The Creative Force of Nolan Gross
From finishing high school one year early to directing a Nike commercial, Nolan Gross is proving himself as a force to be reckoned with. At age 16, Gross has accomplished so much and has proved to be so much more than just a child star.
His interest in acting started at the age of 7 after watching the Disney Channel show Shake It Up. “I really wanted to be like one of the actors on the show because it was so different from any other Disney show, with the dancing and all the other components,” he says. After taking some acting classes and getting a manager and agent, Gross started his journey on becoming a working actor. He soon started to book roles on major TV shows such as American Horror Story and major motion pictures including Noah (2014).
However, Gross doesn’t solely want to focus on acting – instead, he is honing his other creative and artistic elements. “I would want to be remembered for my creativity, not just one project or one thing I’ve done,” he describes. Apart from acting, his other artistic passions include directing and producing. After joining Adolescent – a media company that works with young creatives in developing them as directors – he was able to submit a proposal to Nike. “It was such a sweet experience to see what goes into making a project and producing it because I’m not usually behind the camera. I haven’t really seen that side very much, and it was a good learning lesson and makes me respect the person behind the camera even more,” Gross shares. “The Nike commercial kind of sums up my creativity and my direction.”
As this young star is so passionate about his artistic expression and being a visionary, he made the choice to take the the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) – an early, high school-exit exam – in order for himself to be able to pursue multiple projects. “There was always school, auditions and things I wanted to do with friends. But now I graduated high school early, and I found a better balance with doing what I want and pursuing the things I want,” he says.
In addition to acting, directing and producing, Gross is starting to dip his toes into the music scene. “I’ve always loved music and have an ear for music, I’d say. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. There’s a magnet on my fridge I made when I was seven that says, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a ______’ and I wrote ‘rock star,’” he adds. Describing his sound as “melodic rap,” he recently connected with some of his father’s friends, where they worked up some beats and wrote songs together. “We made this track that just really hit home for all of us,” he says.
Gross prides himself in being as innovative as possible and is always looking for ways to improve himself. From his fashion and style to his acting, he’s willing to find new ways for advancement: “[I want to] grow friendships and relationships with people in my life, learning more and always keeping my head and options open to learn more. To always have an open mind.”
Writer: Gavy Contreras
Photographer, Stylist & Men’s Grooming: Al David
Special thanks to EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)