What does she do? That's a very interesting question. Melissa is one of my favorite Lady of Leisure women because she really does it all. She's a Talent Booker so she's booked CBS Sports, Concerts at MSG, MSG at the Movies, Kids Choice Awards just to name a few but then she's also a Casting Director with films like Tower Heist, August Rush and A Guide to Recognizing your Saints among others. Just when you think you're done reading her credits they are then broken down further into Television and Film casting and booking as well. I won't bore you with them all but this girl has serious cred with Nickelodeon, MTV, Universal, Sesame Street and CBS and that's just in the linear space. Of course if you ask her what she does, she'll coyly respond that she's "a Talent person". Not a Talent Exec or a Casting Director or someone who famous people have on speed dial. No, she's just a "talent chick".
In addition to hustling and creating opportunities for both new and established talent, Melissa is also a pioneer. She sees opportunity in new ventures like Spreecast, Microsoft 360 and MSG Media. She takes a chance on the series and opportunities that others may not always see the immediate payoff in and works it, until it does. She's parlayed this visionary consulting in new media into talent opportunities for people whom she's worked with in the past. I won't named them, but some of them include some of your favorite NFL stars.
Her newest venture with Spreecast, still in its infancy, already scored Mrs. Reese Witherspoon for an exclusive interview in addition to all of the incredibly rad and original user generated content.
I am perpetually inspired by MC and on the days that I feel like creating my own work space can't get any harder, I remind myself that there are other women out there who are doing it, who have a life, who are creating change and affecting the way we do business.
Why She's a Bad Ass Lady of Leisure: Because she doesn't let titles define her. She is an entrepreneur, a multi-platform new media/talent mogul whose positive attitude, character, and strength we can all draw from. She's friendly, she's humble, she's creative and dynamic. Oh yeah, probably also the nicest and most helpful human being on the planet. Go Mel. Keep kicking ass.
WHAT KEEPS YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE BUSINESS: That the business is changing so quickly (in a good way).
IF YOU DIDN’T DO CASTING / TALENT YOU WOULD….: I would want to be a Music Supervisor for a TV Series. I literally have a soundtrack to my life.
WHO INSPIRES YOU MOST?: It is so hard to pick just one person. My mom has been the most influential figure in my life and always will be, but Lydia Stephans Murphy, Laurie Orlando and Abby Gans Solomon (three of my previous bosses) have been amazing mentors and have taught me so much.
WHAT DO YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU WHEN STARTED OUT?: Find a healthy balance between your work life and personal life (I still struggle to find a good balance).
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE STARTING THEIR CAREERS IN ENTERTAINMENT:
My advice is to find a great mentor or confidant.
Also, some great advice I received when I started, "be nice to everyone, because you never know when that person is going to be your boss."
The final book of THE HUNGER GAMES, "MOCKINGJAY." I can't wait for the movie!
ON YOUR IPOD: Not sure what I would do without my music. I am addicted to Spotify and find myself making Spotify Playlists and downloading them on my iphone. My current playlist includes: "Skinny Love" by Birdy, "Someone That I Used To Know" by Gotye, "Hold On" by Angus and Julia Stone, "Let the Drummer Kick" by Citizen Cope, "Keep You" by Class Actress, "23" by Jimmy Eat World, "Whirring" by The Joy Formidable, "L.E.S" by Santogold, "Isabella Of Castile" by Starf*cker, and anything by The Naked and Famous, M83, Metric and Ellie Goulding, Dave Matthews, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Beastie Boys, Bon Iver, and Coldplay. I can go on forever with this list....here is my playlist if you want to listen http://open.spotify.com/user/misshopeny/playlist/3gD9LRptV7lZol8n510kpY
FINISH THIS SENTENCE : THE LAST BOY THAT BROKE MY HEART…He knows who he is. Let's just leave it at that....
BUSINESS ACCESSORY I CANT DO W/O: my TWO cel phones (I can't live without a back up plan)
FASHION ACCESSORY: My favorite accessory of the moment is the headband. It is my answer to a "bad hair day" and is so very "Gossip Girl"
WHATS NEXT FOR YOU:
I am working on a Spreecast project for SXSW that will feature some amazing bands that will be performing in Austin this year.