about JOHN VARKADOS
John Nicholas Varkados (born September 1,1990) is an American film producer, singer-songwriter, and freelancer. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Varkados enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, but was released from active duty and moved to Boston in 2014. Varkados studied music theory at Berklee College of Music, specializing in music business management and artist development. Following the advice of a teacher, he later furthered his studies at Boston University, specializing in production and visual storytelling
early Life and Career
John was born in Seoul, South Korea, and placed with the Varkados family who later legally naturalized and adopted him. He was raised in Bushkill, Pennsylvania, where he helped his parents rescue dogs from puppy mills and other abusive environments to make these dogs adoptable and able to be taken care of in a safe family environment. When he was 19 years old John enlisted out of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania and trained in Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in 2009 shortly after graduating high school.
From 2009 to 2014, John served in the United States Marine Corps initially as a Private and went up to the rank of Corporal. After boot camp and MCT, John was stationed at Fort Huachuca, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and lastly, the Defense Language Institute.
Following the 2013 hockey season of the Anaheim Ducks, John would be opening several sports events singing the Star-Spangled Banner. While in Monterey, California, John would be participating in local talent competitions, go for additional vocal training at Dennis Murphy School of Music, and participate in local jazz ensembles when he was not on duty. While providing security at the Monterey Jazz Festival, John found out about Berklee College of Music. John would later audition in Los Angeles and was shortly notified of his acceptance for the fall 2014 semester.
From 2014 to 2017, John would study music theory in Boston and collaborate with local talent. John was offered a contract with New England Models Group after winning the 2015 New England Showcase in the Acting Category. This led John to take a semester off focusing on acting, workshopping, and auditioning in the New England area. John took an interest in musical theatre and participated in an intensive workshop in Broadway (Manhattan) where he found inspiration to write and produce his own original musical made into a short film "Wonderful"
After graduating Berklee College of Music in 2017, John was made a Nomination Committee Member for the Boston Music Awards. As John worked in Boston and New York as an intern for a model and talent agency, he sought other jobs and despite having no original intention to work in film, a chance to work with established film directors and writers on local indie productions.
In 2019, John studied film at Boston University, specializing in production and visual storytelling. The next year he graduated with his Master of Fine Arts in Cinema and Media Production. John’s student thesis project, “High Bread” was awarded the Bronze Winner for the 2020 Telly Awards for General Television and the Bronze Award for Best Web Series/TV Pilot at the 2020 Independent Shorts Awards International Film Festival where John was asked to line produce and serve as a unit production manager.
Feature film production career
John shortly moved to Atlanta, Georgia in hopes of entering the entertainment industry. While working at Atlanta, John met writer and director Alex Wahoski, and convinced John to produce a script that would be the short film “To Settle” that was recently nominated for the 2020 Tallahassee Film Festival for Best Short Film. “To Settle” is currently being further developed as a fully funded feature length film.
Right after the first private screening of “To Settle”, John became a friend to director Ofu Obekpa, and convinced John to produce another script that would become his feature film producing debut, the anticipated 2021 thriller “The Anthology of Julius, the Nigerian Immigrant”, starring Obu Obu.
Awards and Honors
Varkados has received the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in 2014. In 2015, John was awarded the Spotify Scholarship from the Music Business Association’s Scholarship Foundation. He received the Berklee Achievement Scholarship from Berklee College of Music in 2016 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Business/Management. John received a Merit-based Scholarship from Boston University and in 2020 a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema and Media Production.