In this interview, Melissa provides insights into her diverse career, navigating the highs and lows of modeling and acting, and her passion for positive change and social engagement. Discover how she strikes a balance between personal openness and safeguarding privacy on social media, along with the considerations that influence her decision-making process.
In the competitive world of Hollywood, Melissa shares valuable advice for aspiring actresses and models. Her commendable involvement in various philanthropic projects is highlighted as she discusses the causes close to her heart and the positive impact she aims to achieve through her public engagements.
As a public figure, Melissa acknowledges a certain responsibility for societal conversations. She shares her approach to this responsibility and discusses topics that hold particular importance to her, notably emphasizing the value of respect in today’s world.
In the constantly evolving world of entertainment, there are numerous creative influences. How do you manage to consistently discover new sources of inspiration in this creative flow? What specific strategies do you employ to maintain your motivation in your career, especially in the face of the challenges that the industry presents?
In this evolving world of entertainment, I discover new sources of inspiration by continuing to educate and challenge myself to new things. When my modeling and acting career slowed down, I then put myself back into school. It was a challenge for me because I hadn’t been in school for fifteen years, but I wanted to learn new things and challenge myself to do this. I ended up learning more in two years than I feel I did my whole life. This helped me by exposing myself to new things that can help me get more creative. I ended up graduating with an Associate in Science Degree.
You’ve achieved impressive success both as a model and as an actress. Could you provide detailed insights into how these two aspects of your career complement each other? What unique challenges have you experienced, and how have you overcome them?
In my acting and modeling career, I experienced a number of challenges. One was having a six-inch scar on my stomach from a car accident I had during my Freshman year of high school. That scar prevented me from getting a lot of acting and modeling jobs because not every company would want to hire someone who had to constantly photoshop images of their body or cover the scar with makeup. Another issue with modeling was my height. I am only 5’2 and was very short compared to others. Although, if a photographer was good at his job, he would know how to shoot me to help me look tall. My body is very proportionate, so if a photographer shot me at a lower angle, I would easily look 5’5. With acting, I ran into a lot of producers and directors who didn’t take me seriously and just wanted to date me. That was such a struggle and disappointment because I spent years in acting school and spent so much money on my classes over the years. As women, life can be very unfair, but we cannot play victim with ourselves. We need to stay strong and overcome these challenges. That is exactly what I did. I never let my scars, my height, or men stop me from being strong and staying confident. I overcame these challenges by staying positive and never giving up. 20 years later, I am still doing acting, modeling and so much more, because I never gave up!
As an influencer, you share part of your life on social media. Striking the right balance between personal openness and the protection of privacy can be challenging. How do you approach finding this balance, and what considerations influence your decision-making process?
Over the years I have learned what to expose and what to keep private. I used to be very open about how I felt about politics and others behaviors. Then I realized, all that is doing is causing negative energy. I want my fans to see me as a fair, balanced, and positive person. So, I avoid talking about negative issues on social media. The fans do listen and see everything you post. So I chose to keep my family life more private and work life more private. It has been dangerous for me to expose my other jobs on social media. Not all fans are mentally stable and I had to deal with stalkers sending me mail to my work, finding out where I live, or even harassing my family. I show my loyal fans what they want to see and show them my love and appreciation as much as I can. Without the fans, I wouldn’t be where I am today. The key to having balance in what I expose to the world is showing positive things and giving positive messages on social media. I do not need to show the world every second of my life, I show them what I feel is appropriate, entertaining, and helpful.
What exciting projects do you have coming up? What specifically drew you to these projects, and what personal or professional goals do you hope to achieve through them?
The newest project that I have coming up, is I bought my first house and I am renovating it. I moved to Miami recently to do real estate and flip homes. This has been such a great learning experience as well as creative! I love doing interior design, so getting to gut an old home out and make it brand new again is so much fun! There are challenges in this career and I am confident enough to know that I can take it on! Moving to Miami and barely knowing anyone is a challenge in itself, especially since I became a REALTOR. In real estate, it is all about who you know. Since I am a social butterfly naturally, I am not afraid of this new adventure. I want to prove to myself that I can become just as successful as a REALTOR as agents who have lived here their whole lives.
With a substantial following on social media, you have a significant reach. How do you incorporate personal causes and messages that are important to you into your platform? What positive impact do you aim to make through your presence on social media?
The positive impact that I give to my fans on social media is positive, insightful, and meaningful messages. I want to give my fans hope if they are going through a rough time in life. I want them to know I can relate to their struggles. I want to be a good influence and spread love, not hate. The world is going through a lot of negative events and the last thing they need is to just see tits and ass on social media. If I can show them something more meaningful and helpful, I will. People need hope and positivity more now than ever before.
In the competitive world of Hollywood, the path to success is often laden with challenges. What advice would you offer to young actresses and models aspiring to enter the industry? What lessons have you personally learned on your journey?
I would tell them to not give up, don’t compare themselves to others, and just be themselves. Living in LA for so long, I have seen so many people change for the worse and lose who they are inside. My best advice is to not get caught up in the “scene”. This isn’t a popularity contest. It is about talent and staying true to yourself. The party scene and drugs can be a huge influence on people and thats why a lot of them do not survive in the acting industry. Or they are too busy comparing themselves to others, so they lose confidence. Stay true to who you are and believe in your talent. Nothing comes easy in life, especially not an acting career. So put in the hard work and it will pay off in the long run.
Your involvement in various philanthropic projects is admirable. Could you speak about the causes that are particularly close to your heart and how you strive to make a positive contribution through your public engagements?
One thing that I truly love to do, is help others. If people are going through depression or relationship issues, I just want to help them. I have had many private messages with many fans who were going through hard times, and I just help them by giving advice or listening to them. Not everyone has someone close to them that they can just vent to. So, even though these are complete strangers that I am talking with, if I know I helped someone feel better that day with a couple of minutes of my time, that is very rewarding. People need to know, that there is hope and they are not alone.
The entertainment industry is undergoing constant changes, whether through new technologies or shifting audience preferences. How do you envision the future of your industry, and how do you plan to position yourself in this dynamic landscape?
AI has been the biggest change that I have seen. I feel that in all my careers, AI will be the main tool for me. People are using AI for real estate, influencing, gaming platforms, and advertising. So my future is staying up to date with technology so I am not left in the dark. I need to keep up with this new generation. The only thing that I am concerned about, is robots taking over people’s jobs. That is one thing I will not support.
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is a challenge for many. How do you personally succeed in finding this balance, and what specific activities or hobbies help you unwind from the demands of your career?
I absolutely love going to the gym and lifting weights. That is my therapy, my second home, and helps me feel good! I also love going to the gun range and shooting guns. As well as boxing. Even though I’m this little 5’2 Italian, woman, I love the most aggressive sports and hobbies. That is how I stay healthy mentally and physically. I feel that when I am staying active and eating healthy, it truly helps me feel happy and confident.
As a public figure, you bear a certain responsibility for societal conversations. How do you handle this responsibility, especially when it comes to influencing and contributing to discussions on specific topics? Which issues are particularly important to you in this regard?
One topic that is important to me is respect. I feel that this younger generation is lacking a bit of that. I want to help others learn and know how to have respect for others. Not everyone will agree with people’s political or religious points of view, but they can still have respect for each other. I understand that people have the right to freedom of speech, but when a person is hiding behind a phone or computer and stalking down on a stranger, that to me is truly sad. There is enough hate and evil in this world, if people just worked on having respect for each other, that would change so many people’s lives in a positive way. If I see negative comments on my social media or others, I don’t engage in it, and if I do, I still try to stay loving to hit those negative people with kindness. People are very brave and opinionated when they are hiding behind a phone. It is my responsibility to treat and show others respect like I wish for them to treat me. If they don’t, then that is their own battle with themselves.
In conclusion, we would like to express our gratitude to Melissa for her candid insights and inspiring words. Her diverse career and dedicated stance towards social change truly make her a captivating personality. We look forward to following Melissa’s continued successes and projects, wishing her all the best on her ongoing journey of fulfillment and inspiration. Thank you, Melissa, for your time and the enriching perspectives you’ve shared with us.