Interview with Melina Alves (@iammelinaalves)
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Growing up in Brazil the dream of working in film production was one I never thought possible. I feel like every path in my life lead me here to where I can pursue my dreams and tell stories I think matter. I feel alive when I’m writing a script, I feel proud when I’m on set producing and executive producing, and I feel so full of love when I see my projects come to pass because I know I’m only here by the grace of God. I wouldn’t say getting here was easy, because it wasn’t. There was a lot of heartache, sacrifices, and discouragement. I’m so glad I never gave up because now I get to live my wildest dreams.
Can you share the most interest in exciting happened to you since you started doing this?
Since I let go of fear and started to focus on my production company I have become a version of myself that I’m truly proud of. I have been on sets I never thought I’d be on. Recently while on set with Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel, I just looked around and said a prayer of gratitude because I knew I didn’t get there solely based on my sole efforts. It was such an empowering and humbling moment. I’ll never forget it..
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them thrive and not “burn out”?
In the film industry burn out hits us completely different than most would expect. Our burn out can be physical, mental, and even emotional. How many times have you heard “no” when trying to pitch your project or yourself even? I’ve heard it hundreds of times. Seriously hundreds. There were many points in my career where I wanted to stop, quit, give up. And every time I thought about it, something would bring me back. The biggest advice I can give anyone is do not compare yourself or your progress to anyone else in this industry. We all have a different “come up” story. Everyone has a different beginning. Mine took a lot out of me, and continues to. But the reward is much greater than the pain it took to get here. So be focussed on your reward. Make small goals you can achieve, it may sound silly today but it won’t be when you’re years into this career. The reason for the small goals is you’ll become accustomed to what it feels like to SUCCEED. The more you succeed the more you’ll want to continue succeeding. So make those goals! Celebrate yourself! Pray for grace in this industry…because it truly is the most competitive industry.
None of us can succeed without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
There’s so many people that have played a massive and major role in my career as a filmmaker. Years ago when I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or become I met a producer named Cris Abrego. Cris cast me on one of his shows on ABC and he really mentored me. He might not think he did much, but the talks we had really motivated me to pursue a life in filmmaking. With his guidance and my faith, God was able to really make something happen. My first month after moving to Los Angeles, I booked a film. That opportunity came from a referral I received from someone I acted with on the show I booked with Cris. See how that works? One thing leads to another. One person, leads to another person and it continues that way. The only time it stops is when you stop needing people. I went through that too, where I thought I could do this on my own and I learned the hard way that I can’t. So I’m thankful to everyone who has helped me, my best friends who have stood by me and encouraged me when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore. My girlfriends are really Godsend, you need a tribe that supports you and believes in you. Without them…it can be really lonely in this industry.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
My truest calling in this life is the work my non profit will accomplish. My heart is set on helping children achieve their greatest dreams by way of assisting in adoptions, education, nourishment, medical care, and shelter. Through the profits made from my films and tv series, I will assist in meeting the needs of those suffering and hurting. Recently I lost a dear friend to suicide so I also am starting now to look and see what I can do be best spread awareness but also help those that are suffering from depression and anxiety. If I could save the world I would, but I know that I can’t. But I can try and I’m determined to spend my life trying. I grew up with parents who were missionaries in Brazil and I believe being raised with street children really opened my eyes to the pain and suffering in this world. Seeing children younger then 10 years old being addicted to drugs and full of medical problems really put a deep call in my heart for them. There’s nothing more gratifying than knowing you are a part of someone else’s accomplishments and success, no matter what it is. So I pray constantly that I can be used in this world for the better. I want to spread love and a hope for tomorrow to everyone I come in contact with.
Do you have a favourite “written Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
” Life isn’t easy and it’s full of pressures and disappointments. It also has some really great moments, but those low points can really have permanent consequences in our life. Affirmations are so important to keep us remembering what’s important and what’s true. One major quote I use is actually found in Isaiah 60:22 which says “When the time is right, I The Lord will make it happen.” This verse really brought me hope because I just kept reminding myself that at any moment my circumstances could change. Also Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” This is such a beautiful reminder that in the end, you will win. It’s really helped me never give up and to keep holding on. I carry those verses with me everywhere I go and in any situation I’m in. Did I mention faith is a big part of my life? If you didn’t know, you definitely know now.
.How can our readers follow you on social media?
I’m on Instagram @iammelinaalves and I’m also on Twitter @actingfamous_ I’d love to chat with your readers and encourage them however I know best to. My DM’s are always open.
Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?
Just that I’m a Latina Brazilian actress and filmmaker. I live in Los Angeles, CA, I have 2 films and a tv series in production. I am married with 2 beautiful little girls. My production company is Acting Famous Productions. I also have a children book currently being published so to look out for that!