Rookie Republic is continuously spotting Rookies that change the world. Nikhil Melnechuk is extremely passionate about poetry and film, and somehow combines these two businesses. He considers himself a Rookie! He started a film company at 27, reopened Bowery Poetry Club at 28, and is now “the ripe old age of 30”. He runs Bowery Arts+Science, a non-profit, with a startup mentality. We are honored he is our Rookie of the Month March 2015!
Who are you and what kind of companies do you have?
I’m a Film Poet, with two motion picture companies (Melnechuk Williams for TV and Film, and Midwife for Commercial), and the run of a poetry and performance non-profit, Bowery Arts+Science (@bowerypoetry, www.bowerypoetry.com, www.facebook.com/Bowerypoetry). In 2013 I created the #NewMarilyn Social Media Contest and Community (@thenewmarilyn, www.facebook.com/thenewmarilyn) which celebrates the spirit of Marilyn. I’ve performed my poems at MoMA, the Queens Museum, HOWL Festival, and screened my companies’ films at Village East Cinemas, Palm Springs ShortFest, Sedona International Film Festival, SAG Shorts Showcase, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and other venues and festivals worldwide.
What was your motivation to start working for yourself?
My father. He went from an apprenticeship with a master letterpress printer to starting his own press. He taught me never to be a slave to The Man. Now I’m learning what it is to be a man.
What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
Success is shared, and failure alone. You have the opportunity to bring people up, and if things fall down, it’s on your own head.
When did you know the entrepreneurial lifestyle was meant for you?
I created a film company in high school to produce a feature film and create a local film festival. I had all the ambition in the world. When the film proved weak, and the festival provincial, I was hooked. This was the challenge of a lifetime.
What’s your ambition for the next 5 years?
Honor the love of my life. Publish my book-length poem. Direct my first feature (since high school). Launch the video poem as a model for poetry films. Make Bowery Poetry the place to be internationally.
What’s the best advice you can give a Rookie?
Finish what you start. Just as importantly, don’t start something you wouldn’t want to finish.
Who would you like to nominate as an awesome Rookie?
Eric Blasco, proprietor of Erb Food and Garden (https://facebook.com/profile.php?id=661348187325790), in West Philly, PA. Eric has taken his passion for permaculture and has brought it to people’s urban homes, crafting personal, hyper-local micro-gardens for food and beauty. Eric is a poet and chef and does entrepreneurship low-fi and hi-touch.