Myra “Maneepat” Molloy prefers not to watch old videos of herself singing on live TV. The 22-year-old graduate of Berklee’s songwriting program won the first season of Thailand’s Got Talent at age 13, and went on to compete on ABC’s singing competition, Rising Star, judged by Brad Paisley, Kesha, and Ludacris, before accepting what may have been her biggest challenge: completing college while touring with a Broadway show.
“It was a lot of pressure, but at the end of the day, it really kick started my career,” she says, “It was very scary and very stressful to be on live television, telling yourself you can’t screw up because there are people watching and voting for you.”
These live singing competitions were the ultimate preparation for what was to follow: the chance to voice Moana in Thai, act in the HBO Asia show Half Worlds, and play the alternate lead role of Kim in the national Broadway tour of Miss Saigon, all while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston on scholarship. When juggling her education and blossoming career, she contemplated dropping out—before learning that she could complete her degree through Berklee Online.
“There was no way I wasn’t going to get my degree,” says Myra. “I worked so hard for more than three years and I wasn’t going to put it on hold. I know if I put it on hold, I was never going to finish.”
During her last semester at Berklee, Myra received the news that she would be going on tour with Miss Saigon. After talking with her advisors, and with some encouragement from Berklee President Roger H. Brown, she arranged to complete her remaining 10 credits online. She took five months off from her coursework to adjust to her rigorous performance schedule, performing eight shows per week with two shows on Saturday and Sunday. Monday was her only day off and she spent it working on her coursework from her hotel room.
“During the day, literally from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to work, I was doing coursework,” she says. “Needless to say it was very challenging and stressful to juggle all of it. But I was determined to get my degree so I was willing to do anything and I put in the work.”
Myra walked at Commencement in May 2019. One month later, she was back in Boston with Miss Saigon. President Brown and Music Production Instructor Erin Barra were there to cheer her on from the audience.
“Myra Molloy absolutely owned the lead role of Kim in Miss Saigon tonight,” said Brown in a Facebook post. “… Myra got the role with one year to go at Berklee and has been able to finish her degree through Berklee Online while on the national tour—due both to her work ethic and the unique Berklee Online option.”
Myra says that President Brown has advocated for her career since she first started at Berklee, making sure she was able to pursue the opportunities that arose while not compromising her education.
“President Brown has been supportive of me all through my Berklee career,” says Myra. “He cares about all his students. It’s really special to have someone who understands, and cares, and supports you like that.”
Myra completed her run with Miss Saigon and recently filmed a TV show in Canada. She lives in New York where she continues to audition.
“The best thing about being in the industry is you don’t have to lock yourself down to one thing,” says Myra. “I can write songs but here I’m doing voiceover, and now I’m doing a Broadway musical. That’s the most amazing, magical thing about being in this industry is you can always hop around and do other things.”
Featured photo by MurphyMade.