Mel Ryane was born to tell stories.

She became a professional actor during her teens in her native Canada, then followed her career to New York City and theatres across North America. After applying her skills to coaching actors on major studio and network projects (including Steven Spielberg's Amistad and the hit TV show "Seinfeld"), Mel was accepted into the Directing Workshop for Women at the prestigious American Film Institute. She subsequently wrote a screenplay that advanced to the quarterfinal round in the Motion Picture Academy's Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition.

Mel began her career in writing narrative prose after volunteering to create a program where she taught Shakespeare to children at a local elementary school. Her memoir about the experience, Teaching Will: What Shakespeare and 10 Kids Gave Me That Hollywood Couldn't, was published by Familius in 2014 and was called "lively" and "funny" by Publishers Weekly and "hilarious...a bravura performance" by Kirkus Reviews.

Mel continues to teach, having traveled the U.S. and Canada with her workshop, "Page to Podium: Reading Your Work Aloud," in which she introduces actors' techniques to help writers self-edit as well as effectively present their work in front of audiences.

Her writing has also been published in the L.A. Times. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their dog Linus.

Mel has blogged about her volunteering experiences at her "Teaching Will" blog and her travels around the world at "On Location." She can be contacted here.

bottom photo by Jay Sharman Photography