“There’s no such thing as a part-time dream.” – Bharat Trivedi
Melanie Kannokada is an actress, philanthropist, former Miss India America, and the current face of Bare Escentuals Cosmetics who is quickly making waves in the entertainment world after having left a corporate job. Educated at Stanford University in the engineering program and employed by a prestigious management consulting firm right out of college, fate had other plans for this beauty pageant winner.
“With work in the entertainment world coming in, Melanie made the world of make believe her full time job.” –Lassi with Lavina2011
Melanie recently moved to Los Angeles, and within a week booked a large guest star role alongside comedy legend David Spade on the CBS hit sitcomRules of Engagement.Shorly after, she booked another guest star appearance on the ABC Family showThe Nine Lives of Chole King. Melanie can also be seen playing the title role in the upcoming indie feature filmLove, Lies & Seetaand modeling in a number of national and international campaigns for brands such as NesCafe, Herbal Essences, Crocs, LG, DSW, Glamour Magazine, and Verizon. Most recently, she was selected as one of five faces of Bare Escentuals “Be A Force of Beauty” campaign. This marks the first time an American girl of Indian decent has been the face of an international cosmetics and beauty campaign.
Outside of her shooting schedule, she has been training with some of LA’s finest acting programs, including Howard Fine Studio, Lesly Kahn & Co, and Margie Haber Studio. She also has a bent toward comedy and trains with the Upright Citizens Brigade for improvisation and writes and performs sketch comedy nationally with comedian Rajiv Satyal.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
Melanie’s story is as unique as it is inspiring. Growing up in a suburban Chicago town, her curiousity and drive led her to achieve success in a vast array of worlds, including earning a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and competing on an international level, leading her high school cheerleading squad to national championships, composing tunes on the piano, and earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, while a member of the Cardinal Cheerleading Squad and serving as Student Body President her final year. While Melanie’s academic success led her to a competitive position at the venerable consulting firm McKinsey & Co., she quickly realized her heart belonged with her extracurricular passions and decided to make the leap to pursue them. She hasn’t looked back.
“The most wonderful thing about Melanie is that her exquisite beauty is wrapped in a layer of absolute humbleness.” -Anjula Acharia-Bath, Anokhi Magazine, Sexy & Successful Issue 2010
Despite a busy schedule, Melanie makes time to use the network she has been fortunate to acquire to benefit those in need. She is a co-founder of “Hospital for Hope,” a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the construction of a hospital in an extremely under-served area of India. She also has hosted and involved herself with several charity events for philanthropies benefiting those in need across the globe.
Melanie was born February 28,1986 and spent her youth in Buffalo Grove, IL. Her parents are originally from Kerala, a state of India along the southwest coast. She has one older brother who resides in Chicago.