Today's guest is extra special to me because Joel and Melissa are such dear dear friends. Although I've only known Melis for a short time, I feel like I've known her forever and we've grown to be quite close. I'm especially happy to have Joel on the site, not only because I'm a big fan (did I mention he's an actor) but because Melis is such a huge supporter of the indie community and often forgets to toot her own horn, so it's nice to read her sweetie showering her with well deserved praise (and I think it's about time we hear about how fabulous she is...)
>> Who: Joel de la Fuente
Wife: Melissa de la Fuente of Melissa Loves and Acts of Kindness
>> When I met Melissa...
Melis and I first met in 1993. Her best friend, Enid, and I were doing a play together that summer, and she came to see it. When we met afterwards, I was totally smitten with her, but she didn't give me a second glance! Luckily, a year later, I was back doing a play in the same theatre and invited Enid to come see it. She brought Melissa, and this time, we hit it off immediately. I guess it's all in the timing (either that, or it's all in the role you're playing...)!
I have an extremely flexible scalp. I can pull on it and make you swear it's a wig.
I am not a doctor, but I've played one on TV. In fact, over the last year, I've played a doctor three times.
If I hear a new song I like or try a new dish and find it delicious, I will consume it over and over again until I get tired of it.
I am an avid Chicago Cubs fan. 101 years of futility, baby!!
I do not, for the life of me, understand Twitter and why this is something I need to pursue. Strangely, figuring it out has become a priority in my life.
1. What would you say are the three most important things that you do to support Melissa in her creative/blogging endeavors?
I think the three most important contributions I make are: 1) I pay the internet bill; 2) I help her with the spelling of an occasional word; and 3) I love everything she writes (and everyone she reads!) online. OH! and 3.5) From time to time I announce when her tea has steeped for the appropriate amount of time. As you can see, supporting Melissa creatively is an extremely difficult job.
To be a tad more serious, after we got married and Melis had our first beautiful girl, Elena, Melissa stopped acting. Since then, she has been an amazing partner and inspirational mother, but until she started her jewelry design and blogging endeavors over the past year or so, she had sort of put her creative life on hold. To see her re-inspired and re-creating both in and out of the family is something that gives me great joy. Anything I can do to support that, I try my best to do, but ultimately, blog-wise, Melis has been unstoppable. For the most part, I just sit back and enjoy her creativity! (p.s. She's an amazing actor, too.)
2. Supporting somebody in their passion can be both exciting, exhausting and time consuming? How do you guys manage to squeeze everything in?
We have been extremely fortunate in that we both have a lot of time to be home with each other and with the kids. So far, we've always managed to get everything in and to do it together.
3. What was the strangest thing you've done to support Melissa in what she does?
Sometimes when fatigue sets in or she hits a deadly creative impasse, I will break out an interpretive dance or two to shake off the funk. I can draw my inspiration from anything around me, but I usually like to include a little "modern dancer running." If interpretive dance must be done, I do not hesitate.
4. What is the easiest and hardest thing about being Melissa's other half?
The easiest thing: Melis is an extremely generous and kind person. What is easier than spending time basking in the kind of energy that brings out the best in yourself and others?
The hardest thing? I'll try to give you a few:
:: It can be very hard to get to where we're trying go when there are strangers with dogs in our way. Even on our honeymoon in France, Melissa would stop and engage *anyone* provided they had a canine. Melis speaks about two words of French, but she would manage to use them successfully enough for ten, fifteen minute conversations as the dogs were adored, and my rumbling stomach died an agonizing mort!
:: It can be hard to take a shower. Melis LOVES being in the bathtub, and a three bath day is not unheard of. These are not functional affairs. These are: "what happened to the magazines/why is there a trail of granola leading to the bathroom" kind of deals. Seeing as my profession glorifies being unwashed, this is not a deal-breaker between us, but this is a cross I bear.
5. Do you have a favorite posts from Melissa Loves or a favorite piece from her amazing jewelry line?
If I had to pick a favorite, I would pick "Ellie in blue." When I first saw her, I remember being not only delighted with it, but also completely surprised. When you've been together with someone for almost fifteen years, being *completely* surprised by something is uncommon and incredibly exhilarating. An elephant? I didn't know you liked...? The feel of it, the combination of who Ellie is, the word, "calm," what it all represents... It coalesced so many elements about my beautiful wife and expressed it in a way I had not imagined. I looked from that sweet little elephant back to my lovely Melis and thought, "Lucky lucky me."