Rising Star Melina Gammersbach: “Taking care of our body and mind should be the most important thing for any human being – especially if you have a tight schedule”

I’m a huge believer in meditation and exercise. Taking care of our body and mind should be the most important thing for any human being. But especially when you work a tight schedule I find it very stress-relieving and it gives me more energy to tackle whatever is coming my way. I had the pleasure […]

I’m a huge believer in meditation and exercise. Taking care of our body and mind should be the most important thing for any human being. But especially when you work a tight schedule I find it very stress-relieving and it gives me more energy to tackle whatever is coming my way.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Melina Gammersbach. She is not only an actress and TV show host, but recently founded her own film production company called Adorable Daylight. The German entrepreneur has lived in Toronto, Canada, where she made her feature film debut in the movie “Remember to High-Five the Salesman”. After receiving her college degree in journalism and working as a tv show host for a Germany-based tv channel, she’s now set out to produce fictional stories for film and TV, targeting an international audience.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My career path is quite a mix especially for a girl that grew up in a very rural area of Germany. But if you ask my parents, they’d say that I’ve always had more hobbies and interests than I could possibly take on. And it’s true, I just love trying out new things. But storytelling, no matter in what way, is the reason why I ended up where I am today. That and Joss Whedon! His TV show “Buffy- the Vampire Slayer” had such a huge impact on me when I was a teenager. It was the time when female superheroes finally became a thing on TV and I felt like I really wanted to be a part of that.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

When I went to Toronto, Canada, a couple of years ago, I only wanted to do some traveling and exploring. Just out of curiosity, I ended up having an audition for a short film project there. It was horrible because I was super nervous and totally blew it. But then I went to another one, and another one, because it turned out to be so much fun and I learned so much. A few auditions later, I landed my first role. It was awesome! I just kept going and when I left the country a year later, I had starred in three short films and one feature-length film. That was quite the journey!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I got right out of drama school, I thought to find people who wanted to hire me was gonna be easy peasy. After all, I was a trained actress who was young, beautiful and determined to conquer the German film market. Well, I quickly came to the realization that looks, determination and education were not the guarantee to make it (right away) in this business. What you need most of all is a thick skin, grid, and the knowledge of how to market yourself in the most efficient way. All the things that you don’t learn in school. But life is the best teacher anyway. So, lesson learned!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Currently, I focus mainly on the projects I’m producing myself. My team and I are developing several TV shows and feature films, from different genres and with a variety of topics. Besides those, I’m writing a concept for my own online show, which will focus on interviewing successful leaders, artists and entrepreneurs from the film and media industry.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

During my time hosting the daily show for the local TV channel I interviewed so many great artists, politicians, and business people. They all had great stories to tell. But recently, I’d say Dr. Timo Leukefeld is one of the most interesting ones. He is an expert on how we’re going to live in the near future and how technology will impact and change not only the way we consume things but how it’s already possible to live power self-sufficient. Since I’m very engaged in green producing and keeping my environmental footprint as small as possible, my encounter with him was highly informative and very inspiring.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I’m a huge believer in meditation and exercise. Taking care of our body and mind should be the most important thing for any human being. But especially when you work a tight schedule I find it very stress-relieving and it gives me more energy to tackle whatever is coming my way.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would probably start a movement that empowers women who want to start their own film or media company. Particularly, when it comes to the aspects of finding their USP, marketing, distribution, and leadership. I wish we had more women in powerful positions in the film and entertainment business. I’m sure all genders would benefit from this.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why?

  1. If you don’t learn how to promote yourself as an actor, you won’t become a working actor! When I graduated from drama school, I was really naive and inexperienced. But most of all, I thought I had learned everything there was to learn and that casting directors would see right away that I was a great actor. But the truth is: casting directors get swamped with submissions on a daily basis. And as an actor, just like with any other profession, you have to know how to market yourself, so that the right people will actually notice you. For me and many of my fellow colleagues back then it was a nightmare. Because marketing is something no one teaches you in drama school. At least not when I attended.
  2. You are never done learning! Gosh, this is so important! Especially, if you are not working constantly, it is vital to keep attending drama classes or workshops or at least meet with fellow actors and work on your craft. I underestimated the power of a well-oiled machine. If you haven’t been acting for a while and all of a sudden the big opportunity comes, you’ll feel rusty and not sharp. That happened to me only once.
  3. You cannot play everything! As a young actor who is eager to get on stage or in front of a camera, it can be tempting to say that you can play any character of any genre. This is just wrong. But I had to learn it as well. What helped was asking strangers, who’d never seen me before, for their first impression of me. Just from a typecast point of view. That helps in the beginning. Later on and with more experience, I got a feeling for the type of characters that I felt a connection with or that were believable. Of course, these will change with aging and life experience.
  4. Vitamin B matters! It’s a sad truth, but it is the truth. In the beginning, I thought having great headshots and a compelling showreel mattered on my way to climb the ladder of success. But of course, it’s not. It’s equally important who you know, if not more so. So, I truly had to learn how to network, because I hated it in the beginning. But it’s actually not so bad, if you be yourself and if you show honest interest in what the other person has to say. I would advise though not to mention that you are an actor right from the start of the conversation. That’ll come across desperate and needy. First, find out what the other person is at the event for or what they are currently working on. Your gut feeling will tell you when it is a good moment to mention your profession.
  5. There is more than one way to reach your goals! For a very long time I thought that being an actor was the only thing that mattered. The only way to find fulfillment. But by being solely focused on that, there is a high chance to become your own worst obstacle. When I finally defined myself as a storyteller, one in many ways, the pressure that I had put on myself for so long, finally loosened and I immediately started to become more successful. It is true: sometimes we ourselves are our worst enemy.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.” It sounds so logical in theory, but really committing to doing something consistently is sometimes not that easy. But if you read about how today’s most successful people got to where they are, it’s by doing things consistently over a long period of time. To me, that became clear, when I started my business last year. Now I have a set-in-stone morning routine, a daily task for my acting career, as well as for my company.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m most grateful for having met Kim Anderson, who works as a writer and director at my company. I was flirting with the idea of building a film production company for a while, but thought I needed to wait and see… Kim asked me what I was waiting for and told me that the “right” time would never really come anyway. So, I just started it, there and then.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

For sure! Currently, I’m really keen on meeting and talking with Jason Blum, from Blumhouse Productions. I would love to question him on his business model and how he builds his company. I’d love to adapt his system to the European film market. He can definitely give me a call! 😉

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and you can find me under my full name, Melina Gammersbach. My company is on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn as Adorable Daylight Film Production. We also have a YouTube channel.

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