Interesting People Answering Interesting Questions
Nick Paine is the Executive Producer of Australian company Dead Puppet Society. Dead Puppet Society will be transferring their sell-out show The Wider Earth to the Natural History Museum this October.
This incredible production looks at the relatively unknown story of the young Charles Darwin and his voyage on the HMS Beagle. The show includes over 30 astonishing hand-made puppets which represent the wildlife Darwin examined. To create these puppets, Nick and his partner David Morton were sponsored to travel to the Galápagos Islands to see the animals in the wild. The Wider Earth will be playing at the Natural History Museum in London from 2 October 2018. You can find out more here.
1. What is your name and where do you live?
Nicholas Paine. I live between Mount Nebo in Queensland, Australia and on the Upper West Side, New York City. Although this year it seems that I live in London too!
2. What is your favourite soulventure?
Definitely our three months spent on the Galápagos Islands and the Airbnb that we rented on Santa Cruz – The Green Castle. We spent our days researching creatures and starting the design for our animal puppets that feature in The Wider Earth. My favourite were the Galápagos tortoises – they literally strolled through our backyard. Hanging out with the seal pups on San Cristobal wasn’t bad either.
3. What’s something that no-one would guess about you?
Hmmm… tricky! Maybe that I grew up by the beach? I’m such a city dweller now!
4. What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
I would actually love to spend more time at home because we travel A LOT for work and I’d certainly like more time to be in one spot believe it or not.
5. If you could be doing anything, anywhere, right now, what would it be?
I know it might sound corny, but producing theatre and partnering with organisations such as the Natural History Museum is exactly the kind of job I always dreamed of. But if I could be anywhere… probably back in Amoudi Bay, Santorini, eating seafood.
6. Of what are you most proud?
The incredible ten year history of my visual theatre company, Dead Puppet Society, run by David (Morton) and myself. We started it when we met in university in Brisbane, Australia, and it’s taken us around the world ever since. We’ve built puppets in state of the art workshops, in an old leather factory, on the top of a mountain, in the heart of Times Square, and in classrooms around the globe – but holy heck, the Natural History Museum in London takes the cake…
Who do you most admire and why?
My parents, and the remarkable turnaround they’ve made to accept me and my partner.
Best kiss of your life?
To my life partner, David, when we first met 10 years ago! We’ve basically been inseparable ever since. Yikes!
What is a new skill you’d like to learn (and why?)
I’d like to be better at reading for leisure. I get so easily distracted that I find it so hard to finish a book.
Woods, mountain, city or sea?
Maybe woods for a change? We live on a mountain, always working in cities and I grew up by the sea!
If you could say one thing to lots of people, what would it be?
Be kind whenever possible, it’s what we all have to give for free.
What makes you happy?
Making other people smile.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Definitely gelato. Even guiltier if it’s Italian.
We agree! Catch The Wider Earth at the London Natural History Museum 2nd October-30th December.