Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spotlight On...Melanie Ehrlich

Name: Melanie Ehrlich

Hometown: Commack, NY

Education: BA from NYU, self-curated major: "Communication and Education Through The Performing Arts"

Select Credits: On-camera: Upcoming feature film "Tumbledown" starring Jason Sudeikis and Rebecca Hall; "Redrum" on Investigation Discovery. Theatre: Starred as Mimzy in One Last Box (also written by Brett Ackerman) at The Network One-Act Festival 2014 (semi-finalist). Casting: Currently casting voiceover talent for the upcoming video game "Blue Planet: War In Heaven", mod of the popular cult classic Freespace 2.

Why theater?: I love acting on-camera; I love the realism and intimacy of the medium. That being said, there is nothing quite like the connection with a live audience. It's just so fun! I loooooove acting for the camera, but acting for the stage is its own unique thrill. The audience and the actors--we breathe life into each other. You know how when you're little you learn that trees "breathe" out oxygen for us to breathe in, and we breathe out carbon dioxide for trees to breathe in? It's kind of like that. You're so connected. It's awesome. Casting for theatre has been interesting, particularly since most of my previous casting work has been in voiceovers. It's been helpful to me as an actor to be on the other side of the table in the audition room; to see for myself how I cast, what my internal thought process is in the room, has given me some really good insight into what I should focus on for myself as an actor in auditions going forward.

Tell us about White Space:
White Space was written by a good friend of mine, and one of the most witty, insightful, and creative writers I know. It is directed by another good friend of mine, who is sharp and insightful and has a very complementary sense of humor. And all of the actors we cast are just right for their roles. Devin (Alex) brought a focused yet explosive energy to the audition and callback that no one else could match, and Nicola (Samantha) got everything intuitively from the get-go. I was THRILLED to cast two of my voiceover students (and good friends) in the show--Tom (Dying Alex) and Nick (off-stage male voices) are so well-suited for their respective roles in White Space. I also had the unique opportunity to cast myself, (off-stage female voices), which is not something I've done before!

What is it like being a part of White Space?: I'm really happy to be involved in this production with these great people! My role in this production was unique, as we got to combine live theatre and voiceover elements, so I ended up taking on casting, acting, and audio engineering roles for the production, and I loved it! I am so looking forward to seeing the final product!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
I love productions that surprise their audiences somehow. Shows that continually engage their audiences. Shows that don't try to be anything they're not, and let their own unique strength shine. A production recognizing its strengths and fulfilling its potential can be a beautiful thing to experience.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: On the stage, I would really love to play Ti Moune in Once On This Island. Or Oogie Boogie in a musical theatre production of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Maybe Lucky in Waiting For Godot just because. On camera, I would love to play any and all roles that are the right roles for me--no more, and no less. Dying to play, though? I would love to play a fun, quirky, clever character on "Community". Here's hoping there is truth to the rumors and that "Community" is coming to Hulu for another season. (Please Hulu, I'm still hoping for six seasons and a movie.)

What’s your favorite showtune?: I really love "Oogie Boogie's Song" from The Nightmare Before Christmas. If I was a big, bad sack of bugs, that would be my theme song. Is that a showtune? I say that's a showtune.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Really, I would love to work with anyone and everyone who would love equally to work with me. If I have to be specific? I would love to work with Matthew Gray Gubler. I dig his style!

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I would play me in a movie about myself. I think I would do a very good job. It would be called...I don't know what it would be called, but it would have a very flamboyant, eye roll-inducing pun or play on words in the title. At least one.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: "Community" and "Suits" are the two top shows I recommend to everyone who has eyes and/or ears. Though I would totally recommend them to people who don't have eyes or ears too!! I don't discriminate.

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: "Strela Amura" (Arrow of Love) by Alexander Rybak. Download it!! It's really good. There's an English version ("Oah") but there's something particularly charming about the Russian version. Alexander Rybak is a particularly gifted musician and I am looking forward to him making his mark on the American music world the way he has on the European music world. :)

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:
My second most played song on iTunes is "Da Capo" by Ace Of Base, soooooooooo...

What’s up next?: A bunch of things I can't yet talk about...and one that I can! My newest endeavor is the LTM Audio Players--an intensive character voice acting class/ensemble hybrid that will culminate in a live showcase performance at an Off-Broadway theater. If all goes well, we will be having our debut performance at the end of August! Keep an eye out on for updates. :)

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