Actor • Director • Producer • Voice Artist • Writer • Lyricist • Facilitator
• Founder of Urban Young Actors •
Melissa May Smith has vast experience within the creative industries. Melissa is a member of the actors union Equity and has an enhanced DBS certificate.
She is a freelance participation artist for and has ran various projects at the Nottingham Playhouse
Melissa is currently directing a national tour of 'Seeking Isolde' a new family show for Standing 8 Theatre company.
20 years experience
Melissa trained as an actress at the The Television Workshop for 9 years after being selected through an audition process. She has been in numerous television and theatre productions over the years. Her television credits include 'The Amazing Mrs Pritchard' (ITV), 'Sons and Lovers' (ITV), 'Peak Practice' (ITV), 'A Thing Called Love'(BBC), 'Doctors'(BBC), 'Woof' (Carlton). She has also worked on various short films/idents/corporate films including BBC’s talent show ‘Upstaged’, Citizens Advice Bureau & Western Power Distribution. She has also been cast in many theatre productions including 'Romeo And Juliet', 'Double Indemnity', 'The Midwich Cuckoos', 'Second From Last In The Sackrace', 'Dark Of The Moon', 'Evacuees' and played the role of ‘Beatrice’ in the Stephen Lowe play: ‘Glamour’ at the Nottingham Playhouse. She has also worked with The Theatre Writing Partnership helping to workshop and develop various new scripts. Melissa has also completed work with BAFTA and BFI for various stage/film projects.
Theatre and film
Melissa directed her first play 'Shakers restirred' when she was 20 and totally fell in love with directing. She has since directed & produced various theatre productions including 'The Riots', 'Dracula", 'Alice in wonderland', 'Burying your brother in the pavement', 'Fur coat and no knickers', 'Dust', 'Headstrong' 'A million tiny plays about Britain' & 'Johnny and the dead'. Melissa has also commissioned playwrights such as Sara Bodinar and Nic Harvey to write original scripts which have then been performed. Melissa has also lead devised/non scripted promenade pieces such as the audience interactive 'Project LE1'.
Melissa also directed/produced the feature film 'Who's afraid of the Duke of Edinburgh?' and around 20 short films.
She has also created and hosted 2 sell out short film festivals and written the films screened during them.
Melissa has also co-produced various short films. One of note was 'Big Society' which went on to win at the Born shorts film festival in Denmark, was screened at the short film corner in Cannes and received a special mention in Encounters film festival. The film can be viewed here.
Another film that Melissa was particularly proud to be part of was 'respect me' which can be viewed here.
Melissa has been a voice over artist for many years working in adverts and narration. Melissa is able to perfect various different voices and styles to fit the brief of the client.
A sample of Melissa's narration for Vision Bangladesh can be found here.
Melissa has also recently dedicated time to exploring one of her first passions- Music. She wrote her first song in her bedroom aged 14 and is now enjoying collaborating with musicians as a lyricist for a whole range of different genres of music.
Urban Young Actors
Melissa founded Urban Young Actors in 2008. Urban is a drama group for young people aged 8-21 based in Leicester (Where Melissa was originally from). Melissa has been involved in every aspect of urban from conceiving all the creative projects to running the business side of it since it was launched. There is now an awesome team that helps urban to function as the company has grown but Melissa is still at the helm of it and cares passionately about the group and the wonderful young people in it.
Melissa has loved every second of teaching the urban members drama for over a decade and has also ran specialist workshops in various schools and establishments.
Channeling thoughts into creativity
Through her own life experiences, working with actors for many years and understanding the importance of mental wellbeing, Melissa has created a new concept of workshops called ‘Therapeutic Creativity’.
During these sessions, Melissa shares holistic and practical exercises that can also be used beyond the sessions to support positive mental health outcomes and explore how our thoughts can be channeled through various forms of creativity.
These sessions are not formal therapy but are particularly helpful for people that may want to discover a creative outlet which could be beneficial to their wellbeing.
Therapeutic Creativity is suitable for school aged children upwards. It can be adapted to suit a multitude of environments including the work place, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals & retreats. It is also suitable for one on one coaching. For further information please get in touch.