Niya Wright has had a lifelong passion for performing. At four years old, she sang a Mary J. Blige song for a talent competition, and fell in love while also learning, she would add, that she cannot really sing. Wright came to Darien High School through the A Better Chance program, and graduated in 2012, all the while feeding that passion for performing, and now Wright is looking to take a major step forward in the world of acting.
Wright fondly remembers her time at Darien, calling it her second home ever since she arrived. With a passion not just for acting, Wright remembers that her love of dance drove her to create something that Darien could keep forever. Wright created Dancing with the Teachers. The event was able to raise money for the school and for the community,” said Wright, adding, “it was so much fun to get students and teachers working together.” Wright also appeared in a number of productions with Theater 308 at DHS, and by the time college rolled around, she knew where she wanted to be. Wright was also named the Young Woman of Distinction that year, the DAR Good Citizenship Award Recipient and the recipient of the highest honor from A Better Chance national, and says, “I have always been dedicated to using my voice and life to help other people and make the world a better place.”
“I applied to Loyola Marymount and got in, with a scholarship, and it was my dream school,” said Wright. While in Los Angeles for school, Wright appeared in short films and small productions, constantly honing her craft. Her senior year, Wright interned on the show General Hospital. “I’ve been watching General Hospital since I was ten, so all credit to my mom on that,” laughed Wright. After Wright graduated from Loyola Marymount, the show kept her on as a writing assistant.
Wright works with, and lives with, her best friend, Kal Sisson. “We do comedy together, we have a youtube page, and we are creating content and scripts for our personal brand,” said Wright.
It was working on General Hospital that Wright met Nate Hapke, coincidentally from Wilton, and the two began working together on other projects.
“We wanted to create a character and story that was universal,” said Wright. The story is of an actress who is desperate to earn the love of others, “but we find through her journey that love of self is the most important love that there is,” Wright explained. Now living in Pasadena, Wright and Hapke have started a Kickstarter page for the film.
“All the money goes towards creating the best product possible,” pointing to the need for an experienced crew and quality production, and how expensive those things can be. The page has different levels of giving, and virtually any dollar amount is welcome. Certain amounts will get the donor an autographed headshot from Niya, donating more will earn an executive producer credit on the film. The goal is to raise $10,000.
Wright is still grateful for her years in Darien, saying that all of her former teachers and classmates have always been so supportive, and then she makes a point to return to DHS whenever she visits the east coast. Wright welcomes any and all help that through the Kickstarter page.