Acting Blog

Actress MELANIE HAYNES Gets Cookin’ on TruTV’s “ADAM RUINS EVERYTHING”

Also Currently Streaming in Feature Films “A COUNTRY CALLED HOME” and “HEARTLAND”

LOS ANGELES (July 11, 2017) – Actress MELANIE HAYNES overcooks a couple of myths in an all-new episode of TruTV’s investigative comedy series, ADAM RUINS EVERYTHING, set to air on July 18th. Haynes can also currently be seen streaming on Netflix in the soulful drama A COUNTRY CALLED HOME; and on Amazon/iTunes/GooglePlay in the heart-wrenching drama HEARTLAND.

ADAM RUINS EVERYTHING follows Adam Conover as he uses a not-quite-deadly combination of comedy, history and science to debunk widespread misconceptions about topics and ideas that are routinely taken for granted. Haynes steps in as a Southern Chef to assist Adam in debunking the latest food myths in the episode titled, “Adam Ruins Weight Loss.”

Haynes has been gaining attention for her work in several celebrated indie films. First, the coming-of-age drama, A COUNTRY CALLED HOME, follows Ellie, a young woman (Imogen Poots) dealing with the death of her estranged alcoholic father and the extended family she never knew. Haynes appears as Brenda, the diabetic Mother of Ellie’s best friend Reno (Mackenzie Davis). The film stars Mary McCormack, June Squibb, Shea Whigham and Ryan Bingham and comes from first-time director Anna Axster.

Haynes also appears in the dramatically touching film HEARTLAND, about Lauren, a young Oklahoma artist (Velinda Godfrey), struggling with the recent death of her girlfriend, who finds escape in a reckless affair with her brother’s girlfriend. Haynes joins in the story as Gail, a Church going pyramid scheming cohort of Lauren’s mother (Beth Grant). The film was directed by Maura Anderson from a script by Velinda Godfrey and Todd Waring.

Coming soon, Haynes will emerge as an unforgettable Auntie in two indie comedy features, including ANTIQUITIES, which follows a young man’s search to discover who his dead father was only to stumble onto himself. The film stars Mary Steenburgen, Ashley Greene, Michaela Watkins and Andrew J. West. In addition, Haynes will appear in Todd Norwood’s buddy road-trip tale, CHASING THE SUN, about two cousins who set off on a misadventure to Key West to find their uncle. Haynes also continues to shine on the festival circuit in the award-winning short film TENDER MOMENTS, as the charming but lonely Southern belle Cordella who takes solace in collecting her porcelain figurines.

Splitting her time between Los Angeles and her hometown Houston, Texas, Haynes has built a solid resume both on-camera and as a voice-over actress. Festival fans will remember her as the no-nonsense bar owner Sissy in the indie drama The Last Mark. She has appeared in and voiced numerous television projects, including The Middle, Salem, A Face to Kill For, The Con, Arrest & Trial and The Daily Apple. She earned her Bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate in Theater and English at the University of Houston, and danced for several years with Patsy Swayze’s Houston Jazz Ballet Company. Haynes served on the board of SAG-AFTRA’s Houston Local Branch for 15 years and as the President for two terms. Today, Haynes continues to run her own professional voice over studio which she established back in 2002.

Melanie Haynes is represented by Linda McAlister Talent (LA/Dallas), Caviar Entertainment (LA) and Pastorini-Bosby Talent (Houston).

For further information on MELANIE HAYNES visit: www.MelanieHaynes-Actress.com


Melanie Haynes on-set of ADAM RUINS EVERYTHING

Melanie Haynes on-set of A COUNTRY CALLED HOME

Melanie Haynes (L) on-set of HEARTLAND with Eve Gordon and Beth Grant

Cast in The Middle, Middle Ground, and Tender Moments!

Angry Patient with Patricia Heaton and Jack McBrayer

Angry Patient with Patricia Heaton and Jack McBrayer

Once again, I’m playing catch up with my Blog!  2016 saw an increase in my on camera work along with a steady flow of voice over projects!  I was thrilled to appear on an episode of ABC’s “The Middle” (Birds of a Feather) in a scene with wonderful Patricia Heaton and Jack McBrayor!  What a hoot!

Then I filmed a short titled “Middle Ground” – hmm, sensing a theme?  It is a dark comedy, and I’m so anxious to see the final edit – and get my footage, of course!  I had a wonderful time shooting in Chapman and Santa Anna, Ca for that. The wonderful cast included Rory O’Connor, Laynie Mitchell, and Blaine Vedros.

This summer, I had a great time shooting another short film in Shreveport, La. which has been submitted for the LA Film Prize – “Tender Moments”.  The character I played was such fun.  Again, anxiously awaiting footage that I can share from that one, too!  Pictured with me here are the lovely and talented Shelley Calene Black and Julitta Pourciau.  Brian Watson, Heather Bloom and Joe Grissafi rounded out our all star cast!
I’ve been spending time at home with family over the summer, and will be heading back to LA very soon for episodic season. Looking forward to having more fun with even bigger and better roles to come!

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Summer in the “Heartland”

Melanie Haynes_Heartland

With Eve Gordon and Beth Grant having a great time in one of our scenes in Heartland!

With Eve Gordon and Beth Grant having a great time in one of our scenes in Heartland!

Laura Spencer ( Big Bang Theory) and I on set

Laura Spencer ( Big Bang Theory) and I on set

Eve Gordon,Beth Grant, Melanie Haynes, Heartland

Eve Gordon,Beth Grant, Melanie Haynes, Heartland

Beth Grant and I, Heartland

Beth Grant and I, Heartland

 

“Heartland” is a feature film currently in post-production phase. It was filmed in Oklahoma in May 2015. It’s the story of a heartbroken Oklahoma artist, Lauren, who exposes cracks in her family’s complacent suburban routine when she falls for her brother’s girlfriend. This story explores the shifting nature of sexualtiy, the limitations of love , and the definition of family, all driven by denial, and unexplored grief at the loss of a loved one.”

“HEARTLAND stars Laura Spencer (THE BIG BANG THEORY, BONES), Beth Grant (THE MINDY PROJECT, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) and Velinda Godfrey (ADONIS, ELEMENT). It is directed by Maura Anderson (Unit Production Manager of WINTER’S BONE) and produced by Anderson, Godfrey, Todd Waring, Jennifer Wood and Chris Freihofer.”

I’m thrilled to have played the part of Gail in this film this summer.  Beth Grant, Eve Gordon, and I were the church ladies with the pyramid scheme and had so much fun on set. They are all dear people who made everyone feel welcomed and appreciated.

Hard to believe I’ve been home in Houston since April and we’re now near mid August!  It’s been great settling back in with family.  In addition to the film, I’ve been keeping busy with voice over from my studio and other studios here in Houston, taping tons of film and tv auditions for projects around the country, and traveling for 2nd callbacks to Austin and another scheduled this weekend near Nasa.  Then, it’s on down to Galveston for a few days with family on an impromptu beach getaway.  Will celebrate my Mom’s 87th birthday there, too!  Attended a beautiful wedding for my niece in Dallas last weekend, and the party just continues.  🙂

I’m excited to be heading back to LA in September for episodic season.  Although, there are a couple of film projects still casting here – and if I have to reschedule my travel dates, so be it!

Update as of 5-2-2016

Since this post, the film has premiered in San Jose at the Cinequest Film Festival and won honors as a favorite! It will also be screened at DeadCenter Film Festival in Oklahoma in June!

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My First Pilot Season as an LA Actress

melanie haynes-177 rt onlineI can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since heading back to LA after the holidays, and here I am at home again for Easter with my family and an extended stay.  It was a very busy time when I went back in January and different than episodic as far as living arrangements, focus, and activities.   I was still staying with my roommates, but things were a bit tighter and more going on with  relatives visiting – some for extended periods, and some just briefly.  My oldest son and his girlfriend were there just for a day, and we managed to celebrate his birthday with a Tres Leches cake from Porto’s Bakery and a very full day of touring.

During this stay,  I also focused more on having new voice over demos made and starting my contacts with the top voice over agencies in LA.  I participated in several workshops, including vo workouts, game voices, and a meet the agents night.  I was very busy with my own voce over work recording on my travel gear and also booking ISDN sessions in studios for my usual ISDN agents and production companies.

On camera auditions were mostly on video for my Texas agents, but I did have another fun audition for a guest star role on The Mindy Project.  I lost out to Laura Dern on that one, so I couldn’t feel too badly about it. 🙂  I had been told that Pilot season was often slower for “new to LA”  actors, and that turned out to be my experience as well.  Still, I feel as if I’m still moving forward and making strides toward my goals.  My manager met with me before I left town, and we’ve made a plan to continue the momentum moving forward.  Some additional pictures and targeted CD workshops are on the agenda for mid summer, so that I can hit the ground running for episodic season in the fall.  I’m feeling very positive, and I just know so much more about what to expect along with having some great auditions under my belt – with great feedback from lots of casting directors.  It’s all going to align and click for me in LA, soon!

In the meantime, I’m loving being back home near my family, working in my professional audio studio on awesome work, and looking forward to more regional auditions and bookings on some of the great series and films shooting here!

 

 

Acting & Voice over at Home for the Holidays!

candlesThis fall has gotten away from me!  November was just a blur.  When I got back to LA in October, after being back in Texas to shoot “A Country Called Home”, things started popping.  Almost immediately, I got my first LA audition and it was a doozie! –  a lead villain in a film with a major star.  When I walked into the audition, I was surprised to see only 3 other women, and of the 4 of us, I was the only one I didn’t recognize. 🙂 Although I didn’t book it – and none of the other women there that day did – it was a wonderful first audition experience!

That was followed by several national commercial auditions and two TV guest star auditions.  On the first, there was another star auditioning along with me, and on the second, I went to producer!  Those not in the business may think that it only counts when you actually book the job. Of course, that is the point, but when you’re new to LA, and booked out for almost a month during your first episodic season to shoot a film out of town,  just getting called to be in the room is a major step forward!  I am very encouraged and feel that it is just a matter of time.  It will happen, soon. I will say, that meeting the casting directors at workshops has been very valuable and affirming.

For now, I am back home in Houston enjoying being with my family celebrating Thanksgiving and preparing for Christmas.  I’ve put myself on video for several film and television roles while here, both through my Houston agent and my Manager in LA.  As always, I’m keeping busy with voice over work and  continuously reading, listening to and participating in  audio and video workshops.

I’m excited that I have also met with a top notch demo producer to build a new promo demo and update my commercial demo when I get back to LA in January!  After that, I’ll seriously pursue top tier voice over representation in LA as well.

Here’s to a very Merry Christmas with family and friends and a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous New Year for all!

 

 

 

 

Back Home to film A Country Called Home

A Country Called Home

 

After spending most of the summer in LA and enjoying getting to know the lay of the land, signing with my manager and agents and attending lots of Casting Director workshops, I had to make a quick trip back to Texas to work on the indie film A Country Called Home  “A COUNTRY CALLED HOME is a compelling coming of age story with universal appeal because it deals with trials and trepidations that most people experience in one way or another, no matter who they are or where they are from. The story incorporates the views of people from all walks of life; different generations, different places, different socio-economic backdrops and so the main character Ellie’s journey of growth and forgiveness is grounded in a rich and multifaceted setting that was inspired by writer/director Anna Axster’s travels and observations throughout the United States her musician husband Ryan Bingham.”

I am thoroughly enjoying my work on the film and have been welcomed so warmly by the cast and crew alike.  I have shot over a 3 week period in the role of Brenda (formerly called Wendy).  So many interesting characters in this sweet little film!  I’m so  happy to be working with leads, Imogen Poots (Need for Speed) and Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire) – two wonderful new actresses who are really doing exciting things!  I was delighted to meet Mary MacCormack (In Plain Sight)  who has a wonderful role, as well.  I’m also hoping I’ll have a chance to meet Oscar nominee, June Squibb, who has joined the cast.

I’m always happy to work, of course, and being able to come home to be with my family while working on a wonderful project with fantastic people is something for which I am truly grateful!

Update 5-2-2016

A Country Called Home premiered at the LA Film Festival in June of 2015 and has begun distribution in 2016!

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New Commercial Agent!

imageI’m happy to report that I have a new commercial agent here in LA.  I just signed with JLA!  Sumer is delightful, and I’m really looking forward to working with her!

I had my new headshots taken by David Carlson last Friday (all 1200 of them!), and I’m in the process of getting feedback from my managers and agents as to which ones they want me to print and/or upload to the various casting sites. We covered a lot of ground with the shots, from “warts and all” to glam senator’s wife, so there are lots to choose from. I’m sure I’ll be posting a few of the chosen shots after the verdict is in.

Another great tv CD workshop earlier this week as well as two awesome voice over workshops! In between, I recorded, edited and uploaded several voice over projects in addition to an ISDN session.

I had a great little phone session with Bonnie Gillespie this week, too. She had some wonderful, insightful suggestions for tweaks to my resume, acting demo reel, and this site as well as input on my new photos. Those will all be implemented soon!

Another Busy Week in LA

Beautiful sunset from our little balcony here in Burbank. The end of another 

Sunset over Burbankbusy week here in LA.

Work

Two great CD workshops this week – great feedback from both, especially the CD who casts a lot of TV comedy!

Had a meeting with a potential Commercial agent – fingers crossed and waiting to hear.

Even had my hair done – always a daunting experience trying a new hairdresser, and on the recommendation of my muse, Connie at Shag did an excellent job recreating and possibly improving on my “do”!

New headshots next week!

Play

In addition to more voice over work from the closet, “homework” for my manager, and keeping up with daily business from here and home, we had a lovely lunch on the pier in Santa Monica after my agent meeting on Thursday.  Beautiful sunny day with a nice cool breeze off the ocean…….I could get used to that.

Family

Keeping up with family from home and so thankful to my son for being my surrogate in helping my mom with all the prep, day of and follow up with hand surgery this week.  That’s the hardest part of being out here and away from home.

Manager Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Met with my new manager, ESI Network,  to sign paperwork and get my homework, talk about pictures, plans, etc.  I have quite a few things to do in order to help my manager market me correctly.  Fortunately, having been in the business for over 20 years, many of the things are already done like  listing with numerous casting websites, budgeting for business, investing in my business, etc.

 Homework

Now, I need to do things like get specific about my short and long terms goals, and make a list of the shows that I want to do and in which I can see myself being cast.  These are things I’ve been thinking about anyway, but good to get organized and put it down in black and white.

Of course, I need new headshots, too.  I know I’ve needed them for awhile, but thought I’d wait until I was out here.  It also helps to know what types of shots the manager and agent need. So, I’m gearing up for that.  I’ve been referred to a good photographer by acting friends, and I’m excited to work with him.

I’ve also scheduled 10 casting director workshops during the month of July, so that will keep me busy in addition to my voice over work!

Found a hairdresser here – so that’s a sigh of relief, too. 🙂

Personal Note 

Have to say I’ve been missing my family especially over this holiday weekend.  We’ve been keeping in touch, but didn’t feel like I could make the trip home for the 4th of July while in the middle of everything here.  Will hope to work out all that scheduling as we go. I will be going home for a visit  soon

Home Studio

Home Studio

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I Have a Manager!

hollywood

THE COLD READING

Last week, I went in for a cold reading with the prospective manager, and I was happy that the scene they gave me to read was a very good one for me.  Funny and age appropriate. 🙂  It went very well – they thought I was funny and said that if we ended up working together they’d start by trying to get me in the door with comedy.  Sounded good to me!  We chatted a bit more about expectations, etc., and then they asked me to call them the next day within a specific time frame to find out if they thought they could help me or not.

THE DECISION

When I called th em back on Friday, the response was that they wanted to rep me, and if I agreed, we’d set up a meeting.  I did, and we’re getting together next week to sign paperwork and make a game plan.  So,  until we do that, it’s verbally official! I am represented by ESI Network.

This will be a new experience for me.  I’ve never had a manager before.  In the Houston market, I don’t think anyone has a manager except for a few celebrities who live there and sports players.  I’m used to managing myself, and I’m sure that  will still be the case, ultimately, but having some help, guidance, and someone out there pitching me is welcomed and should be interesting!

The Adventure continues!

 

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