Melissa Bennett ACTOR, POET, PERFORMER, SINGER AND DANCER Artistic from an early age, Melissa was often complimented for her natural comedic qualities growing up. Following in her family’s footsteps, began writing at 14. Around this age, she began studying drama and attended Act4Tv classes, and joined RJC Dance where she performed in several shows such as well as being part of the team that won the Best Carnival Troupe at Leeds West Indian Carnival in 2007. Melissa first became involved with the Geraldine Connor Foundation when Khadijah Ibrahiim, a GCF Creative Associate, encouraged her to attend the GCF Youth Group. Since her first experience with the Foundation, she can often be seen at our workshops, including The Chicken Shop Shakespeare Creative Café, Who Am I project and Caution Collective Creative Café. She is currently involved in GCF’s Portrait of a Young Creative film project and is a member of the Carnival Choir. Melissa’s journey so far has been far from easy. She has had to overcome many trials to pursue art and still suffers from anxiety and depression. Melissa accredits the Geraldine Connor Foundation with starting her on a journey and says that within the workshops, she feels a sense of belonging and support. These experiences have taught Melissa much about the industry and herself. The opportunity to perform and work with professionals has given her a greater versatility, pushing her out of her comfort zone and improving her confidence on stage. Inspired by individuals such as Michaela Coel, Taraji P Henson and Mo’Nique, Melissa aspires to be a famous actress. She has also been writing a book about her life and would like to produce and direct a stage play of this story. In addition, she hopes to develop her comedic skills and work in arts administration. In 2017, Melissa set a number of goals for herself. These included: Recording her own monologues Reading and learning more script for her repertoire Attending our next series of Creative Café masterclasses Finding some work experience or casual paid work in front of house roles Attending more acting workshops and classes. Join us in wishing Melissa the best of luck. It’s a tough industry but with enough dedication and commitment, we know she can make it. To get in touch with Melissa, please email us at [email protected].