Melissa Victor

@melly_music
Podcast & Social Media: @stoopkidstories

EP 104: Melissa Victor (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it. Episode 104. 

[00:00:05] Okay, let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today, Melissa. Victor, are you ready for this Melissa?

[00:00:15]Melissa Victor: [00:00:15] Oh, yeah.

[00:00:16] Dane Reis: [00:00:16] All right. Melissa is a Baltimore native DC trained New York city performer in musical theater. She has been seen on many stages across the U S in shows, such as Oklahoma at Denver center of the performing arts, the Wiz at Ford’s theater and Pippin at summer theater of new Canaan. She is also the creator and host of a new children’s podcast called stoop kid stories, which is now making its way into households all over the world. She is a lover of Christ cookies and all things, creative, Melissa. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done. But why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Fill in the gaps a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:06]Melissa Victor: [00:01:06] Cool. Cool. So, um, like the bio set of a musical theater performer, I went to Catholic university and got my bachelor’s in music for musical theater. Um, I’ve been living in New York for about two years, just. Beating the pavement with my friends, trying to chase that Broadway dream pre COVID. Um, 

[00:01:23] , um, you know, singing, dancing, acting is, is my life. And, uh, You know, uh, You know, I like making money to sing dance and act.

[00:01:30] Dane Reis: [00:01:30] For sure. I mean, I mean, that’s the dream, right? That’s great.

[00:01:36] Melissa Victor: [00:01:36] So that’s, that’s, that’s the gist of it, I guess.

[00:01:37]Dane Reis: [00:01:37] Beautiful. And let’s move on to this next section here. And Melissa, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?

[00:01:49]Melissa Victor: [00:01:49] so I have this quote that goes. And the signature of my email. Um, and, uh, sing like it’s your last note, Dan and dance, like it’s your last step? Um, because you never know, I mean, not to sound morbid, but you never know what tomorrow may bring. Um, so, you know, do everything fill out, do you know, give everything your all every time you do it. You know, love on your friend’s heart. Love on your family. Even harder. Um, Well, you walked into the room for an audition. Give it your all, leave it on the floor. And that’s what I try to, uh, take with me every day. So seeing like it’s your last note and dance, I get your last step.

[00:02:21]Dane Reis: [00:02:21] For sure. That’s such a great quote and you’re so right, because it it’s, it’s very easy. Isn’t it to get caught up on a future pacing ourselves and looking too far into the future and not enjoying. Those moments, enjoying what we’re doing and living life to the fullest instead, we’re we get too concerned about the, what ifs and what we’re trying to accomplish while those things are important. And we have to have direction. We have to keep sight of what’s happening right now in relish, in those moments.

[00:02:51]Melissa Victor: [00:02:51] Yeah, Yeah, absolutely. Living in presence, trying to stay present and not always think about, okay, what’s next. , you know, in the context of its context of being an actor, you know, enjoying the rehearsal process in joining tech, enjoying, um, being in the show and not always thinking about, okay, what’s my next gig. Once this gig is over.

[00:03:09] Cause I think that takes the sweetness out of, you know, the gig that you booked.

[00:03:13] Dane Reis: [00:03:13] Exactly right. For sure. And let’s go onto this next section here. And Melissa, of course you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think that you would agree. This industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries in existence. And you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while yeah, there is no rages amount of fun and excitement doing what we do being onstage. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:04:10]Melissa Victor: [00:04:10] so the first time I moved to New York and 2014. Um, I found myself hustling really, really hard. Like I was doing the New York hustle. I was audited. I was First thing in the morning, and then I worked two jobs and then I will go back home to my apartment. And my apartment had mice and then I moved to another apartment that apartment had mice and I moved to another apartment that apartment had cockroaches.  so, And so, but I thought that I just had a, had to be in New York at this time. Like I was young, I had energy. I mean, I’m still young and have energy, but like I was younger and had more energy.

[00:04:46] Dane Reis: [00:04:46] Weren’t we 

[00:04:47] Melissa Victor: [00:04:47] I was. Right. 

[00:04:48] Right. Oh, the days. And. But it started to get the best of me. I didn’t pace myself. And so. so. A big struggle I had was trying to balance. the hustle of, trying to book a show as well as, um, You know, supporting myself. So then I asked, I got anxiety for the, for, I had my first panic attack. The first time I had my first anxiety attack. Um, and I was like, I don’t feel. Like myself. So after five months of being in the city, I had to move back home. Cause I just couldn’t do it. And I felt like a failure. I felt like I. Hell, let everyone down. I let myself down. I was like, Oh, you’re not cut out for New York. Cause they say even people were telling me when I was thinking about moving back home. You know, Oh, you got to stay in New York for at least six months  after the six month hump. You’ll be fine. Right. And I add that five month Mark and I was in a show. I had, I had done three shows, so I was kind of killing it. For just getting to New York. I was in three shows at two side jobs and I had like an apartment. Let me have mice, but I had a place to live. I wasn’t living on someone’s couch. So on the outside, it looked like I was living the dream. But my mental health was just out of whack. Um, and which affected my physical health. So when I moved home, I felt like a complete. Complete failure. And, you know, thank God I came home because I did end up getting sick. I found out that I had an auto immune condition and you know, so I needed to be home with my mom and my family has helped take care of that, but I just felt like a complete. Failure. And, you know, in this industry, we’re not. You know, rest, isn’t something that we talk about a lot. What is rest? You know, we don’t think about, Oh, you need to rest. And I was like, I don’t need to rest. I need to be up here, hustling everyone. Else’s booking tours and booking this and doing this. I can’t sit here for six months to get better. Like I’m buying. So when I, when I had to leave New York, the first time, I felt like a complete failure and it took a lot out of me. But what I did learn is that, okay, you need to take care of your body because if you don’t take care of your body, you’re not going to be able to be in this industry at all. And your body is telling you, Hey, chill out. Take care of me. And then you’ll see the fruit of it on the other side, but you have to take care of your body and your mind first. So that was kind of the gym. That came out of. Me moving back home. To just rest and take care of myself. And thank God. I was able to come back home at 24. Um, You know, but that’s always hard. So.

[00:07:08]Dane Reis: [00:07:08] Yeah, absolutely. And. I really liked that you, you, you know, addressed and brought up the mental health, the physical health aspect of this and that you said, Hey, I thought I had to be hustling, hustling, hustling all the time. I see people booking shows, booking tours, doing. The only way I’m going to get there is if I’m out there doing it and hustle and just as hard and. The thing is we all have our own journeys.

[00:07:30]We all have to We all have to do that in. What I find is that the social media world is wonderful as it can be for marketing ourselves, for letting casting directors know about what it is that we do were submissions and things like this. Is that it can also become a very toxic place as far as your mental health is concerned, because what we end up seeing is the peaks of everyone’s day or a fabricated reality.

[00:07:55]Melissa Victor: [00:07:55] It’s not the 

[00:07:56] full picture. They only show us what they want us to

[00:07:58] Dane Reis: [00:07:58] Exactly. It’s it’s very specific. And you, like you said, they’re choosing what to put out. Everyone does. Right. Right. And that’s okay. But. Two. Also remember that. Everyone is also struggling. Everyone’s working and hustling just as hard and. To live in your own journey, be that try not to let that stuff affect you and just. Set out your plan know that you need to do this,  this, this and this, and then do it and be confident in the actions that you’re taking.

[00:08:26]Melissa Victor: [00:08:26] Yeah. Definitely. Definitely.

[00:08:29]Dane Reis: [00:08:29] All right. Well, let’s move on to a time that I like to call your. Spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us 

[00:08:52] about that. 

[00:08:53]Melissa Victor: [00:08:53] Okay. Um, they come in that comes in three parts. I remember the first time. You know, I sang a solo on my church choir. That’s when I realized, okay. I really, really, really love to sing and I want to sing for the rest of my life. And that singing led to like, you know, dance classes and joining different programs. And, you know, during your elementary school, middle school shows, then I went and saw. ad saw hairspray on Broadway.

[00:09:17]Dane Reis: [00:09:17] Oh, such a 

[00:09:17] Melissa Victor: [00:09:17] And I write and I had seen shows on Broadway before, like I had, so I saw Aida, I saw all shook up, but for some reason, when we went to go see hairspray, I saw on a Tory, not in from three O w who was also in power shout outs. She was playing little ins. And my friends still laugh about it to this day. I left the theater in tears, crying my eyes out and I’m on the bus back home. And they were like, why are you so upset? I said, it. That should be me up there. 

[00:09:50] Like literally crying because I wasn’t little wine is right. And my friends are like calm down. I was like, no. Get it. 

[00:09:59] Brawley mind you. I think I was in ninth grade. 

[00:10:04] In ninth grade. So I saw hairspray and was like, wow, people do this for a living. I can sing and sing and dance for like a living living and like, do it. So that was the second instance. And then the third instance. Full circle moment in my first professional show was hairspray and I was cast a little wine. Is.

[00:10:19] Dane Reis: [00:10:19] Oh way. Cool.

[00:10:20]Melissa Victor: [00:10:20] Right. And I had a Walker and up to this point, I had never done a show. With the elaborate set, elaborate lightings. Only thing I knew was like my high school stage. Where it was like cardboard boxes as the set, or like my summer program that I go to where, I mean, I mean, we sell fantastic at this summer program, but. Barely had a set costumes from the Goodwill. So I walked into Toby’s dinner theater, which is where I did hairspray. And I saw this, the set for the first time and I said, wow. This is professionalism. And I live, I looked over and I like started touching the. But light post. And I was like, wow, I made it. My Dell, we’re gonna edit dinner theater, like Toby’s in the theater, like shout out to Toby’s. That’s sweet. That’s the come up of DCB. That’s what you start. But I just thought I was like, I made it. I am a professional actor. This is it. I am not in a summer camp show. I’m not in the school production. I’m in a professional show and I’m about to open a professional show next week.

[00:11:25]Dane Reis: [00:11:25] Yeah. And they’re 

[00:11:27] Melissa Victor: [00:11:27] Yeah, that was. Oh, So. I think that was the, that was the third moment where I looked around and I said, I, I. Uh, not even I can do this. I am doing this.

[00:11:39] This is what I’m doing. 

[00:11:41] Dane Reis: [00:11:41] Yes. Oh, those are three such great pertinent moments. Thank you for sharing those. And let’s piggyback on that real quick and talk about your number one book. Did moment walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it, what was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? What did moment.

[00:12:08]Melissa Victor: [00:12:08] Oh, wow. Um, I have a lot of shows in my resume that I actually love, love, love. Um, I’ve been blessed to like work with work with some amazing people on in cast, um, in my cast and on the creative side. Uh, but the one that stands out to me the most is the wizard at Ford’s theater in DC. And. In college at Catholic, you have the big theaters, you have signature, you have arena, you affords. And so I was like, I got to work at Ford’s boards is the top paint theater in DC. I, I, I have to do it. And I auditioned the year before, for ragtime didn’t get in. And then when I saw that they were doing the Wiz. With a director and a choreographer that I, and the music director that I absolutely adored and loved as like I have to be in the show. I don’t know what I have to do, but I have to be in the wizard boards. So I went through the. The audition. The callbacks and dance. My tail off was giving everything that I had. All the black excellence that I could pour out of me. And when I got that email, did I get an email or a phone call either way? When I, when I. Got the message that I was in the Wiz at Ford’s theater. Oh my God. I was like, 

[00:13:21] It was another, like I made a moment.

[00:13:25] Sadly another, like I made it moment, you know, and. To be in a show with all black people in all black creative team, because sometimes you do an all black show and to create a CME is an all black. You know, our director, a choreographer I’m using director and our customers design designer will all black. And I was like, wow. This is amazing. I’m here. I booked it. I laid it 

[00:13:46] Dane Reis: [00:13:46] Yeah, for sure. And I love that show

[00:13:50] Melissa Victor: [00:13:50] It’s so good. 

[00:13:51] And I got to fly on the trapeze in the show. So like I learned a new skill. 

[00:13:55]Dane Reis: [00:13:55] Right on that’s so cool. That’s what I love about this industry is that you get booked for things and then. Not only did you get to do a cool show in performance, but they literally paid you to learn another skill that now you can apply to so many things in your life. It’s so 

[00:14:12] Melissa Victor: [00:14:12] Yeah. When I said, you’re going to trap PA school. I said, what? I could follow my dreams. And being in the circus. 

[00:14:20] Dane Reis: [00:14:20] You go look at you’re killing two birds with one stone. So good. All right. Well, let’s move on to talk about the present for a minute. And let’s talk about what projects you’re working on now. What are you looking forward to? And, you know, it’s a crazy time we’re living amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years? 

[00:14:45]Melissa Victor: [00:14:45] Oh, Ooh. That’s a loaded question. One thing I missed the most. One thing I miss the most. And I tell my friends this all the time. I miss going to Pearl in Ripley Greer, seeing my friends. 

[00:14:59] 

[00:14:59] I’m the girl who comes into Pearl and I know everyone I’m like. 

[00:15:06] And I know everyone in every room or say my audition is at 10:00 AM. I will still be at Pearl four o’clock in the afternoon. Okay. I’ll just spend all day apparel because my friends are coming in and out for appointments. And I was like, Oh, well, I’m going up to the 12th floor. I’m going up to the third floor and one, Oh, I’m going to walk up the street to equity. I’ll come right back. And I’m down in Midtown for eight hours. 

[00:15:25] Just talking to beat what I do, miss the. The social aspect of seeing my friends and auditions and hearing them kill it in. You know, just being with my friends, um, Would that be in said I’m really pouring all my energy into finding ways to be creative. That’s not when the stage, um, I remember coming into 20, 2020 and making my vision board. 

[00:15:47]And praying in the new year, you know, I asked God, I said, you know, God, this year, I want you to reveal to me who I am outside of being booked in blessed. What else am I capable of besides singing and dancing on someone’s stage. I was like, there has, there has to be more to me, even though I’m, I’m grateful for this gift, but there has to be more and lo and behold, my podcasts. 

[00:16:08]Was launched at the end of January, 2020 and has kind of taken all like like stoop kid stories has taken a world of its own. Um, some really pouring all of my creative energy into this. Storytelling podcasts, writing the stories, creating these characters, voicing them, given them a life and, uh, uh, you know, being. 

[00:16:27]Another vessel of representation for black children all over the world. You know, I get reviews from people in great Britain, people in Canada. Telling me, Oh my God, this is so great. Like I see myself and that’s so amazing. so God has revealed to me like, okay, Melissa, you’re a writer, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a producer, you’re a content creator. You’re a podcast. And I’m like, wow, I didn’t know. I had all these skills. 

[00:16:50]Okay. 

[00:16:53]Um, so that’s where a lot of my energy is going to just writing a lot and really get in his podcast to move and get off the ground. Um, and I’m connecting with the whole. Different group of people I would have never connected with. I never knew there was so many kid podcasts out one. I didn’t know. There were so many pod-casters out there too. 

[00:17:13] So learning audio engineering, learning, sound, design, learning, all of these new skills. Um, I don’t know how the world is going to look or how our industry is going to look in 2021. I really don’t. Um, It’s hard to S to say, even if shows we’ll open back up in the beginning of 2021. So I think it’s, um, 

[00:17:31] As my friend likes to call it pivot. It’s good to, for us as artists to pivot and pour out imagination and creativity. Into something else in the meantime, but something that brings you joy, don’t just do something else just to do it. Just to buy the time because you’ll get sick of it. 

[00:17:47]Dane Reis: [00:17:47] Yeah, for sure. For sure. That’s great advice right there. I mean, I’ve definitely gone down. A few little rabbit holes and tangents throughout my life. And you’re right. If you’re not really in it, it, it just becomes laborsome and you give it up and you go, why did I pour all my energy into that? I mean, I mean, there’s things that you learn along the way and there’s that value, but still. 

[00:18:07]It was never really something that was sustainable from the get go because your heart was never in it. 

[00:18:13] Melissa Victor: [00:18:13] Yeah. Heart wasn’t in it. You know, and I, and I believe I’ll heart can be in different places. You know, some people like, I love the stage and I’ll never leave the stage, but then they go, but then he’d go do a film. And they’re like, Oh my God. But I love film. I love being on film. I love, I love doing TV. I love doing commercials. Like, but remembering, you said you could only do stage or your heart was only in stage. 

[00:18:31] Don’t be afraid to try. Um, don’t be afraid to expand your heart. 

[00:18:36]Dane Reis: [00:18:36] I think that is incredible advice. So good. Right there. 

[00:18:42] Yeah, and it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. 

[00:18:55]Melissa Victor: [00:18:55] I had to, I had to 

[00:18:55] Dane Reis: [00:18:55] Of course, 

[00:18:56] of course, of course. I mean, I threw it up there. So, all right, well, well, I’m going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready? 

[00:19:10] All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer? 

[00:19:17]Melissa Victor: [00:19:17] I don’t think anything held me back. I had a very supportive family and, uh, uh, childhood that really pulled me into the arts. I don’t adding more. So people were pushing me. I’m into it. I don’t think anything ever really held me back. 

[00:19:30] Dane Reis: [00:19:30] Oh, beautiful. And the second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

[00:19:37]Melissa Victor: [00:19:37] Just go for it. 

[00:19:38]Dane Reis: [00:19:38] So 

[00:19:39] Melissa Victor: [00:19:39] Just. 

[00:19:40] Dane Reis: [00:19:40] good. Honestly though, you have to, you know, you never know until you put it out there. There’s so many people that sit around and go, what if I did this? What if I did that? Oh, could you imagine if I did this? Then.

[00:19:54] Do it, give it a

[00:19:56] go. 

[00:19:56] Melissa Victor: [00:19:56] it. Just go for it. You 

[00:19:57] Dane Reis: [00:19:57] that’s fine. 

[00:19:58]Melissa Victor: [00:19:58] you got, hopefully you have friends and family who are there to catch you. If you, if you fall on your face. 

[00:20:03] That’s 

[00:20:03] Dane Reis: [00:20:03] and that’s okay, but now you learn something, you know, you never take, you can, every time you fail, there’s something good to be taken away from it. 

[00:20:09]Take that learn from it. Go at it again. 

[00:20:13] Pivot right. Third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause. 

[00:20:28]Melissa Victor: [00:20:28] Oh, well, it was working. Was anything really working or was that just winging it? 

[00:20:35]

[00:20:35] I think not giving up was working. Because if you give up, then nothing can work because you gave up on it. Um, I know that sounds very like a lofty idea, but like, 

[00:20:44] I think just not the same that we just going for it and, and just not giving up like, You know, make them, should I got out of bed every single day, make sure I was hitting the gym. Make sure I woke up with a purpose. Um, You know, and really, I know what’s working right now, really feeding my soul. 

[00:21:00] What it wants really feeding Melissa what Melissa, once and. Finding things that bring me joy, finding things that bring me happiness, funny things that bring me peace. That’s what’s working for me right now, instead of stress, instead of stressing about a million other things. No, this brings me joy. Do it. This brings you have it talking to the birds. When you walked down, the street brings with happiness. Talk to the dag on birds. If you sitting outside reading a book, brings you joy, sit outside and read a book. If you land on the middle of your floor in a starfish position brings you happiness, Melissa lay in the middle of their floor and. 

[00:21:34] Like a starfish. 

[00:21:35]Dane Reis: [00:21:35] Yeah. 

[00:21:37] What brings you joy, man? That is that’s. So that’s so profound and good. And you know what, it’s something that’s always been there for us that we could always take at any time and do that and embrace that. But I think that’s one of the. The great blessings of this entire, very weird time in history that we are all almost forced to. 

[00:22:00]Reflect and have the time to.

[00:22:04] Take the time to do things that bring us joy and what makes us happy. And it’s unprecedented that we have this amount of time and there’s a lot of negative things that go with this, of course,  you know, shutting down the economy, no work in this industry, but there are so many wonderful things that we can do introspectively with ourselves that I think a lot of us are. 

[00:22:24] Finding ourselves again. 

[00:22:27]Melissa Victor: [00:22:27] Yeah, I sure am. I mean, I mean, I got a whole therapist during a pandemic. I’ve never done therapy before, and I got a therapist and I am. Pruning so many things off of myself and I’m. Unlearning so many habits that didn’t serve me. Um, but I felt like I needed to do because of the industry and the, you know, things like bad, going back to the hustle mentality. But I’m learning. I’m basically reprogramming myself. So hopefully with this reset, with this reprogramming that I’m doing, when the world opened, went out, industry does open back up. I come back. A very different, but a better version of myself. 

[00:23:02] Dane Reis: [00:23:02] Yeah, for sure. And the fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, a podcast, maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now. 

[00:23:20]Melissa Victor: [00:23:20] So I am on the Dean’s list. YouTube university. Um, YouTube university is amazing. That just means I watch YouTube videos all the time. It’s not really a thing. I am obsessed with YouTube videos. I mean, the only reason I have a podcast really is because of YouTube videos. That’s how I got my start. Um, learning things about entrepreneurship from YouTube. I’m learning things about the stock market from YouTube. So many, my new skincare routine that I have. Thank you, YouTube. Um, It’s amazing. So YouTube is, has been a great, great resource to me. 

[00:23:56]Um, resource and entered and a source of entertainment

[00:23:59] as well. Um, you know, I said to myself a couple of weeks ago, I started watching a YouTuber, um, shout out to Kevin stayed and mrs. Keble on stage. And I’m, I find myself laughing at their videos and then I had to sit and think, I was like, what is. What was the last time you laughed by yourself? And not just a chuckle, but like a Hardy, Hardy cackle. 

[00:24:19] Dane Reis: [00:24:19] Yeah. 

[00:24:20]Melissa Victor: [00:24:20] You know, you can cackle with your friends. Well, one is the last time you really sat with yourself and had a good time with yourself and watching YouTube. I have a good time and I am laughing hysterically and it feels so good. So.  

[00:24:33] Dane Reis: [00:24:33] Yeah. You said , I’m learning about the stock market, um, vehicle. Have you watched Ray Dalio hose Dalio? Delio. I think it’s Dalio. Ray Dalio is a video on financial cycles. 

[00:24:45]Melissa Victor: [00:24:45] No, but I think I probably need to let me 

[00:24:47] Dane Reis: [00:24:47] You should, it’s pretty, it’s maybe 15 minutes long. It’s real good. And he ex. Essentially explains the booms and busts and the smaller booms and busts in wine economy fluctuates the way it does. Uh, in a very layman easy way to understand. Cause the guy is the owner of, I believe it’s. Bridgewater. I think that’s this company, it’s one of the largest hedge funds in the entire planet. Um, so the guy knows what he’s talking about and he’s completely self-made. So have a listen to that because it really gives some macro pro. Uh, perspective on. The economy. 

[00:25:20]Melissa Victor: [00:25:20] Nice and which video. 

[00:25:21] Video is it by 

[00:25:22] Dane Reis: [00:25:22] It’s some it’s something to do with the cycles, the cycles 

[00:25:25] of. The economy. I can’t remember exactly, but it’s a really great video and it’s fairly short and it gives you loads of information 

[00:25:35] that you 

[00:25:35] Melissa Victor: [00:25:35] The economic cycle. I

[00:25:37] got it. See right 

[00:25:38] here. Boom. 

[00:25:39] Dane Reis: [00:25:39] there it is. All right. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry. What would you do or not do, would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same? 

[00:25:59]Melissa Victor: [00:25:59] The only thing I think that I would do differently and I probably will get some hate for this. Um, Is not gain weight. I really, really, really believe in is so bad, but my weight held me back from a lot of jobs in my early and mid twenties. Um, just because of my type. Like you can hear them. My voice is super, super high pitch, but I was carrying a weight around that made me look very matronly. So, you know, you know, even when I played little ins. The youthfulness was there, the energy was there, the voice was there. Did the co the, the dance ability was there, but my body looked, um, You know, some reviewers said, Oh, she looks a little, um, Older than we thought. Um, and my mom always told me, you know, Melissa, keep your weight down and keep your weight down. And I just thought it was her just being, you know, vein. you know, vein. But then it started to affect my health. And I’m not saying I’m some old really. Morbidly obese person, but you know, I’m five feet tall and the way, let me not even say about weight, I will check my eating. I will say that my eating. Um, is, is connected with my auto immune condition. And if I had a better grasp on a food and a better relationship on a food in my twenties, um, I feel like my whole, my career could have been, uh, I don’t want to say easier because we all have to go through. Things in order to learn, um, I may have just had a, had a better shot and also a better relationship with food that I wouldn’t have to talk about in therapy now. 

[00:27:23] Dane Reis: [00:27:23] Yeah. 

[00:27:23]I mean, that’s, it’s, it’s such an important thing and it’s also. A tricky thing to talk about as well. Right? 

[00:27:27] It’s it’s controversial in it. It’s hard to give advice any which way, because you don’t know. How people will take the information if it offends people, if it doesn’t offend people and. Yeah, absolutely. It’s a very, it’s a very fine line to do that, but. It is an industry that is very subjective and very looks based. And it has nothing to do with you.

[00:27:54] Yeah. You need different looks and your look, maybe great for one role in not great for another. And that’s just the way it is, but there’s also so much to be said about understanding. Proper health, proper nutrition and taking care of your body in a healthy way. 

[00:28:12]Melissa Victor: [00:28:12] Yeah. And also like once I had dropped a lot of weight, I was able to have a better audition because I was more confident in how I looked.

[00:28:19]You know, I was more confident going into a dance call, um, because I had, I had shed. 

[00:28:25] A lot of weight, um, which may cast and directors look at me more and it wasn’t, and it wasn’t because I lost the weight because I had a different level of confidence now.

[00:28:34]Um,

[00:28:34] even in the, you know, the style and a closeout war, um, changing that alone. So, um, yeah, I was able to step in the room as a very different, more confident person. 

[00:28:44]Um, but that’s my story that doesn’t, I’m not saying it has to be for, for everyone. Um, you know, but that, for me in my journey, that’s something I would have. 

[00:28:52] Tried to change early on. 

[00:28:54]Dane Reis: [00:28:54] Well said. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry that you’d like to leave with our listeners? 

[00:29:08]Melissa Victor: [00:29:08] My brother wants told me, he said, stay down until you come up. And.