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EP 181: Melody A. Betts (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] You booked it. Episode 181. There. Okay, let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Melody, a bet. Are you ready for this melody?

[00:00:17]Melody A. Betts: [00:00:17] Of course I am.

[00:00:19] Dane Reis: [00:00:19] Brilliant from the national tour of the sound of music. Melody was last seen in the world. Premier of secret of my success as Rose Lockhart. She was recently Becky slash nurse, Norma on Broadway and the first national tour of waitress, the musical directed by Tony award winner.

[00:00:39] Diane Paulus, melody received her masters. Fine arts degree from WIU and then went on to play in regional theaters all over the nation. She cultivated her professional acting career in Chicago, where she was last seen in the Jeff award winning production of ragtime. As Sarah’s friend, you may also recognize her from appearances on the following TV shows, Chicago code Chicago PD power on stars.

[00:01:08]And Jesus Christ superstar live on NBC with John legend. She is also a proud member of a sag, AFTRA and BMI melody. 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 and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:35] Melody A. Betts: [00:01:35] Sure. Well, Well, melody Betts, I am an actress, singer songwriter. Um, my resume consists of , um, Musical theater productions, but I also do television and film and , uh, I love to write actually I am from Chicago. I bet I was actually born in Baltimore, Maryland, but I’ve lived the majority of my life in Chicago. So I consider myself a native.

[00:02:05] Shy town girl. And , um, I went to all of that college for undergrad. And then I went to Western Illinois university for graduate school where I received my masters of fine arts in acting. I grew up in a family that.

[00:02:25]We’re churchgoers. So I spent a lot of my youth , um, in church, my mother , um, at a very young age, started , uh, lessons for me, dance lessons and vocal lessons.

[00:02:36] And I started acting when I was about five, but I started singing more seriously , um, in church. And I did that for many years. I. Was always interested in the theater and being on stage. Uh, it started when I was in elementary school and I did this production of, Oh my goodness. I don’t even remember the name of it.

[00:03:01] I just remember, I wasn’t a really kid who was.

[00:03:04]Dane Reis: [00:03:04] was,

[00:03:04]Melody A. Betts: [00:03:04] Kidnapped by robbers and I basically made their lives miserable. And then they gave me back. That was the basis.

[00:03:13] Dane Reis: [00:03:13] Sounds like a brilliant story.

[00:03:14] Melody A. Betts: [00:03:14] It was perfect for me. That was the start of really realizing that theater was something that I might want to do. Um, I knew that I enjoyed it. And so I continued to participate in theater. From then on , um, I w went to a performing arts high school in Chicago called Lincoln park. I was a theater major, did many productions there.

[00:03:39] I was a dance and voice minor. And then I went on to undergrad where , uh, after. Two years decided to major in theater and , uh, I’ve done nothing ever since.

[00:03:51]Dane Reis: [00:03:51] brilliant. Love the synopsis. And let’s dig into this first section here in melody. Of course I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone

[00:04:05]Melody A. Betts: [00:04:05] Sure. I would love to share my quote. My quote is a little long, so I’m going to summarize it. But it’s , um, a Mandela quote from a speech that he did that I believe his wife actually wrote, but it goes something like this. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

[00:04:25] It’s our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Then it goes on and on and on, 

[00:04:30] Dane Reis: [00:04:30] on and on. But

[00:04:31]Melody A. Betts: [00:04:31] it closes with.

[00:04:33] Dane Reis: [00:04:33] when

[00:04:33]Melody A. Betts: [00:04:33] As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

[00:04:39]Dane Reis: [00:04:39] yeah, that is so good. I’ve heard that quote before. I’m not sure if I’ve heard it on.

[00:04:45]This podcast yet, but can you delve into how you’ve applied that quote or how it’s worked its way into your career?

[00:04:55] Melody A. Betts: [00:04:55] we have so many wonderful examples of this in our lives. Um, one of, one of those people that stands out to me that lives this out loud as Dolly Parton, who, interestingly enough, I’m not a fan of country music, but I love her just her as a person. And , um, There are many other people that I could name, but she is a prime example of what it means to , um, 100% be yourself, live your, live your truth out loud with no apologies.

[00:05:26] And every day of my life. No matter how weird I might seem to people , um, or strange, I try to live that way myself in front of people to fearlessly, walk into spaces and fill them up. Um, as my spirit deems necessary as my , 

[00:05:45] Dane Reis: [00:05:45] much

[00:05:45] Melody A. Betts: [00:05:45] as myself, without any apology, I believe that doing so also gives other people permission to do the same.

[00:05:53]Dane Reis: [00:05:53] yeah, 100%. And I’ve had a few people. Well, first off, do you watch the Christmas on the square on Netflix?

[00:05:59]Melody A. Betts: [00:05:59] I have not watched that one yet.

[00:06:01] Dane Reis: [00:06:01] Yeah, I just watched it last night was really great. Um, but it’s Dolly, Parton’s latest movie and she’s in it. And I’ve had a few different people on the podcast that were part of that movie in that production and all of them have nothing but amazing things to say specifically about Dolly Parton, how amazing she is as a person with everyone, the cast and the crew, just the way she conducts herself through life.

[00:06:25] So it’s fantastic. What a great. Role model a great person to , uh, to bring up here. Love it.

[00:06:31] Melody A. Betts: [00:06:31] Yeah , well, like I said, she’s just one of the people,

[00:06:34] however, she’s a great example of that. I just love how big and bold she is. And I remember watching a documentary not too long ago about her. And she talked about how. People referred to her as tacky back in the day because of the costumes that she chose and the big hair and all the makeup.

[00:06:55] And she decided she made a decision to, you know, not listen to the naysayers and continued to be exactly who she was. And , um, that’s inspirational.

[00:07:08]Dane Reis: [00:07:08] Yeah, 100% and let’s get into this next section here. And melody, of course, you’re an entertainer, I’m an entertainer. And I think that you’d agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest and 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.

[00:07:37] Of dedication and hard work. And while yes, there’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. 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?

[00:07:58] Just one. And how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:08:05] Melody A. Betts: [00:08:05] I love this question so much. Um, so  I am a, you know, go figure I’m an actress. I’m extremely sensitive. And I also believe them very likable. And so when. I found out not too long ago, doing a show that a coworker didn’t care for me, it was hard to swallow. Um,

[00:08:25] Dane Reis: [00:08:25] Um,

[00:08:25]Melody A. Betts: [00:08:25] I have to say that up outside of the, the theater world , uh, you deal with different kinds of challenges and you will find in many different. Times in your life that you will run up against , um, a challenge, personality, challenges with other people, but in the theater, sometimes we like to put on a happy face. A lot of the times, I don’t think that it’s fake. I just think that people including myself always want to have a positive. Theatrical experience.

[00:09:02] And I have heard, I had heard horror stories throughout my career where , uh, people kind of bumped heads and I had never experienced it myself. And so when I heard the horror stories, I was always in shock. I go, I can’t believe, you know, you were in a cast where you had issues with people, but we are human beings.

[00:09:21] And so it’s inevitable, right? Well,

[00:09:23] Dane Reis: [00:09:23] Well,

[00:09:23]Melody A. Betts: [00:09:23] I worked really closely on stage with this individual who though I did not give him a reason to have an issue with me personally. He did. And there was nothing that you can really do about that. you know, Um, you know, to change someone’s mind and it.

[00:09:44] Dane Reis: [00:09:44] it

[00:09:44]Melody A. Betts: [00:09:44] Spilled over onto the stage, which was the problem.

[00:09:47] That’s where the problem began. And like I said, I’m extremely sensitive. So I didn’t know what to do about that at first, especially because it’s not something that I experienced throughout my career. This is , um, I’m a decade in And , um, I had to number one, get over myself.

[00:10:04] Number two, I had to learn how to take the time to advocate for myself and have hard conversations and bring awareness to whatever the problem was and find a way to remedy it. And that’s something that I don’t think we have enough practice in, in our particular industry where you run into somebody who you have to be very close to on stage and work with, you know, the theatrical industry, we are a community.

[00:10:40]And so. Everybody’s part is important because it all works. It has to all work well , um, like a well oiled machine in order for it to be what it’s supposed to be in order for us to properly tell the story. And so everybody’s participation is pertinent to, making what we do a success. And so you can’t. Really have those types of situations in the show without addressing them. And I don’t think that we know that enough. I don’t think we have enough practice in dealing with , um, issues like that.

[00:11:16]Dane Reis: [00:11:16] Yeah, I am inclined to agree with you and thank you for sharing that because that’s something that’s not being brought up on this podcast yet. And that’s why it’s so great to have this platform, because these are issues that. We can all reflect back on our careers and go, Oh yeah. That time with that person, but we don’t really ever express it and talk about it.

[00:11:35] So thank you so much because that’s, what’s making this podcast so important, such a fantastic resource for everyone out there. That’s making this entertainment life, their careers,

[00:11:46] Melody A. Betts: [00:11:46] Yeah, I think that the thing is, is that because we’re all human beings and we all have our own backgrounds and our own , um, baggage and, and experiences that sometimes bumping heads is inevitable. It’s inevitable in this business, especially with us having to be , um, We have to be in a place where we’re so vulnerable that we allow all whole nother being into ourselves to experience what their walk of life is, so that we can communicate that to an audience.

[00:12:12] So we’re always open. And so having emotional issues sometimes it’s, you know, it’s bound to happen. And I think what we need to talk about. With , um, our younger actors and actresses is that it’s okay. When stuff like that does happen. And also there’s always an advocate in the room for you, but you have to be the first one.

[00:12:39] You have to be the one who’s willing to say, Hey, something’s happening. That’s not right. And. Instead of what I believe is the normal habit of grinning and bearing it or not saying anything at all, because you know, it’s a temporary situation and you’ll get through it eventually. Um, instead of doing that, I think that the better decision to make is to address whatever the problem is.

[00:13:05]And make sure that you, you know, you see your stage manager, you talk to the people who are available that are supposed to help you, your company manager , um, to remedy whatever the issues are, because any type of issue inside of a production is going to affect your ability to be successful. And to be fully 100% , uh, present so that you can do your job 

[00:13:31] Dane Reis: [00:13:31] job for sure. You’re right as entertainers, we are, like you said, we are very emotional. We are very vulnerable. It’s not like a regular job where you are sending emails or maybe you have to endure the occasional luncheon or something like that. With these people, you have to be so emotional and vulnerable with these people on stage and you, and.

[00:13:52]I think you can look at it from the perspective, is we all, I want the same thing, right? We all want to tell them story authentically in the best way we can write and have these wonderful. Relationships that pertain very specifically to the story. And if your personal relationships are getting in the way and makes it, it can make it more challenging.

[00:14:13] So of course it’s awkward and not enjoyable. And it’s easy to default, like you said, to just kind of grinning and bearing it. Cause you’re like, Oh, I’ve only got six more months of this con track. I can, I can do this. It’s better to lay it out there. Work through that problem in a safe way, because ultimately you’re not, no one’s trying to attack the other person.

[00:14:32] Ultimately we all want the same things. We just have this little issue. We need to help try to resolve because here’s the thing as well. You might think you’ve got six more. Months of a contract with someone, but once you’ve been doing this in this business a little bit time, you start working with people again, and you start working with friends of those people.

[00:14:54] The networks get very tight, you know, and you, you want in it’s again, this relate, this whole industry is about relationships you want. Your reputation, your relationships, your network of people to be strong and wonderful and supportive. And you can help that by also making sure that if there are any hiccups and just strained relationships along the way to try to iron those out as best you can.

[00:15:17] So that community, your network, your community can also say strong and supportive. Yeah. So good.

[00:15:25] Melody A. Betts: [00:15:25] no stone unturned.

[00:15:27] Dane Reis: [00:15:27] That’s it. Yeah. Thank you so much for bringing that up. I think that was so important and needed to be said. Thank you. And let’s go 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 a living or maybe it was, yes.

[00:15:50] This is what I need to be doing in the entertainment industry. Tell us about that.

[00:15:55] Melody A. Betts: [00:15:55] Well, Well, I want to give a shout out to my mother who spent my entire lifetime nurturing my creative abilities and making it a point to lead me in a direction in the direction that I needed to go. Um, my mother was a dancer and because of her family’s church involvement. Um, especially because she, you know, she’s in the generation before me, they discouraged her from being a dancer and she was a great dancer.

[00:16:25]Um, So, what she did in turn with her children was to build upon the things that we were given naturally , uh, or whatever our abilities were, whether they were an art or business, or what have you. And she made it a point to

[00:16:42]teach us that. Wherever you’re going. It has to do with what you’ve already been given. And so it was instilled in me as a young person that wherever my talents lied, whatever gifts I had, I didn’t were supposed to pay attention to those things, my talents and my gifts and the things that made me happy.

[00:17:02]And so I figured out that acting and being on stage and performing made me happy. And my mother from my upbringing bringing, gave me the permission to go after that with no shame. And so 

[00:17:18] Dane Reis: [00:17:18] so

[00:17:19]Melody A. Betts: [00:17:19] that’s where it started first. Really? Didn’t, she’s the one who gave me the faith that I could do this as a living and not have to have a plan B or a fallback or, you know, um, because.

[00:17:32]She ended up being an educator was she loves, but that was her. That was her, her fallback, because she was a beautiful, wonderful dancer. She could have danced. Um, I didn’t realize that acting singing , um, or any of that. I didn’t, I didn’t realize that that was going to be my full time career. Until I would have to say my second or third year in undergrad. So when I was in college , uh, when I went into college, I thought, and this is just something that I did, maybe it was , um, because I had heard from other people that being an artist wasn’t lucrative, I decided to major in journalism. Because I thought it was safe. And then I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be a journalist because they have to be up at the butt crack of Dawn and that’s just not in my spirit.

[00:18:32] So then I switched my major to education. Because I love children. And , um, I thought that I would love to be a teacher. I realized. Soon that that wasn’t the case for me either. I just didn’t have the love for either one of those careers that I do for theater. And so I want to say somewhere in my sophomore year, between my sophomore and junior year, I decided that I was going to full out major in musical theater and acting. Take it seriously and put all my efforts towards that. And so I did, I haven’t looked back.

[00:19:14]Dane Reis: [00:19:14] beautiful. Well, Well, let’s piggyback on that real quick and let’s talk about your number one. Book it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and callbacks, 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? Booked it moment.

[00:19:35]Melody A. Betts: [00:19:35] Wow. I have a few, but I think my first, my first booked it moment had to be when I booked the mother ABAs and the sound of music I had just recently moved to 

[00:19:49] New 

[00:19:50] York.

[00:19:50]And I was, I’m a single mother and I , um, was living in Jersey in a small apartment. And I remember my manager giving me a call and saying, Hey, they’re looking for someone to fulfill or fill up, fill the spot in the mother at a spot for Ashley Brown, because she is pregnant.

[00:20:11] She is leaving to have a baby. And they need someone to come fill in that spot. I personally thought isn’t that a white production. My thoughts were the one in that show is white. So why 

[00:20:28] Dane Reis: [00:20:28] well, why are they qualified?

[00:20:29]Melody A. Betts: [00:20:29] And I think there was doubt that I would get it because. Of that was one reason also because I was fairly new on the scene.

[00:20:41]and I don’t know what I 

[00:20:43] Dane Reis: [00:20:43] know what I was thinking. 

[00:20:45]Melody A. Betts: [00:20:45] I suppose that I believed that it was possible somewhere inside of myself or else I would not 

[00:20:50] Dane Reis: [00:20:50] would 

[00:20:51] Melody A. Betts: [00:20:51] in,

[00:20:51]Dane Reis: [00:20:51] Yeah.

[00:20:52]Melody A. Betts: [00:20:52] but. I went into the audition and , uh, it was that Telsey and company and , uh, Rachel Hoffman was in the room. And she had seen me before I’d worked with her before. And , um, there was some new people in the room. Andy Einhorn, someone who I’d never worked with before was the great musical director , um, musician composer , uh, and then. I think, I believe that that was the first, that was the first audition. So I went in the first time I read, I felt 

[00:21:21] Dane Reis: [00:21:21] I felt good about

[00:21:22]Melody A. Betts: [00:21:22] um, I felt good about the, the mother Advocis relationship to Maria. I felt personally that I could relate to that because I was a mother and myself. And I saw some other Brown faces in the room.

[00:21:36] And so my thoughts were okay, so this must be , uh, a situation where they’re trying to find someone they’re trying to do blind color casting on this particular  And then I, I believed a little bit more that it was possible to get it. I think there was also some desperation. There was some, there was a feeling of desperation for me because I wasn’t working at the time.

[00:22:00] My money was running low. And that is a huge problem when you are not just by yourself and you have someone else to provide for and take care of. 

[00:22:12] So 

[00:22:12]I really did go in. Trying to do my absolute best because I did want to book it. I wanted to book it because I needed to take care of my child, but also I wanted to book it because I knew that it was a great opportunity.

[00:22:26] I knew exactly who Jack O’Brien was. I met him some years before at a gala that 

[00:22:33] I was singing at and he was very complimentary to me , um, uh, regarding my performance. He was lovely actually. And I wanted to work with him again, or I wanted to work with him, period. I didn’t work with him , uh,for that concert.

[00:22:49]Uh, but he was there in the room, him and Katie Holmes, I believe. And ,  they call 

[00:22:53] Dane Reis: [00:22:53] okay. Call me , 

[00:22:54] Melody A. Betts: [00:22:54] uh, which I was really grateful for. And that’s when I really felt like. the possibility of me actually booking this  is, is greater than maybe what I had imagined before I went in and for the callback and Jack O’Brien was in the room at this time, I had classical training in the past, but it had been a very long time since I used it.

[00:23:15]Uh, use that skill because. I am. I am. I have 

[00:23:20] a

[00:23:21]background in gospel singing, so I did a lot of belting. And so that’s what people usually hired me for. So the, the legit singing skill was in my bag. It just needed some dusting off and some, some training, maybe some coaching. So I went into the room and Andy Einhorn was there.

[00:23:40] And when it came to be acting again, I just felt so connected to the mother ABAs and her relationship with Maria. And I remember Jack O’Brien taking me through a few scenes and giving me some really great directions just to help me to ground that character a little bit more. And I remember. Once I took his note and we went through this one scene again, we were all in tears afterward. And , uh, then they said, okay, now it’s time to sing. And I was like, I’m not done crying,

[00:24:21] but I remember being in that room and not even thinking about, I need to 

[00:24:26] Dane Reis: [00:24:26] I need to book this job.

[00:24:28]Melody A. Betts: [00:24:28] I had removed all of that from me. And I was really present that day and I was present in the experience. I was present as an actress , as, as the character, I was just really present. And I just remember connecting on another level, a very personal level, and it was very emotional.

[00:24:49] It makes me a little bit emotional now, thinking about. Being in that room that day. And then , um, and then I was asked to sing and my legit voice was like I said, it was shaky, but Andy Einhorn heard something and saw something in that audition that he felt was worthy of, of hiring me and, and. Allow me to coach a little bit before and throughout the process, which helped me to strengthen a skill that I already had so that I could perform the, the character well and the song.

[00:25:23]Well, and I remember after leaving that room, I was so full from the experience. I almost forgot about it. I almost forgot that. Oh, I have to wait to hear about what’s supposed to happen after this. I remember getting on the little bus, not even, not even like, not even the bus, the New Jersey, but like I didn’t go to port authority, which you usually do.

[00:25:46] And you get on the big buses that take you across through the tunnel. I got 

[00:25:51] Dane Reis: [00:25:51] I got on like, uh,

[00:25:52]Melody A. Betts: [00:25:52] What did they call it? The gypsy buses or whatever? 

[00:25:55] I just kind of a dark experience leaving that place. Cause I got on that bus and usually that plus makes me feel like a little bit gross because people there’s so many people on it.

[00:26:06] It’s so small and there were people coughing and I felt. There was some sadness about heading back home to this little bitty apartment that I didn’t even like that much. And before I could walk to my apartment, the phone rang and it was my manager and he told me that I got that I got the gig and I was so overjoyed.

[00:26:32] All the disbelief and the doubt, you know, had been washed away. And, and I was just really grateful for that moment in my life. And I, I knew that I was doing what I 

[00:26:40] Dane Reis: [00:26:40] get it. Oh, that is such a good story. And I love as well that you said you almost forgot in a way that you were auditioning, that you were there. Do you know, try to book a job that you were present, that you were just acting and being one with the material and the character and everything in the songs and that.

[00:27:03] Idea that feeling has come up so many times through this interview process of speaking with different people, who’ve booked great works. And it’s that feeling of being ultra present and not being stressed about having to book that job or being overwhelmed or being nervous, it’s just being present. And that is truly showing itself as the fundamental key to what is getting yourself booked for.

[00:27:32]Anything really,

[00:27:34] Melody A. Betts: [00:27:34] It’s the best way to audition. If you can shake off everything. Oh, your challenges, the things that are bothering you , um, whatever’s stressing you out if you can shake those things off so that you can really take in the space and take in the experience and just be there. It’s the best way to go about auditioning.

[00:27:55] I try to , um, reach for that. Every time I go into the room, just leave everything 

[00:27:59] Dane Reis: [00:27:59] everything at the door.

[00:28:01]Melody A. Betts: [00:28:01] Look around, stay in, you know, Flat floated on the ground, ground yourself, and taken the entire experience.

[00:28:08]Dane Reis: [00:28:08] Yeah. Take in the entire experience. I think that’s it right there. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And it’s a weird time, right? We’re amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:28:31] Melody A. Betts: [00:28:31] It’s quite, it’s been quite interesting, not having any theater to go to. I know a lot of my friends, my colleagues have been extremely depressed about theaters being closed, even theater goers that I know who are never on the stage have been quite sad about it. And I , um, I agree with that spirit of sadness when it comes to our industry being closed right now, I miss it dearly.

[00:28:59]So what I’ve been doing has been a lot of my own projects. I recorded some music sometime ago and stopped production on it. Didn’t go any further with it. And so I’ve decided to. Pull those files back out and have everything mixed and mastered professionally. So I hope to release some music in the very near future.

[00:29:23] I’ve been working on my own clothing line. So sky children, apparel belongs to me and I’ve been working on some great designs and wear. We’re planning a huge launch in February. So I’ve been working on that and I’ve been writing, just writing , writing, writing. I have, I took a masterclass with , um, Aaron Sorkin.

[00:29:43] So I’ve been working on honing that skill working

[00:29:50] Dane Reis: [00:29:50] working , on

[00:29:50] Melody A. Betts: [00:29:50] Screenplays and even some docu-series , um, treatments and I even started a play of my own. So that’s what I’ve been doing a lot of. Um, and then, you know, when I can get a reading or if something comes through an audition comes through for television , uh, or.

[00:30:13]I’ve also been doing , um, the Renaissance theater works .

[00:30:16]. I just did a , well, it was a play because it wasn’t a reading. For Renaissance student works of Milwaukee. I just did poof a directed by Marty Gobel with a close friend of mine, liquors the Granbury. And , uh, we just completed that, not , uh, not too long ago. And so any opportunity that I get to act, I try 

[00:30:38] Dane Reis: [00:30:38] I try to take it. Yeah. So good. And I love that you’ve also in this lull of creativity and. Performance in the traditional sense is that you’ve taken it on yourself. You say, look, I am, I’m also responsible for creating art and my creativity and expressing that.

[00:30:57] And I can do this myself as well.

[00:31:00] Melody A. Betts: [00:31:00] I think what we’re going to find, and this is one of the things that I’m looking forward to. I think that we’re going to find that I’m, you know, there are many artists who are doing that right now, creating work for themselves. And when all of this is over, I, there are going to be. Many new playwrights and choreographers and directors and stage managers and casting directors that are going to be coming through the ranks.

[00:31:25] And I look forward to that. I look forward to seeing new creations. New plays written by people. I, I , um,know a lot of people who are at home writing right now. And so I am looking forward to all of the new works that are coming, that are coming after this. And I’m 

[00:31:42] hoping


[00:31:44]theater is going to change when this is all over and that it’s going to be more inclusive on every level. I am hoping that that is one of the things that’s going to change when this is all over, because many people 

[00:31:59] Dane Reis: [00:31:59] people. I have 

[00:31:59] been

[00:32:00]Melody A. Betts: [00:32:00] speaking up about the inconsistencies or not just the inconsistencies, but , um, injustices , uh, inside of our industry. And we 

[00:32:09] are. 

[00:32:11]I think we are coming upon a time where every aspect of the theater is going to be more inclusive.

[00:32:19] And that is something that I’m looking forward to because I believe that that will make our industry that much more, 

[00:32:27] Dane Reis: [00:32:27] much better. Yeah. I a hundred percent agree and it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another, or you ready? All right.

[00:32:50] First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:32:56]Melody A. Betts: [00:32:56] other people’s 

[00:32:57] ideologies. 

[00:32:59] Dane Reis: [00:32:59] Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:33:04]Melody A. Betts: [00:33:04] Be yourself being yourself as 

[00:33:07] Dane Reis: [00:33:07] stuff. 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, but Don pause.

[00:33:18] Melody A. Betts: [00:33:20] What was working for me or what works 

[00:33:22] for me? 

[00:33:24] It’s kind of like the last question 

[00:33:25] Dane Reis: [00:33:25] question, being myself. Perfect. Fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.

[00:33:38]Melody A. Betts: [00:33:38] Oh, having an at-home studio is the best

[00:33:42] Dane Reis: [00:33:42] Yes. 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?

[00:33:56]Melody A. Betts: [00:33:56] If I had all of the knowledge that I have now, and I had to 

[00:34:00] Dane Reis: [00:34:00] and I had to start over, 

[00:34:02]Melody A. Betts: [00:34:02] I would go even harder than I have in the past. I would go after so much more and try to reach higher Heights more quickly.

[00:34:12]Dane Reis: [00:34:12] Yes. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.

[00:34:22]Melody A. Betts: [00:34:22] Live life. If you’re going to be an actress or an actor, you have to live life and understand. What it is that people go through , um, people’s feelings, but the reason why people make choices, and the only way you can do that is if you have practice so live.

[00:34:38]Dane Reis: [00:34:38] Ah, so good. And to wrap up this interview, melody, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:34:53] Melody A. Betts: [00:34:53] You can find me on Instagram, mostly at melody Betts, page M a L O D Y B E T T T S P a G E, or come over and visit us at my clothing line at sky underscore children. Underscore apparel on Instagram.

[00:35:13]Dane Reis: [00:35:13] Beautiful. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to both things. Melody just said into the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with her and also be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, arts, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know, you know, aspiring to create a career in.

[00:35:36] The entertainment industry you booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful entertainment career. It is integral to helping them succeed and helping you create a better, more fulfilling career in this wild and crazy industry. We all love if you enjoyed this episode, hit that subscribe button.

[00:35:57] So you don’t miss the next one. Melody. Thank you so much for being here today. You bet. Thank you. It’s been such a pleasure to have you on.