Act Too Studio’s Teen Opera Workshop is the best thing I’ve ever been a part of. It’s given me confidence. It’s made me feel a kind of joy I’ve never felt before. And it gives me hope that more people like me: young, black and queer, will get to have a place in the world of opera.
– Syl Simmons, Opera Workshop member
Melinda Beasi, the founder of [Act Too Studio Opera Workshop], has created opportunities for youth that they would never have had without this program. She has touched, and even changed, lives through the experiences they have.
– Karen Damouras, Parent
When I first started studying with Melinda, I didn’t realize how much of an impact our weekly lessons would have on me. Within a few months, I was hooked. I am now determined to pursue a career in classical singing. Opera is one of the most challenging, exciting and most beautiful art forms to study. When I first started taking lessons, it never occurred to me that being an opera singer meant not only knowing how to sing, but also acting and knowing multiple languages. It was both exhilarating and overwhelming. Thanks to Melinda and my peers, at Opera Workshop, I came to be comfortable with the various aspects of opera singing.
– Liam Shannon, Student
After working with Melinda only once on her singing, my daughter came away saying Melinda made a big difference, and she couldn’t wait to work with her again!”
— Wendy Plummer, Parent
My daughter always looks forward to any opportunity she has to work with Melinda for voice lessons. Between the range and beautiful quality of Melinda’s voice, her performance experience, and her teaching skills, encouragement, and feedback, my daughter has learned valuable skills, expanded her own vocal range, and gained helpful insight and confidence in her abilities.”
– Lisa Seymour, Parent
Working with Melinda has taught me so much about music. It has not only improved my singing but has also improved my piano musicality.”
– Brandon Dallmann, Student
Melinda is a great teacher- Not only in the way that she is extraordinarily well educated in music and performance, but she also knows how to pull you out of your comfort zone (in a good way!) She’s someone who I feel completely comfortable around, regardless of how ridiculous we’re being.”
– Caroline Lee, Student
Melinda is one of the most talented people I have ever had the privilege of working with. She has an uncanny ability to see what’s needed in any situation and provide it, and her warm compassionate energy brings out the best in everyone. Melinda brings the depth of her extensive experience as a performer into the teaching studio — she really thinks everything through for her students and thoroughly prepares them for their performances. A true artist with a generous soul and rock-solid vocal technique: you couldn’t ask for a better teacher.”
— James Jacobs, Musician, Composer, Teacher, Conductor
I’ve had the pleasure to know Melinda her entire life. I’ve met few people as talented and have always known her to funnel that talent through a remarkable intellect and an uncompromising dedication to excellence. Her combination of skills and experience make her an excellent role model for young people aspiring to the theatre.”
— Timothy Brown, Composer, Singer, Educator
Having worked with Melinda over a number of years as a Performer, I continue to be amazed at her process as an Artist. I would count those who have the opportunity to study with her to be very lucky indeed.”
— Erin Quill, Avenue Q (original cast)
Melinda is a brilliantly multi-talented artist with endless energy and dedication to her craft. The students she has worked with are inspired by her and eagerly look forward to each of the sessions she leads. Working with her is the greatest of pleasures for all of us at Act Too Studio.”
— Robert Klump, Co-founder & Artistic Director, Act Too Studio
Melinda’s vast music and theater knowledge combined with her warmth and enthusiasm draws her to students of all ages. I’m always thrilled when Melinda comes to work with my students. We all learn and grow. She brings the best out in everyone.”
— Jan Klump, Co-founder & Voice Teacher, Act Too Studio
Melinda is so multi-talented (writing, acting, singing, directing, managing… just plain creative!) that we were always trying to get her involved in every project. She is very creative, open-minded, resourceful, and willing to go the extra mile (literally through a hurricane one time). We were on the marketing team together and she was a resident expert on blogging, social media, and other creative marketing and PR methods. I’ve also had the pleasure of reading her blogs, and as a writer and blogger myself, I’m impressed by her prolific passion and eloquence.”
— Val Nelson, Manager of FoodPlay Media, FoodPlay Productions
Melinda is a detail-oriented director who can successfully juggle creative projects, financials, human resources, and day-to-day business operations without dropping a ball.”
Melinda possesses an ability to manage large, team-oriented tasks on lean budgets and achieve excellent results. Her work managing an important book-length project for CBLDF exceeded our expectations and will be a major factor in our 2013 program efforts.”
— Charles Brownstein, Executive Director, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
Melinda manages the back end of my blog, MangaBlog, at Manga Bookshelf, and she also curates the entire Manga Bookshelf site, editing articles, coordinating group discussions, etc. Melinda is an excellent editor—and I say this as an editor myself. She can pull together a roundup, edit rough prose into readability, and provide a continuous stream of timely, interesting content for our readers. Melinda demonstrated her journalism skills recently at New York Comic Con, when Heidi MacDonald, one of the highest profile bloggers in the comics world (her blog was just named one of the top 25 of the year by Time) had to leave suddenly because of a family emergency. She asked Melinda to step in and handle two interviews of high-profile manga creators. As someone who does a lot of creator interviews myself, I know how hard it can be to come up with original questions. I was impressed with how quickly Melinda pulled together both interviews on short notice. Her writing is clear and concise, and I am happy to give her my highest recommendation as a writer and editor.”
— Brigid Alverson, Freelance writer, self-employed
Melinda is a skilled, even hand at the rudder of a multifaceted and complex editing ship. She not only provides comprehensive guidance for writers and editors, she is confident enough to invite and integrate feedback from all levels. Of all the editors I’ve worked with, Melinda has consistently shown herself to be one of the very best. I strongly recommend Melinda for any editorial position – I am confident she will excel in all aspects.”
— Erica Friedman, Intelligent Business Promotion, Social Media Without Delusion, Yurikon LLC
I have been collaborating on web-based projects with Melinda since 2008, when she joined the writing team at PopCultureShock, a website devoted to television, movie, comic book, and gaming news. In her capacity as a contributor, Melinda demonstrated uncommon professionalism, accepting whatever assignments I gave her, meeting established deadlines, and writing pieces of exceptionally high quality. When I left PopCultureShock in 2009, Melinda was immediately promoted to Assistant Editor, where she assumed some of the duties I had held as Senior Editor: copyediting, assigning projects, monitoring user comments.
In 2010, Melinda decided to relaunch her personal website Manga Bookshelf as a network of associated blogs. She invited me and two other writers to join her, then built the network’s underlying structure and began coordinating activities across all four affiliated sites. Over the last two years, Melinda has overseen every aspect of site operations, from developing new features to ensuring that the main Manga Bookshelf site has fresh content on a daily basis. Melinda has also been the point person for site coverage of major events such as New York Comic-Con; she’s obtained press passes for contributors, and assigned writers to cover panels of interest to Manga Bookshelf’s readers.
Melinda’s superb project management skills extend to print as well. In May of last year, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) hired her to develop a resource guide for librarians and teachers. Melinda handled every stage of bringing the book to press: she assigned articles to each contributor, hired and supervised a graphic designer, set and enforced submission deadlines, and copyedited the entire book. As one of the contributors, I felt supported throughout the entire process, and felt that Melinda’s sound editorial judgment greatly improved my text.
In sum, Melinda would be an asset to your organization because she has considerable experience as a project manager and an editor. She’s an excellent writer, a good judge of character and talent, and an efficient, effective manager.”
— Katherine Dacey, Writer, Editor, Teacher
Melinda is a joy to work with. I have really benefited from her professionalism in our rocky start with the Digital Manga Guild. She stepped up when our other editor left us suddenly, taking on four projects with quick deadlines with nary a complaint. She is one of those people who will do the job assigned to her and then some! Speaking of her job— she is a superb editor; we rarely find issues during quality checking. Melinda would be an important asset to any team and I’m very thankful she’s part of mine.”
— Morgan Hart, Digital Manga Guild Team Leader and Freelance Typesetter, Digital Manga Inc.