Melanie Chrystn is an aspiring stage actress who lives in NYC and attended The Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton, OH.
Q: What made you interested in acting?
A: I became interested in performing at a very young age. I was very shy when I was younger, but when given the opportunity to act or sing, I realized I could express myself in a way that was usually very hard for me to do. I completely fell in love with the release of that energy and the confidence that it helped me build.
Q: What role that you have played was the closest to your own personality?
A: I once did a character study and portrayal of “Norah” from A Doll’s House. Norah began the show as a soft spoken and sweet girl with a lot of compassion for those around her, even for those who did not have the same respect for her. But throughout the story, Norah grows to embrace her independence and becomes a strong woman who is capable of making choices that will benefit who she truly is. I think every woman can relate to finding the balance between the commitment to yourself and the commitment to the people or things you care about.
Q: What role was the furthest from your own personality and how did you prepare for it?
A: I portrayed “Lucy” in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Her character was very fun to work with, but while studying the original Peanuts comic strips, I noticed that she was a much more aggressive and outspoken young girl than I ever was. I studied the comics and Peanuts movies to help build my confidence in a role that required me to be very bossy. I had so much fun playing a character that was so opposite of my own demeanor.
Q: What is the difference between acting for the stage and acting for the theater?
A: When acting for the stage, you are using your energy to express yourself and your character. When performing for the theater, you are conveying the same energy of expression for the many individuals in your audience. You give all of your energy into the stage, so it may extend from there and into the hearts of the people watching.
Q: What is your weirdest back stage story?
A: In a show I was doing, as a prop, I had a scooter with a bell on it. I was originally supposed to ride the scooter on stage and ring the bell, however, moments before I needed to go on, a castmate backstage was mocking my character and broke the bell by accident! I had to ride the scooter out and verbally make the “ding ding” sound. It turned out to be a hit with the audience!
Q: Who are your acting influences?
A: I admire the work of Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, and Debbie Reynolds; each individually talented and incredibly humble.
Q: What do you like about NYC?
Whether you are an artist or just an adventurer, New York is an incredible place to be. I wake up inspired ever day knowing that there is diversity, consistent change, and endless opportunities here. The city has no limits, and has shown me that neither do I!
Q: What don’t you like about it?
A: Everything is harder in New York, and sometimes I yearn for the simplicity of my home in the Midwest. But I am grateful to be here and even though the city can be challenging, I am growing as a person and as a performer because of it. There is no place quite like it, and there is no place I would rather be.
Q: What is your dream role and why?
A: I am a children’s entertainment enthusiast and would love the opportunity to portray the role of “Marry” in Disney’s Marry Poppins. The story of the show is so elegant and charming, and Mary is such a beautiful, independent, and inspiring lady who teaches many valuable lessons and has exquisite humor.
Q: Marry, kiss or kill? Edward Albee, Neil Lebute or Arthur Miller?
A: Marry – I respect that tradition. I admire Edward Albee because he is not only a motivating writer, but a motivating person. He has allowed himself to take challenges and accept the outcomes after doing so and believes every individual, artist or not, has the ability to accomplish great things if they allow themselves to and I think he portrays that mentality in his work.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)