About Melanie

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Welcome! You've probably landed here after seeing me play a silly instrument called the Otamatone. Here's a little bit more information about both of us.

First, a bit about me (Melanie): Professionally, I'm an actor and multidisciplinary artist. I've worked on cool stuff like Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s Netflix series The OA, Ryan Murphy's FEUD: Bette and Joan, and, behind the mic, voiced hundreds of games, commercials, animated works, and more. And I do also sing, a bit of which you can hear in Sundance Grand Jury Award winner The Miseducation Of Cameron Post starring Chloe Grace Moretz. To learn more about my acting work, click here.

In my free time, I love to play DDR (Dance Dance Revolution--you'll make me extremely happy by challenging me to a round), play samulnori (traditional Korean percussion), and pet animals.

Now the real question...what IS that thing???

Read on.

Melanie Plays Your Favorite Songs On The Otamatone, Poorly But Fervently: All Of Your Questions, Answered

What IS that thing?

It's an Otamatone. Or, if you've seen me play it in person, more likely an Otamatone Deluxe. The Otamatone is the creation of Japanese inventor Maywa Denki, and it is pretty much the best, silliest thing ever.

To see more:

Why...this? Why not the guitar, or the flute, or...

...or something more practical? Because look at this thing. Look how happy it is. How great would it be if we were all this happy, all the time?

No, what's the real reason?

Well, that is a real reason. I like making people happy, and something about this goofy instrument often makes people laugh as soon as they hear it. But also? It's not meant to be taken super seriously--it's meant to be fun. As a bit of a perfectionist, I was thrilled to find an instrument that was clearly not meant to be played with the utmost precision, and emphasizes fun over everything else. But don't take it from me--check out one of the videos from the inventor of the Otamatone, like this one, and decide for yourself.

So...you play it poorly on purpose?

Kind of. As a classically-trained musician, two-time Carnegie Hall performer, traditional Korean percussionist, professional actor and vocalist, and overall perfectionist, putting on a performance up to the standards I've come to expect from myself can be really stressful. When I discovered the Otamatone, I was at first disappointed to see how difficult it was to play specifically and accurately--until I realized why, and saw the beauty in it. The Otamatone is an instrument that's meant to be goofy and silly and FUN above anything else! And in that, I saw a wonderful opportunity to practice not taking performing so seriously, let go a bit of my perfectionistic tendencies, own my mistakes, and make people laugh and smile. Sounds good to me.

Where did you find your Otamatone?

Japan (of course) by way of the internet. You can find one of your own there, too! Amazon sells both the original Otamatone and the Otamatone Deluxe, which is what I use in live performance, as it has both a 3.5 stereo line out and a more precise volume control. (If they are sold out at the above links, try clicking here for the Otamatone and here for the Otamatone Deluxe.)

How can I hear more?

I'm glad you asked! I recently created a YouTube channel, which is where new videos will be posted in the future. Be sure to subscribe to be among the first to see new content as it's added! :)

And, of course, keep up with us on social media:

Additionally, if you're local to LA, you might catch us live at Venice Beach, Burbank Town Center, or Santa Monica Pier...among other places. Who knows where we might pop up next? (Update: We'll be performing LIVE at Tom's Flagship Store on Abbot Kinney in Venice on Friday, August 4th! Scroll down for more details!)

If you want me to play your favorite songs poorly but fervently on the Otamatone at your next party or event, drop me a line at meladactyl(at)gmail(dot)com to make all of your wildest dreams come true. (But not TOO wild. Even the Otamatone has limits.)