We had the good fortune of connecting with Leanne Melissa Bishop and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Leanne Melissa, why did you pursue a creative career?
I always felt like something was missing, like there was something more. That creative part in me simply would not shut up, there were stories to be told and I needed to tell them. That’s where my journey began, and today, my imagination and creativity have become my vocation.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My story of becoming a filmmaker is non linear, a true reminder that sometimes things happen just the way they are supposed to, when you are ready.

I grew up in the rural town of Port Williams, Nova Scotia, Canada. I was raised in a business based family and became a CPA. Never quite satisfied, I was always acting on the side, writing and producing short films, even doing a one woman show! Eventually, the creative won over and I found myself moving to NYC to study at the renowned Neighborhood Playhouse School of The Theatre. Frustrated with auditioning for parts that didn’t do women justice, I began to focus on creating my own work, something that eventually took me to Los Angeles, which is now my home. It is here that , I started the production company Penguin Pictures Productions Inc..

My journey has not been easy, always working to make the ceiling the floor. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that one person’s no, can be another person’s yes.

One of my current mandates is to tell stories that can heal, break barriers, and change the world. I recently co-wrote and co-directed a film with a wonderful team of women called ‘The Weight of Perfection’ which brings light to the world of gymnastics and eating disorders. This film has just started to make the rounds on the film festival circuit, so make sure you follow our facebook page so you know where to catch us – it’s a very powerful film and has a place very near and dear in my heart. https://www.facebook.com/theweightofperfection

Another project I’m passionate about, and in post production on, is called ‘PineapplePointe’. This film centers around the horrific world of child trafficking, and I had the pleasure of co-writing, co-directing, and acting in this film with the talented Leigh Faith.

I also have multiple tv shows and feature films in various stages of production. I’m really excited to share with you about my feature film ‘What If’ – we are working on it’s final financing and the film will be shot in Manitoba, Canada this fall. ‘What If’ explores one’s need to be understood, accepted, and is very much a coming of age story for someone that has already come of age.

I love what I do with all my heart and am so grateful that I’ve been able to create, and work on my passions during this pandemic.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Griffith Observatory, one of my favorite spots – I love that hike, especially on a weekday when it’s not so busy, And then of course a trip to Malibu, to walk along Westward Beach – it’s just so magical, I love to bring a picnic and stay for sunset.

I’ve been missing so much about LA during the pandemic, but the most important thing is to stay safe. So first, I would make sure we are all vaccinated, and then I’d find a way to take them to so many yummy places in a safe way, and if all else fails, there are so many fabulous parks in LA to bring take out to 🙂

I’m definitely a veggie and close to Vegan – I’d convince them to come with me to Cafe Gratitude, my go to place for … well, everything! The Matcha Tea Latte is divine as a pick me up before dinner, and all the dishes are so creative.

Dessert – Erin McKenna’s Bakery in Larchmont Village – cupcakes! Yum! And those Eclairs!! For me, I have a ton of allergies and I can literally eat anything in their kitchen which is somewhat dangerous;)

And any visitor and friend of mine, has to socially distance hang with me and my friends. And one of those is my long time bud and collaborator in a number of projects, Kelly Perine! Oh … if his house could talk. We’d have such a grand time, every day would be different, new and exciting – LA has so much to offer.

I love LA, it’s my home!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Michael Mason – hands down, my partner in life, and partner in business. He is my cheerleader, sounding board, and one of the many people that inspire me to be better.

Website: http://leannemelissabishop.workbooklive.com

Instagram: @leannembishop

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leannembishop/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/leannemelissab

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leannemelissabishop

Other: www.imdb.me/leannemelissabishop

Image Credits
Kevin McIntyre (Headshots) Iva Red (Set Stills)

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