Thursday, November 11, 2010

THE BAY The Series Interviews: Lilly Melgar, Part Four

In Parts  One, Two, and Three of our interview with the THE BAY'S scene-stealing Lilly Melgar, the multi-talented actress discussed successes in her early career, her time on GENERAL HOSPITAL, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, and then the disappointment of her career not turning out as hoped.  In the final part of this candid and revealing interview, Melgar shares how she got through hard times, the books that helped her survive, and why fans of THE BAY are benefiting from her hard life-lessons learned in recent years.  Plus, did she enjoy her one day without "shoulds"? Find out below:

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I have often said that facing disappointment and adversity can build strength and character.
Lilly Melgar: Absolutely.  Even my recent work I can see a difference.  There is an edge now.  There is something more interesting than what I could have offered before.  That’s called “life,” and getting beat up a little.  You can’t be that deep when everything is handed to you.  I’m very grateful for that now, but I wasn’t at the time. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: How did you get through the hard times when you weren’t getting work?
Lilly Melgar: I have always been spiritual.  From a very young age I have known there is a God, always felt that connection, and I always prayed.  That is why it was easy for me to believe in my dreams.  That is why I believed that if I wanted to be on GENERAL HOSPITAL that I could be.  I just knew that there was this energy and higher power.

My mom came to the states from El Salvador.  She worked for a company called Princess House.  She started at the very bottom going door-to-door asking people if they wanted to do a crystal party.  And now they’ve had to create a new title for her because she not only reached the highest title in the company, but she surpassed it.  They didn’t know what to do with her (laughs).  She overlooks 7000 women under her.  It’s such an incredible success story.  She always told me that if I could want it, then I could achieve it.  But the missing element was that I could achieve it as longed as I worked, worked, worked.  But I never had to work, work, work because it all came to me so easily in the beginning.  So when I was going through my tough trials I remembered my mom telling me I had to work, work, work.  At the time I was saying, “I’ll turned that down...I don’t need to do that, something better will come along.”  When it doesn’t, you just have to be humble.  So during those growing pains I turned to what I knew, which was my relationship with God.  I asked for guidance and some grace.  I read a lot of books. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Are there any books you read that you think could help someone reading this or may similarly be having a hard time in their lives?
Lilly Melgar: There are several that have been meaningful on my journey.  The first one that I read that opened my eyes to a whole other perception was Return to Love by Marianne Williamson.  I remember it was given to my best friend because she was going through something really difficult.  I wasn’t at that time. I was on GH, I was really happy.  But I was waiting for her in the car while she was waiting in the bank.  I picked up the book, and I didn’t put it down until the next night when I was done with it.  It shook me up and helped me to perceive things differently.

Then The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success.  I made Easter Baskets for all my best friends and put that one in there.  To this day they thank me because of the impact that book had in their lives.  I see it in who they are today.  I’m so grateful they received it with an open heart.  Obviously, The Secret has been the latest thing.  But The Secret is not as much a core shaking thing like Return To LoveThe Secret is more informative as to why things happen.  It helped me understand why I got GH...that I attracted it because I believed in it.  I see the impact it has had for people who haven’t read Return To Love or The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, or The Power Of Intention.  I see so many people waking up to understanding the importance of the power of your words, your thoughts, your emotions.  That’s not necessarily news to me, but it is certainly a fantastic reminder. 

So the books during my lowest point with the most impact? The Four Agreements, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, and I did the Landmark Forum.  I actually read The Four Agreements, and then did my weekend at the Forum.  That just solidified what I had read.  It was a very important part of my journey.  And then Eat Pray Love.  It just cut me to my core, and it connected to the journey of knowing when something isn’t right for you, getting the courage to make the change, going through your growing pains and finding whatever faith you can.  It was so beautifully fleshed out.  I think we can all relate to that defining moment.  And if you haven’t, I pray that you do.  You’’ll never know how powerful, how beautiful, and how loving you can really be until you find that inner strength to believe in yourself and in the quality of life you want to create.  And you have to have a sense of humor throughout it all.  That is one of my greatest blessings.  Through it all I have healthy sense of humor about things that happened in my life, and with myself.  I have a way of being able to laugh myself even when it hurts. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I think we are seeing your confidence, empowerment, and strength on screen on THE BAY and the in the recent Acme Comedy Hour. You are positively fierce as Janice Ramos.
Lilly Melgar: I think there is some edge that comes off now.  And by “edge” I don’t mean hardened.  I just mean there is something more interesting going on.  I am so grateful for this opportunity.  I was so terrified to do the Acme Comedy Hour.  My first reaction was, “No, no, no!” Gregori [Martin] was so lovely and so encouraging.  He said, “I know you can do this.” I said, “Okay, if you really believe I can do this...” and he said, “I know you can do this.”  But you don’t understand how terrified I was.  I had an insomnia attack the night before.  I thought, “Dear God what am I doing? I have never done anything like this before!” And I am so happy that I did it.  In the past I would have said no out of fear and psyched myself out into believing there was intelligent reason that I shouldn’t do it.  But now I feel fear and do things anyway.  It’s like saying to fear, “Okay, I know you are there, but it spite of you I am going to choose to take this on and give it my best.”  I’m really proud of the Acme show. I was able to have a lot of fun with it and work off such talents.  I’m proud of myself for doing it in spite of the fear.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: If you had continued to get jobs easily in your career, would you have been this willing to fight your fear and take these kind of risks?
Lilly Melgar: I don’t know about the willingness because I may have had more confidence if I had the security of working.  But I honestly don’t know if it would have been as interesting if I hadn’t been forced to seek deeper layers of myself...or if I even would have had deeper layers there. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Exactly.  It is when you are forced to dig deeper that you available to others.  This is true for artists as it is for therapists or healers.  I wouldn’t be who I am now if it hadn’t been for the rough times.
Lilly Melgar: When you have experienced pain you can connect to another human being who has experienced pain.  And until you have, you really can’t. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Which is again why I don’t believe in “shoulds.”  Things can appear to us one way, but in retrospect it is easier to see that you had to have these experiences to make you the person you are today.  Any time we say things “should” be a certain way, we are denying the experience of these lessons. 
Lilly Melgar: And we also denying the opportunity to embrace the perfection of who we are in this moment. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: So now that "Give Up Your Shoulds Day" has come and gone, how was your one day without "shoulds?"
Lilly Melgar: It was exactly as I had anticipated. It opened up the space for everything to be exactly as it 'should' be (laughs). Seriously, it created a space in which you are free to be present and create from 'now'. I felt lighter. Less weight to carry. So of course living a life where you can accept things as they 'are' without judgement or unecessary pressure allows you to embrace your choices ... all your choices. This is powerful. I am grateful you challenged me and are following up. I am willing to give up more 'shoulds' and incorporate more "I AM's."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Thank you for reading this interview.  If you haven't already, please check out Lilly Melgar's astounding performances as Janice Ramos in the new smash Indie Soap THE BAY.

Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Therapist now accepting new clients in New York City.  He is also the author of the popular book "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve." For more information about scheduling an appointment, please email him at [email protected]


  1. Lilly is absolutely inspiring. Incredible interview!

  2. Lilly truly walks the talk. She is pure Light.