by Jamé McCraw
I think the first thing I said to Melanie Gotz was that although I did not know her, I always felt really happy to see her because she radiated the familiarity of a close friend I had not seen in a while. She is a very warm and disarming person with an infectious laugh. Perhaps you have seen her performing with one of the many improv troupes she is a member of. She plays in Revenge Society, Friends University, All In, Hmmmaybe, and Deep Dish. Recently she portrayed the most beloved squat plumber the world has ever known, Mario, in The Mario Roast.
This Friday, August 25th at 10pm, you can see her perform stand up at Dallas Comedy House alongside Barry Whitewater, Kellana Spiller, and Wes Corwin.
Melanie has been taking classes at DCH since August 20015. She graduated from the Improv program last summer. She is currently taking Stand Up 2 and Sketch 1. She took some time between her first Sketch class and performing at the Tuesday night Open Mic to do a little question and answer session with me. We agreed that it was fun to imagine that it felt like a Teen Beat celebrity profile.
What activities were you interested in when you were growing up?
I was the ringleader of my neighborhood. We played jailbreak a lot. I played with bugs. I was always running around outside.
Did you take theater in school?
No, I didn’t! I’m always jealous of people that did because it shows in their stage confidence. I have horrible stage fright so I am always jealous of people that grew up doing stuff on stage.
What are some projects you are proud to have been a part of at DCH?
The Mario Roast was so fun! I have been really proud of all the little sketches that I’ve done at Pipeline or Block Parties. I like trying new things and it is fun to try something new and different with someone else. It’s a really cool thing to say to someone ‘hey want to do this weird thing with me?’ and they are just like ‘yep’ with no hesitation.
What are some things you have learned from improv, standup, or performing in general?
TRUST YOURSELF. Confidence is the key to everything. If you believe in what you’re doing, the audience doesn’t care if it makes sense or if your joke is clever or if you’re being a total weirdo.
Who are some writers, performers, or comedians that inspire you?
Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Tina Fey, Louie CK, Jerry Seinfeld
What are your favorite subjects to study?
I love Anthropology. I also like Comparative Religion classes.
What is something interesting you learned recently?
I just ordered a praying mantis online. It’s the only pet I have. I learned that they start out really tiny and you have to get them really tiny bugs to eat and there's no guarantee they'll eat them. You have to be so gentle! I thought it would be so easy but I can’t ask my friends about their praying mantis tips and tricks.
Koala bear. I had a Ty Beanie Baby named Mel.
Aloe Vera. It looks really cool and is great for sunburns.
What is your favorite season?
Spring! I love spring. It's exciting and everything is turning green.
What is a skill you would like to learn?
I really want to know how to whistle with my fingers. My mom can do it.
Would you like to share a "cringe" moment?
I feel like I have these all the time. Today at work, I was putting deodorant on in my cubicle and a co-worker approached. But it was too late. I was already very clearly in the middle of putting on deodorant.
Do you collect anything?
I try and get rid of stuff. I kind of fear being a hoarder.
What would you bring to a picnic or potluck?
I like to cook and I always bring too much. If I were going on a picnic, I would probably bring a side dish and an appetizer. I would make a bean dip and dill cucumbers
Do you have a good luck charm?
When I find a penny heads up, I will usually keep it for the rest of that day. I sometimes go thru phases of superstition, like I would have a pre-show Coke for a while. But not anymore.
Describe a perfect day.
Start my morning rollerblading around White Rock Lake, go have some drinks by a pool with friends, end night on a fun rooftop bar! Throughout the day I would run into interesting people and have fun stories to accompany it. Like around the lake there’s always some guy telling stories or asking to be pied in the face. And I like talking to the street performers around the bars at night. Talking to all of them would be essential to the perfect day as well.
Last but not least, please draw a picture of a monster.
Jamé McCraw is a sketch 1 student and a recent graduate of the DCH improv program. She performs with Watermelon. She spends time archiving mementos in her little old house and always finds time to hold hands with her cat, Stanley.