It Takes a Strong Woman to Play Fragile
We can’t get enough of Melissa Fernandes. Who can? One of San Diego’s most loved actresses, Fernandes is known for bringing depth and humanity to every role she plays. Her loving portrayal of Angie, the recently fired, divorced and haunted, yet painfully cheerful, flight attendant in MOXIE’s Mud Blue Sky, is no exception.
“Melissa Fernandes is fragile and tender as Angie” –UT San Diego
“Fernandes hides some deep sadness behind those eyes of Angie and at one point, delivers a heart-wrenching monologue that every actress of a certain age should be memorizing for their next audition. If you can come 50% close to what she delivered on stage, you’d be in the running for a call back.” -thedailyactor.com
“Fernandes makes it impossible not to empathize and wish Angie Well.” – San Diego Gay and Lesbian News
We caught up with her between performances to learn more one the most sought after talents in our thriving theatre community.
What would MOXIE audiences have seen you in recently in San Diego?
Last year, I performed in Assassins, Company and A Christmas Carol at Cygnet Theatre. Next up is The Full Monty at New Village Arts.
How are you like your character, Angie, in Mud Blue Sky? How are you different?
How am I like Angie? Well, I am awkward socially that is for sure! But I also have spent most of my life dealing with body image and physical standards that are almost too high to meet. It is a daily struggle for me. I knew taking this role would be uncomfortable for me because of how Angie is described. It is not easy hearing your character called fat every night. But, I think she proves to be much more than that- funny, flawed, human and very real. I love that about her.
How am I different? Lots of ways, but you will have to come see the show to find out.
Have you learned anything new during this rehearsal and production process?
I have loved, loved, loved working with Jen, Jo Anne, DeAnna and Tyler. I have learned so much just by watching them and watching them evolve with their characters. I try to make my mantra “Be Brave” whenever I go into rehearsal for a show. They made it very easy to be brave. Even when it was hard for me.
What is the hardest moment in the show for you to not break character and laugh?
Lucky for me, the parts I find funniest, I am back stage so I get to laugh my ass off as much as I want.
What made you want to be a part of this production?
I have been wanting to work with Moxie again for literally years now, ever since I last appeared in Drink Me. I love this group of artists and admire them so much. It is an amazing gift to be able to surround yourself with strong, confident, talented women. I didn’t care what I was doing, I just wanted to come back to Moxie. I am very grateful to this team.
What is most surprising to you about this play?
The most surprising thing about this play for me, is the depth of the characters. It is very funny, but beyond that, it is heartfelt and very human. The need for human connection in our lives plays such a huge part in this show. It could be a very superficial comedy, but all of these characters have so much heart and some level of pain, it makes them all very complex and deceptively difficult to play. It is a real challenge.
Don’t miss your chance to see Fernandes in MOXIE’s Mud Blue Sky playing now June 8, 2014. Tickets available at www.moxietheatre.com/mudbluesky or call 858-598-7620