Prince George's actress tries to woo Hollywood with series
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Two years ago, Melanie Hamilton packed her bags and drove to California to pursue her dream of becoming an actress.
After discovering how hard it was to find jobs in the entertainment business, the Bowie High School graduate conceived and wrote the first six episodes of a Web-based series, "Blind Date," with the intention of promoting herself in Hollywood.
"I thought I could play the lead and have some footage," Hamilton, 26, said of the series, which centers on the sometimes-comedic experiences of Gina, a 20-something who signs up with a bad dating service in hopes of finding true love.
Hamilton plays Gina's more realistic and sometimes sarcastic friend, Stephanie, in two of the episodes. But her main job is to produce and shoot the series, which she launched on Facebook in early August.
As of late September, four episodes, each lasting three to four minutes, were posted on the site.
Hamilton said that after she wrote the first six episodes, she took a break and hung around sets, watching directors and camera crews to learn "how everybody operates."
The experience was new and appealed to her, particularly the work that producers do to pull everything from financing to props together to create a final product.
"I want to make decisions, too," said Hamilton, who has long wanted to own her own business. "Actors are usually the last ones brought in and they don't have much say."
Hamilton studied business at Bowie State and Strayer universities and is putting that knowledge to use as a producer.
"I wanted to apply that to something I care about," she said of her interest in acting and the entertainment business. "I want to own a company and work for myself."
Toward that end, Hamilton said she wants to finish about 12 episodes of "Blind Date" and show the series to the eight or nine major studios in the hope of landing a job and learning the mainstream side of the business.
"I want to produce films that make people laugh, smile and go back to their own lives and realize they have it pretty darn great as is," said Hamilton, who also wants to create opportunities for talented but struggling actors. "I hope to bring great jobs for actors not normally brought to the screen."