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Published on July 3rd, 2014 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson


Melissa Molinaro: Living The Dream

Tell me your whole inception into entertainment — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it actually all begin for Melissa Molinaro?Ever since I was a little girl, I would watch old classic musicals with my Grandpa Smith. From Mary Poppins or (The) Wizard of Oz, to Singin’ in the Rain, Donald O’Connor, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Shirley Temple, etcetera. I loved watching those old movies. It’s what sparked my love for singing and dancing.

Now you are a native of Whitby, Ontario, but then your family moved to Michigan when you were in your early teens, correct? So growing up, who did/do you consider to be some of your strongest influences?

I moved to Michigan when I was in the 5th grade, so I was pretty Americanized at a young age. But, I never lost my humbleness to my Canadian roots. I feel like America’s motto is “the bigger the better,” while Canada is a little more grounded and looks at quality over quantity. As far as influences, I had more opportunity here in the United States. Although there’s more competitiveness, I was able to be involved in dance studios, which weren’t exactly available in Canada. I found more of the discipline and training from my dance teachers growing up.

At what point in time did you opt to pursue entertainment on a professional level?

I would say even at 12 years old I already knew what I wanted to do. I told myself when I graduate high school, I was going to move to Hollywood. When I was finally old enough to make those decisions, at about 19 years old, was when I made the move and was ready to tackle the industry. I booked a couple of commercials including Del Taco, AT&T and Best Buy. I booked some indie films, worked on my music and, I think, auditioning for Making the Band was one of the biggest early moments that put me on the map.

Now because you wear so many hats; singer, actress, choreographer and model — a quadruple threat if you will — Of those talents, do you have a personal favorite? And if so, why that specific choice?

My main focus over the past few years has been mainly on my acting and my music, along with my clothing line MAE, that I’ve been developing and (will be) launching soon. I don’t have a personal favorite, because, for me, everything goes hand in hand. I can’t just live one without the other, and every one of those speaks to me.

For those who do not already know, please give me a quick rundown of your entire resume’ to date…

Well, some people might recognize me as Lexi on VH-1’s Hit the Floor, whose character is similar to Carla, which I also played in Honey 2. Also, one of the biggest Old Navy commercials, “Super C.U.T.E.” I guest-starred in the 2013 Lions Gate film The Last Stand, including Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzman. I was also on the finale of BET’s Second Generation Wayans, The Game, How I Met Your Mother, etcetera. Although I’m also known for reality TV shows; Making the Band and (The Search for the) Next (Pussycat) Doll, I have appeared in national major advertisements for Dodge, Close-Up, Quiznos…I’ve had over 3 million hits on Youtube for my singles and music videos (for) “I Believed,” “The One,” “Dance Floor” and “Shake the World.” Excited for this summer’s blockbuster release of  School Dance, directed by Nick Cannon.

From a musical standpoint, what are you currently working and/or gearing up for?

I am always, always constantly in the studio working on new music, and hoping to release some more singles from my …Love/Dance Project.

I know there have been talks for quite some time of your solo debut, I believe it was even reported to be entitled The Love/Dance Project, as you also have now just mentioned…However, nothing has yet to materialize — How come?

What a lot of people don’t see are the struggles an artist has to go through…Some, including being signed to a production agreement for two years and never shopping a deal, bad management, investor backs out a project leaving me alone to fund the rest of my project without any marketing outlets or financial distribution…I’ve taken it upon myself to fund my own music videos and release singles to my fans. I’ve been in the studio recently working on some new material, and I’m currently talking to some independent labels. All that matters to me is that I get to continue doing what I love. With or without a label, I’m still doing me.

That being said, how do you describe and/or define the style of music that you create and perform?

The Love/Dance Project is a compilation of a few different styles, inspired by Dance music, Pop, with a hint of Urban.

On the acting and/or modeling front, what all do you have in store or in the works for the remainder of 20-14 and beyond?

Currently, I’m the face for Close-Up toothpaste, commercial and print campaign for Europe and Southeast Asia. I’m always auditioning for acting roles. Most recently, I just booked a guest-starring role on the TV show Franklin & Bash on TNT. My recurring character Lexi on Hit the Floor comes back on season two. You can look out for that! The movie School Dance, directed by Nick Cannon, is scheduled to be out this summer, starring Kevin Hart and Mike Epps, along with a whole bunch of other people.

What do you feel has been the key to your success thus far? And, of course, what do you think it will be that will keep sustaining you in entertainment?

My dream has always been the same since I was little, and I’m still here! If it’s something that you want, you just have to go after it. I approach every day and every opportunity as a chance to get better. I always find room to push further and progress. And as cliché as it sounds, I do believe that anything that you put your mind to, you can accomplish! I pride myself in working hard. I’m passionate about what I do, and I want to be the best at what I do. It’s a mindset, as much as a hustle…And, there’s no slackin’ in my hustle!

Do you have any other outside/additional future aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?

I’m really excited about my clothing line MAE, that’s coming out this summer. Other than that, the industry is where my heart is. MAE will be available online at:

I wasn’t even going to bring this up ’cause it took place a few years ago, but the whole Kim Kardashian (who you happen to resemble)/Reggie Bush (who you were reportedly romantically linked to at the time)/Old Navy (ad campaign) situation — What exactly are you personal thoughts and feelings — now in retrospect — on this entire, at that particular time, controversial situation?

Have you happened to run into or spoken with either Reggie or Kim since all of this actually transpired?

I booked that job like any other. I had to audition along with hundreds of other girls. Old Navy wasn’t looking for a Kim Kardashian look-alike. They wanted a Fergie/(The) Black Eyed Peas vibe. The media made it out to be something it wasn’t from the beginning, and the whole thing is just unfortunate because that was a really great commercial. At the end of the day, it was my livelihood so to have it cancelled was really upsetting to me. I haven’t run into Kim since the incident. I remain on good terms with Reggie.

To date, what has been your greatest career moment…so far?

Believe it or not, I live for every moment of this journey. Whether I’m rehearsing and prepping for a show, studying my lines, especially executing each project I get, and just meeting great people in the industry and creating families that evolve from these projects, every moment is meaningful to me.

Looking ahead, say five or even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?

I see myself continuing to do what I love to do, which not only involves singing and dancing, but also my love for acting. I’d like to continue establishing myself in the acting world.

Any closing thoughts for our readers?

Thank you everyone for your continuous support! It means so much to me. I’ve had some ride or die fans since the beginning, and they’re still in my corner now. You can check out my music on iTunes, you can check out MAE on my website: and also follow my Instagram: @melissamolinaro ! I read all of your comments and try to answer back to my fans. Love you guys so much! Xoxo Melissa


About the Author

Publisher and CEO of The Hype Magazine. Follow me on Twitter @HypeJustJay

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