State / Region
I grew up in Brazil. English is my second language. I'd like to see a change in how Hollywood and the rest of this country views minorities. I want to see more community amongst the Latinos of this country. Especially in Hollywood.
Melina, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
I started modelling when I was 15 years old. I think most everyone in my school wanted to be a model. There was a modelling competition being held in a nearby city, my best friend and I went to this competition (thanks to our parents!) and placed in the top 5! We were offered a modelling scholarship with Ford Models and received incredible training! I'm 5 five dreams of the runway are a bit out of reach (that was a short joke...get it?? Haha), but there are so many other lucrative and creative opportunities for the fun size people of the world in modelling!
Who is your inspiration in life Melina? How do you keep inspired?
I stay inspired by being connected to the world around me. It sounds cliche, but it's true! I find inspiration in people. I find inspiration in being my best self in everyday life. I think of people as a part of me. In my success, I'm able to help and encourage those around me. We all have that same power to impact the lives of others on a local scale and a global scale.
We all make mistakes Melina; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Model; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I think when it comes to any industry you're in, it's easy to allow egos and self-motivated desires get in the way of the big picture. There have been times in my life that I've been so set on doing something my way or wanting the desired result that I've overlooked the needs and desires of people around me. It was a difficult lesson to learn, to be self-giving and flexible (I'm a Leo!). So if I could go back, I'd listen more to the people around me who wanted to voice their opinions before rushing off with my plan.
Melina, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
You can only work with what you have and what is before you — powerful lesson to learn. Love to make everyone happy, but that's not realistic! I give my full attention to what's before me. So when working with clients, I will do what I can to prioritise their needs. Knowing that I have to take things a moment at a time. I have an amazing team as well! My manager is my best friend of many many years. I recommend everyone have one advocate near them that they trust and knows them through and through. She helps me stay humble, motivated, and true to myself while working with different clients who have different demands.
Please tell us, Melina, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
Have you played Tetris before? If not, start! Haha, my life often feels like a game of Tetris. Move this block here, so this block there can fit on top of it. I will never take a job that doesnâ€™t somehow fit into my life’s game of Tetris. Moving to Los Angeles was a very strategic move. I was terrified and didn’t want to make a mistake! I hired my best friend as my manager to keep me grounded. I selected an agent who didn’t understand the industry but understood me as a client. I started networking not just to move ahead, but to build long-lasting relationships. And piece by piece life started coming together finding me here, completing an interview with you!
Melina, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I get asked this a lot, almost as though it's a difficult task! It's quite simple actually. If you put the needs of others first, you listen, then you incorporate everything into what you want to achieve...more than likely you'll get a yes!! I think the fault comes in wanting to persuade someone. Chances are whatever you want to present is for the betterment of the company or project. I wanted to be cast in a role I was not being submitted for. Instead of contacting casting and pitching myself, I addressed the need and what I considered to be the solution. A month later I'm on a flight to shoot my first feature film (Until Forever).
Melina, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest moment was reading a People magazine and seeing a small blurb about a project I was involved in and my picture. It was a small blurb, and I'm sure millions didn't even see my photo. The price didn't come from thinking people saw me, it came in knowing I was part of something big enough to be featured in People Magazine. No matter how big!
Melina, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I'd like to believe I'm always creative at work. Just last week I was in a photo shoot, and even though I was being instructed on what the photographer wanted, I took opportunities to let my vision shine as well. What's exciting about it is you know whatever you're creative in is unique and authentic to you. What's difficult is finding the balance of being creative and still working within the confines of what the photographer is requesting.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Model?
The advice I'd to anyone wanting to be successful in modelling or acting starts with a vision board. Put to paper what exactly you are wanting and when! Then begin to build around that. Take things day by day. Start at the beginning, stay focused, and remember you can only work with what's in front of you. Meaning if the things in front of you are not allowing you to move forward in your dreams, change out what's before you!
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I'm always looking for collaborations! So if you have a meaningful project, I'm more than likely going to want to be involved!
Photographer: Michael Roud @michaelroud Photographer: Anthony Mongiello @anthonymongiello