Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spotlight On...Talie Melnyk

Name: Talie Melnyk

Hometown: Calgary, AB, Canada

Education: MFA Binghamton University  After I graduated from Binghamton I attended the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, UK for a summer.

Favorite Credits: For some reason I've played quite a few prostitutes on stage, including in Maison des Reves.  However, I also enjoyed the following:  A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant & A Prayer (3 Crazy Ladies V-Day), Julius Caesar (Calphurnia, Oasis Theater), The Miser (Frosine, Oasis Theater), The Front Page (Molly, Theatre Albany), Waiting For the Parade (Janet, Cidermill Playhouse), Geeks In Love (Belinda, Loose Moose Theater)

Why theater?: Theater is an experience like no other for both the actor and audience.  It's something shared intimately yet is so fleeting, like life itself.  You have this time together and then it's gone.

Tell us about Maison des Reves: Maison des Reves is based on the true story of Alexe Popova, who confessed to killing over 300 men in Samara, Russia over a 30 year period from 1879 to 1909.  She provided a way to free or "liberate" those women of her community who were being horribly abused by the men in their lives. 

What inspired you to create Maison des Reves?:  I've always been attracted to true crime and to women's stories and was looking for the subject for a solo show that was not autobiographical.  I was reading a book on female serial killers called "Murder Most Rare" by Michael D. Kelleher & C. L. Kelleher, when I came across a tiny paragraph on Alexe Popova.  I began to ask a ton of questions which is always a good sign for a writer.  My father is Ukrainian and my mother is part Estonian so I already understood Alexe's culture and sensibility.  It soon became a story I had to tell. 

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I want to go to the theater and be moved, be changed, and to definitely have an experience of some kind.  I want to feel something whether it's to laugh out loud and/or cry my makeup off. I really love when I get lost in something whether it's a book, someone's performance, a sporting event, or out in nature.  Just suck me into the moment and I'm yours! 

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Hands down, Kathryn Bigelow.  Since I'm also a huge fan of writer/comediennes, it would be a riot to work with Jennifer Saunders and Tina Fey.

What show have you recommended to your friends?:  I love solo performance and at last year's All For One Theater Festival I saw some wonderful shows but was particularly knocked out by The Purpose Project by Elizabeth Van Meter, Speak Up Connie by Cindy Cheung, and Fruit Fly by Leslie Jordan. 

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: It would be awesome to see Laura Linney play me in "Can-American."

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I love good wine and listening to the blues.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Actually I already have another life that I love in the fitness/wellness industry helping women and special populations reach optimum health and mobility.  To fill in your blank though, I would be living in Hawaii and working as a marine biologist.

What’s up next?: I'm currently working on the screenplay for "Maison des Reves."

For more on Talie, visit http://taliemelnyk.com