January 16 Arts and Entertainment Source: Bakery manager hopes acting career rises in New York – Vallejo Times-Herald

Restaurant News

Nicolette Ellis doesn’t exactly do a “mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?” every morning. She does, however, regret looking roughly a decade younger than her 25 years.

Yes, regrets. Looking too young. As an actress. And dare we say — no calls, emails or texts, please — woman.

Why, when Ellis wakes up at her Fairfield  home, ventures into the bathroom and looks at herself, “I see someone who looks 16 and needs to put make-up on to look her age,” she said.

It’s about street cred, especially at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles recently when an employee thought Ellis was a confused teenager. And on the job at Pure Grain Bakery in Vacaville, when “people ask to see the manager. I am a manager. People generally don’t take me seriously,” she said.

Nicolette Ellis helps a customer on the job at Pure Grain Bakery in Vacaville. Ellis, 25, left for New York City this to sing, dance and act. (Richard Freedman — Times-Herald)

Of course, in the wonderful world of show business, youth reigns, acknowledged Ellis.

“I like looking young. It will keep me in work for a while. But it is frustrating,” she said.

Ah, but when she’s 31 and still looks 20?

“That will be great,” said Ellis.

It was mid-morning recently and the spunky actress, vocalist and dancer took a short break at Pure Grain to chat. After about a year and a half, Ellis’ time at the cafe was ending. This week, she packs her bags and heads to New York City.

Nervous? A little. But it’s been planned since college, Ellis said.

“I had to leave eventually,” she said.

Growing up in the Bay Area, Ellis fell for New York after a visit.

“I love New York more than San Francisco in a way. I’ve always wanted to live in New York,” she said, heading for a temporary AirBnB before she “hopefully finds a sublet.”

There’s no timeline, no expiration date on how long she can handle struggling.

“I already struggle now,” Ellis said. “Since I was 18, I’ve always had at least one job. One year, I had five jobs in college. I know how to work.”

With an eye on the move, “I’ve saved as much money as I possible could,” said Ellis, a woman of Irish roots who has never left the United States.

On the stage, “I feel I have enough experience,” to reach for the stars, she said.

A Justin-Siena High School graduate in Napa, Ellis earned a degree in musical theater at  Chico State University. She acted in “Measure by Measure” in Vallejo Shakespeare in the Park in 2018, playing the pregnant Juliet and doing it well, said Dalia Vidor, Shakespeare in the Park’s founder.

“Nicolette is a bubbly and charismatic actor and is also a nice musician, sings and plays several instruments. She got along well with the cast and had a good sense of humor,” Vidor said.
Last year, Ellis tossed on a blonde wig for San Francisco Speakeasy last year.  Ellis also participated in “Unhinged,” an immersive horror experience at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose.

While the Mystery House engagement was yet another acting credit, it was also challenging getting back to Solano County after midnight, only to rise early and get to the Vacaville bakery, Ellis said.

“It was exhausting. I was a zombie. I did not look cute,” Ellis said laughing. “I always look tired.”

Music was always going to be part of her life, professionally or not, said Ellis, since both parents are music teachers. So she started this show biz thing as a singer and musician, playing clarinet and baritone saxophone.

And yet, she had other dreams, doggone it.

“I wanted to be a veterinarian,” Ellis said. “But in high school, I was terrible in biology and you have to be good in biology if you want to become a vet. Then I started doing theater in high school and couldn’t stop.”

Her strength is singing “just because I’ve been doing it the most and the longest and was raised doing it,” Ellis said.

Confidence, now that’s something to focus on after hitting New York.

“Just knowing what I have to offer and giving that to people. All actors need to work on that somewhere,” she said. “And being confident in your choices.”

Ellis said her colleagues and the owners at Pure Grain have supported her as well as her older brother, sister and parents.

“They knew I was going to do it eventually,” Ellis said. “They’ve known I was gearing up for this.”

Ellis said her brother and sister-in-law are especially interested in her New York success.

“They want a place to crash, so they don’t mind” the move, Ellis said, with several college friends now in New York offering advice.

“They’ve been very helpful,” Ellis said. “I’m excited I get to see them.”

Ellis knows whatever her level she attains, “don’t be a diva.”

“Be a gracious person. Don’t get a reputation of being ungrateful. Treat everyone kindly, especially the people working backstage,” she said. “You can be strong, but you also need to thank those you need to thank.”

This venture is for the long haul. It could take a month, a year, 10 years, who knows,  Ellis insisted.

“Acting is such an individual journey,” she said. “Some have great careers in their 20s, some rise up in their 40s. Take every opportunity that comes to you and hope that you’re doing something right. So far, I’ve been extremely lucky.”

The biggest adjustment heading to the east coast?

“The weather,” Ellis said. “I had to get a real winter coat.”

Though never close to those childhood dreams of becoming a veterinarian, Ellis did become a vegetarian. Vegan? No thanks, she said.

“I like cheese too much,” Ellis grinned.

Source: Thanks https://www.timesheraldonline.com/2020/01/14/bakery-manager-hopes-acting-career-rises-in-new-york/