You’ve likely heard the saying “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Regardless of your religious beliefs, we can all agree things don’t always go as planned.

That’s the case for Penfield native Nicolette Hart. Lia Lando tells us how the actress and singer ended up back home and is now helping others make their dreams come true.

Nicolette Hart has wanted to perform since she was a little girl. Growing up in Penfield, she realized her dream after taking dance lessons and recalls, “I didn’t want to do anything else.”

Determined to make it, Nicolette moved to New York City in 2002.

Her first audition was a big one! Bette Midler was looking for new backup singers. She remembers how intimidating the process was, auditioning in a room filled with people. She explains, “She, after 10 years, decided to start fresh with her harlettes, the backup girls, and it was a week-long process of singing and dancing.”

She nailed it and has been touring on and off for years with Bette Midler. An experience she explains as “life changing.” 

Hart also performed in various Broadway productions. Then something else changed her life. “My dad was getting… was really sick and I was coming home a lot more to see him,” recalls Nicolette.

She took a break from Broadway, performing locally at GEVA and then explains, “My 20-year high school reunion came up and last minute I decided to go and I reconnected with a boy. We’ve been together since 2012!”

And she’s been living in Penfield ever since. While Hart continues to act and sings all over the world, one of her proudest accomplishments? Opening up an acting studio for youth here in Rochester.

Although this wasn’t her plan, she is thrilled to be home and says, “This city is so incredible and we’re so lucky.”

Hart has performed in Broadway shows including Wedding Singer, RENT, Legally Blonde and more. For more information on her acting lessons go to