An Afternoon with Melany Bennett
Pianist • Actress • Model
Where are you from and how did you end up in L.A?
Well as a young girl, I lived with my grandmother, in a small coastal pueblo, in Mexico. I lived with her, and I was often running barefoot on these little coastal town beaches, climbing mango trees in the yard up until I was old enough for school. I went to live with my mother in Los Angeles, where she works as a nurse. Then at fourteen, I was scouted to model, and that’s when I began to travel. I spent most of my teenage years living on my own or with industry friends in Mexico City and abroad.
What creative projects are you working on at the moment?
Grateful to say that in Fall ‘18 I started a two year music scholarship. Though I’m still juggling work in the industry with school. Banana Republic recently featured me playing piano for their “No Boundaries” campaign, shot at the San Francisco Jazz Concert Hall. Connecting my modeling background with a piano performance was a critical moment where I saw much more of music in my professional life as well.
You play the piano - what made you realize this was your passion?
While living in Mexico City, there was a beautiful little piano shop - Sala Chopin - in my neighborhood, Condesa. I made it a ritual to walk there everyday, and there I taught myself piano. It was from the generosity of the shop owner that I was able to learn. Everyday, he allowed me to play on the grand Steinways, and I began to develop experimental melodies, improvisational, rough compositions. It was only this year that I have learned to study formally.
As I traveled in different modeling markets abroad, I would map out the shops in the city, finding them between my casting sessions. My ear developed through long walks on foreign streets listening to Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Radiohead… Mexico City though. It’s a magical place.
What inspires you the most in your life and in your craft?
Traveling & creative collaboration.
If you could be remembered for one thing, what would you want it to be?
Piano. I want to work to push my music. It took me a long time to realize that I had it in me to pursue a path as a pianist. I hope that my attention to craft and education transfers into whatever mark I make in the world, and so, whatever my legacy, I might inspire creatives to focus their own passions.
The most amazing place you've ever been?
In Copenhagen, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art touches the shoreline with a view across a strait to Sweden, where my father’s family is from.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
Continuing to work in film, composing original music, and pursuing advanced degrees.
Ingmar Bergman’s Persona