It has been Melissa's passion since the age of 5 to be a professional actor and model. Melissa has always loved the spotlight and the camera. She started acting professionally at the age of 12, with a small role in the Lifetime episode, "Real Witches: An Intimate Portrait" about the Salem, MA witch trials where she played Abigail, the girl who started the name calling (see her first role in her "Reel" section). All throughout school Melissa took acting and modeling classes as well as performed in community theater and did promotional modeling.
In 2003 Melissa auditioned and was accepted into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood, CA where she studied theater, dance, voice and film acting. She graduated in 2005 with her Associates Degree in Theater. In 2006, Melissa moved back home to Washington where she starred in several independent feature and short films as well as webseries. In 2007, Melissa, with two other fellow AADA Alum, created the production company Inspireworks. They wrote and produced their first feature film that Melissa also starred in, entitled Shaniko. Shaniko won "Best Local Filmmaker" and "Best Director" at the Washougal International Film Festival in 2008. In 2009, the film Melissa co-starred in, The Bicyclists, won "Best of the Festival" at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival. Parts of both above mentioned films can be seen on Melissa's "Reel" page.
In 2011 Melissa auditioned for the nationwide talent search 'Breakthrough Star'. Out of several hundred to thousand that had auditioned, Melissa made it through each round and was chosen for top 5 where she auditioned for Diverse Talent Group in Los Angeles. The winner was given a yearlong contract with the agency.
In 2013, Melissa created, produced and starred in the SAG webseries, My Sister. In 2018, Melissa moved to the San Francisco bay area where she regularly does fitness, lifestyle and product modeling. Most recently in 2020, Melissa re-created Inspireworks Productions as a Christian based production company with her friend, Bob Leone. Inspireworks produced a teaser trailer for Bob Leone's book, 'They Don't Cast Shadows' that Melissa turned into a screenplay and directed. The teaser trailer was made to raise funds for the feature film that Melissa is currently directing July 2021 in Georgetown, CA. Inspireworks Productions hopes to premiere the film in December or release by the following March of 2022.
Inspireworks Productions has already started early pre-production on their second project which is currently set to film in July 2022. Keep a watch out on Inspireworksproductions.com for more info on their second feature and to keep an update for Melissa's directorial debut on "They Don't Cast Shadows".
You can check out Melissa's IMDb page here: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2409364/
The Mountain Democrat's Article about Melissa's Directorial Debut for "They Don't Cast Shadows"
Gold Country Media's Article about the Christian "Twilight": "They Don't Cast Shadows"
Listen to the Podcast by M.J. Fave about "They Don't Cast Shadows"
You can see info about Melissa on Wikipedia
Watch and listen as the Director of Skirt Chaser talks about Melissa's audition and casting
Melissa opens up the slasher flick, The Taken, written and directed by Richard Valentine
Check out the article about Melissa and her character, Lissa Valentine, in The Bicyclist here
Learn about and watch some of the web-series episodes of The Bicyclist
Melissa in an article from her home town
Melissa playing on The World Bikini Football League (yellow team)
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