In the Room Where It Happens: Tiffany Mellard
In this new exclusive series for SHN Magazine, members of the company of HAMILTON reflect on what’s it’s like to be a part of the show and performing in San Francisco. HAMILTON continues its smash run at the SHN Orpheum Theatre. Tickets start at $95. Click here for tickets.
Meet HAMILTON ensemble member Tiffany Mellard
Tell us about your position/role with HAMILTON. What does a typical day on the job look like for you?
I am in the women’s ensemble and I play “the bullet”. Throughout the show, I am included in the foreshadowing of Hamilton’s untimely death (not a spoiler), which I think is pretty cool and keeps the show fresh for me every night.
On a typical day, I wake up and stretch, eat breakfast or find a new restaurant to eat at. Then, I chill at home and listen to music while reading or writing in my journal, make dinner, and head to the theater. After work, I come home and wind down by watching “The Office”.
What inspires you most about HAMILTON? Which of the show’s themes have resonated in your life?
What inspires me most is the impact that this show has on a global scale. People from all different backgrounds can identify with this show because of its diversity, humanity, and powerful messages of love, friendship, and honor.
The theme that has resonated in my life the most is the idea of history having its eyes on me – often, we think of how our actions affect the present moment without realizing its impact on generations to come. As a result, I’ve become more conscious of what legacy I want to leave behind.
What HAMILTON lyric would you use as your life motto?
That would be “Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now” from “The Schuyler Sisters”. Despite everything going on in the world, it’s truly a blessing to wake up every morning and take each day by storm. Not everyone has that opportunity, so I want to practice gratitude as much as I can.
Are there specific moment(s) that stand out and make you proud of the work the company is doing?
Performing in Puerto Rico in January with Lin-Manuel Miranda was monumental for the “And Peggy company.” Because of our presence on the island, we were able to raise almost $15 million towards the restoration of arts and cultural programs that were affected by Hurricane María. It was a humbling and rewarding experience.
What do you enjoy about working/performing in San Francisco?
I love that SF is a huge cultural hub and that we are a part of a rich arts community: it’s the home of SFJazz, SF Ballet, Lines Ballet, ODC, SF Symphony, and many more institutions. There’s never a dull moment while being a performing artist in San Francisco.
What’s an item on your San Francisco bucket list?
I still haven’t ridden a trolley, so I’d love to do that at some point!
During your time in SF, have you discovered any great neighborhoods?
I love walking around Hayes Valley! There are so many cute restaurants and cafes and I often have to refrain myself from spending all of my money at the boutiques!
I also love going to the Mission District. It’s so vibrant and there are many delicious Mexican restaurants to eat at! Also, Valencia Street has great shopping (once again). 🙂
NOPA, Tartine Manufactory, Wooden Spoon, Che Fico, Horsefeather, Flour + Water Pizzeria, Hazel Southern Bar & Kitchen.
The Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito (across the bridge), Chinatown, Lombard St.
Baker Beach has a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio has beautiful greenery, have a picnic at Mission Dolores Park, bowl at Lucky Strike across from Oracle Stadium
What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter your field?
Don’t take things personally and do not give up if this is something you’re really passionate about. A lot of times, the reasons why we’re rejected from certain jobs are beyond our control which have nothing to do with our talent and ability. The only thing we have control of is honing our craft and being authentic every time we step into the audition room. The right opportunity will present itself at the right time when we’re ready to receive it.
What’s one thing audiences would be surprised to know about you?
Back in 2015, I tore my meniscus and MCL and got knee surgery. I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to dance again or at least at the level that I was before. Four years later and I’m performing in HAMILTON at the Orpheum! I am so thankful.