Born in Puerto Rico during her father’s naval stint, Melonie grew up in Texas convinced she was going to be a famous actress. Oh, to be young again. Her parents were attractive and dynamic participants in local community theatre and her father, Bob, was one of the biggest voice-over talents in the Southwest.

She graduated from the High School For Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas and snagged her first professional gig - as a dancing possum in an outdoor pageant play on the Alabama Coushatta Indian Reservation in East Texas.

The outdoor theatre built for this performance seemed to be one of the state’s attempts to encourage economic development within the Muskogean Nation, whom the Texas Congress had exploited, then abused, then ignored for years.

Melonie wonders if they still call it a “Reservation” and, to this day, feels an uneasy chagrin at being part of the possible exploitation of a sovereign people. However, it represented her first professional paycheck, so she has fond memories of the summer spent slapping mosquitoes while rivers of sweat ran down her back under her costume.

She spent a couple of years touring the country with various dinner theatre productions, back when that sort of thing was still financially viable, worked on commercials and did a couple of movies before she decided that she had the experience she needed to conquer Hollywood.

This was just one example of Melonie’s lifelong propensity for cockeyed optimism in the face of huge challenges. “So long,” her parents said as she packed up her VB bug. “Send postcards.”

Five years, countless acting classes, and a few television jobs later, she had had it. The biz had lost its luster and Melonie was lucky to get out in one piece. Hollywood was a way of eating its young.

Fast forward twenty years…

Melonie finds herself living in Paris, France with three beautiful children and the opportunity to meet a community of ex-pat British actors looking for something to do.  Brava Productions was born – an English language theatre company that tapped into an Anglo-hungry audience.

Brava produced staged readings of top-of-the-line plays with excellent talent at the Café de Flore – the same café in the St. Germaine quarter of Paris where Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre would sit with their respective lovers and hold court amongst existentialists and cigarette smoke.

Brava went on to produce well-reviewed full productions of “Waiting For Godot,” “A Girl’s Guide to Chaos,” “Love Letters,” and a strange little piece about Virginia Woolfe and Vita Sackville-West whose title is lost to memory. They also produced a short film, “The Chewing Gum and Mrs. Andrews” (viewable on YouTube and on this website) and a one-hour radio drama that Melonie wrote in tribute to her father’s love of 30s and 40s radio programming (available for streaming on this website).

A magical few years spent in Hawaii prompted Melonie to write a screenplay about a Hawaiian legend – a true story of powerful courage, love and social genocide, titled “The Leper of Kalalau” (check out the synopsis under “Screenwriting”).

Scribbling became dedicated writing and a stream of stories, poems, screenplay treatments and full scenarios followed. “Obscenity” is a comic drama about a story ripped straight from the headlines (again, find the synopsis under “Screenwriting”).

Melonie is thrilled to have seen a third screenplay, “Killer Odds,” optioned by a production company in Paris, France, with tentative production scheduled to begin in 2011 (you know where to find the synopsis).

Meanwhile, Melonie continues to write for a number of Los Angeles-area newspapers and southland magazines, including The Malibu Times, Surf Santa Monica, The Palisadian Post and the Los Angeles Times Community News Group.

She was cited by the California Newspaper Publishers Association for her Breaking News coverage of the 2007 Corral Canyon fire in Malibu and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for a story published by Short Story Library (You can find it under “Short Stories”).

When not writing, Melonie loves hanging with her children and her main squeeze, Frank Briggs, who is one of the country’s finest and most versatile drummers; as well as engaging in the following (in no particular order): political activism, environmental advocacy, skiing, camping, cooking, organic gardening, backyard chicken husbandry and belly dancing.

A Day in the Life...

From San Juan to San Antonio to Sand-between-your-toes Southern California (via Paris and Kauai), this is how she rolled...