Holding considerable expertise in the fields of both performing arts and health care, Melinda Joy Polet, also known as Melle Joy, attributes much of her success to her family. Her father was an entrepreneur who did early work with coding and her mother, Isabelle Merle Jean Braun, inspired and encouraged her passion for singing and acting. Feeling that you need to be something of an entrepreneur as an actor and artist, Ms. Polet was also greatly inspired by her early teachers and dance instructors, including her high school mentor, Ms. Kayla Gordon. Following high school, she spent time in London as part of an exchange program and was deeply impacted by the peace, beauty and culture she found in the city. She notes that the first time she stepped into a theater it felt like coming home.
Ms. Polet completed acting coursework at Studio 58, the professional theater training program of Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia, before joining Concordia University in Montreal, where she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1993. An accomplished actor and singer, she was a vocalist and founding member of the music collective Edwin & the Bedouins from 1992 to 1995, helped to form the band Tangoluna in 2000, and has performed in a wide range of plays and musicals over the course of her career. Her theatrical portfolio includes “The Queen and I,” “Sir Johnny,” “Clouds,” “As You Like It,” “The Mikado” and “Spring Awakening,” among others. She is also currently a playwright and producer with XIXIMMXXI, a film company she established to help fellow artists and bring about much needed change in the film industry. Ms. Polet considers developing this company alongside her partner and director to be one of the absolute highlights of her career.
Furthering her skills with a Master of Education from Elmcrest College in Toronto in 2009, Ms. Polet has also been certified as a yoga fitness instructor through the YMCA and is a licensed massage therapist. Moving from Canada to Hawaii in 2009, she first worked as a yoga instructor for moms and children with Tutu’s House from 2010 to 2012 before joining Giselle’s Day Spa and Avani Wellness as a massage therapist in 2013. In addition to her work as a massage therapist, she founded Hamakua Sacred Arts, a healing and wellness business, in 2014. Ms. Polet has additionally exceled as the co-founder of Sacred Bungalows and Sisterhood Ohana since 2019, when she also established herself as an independent investment consultant.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, Ms. Polet has also donated her time as a pianist for children’s ballet classes among other odd jobs and previously spent time as a figure skater in the early days of her career. In order to keep abreast of developments in her field, she has affiliated herself with such professional organizations as the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists; the Canadian Figure Skating Association; FanShield, LLC; the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario; and the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association. She is also actively involved in a variety of women’s causes including those involving financial aid, education, housing and health, and is a member of the We Are Family Foundation among other charitable foundations.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Polet sees herself and her family, which includes her husband, Ernesto, and their two daughters, moving back to England, where she hopes to do work with children at the Anna Scher Theatre. She also intends to continue to grow XIXIMMXXI and help to guide actors as they navigate the film industry. Hoping to leave a legacy as a caring and generous professional, Ms. Polet was recognized for her artistic work with a Dora Mavor Moore Award from the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.