Nicky Paraiso is an actor, musician, writer, performance artist and curator. He is currently Director of Programming for The Club at La MaMa, and is responsible for its surge of theater, performance, dance and cabaret programming. He is also a Curator for the annual La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival, currently in its eighth season (June 2013). Nicky is a graduate of Oberlin College/Conservatory and holds an M.F.A. from New York University's Graduate Acting Program. He has been a prolific actor at La MaMa, and in New York downtown theater and performance, since 1979. Paraiso has been a member of Meredith Monk/The House and Vocal Ensemble (1981-1990), touring extensively throughout the US, Europe and Japan. He has worked as an actor and musical director with playwright/actor/director Jeff Weiss and his partner Carlos Ricardo Martinez since 1979, and he has performed with Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks since 1988. Paraiso has also enjoyed working as a performer with artists as diverse as Anne Bogart, Laurie Carlos, Richard Elovich, Dan Froot, Jessica Hagedorn, Fred Holland, Dan Hurlin, John Jesurun, Jeffrey M. Jones, Robbie McCauley, Susan Mosakowski, Ralph Peña, Mary Shultz, Theodora Skipitares and many others. Nicky is also a critically-acclaimed solo performance artist, whose one-man shows Asian Boys, Houses and Jewels and House/Boy have been presented at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club [ETC], Dixon Place, Performance Space 122, Dance Theater Workshop and on tour in the US, Europe and Asia. House/Boy was recently presented at the Dublin Theatre Festival and also at the Initiation International Festival 2007 in Singapore.
Paraiso's awards include a 1987 New York Dance & Performance BESSIE Award, a 2004 Spencer Cherashore Fund grant for mid-career actors, and a 2005 New York Innovative Theater Award for his performance in Theodora Skipitares’ Iphigenia. He has served on various theater, dance and music panels, and he has also been a member of the New York Dance and Performance Awards BESSIES Selection Committee since 2006. Nicky is a recipient of the 2012 BAX (Brooklyn Arts Exchange) Arts & Artists in Progress Arts Management Award. His writing appears in the anthology Love, Christopher Street: Reflections of New York City (Vantage Point, 2012), edited by Thomas Keith.
Photograph by Gian Marco Lo Forte.
- Born: Flushing, NY, USA
- Based: New York, NY, USA