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Melessie Clark ’15: A Real-Life “Miss Congeniality”

You’ve all probably seen Miss Congeniality, Drop Dead Gorgeous, or at the very least, the Miss America Pageant. Melessie Clark, on the other hand, is living a life most of us have only seen on the television screen. This 20-year-old musical theater major in Point Park’s Conservatory of Performing Arts/Greensburg, PA native is a member of the Honors Program, The Body Christian Fellowship, IMPULSE hip hop group, a former CF, summer assistant, and upcoming office assistant for Campus Life. Clearly, Melessie Clark stole the spotlight for Campus Celeb this week, and I decided to find out how this real-life Miss Congeniality (with a few more first place sashes than Sandra Bullock) balances her crown with college.

HK: How did you decide Point Park was right for you?

MC: The closeness of the faculty and students. Faculty definitely plays a huge part along with the individual attention they give each student. It was the right distance away from home and I knew several graduates from my hometown who enjoyed their training here in the Conservatory. When I came here to audition, it just felt right.

HK: You’ve landed some big roles in school productions. How do you prepare for those roles?

MC: By using training we’ve been given on how to prepare for auditions along with reading the script and seeing what the role is. A lot of people think you go into an audition with a certain character in mind. For Hecuba I read the play without any character in mind and actually went into my initial audition with the monologue of Polyxena, Hecuba’s daughter.

HK: You’ve won so many pageant titles. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from these pageants?

MC: Stay true to yourself. I think pageants easily have a bad connotation. It’s not that some of those things aren’t true – but not trying to focus on what I think the judges [others] want. Just being myself and knowing that I’m enough.

HK: When did you start performing?

MC: I started acting when I was six years old and dancing when I was three. I didn’t start pageants until a little later when I was in seventh grade and was twelve.

HK: Do you ever get nervous on stage?

MC: All the time! People think I never get nervous but I always do. They key is learning how to control the nerves and knowing that you’ve prepared.

HK: How do you manage schoolwork, plays, pageants, and extra-curricular events?

MC: My problem is I like to do as much as I can. I try to be a well-rounded person so I need lots of time management… Which is something I’m still learning. I do a lot of planning ahead. Sometimes there will be a pageant or a show I’m in that will be months in advance, so I have to learn to how schedule and plan for those ahead of time. There’s a lot of late nights staying up to do homework, but it’s all worth it!

HK: So many girls look up to you as a role model. What advice would you give to them?

MC: That work ethic as well as character is very important. Being a hard worker is important, but being a nice person and someone others want to be around matters as well and is something people don’t often think about. There is a lot of catty-ness in both theater and pageants, so you have to keep your morals and values and things that are important to you in mind.

HK: Is there anything else you’d like to add or let people know?

MC: I appreciate everyone’s support! I will be performing in the “May Shows” in a Pittsburgh Playhouse Jr. production of the The Wind in the Willows, a children’s show. Also, I’ll be competing in the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship Pageant through the Miss America Organization in June, which is the preliminary pageant for the Miss America Pageant.

Haleigh Kopinski is a senior Creative Writing major with a minor in Psychology at Point Park University. Haleigh started out as a contributing writer and photographer for Her Campus Point Park and is now a Co-Campus Correspondent. When she's not writing or hanging out with her boyfriend she enjoys going to Pirates games, taking pictures, drawing, eating at new places, and going to concerts. She works at Olive Garden while she is home from school and when it's not taking up her summer time she loves boating on the Allegheny River. She is currently in the process of planning a cross-country road trip which will become a featurelength documentary. You can learn more about the trip at facebook.com/getbornfilm or indiegogo.com/projects/get-born/x/6924599#home If you like reading her pieces be sure to follow her at twitter.com/haleighkopinski or xfrankthetankx.tumblr.com to see some personal wit. 
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