The beautiful Rachel Melvin got her start in independent film, but soon found her footing in the world of daytime television. Now a fixture on Days of Our Lives
as Chelsea Brady, Rachel has also appeared in prime time (Summerland, 8 Simple Rules
). Melvin's career is on its way up, and you can expect to see her in television and film for the next couple decades. Rachel was kind enough to stop by and speak with us earlier this week and discuss her career's beginnings and her time on Days of Our Lives
Below you will find both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview.
First off, I just wanna talk a little bit about how you broke into the world of acting. Was it something you grew up wanting to do or how did that all come about?
I decided that I wanted to be an actor, I guess, probably when I was in junior high school. I guess it was probably something that I always wanted to be. So, I went through so many phases where I wanted to be so many different things, and then high school I finally started, you know, I just took dance classes and I took a couple of theater classes and then I did a play and I just decided that I really, really liked it. When you’re an actor you get to be whatever profession you want to be in whatever role you’re playing.
What was your first role in Hollywood?
Actually the first thing that I did was a movie, I booked it before I had any representation at all because I was going to an acting studio and my acting coach and casting director were casting for an independent horror movie and the name of that movie was Boo. So I went out for my first audition ever and I was cast in a supporting role which was really cool and a lot of fun.
Can you talk a little bit about how you ended up on Days of Our Lives? It’s interesting because you played a different character on the same show a few months prior to getting a regular role, right?
Yeah, I played the role of Fake Georgia which was supposed to be like a French decoy of Bo and Billie’s daughter, and at the time my friend, Mandy Musgrave, was holding the role of Chelsea and at that time Chelsea wasn’t a contract role yet. They wanted to make the character a contract role and when I first auditioned for Chelsea before I didn’t get it because they didn’t see me as edgy enough. So, when they decided that they wanted to make the character a contract role, they started casting again and they brought me in and I guess I was edgier this time. It was just like any other audition, I just went out for it and they liked me for it.
Initially when you started acting, did you see soap operas as a possible destination? Were you a fan of soaps growing up?
I watch All My Children a lot and I did watch Days when I was in high school for a couple of years. But to be honest, no…I never put myself in the category of a soap. I never thought it was something that I couldn't get, but then it’s oddly enough like three months before I booked it or I even knew about the audition, I started really wanting to do soaps just because I started watching them again. I was home during the day so often and I decided that it would be like the cool, fun story. They have so many different fun story lines that are fun to like get involved in as a viewer that I could only imagine how much fun it would be for an actor to portray it, so I kind of started to want one and then it just sort of worked out which was nice.
As a young actress, there’s a ton of success stories of people starting in soaps and moving on to bigger and better things. Do you see yourself staying in the soap opera world or using it as a jumping off point?
I would say that as long as I’m continually challenged I’ll go or stay wherever I need to for me and for my own personally growth. At this point I really would love to do a half-hour sitcom. After so much drama you want some comedy, but I mean eventually I’d like to venture into movies and drama also again, but I do enjoy TV and I think that prime time…either prime time drama but more specifically a prime time comedy would really, really make me happy and challenge me.
Being on a soap opera must be great practice for young actors because you’re in front of the camera a lot. You get to log a ton of hours in front of the camera. Do you see it as that?
I honestly feel like it’s an acting class that I get paid to take, I guess is the best way to say it. It’s like an audition tech, what we call audition tech for actors, and certain classes that you can take and for you, you practice on how to make a great audition and make an impression in the room and the reason why I think that the soap is so great for that is because you only get basically one take to do your thing and then if you get lucky you could do it a couple of times. You have to memorize the lines within a couple of days. You have to not only memorize the lines but make the choices that you wanna make that are gonna be the most effective in those couple of days, so I just really think it’s a great thing because for me now when I go out on auditions it’s like it’s no longer the words are an obstacle. I have so much more freedom to act as opposed to be scripted I guess, so I definitely think that it helps you as far as that goes. And it is a great training ground. Everybody does that just cause the pace is so fast and there’s a lot to take in.
Can you tell us a little bit about what’s coming up on Days of Our Lives, especially for your character?
Well, we're on summer story lines right now so there’s a lot of triangles, love triangles right now. My character is kind of torn between the new character Jack Carver and Nick Fallon, and actually in a couple of weeks we have a show that we’ll be airing where we work with Jerry Springer in a Vegas episode and that was really fun. He’s a really nice guy so that was kind of fun for me as an actress, but as far as the characters are going, we’re just dealing with a lot of emotional story lines and basically what’s gonna be coming up is that my character reunites with Nick and then they face some problems and a new character that they meet up with in Las Vegas.
(Interview Conducted by Oscar Dahl)
(Image Courtesy of NBC)