Meet Actor Meli Alexander And Her Love for Culinary Genealogy

Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?

Hi! My name is Meli Alexander and I am sort of going through a renaissance right now. I started my acting career about 12 years ago in Seattle and I have been living in Los Angeles for almost a decade now.

I have switched gears (mostly because of the pandemic) and have decided to focus more on my passion for culinary genealogy. It is a field I created that focuses on the food aspect of family history. I am now figuring out how to bring that into the entertainment industry.

I am even working on how to pitch an idea for a genealogy-based reality show and documentary!

What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?

It’s interesting that the question prompt mentions DNA! I have been obsessed with genealogy since I was 12. My food obsession started much earlier than that, especially when I made my own ice cream flavors when I was around 7 or 8.

As an actor, I have had a few opportunities to play a chef (mostly in commercials). I quickly figured out that bringing your real-life passions into your acting roles is the best way to represent yourself. On the flip side, I have played teachers a few times despite not actually being one.

My desire to educate (whether it’s through cooking or genealogy) just naturally comes through as a more honest and effective performance.

Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.

I went through a very challenging situation when I lived in Seattle. I was working as a meat cutter when a milestone birthday was marked with something tragic. It caused me to reevaluate my life and I just decided to try modeling, which led to acting.

It was a slow process at first but I knew it was meant to be. It brought me to Los Angeles and eventually led me to work with the most amazing creative group called The Peoples Collective!

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?

I think the biggest challenge is that I haven’t been able to get properly cast. I look a lot younger than I really am and it’s been a blessing and a curse.

Another challenge for me is that I put too much pressure on myself. I learned a very hard lesson a few years ago: I auditioned for a co-star role and it was a cold read. I made the rookie mistake of trying to memorize the dialogue!

As you can imagine, it was one of the worst auditions of my life. The nerves completely took over. That’s when I took a co-star workshop shortly after and figured out my strengths and weaknesses.

Using my natural improv skills has freed me considerably. It is okay to give myself permission to trust my own instincts.

Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?

Great question! I would love to meet CeCe Moore, who is a brilliant forensic genealogist. She was an actor before she switched careers. I would love to learn more about how she turned her passion for genealogy into a calling.

And I would absolutely love to meet Tina Fey! Comedic writing is not as easy as it sounds and I would love to learn how she took her experience as a writer and became one of the funniest actors out there!

And last but not least, I wish I could have met the great Julia Child. She has been one of my lifelong heroes and would love to know more about her passion for French cuisine and how she turned that into a culinary empire!

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Vianka Petines
Vianka Petines
Vianka is a bright, savvy, and capable marketing publicist. She brings a breath of fresh air with a very sound approach to strategy and campaign development. We're excited to have her on the team :)

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