Nick Loren: On life, music and being Travolta’s stunt double

Print This Post Print This Post

BY ZACH GALE

If you think you’ve seen Glendale resident Nick Loren before, you’re probably right: he’s acted in movies for years and has been John Travolta’s stand-in and stunt double for more than a decade. His latest role is in the recently released “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,”  starring Denzel Washington and, yes, John Travolta.

Loren has been John Travolta's stand-in and stunt double for more than a decade. Most recently, in this scene from "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3."

Loren has been John Travolta's stand-in and stunt double for more than a decade. Most recently, in this scene from "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3."

For the first few years Travolta and Loren worked together, Travolta didn’t know Loren could sing – and after giving the local musician a chance you’ll agree: he can. Loren’s debut album “Forever Be Cool” was released  last month.

The soulful singer’s tracks are slickly produced, something that – for the most part – adds to the album’s appeal. Songs like “When She Calls” and the title track “Forever Be Cool” sound professional while “Mesmerized,” with a perfectly restrained bass part and background vocals by Sheree Hicks, is a highlight.

The

Performing at The Mint in Los Angeles.

“Forever Be Cool” is a relaxed album that Loren says combines influences from musicians like Stevie Wonder and Howard Hewett. A close listen might also reveal hints of Jonny Lang and Wayne Brady on a more subdued level.

At times, it sounds as though Loren is straining to project the emotion of the music, but the effect doesn’t occur often and you’ll forgive it after listening to sweeter songs like “Over Me” and “Some People Change.” The latter song begins with Loren and a repeating guitar riff, eventually building to drums and sounds of string instruments.

It’s a song that would translate well to an acoustic performance, a theme that applies to much of “Forever Be Cool.” Loren says he’d be interested in recording an all-acoustic album, but right now is concentrating on the current album, a couple songs of which were written 5-6 years ago.

wildhogs

Loren (left) on the "Wild Hogs" set with Travolta.

“I wouldn’t mind doing an acoustic version of the album or do a whole other album [that’s] stripped down,” Loren says.

There’s a great deal more going on in Loren’s world.  Tyson, his 17-year-old son,  graduated from Hoover High School in Glendale last month, and his two younger kids, 2-year-old Destiny and 5-year-old Nikoli,  influenced the soon-to-be-released three-book children’s book series, Farful Foolong from Oolong Panshoo, that he created with his wife Denise.  The series follows  the adventures of the creature Farful Foolong and the planet Oolong Panshoo.

The  book series is produced under ClearCut Entertainment, a company Loren and his wife own. On ClearCut, the Lorens also introduced “Dog-On Television,” a 60-minute DVD of dogs running around, distilled from 14 hours of footage.

Suit

Loren is a seemingly multi-talented chameleon.

When Loren isn’t working, he’ll sometimes take the family and their dog Monty for a walk at Brand Park in Glendale. Since he moved to the area about a year ago, Good Neighbor restaurant in Studio City has become one of his favorite places for breakfast or brunch. He also likes the Americana shopping center, which Loren points out, recently opened a farmer’s market on Saturdays.

Loren's debut album, "Forever Cool.:

Loren's debut album, "Forever Cool"

As for his work, Loren has been considering transitioning from his career working as a stuntman.

“It’s time to make the change,” Loren says, “I’m not getting younger, I’m getting a little older. The stunts hurt a little more, so as far as that career, it’s possibly time to step on.”

Between his singing career, the book series and his entertainment company, his options certainly seem open.

Zach Gale is a  journalism student in the graduate program at USC.  He works part-time on the Web team of Motor Trend magazine and recently completed a Web internship at Los Angeles magazine.  To learn more about Zach’s writing, go to www.zachgale.wordpress.com.

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.