Welcome, Friends! Whether you are visiting from my Instagram page, my website, mailing list, or have stumbled upon this Substack via some other internet travels, I am grateful that your digital meandering led you here.

Newly Arrived on Substack

For many years, I have hosted a blog offering tips and tools to strengthen our creativity practices, thoughts on how to make a living and create a life, and other random musings on the experience of being a creative soul in a productivity obsessed society. In the space, I’d like to continue reflecting on these things, and also give myself permission to expand my palette as a writer, so you can also expect posts exploring whatever may be on my mind at the present moment and how I’m processing this wild life. I’ll also keep you updated about upcoming projects, publications, online events, and the like. I'm looking forward to this experiment!

Why Subscribe?

When you subscribe, you will get a weekly newsletter, as well as additional posts and prompts in this space aimed to help you reflect on your own creative practice and the experience of being human.

For now, I’ll be posting all content for free, and in the coming weeks, will implement a paid tier for subscribers. I’ve never charged for my writing online before, and though the Inner Imposter starts to get loud with criticism when I consider a crowdfunded platform, my value of sustainability has been slowly but surely encouraging me to find ways to create and cultivate care for myself at the same time. A paid subscription model will be an experiment in dedicating myself more deeply to this kind of sustainability, hopefully allowing me to make and rest in a way that feels nourishing for both me and you. I’ll keep you posted as this option unfurls!

Why do I call myself a “Visitor”?

As a storyteller, I often feel so much like a visitor; to my many day jobs, to schools and conferences where I go to present workshops, when I go into a community that is not mine to hear new stories and make new connections. In many ways, storytellers are perpetual visitors; feeling like we belong everywhere, and at the same time not feeling like we are of one particular place. Do you often feel like a Visitor, too?

You belong here at The Perpetual Visitor. What does being creative mean to you? How do you play every day? Seek out the magic that glimmers all around us, in our everyday lives? This is a space for taking a break, a breath, and finding ways to flex our imagination and find the joy where we can. 

Thanks for joining me here. Let’s seek out the magic and make something magnificent.

About Me

My name is Melissa and I'm a Boston-based actor, writer, poet, and teaching artist and I stubbornly believe in the power of stories to give us the ability to imagine and build a life and a world rooted in joy, wonder, curiosity, and courage. I’m also a recovering perfectionist, a highly sensitive human, and someone who has gotten good at making things in the middle of the mess.                                                                               

I’ve been telling stories since I could talk, and as a human who lives with anxiety, OCD, and chronic illness (all things that I am becoming more intentional about owning as part of my story), I can’t imagine my life without a creative outlet. Writing does wonders for me: it helps me to process moments of blinding bright joy, seasons of pain and grief, and all the humanness in between. Scribbling a poem or a post connects me to other people who share my experiences and make me feel so much less alone. Writing and creativity also introduce me to perspectives and lived experiences that are new to me, and allow my mind and heart to expand. Stories make some of the best friends I’ve ever known: books, podcasts, movies, and music are all inextricably linked to how I understand myself and the world around me.                                                                                                                                                                                 

I have created three poetry collections, New Bird, Wild Unfolding and Like Gold. My first book, The Perpetual Visitor: A Field Guide for Everyday Artists, is a collection of essays exploring how to both make a living and cultivate a creative life. In addition, I’ve written for Howlround, an international theatre journal based at Emerson College, and for Creatively Independent, a company dedicated to sustainable arts education practices. My plays for the theatre include Big Work, a documentary play which explores how our jobs affect our ability to both make a living and create a life, SafeGuard, a solo performance piece based on interviews with women of military families, and Untitled Hospital Sketch, a ten minute play. Ready for Lou is my first short film.                                                                                                                                             

Growing up in a small farm town in Upstate NY, I earned my B.A. in Theatre Performance and History from SUNY Geneseo and my Master of Fine Arts in Applied Theatre and Theatre Education at Emerson College. I am delighted to be the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of The Perpetual Visitors Theatre Company, a Boston based company dedicated to original documentary theatre, and a Guide and Educator at Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House in Concord, MA. I also serve as an adjunct faculty member in the department of Performing Arts at Emerson College.                                     

Currently, I live in Boston, MA with my husband and our sweet cat. When I’m not puttering around here on Substack, I’m traveling, reading, riding my red bicycle, knitting, and practicing my beginner sewing skills (and wearing the resulting wonky blouses around town).

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Poetry, musings on creativity, Big Feelings, and spying the beauty and glimmers tucked into seemingly ordinary moments.


Poet. Actor. Teaching Artist. Feeler of Big Feelings.