Season Finale of Nothing But A Number Airs Thursday
Becky Niccum, born and raised in Fort Wayne, has long been active in theatre. Although she moved to Chicago for a time and lived in New Jersey for a few years, she returned to her hometown to be with her aging parents. And she’s never left since. She understands that many who grow up here might question her decision to return, but she understands – and many others who have left and returned – what Fort Wayne has to offer.
“I do love Fort Wayne,” she said. “I appreciate this place. Even when I did leave here, even when I was in Chicago or New Jersey, this is where I always considered home. It just has a lot to offer.”
Along the way, she forged what some consider an unlikely friendship, one which has recently inspired a six-episode season one of Nothing But A Number.
“I did a fundraiser for Youtheatre in 2010, and there were two Youtheatre students in the show along with community people who did theatre. And we were hanging out and laughed and had a good time. After that we kept running into each other and thought the universe or God or however you want to look at it was pushing us together.”
They worked together – with Niccum as director and Eastom as actor – at Arena Dinner Theater and became Facebook friends. Mutual projects kept popping up, as is often the case in the busy world of Fort Wayne community theatre which has developed a large, active, and friendly population over the years. Eventually the idea of a show, one which featured an unlikely pair of people of different ages and generational perspectives, grew from their friendship.
“I knew he was a great writer and asked him to write a play for me and threw some ideas at him. Then one day he said ‘I have ideas for a show about us.’ We talked about it, and he’d written all these shows. We started filming last June or July, but as the months went by, I said ‘Brock, c’mon, are we going to do this or not?’”
Given that prod, Eastom determined to set a date, and the show debuted in May. With episode six available beginning Thursday, July 28, viewers have seen a pair of theatre junkies taking on New York and New Jersey, forging an unique friendship along the way, one that definitely parallels their own. Episode five, set at Christmas time in Fort Wayne (with many local holiday favorites on display), included an intense scene where Greta (Niccum) visits David’s (Eastom’s) family and has an uncomfortable confrontation with David’s father who insinuates something about their relationship. Niccum has a powerful speech which brings to mind much of her own experiences.
“A lot of it was from things I said to Brock about my family. What he wrote was totally heartfelt, and I knew I had to get that monologue down so I wasn’t crying the whole time. I had to have it learned and managed to be able to say it. Brock and I think alike, we’re in each other’s heads. It definitely reflects a lot about my family. Except my sister, that was somebody that Brock made up.”
Response to season one of Nothing But A Number will determine the feasibility of a season two so viewer support is appreciated for this special series, a show that provides plenty to offer to audiences in Fort Wayne (who will recognize many local sites and performers) and those outside the city who will relate to the themes of family and friendship. Niccum and Eastom will be ready if a season two proceeds.
“We have such a good time filming and saying whatever and doing whatever. We just have fun together, and the way he writes it’s so easy to say the lines.”
Find Nothing But A Number is available at frostypictures.com and YouTube.com.