Degrassi: The Next Generation. With Melinda Shankar, aka Alli

Jesse Ward by Jesse Ward November 7, 2012

After signing tons of autographs and taking lots of pictures with fans, Melinda gave a speech on how she followed her dream of being an actress to become a star in one of Canada’s most popular TV shows.

You may know Melinda Shankar as Alli Bhandari on Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Melinda will be appearing in Shawn Desman’s new short film Alive, being released on February 5th, 2013 and airing on MuchMusic. She took a break from filming to make sure she could visit Halifax and show up at the 2nd Annual TNT Passport 2 You-th Success XPO.

After signing tons of autographs and taking lots of pictures with fans, Melinda gave a speech on how she followed her dream of being an actress to become a star in one of Canada’s most popular TV shows.

But if you want something, you know, big enough, you’re just going to make it happen and do whatever it takes to succeed

“I always wanted to come to Halifax. This week, all the texts I’m getting and tweets, there’s no way I was going to miss out on this!” she said to a crowd of hundreds of teens.

Teens Now Talk magazine sat down with Melinda for a chat!

Hi Melinda. How have you been enjoying the XPO so far?

This is my first time in Halifax and I didn’t have any expectations. I mean, I tweeted about it and I had a lot of awesome fans message me back, saying, “I’m so excited to meet you”, but it was another thing coming here and seeing everyone, actually feeling the energy. I was just saying that my face is hurting today from smiling so much, but in the best way possible. Everyone has only been sweet, and it’s really nice to meet everyone.

While you were still in high school, you had to move for your role in Degrassi. How did you handle that change?

Being from Ottawa, there is nothing in the entertainment industry. There’s mainly modeling, which I was doing, but in order to act I had to move out of home at 16 and adapt to an adult lifestyle pretty much overnight in the middle of grade 10. But if you want something, you know, big enough, you’re just going to make it happen and do whatever it takes to succeed, and not really get distracted if you know you have your goals set in mind.

Do you think it takes a certain type of teen to be able to adapt like that?

I always say that in order to have moved overnight, like I did: I was used to high school, elementary school or whatever it was, coming home, relaxing, watching TV, going to dance or karate, and that’s what it was. You know, just the normal life that every teen should at least experience, and then having to move and do 13-hour workdays, having to come home and memorize my twenty pages.

I think it takes someone who’s driven, and I don’t think that’s necessarily something that you have to have before. It’s obviously a bonus because you’ll be used to it, but it’s one of those things where adrenaline will kick in, and if you want something bad enough, it’s just going to happen.

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