Actress turned DJ takes on WMC
By Aaron Glickman
Photos by Manny Hernandez
As Winter Music Conference (WMC) takes over Miami with an international convergence of dance-crazed partiers and world-renowned DJs, SocialMiami tends to take a backseat.
Although when the opportunity arises to spend the afternoon with an internationally-acclaimed actress who is now a MTV buzzworthy artist that recently produced a music video with LMFAO’s Rami Afuni, we figured we’d venture into the WMC arena.
SocialMiami caught up with Israeli-born actress turned DJ, Meital Dohan (Meital), at Lester’s in Wynwood to learn what inspires this classically trained, award-winning actress and find out why she has chosen to venture into the world of electronic dance music.
“I was an actress since I was 13,” she said, “until I was on the Israeli version of Dancing with the Stars, and they advised me to go into music.”
Meital took that advice seriously and formulated a musical personality that utilizes her sex appeal and comedic prowess. Her first music video, Yummy Boyz, went viral with more than 1 million views, and her latest single and video, Yummy, features the bombshell naked with the exception of pink boxing gloves and red boots. The farcical piece, which she co-directed, has Meital dancing around town punching people in the face, her “privates” covered by electronic boxes.
“You can’t take yourself too seriously,” she said. “Some women work so hard to be beautiful that they can’t let go. I admire women who have the confidence to let their inner-selves show…In the Yummy video, I’m a female version of Rocky. It’s about a woman who wakes up in the morning and gets what she wants by punching people out.”
The simplicity of her video’s storyline is in direct contrast to the roles she has tackled on stage and screen. Meital is widely recognized for her role as “Yael Hoffman,” the sexy rabbinical scholar and lover to “Andy Botwin” (played by Justin Kirk) on Showtime’s Weeds.
Meital is a bona fide superstar in Israel. She is a two-time Ophir Award nominee for her performances in God’s Sandbox and Giraffes. She also won an Israeli Theatre Award (equivalent to a Tony) for “Most Promising New Actress” and was principal star in the Israeli Emmy Award-Winning Ugliest Esti – the Israeli version of Ugly Betty.
With so many accomplishments, Meital still lights up when remembering her stage role as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.
“Of course, I fell in love with the actor playing Romeo,” she said. “It’s psychological. When you play Juliet, you have to fall in love with Romeo, right? But it was complicated. Romeo was dating the choreographer and his father was the director, so the drama backstage may have equaled the drama onstage.”
For the time being though, her passion has shifted to the music world, which she is clearly enjoying.
“The music scene is so much fun,” she said. “Once it came to me, it was a really big surprise. It’s amazing how open people are, always looking for that next new fresh thing, which is different than Hollywood, which looks for the safe bet. It’s a wonderful industry that is very open-minded.”
Even in her relatively short stint in music, Meital has witnessed an evolving shift of power in the industry. “This new era is interesting. The power is transferring to the DJ and the people, similar to online. We’re taking the power back and giving it to the audience. It’s more interactive and more social.”
And Miami is all about being social. WMC fits that mold and Meital is quite enamored with the Magic City. Staying at the Soho Beach House and coming off of a late night on the second floor following her appearance at the International Dance Music Awards, it’s a scene that she had not associated with Miami during past visits. “The last time I was here was six or seven years ago and I think that Miami is now the coolest city in the US,” she said. “I can’t believe what has happened here.”
The actress is quite aware of Miami’s strong Israeli population and usually feels a great bond when she runs into people from her homeland. “We always seem to find a connection to back home. Israel is my first home and the United States is my second home. I was doing so many projects back home that I became a part of the culture. I’m proud of what was accomplished in Israel.”
On the fashion front, Meital admits to never saying “no” to Chanel, but, like so many artists, does not let brand names define her style. She describes her fashion choices as eclectic. She can combine an inexpensive dress from her friend’s boutique with Chanel accessories, Gucci Shoes, or mix and match to echo how she feels.
Her favorite designer is Marco Marco out of LA, who works with many musicians and does the costume design for her shows.
With technique and training grounded in the theatre and a sexy carefree persona that has translated effectively to the music scene, Meital seems poised for success that will equal her accomplishments back home. Watch out Gaga, Meital is coming.