pic by Chad Hess

pic by Chad Hess

I’m the daughter of two Latino immigrants, raised between Atlanta, GA and my parents’ native land of Medellin, Colombia. My first acting role was playing Mother Mary in a church play at the age of 7. I decided to make acting my career during the first semester of college. While attending an accounting class, a bright orange sign that read "Auditions" caught my eye. With 5 minutes left to audition, I ran over to see if I could make it on time and got cast as a lead in the play. I dropped out of school that same month after being bitten by the acting bug and never looked back. Over the past decade, I've traveled the world and continued working in theater and film in Atlanta and on the West Coast. Several years ago I met a couple of Theater artists in the deep south doing astounding environmental and community work. They offered me an internship through a Theater and Production Company called Mondo Bizarro based in New Orleans, LA. I figured it was time for a change and made the move to the Big Easy. During my first month of work, my buddy and then supervisor loaned me his camera and asked me to snap photos and take some video to document a story-telling project they where doing at the time -even though I'd never held a camera in my hand prior to that-  I was instantly hooked.

 After 10 years of building an array of artistic story telling skills in New Orleans - physical theater performance, learning the cameras eye, editing and lighting techniques - life, family and career called me back home to Atlanta to focus on the root of my story telling passionm -Acting and film making~

Im currently residing in the belly of my home city, ATL.


Melisa's photos have been published on The New York Times, American Theater Magazine, Times Picayune, Antigravity, Creative Loafing, Inside Arts Magazine, CTNOW.ComAutoStrattle.com, BuzzFeed.com and many others. One of her photos was selected as a winner by the New Orleans Arts Council for a photography competition.  Her Photography and Video work have taken her across the country, through Canada and into several places in Central and South America. She is creatively committed to keeping her work accessible at the local street level, often working with non-profits and solo artists committed to fighting all forms of oppression.

Her work could not be possible with out the continuous support of the following outstanding organizations + everyone who's ever hired her: Alternate ROOTS, Mondo Bizarro, Artspot Productions, JUNEBUG Productions, NALAC, NPN, Joan Mitchell Center, Kids Rethink New Orleans, The Hemispheric Institute, RISING APPALACHIA and so, so many others.