Marissa Ghavami is an actor, singer, voice over artist, model, creator and advocate. Her work in the entertainment industry spans theatre, film, television, commercial, radio and print. As an advocate, she founded the nonprofit Healing TREE (Trauma Resources, Education & Empowerment) and is a public and keynote speaker, nationally.
Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, Marissa's passion for performing was evident at an early age and she began working locally. She honed her craft in Kentuckiana's prominent artistic training ground, starring in dozens of theatrical productions at regional theatres and training at the nationally celebrated pre-college conservatory, Walden Theatre. She enjoyed work as a commercial and print model, voice over artist and singer as well and also lent her gifts to distinguished charity functions.
Her talent brought her national attention when she won the opportunity to sing at the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York City on NBC's It's Showtime at the Apollo and was named their "Star of Tomorrow." It was there that she was discovered by the show's producer, living legend Suzanne De Passe (Motown, The Jackson 5). She then went on to act on CBS's Without a Trace, Disney’s The Suite Life on Deck, and in David Chase's (Emmy-winning creator of the hit HBO show The Sopranos) theatrically released feature film Not Fade Away, starring James Gandolfini, et. al. She has been seen on stage in New York originating the leading role of Kate in the World Premiere of The White Oak of Johnston. She has sung at New York City hot spots 54 Below and Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater and was the runner up in the LA's Next Great Stage Star Competition. She has done voice over work for such widely known brands as McDonald's, Ford and JCPenney. Additionally, she has done commercial and print work for Belvedere, PepsiCo’s AMP Energy Drink, Kroger, Vartali Hair Salon in New York City, Girl Scout Cookies and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Recently, Marissa starred in the feature film A Good Journey: The Gift of Christmas featuring Academy Award Nominee Bruce Davison and Dee Wallace (E.T.) She was a guest star on The Rigano Songbook's musical web series Broadway On Deck, hosted by All Things Broadway. She was seen as a lead in the Off-Broadway staged reading of They Told Me To Use It at the Broadway Bound Theatre Festival and in the NYC premiere of The Alchemy of Imperfection. Additionally, she can be found modeling New York based fashion designer Claudia Amaya’s 2018/19 Fall/Winter line. She made her Birdland Jazz Club debut in January 2019.
In 2012 she completed a two-year actor training program at The William Esper Studio, the world’s foremost studio dedicated to Meisner-based actor training, and has studied singing with the renowned Seth Riggs and, currently, Liz Caplan.
Marissa is passionate about merging the arts and advocacy, seeing the arts as both a healing tool and a platform for positive change. To learn more about Marissa's advocacy work and the story behind her passion for it, click here. In addition to founding the nonprofit Healing TREE, being a national and keynote speaker and published writer, she is the producer and co-writer behind Healing TREE’s upcoming short film Silk to be directed by John Magaro (The Big Short, Carol). She is a 2015/2016 ASTEP (Artists Striving To End Poverty) Fellow and participant in the 2015 Artist As Citizen Conference at Juilliard. She is the winner of the "Way To Go Woman Award" in the Overcoming Barriers category for Today's Woman magazine, featured in the September 2016 issue. Additionally, she is featured in Nancy Miller's book, One Hundred Fascinating Louisville Women, and was given a mayoral proclamation of "Marissa Ghavami Day" in her hometown. Marissa has two Bengal mix cat rescues, Sebastian and Viola, and is based in New York City.
Weight: 110 lbs Eyes: Blue
Height: 5'5” Hair: Brown
Vocal Range: F sharp below middle C to E flat above high C. Great with Dialects/ Knows International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Beginner Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Tap. Beginner Acoustic Guitar. Licensed Driver. Current Passport.
TRAINING (highlights, see Resume for more)
The William Esper Studio Acting (w/ William Esper), Voice & Speech (w/ Nancy Mayans), Movement (w/ Ted Morin)
Liz Caplan Vocal Studios Singing (w/ Liz Caplan)
Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco, CA
New York, NY