Midpeninsula Post

From behind the camera to on stage: Arya Nasikkar leaves his friends in awe

Nasikkar hugs Broken Box director Nancy Moran after the final showing of Nevermind What Happened, How did it end? (courtesy Logan Kim)

Note: This article belongs to a collection of features of the Post’s staff members in the graduating Class of 2022.

Whether he’s running around campus with a camera in hand or dancing on stage and belting a song, Arya Nasikkar seems to shine. 

The recent Los Altos High School graduate is not only an avid photographer, “tenacious” twin brother and Broken Box Theatre Company royalty: his amicable personality and gentle humility make him a natural leader.

When he’s not on stage, Nasikkar’s surprisingly quiet. But don’t let that silence fool you into thinking he’s shy. Los Altos High School rising senior Logan Kim said they’d describe Nasikkar as a “quiet, humble leader,” and Los Altos High School rising junior Razvan Popescu said Nasikkar’s humility and friendliness draw others toward him.

“He would never show off anything,” Popescu said. “ He’s very talented as an actor, but he’d never spout how good he is.”

Nasikkar’s talent in the arts isn’t just limited to theater: He’s also an extremely talented photographer. He takes photos for the Midpeninula Post and does freelance work; in the past, he’s done photography for Coupa Cafe. Nasikkar also always seems to perfectly capture fun memories with his friends. Time and time again, he’s shocked his peers with “high-end” photos that’ve left them dazzled and in awe, according to Popescu and Kim.

“He’s really kickass at [taking pictures],” Kim said. “He finds the right moments; that’s something I think is a good quality about a good photographer. … He just finds the right moments to take good photos; I don’t think he overdoes it.”

Nasikkar’s also been exploring the world of videography: He recently made a short film, Tritan, that was featured in Los Altos High School’s June film festival. Recent Los Altos High School graduate Aaron Mathias, who helped create the film, said Nasikkar is one of the greatest photographers he’s met, and that the behind the scenes he filmed fun memories to look back on.

Broken Box Theatre Company director Nancy Moran said that Nasikkar has been a key leader in the class: he’s continuously warmly welcomed new members, continued class traditions and encouraged the ensemble.

Nasikkar links arms with Broken Box members Gareth Cartier and Anand Mehta before prom in May 2022. (courtesy Yash Nasikkar)

“Arya has grown from a quiet and inquisitive student to a confident young man who leads with humility and grace,” Moran said in an email. “He is definitely a hard worker, but more importantly, he is a person who cares about others and always works toward inclusivity. ” 

The theatre company uses the “Broken Box buddy system” to welcome new applicants with gifts and letters. According to Kim, Nasikkar was known to fully embrace the opportunity to connect with the new members of Broken Box.

“I actually still have the letter he brought me,” Kim said. “It’s been in my room for over two years, which is crazy to think about. That’s how I met Arya, there’s some really sweet stuff written.”

“Every time I’d need hair gel or pomade, I’d always ask Arya,” Popescu said. “Always. I would promise to bring my own, but I just kept continuously asking for more pomade. In fact, at the end of Broken Box, he offered to just give it to me since I needed it so much.”

Nasikkar’s only downfall may just be his skills on the dance floor. Yet, rather than getting frustrated with difficult choreography during rehearsal, Nasikkar’s good humor and a charismatic attitude shine brighter, Kim said. The two were paired together in Kim’s first Broken Box show in person and had a great time “dancing and goofing off.”

Nassikar and his brother, Yash, at the Singapore Zoo. (courtesy Yash Nasikkar)

Nasikkar’s fun nature has always been a part of how he interacts with others. Yash Nasikkar, Nasikkar’s twin brother, said he remembers Nasikkar’s playful attitude going way back to their arrival in the Bay Area.

The two were “awestruck” by the Bay Area’s plethora of luxury cars: BMWs and Teslas fascinated them to no end. Together, Nasikkar’s brother said they’d make replicas out of cardboard and share their newfound creations until they were recycled into boats, planes and time machines.

“As I look back, I have reminisced [on] these memories and found this arts and crafts session the [fondest],” his brother wrote in an email. “Everything we did was in harmony, efficiently working on the project together.”

Since then, Nasikkar’s continued to thrive working with others.

“It feels like he’s seemed to figure out what he wants to do and I think he has found his place in an ensemble — the way he meshes with people,” Kim said. “I think that’s a really valuable thing and it’s something he should keep.” 

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