Melanie Chandra was raised in Buffalo Grove, IL as Melanie Kannokada. She is an actress and producer, known for her work on projects like Code Black (2015), The Brink (2015), and For Here to To Go (2015). In her youth, Melanie came to adore a few of her favorite activities, including piano, cheerleading (Melanie and her team won state and national championships), and especially karate, in which she competed internationally. Her hometown community was pleasant, but Melanie soon fell in love with the ida of heading west to liberal and diverse California. She realized this dream as a young adult after accepting an offer to study at Stanford University.
While at Stanford, Melanie embraced her natural aptitude in subjects like math and physics. Although she was happy following the path to engineering that would satisfy others’ expectations, her interests extended far beyond the classroom. Once she graduated, Melanie began a career in management consulting as a business analyst with McKinsey & Company. The decision brought her out to New York City, where she joined her college sweetheart. They have since wed.
Although Melanie found success in the corporate world, her heart returned time and again to entertainment, a universe into which she had stumbled a few years prior. In college, Melanie was active in the South Asian community, including joining a number of organizations and dance troupes. At a friend’s suggestion, she entered the Ms. Indian America pageant, where she proudly showcased her community involvement (as well as her talent in karate) and won. Following that victory, the pageant producers connected her to an NYC-based TV network. After a screen test and a few conversations, Melanie found herself in front of the camera for the first time.
As a member of the Indian American entertainment community in New York City, Melanie built a number of positive relationships and progressed from hosting TV shows and red carpet interviews to attending acting schools and fully immersing herself in the industry – all the while still fulfilling her responsibilities to her day job. Through all the late nights and personal investment, running from work to shows, auditions, and more only cemented her love for acting. With agents lined up and eager to get to work, Melanie embraced the reality of where her heart really lay, and decided to follow her dream. She headed to Los Angeles now lives a happily bicoastal lifestyle.
When not on set or happily at home with her husband, Melanie Chandra is still active with an organization she co-founded in 2009 called Hospitals of Hope. The hospital has served over 1000,000 patients over just a few years, with Melanie and her team of four other philanthropists volunteering their time to oversee funding and operations. With zero managerial overhead and nothing but brainpower and a great network to support the endeavor, Hospitals for Hope is an exciting and fulfilling project to with which Melanie is proud to be affiliated.