What would you do differently to what you do now?
Seriously! I am nearly 50! A bit late to change careers now! So I guess the answer is, probably very little! I would like to help young performers find the right path in their performing careers.
Who inspires you and why?
I admire anyone who survives in our industry. It’s a tough one and only the strong survive. We are constantly needing to reinvent ourselves sometimes at the expense of the road that we really want to travel down.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Make sure that music is a part of the primary curriculum just as English and Mathematics is. I remember Sing Sing in primary school, which was a radio program and you learnt songs from a book and sang them. Clearly my memory is going because that is all I remember of it. I do remember just learning music because it was part of the day.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
The three of us went to Venice about 8 years ago and it was the most magical place I have ever seen. Mark wanted to go to Paris, but there is something darker and more mysterious to Venice. We went there just after a major flood, so the streets were clean and the waters were the most glorious green colour. We extended our stay there because I did not want to leave!
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Anywhere near the water, and I don’t mean the local swimming pool! I love our coastline, but even a little lake can be a really pleasant place to sit next to. The loveliest body of water is the Murray River outside Echuca, with the native trees all standing alongside the river.
What are you currently reading?
Society’s Child – Autobiography of Janis Ian. I went and saw her awhile ago when she came out and performed at The National Theatre in St Kilda and was inspired by her writing skills.
What are you currently listening to?
I’m currently listening to Lea Delaria. She is a New York performer, probably best known to audiences in Orange is the New Black, but she is also a very accomplished jazz/blues singer. She has an album where she takes music theatre songs and does terrific jazz arrangements of them. Listen to her arrangement of The Ballad of Sweeney Todd, it will blow you away!
Being at home with my family. It happens so rarely that we are all home at the same time. Tyler is teaching us both how to play Euca (a card game) which he learnt off his Nana and we are having the best card tournaments. Although I am losing big time, and I’m not the best loser!!!
What does the future hold for you?
Mark and I have recently started a company called Winding Road Productions. We find terrific shows and sell them to regional venues. Hopefully in the next 20 years when I start to wind down, I can sell other performers shows to venues!
Melissa joins Chelsea Gibb and Amanda Harrison in Cyrens – The Swingin’ Songbook of Cy Coleman in the Space Theatre: 21 – 22 June as part of the 2017 Adelaide Cabaret Festival, before heading to Chapel Off Chapel: 27 June – 1 July as part of the 2017 Melbourne Cabaret Festival.
Image: Melissa Langton – photo by James Penlides