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From drama queen to stardom, one character at a time

Dreams have to start somewhere, why not as a kid?

We all know the world is full of wannabe people, people who want to be rich and famous for one reason or another. For some it’s to be a top sportsperson, others it might be to be a famous entertainer, others a successful business entrepreneur….and so it goes on.

It rarely happens for most people as we know, but for those where success does come along, you’ll often discover that one standout characteristic has played a vital part in achieving that success – unswerving determination.

Pretty much anything worthwhile doesn’t usually happen without a great deal of effort going in, and often over a long period of time. We’ve often heard someone quip it’s only taken me 10 years to become an overnight success, or similar.

This story is about a young lady who has clearly demonstrated unswerving determination to her career choice – acting. In fact, she started her journey as a kid, driving her family and neighbours mad to help her put on “shows” to satisfy her acting jollies.

From those humble beginnings Eleni is slowly carving out an acting career and all that work and determination is starting to pay dividends. National Life presents her story as an inspiration for others with similar aspirations to keep at it, and even if not in show business, whatever you want to achieve, let Eleni’s experience thus far, teach you something that will help you reach your goals in life. Please settle back now and enjoy Melise Coleman’s story.

From drama queen to stardom, one character at a time

Melise Coleman

Born and raised in Orange NSW, 23-year-old Eleni Cassimatis is leaving her mark in the acting world one-character at a time. Eleni moved to Sydney in 2015 and has been studying and pursing her career as an actress ever since.

“As a kid I loved performing, I was nicknamed the ‘drama queen’ by my family, I’d make my sister and even our neighbours put on shows with me in the living room or the street, wherever! I remember always telling Mum and Dad I was going to go drama school when I got older, and hated them for not letting me drop out of school to go to perform full time, which in hindsight I am now so grateful they put their foot down to that,” Eleni laughed.

“I initially fell in love with the fun that I had while performing and the getting to play different characters, but as I fell deeper into the world of learning and understanding what acting is, and can be, I began to fall in love with the discovery side of things – working out why a character does what they do or says what they say, what circumstances have brought them to this very moment etc. and then getting to play all of that and work with wonderful actors who have also brought new incredible characters to life – it excites me so much! The idea of getting to share wonderful stories, old and new, and hopefully inspiring that love of great stories in others.”

After graduation and spending time overseas on a gap year, Eleni know she had a decision to make, “I either go to Uni, study something ‘stable’, or give 1000% commitment to pursuing a career in acting. It didn’t take much thought because I knew that if I didn’t give it my best shot, I’d always wonder what if… so, I packed up and moved to Sydney, I am so grateful for every little moment that has led me to where I am today.”

“The first person who really believed in me and made me think that I could actually give it a crack, was a wonderful acting teacher I had in my home town of Orange NSW named Robert Dunn – to him I will always be so grateful. He also directed the first show I was part of in the Orange theatre scene – ‘Showtrain’ – and anyone who was part of that or saw it, will know how much of a spectacular production that was!”

“My mum has also been a big support system for me, I would not have had the courage or confidence in myself to do any of this without the constant overflowing support I receive from her. She inspires me constantly with her work ethic, and reminds me that not everything in life is easy and not everything is fair, but if I work hard anything is possible, it’s pretty special having that support behind me.”

“My career highlight was last year, producing and acting in a show called ‘Pool (No Water)’. I was so proud of what we achieved, and I was so fortunate to have two incredible directors- Maeliosa Stafford and Caroline Mooney (who were powerhouses, and absolute wonders for trusting me) say they were on board with it and guide me all the way. Pulling that off was pretty special.”

Eleni is currently touring Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong performing shows with a company called ‘Poetry in Action’. “This tour is pretty special, the shows are performed in schools and are all based around poetry, heightened language, speeches and words that have changed our world. Seeing the conversations they’re starting for students today who are the future of our country is remarkable, and something I’m so delighted to be a part of.”

“We get all sorts of messages after shows from audience members thanking us, asking us about performing, sending us their creative writing pieces, telling us they were too afraid to start drama until now, even though they’ve always wanted to, or that they always thought poetry was boring until now, so it’s pretty insane.”

Eleni’s passion for her hometown has never swayed, “I’m often home visiting friends and my family, I also teach in my spare time (yes what free time!?) and I have been lucky enough to do that in Orange, it’s something that I feel very passionate about.”What does the future have in store for Eleni you ask? “I’d love to study my Masters in Classical Text in London. My other goal is to get signed in the U.S and start getting work in the film and TV world.”

Stay tuned, I’ve got full confidence we could be seeing the wonderful Eleni on our screens very soon!

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