Maya Melata combines the art of inspirational speaking with the art of seduction to bring to you “Sexy Inspiration”, a unique performance doing justice to its title. Having undergone and conquered multiple emotional challenges herself, including the reality of having stage 4B Cancer, the passionate performer now wishes to inspire others in various ways using the art she loves: Burlesque.
Recently, M. (as she prefers to be called) performed in New York at an inspiration conference about health and wellness, hosted by Deepak Choprah’s daughter, Mallika Chopra. Miss M. is definitely one to watch – Read on.
KA – When did you decide that performing motivational speeches was your calling?
MM – In 2006, after my daughter was born, I came into contact with the book, “The Secret”. I took the message in the book very seriously and spent a night in my room writing down what I loved in life and how I could make it my career. I knew I loved to dance and I wanted to become a professional dancer of some kind. I took dance classes for 5 years in Latin, Ballroom, Jazz, Ballet, and Hip Hop. Within a few weeks, I was asked to do a speaking circuit on violence against women. I spoke 6 times within a week. Every moment I stepped on stage, I felt I was at home. I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. It was that night that I decided I wanted to take dance and inspirational speaking and make it into a performance.
KA – Why did you decide to move away for motivational performances rather than inspire people closer to home?
MM – I was inspiring people closer to home, but it was not a large enough City to continue growing my career as an inspirational speaker/performer. I spent 7 years preparing for my inspirational performance in my hometown, Sault Ste. Marie, ON. I went to school, trained in dance, music and theatre to gain experience in the arts before building my performance. I also majored in Business Administration, at Algoma University, so I would have all the knowledge I needed to run my own company as a speaker/performer.
KA – Having faced so many obstacles in your personal life, this must have put quite strain on you physically as well as emotionally. What motivated you to continue going forward with such a fast paced and demanding career?
MM – This career has been my saving grace. The more I speak, the better I feel. The obstacles have caused me great pain and challenge, but the moment I go on stage, I feel that nothing matters and I am full of love and gratitude. It’s the career, and helping others that keeps me going. The moment someone tells me I have inspired them, or helped them in some way, I no longer feel any sort of pain in my mind or body.
KA – What made you go from the transition of professional speaker to inspirational entertainer?
MM – I knew from the beginning of my speaking career that I wanted to turn my show into a performance. I was training and learning about other arts for many years before I created, Sexy Inspiration. The Art of Inspiration for me is a soul connection and emotional ability to be vulnerable. Through performance art, I feel I can be my most vulnerable in order to inspire the world.
KA – You’ve said that you would like to change and break the mold of corporate speaking. With such an interesting and risqué presentation, is it sometimes hard to make spectators feel comfortable?
MM – Yes it is. But that is not my job. If they do not feel comfortable, that is great! It means my job is working and I am pushing them out of their comfort zone. Their ego is fighting what the soul knows to be true. This is perfect. On another note, people need to learn to express their true selves and not follow status quo. The media, the government and society has been telling citizens what to do and how to act for years. It is time to break out of that shell, follow your intuition and do what feels right to you.
KA – How do you decide what topics you wish to cover during a performance?
MM – I am most often inspired with a topic. Or, I follow the topic of the conference. I always choose something that comes from my own life experience. Something that is real and people can relate too. I can only give strong positive energy when it comes form my heart and soul.
KA – Why do you wish to change the corporate way of speaking, specifically?
MM – I feel that the corporate speaking market can be very dull. I have a very hard time paying attention to a speaker who is not speaking from the soul, but rather from their mind. They have no feelings and straight facts can be very boring. Also, humans can only pay attention to a speaker for 10 minutes before they start to loose interest. I know that by adding visual, auditory, and colorful components to a speech, people will pay attention longer and hold the message in their mind for a longer period of time. It is also shock performance value, gaining the attention of the entire crowd.
KA – Eating disorder help seems to most often be targeted towards a younger audience. How do you manage to structure your message in a way that effectively targets your audience?
MM – I talk about body image. Body image affects everyone. We all care about what we wear, what our hair looks like, and how we look to others. It is normal for socialization. I speak to empower individuals (mainly women) to love their body no matter what they look like. People need to embrace themselves in order to be happy. If they would like to make changes that is fine, but they must first learn to love themselves.
KA – With so many eccentric characters and personalities in Montreal, how do you work to differentiate yourself from the rest?
MM – My performance has never been done before. I include part speaking, part burlesque style of dance and I end in a body suit that color matches the chakra related to the show I am performing. Examples: I used a gold and white costumes on, “Loving Ourselves,” for eating disorders because gold=yellow is the color of the solar plex chakras which relates to personal power. I am empowering individuals, to own the power of their bodies.
KA – Describe your most crowd-moving performance.
MM – My most crowd-moving performance was about my experience overcoming cancer and the emotions that comes with going through the process. I started the song and performance in a very dark place, and moved into the light with more loving and accepting music. Cancer kills, and we are almost all affected by it. The emotions of discovering you are ill, and than realizing that you have the power to heal yourselves is a very moving experience in itself, imagine watching this live on stage… I have been able to take my wildest dream, and make it my reality. Anyone can do this. I believe in everyone, and because of this, I have developed an online social media website geared towards goal achievement. At www.mymeinu.com, you have all the support you need to reach any goal you want! Coming soon. Sign up now for FREE exclusive membership.