IMTA Alum Mellie White participated in IMTA LA 2016 with A-List Models and Talent of Raleigh, NC. Mellie received the Spirit Award, Honorable Mention for TV Beauty and the Participation star medal. She made it to the second round of the singing competition with her song The Fight Song. Mellie models and is an inspiration to those with medical challenges as she has a paralyzed stomach (Gastroparesis). Melanie recently signed a modeling contract with MMG. Mellie is our Star in the Spotlight!
I'm very excited about signing and working with MMG ! They are very understanding about my medical needs. The best feeling was when Jeff Cohen whom I met at IMTA Callbacks and again in New York had absolutely no clue that I had something wrong with me, or that I am tube fed. During my Callback, Runway and looking at my portfolio all he saw was me, and my face. It feels great to be looked at and treated like everyone else. I knew in my heart that the manager/ agent that was meant to represent me would be found at IMTA 2016 LA. I couldn't be happier or more complete than I am since signing with a multi agent/ management group like MMG.
How did competing at IMTA help your career?
Wow, where do I begin? IMTA by putting me out on the runway and in the acting competition rooms gave me a taste of what it is like to be at an audition and what it's like on a real runway.
IMTA gave me opportunities to see agents I would have had to travel all around the world to see and would not have been guaranteed to meet. It boosted my confidence in ways I can't put into words. I learned a lot from the wonderful seminars. I also learned from watching other contestants around me.
I wouldn't be where I am today without IMTA, I'm so thankful I got the chance to go to IMTA2016 in LA it is worth whatever it takes to get there. The funds that are spent to get there though I used a wish are worth it . I would like to encourage anyone thinking of going to IMTA to do all they can to raise the funds to make it to the next IMTA event . It has changed my life forever and it can yours too.
I learned patience, and how to present myself as a model and keep my head high and confident. I learned my strong and weak abilities on the runway and learned to be willing to graciously accept corrective criticism and rejection. I learned to be real, and try my very best if I won or lost it did not matter. Just to be out there on that awesome runway was worth it all. I learned to push myself beyond what I thought I could do. I will never see a runway the same again. My fears are behind me because of IMTA I will never walk a runway as I did before that experience.
What would you like to say to Make-A-Wish, A-List Models and IMTA?
I would like to thank Make-A-Wish for getting me to IMTA, and allowing me to follow my dreams. For supporting me along the way, they have made my wish come true. They have given me opportunities I could only dream of, making all things possible, and I can't thank them enough. The whole Make-a-Wish foundation, the people supporting me and those who donated to them making this wish and dream possible. It was the best week of my life, and if I could relive it I would. Thanks Make-A-Wish!
A-list helped me in numerous ways; teaching me, and using corrective criticism to guide me and prepare me to meet agents and compete . That is what a teacher / director is for to teach you how to do something. They have boosted my confidence in numerous ways, with the IMTA classes given by them months in advance and the extra time spend by Teresa Womack to make sure we were prepared . They went above and beyond before in preparation and training for and at IMTA, we never had to question where to go or what to do. They always had it covered, and let us know exactly what we would be doing every hour of the day. I was never walking around confused.
We had the proper clothes for all competitions and we were trained prior to the trip by the best Teresa Womack thanks for all you and Mrs. Nell Sutton did to get me where I am I would not be who I am without you both. I can't thank Make-A-Wish, or A-List enough. They gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.
What I would like to say to IMTA? I would like to add that I am grateful to IMTA for the opportunities, teaching me so much about modeling/acting and even about myself. For welcoming me, letting me speak and welcome everyone to IMTA2016 and for all the awards, amazing friends, plus the experience of a lifetime. IMTA has changed my life, and helped me in numerous ways, a huge thank you to everyone at IMTA for giving me and all the other kids who went an experience of a lifetime. It was a wish well spent.
To not be nervous and to keep their minds and goals straight. To know IMTA isn't expecting perfection, everyone at IMTA wants to see YOU , and who YOU are and what you have to offer in this industry. They want to see what talent you have, just have fun and enjoy the whole convention oh there is a lot to enjoy! There will be a lot of people who win big awards and get recognition but, when you go you are a winner no matter what because this is a opportunity of a lifetime and you made it there and that is what matters. I'm living proof that you can be a model / actress and not be perfect, just do your best .
You have wonderful goal and platform for others who want to be models. Please tell us about your inspiring message.
I have many medical challenges. I wanted to show the world anyone no matter what in life tries to bring them down, you can still live and follow your dreams. That goes for all the children and adults with medical battles, needing some type of device to survive or spending a lot of time at the doctors, hospital or stuck in bed at home, they can live and follow their dreams to their hearts content. I want them to have a positive role-model, someone they can look at and say she's like me; and know that I followed my dreams, so what's to stop them? With enough drive, I think anyone can do what they truly want.
As strange as it may seem, I'm tube fed and I can't eat or drink. During the whole convention I made some great friends, who hadn't realized it until it popped up in conversation, and then as always the questions started in; "not even a cheeseburger?!". "You mean you get all your calories from that bag?, how cool!". I'm not ashamed of it at all, just if someone is curious about it or it comes up in conversation then I allow it to casually come out, because well yeah I can't eat, I'm in the hospital at least once a month. I'm just the same as everyone else but, I live from formula through tubes .I'm determined to be excepted tubes and all . I am actually happy when someone asks questions about it, it makes it much easier on me honestly! Oh I'm also an artist I do realism, cartoons.
Also I would like to say one very special person who inspired me during IMTA, that would be Kennedy Walsh! She's very inspirational to me, I hope one day we will meet again and do a photoshoot together. She is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. She has sent me cards and get well gifts since IMTA during a serious central line infection and my best treasure is an autographed photo of her. This friendship is a wonderful blessing and started at IMTA 2016 LA while on stage for the spirit awards. Kennedy and I have different challenges but, together we will help change the idea of what a model is !
My favorite moments at IMTA LA 2016 were Runway, interviews and Make-A-Wish sending Josh Dibble to meet me and do a live interview together and meeting all the the wonderful contestants, agents, and workers at IMTA and Nancy choosing me to inspire others during the spirit awards with encouraging words !
Much love to you all!
Thank you Mellie and thank you to your Mom too for doing this interview. We are so proud of you and are excited to feature your accomplishments in the future too!