In this episode, I interview Hollywood actor and producer Marietta Melrose, whose extraordinary journey from Bulgaria to London to the bright lights of LA could really have been taken from a movie. Her Unlock Moment was discovering certainty about her passion for acting, and her subsequent story of unwavering commitment against the odds is genuinely inspiring.
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Gary Crotaz 0:02
My name’s Dr. Gary Crotaz. And I’m a coach and author of The IDEA Mindset, a book about how to figure out what you want, and how to get it. The Unlock Moment is that flash of remarkable clarity, when you suddenly know the right path ahead. When I’m in conversation with my coaching clients, these are the breakthroughs that are so profound, that they remember vividly, where they were, who they were with, what they were thinking, when their Unlock Moment happened. In this podcast, I’ll be meeting and learning about people who have accomplished great things or brought about significant change in their life, and you’ll be meeting them with me. We’ll be finding out what inspired them, how they got through the hard times, and what they learned along the way that they can share with you. Thank you for joining me on this podcast to hear all about another Unlock Moment. Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Unlock Moment podcast. Today I’m delighted to have my very good friend Marietta Melrose on the show. Marietta is an actor, creator, producer and TV host based in Los Angeles. She can be seen recurring in hit shows like Atypical on Netflix, and also as a lead sorority girl in Ted Bundy American Boogieman on Hulu. She has interviewed and met all of the Oscar winners in the last several years, including Brad Pitt, Viola Davis, and Lady Gaga to name a few. Marietta rarely gets to reveal her true identity, as she loves audiences to learn more about her through the eyes of her characters. Marietta was the first Bulgarian actress to attend Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her job includes hearing ‘no’ a thousand times a week and transforming it into a ‘yes’. Marietta is also an advocate for actors who need help on their creative path. She is always on the quest to discover what it takes to be performing at her best, just like an Olympic athlete. Marietta has an incredible story to tell. And I know you’ll love hearing all about how she’s found those moments of clarity, as she’s forged a path from home in Bulgaria, to acting school in London and now to the bright lights of Hollywood. Marietta, welcome to The Unlock Moment.
Marietta Melrose 2:21
Gary, thank you so much for having me. It’s always such a pleasure talking to you. Thank you.
Gary Crotaz 2:28
So Marietta, start out with telling us a little bit about your your story. Tell us about the journey you went on to get where you are today.
Unknown Speaker 2:36
Absolutely, I was born in a small town in Bulgaria called Burgas, which is by the seaside, I know you’ve been there in your competing career. And when I was very young, I was still in kindergarten, there was a teacher there who thought that I have singing ability and musical talents. And so at the age of four, I started playing the piano. So I was in a way performing from very early on, and I feel like you know, acting and music, they’re really related. And then later on, we moved with my family to the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. So there I had more opportunities to explore different types of art, and stage performance, and the piano was still there. I was playing six, seven hours a day as a kid. But I kind of found more joy in, in acting. And in the capital, there were more opportunities to explore that, there were more acting studios. And I was at the time at a private school where I was on stage all the time, be it you know, talking to different guests at the school that were coming in, ambassadors or leading performances, I was always on stage. And that was something that captured my interest from very early on.
Gary Crotaz 4:10
And when you think about that, that moment when you when you went from this is something that I enjoy to this is something that I really see as my future. Where where were you when that happened?
Marietta Melrose 4:22
So there was a very special person at the time, he was an acting legend, and also a teacher who noticed my talent and he invited me, it was invitation only to his studio, which was in a professional theatre, one of the really famous theatres in Bulgaria. And so every weekend, I started going to that studio. And it was there that I really felt connected to the legacy of what the craft and the art had to bring. Just entering the theatre and physically being there. I felt that powerful transformation, just connecting to the legacy of what the theatre had to bring, and all the performers that have been there over the years, having that ability to step on that stage and warm up or create segments from different literary works. It was that moment there that I felt really connected to, that’s the thing I want to do. And I was also always an excellent student. So it was really hard to convince my parents that that’s going to be it. You know, my mom wanted me to study politics, be an attorney or an ambassador. And so there was a performance there at that studio. And I was doing the monologue for from Romeo and Juliet, the end monologue before she takes her life. And that was the moment where my mom was like, Okay, I’m convinced, this is going to be it. And it’s not because you’re my daughter, but I was in tears, because I was literally moved from your stage presence and how you made me feel. And there was something about acting that I discovered that I really was interested in helping people get into their vulnerability and their feelings. I felt like as a kid, I was very emotional, very strong, but also very emotional. And I noticed that other people or children are not in their feelings the way I was, because they thought in a way, that’s a weakness, or they were scared of their feelings. And I wasn’t – I was always embracing them. And I thought there was like, some kind of power there to really embrace your feelings and my way of, of encountering acting, was that that thing that I wanted to help people be in their feelings and feel more.
Gary Crotaz 6:49
It’s amazing when I when I listened to you, and I can hear how vividly these memories are for you. And you, you were young, at this time when you were young, when you when you knew that it was your your, your your life ahead of you?
Marietta Melrose 7:03
Yes, I was. I was 10 years old. And what I, when I look back at that moment in time, what I find really interesting is my parents, they wanted to go on family vacations over the weekends, they wanted to do family stuff, but I had the power at 10 years old to convince them that no, we have to stay here for the weekend, because I have my acting studio, and I can’t miss that. And they were going with it. So I was like, as a kid, I I almost had more power over my mom than I have now. Because I managed to convince her to change her lifestyle.
Gary Crotaz 7:41
Amazing. And and as you went through your teenage years, how how did your your focus and your drive to act? did? Was it always strong? Or did it? Did it come and go over the years?
Marietta Melrose 7:55
That’s a really interesting question that I’ve been reflecting upon, because the relationship with acting really changed for me over the years. As a kid, I just loved the attention, I loved having the opportunity to go to a restaurant and like play a song for everybody and have that have that attention as a kid. But later on, I also lost my dad at a very early age. And I was bullied in high school. So acting became a way for me to escape to just have a different reality and transform into a different character. With that desire to experience what it’s like to be somebody else. There were moments in high school that it was so painful, I was thinking about changing schools. But at the same time, the thing that kept me going at the time was, Oh, I know after school, I’m going to go and do the play or I’m going to explore what it’s like to be somebody else. So that was the relationship there. And now I think it’s transformed to just that curiosity of learning more about myself and learning more about myself through other characters. So it’s definitely changed over the years. But it was it was that moment that I, that Unlock Moment with Romeo and Juliet’s monologue where I, I knew that there’s going to be no plan B for me, that that’s going to be it, because, you know, with the arts, it’s always possible to go to college and have that as another thing that you do on the side. But at that moment, I knew that’s that’s my calling. That’s what I want to do for the rest of my life is tell stories and and somehow impact people by storytelling.
Gary Crotaz 9:48
When I listen to you, I can hear that commitment coming through that that no plan B in the power of the way you you tell the story. And it’s something I’ve always felt with you, we’ve known each other quite a long time. So tell me more than you, you got to a place in your in your life where you decided that you wanted to explore leaving Bulgaria and coming to England, coming to London to, to take the next step in your training. Tell me about that transition.
Marietta Melrose 10:18
Yes, there was a sense of when I was living in Bulgaria that I always wanted to be somewhere else, like Bulgaria wasn’t enough for my dreams. And part of it was because we know that in London, New York, or Los Angeles, those are the places to be if you want to do the craft and the art on a bigger scale and touch more people. And it wasn’t the thing that I think it’s also something very important to me is that it wasn’t the fame or the money that ever led me to those places, I was never interested in fame, I was just like, Where’s the place where I can meet the most amount of people and impact more, and be in movies that are seen all over the world. And it wasn’t the fame, because I feel like there’s a really interesting thing with acting, a lot of people are doing it because of the fame and the money. But if I wanted to be rich, acting would be the last thing that I would be thinking about! So yes, I was saying that Bulgaria was never enough for my dreams. So I started exploring opportunities to go study in London, because I knew that the schooling there is, is is the best for stage. And two summers in a row, I had the opportunity to go and study in RADA and LAMDA, and just prepare for those auditions that were coming up to actually study there. And I feel like that was something that was really important at the time to just feel like I belong to make to make peace with that mindset of me of, I’m not good enough, or I don’t deserve to be here, because I’m coming from a small European country. So I use that opportunity to feel, literally, I would go at RADA and just touch the walls when I was at those summers there and connect with that environment and be like, No, I deserve to be here, I’m good enough. And that’s what I’m going to do. So I created some relationships, I took the opportunity to obviously study and prepare, but also just meet people and the cultural differences, feel what it’s like to live in London. And is that the place for me. And of course, like in every hero’s journey, there’s the ups and downs. And and that’s somewhere I was a little crushed by one of the teachers there who was questioning my choice, why do you want to study in London, when you can study in Bulgaria and not have the the language barriers or struggle with with that move, and, and that really impacted me at the time thinking, Oh, here’s another person that thinks that that’s not possible. And so I hired the best accent coach at the time in London, and I worked with her for a long time. And that was, again, an encounter that was really impactful on a deeper level, because an accent, it’s part of your identity. It’s it doesn’t define who you are, it doesn’t define your ability, but it is part of my identity. And it was interesting, because again, it woke up that voice of – Marietta, you’re not good enough, you will never be an actor, because you can’t do accents. And that’s what it’s required to be to be there. And so I had to, in order to quiet that voice, I just did the work. And that’s again, another underlying current in my, in my experience, that I always lean into the work and rely that it’s going to be there and support me in those moments when it gets difficult.
Gary Crotaz 14:16
And I know that my listeners will be so interested to hear your story when you’re talking about that, that that voice that says, you know, you’re not good enough that you don’t deserve this, because, you know, lots of people are in lots of different careers, lots of different sectors, lots of industries and acting, and dancing are, you know, worlds that we’ve both been obviously, are in many ways, very, very different from what most people do in their everyday life. But actually, that voice, that judgement that’s there with you all the time is common in all of those environments and maybe even more so in in something like the acting industry and I’m sure we’ll talk later about, about, you know, the audition process and people constantly judging you and how you deal with that. Now I wanted to ask you, when you think back to your, your time in, in London when you were training, when was the first time that you felt – Now I belong here?
Marietta Melrose 15:19
That’s a great question. Because it was, I guess, during the training, it came from my relationships with my classmates there. And just that dynamic of what I have to bring to the table is being seen and heard. It didn’t come from my teachers, it came from the community, and the people I was working with, because oftentimes, especially me as a kid, being a good student, I had the good girl syndrome of always trying to please a teachers and, and hear a good word. But at the time at Central, I found power in community and creating with my classmates and putting my trust into the ensemble, I felt power in that. And that’s where I felt like when that I belonged.
Gary Crotaz 16:15
So you found your role you found your, your voice in that group?
Marietta Melrose 16:20
Yes, I, I would say that, because I, what I brought to the table was a lot of positivity. And when people let’s say, weren’t feeling like doing the work, or were tired, I would be the person that would be no, we have to keep going. And let’s try this. And let’s try that. And I was always because I was so in touch with my feelings, I would be the person that would keep the team together, I would start with like big hugs in the morning, and the lots, lots of just compassion and kindness. And now that you asked me this question, I’m actually reflecting upon that. And if you call any of my Central classmates, that’s the I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re gonna say, I always brought the positivity. And that was kind of my role in the group during Central because, you know, it’s like, it’s like a cowboy, soldier camp, drama school and can get really difficult because it is true, they, they break you down to build you up again. And you kind of have to forget everything about yourself, you know, there was there was a moment where my teachers were like, we have a problem with your hair, it’s always there. It’s like, I can’t see your transformation because your hair is always there. And in my hair is again part of my identity. But in those moments, it was the work and the ensemble and the power of community and having somebody to share what I’m going through. That’s what kept me going. Of course, there were moments where I, again, questioned is this the right place? Am I actually fitting in, but it was the work and the feeling, I was always going with the feeling. And while I was at Central, I was also performing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And again, that’s something that was very unique about my experience, they don’t usually let you audition or do outside productions while you’re at drama school. But that were some of the most powerful and wonderful moments in my career so far, just having that experience in the Edinburgh Fringe 24/7, meeting artists being on the same wavelength with people and creating and impacting through storytelling. I really, really enjoyed that.
Gary Crotaz 18:47
So having already made the huge change from a small seaside town in Bulgaria, to the capital, and then from there to the the big city in in London in your training, and you then decided that wasn’t enough and you wanted to move out to LA, so tell tell me a little bit a bit about going out to LA and landing there and what happened next.
Marietta Melrose 19:12
It’s so interesting because you changed careers a few times in your life and I changed places which is very, it’s a very similar experience because you start from the beginning again, you start building, you know, moving to a new place is almost like changing a career. You have to have a very specific kind of skill set to be easily adaptable, but also to have the ability to really rely on yourself because there’s nobody who can do it for you. I did a course that was gifted by my mother. She let me go to LA for two weeks thinking Oh, you just finished drama school. Let’s see what you know what Hollywood has to offer. Not thinking at all that I’m going to stay, she had no idea, she probably wouldn’t have given me that opportunity if she knew I’m gonna move to America. And so I came here for two weeks and met a lot of industry professionals that were really excited about me, they were all like, Oh, you’re gonna be working so much, you look so young, there are so many opportunities out here. And of course, as a believer and a dreamer, that’s all I needed to hear. I was like, this is this is my place. But I also noticed that everybody is looking for the next big thing. And just like I’m watching the show, 1883, which is about the Oregon Trail and the immigrant experience. And I was I was a dreamer. I mean, America is built on dreamers. And I just felt that energy that this is the place for me, and I went with my gut. And on the second day of me being here, I called my mom and I was like, You know what, I’m staying here. She’s like, What do you mean, you’re staying yet? You’re staying for two weeks, right? Like, no, I am gonna figure it out, I’m gonna move out here. So you need to find a moving company and move my stuff from London to Bulgaria. And that’s what’s happening. So I’m delegating this part of the work to you. And I’m going to figure everything else.
Gary Crotaz 21:21
And that was on day two?
Marietta Melrose 21:22
And that was on day two, those meetings are going too well!
Gary Crotaz 21:28
That’s amazing! And that came to to pass? So your furniture went, went home from London, and you stayed out in LA.
Marietta Melrose 21:36
It did, it really did. But also my mom, she’s, she’s very resourceful as well, because at the time she did the London part of the work, but also I was here, without the ability to actually legally stay in the country, I had to figure out how to do the whole immigration process. So I didn’t have social security. I didn’t have any of those things. But she managed to find a person I could stay with, from Bulgaria. So she, you know, she was she was also well connected. She she she was helping me as much as she could. But at the time, what was really heartbreaking is I was doing all the foundation work of meeting with attorneys and all of them, were saying, it’s not going to be possible, there’s no way you have just finished drama school, have no credits, you have no credibility to move out here. And I just knew, I went with my gut. And that’s another thing about me, which I feel like, hopefully, the listeners can have some trust in that in their gut and going with the feeling of this is the right thing that I feel for whatever reason, this is the right space and place for me. And even though all the attorneys were saying it’s not possible, I figured it out, I found the person that believed, that could help me out on this journey, and we managed to get the O-1 visa, which took a long time and heartache. But I managed to stay!
Gary Crotaz 23:10
What? What does that experience and the way you handled it, tell you about yourself?
Marietta Melrose 23:16
That I am a survivor. And no matter what people say, I push through if the thing is right for me, you know, I do have a lot of crazy Hollywood stories. Like one of the managers I met on that trip that was supposed to sponsor my O-1 visa in the midst of us working together, he told me he was a vampire, and needed to bite me to turn me into an empowered actress in the audition room. And that was an experience, which I had with a person I trusted that could handle my career at the time. So again, it might sound like comedy right now. But at the time, I was like, I just What am I doing? I’m in this unfamiliar place with people I don’t know, with no ability to stay here, with a vampire manager, what am I doing?! But I also had a sensor of when something doesn’t feel right. And if it doesn’t feel right, I would just shift and find the right person who can help me and always ask for help. I feel like it was really uncomfortable. And I felt really shy to do that because I’m so self reliant and self sufficient. But at the time, I had no other choice. So I had to connect with creators and ask them for potential contracts because that’s part of the visa process. You need to have work lined up here and just introduce myself and let them know that I’m really excited to work with them or be however way incorporated in their productions. And that’s something that I had to do even though it was uncomfortable and I feel like people really have a hard time asking for help. But generally, when we meet people, and we ask them for something, you know, the worst worst case scenario is you can hear a no. But if you don’t ask, you’re not even going to know if it’s a no or a yes. So at the time, I kept asking, and I kept being curious and see how I can be of help to others as well. It wasn’t a one way street, I always wanted it to be a win win situation, for the person that’s helping me – and people recognise that, people know what it’s like to come to LA, because most people in LA are coming from somewhere else. So they want to help.
Gary Crotaz 25:40
These two elements of your personality that shine through, there’s the one that is the creative, the dreamer, the believer. And there’s this other one that is like, driven, gritty, punchy, and not willing to give up and not willing to hear no. And it’s, it’s interesting to hear how those two play through because, you know, the persona you described when you were in drama school, and you were the you were the person that came in, in the morning, with all the positivity, and the person you’re describing, who establishes yourself, with no grounding, with no foundation in LA, and you’re committed to staying, but you’ve got to work out a way to do it. Those are two very different sides of your personality that that you play in different circumstances.
Marietta Melrose 26:29
Yes. And a lot of people, that’s why I also say I’m an advocate for actors, because a lot of actors would try and stay in LA, they would hear a couple of ‘no’s, and they would go back, there might be actors from Australia or Europe. And I want to help those people, I want to help them believe that it is possible not just for actors, any creative, it could be, you know, it could even be a dentist, it’s it’s a similar process that’s really difficult. I have friends of mine and, and my friend is a psychologist and her partner is a dentist, and they’re now going through the same process, figuring it out. And me having been through that, I help them on their journey as well with the belief and knowing that it is possible. So that’s why I’m also I am so grateful for being on this podcast to share that journey that it is possible. The underlying current in all of this is, it is possible if that’s the right place for you, if you want to do it for your career, for love, or whatever reason it is to move to America, it is possible, no matter what people say.
Gary Crotaz 27:40
And where does the desire to help come from, do you think?
Marietta Melrose 27:43
It makes me feel good, but also I do believe that the world would be a better place if people are compassionate and kind. I think kindness is something we can do. And it’s free. And it comes from a place of gratitude. I am grateful to have had those struggles and those experiences because believe me, there were there were moments when it was really hard to get out of bed. It was I was probably depressed at the time. I didn’t know it because I had to move forward. But now looking back, I was probably going through severe depression. And so if I’ve had that experience, I want to share it and and if I can help somebody, perhaps less have less struggle. Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t I share my discoveries, I feel like the world would be a better place. And I do feel like another reason why I’m so connected to acting is because it comes from a place of empathy. And you have to imagine what it’s like to be in another people’s another person’s shoes to really embody another being. I mean, just receive it. We see it this week, what happened, what’s happening with Ukraine and Russia. And we are living in a world where empathy I feel like is the only cure to healing and and, you know, suffering is always going to be there. But hopefully, I if I can be a part of that journey to making the world a better place. I would love to.
Gary Crotaz 29:26
It comes through strongly with you. Where does the grit come from?
Marietta Melrose 29:29
Well, my father was an athlete. And I saw his discipline from a very young age. He would always start his day with focusing on himself, working out in the morning, paying attention to his mindset and working really hard. I mean, his his legacy that he left and what what was left for me was that mindset of I want to really work hard so my daughter doesn’t need to suffer and struggle, but also have the ability to do whatever she wants. And witnessing that you feel like an athlete, like Olympic Olympic athletes, we share a very similar lifestyle and that the work, putting your feet on the ground everywhere every day doing the work, not seeing results for sometimes for years. You know, the last time I worked, actually, and I was actually filming was in February. So it’s been a year. But nothing in my mindset has shifted. On the contrary, I’m encountering so many opportunities on a daily basis, and my enthusiasm cannot be shifted, because because of that, because I grew up witnessing discipline, and it’s something that I’ve always done.
Gary Crotaz 30:57
And so you’ve been in in LA now for for a few years, and and you’ve advanced out from just acting to also acting and producing. So when you look back over the last year, and as you say, I mean, it’s been a very difficult time in the pandemic for, for actors, for sure. But you’ve also been producing some of your own short films too. How is your identity shifting? As you’re developing your career in LA?
Marietta Melrose 31:24
We see it now with a lot of actors. Reese Witherspoon, she has her own production company, Oprah Winfrey, the legacy that she’s created over the years, there’s this sense of actors want to create their own work and want to be empowered. And and that’s what I want to do. I, I just, I can’t wait for constant permission to be given to do what I want to do. And I find a sense of relief, but also creativity, when I’m creating the stories that I want to tell, how do I want to change the narrative in people’s lives? Or what do I have to bring to the table as a storyteller? And so it’s a very empowering experience, it was again, it was really hard, because I racked up a ton of credit card debt in the process of creating my own work. But I did it and it was rewarded, we did really well in festivals, I had an amazing cast of talented people that jumped into it and did it. And now the next stage in the process is, after the festivals, is sending it to people so that again, reaching out seeing who believes in my vision, and who would be the person that I can continue creating with. I think that again, as creatives and artists, it’s really hard to build strategy that’s healthy and, and doing that kind of business-oriented work every day. But in order to get it done, vision is not enough, you have to have a purpose and strategy. And that’s something that I was reminded in The IDEA Mindset in the book, something to go back to because it gets really difficult when you keep hearing no or Oh, that project. It’s not right for my portfolio right now – it can get really crushing and difficult. But also, it’s really empowering when you get those yeses. So that’s why in my bio, I put in continuously, you know, changing no to a yes, because I am the only person who can do it. I can’t wait for other people to give me permission. I’m a creator. Yeah.
Gary Crotaz 33:49
You are you are. I think it’s something that I’d really like my listeners to hear more from you. What what have you learned from being in an environment where, you know, the day to day job is going into a room and somebody saying, no, not because you’re not good. But because you’re in LA that’s, you know, it is it’s one of the world’s most competitive environments you can possibly be in? And what have you learned about being able to take control and get on the front foot in your interaction, your dialogue with these people that are constantly judging as is their profession to judge you? How have you taken control of that?
Marietta Melrose 34:31
Absolutely. And I think things have shifted so much. And, again, we can find reasons to be grateful for the pandemic. And so my reason to be grateful for the pandemic is to that I had the ability to slow down and focus on self reflection, and where am I in this process of, of my mindset, what can I do better? And I’ve discovered that trusting my instincts is something that’s kept me going, and also surround myself with people I trust and having those day-to-day conversations and sharings, with, in this case, my husband, he’s my constant rock, and I share everything with him. And I, you know, we track progress in very healthy way of where I’ve been a year ago. And that’s kind of the strategy part of how things have shifted, and being grateful, starting my day with gratitude, because things have tremendously, massively changed for me in, in the acting industry, but also in my mindset over the years. And that comes from a place of gratitude and tracking progress, because it’s, it can get really difficult, right? You continuously hear no, but from two years ago, where I’m at right now is those constant pins, those constant, where she’s in like the top three choices, right? And that’s progress, but at the same time, continuously being connected to my vision. And looking back to my mindset, and staying in compassion and kindness to myself, because I mentioned that being kind and compassionate to others, but also love myself for how far I’ve come in my journey. Because we rarely get to celebrate our wins. I feel like people again, another thing, like takeaway, I hope in their life is perhaps having a list of like a gratitude journal. And every week, what have been your wins? How are you better today than you were yesterday?
Gary Crotaz 36:45
A lot of my listeners will have their own moments where they’re standing outside the audition room, but the audition room for them might be, you know, a conversation with their boss, maybe, you know, walking into room thinking about how I do I ask for a pay raise, or how do I ask for more flexible working, or maybe going into a job interview. And so, bring us into your mind when you’re standing outside the audition room about to walk through those doors, with everything that you’ve learned from your time in Hollywood, what’s in your mind, when you’re about to walk through that door and deliver that performance.
Marietta Melrose 37:23
Having a deep relationship with the human that’s standing in front of me, because it’s so easy to give power to the other person and see them as Oh, they’re the producer. And they’re the casting director, and I want to impress them, or this is my boss, and I need to please them, but actually look at them as a human being and embrace them for who they are, because they have their insecurities and weaknesses, and they need help as well. So just connecting on a human level and trying to kind of change the molecules in the air of No, we’re there’s no power here. We’re both equal. And we’re together in this moment in time. And actually, I’m the solution to your problem. You’re trying to cast this, I’m bringing you what you need. And I’m going to make you look good. So I’m helping you, not just giving my power to them. I think that’s that’s how that’s that’s helped me a lot. And just connecting on a human level, try and have a conversation, try and see where they’re coming from. Because at the end of the day, everyone wants to do a good job, as much as I want to be cast, they want to cast a show that’s really good. So don’t give your power away.
Gary Crotaz 38:39
I want my listeners to really tune into that thing you said where you said, we’re in this conversation because you have a need. And I could be the solution to your need. It’s it’s it’s a shift in the power dynamic from I’m trying to impress you to, hey, you might need me. And I just want people to tune in to that thing because it was so powerful. If, and if you think back to how you were in your head maybe two or three years ago, going into the audition compared with now, what’s changed in that time? What’s become stronger for you, in your mindset going into that audition?
Marietta Melrose 39:13
Oh well, a lot’s changed. It was actually really painful. Every time I had to drive in a lane, we drive a lot. It was really, it was really a struggle to go in the room and and have that mindset of I was really trying to impress them which takes away all the creativity, it takes, it takes it all away and it’s really not about that but it’s you know, with me being in the industry and having more experiences I realised that what I have to bring to the table with my experiences, diversity, life experiences, intelligence, emotional intelligence, is going to be very different from what the next person has to bring. And sometimes it’s going to be what the production needs. And other times it’s not going to be that, but it’s not personal. The project is their baby and knowing that, that No, today might be for reasons that are completely outside of our control, and don’t have anything to do with talent, but has to do with Oh, actually, the lead role in in the show is the lead actress that we’ve already cast is very similar to Marietta’s look. So this project is not going to work out. But if I’ve had a healthy experience in the room, today’s No, might shift and transform in tomorrow’s Yes. And that’s a really strong example for me with what happened with Atypical. Initially, when I got to LA, one of my first auditions was actually for Atypical, and it was for the series regular role, it was the lead role. And of course, rarely they give, they give those series regular roles to people with absolutely no credits, it was one of my first auditions when I got here out of drama school. And at the time, that was no, but what I went back to is that casting director loved me. And on a human level, we formed a really great relationship, we’ve stayed in touch. And two years later, they cast me in a different role and brought me back in. But I already had a relationship with the casting director, it was a human experience, I could play in the room and really tap into what, what the character has to bring to the table, and just me being a vessel for that experience, rather than imposing Marietta’s insecurities. Because that those two years ago, I imposed my insecurities, and that doesn’t do justice to the character, because the character has different vulnerabilities and insecurities to my own. So tapping into that from a creators point of view, but also the humanity of it of it all – that nobody is going to be a better advocate for yourself than you. And knowing that no might be yes, two years down the line. It’s just different timing.
Gary Crotaz 42:19
I think, as ever you tell the story so well, and there are so many brilliant learnings that people listening in will pick up from, from the story you tell there. So Marietta, when you look at the year ahead, what’s your focus for the year? What do you have plans for things coming up? You know, how are you seeing the next 12 months?
Marietta Melrose 42:41
So right now, it’s a really interesting time for me as an actor, because it’s pilot season, and all the big TV shows are being cast. So I get to explore and tap into different types of shoes every day, like yesterday, I was in 1870. And I had to like ride horses and use guns and the character was the first US detective in 1870. We didn’t we don’t know about this woman historically, it was just so interesting to do the work and learn what it was like to live at the time period and immerse myself. So from an acting, acting’s point of view, it’s a really juicy time for me to continuously explore different perspective, perspectives. And I also got asked to produce somebody’s project based on #WHATNEXT, the project that I produced, I was offered to be part of the producer’s team on another project. So that’s going to be interesting for me to explore. Again, from something that I created that was really it was really difficult, producing and sponsoring it financially, all myself, another opportunity came out of that. So that’s going to be a definite focus, but also a trip to London is something that I’m looking forward to after pilot season.
Gary Crotaz 44:07
That would be fantastic. And we would be very welcoming if you if you’re here, of course, And Marietta, tell us where people can find out more about you?
Marietta Melrose 44:14
So I am on so all social media platforms. It’s actually interesting the last, in the last week, I tried to do a social media cleanse, it could really be a good thing sometimes as much as we need to like, put ourselves out there. So you can find me on Instagram. My name is marietta_melrose that’s on Instagram, and also on Facebook, mariettamelrose. I’d be happy to hear from you and answer any questions or help you out on your journey and path as an artist.
Gary Crotaz 44:51
Marietta, I’ve absolutely loved having you on on on the show today and telling your story as as as passionately as you do. It’s I think people are going to be really inspired by hearing you. The Unlock Moment is that flash of remarkable clarity when you suddenly know the right path ahead. What Marietta brings to life so powerfully is how taking ownership and accountability is a critical enabler of achieving your dreams. As I say, in my book, The IDEA Mindset, only you will change your life. Trying to make it in film and TV is no easy journey. But she has been committed to her goals even when others around her might have doubted her. In an industry where you are habitually rejected on a daily basis, she has built her strength and resilience to be able to survive and thrive in the spotlight. Hers is a journey of passion and empowerment. And I know she’s a huge inspiration to young actors who are making their way through. Marietta, thank you so much for joining me on The Unlock Moment. And best of luck with your future endeavours.
Marietta Melrose 45:51
Gary Crotaz 45:52
This has been The Unlock Moment a podcast with me Dr. Gary Crotaz. Thank you for listening in. You can find out more about how to figure out what you want and how to get it in my book, The IDEA Mindset available in physical book, ebook and audiobook format. Follow me on Instagram, and subscribe to this podcast to get notified about future episodes. Join me again soon!