Late-night, mid January I, Melisa Katharine Martin was born in the summer of ’87. That is, summer south of the Equator, where hobbits reside in houses in the sides of hills, and the northern point of the Southern Cross guides you home. From that day, in that far away place, I was a poet.
The nosey, little girl who got her ‘Pen License’ before anyone else, because her handwriting was so neat, and her spelling so good, grew up into a weird 2o-something year-old woman harbouring a love for British accents, and an obsession with musical theatre.
My real writing started when I was about 18. I call it “real”, because I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. For fun on weekends I would fill up 1B5’s with short stories, and pretend I was a posh novelist scribbling furiously, perfecting my Pulitzer-winning novel.
After a dalliance with media studies and the fleeting idea of film school, I took up the position of teenage dropout at the local supermarket. It was around that time I found the theatre.
After that an interlude came by with the suicide of my younger brother, and a car accident that changed me. I spent the longest five months of my life in the hospital, where I learned to get along with paralysis in the lower half of one leg. Which meant… crutches for life. I thought it was a death sentence at the time. It took me several years, and several very good friends to come to the place where I could say Crutches Fo’ Lyf!!
Once I was re-cooperated, it was time to make a new life for myself; and discover, or re-discover the thing that made me the most happy. The thing that would fill the holes in my life. I wanted to try writing a play. So, I wrote about the group of friends I had at the time, and there wrote the first piece no one will ever see. ‘Please Leave A Message’, as I called it allowed me the freedom to make up a style of my own, and showed me how to access the place writing comes from. It also helped to heal me.
The rest as they say is history. I was lucky enough to be mostly whole again with my new aspirations, and set of skills. I was able to go back to the theatre and discover a way to make it work for myself, and the people I work with. I somehow managed to get the attention of a now director friend of mine, who took my second work to the stage, at which point I was signed by PlayMarket NZ, where my plays and monologues are available.
Otherwise, I’ve done a little telly work, some journalism, and a lot of theatre, which brings me to today, where I know without one doubt that anything is possible if you want it hard enough.
That all said, soap writing’s on my list! I have the next big storyline everyone never knew they were waiting for. Let’s talk. 😉
Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read this, or even just stopped by to peruse my poetry. Words are simply the way I deal with the world, so really the pleasure is mine.