Melissa's road into comedy began with her first impression of Britney Spears at age 12. She loved it and discovered that stand-up was the way to put that talent to use, so she started finding ways to get on stage and practice, including the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp. After high school, Melissa went to junior college for a little bit, but knew it wasn't really for her and threw herself into stand-up.
She first came to the Comedy Store performing on one of the shows produced by Vargus Mason, then found her way into the usual open mic & bar show scene of newbie comedians and finally came back around to the Comedy Store open mic. Very shortly, Tommy saw her and told her to keep coming back and she started getting up regularly on Sundays & Mondays.
"It was nice, it's sad that there aren't a lot of clubs that want to help comedians grow and develop, but the Comedy Store always did that and gave me so many opportunities." Among those opportunities, Mat Edgar recommended Melissa to Freddy Lockhart when Frank TV was looking for a female impressionist, Neal Brennan helped support her SNL audition and Bobby Lee was just generally awesome, offering a lot of support and encouragement.
For the past year, Melissa has "dedicated every day to stand-up comedy" and it paid off - besides being a comedian everyone in town wants on their show [Note: I am saying this as a comedy nerd, Melissa is way too humble to say something like that], she got passed at The Comedy Store in April - about 3 years after her first time up at the open mic. "This year has been good because I finally found myself onstage - my stage persona - and I like myself. I feel comfortable being more myself and more vulnerable on stage."
Moving from the Sunday & Monday spots to regular one in the OR inspired Melissa to work even harder. "It's important to me to keep pushing myself to get better and to try to get to the level of the other comedians who go up on that stage. Pretty soon, I started realizing that room isn't about being organized, it's about being real and connecting with people. I'm glad that that room exists - there's something about it that always makes me feel like I have to just let go and be the real me. It's an amazing club, and it has so much history. It's really cool to be a part of it."