May 9, 2019 § 3 Comments
Dear Readers. I am more active on my on my Patreon account but when it comes to long worded writings, I figure wordpress is best. Is it true the written words are really that undesirable. People skim more than they actually read where as once upon a time the written words was our television, our technology and our Netflix. I gather that most people that want to explore my head may be those that aren’t interested in my Patreon (though that is just as much “me” as my “words”).
Aside from working on my book I have been planning a Tour through Europe, a few gigs and events for Burlesque (before I leave in July) and finally finishing off the film The Hollow Way which was directed my Christopher Edmund and I played Jean Holloway. The rough draft of the poster (Painted by the talented Nathalie Rattner).
Below may possibly be part of a prologue or Introduction to a book I will be publishing after Amy Heather (loving friends and a wonderful model) published a book herself and told me to step out of the closet poetry and into the limelight. I’ve already written toughly 38 pages not including the Introduction pages… but they will explain a little more about me and and answer a lot of, I guess you could say, personal, questions I have been asked through email. I though it may be a way to connect with so many of you beautiful people who have taken the time to acknowledge my art and even that little extra time to research me.
Now I leave you with my first draft of words:
BOOK: Concrete Painted Floral:
I didn’t know people had secrets. When I was six or seven years old, I didn’t understand what a secret was. Back then I just felt it was a sense of shame. Something I knew others would react badly to. So I kept certain events I had experienced to myself, though I knew not why. For a long time, it seemed secrets were my fuel. I kept mine – what I thought were mine – and everybody else’s. It was only through art and creativity that I was first able to truly communicate with the world.
I had always been artistic and physically expressive, but it was during my junior schooling, in a dramatic theatre class, that I noticed I was being noticed – in a positive sense. This was to be the hook that reeled me into performance. Before that moment when people noticed me at school, it was usually in a negative way. I was never popular with my peers and my schooling (apart from studio arts) I was absolutely terrible at. I was put into all sorts of special needs and education classes.
My father was a busy lawyer and couldn’t help me with my homework due to lack of time. My mother who came from Sweden was not only balancing taking care of my brother and I but admitted to me once she was insecure about her abilities in helping with homework seeing as English was her second language and she never completed her schooling (despite that my mother is a very smart and strong woman). I do, however, have my mother to thank for Swedish being my second language and the opportunity in travelling around the world at such a young age. I’ve travelled from country to country, but over the years Sweden, America and Australia have been where I most often stay. I guess you could call me Australian, but in my heart I could never really settle in one place.
My mother moved from Sweden in her early twenties and my father migrated from Croatia when he was six. They met when she was fifteen and he was in his twenties. Their history is theirs to tell.
I’m both an actress and model but modelling was more or less an accident. I was introduced to a photographer named Peter Coulson through a mutual friend who also dabbled in photography. Peter Coulson became family to me and I would often visit his studio or be invited into the family home for supper or company. It seemed inevitable that I would learn about photography, lighting and modelling.
Peter definitely taught me a lot but I do like to think that we learned from each other, personally and in our creative work. It really came down to the fact that I loved to dress up and he loved to capture moments. We have created such a large archive (most of which is even seen).
I’ve been asked a lot if I have a favorite photograph but I find it an impossible question to answer. It’s difficult to select a favorite photograph as sometimes the memory is far wilder than the photograph, or even the other way around. One image that is quite personal to me is where I am standing on a grey backdrop holding a purse with some jewelry and black heels. I came in with a rough drawing and even more rough explanation of what lighting I envisioned. I wanted everything to be exact (which is something that Peter and I don’t often become pedantic over) and look natural at the same time. Peter was terribly supportive and walked into the unknown, thinking he would shoot blindly, I’m sure. But after the first shot went off he instantly understood and he caught the image in my mind that I found so hard to explain. I’ll even admit, he made it even clearer than what I saw in my mind.
Creating this image was a triumph for me as every detail told a story of a very difficult personal journey, a meaning only I could decipher. I doubt I’d remember the details behind the meaning of the image now but my achievement was in that moment. I found a freedom where I was able to properly express a stage in my life, and set it free.
February 4, 2019 § Leave a comment
This month I have challenged myself by putting together my very first podcast. As I have mentioned previously I have more recently become mindful of the internet’s benefits, flaws and how it has shaped the political sphere throughout its existence. I have actually taken a class in university to help me accept and learn the benefits over the fact the internet will not be a dying technology such as the telephone (which I well and truly miss).
In creating my first pod cast I chose a topic that I had heard overheard spoken about when I was quite young that truly frightened me that I now formally know it is called, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch(s). I had every right to be chilled by the little I overheard and now that I have spent so much time researching it I am even more frightened over the potential our naivety and negligence has impacted the earth. But we can’t remain naive anymore, not with this new technology we call the internet.
Because of the internet we as a society can bring awareness and have discussions and debates over impactive matters. We don’t have to travel the seas to meet influential people to spread information. Now we can build websites to spread awareness and create active movements of activism.
It was through this particular crowed funding website, JustGiving.com that introduced me to the activism website, www.TheOceanCleanup.com. This website not only give the public information about its history, its own research and future plans but it references other creditable readings to do with research about plastic affecting the ocean etc. For me this is important as it shows you can find research and information that supports the T.O.C’s own research helping me believe it isn’t a scam or self-serving. This is another wonderful thing about the use of the internet. As much as I love books when I need to find a lot of creditable research the internet flourishes with resources (especially being a student and having access to my university’s online search finding published creditable journals and articles) that may otherwise take days or weeks to wait for a book to become available.
To create this podcast not only did I have to research the cause but I did a lot of research on what platforms and programs to use to create and publish my podcast. This was the most overwhelming part! As Ridiculous as it sounds, making a podcast has been one of the scariest experiences I’ve had this year. Making sure that I’ve credited every resource correctly including the music. Finding music allowing me rights to use and edit the music proved to be quite difficult but eventually I fumbled around enough to find something that appealed to me and allowed me to use it under the creative commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).
I also went recorded of the ocean waves to blend into the music of my podcast. Then of course recording myself speaking of the GPGI/TOC cause. The editing process using the free program Audacity wasn’t as terrifying as I first anticipated. I was able to put it together rather quickly.
I’ve always been and anxious person when it comes to speaking about something I support and believe in and fear not doing it justice. There is that small frightened child inside that thinks all the adults won’t take me seriously when I feel I am fighting to support a cause. But I won’t know if I don’t try. So here it is, my first active role in bringing awareness to something I believe in.
Miller, E. and Buys, L. (2008) ‘The Role of Social Capital in Predicting and Promoting “Feelings of Responsibility” for Local Environmental Issues in an Australian Community’, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, (4), p. 231.
Muralisrinivasan Subramanian, N. (2016) Plastics Waste Management : Processing and Disposal. Shawbury, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, U.K.: Smithers Rapra.
Cathy Pyrek (2016) ‘Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (review)’, (1), p. 268. doi: 10.1353/cp.2016.0019.
Egan, M. (2007) Barry Commoner and the Science of Survival : The Remaking of American Environmentalism. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press (Urban and Industrial Environments).
December 21, 2018 § Leave a comment
Who Am I? A question I think everybody is familiar with and one that most expect to find the answer to in adulthood. I can’t help but be disappointingly aware that I am no closer to finding my personal identity. On the contrary, I’m more confused than ever and I think the digital world has contributed to my confusion. The internet allows you to create a convincing façade.
As a child I was an outgoing oddity with a strong sense of self. It was after beginning school where I learned being forthright could be adverse. Before school you are generally encouraged to be exploitative and express true emotions but when beginning schooling I wasn’t just introduced the ABC’s but also anxiety. Scolding would be the result of speaking without the raising an arm, doodling, humming, “poor” posture etc. The lack of small creative outlets pushed me deeper into my fantasies where it became more familiar than my reality. Befriending my school peers was uncommon too. My enthusiasm in fantasy games didn’t entice my peers and they quickly withdrew. I was quick to adopt the reality that most other children in class preferred competitive games which triggered my anxiety, resulting in becoming more alienated.
At twelve my school introduced a new subject, Drama. It instantly became my favourite subject. It encouraged me to delve into my fantasies and bring up all those different versions of myself I had only let loose in my mind.
Eventually I started adopting traits from my characters in my daily life. It inspired the way I dressed, spoke and even my gaze, trying to tailor the perfect Nicole everybody would love. I felt I was improving my insecurities but it actually fueled sadness as I was doing the opposite of what I desired. I was presenting a false Nicole by modulating my creative energies to fit into social normality when I really wanted to communicate truthfully and entertain those around with creativity.
At one stage I dressed in gothic attire, only in the evenings. This was when I discovered internet profiling websites and this gothic character became known online as, Winter Frost. In the daytime I would dress in beautiful vintage inspired attire and be, Nicole Melrose, the happy go-lucky bombshell. People couldn’t believe the gothic images and the bombshell images were the same person and for some reason that excited me. I also created online profiles for each of them. Nicole Melrose and Winter Frost were now two separate people. My social life bloomed and I developed two different social groups (online and offline). Facebook allowed me to view the “news” discussed in Nicole and Winter’s worlds. They were even invited to different events.
Eventually frustration grew as I wanted their worlds to combine. Living two lives was difficult. They had both been regarded as popular figures in this digital world but It never truly satisfied me or made me feel I had sincerely connected with anybody; but I felt beholden to it because it had given me some sort of social life.
Gradually Winter Frost faded away and I focused on Nicole Melrose. I Still have no idea how people really portray me. Even when receiving copious “likes” it doesn’t make me feel I’ve connected.
Also once my concern in my career was being black listed. A new concern is having my online profile (Instagram) @Nicole_Melrose removed. My fan base would be scattered and almost impossible to repair quickly. I want to preserve my fan base and communicate with you more sincerely; though honesty I have no clue “who” or what I am preserving because I’m not sure who I am. I’m caught in the Internet’s web of posting photographs of myself giving the illusion that I am fully rounded in personality and appearance. Dr Aaron Humphrey gives a few good examples in his comic strips, one being, “Another way that user profiles and audience personas are similar is that both are constructed representations — masks designed in the shape of individuals” (Humphrey 2017, p.6).
I’ve worn so many “masks” through my life but wearing them online is far too easy to get away with. Online I am Nicole Melrose, a vintage inspired bombshell who radiates through her sexuality in photographs hoping, to be your pin-up girl.
Venetian Carnival Mask – creative commons by gnuckx – (CC0 by .10) – 16/12/18
I’m not saying everything I write or the pictures I put up are all deceptions… I just don’t know how to engage with more sincerity online. I do have a twitter account which sometimes I use to broadcast sincere thoughts or epiphany: NicoleMelroseT
A large part of my problem is that I’m still struggling to find a deeper understanding of myself personally and I’m not sure how to approach this journey of self-discovery. It’s definitely not a lack of confidence either. I just honesty have no clue who I am and the internet makes it too easy to continue being deceptive… who am I really deceiving? You who read and see my photographs; or myself? Both. In the end you will finish reading this, move onto something else the internet offers, forgetting about Nicole Melrose until the next thing of mine reveals itself online. I’m able to stop writing but I can’t escape the confused Nicole. It’s become very apparent to me that now I’ve addressed this confusion so it’s time for me to be mindful of discovering my values and formulate my own purpose.
Dr Aaron Humphrey, AH 2017, ‘User Personas and User Media Profiles’ reading online, vol 3 no. 2, retrieved 2018, < https://ojs.deakin.edu.au/index.php/ps/article/view/708/653 >
All photographs taken by Nicole Melrose unless specified.
November 27, 2018 § Leave a comment
Once again it’s been a while since my last post. I’ve had a wildly productive year of learning and achievements. I am aware externally I have no changed so nobody can see the progress I have made in mental health and in the healing of my heart. I’ve always been a rather frantic person, whether or not its seen in my behavior, my heart and mind seemed to always be arguing. It wasn’t until I became mindful of patience. I am uncertain to what it was that shifted in me, I think I truly just grew exhausted by my mind and realized I actually had the ability to change my bantering thought process. I could best describe it to listening to metal music 24/7 (which as much as I enjoy it, when it’s time to rest it generally doesn’t help) and then I realized I could change the station to something calmer like, Chopin or Bach.
In other news I’m excited to say I’m back at university studying performing arts and online Social Media. The film, The Hollow Way (which I wrote and planned on making for a long while) was finally filmed and is now in Post production! I’ve also opened my own website selling prints and advertising my work as a performer as and actress, singer, burlesque dancer and model etc which can be found at: www.NicoleMelrose.com
More exciting news is that I began a Patreon account: www.patreon.com/NicoleMelrose
At the website you can become a member and select your Tier. Depending on what you select which ranges from $1-$20 you will receive benefits and it allows me to communicated and share my art and progresses on a more intimate level with my supporters. I have had my first subscriber which is very fun and I’ve already enjoyed sending BTS photographs, early release images and much much more. I’ve opened up a private Instagram which only the Patreon Members will have access to. My goal is to reach 50 patreon members which will allow me to create and execute consistent photoshoots that I unfortunately can’t do on my on at the moment. So every cent counts.
Here are a few sneak peak images to get an idea.
Of course the images they receive will be uncensored and more personal! Not to say I will neglect my WordPress and Instagram followers but if it isn’t for the people who take interest in my work and find a few spare dollars to donate to seeing more of my art (which will include many more exciting future benefits such as calendars, merchandise, discounts, private journal entries and even every now and again I’ll ask my most dedicated Patreons for photoshoot ideas!)
March 21, 2018 § Leave a comment
I guess when I meet people for the first I try to give the impression of being a successful young lady. Truthfully it is almost all a façade – smoke and mirrors as the phrase goes. Financially, I manage to scrape by. I always make sure I am well-groomed and this is through years of practice in using minimal resources that aren’t costly. I’ve also made it a practice to buy clothes from thrift stores which I restore or repair to the best of my abilities. In my career as a performer and artist, but in particular as a model; a lot of photographers, designers… and basically anybody in that industry have often given me the impression that my time and efforts are not as important as theirs. I am an artist and I have for as long as I can remember, thanked my stars that I am given the opportunity to work creatively even if I am paid less that minimum or simply given time to collaborate with another artist. I never want to be one of those to complain or seem ungrateful but I am now going to admit personally I often question my self-worth because of how the industry really treats its models or if you ask to be paid adequately for your time. One is expected to perform well and always be presentable on a very strict income. I often feel like a puppet that will be tossed away if my strings become tangled; and I spend almost every night of my life untangling my strings to survive the next day.
I think a lot of models feel a similar way too and I think it is very damaging for the human soul. I am not naïve to the struggles photographers and other artists/industry people go through, it’s a tough industry but we are all artists and we all strive to make a living. Just… if we could treat each other with a little more genteel…
On a different note below is a video with clips from the House Of Burlesque’s, Havana Night which I performed in.
And if you haven’t already seen my website you can see it at http://www.NicoleMelrose.com
February 12, 2018 § Leave a comment
To those whom I know and to those I do not. I am ever so grateful for all your support in my work and art forms. I will leak a little secret honesty today. I am a being who ‘feels’ immensely (as all beings do). I have been diagnosed with Bi-polar and though some days I feel and see all the beauty in the world, it can turn on me in an instant. This does not mean I am unreliable and can’t function it just means it’s a part of life I need to factor into my daily routine and keep mindful of. My emotions drive me and can easily hijack my rational and ‘common sense‘ (a phrase I honestly loath).
These last two years I have been confronted with my bad habits to escape these emotions. I self sabotage myself because of it but recently I have made the choice to not remain caged to my chosen naivety. For years I felt I was at war with myself and loved ones around me also suffered or were confused as a consequence. I’ve spent my whole life dreaming of working towards being the greatest actress and artist that I can be, but of course my little demon with the bellowing voice inside mocked me. I won’t even write the things my mind tricked me into believing. But now every morning I look at this woman in the mirror who I’m slowly learning is me and voicing, “I love you and you are lovable.” As silly as it sounds its something so difficult, but it seems to be working good in me.
Self love is a difficult thing and I am sure many people suffer a similar delusion. I may never meet you (reader) but believe these words you read sincerely from me, if I were to meet you I’d recognize your beauty. Life runs on a fuel I personally call love and that is what we are all made up of. It’s easier to love another but darling readers remember to love yourself. You are beautiful. Be yourself, everybody else is taken and are just as spectacular.
With all my heart, yours truly, Nicole Melrose.
I’ll update you a little more of my works for those that are interested. Peter Coulson and I have still been working on photographs for our exhibition which is being sponsored by a wonderful company (which I will not disclosed for now).
The film Ruby’s Balloon has been accepted into the Berlin Film Festival which is very exciting. I apologize to all our supporters for the delay in our work as we have been working so long in the post-production, and the Director’s move to England for work has also made it difficult (though I am very proud of his endeavors and new work).
I have been shooting with a fair few new photographers and working on my new burlesque routines. I have been given the opportunity to perform at the House Of Burlesque which I will advertise soon.
To finish I will leave a link to my new website created for my Burlesque, modelling and Singing. Here you book me for events and even see a few of my clips/photographs.
Video: Jodi Plumbley
Also if anybody never read an interview I did a while back here is the link: Balln’ On a Budget
July 2, 2017 § Leave a comment
I have returned to Sweden based between Stockholm and Uppsala. I am visiting my friends and family but also with the ambition to find a few venues to put on some of my burlesque/jazz performances. I have only just begun to recover from my jet-lag and though I have only been in Sweden for three days I have already caught up with half of my family and friend, not to forget to mention the beautiful Model Estelle Moughton (a dear and old friend of mine).
I am not only looking to do performances but to leap back into modelling again after a long break due to my year and a half long studies in performing (which I graduated in only a week ago)! My spirits are high as are my ambitions. I wish all you human beings my love and support and if you do ever have the chance to see an act of mine, know it is all performed with passion, communication and love for each and every one of you.
I am also willing to travel around Europe for modelling work (expenses paid) for those photographers and artists that are interested in working with me.