating this. The idea of being perfect, or holding up to the industry standard. However, each of us is perfect exactly as we are, and although I recommend watching and being inspired by everyone, remember that there is only one you. That’s the magic. I believe we are here to express ourselves and not compare ourselves. So my advice is to start creating. Create for the sake of creating, not for sharing or for likes or comments, but because YOU want to.
A4D: Any final thoughts?
NICK: In these times, I recommend taking time to slow down and find balance within yourself. Learn and practice ways to nourish your body and mind, focus on healthy living, staying active and sharp. Practice appreciation for everything in your life and finding contentment with where you are. You are right where you’re supposed to be. Trust that. One day at a time. Find your balance, the next perfect action will always present itself. Onward.
MORE ABOUT NICK BAGA
Using his east coast charm, incomparable work ethic and his infectious energy Nick Baga has made quite a name for himself in the entertainment industry. You may recognize his face from the overwhelming amount of TV appearances he's made over the years. Such as in Grease LIVE, Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, The Voice, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Glee, Leno, Ellen, Oprah, Conan, Saturday Night Live, and The Queen Latifah Show to name a few. He’s also managed to find time to grace the stages of numerous award shows like The Golden Globes, American Music Awards, The Grammy’s, Much Music Awards, Latin Billboard Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and even the Olympics.
Nick takes pride in his versatility which has helped him to land huge opportunities touring and working alongside numerous artists ranging from Justin Bieber to Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande, Ricky Martin, Vanilla Ice, Train, Kelly Clarkson, Muse, Jessica Simpson, Aloe Blacc, Boyz To Men, and Jennifer Lopez. Growing up watching Gene Kelly films, making movies was a huge part of Nick’s dream and why he chose Los Angeles to be his home. Working on La La Land, Ghostbusters, Hairspray, and The Muppets Movie are some of the greatest most memorable moments of Nick’s career.
If there were a list for the funnest jobs, the commercials Nick has worked on have to be at the top. Whether it be rapping for Taco Bell, dancing for Amazon Prime, Southwest, or Target or even working out as a Hamster for Kia, you cannot say Nick Baga hasn’t done it all. Nick is very proud of how far he has come but will not be resting anytime soon. There’s a lot of positivity needed in the world right now and Nick plans to spread his light as far and as wide as long as he can, the best way he knows how... performing.
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