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 on-camera and voice actress, and a pretty interesting person in general. I'll be making my big screen debut alongside Matt Damon in Alexander Payne’s next film, Downsizing, which will open the Venice International Film Festival on August 30th and premiere in theaters on December 22nd, 2017. You can also see me as Ali on Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s new Netflix series, The OA, and on the season finale of Season 1 of Ryan Murphy's FEUD: Bette and Joan, recently nominated for eighteen Emmy awards. Behind the mic, I've voiced hundreds of games, commercials, animated works, and more. And I do also sing, a bit of which you can hear in my supporting role in the upcoming film The Miseducation Of Cameron Post starring Chloe Grace Moretz. To learn more about my acting work and see some clips, click here to visit the main page of my website.

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 snuggle with my adorable, fuzzy pet bunny, Pia.

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.)

News & Press

The Miseducation Of Cameron Post nominated for 2019 GLAAD Award for Outstanding Film - Limited Release

The Miseducation Of Cameron Post, featuring Melanie as Helen, has been nominated for the 2019 GLAAD Award for Outstanding Film - Limited Release!
Now out on streaming/download platforms (Amazon link) and DVD/Blu-Ray, Cameron Post, a NYT Critic's Pick, won the Grand Jury Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Read more:
USA Today: "Sundance awards grand jury prize to 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post'"
Review: The Guardian
Review: Indiewire

YIIK, starring Melanie as Vella Wilde, out NOW on PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC!

Highly-anticipated RPG YIIK, starring Melanie as lead female protagonist Vella Wilde, is out NOW on PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam! Melanie's work as Vella has been widely praised in reviews:

"The snarky Vella...is a consistently standout performance." (RPGFan)

"...and cool, weary Vella (Melanie Ehrlich) stand out as characters who balance the story’s stranger moments with the verisimilitude of their lines." (RPGamer)

"I liked Vella Wilde–a bass playing prodigy who can manipulate sound to hurt her enemies–the most out of the bunch. From the voice acting to how she is written, she is the most compelling and likable character in YIIK’s cast. The rest of your gang are all likable but they don’t stand out as Vella does." (DualShockers)

Battle Chef Brigade now out for Nintendo Switch and Steam, in Best Buy Feb. 15th

Melanie voices the no-nonsense Razel, affectionate Ardea, and other endearing characters in Adult Swim Games' Battle Chef Brigade, out now for Nintendo Switch and Steam and, thanks to Limited Run Games, available at Best Buy on February 15th!

Read more: News & Press