For Nicole Alyse Nelson, the first time she stepped on a set, she knew that acting was what she was meant to do. Now, she stars on the Nickelodeon show I Am Frankie, which just aired its second season. But when she’s away from the acting stage, you can find her doing new exciting activities in Los Angeles like archery and riding a mechanical bull at Saddle Ranch Chop House. We chatted with Nicole about her character Dayton, the experience working on the show and what viewers should pay attention to when watching it.
Cliché: What’s the experience been like working on I Am Frankie?
Nicole Alyse Nelson: The experience working on I Am Frankie has been amazing. Both seasons of the show have been great. It was so much fun shooting the show. The fact that we shoot the show in Miami is an experience in itself. All the cast members and the crew are collaborators. It was phenomenal getting to watch the story unfold and creating a family with the people that made it happen.
What’s your relationship like with the cast members of I Am Frankie?
We all have a good relationship. In truth, I am like a big sister in a way with some of the cast members. For instance, since I’m older than some actors and actresses on set, they would come to me with acting questions or with specific story ideas. In addition, the cast members would say to me, “Let’s run this scene,” or ask me, “What do you think we should do here?”
I never had a sister or been a sister. It’s great to be able to step into those shoes and be like, ‘Oh, somebody is asking for advice.’ We get to come up with new story ideas in a collaborated effort.
Can you describe your character, Dayton?
Dayton is very loyal, helpful, energetic, and inclusive. In the show, she is extremely emotional which results in her being hilarious. When watching the show, you can see she is the kind of character who is almost always 100 percent of any given emotion. For example, when things are good, they are fantastic. When things are questionable, they are catastrophic. Most importantly, though, she is just a good person. She wants the best for everyone and doesn’t want to offend anybody or hurt anyone.
Do you relate to her at all?
Yes. Similar to Dayton, I am an inclusive person. When I was growing up I didn’t have a super great friend group. It was always kind of hard for me to fit in. You can see when the first season got underway that Dayton was a loner other than hanging out with her brother and her brother’s friend. Another characteristic trait that I share with Dayton is that I am energetic even though I have toned down over the years.
What was racing through your mind once you heard that there was going to be a second season?
I was never surprised. In fact, I would have been extremely shocked if there wasn’t going to be another season. Once I heard that the second season was confirmed, it was the best feeling in the world. It was about going back to the studio as well as back to the hotel which we made into a home. The most exciting that I looked forward to was being able to share more memories with the cast members of the show.
What should people watch out for in the second season of I Am Frankie?
There is a lot more action and adventures coming up. Also, there are so many great new characters in the second season.
What are the similarities and differences from season one?
I feel like everything was amped up this year. We have new characters and we have new sets. In addition, we have so many more activities in school. It’s not just the Brain Squad but we have a school play.
Why should people watch I Am Frankie?
It’s an amazing show. The show is for a teen concept and it’s about discovering who you are and about wanting to fit in.
What do you think viewers should take away from the show?
I think just be who you are and don’t apologize for it and also don’t feel the need to fit into a mold. The right people who love you for who you are are going to come along and that’s all you need in your life. You don’t have to listen to the negativity.
At what point did you decide to pursue acting as your career path?
I have always wanted to do it but I didn’t do it professionally until I moved to Los Angeles about three years ago. Since I was young, I wanted to be involved in production in any way possible. The second I moved to L.A. and started to get on set and learned all the different aspects of storytelling, I knew in my heart and soul that acting was meant for me.
How exactly did you navigate into the acting industry?
It’s a tough one. There is definitely no checklist that you can do or guaranteed success. I think for me it was about constantly meeting people, honing my craft, going to acting classes, and diving into scripts. I think when the opportunity presented itself to be able to go into this show with the characters that are right for you then everything lines up because you are not racing to catch up.
What was the best advice you’ve received about acting and who was it from?
A lot of my voice actors. When I am reading a script for the first time and then have to read it at least seven times so I can then understand the script from either the writer or the director’s perspective which has helped me.
What do you do on your off days when you aren’t acting?
Lately, I have been trying to do a lot of things that I have never done before. For instance, last week I tried archery and this past weekend I bubbled, where you get into this massive hamster wheel for humans and they put you on the water. I found it so hard to stand up in there and I was on my back trying to stand up the whole time. Then last night I went to Saddle Ranch Chop House to ride a mechanical bull for the first time which people got a kick out of since I am from Texas. I am all about going into the city and trying new things.
Are there currently any future projects that you are working on or will be working on?
There is a movie called Ocean that I recently shot and is in post-production with a great concept which I hope it comes through. In that movie, I play another teenager as well as another great friend. The quad is kind of like a modern-day parent. Last but least, my fingers are crossed on whether there will be a third season of I Am Frankie.
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“I Am Frankie’s” Star Nicole Alyse Nelson Talks About Her Experience On Set and More. Image Credits: Brett Erickson