Thrilled to be doing what she loves – Melissa Brattoni


Melissa Brattoni tells us how shyness at an early age indirectly led her to doing the UTI Dance with comedy trio and viral sensation, Skit Box, as well as writing her own thrillers.

'I got involved in acting for personal reasons,' she tells us frankly, 'because when I was younger I was quite shy and I wanted to seek out ways of becoming more open with people.'

She started by doing a few short acting courses, before eventually deciding she wanted to take it more seriously, and so enrolled in a full–time course at The Australian Film and Television Academy (TAFTA).

'That was about three years ago,' she says. 'Since then I've learnt a lot about how the industry works. Previously I was focused on just the creative side of acting, but TAFTA taught me a lot about the business side as well and, importantly, how to navigate it. I really feel that I'm committed to it now.'

Doing the UTI Dance

We're interested to hear how the Skit Box gig came about.

'I'd worked with them previously on their TV series, Wham Bam, Thank You Ma'am. Whilst doing that I approached Sarah (Bishop) from Skit Box as a fan. I just wanted to comment on the good work she'd done on a film I'd recently seen called Crushed. Sarah acted in and produced it. I told her I enjoyed it so much I was going to see it again that evening, which she seemed excited about.'

Melissa tells us how fruitful that passing compliment turned out to be. 'Not long afterwards Sarah approached me and asked if I was interested in a skit they were doing,' she says. 'I was like, oh my god, I hope it's nothing too difficult (being as I'm not a dancer). Thankfully it wasn't. It was actually a heap of fun.'

They do look like a fun bunch. What were they like to work with?

'They're very creative. I found it very inspiring. On the days we were filming the UTI Dance, it was lovely to see how well they worked with the crew. They have such a collaborative spirit and they're very warm and welcoming. I just hope I get the opportunity to do something with them again.'

We hope so too. In the meantime, do you have any desire to make your own skit show?

'I haven't got anything planned but I'm very much open to it in the future. I've written a few things, but nothing fully–fledged yet.'

From UTIs to another horror

Melissa has already written a few things that have come to fruition though, like a short horror film she made called Meshes of an Autumn Afternoon. Asked if this was perhaps more where her heart was, she told us, 'Horror really drew me in. I just love the feeling of fear. I actually blame my father for my love of horror, for introducing me to Jaws at a young age. Even though I'd be terrified and have nightmares, I would continually watch it anyway. Since then I've been on this search to find the best horror films. Meshes of an Autumn Afternoon was a sort of homage to a surreal thriller from the 1940s, made by an experimental director called Maya Deren. I'm definitely drawn to the more obscure material.'

Will you be making any more scary films to terrify us with?

'I've actually just made another thriller called In My Mind. It's about how I used to feel when I watched horror films as a child. It shows a woman who's plagued with having an overactive imagination.'

Well, it's great to hear Melissa's overactive imagination is being put to good use.