Today’s Notable Young Professional is actress Melinda Michael, whose talent has been on display on television, in musicals, feature films, and live theatre. We caught up with her to find out what inspires her work and what advice she would share with other aspiring actors…
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I am an actress in film and television. My mission is to always give my absolute best and reflect the positivity and emotional connections the world needs through my work.
What was the inspiration for your career route?
I genuinely feel that this career chose me. I feel an inherent sense of purpose within my duties as an actor and the contribution I wish to make.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Dining with Alan Rickman and his wonderful family, and receiving his mentorship.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Enjoying the sunshine while riding my bike in Los Angeles, performing major roles in Hollywood films, and starring in network television. My heart would melt to play characters in both fantasy and period pieces. Eventually having a family.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be inquisitive. Inquire with yourself: What are my gifts/talents? What do I really enjoy? What are my strengths? When you know these things about yourself, you can start creating and be in action to produce results that make you the happiest version of you because you are taking what you love and sharing it with others.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I support the organization that without a doubt changed my life; a non-profit that focuses on ‘bhakti’, a Sanskrit word meaning yoga of devotion. The Bhakti Lounge offers musical meditation classes, philosophical discussions on ancient yogi knowledge, in addition to the physical aspect of yoga, and teaches how to cook phenomenal vegan meals and desserts.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
My fear of improv. It was always the ONE area of acting that I shied away from; everything else I was the first one up on that stage. But I told myself, “How can I call myself a professional actor when I hide from an aspect of my craft?” So I dove right into an improv class at film school in New York and guess what? It ended up being my favourite class. I crave it all the time now!
What does the word notable mean to you?
To me, notable means that you stand out from a crowd for a special quality, energy, or way of being that you possess that others recognize within themselves and therefore aspire to achieve. Being notable is most apparent when you are authentically you – that is notable, commendable, and the quality of a leader.
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
I am obsessed with good, healthy food and good presentation, so it is so hard to narrow it down to one. Hands down the best food I’ve had in Toronto (aside from my Nonna’s, of course) is from Bhakti Lounge.
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Not ashamed to say IMDB. I think it’s a little obvious what profession I’m in. In terms of music, my guilty pleasure is film sound scores – I love the music in LOTR, Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar, Narnia, and The Holiday, to name a few.
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Italy, and my favourite city is Florence. I have lived in Italy three times. I just can’t get enough of the culture and lifestyle.
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
I live a very busy life and am juggling my schedule all the time. If I’m filming, not being able to attend an important event gives me FOMO.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
It’s pretty clear from my previous answers: FOOD. Obviously. Banana bread and sweet potato fries.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success is being determined and flexible at the same time. Success is knowing who you are and not being afraid to express yourself. Success is being driven and standing up for what you believe in. Success is being respectful and compassionate to others, and yourself.