Point Park University's Musical Theatre Program Equips Alumna with Confidence, Materials and Skills to Succeed in the Industry Alumni Profile
Meet Melessie Clark '15
- Job Title & Employer
- Musical Theatre
- College Activities
- Honors Program, Impulse Hip-Hop Dance Team, Coalition for Christian Outreach
- Greensburg, Pa.
- High School
- Greensburg-Salem High School
- Hobbies & Interests
- I am a self-diagnosed shopaholic, particularly when it comes to clothes and makeup. I love trying new restaurants, especially Mexican or Thai cuisine. I enjoy creating content for my social media and serving my community as a lifetime member of the NAACP. I am a pageantry acting coach and co-host of a podcast, Beach House & Babies, that recaps the Grey's Anatomy spinoff series Private Practice.
"Point Park equipped me with the confidence, materials and skills needed to not only have a successful audition, but it also prepared me for what is required once a role is obtained."
Highlight your professional experiences since graduating from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts.
Pittsburgh Theatre Companies
- Pittsburgh CLO: Gypsy, The Wedding Singer, Grease, Rock of Ages and The Wizard of Oz
- Pittsburgh Public Theater: School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, Little Shop of Horrors and Two Trains Running
- City Theatre Company: An Untitled New Play by Justin Timberlake
- Quantum Theatre: The Current War
- Kinetic Theatre: An Octoroon
- Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company: Dulcy and Ubuntu Holiday
Regional Theatres and Cruise Lines
- Goodspeed Musicals and Delaware Theatre Company: A Sign of the Times
- Alhambra Theatre: Dreamgirls
- Berkeley Repertory Theatre: Goddess (current role)
Film and TV
- Netflix: Archive81
- Amazon Prime: Anything's Possible, directed by Billy Porter
- Commercials: T-Mobile and the Pennsylvania Lottery
- Voiceovers: Hershey Park, Sheetz and University of Pittsburgh
You recently performed in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running at Pittsburgh Public Theater. Tell us more about your role and how this experience challenged you as an artist.
Performing in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running was a dream come true. I’d been wanting to do an August Wilson play since I worked on one of his pieces in preparation for college auditions. The monologue I auditioned with for Point Park was a monologue pieced together from his play, Jitney, so it was full circle getting to do one of his plays in Pittsburgh.
The role of Risa challenged me in many ways, but mostly to be present in each moment, rely on the text and my castmates. It took some time, but I found that because August’s writing is so rich in conversation and musicality, that I didn’t have to add anything extra to it in my delivery. My blocking, or as our director, Justin Emeka, called it, “business,” for Risa was extensive; but once I got it down, I was able to focus more on her relationships with the men in the diner and gain a better understanding of what she represents in the play.
In what ways did your Point Park experience prepare you for your career?
Ironically, my Point Park experience prepared me to be prepared, which is something I’ve learned will never be taken for granted. Properly preparing for a role, making bold choices, and simply showing up with a good attitude and ready to work, has benefited me in this business and I credit that to my training at Point Park.
Point Park also equipped me with the confidence, materials and skills needed to not only have a successful audition, but it also prepared me for what is required once a role is obtained. Through developing relationships with my professors, classmates, peers and the Greater Pittsburgh theatre and arts community, I’ve learned what it means to cultivate an advancing yet fulfilling career.
Who or what inspired you most at Point Park?
I was inspired most by my advisor and Musical Theatre Techniques teacher, the late Jack Allison. Jack was one of the major reasons why I chose Point Park, as he made me feel welcomed, saw my potential and ensured me that Point Park would be a great fit. From him, I learned the importance of lyricism and how to personalize a song. I am so grateful to have had him as a teacher, director and friend.
I was also inspired by the heart and talent of my classmates. From classroom to the stage, seeing their work always brought me great joy and made me want to be a better actor.
Why would you recommend Point Park’s musical theatre program to a prospective student?
I would recommend Point Park’s musical theatre program to a prospective student because I can guarantee they will leave with the necessary tools to be successful in this business. Point Park has a reputation of developing excellent work ethic and I believe that is because of what is instilled in its students by the professors and the performance experiences.
Another benefit of the program is the community. I am still in touch with professors and peers who show their support near and far and for that I am grateful.