If there’s anyone whose motto should be “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” it would be Nick Felix. The dance instructor and owner of Dance Magic Studios, 7312 Cherokee Plaza, has experienced as many successes as he has failures, but never seems to be deterred.
In fact, his latest endeavor, a film that he wrote, produced and stars in, proves that it’s “Never Too Late.”
Felix, who has taught dance for more than 40 years, found himself in that world by accident. After stumbling upon an ad in the newspapers asking for dance teachers, he applied, despite never having taken a lesson in his life. He got the job.
“Once I became an instructor, I fell in love with dancing,” Felix said. “I loved it so much that it came time to re-enlist in the Air Force, I decided not to go back. I met a lot of people while teaching, and that’s what got me into the entertainment industry.”
From there, he became president of Fred Astaire Dance Studios and was asked to choreograph movies and television shows, where he worked with celebrities like Mickey Rooney, Rosemary Clooney and Shirley MacLaine. That work prompted Felix to open his own production studio in Dallas that eventually left him broke. However, his experiences at the studio proved to be a gift.
“My studio produced mainly documentaries and commercials,” he said. “I received storyboards for commercials, and some of them were so ridiculous that I would rewrite them, and I got really into it. When I went broke, I spent all of my time writing, and produced more work than ever.”
above Nick Felix on knee directs his cast in “Never Too Late.”
One of the screenplays written during his time of financial distress, “Waitin’ to Live,” was made into a film that was released in 2006 and starred Lee Majors. But soon, Felix went broke again from funding other projects. One day, he had the idea for his newest film, “Never Too Late.” With the support of friends and family who believed in the project, he was able to shoot the drama.
“Never Too Late” follows Felix as Lenny, a homeless man who finds a job as a janitor in a dance studio after the death of his best friend. Lenny begins to realize his passion for dance and, with the help of the people he meets in the studio, seems to get a new start in life, including love with a student. But Lenny’s past comes back to haunt him, threatening to compromise everything.
In many ways, the film parallels Felix’s own life. There have been losses followed by triumphs followed by more losses. But he hopes that the tide will turn once again in his favor and stay that way for good.
“This business is like playing at a roulette table, and you’re betting it all on either the red or the black,” said Felix. “You never know if you’re going to win. ” “Never Too Late” will air Sept. 17 on OETA. Its trailer is viewable on YouTube.