Melissa Carcache is doing what comes naturally.
The Every Witch Way star, born and raised in Miami Lakes, caught the acting bug way early.
“When I was a little girl, I told my mom I wanted to get into showbiz, but she wanted me to have a normal childhood. You know, be in ballet, go to school,” says Carcache, who attended Immaculate Conception, then Monsignor Edward Pace High School. “After much persistence and years of me driving her crazy, she finally gave in at 14 and said, ‘OK, you can do acting classes and get a manager.’”
Carcache credits the talent of Angelina Jolie for helping her to see the light.
“I saw Girl Interrupted when I was 11,” she says of the 1999 big screen drama in which Jolie earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as a patient in a mental institution. “It changed my life.”
The movie, based on a true story, resonated with Carcache because she appreciated the work that went into it.
“She was amazing in that and her performance,” she says of Mrs. Brad Pitt. “I love roles where you do research. I’m a very curious person and always ask a lot of questions. I want to know why stuff happens. I would be on board to play a character like that, someone very different from myself.”
Carcache’s current TV role isn’t too much of a stretch, however. The 27-year-old plays Lily the school nurse on the Nickelodeon comedy about a teen named Emma (Paola Andino) who has magical powers. Lily helps guide Emma and keep her out of trouble.
“I have researched how to do certain things, like hold medical instruments and deal with students who would come seeking treatment,” says Carcache, who also watched a lot of Harry Potter to get a better feel of the sorcery angle. “It feels like I’m not stepping that far outside myself. Lily is kind of an old soul and closer to me personally.”
Speaking of close: Every Witch Way is not only set in Miami but shot at Blue Dolphin Studios in Doral. The cast recently wrapped the fourth and final season, which airs at 7 p.m. Monday.
Mama Carcache is not the only one happy that her daughter got to pursue her dream in her hometown.
“I love filming here,” says the actress, who also has a place in Los Angeles. “I get to enjoy my family and eat great food, drive on the MacCarthur Causeway, go to the beach and hang out with my friends.”
When not eating in her own dining room — “We’re Cuban; my mom is the best cook!” — Carcache also finds time to grab sushi at Katsuya at the SLS Hotel.
“It’s just like the one in L.A.,” she says. “It’s amazing there if you know what to order; don’t go crazy and get something you can’t pronounce, or you’ll have issues.”
As for season 4, fans of the show should expect the unexpected.
“Everything you thought you knew about Every Witch Way is going to change,” reports Carcache. “Every episode will leave you with a huge cliffhanger.”