EDITOR’S NOTE: Venue Plus continues “In Case You Didn’t Know,” a weekly feature with fun tidbits about New Mexicans and their projects.
After months of slowing down, things are picking up for Melissa Chambers.
The New Mexico-based actress has had three good auditions in the past week.
“Usually out of three, I get one,” she says hopefully.
Chambers has popped up in quite a few films in the past and is awaiting the release of two films: “Deadly Illusions” and “Walking With Herb.”
In “Deadly Illusions,” Chambers plays Aunt Lotty. The film tells the story of a bestselling female novelist suffering from writer’s block who hires an innocent young woman to watch over her twin children.
As the novelist dangerously indulges in her new bestseller, the line between the life she’s writing and the one she’s living becomes blurred.
The film stars Kristin Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Shanola Hampton and Greer Grammer. Filming was done in and around Albuquerque in 2019.
Chambers impressed director Anna Elizabeth James.
“The day of filming, people didn’t understand that the aunt has two different personalities,” James says. “Melissa walked in for the audition and just knew the part perfectly. I told her, ‘You have the part.’ She is such a rich talent, because she embodied Aunt Lotty.”
In “Walking With Herb,” Chambers got to work again with Las Cruces-based director Ross Marks.
“Ross put me in my very first film,” Chambers recalls. “To be in ‘Walking With Herb’ and have a role as Edward James Olmos’ secretary named Karen was amazing. (Edward) gave me some great acting advice.”
Both films will be released in early 2021.
Chambers grew up acting in theater.
Her mother put her in acting classes in Washington, D.C., while she was growing up. She later went to the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.
Chambers then went on to have a career in radio. But it was acting that she could never shake.
Most recently, she appeared on the Fox TV series “Deputy.”
“The feedback I get from directors and producers is that I’m well trained,” she says. “I continue to train. Improv classes are some of the best ways to get better as an actor. It teaches you to be quick on your feet and live in the moment. It can be hard to continue training because of the pandemic, but it’s possible.”
Chambers will read for all types of roles, because she wants to gain experience.
“The opportunity to work, man, that’s my favorite role,” she says. “You can make something work from a featured background role. As an actor, you have to find something in every role. Even if it’s two lines.”
Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Chambers:
1 “I was born in Oklahoma.”
2 “I’ve moved 21 times in my life.”
3 “My mother (Letitia Chambers) was the first woman to head the staff of a major standing committee of the U.S. Senate. She was also a U.S. representative to the United Nations.”
4 “I’ve appeared in over 48 stage productions and 24 IMBD credits. It took me 40 years to get the stage credits and only six years to get the IMDB credits.”
5 “I wrote a screenplay! It’s called ‘Released,’ with Australian director Karen Borger.”