Melanie Fletcher is a producer, a powerhouse with 25 years in the Entertainment industry. She is the Chief Operating Officer at DONE+DUSTED, one of the world’s foremost independent producers of staged events, television, concert filming, and branded content production.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, with both my parents in the hospitality business. Growing up a pub kid gave me an inherent love for a busy, bustling, loud and social environment which ultimately led me to the entertainment industry.
I was always attracted to people with big dreams, people who would push to do better, no drama just big goals and buckets of motivation. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people like this, especially in my later teenage years, they gave me the confidence to spread my wings.
And in my first proper job, at an advertising agency, 18 years old, I was told I should wear nicer shoes to work, you would not get away with it now but you should see the fancy shoes I wear these days.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
To find and really trust instincts, they are so often a powerful indicator for decisions, but when we doubt ourselves, we dismiss these feelings and more often than not kick ourselves later.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Great question, I really had to think about this.
There is a saying ‘Fake it to you make it’ I’m all about ambition but if you fake it too hard on Live Television you’ll be exposed and it will not be pretty!
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
I literally broke my neck by sitting at my desk! My anterior cervical crushed exposing nerves which led to unbelievable pain down my left arm and hand. Ultimately resulting in spinal surgery. It was a punchy reminder that health is the only wealth!
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
I am in the business of managing people. Busy, creative, intelligent, and often complicated people. I like to think my superpower is persuasion, the ability to encourage a broad range of talents to bring their best game to each project. Being an enabler of talent is what success looks like to me. Learning the art of persuasion has been the biggest contributor so far.
What is your morning routine?
I am an early riser, I love the morning, seeing the sunrise has a positive impact on my outlook for the day. I wake up at 5.30 am and go for a hike. Once I get back to the house it is chaos with kid’s lunches, school bags, drop-offs, etc. I try not to look at any emails until the Children are off to school so my headspace stays present for them.
I start zoom jail around 8.30 am.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
After the neck issue I took up practicing Pilates & Yoga and it has completely changed how I carry my body, I have a Core now and feel strong and fit.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Finding, fostering, and retaining a powerhouse team is the key to unlocking my time for bigger picture thinking and using my time efficiently.
Also prioritizing what is important not just what is urgent, it can be hard to differentiate but is key to my time planning.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
Such a simple book but a powerful message no matter what age. I was given this book when I was 20 years old about to leave Australia for the US, the inside note said ‘Go, Be Bold’. The book and that note have always struck a chord with me.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
Be Hungry, Be humble, and always be the hardest worker in the room.
I also use ‘Peace begins with me’ as a mantra when I need to get centered.