Melissa Ortiz (Alumni Guest Artist)

Melissa Ortiz is thrilled to be part of her third season at ECT. After pursuing her BFA at University of Nevada, Reno she moved to Los Angeles to concentrate on her acting career. Her favorite credits include La Rousse in TE’s Joan of Arc, Anna in Closer, and Baptista in the original pronunciation production of Hamlet. .  

Getting To Know... Melissa

Tell us about a transformative educational experience. 


While studying at the University of Nevada, Reno, I had the opportunity to study with Ben Crystal where he taught us the Passion in Practice technique which is a means of taking Shakespeare's words and bringing them alive to the point of where they feel as much apart of you as your own heartbeat. It was an incredible experience and I still use some of the methods we learned to this day.  



What about transformative professional experiences? 


The summer after my freshman year of college I had the opportunity to be part of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. It was my first time working with professional actors and I learned so much from them over the three months I was there. 



Why I do what I do... 


Because I get to live several lives and understand people who are vastly different than myself.



What about ECT inspires you? 


It is a company of people who do not rest on their laurels. Everyone strives to be better no matter their level of arts education when they start. Here I work with incredibly dedicated artists who push me to strive for more every day. 



Where have you traveled? Where would you like to visit? 


I have traveled to various places in the U.S. plus England, Mexico and (soon to be) Thailand. I dream of visiting all seven continents. 



My favorite "day-off" event would be... 


Reading a book while something delicious is baking. 



If I had one million dollars I would... 


TRAVEL and try all the cuisine and experience as much art from other cultures as possible. 



Did you know... 


When I was younger I thought I was psychic... but for completely useless things. Like knowing who was calling before I answered the phone and predicting which episode of a rerun show would be on before it started.

Melissa's Favorites


  1. Sushi
  2. Pasta
  3. Poke


  1. Quidditch
  2. Pyramid
  3. Pod Racing


  1. Harry Potter (series)
  2. Song of Ice and Fire (series)
  3. The Name of the Wind


  1. Cards Against Humanity
  2. Red Dragon Inn
  3. Quelt

TV Series

  1. Game of Thrones
  2. Black Mirror
  3. Westworld


  1. Singing
  2. Speed Reading
  3. Baking
  4. Making Hideous Faces

Mentors/Role Models

  1. My Mom
  2. Rob Oander
  3. Neil Gaiman
  4. Amanda Palmer


  1. Read
  2. Bake
  3. Cook
  4. Peruse

Melissa's 50 Year Time-Capsule

  • Complete works of Shakespeare
  • Necklace from my husband
  • My favorite sweater
  • A jewelry box my brother made
  • Family photo album
  • Picture of my childhood dog
  • A ring from my mother
  • My favorite recipes
  • The soundtrack to Amelie