One of the benefits of the theatre department at SAU is the amount of opportunities for theatre majors. If majors are interested in any aspect of theatre, there is opportunity to partake in it. Someone who has accepted these opportunities above and beyond is Mel Maylum.
Maylum, who transferred to SAU during her junior year of college, made the most of her short time here. Dabbling in acting, stage management, design, and even dramaturgy, if there was an opportunity, Maylum took it.
Maylum's "seize the day" attitude has not ended with her college career. Since her 2020 graduation, she has found theatre work rather quickly in the Quad Cities area. A perfect example of this was when she was hired at the Circa ‘21 Speakeasy to be the stage manager for The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
"It was exciting to be part of such a loved tradition in the theatre community in the Quad Cities." Maylum said. "It was even more amazing that we were able to do it in such an uncertain time."
Stage management is not the only way Maylum is utilizing her theatre major. Currently, she is also working with Davenport Junior Theatre through their AmeriCorps program. "I am in charge of social media content, which is something I love doing, because I get to use my Public Relations knowledge from my minor at St. Ambrose," Maylum said. "I also get to help out during online classes, and I am in charge of creating a new look for DJT's history museum."
While working both jobs made her schedule extremely busy, and re-designing DJT'S history museum is no easy feat, carrying a lot on her plate has never stopped Maylum before.
"It certainly is a big project, but it's been incredibly rewarding," Maylum said. "I can't wait to share the final product with everyone."
On top of her determination and commitment, Maylum credits her success to her time spent with the SAU Theatre Department as a whole.
"I'm able to be successful thanks to every single one of the theatre faculty. Not only did I learn inside of the classroom, but I'd say I learned mostly from activities outside of the classroom." Maylum said. "I'm able to use my stage management skills to deescalate situations, problem solve quickly, keep organized, and take charge when necessary."
Mel Maylum '20
Following graduation, Mel has found work locally at the Circa '21 Speakeasy and Davenport Junior Theatre (through AmeriCorps).
With the forward momentum that Maylum seems to be riding with, it is doubtful that she will want to stop anytime soon. Of course, certain events have affected the industry significantly.
"We've all heard it more times than we can count, but this truly is a time of uncertainty, especially for the entertainment business." Maylum said. "My hope is still that I will be able to move to the Twin Cities next spring and begin my professional stage management career. But, in the meantime, I'm taking it day by day and jumping on every opportunity that comes my way."
Of course, while her professional career is kicking off the ground, that has not kept Maylum from feeling nostalgic over her good memories she made at St. Ambrose.
"I have so many great memories from my time at Ambrose, but the one that sticks out to me the most is winning the spirit award at KCACTF in 2019," Maylum said "Tech Team was one of the coolest experiences, and our team worked so incredibly hard that year. And while we didn't win the Golden C-Wrench like we wanted to, it still meant a lot to win that spirit award with them. I will never forget looking at my teammates as we held the trophy and seeing everyone beaming from ear to ear."
There is no doubt that Maylum played a large role in the department throughout her time here and continues to work hard outside of university. The COVID-19 pandemic has halted many things, but Maylum's determination is not one of them.