© 2019 Momentum Community by Todd Phillips and Daniel Mollner
 

    Melanie Camras

    Performance Artist

     

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    This year, I finally created My Show: Melody Strong Grace & Friends, Living the Dream. It's a variety show that uses most all my skills and talents, and I wouldn't have done it without this program. Three of my momentum mates have gotten heavily involved in My Show: Heather edited my videos, Cassidy is singing two duets with me, and Rico is among the dancers in the big sing- and dance-along.

     

    There've certainly been setbacks along the way: finger injuries and rain prevented me from doing the preview I'd planned, and I can't do the fancy aerial stuff that I used to do. For one week, I couldn't even wash my own hair! Fortunately, I'm healing, and thanks to help from teachers and friends, I've found ways to make it work. The show will still be spectacular.

     

    Lots of miracles have occurred throughout the process of producing this show: My mom helped me make my mermaid tail. One of my favorite dolphin dance partners filmed our underwater dance video for free. Charity helped me create my Melody Strong Grace (entertainer) fb page. Brynne Flidais gave me lots of promotion advice, and referred me to Ken Adelman, who did a photo shoot for free! Without holding auditions, I've found a really wonderful group of fellow performers. Marya Stark let me use her song, Unstoppable Joy. Brynne not only let me use her choreography, but also taught it to the other dancers, and will teach some of it to the audience at the shows. Two brothers from Suade, an awesome Australian a cappella band, made a gorgeous track for me to sing over. In exchange for chocolate, Ben Dorfan recorded a beautiful piano accompaniment for the song that I can't play live. I'm sure there's more; the show hasn't even happened yet!

     

    When I started momentum, I was new to the area and funemployed. After starting the program, I started teaching camp/ music directing shows with All About Theatre, and through that, am up to 11 private music students (going on 13). That's more than I ever had at once during my 5 years in Chicago! I did my first performance as an aerialist/ dancer with Modern Collective in November. These things might've happened even if I hadn't done Momentum, but they relate to my artistic pursuits.