Meet the Cast: Deneen Melody

introducing.madame

The narrator, Laura, lost her mother so young she cannot remember the woman. Instead she was raised by a governess, played by Deneen Melody.

Tell me about yourself! Who is Deneen Melody?
That is a very good question! I am still discovering who this Deneen
Melody person is myself. However, I suppose I can tell you that I am a
trained ballerina from Texas that made the plunge into the acting world a
few years ago. While I was living in Chicago, I became highly involved in
the independent horror scene, but since made the decision to pursue other
genres and acting opportunities. I have also been in Los Angeles for just
about a year.
Since my move, I began to become more interested in theatre, which brings
back my love for the stage and helps with my training as an actor. I have
been very fortunate to meet so many kind, genuine people in the Los
Angeles theatre community that have encouraged me on this journey.
On a random note, my favorite thing in the world is the fantasy genre and
I’m obsessed with things like Lord of the Rings, The Last Unicorn, and all
the dark fantasy films of the 80’s. Oh, and I also have a thing for Thor
and enjoy Renaissance Festivals.

What did you know about the story Carmilla before becoming involved in
this production?
Actually, I was familiar with Carmilla and a few variations of her story
prior to becoming involved with this production. She is a character in one
of my favorite anime films, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, and I had played
a role similar to her in which I did a bit of research. However, it wasn’t
till I met David and Mark that I really dived into getting to know
Carmilla, Laura, and all the others involved. The story is certainly an
interesting take on vampirism and I’m excited for our audiences to
experience this particular telling of the story

Your character, Madame Perradon, is a romantic, fascinated with tales of
the paranormal. Does that strike a chord in you?
Absolutely. You are talking to a gal that is surrounded by all things
magical and supernatural. Light and dark. Where others may find it silly
and childish, I open up my heart and accept it. There are so many
unexplained things in the world…why should we choose to believe in some
and dismiss the rest? All stories come from some place, some truth.

How do you approach playing a role?
Every role is different, but I always find some common ground with each
and every character I portray. Even if I feel, in absolutely no way, that
I can relate to the character, I will read the lines over and over again.
I will reach into my very being and find something, anything, to connect
to. When I am performing, whether on the stage or in front of the camera,
I wish to be the character.
Being an actor is difficult, as are many things, of course. It is a
constant journey. As far as I am concern, I am always learning and
growing. I am a completely different actor now than when I first started.
I am a completely different actor now than a year ago. And I am a
completely different actor now than a performance ago.

Do you have any favorite vampires in fiction? Who? And why?
Well, as I mentioned above, one of my favorite anime films would be
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, and I have always had a soft spot for Meier
Link. He is tragic. At first you think he is this awful, dark being, but
then you learn the truth of his actions. It actually makes me sad just
thinking about it. He delivers my favorite quote from the film, too, in
which he says to the woman he loves: “I don’t want you to worry about
these wounds of mine. They will heal, and then we shall go to the City of
Night and distant stars. When we go there we can be alone, and free to
love each other.”
More recently, I enjoy the character of Eli in Swedish vampire novel, Let
the Right One In, written John Ajvide Lindqvist. I first saw the original
version of the film and was enchanted by Lina Leandersson’s performance.
From there, I read the book, and was instantly fascinated by the
character’s history. It is a different spin on what many people think of
vampires, especially with things like Twilight and those CW teen shows. If
you have yet to read the book or see the film, it is one I highly suggest.
There are so many ways to interpret who the character of Eli is and what
her true motives are, which can actually be said the same for Carmilla, in
my opinion.

(Note: Lindqvist has confirmed Let The Right One In was to some extent inspired by LeFanu’s Carmilla)

What do you personally hope for in terms of the audience, both for the
play and for your performance?
To be honest, I hope the audience comes out of the experience with their
minds racing. I hope they are as intrigued with the story as I am, so much
that they discuss the story and characters with each other. Who is good,
who is evil? Why is that character the way they are? What is the truth? To
me, anything that can create curiosity within an audience is a very, very
good thing.
On a personal level, this role is going to be such a challenge for me. To
play a character that is physically older than myself, well, it should be
interesting, especially when I tend to play younger than my age. With that
in mind, I truly wish to bring something interesting to Madame, something
that others may overlook. There is certainly more to her than meets the
eye, and I hope I will be able to bring that to our audience.

Finally, is there a question you wish I asked? If so, what would the
answer be?
You didn’t ask if I believe in Unicorns. And the answer is, yes. Yes, I do.

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