Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Life in LA: one alum's journey to success in the entertainment world

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Submitted photo.

Nick Cutelli's days at work are anything but typical. He does not wake up to make sure he is at an office by 9 a.m. A 2006 graduate from Southeast currently living in Los Angeles, Cutelli spends his days auditioning and writing for TV shows.

Each night he prepares what he will be doing the next day. If auditioning, he makes sure he makes sure he memorizes lines and knows where he will be going.

“I kind of like the excitement of not knowing what is going to happen,” he said.

He mostly does photo shoots, commercial spots, writes and is a reporter for a news station.

After graduating, Cutelli spent six or seven years living in Chicago. One of the biggest things he has accomplished while in Chicago was receiving his Actors Equity Card.

“I feel like that's what really sets apart an amateur from the professional because once they offer you your card that's usually a good sign like, ‘Oh, wow, they really believe you can do something,’” Cutelli said.

About two years ago he moved to Los Angeles.

“If you really want to pursue a career in entertainment usually LA is the only place you can be to be surrounded by it,” he said.

One of his favorite things to do is live performances because he receives energy from the audience, something not directly found in filming TV shows.

He started off as a psychology major looking to be a counselor at schools. He soon changed his major once classes began.

“I found it to be pretty boring once I started to take the classes,” Cutelli said.

He switched and would later receive his bachelor’s of fine arts in acting and directing.

One thing he said Southeast prepared him for was failing.

“Getting over the fears of, ‘Oh, man, I went into the audition, messed up and I hate myself,’” he said.

He learned after failures to just get up and keep going. Cutelli said being OK with failure has set him apart from many other actors.

“They’re so use to how easy it was in college, where I was taught at SEMO about how difficult it is, but this is the strength you need to plow through it,” he said.

He originally planned to attend Kansas State to play football but injured his lower back and was unable to play.

“After I had an injury a lot of schools that were interested for the football aspect pulled out and SEMO was still there,” he said. “It was probably the greatest thing that ever happened to me, getting injured. I don’t even know where I would be if I had played football in college.”

While at Southeast he was involved with Lambda Chi Alpha and Black Mask Dramatic Society.

Cutelli tells anyone looking to break into the field to make sure to graduate in four years and respect the art.

He is always looking for work. He has an app on his phone which alerts him when a job opening comes up so he can apply immediately.

He does not have an agent, but he does have a lawyer he works with. His lawyer makes sure all his scripts are copyrighted and he will not be sued if he possibly mentions a product.

He writes mostly with his partner Ben Dungan, who he met while in Chicago. They use real-life experiences to write. None of his scripts have been picked up yet but he said he is hopeful.

To learn more about Cutelli visit