Acting Updates

I’ve been posting so much about travel and (wedding) life lately that I thought it might be a nice idea to update you on what is happening in the acting world for me!
In Makeup
Since returning to Amsterdam as a married woman, I have had some great opportunities come my way! I was recently in an international phone commercial that is airing in India right now (watch it HERE) and an anti-wrinkle cream infomercial (I guess I’m at that age now haha)! Both times on set, I didn’t feel as excluded as I often do with the language barrier, as both productions were a cast and crew of internationals from all over. That was a welcomed change. It can get a bit lonely on set when you don’t speak the common language.
One Plus Phone Commercial
I am also part of the crew of a wonderful show presented by the InPlayers called ‘An Enemy of the People’, which will be playing late November! You can get your tickets HERE, with more Details below (show poster created by Quin Mero):
An Enemy of the People
Though it can be difficult to find acting gigs for native English speakers in Amsterdam (compared to Toronto), things are slowly starting to pick up. I’m also attempting to make my own work and create my own opportunities with lots of passion projects on the way. I can’t say too much now but stay tuned for more announcements soon!
OnePlus
Are you acting abroad? Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers,
Melissa

Top 7 Things to Do in Berlin

Berlin is an exciting city with something for every kind of traveler, not just for the history buffs, but the art lovers, gardeners, foodies and more. After spending a long weekend exploring the bustling city, I have decided to list my top 7 suggestions of things to do while in this German city. So let us begin!
The Berlin Wall
1) Topography of Terror Documentation Center: There is a reason why over 1.3 million people visited this free museum last year. This indoor and outdoor exhibit is located on a site which was formerly the headquarters for the SS during the Nazi regime. It is also where a part of the Berlin Wall was located from 1961 to 1989, this remaining piece is now the longest existing segment of the outer wall. This museum has a lot of reading; it makes a Ph.D. dissertation look like a postcard. If you want to read it all, be prepared to spend an afternoon. I recommend it. Learn about the history not just of Germany, but Europe, and really the world. Learn from past mistakes. Learn to prevent this from ever happening again. Take a moment to also respect the lives that were lost.
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
2) Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp: Since we are on the topic of WW2, I suggest taking a walking tour with New Europe Tours to visit Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. This tour is about 5 plus hours (including travel time), and only 16 Euros plus a transit pass. Granted there is more than enough to do within Berlin, take a moment and leave the city to experience something else. If you don’t have 5 hours, they also offer PWYC tours that stay inside the downtown core of Berlin and last only a couple of hours.
View of Berlin
3) Get a View: See Berlin from above or at least get the aerial shot for Instagram. Now you do have many options. You can do what everyone else does and go to the Fernsehturm Television Tower’s observation deck and be surprised with the unnecessarily long lineup and a pricey ticket. Want a better view surrounded by buildings instead of on the outskirts? I suggest you skip the line and head over to Kollhoff-Tower in the Potsdamer Platz. There is also a café up top if you want to rest and fuel up with a beverage. For something different, go up in the tethered hot air balloon at WELT Balloon Berlin Service LLC.
Opera House
4 ) Bebelplatz: This stop is free; it is a square after all. I suggest it not just to check out the gorgeous pink Opera House, which looks amazing at sunset, but for the whole area. There you will also see buildings of Humboldt University, and St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, the first Catholic Church built in Prussia after the Reformation. This location is also where the infamous Nazi book burning took place on the evening of May 10th 1933. Today you can see a memorial on the ground in the middle of the square by Micha Ullman.
Sanssouci in Potsdam
5) Potsdam: If you follow my Instagram account you will have seen my gorgeous photos of this loveable town. Why did I enjoy it so much? I felt like I was in Versailles! No really! There is an endless supply of castles (which you can enter for a small fee) and gardens galore. I suggest taking the train (less than an hour away) and checking out this area for an all day trip. Stroll through the properties and you will find surprises like The Chinese House (it’s covered in gold), and more. Before heading back to Berlin you will find ample food options to stop for dinner (I had the best pumpkin soup ever). I highly recommend adding Potsdam to your itinerary!
The Holocaust Memorial
6) Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, or also known as The Holocaust Memorial: This memorial was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. Building began in April 2003, but it was not completed until December 2004. Sixty years after the end of WW2, it was inaugurated in May 2005 and opened to the public. It is a large site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs. They are assembled in a grid pattern on a hilly concrete field. All the slabs vary in height and are slightly askew so that none is the same as another. At this location, there is also a museum which holds the names of the approximately 3 million Jewish Holocaust victims. This art was never fully explained, but I believe when you walk through this maze of stone, you are meant to feel alone, afraid, lost, isolated and claustrophobic, as the victims would have felt. This memorial cost around 25 million to complete.
Bunker Tour
7) Bunker Tours: Do not leave the city until you have completed a Bunker Tour. It was not only educational but a cool experience. Literally! It was so refreshing to cool down on a hot summer day. Tours are offered throughout the day, in different languages. You cannot purchase a ticket ahead of time, but if you go in a bit before the tour to buy a ticket, you should be fine. Some are offered underground, but we opted for the Flak Tower in Humboldthain Park in Gesundbrunnen. Only a part of it remains as it was destroyed after the war to de-militarize it. You don’t realize it at first but as you walk up the mountain to get to the entrance, it is actually the Flak Tower itself that is buried in rubble and has become a large hill! Here you are shown three of the seven floors of one of the biggest bunkers in the city, but they offer other bunker tours as well!
Inside Zur Gerichtslaube
Bonus: One last thing I would recommend in Berlin is to eat up! You all know by now I am not only a vegetarian, but am gluten free, and to throw in a wrench I’m on a wedding diet! Ahh! This makes travel a bit difficult for suppressing my hunger. Luckily we found options in Berlin (not just options but delicious meals!). At Zur Gerichtslaube they have authentic German food, and are located in a tiny historic building from 1270 which was originally a Medieval Town Hall! If you love pink décor then visit Wilde Matilde Bar. Honestly, even if you just want Shawarma or other foods, the options were all great in Berlin.
Checkpoint Charlie
Berlin is very spread out, so prepare to walk lots! Berlin offers a lot of museums (even a dedicated one for currywurst), and provides so much to entertain yourself for free (such as checking out the Brandenburg Gate or walking past the recreated Checkpoint Charlie which is super touristy by the way)! If in doubt just walk around and explore, sometimes this is how the best discoveries are made, such as an adorable flea market we randomly found!
Flea Market in Berlin
Want to know more? Have you been to Berlin? Let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for my next travel adventure! Thanks so much to KVDV Photography for the lovely photos.

Cheers,
Melissa

Dinant, Belgium

Just had a short visit to the to the Belgium town of Dinant, right on the River Meuse. This very old town is known for its landmark, the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame de Dinant. Right behind it, at the very top of the mountain, is the Citadel of Dinant. You can take a cable car to the top; however, “we” chose to walk it. All 408 steps of it, to walk off the calories from our beer of course. It is worth the climb though, as there is a small interactive exhibit to experience and a breathtaking view.20171111_152107Dinant is also known for Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone from the early 1840’s, its Trappist Leffe beer, delicious chocolate of course, mussel’s for dinner and the couque de dinant. This sweet treat is made of just flour and honey and is not intended to be bitten into. Instead, you break off pieces and suck on it. Or maybe dip it in some tea. Yum!IMG_4445This cute little town was very picturesque, with a few surprises along the way, such as the Rocher Bayard rock and the hidden ruins de creve-coeur. The ruins were a bit of a hike, and maybe not the safest thing to do in the rain, but well worth it. To get there you also walk through a tiny medieval town, and it’s only about a 30 minute commute from downtown. Some other tourist activities included beer tasting at Maison Leffe and exploring the caves at Grotte La Merveilleuse.IMG_4870-EditDo note that as this is a small town, and if you go in low tourist season, most outdoor water activities are closed. There is not much of a nightlife, as things shut down very early, and it is also very difficult to find places for an early breakfast, so feel free to sleep in. A free but fun activity to do is to walk along the river. Check out the colours and architecture of the locals homes, take pictures of the scenery, and breathe in the fresh air, while sampling some fresh Belgium chocolate of course!
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Where should we go next? Any suggestions?
Cheers,
Melissa

And…Action!

Some time has passed and I can officially say that I am an Actor in Amsterdam. I have now been on set a couple of times, each experience unique in its own. I must say it’s very similar to sets on Canada. The main difference being the language barrier, which means I will definitely have to work on my Dutch skills ASAP. Luckily most people also speak English and are willing to help out! Props to the craft and catering department, as the food options have been amazing and the lunches very satisfying! The crews have also been professional and super friendly. Lastly, figuring out the train system to find my way to set has been an experience as well.

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Here is one of my first videos from a gig in Amsterdam. You may not see me… but I am in there a few times: https://www.facebook.com/dutchcasting/videos/1758395250844323/

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I will hopefully have more to show you from my other booked gig shortly. I can’t say much, but I can say in this one you will be seeing me a lot!

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Though very different compared to Toronto, Amsterdam still has a lot to offer in the acting industry. They have an abundance of events going on in the city for art, culture and entertainment. I hope to see more shows coming up and can’t wait for Amsterdam Fringe!

Annnnd for #TBT… Here’s a photo from when I was a red carpet host!

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Cheers,
Melissa

First Amsterdam Audition!

Good news, not even a month in and I’ve had my first audition in Amsterdam! Yay! It was such a lovely fun experience, this city is so friendly and welcoming.  Annnnnd I’ve already scheduled my next audition! Fingers crossed!

Apart from acting and work, I’ve had the chance to see more of this beautiful city! From flea markets (which I love, open rain or shine), to unique restaurants, music festivals, and to fascinating historic buildings.

This city has so much for offer any day, any time of day! And so much art everywhere you look!

Stay tuned for updates and hopefully some good news!

Cheers,
Melissa

Showers of puppy love

Hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day showered in puppy love!

I am so grateful, I just spent all day on set! It was such a great crew and a fun commercial to work on. More to come soon!

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Until then stay warm, and keep reaching for your dreams!

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Cheers,
Melissa

Red Carpet Fun

Last week I had the opportunity to work another red carpet event for The Idea Hunter. It’s always such a blast to work with such amazing actors, interact with people on the carpet and enjoy the glam of the night.

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You may also recognize my face on Cityline again soon, as recently I got to appear as an elf! So much fun spreading the holiday cheer! Christmas is just around the corner, have you started decorating yet?

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I also had some fun shooting with KVDV Photography recently… more photos to come but here is a sneak peak!

Cheers,
Melissa

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