Beyond The Lens – Actress & TV Host Melissa Ann is receiving her very first publication on our website after finishing up an interview we originally started in late April. I reached out to the talented to actress to get the inside scoop on her background before discovering she has done far more than I thought. After kindly accepting the interview, I quickly worked on some questions to send to her over messenger and waited to receive her answers. Although it was a bit of a wait, it was definitely worth it. She sent me greatly detailed replies that gave me the inside story on everything I asked for and more. I had the honor in interviewing her and after you read this interview your going to see why!
~*~*Beyond The Lens /w Melissa Ann*~*~
Internet Hollywood: Hello Melissa. Thank you for granting me this interview. I honestly feel it’s an honor speaking with someone that puts in the work to make the best out of their careers. You are very entertaining to watch and I look forward to checking out some more of your amazing work as soon as I get a chance. But for those people that don’t know, could you give them the background information on who you are, where you from and what you do?
Melissa: My name is Melissa Kleamenakis, I am originally from Boston, MA, and I’ve been involved in performing arts my whole life. I grew up taking multiple different styles of dance and I danced in many performances during my middle school and high school years. (I was also a varsity cheerleader for two years in high school.)When I was 16, I decided to try acting for the first time and I fell in love! I took all of the theater classes that my high school had to offer and I also took film classes outside of school. By the time I was 18, I had connected with the casting companies in New England and was working on professional movie sets. Fast forward ten years later, I am still working on movie and television shows and I have also discovered my talent and passion for being a TV personality and host. I also just graduated class of 2018 with my Bachelor’s degree in Communications!
Internet Hollywood: Being a TV Personality is definitely not as easy as it looks. Many people feel that they could just step in front of a camera and easily put on a good show without no problems. It wasn’t until I met people from the industry that I found out it’s deeper than that. What are some of the things people need to understand and master before they could put on a great show?
Melissa: Being a TV host is definitely more than just stepping in front of a camera and speaking about a topic. Not only do you have to inform the viewers clearly and accurately, you also have to be an entertainer and be very mindful of how you speak and of your body language. Knowing your audience is key and overall it really is a lot of multi-tasking and self-awareness. I have always been good at multi-tasking and I work well under pressure, so for me (after years of acting and dancing) hosting came naturally. I also practice yoga daily and have been for years in replacement of dance. (I even became a certified yoga *Sculpt instructor through Corepower Yoga in 2015!) Yoga has definitely helped me become more aware of my body movement and has helped me be in the moment while working. Believe it or not, I was VERY shy in high school and was always the “quiet one” around people I did not know. If you had put me in front of a camera back then, I definitely would not have been able to do what I am doing today. Working on yourself and breaking out of your comfort zone is a step all actors/hosts need to take before becoming successful. Obviously every day is different in front of the camera and an actor will always have their good and bad days. This is why it is important to know yourself well and know how to deal with whatever emotions come up while on a shoot so you can still deliver the best content possible. Having confidence, being self-aware, breaking out of your comfort zone and knowing your audience are some of the most important things people need to master before being able to put on a great show!
Internet Hollywood: You’re an amazing host on NESN’s Wicked Bites. I love how you draw the viewers in to the topics your speaking about and actually make us feel like we’re part of the show. How did you land a role on the Sports Network and what has the experience been like since you been there?
Melissa: Thank you! I love involving the viewers and having fun with whatever I’m doing on the show. Having fun and not taking yourself too seriously is very important. If you don’t have fun with what you do, then what’s the point? I began working with Wicked Bites after I won first place in a local hosting competition that was held by Dirty Water TV (another NESN television show) in 2016. The grand prize was to co-host an entire episode of Dirty Water TV and that was my first time actually being myself on camera vs. acting and being another character. Up until that point, I had only ever acted and I had never shown my own personality on camera. For some reason, I didn’t think my outgoing and slightly risqué personality would be appropriate for television…turns out I was wrong! During filming, hosting just clicked with me and I knew that was my niche in the entertainment world. After that episode aired, I really wanted to take hosting further and I started to explore opportunities I think I would be good at and that I was genuinely interested in. I’m a huge foodie, love to have fun and am obsessed with shows that are on the food network and travel channel. Wicked Bites is the Boston version of those shows, so it was the perfect fit! Luckily the producers gave me the opportunity to audition and the rest is history.
Internet Hollywood: I’d assume being apart of a show that involves food pretty much opens the door for things you haven’t really eaten before. What are some of the new types of foods you fell in love with eating while doing the show?
Melissa: Before I started with Wicked Bites I was a huge foodie, loved to try cuisines I had never had before and to try different types of restaurants. So needless to say, I had already tried a wide variety of food before I started hosting with the show. This is why it was awesome when the show started introducing me to New England restaurants I had never been to before and different styles of dishes that were a twist of what I had already eaten in the past. It was like I was experiencing food I’ve already had for the first time all over again! I have rediscovered steak (something I hadn’t eaten in a very long time because I am very picky about my steak not being chewy or over/undercooked), fell in love with New England seafood all over again and also discovered some amazing and creative cocktails that I didn’t even know existed. Working with Wicked Bites has really opened my eyes to how lucky us Bostonians are to have such amazing food and restaurants available to us!
Internet Hollywood: You are also an actress that could be seen in movies like Central Intelligence and Ted 2. I could only imagine the feeling of being apart of the production work behind the scenes even as a background actor. What was the experience like seeing Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson at work and did you think the movie was going to be as big as it was?
Melissa: I have been fortunate enough in the past ten years to work on over forty movies, television shows and commercials in New England. I have also been extremely fortunate to be clearly visible in over half of them! The movies where I am very noticeable are The Heat, What’s Your Number, Ted 2, Joy, Central Intelligence, Super Troopers 2, Daddy’s Home 2, Grownups and I even had a cameo in the HBO Larry David movie, Clear History. Seeing myself in major motion pictures and in their trailers is surreal and motivates me even more to continue to pursue acting and hosting. Even in the movies where I am not visible in the final product, it is so amazing to experience the behind the scenes work and what is really takes to make a movie. The experience really gave me a higher appreciation for movies and the entertainment industry. I have learned so much from working on movie sets and I truly feel as if I am where I belong when I am on set. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to work with some of my idols and really talented, established actors. Specifically speaking about working with Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson on Central Intelligence, it was an amazing experience being on set with them! These are actors I have idolized and grown up watching on the big screen, so to be working on the same exact project as they were was surreal. I personally did not get the opportunity to speak with them while on set because I am always in “the zone” and concentrate on my job at hand. I take pride in my professionalism and although in my brain I was thinking, “Holy s**t that’s Kevin Hart and The Rock!” I knew what I was there to do and what my job title was. About the movie itself, I absolutely knew it was going to be a big hit from the moment I learned what the story line was and who the cast members were. I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to work multiple days on it!
Melissa: As a host and SAG-AFTRA actor, I have many different roles in mind that I would love to fill. I want to be as versatile as possible and think my personality can definitely be that. I would love to dabble in reality television now that I am no longer nervous to be myself on camera, a certain show on the Food Network that is currently casting comes to mind. I would also love to act in the hilarious TV show Drunk History, be a zombie in The Walking Dead and have a role in Law and Order. I could go on and on, there are so many roles I would love to fill! I like challenging myself and do not want to stick with just one genre. At the end of the day, my ultimate dream as an actor would be to land a role in a Marvel movie as a superhero or villain. My life would be complete if that ever happened! Besides acting, I did just earn my Bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in public relations and a minor in marketing. I like to work with people and know I would do well working with a public relations firm or marketing company. Also, as I previously mentioned I am a certified yoga instructor and teaching yoga may be in the cards for me some day as well.
Internet Hollywood: I hope you don’t mind, I’ve decided to add two questions at once to finish off this interview; what is the best step a beginner should take when trying to get into the acting business and what are you currently working on now that everyone could expect from you in the future?
Melissa: In my personal opinion, the best step that one can take when they are a beginner in the entertainment industry is to do a ton of research about the casting companies and talent agencies in their area. You can never have too much knowledge about the industry you are in! Also, establish yourself by using social media to your advantage, get some really good professional photos and send them out to the casting companies you would like to work with and never stop working on your craft. About my current acting and hosting career, we are filming new episodes of Wicked Bites now so definitely keep an eye out for those and I like to keep everything else a surprise 😉 Definitely follow my Instagram page @thenameis_Melissa to find out and stay in the loop!
Internet Hollywood: Thank you for the interview, Melissa!
~*~*Thank You For Reading*~*~
Melissa Ann: Instagram –
Karlen Photography: Website