MEET: Melissa Faatz, bartender/model

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Melissa Faatz of Taylor.

Melissa Faatz is a bartender and professional model. Faatz, 34, is a native of Old Forge and a 1998 graduate of Old Forge High School. She also studied at Luzerne County Community College. She has three daughters: Julianna, 17, Angelina, 16, and Caydence, 12. They live in Taylor.

You’ve bartended for eight years, and recently started working at the Longhorn Steakhouse at The Shoppes at Montage. What do you like about bartending? I’m really personable, so it’s easy for me. Names, I can’t remember, but I can remember drinks, and people appreciate that. When you come back in, I may not know your name, but you’re drink will be waiting.

The modeling that you do is unique, in that you do nude modeling for art classes. How did you get into that? I was approached by the owner of a local art gallery, and he asked me if I was interested. It’s a difficult question to ask: ‘Do you want to take your clothes off and model?,’ so he was trying to feel me out to see if I was comfortable. My first time doing it, I was nervous. I was on a pedestal, up high, and there were eight to 10 people in the room. And you just take it off, and you’re out there. But it was so professional, within five minutes, it was like I had clothes on. It was interesting.

In addition to the art gallery, you’ve also modeled at a few of the local colleges, correct? Yes. Keystone College and Marywood University.

How does it feel to see a nude painting or drawing of yourself? That’s a good question. I like to see other people’s interpretations of me. I walk around the room, and I look at all of the artists’ drawings. A professor once said to me, ‘Isn’t it amazing to be immortalized on paper?’ I told her I never really thought about it that way, but I am flattered by it. To see different people’s perspectives is really neat.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I’m a dirty hippy at heart. I love to go on hikes. I can’t wait for summer, because I really do enjoy being outdoors. And I love to cook.

Any other interests or hobbies? I collect crystals. My religious preference is Wicca. I also love to read, and I dabble with Reiki.

All-time favorite music? “It’s a tossup between The Beatles and Radiohead. And I love Mumford & Sons and Pink Floyd. I’m really eclectic with music. I even like old big band music. I love it.

Follow sports? I like the Patriots. I don’t really follow them, but if they’re doing good, I’ll watch it. They’re a good team. A lot of people think they’re a cheating team, but I think they’re alright.

Favorite color? Blue.

First car? It was a brown K-car. Probably around an ’85.

Favorite city? New York. There’s an electric feeling there. It’s amazing.

Favorite vacations spot? I’ve been to Cancun twice. They were the only vacations I’ve been on where I didn’t get homesick. I would live on the beach.

Favorite thing about NEPA? I don’t like winter, but I love that we have a change of seasons. It’s a beautiful area. We live in the mountains. And it’s a nice area to raise your kids.

Favorite food? Indian.

Favorite holiday? Halloween.

All-time favorite movie? “Donnie Darko.”

All-time favorite TV show? “Twilight Zone.” I watch the marathons every New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July. I love it.

Favorite quote or catch phrase? “The world moves for love. It kneels before it in awe” – from the movie “The Village.”

Guilty pleasure? Rumple Minze. It’s really not pleasurable to drink. It just gets the job done.

What might surprise even your friends about you? I’m an ordained minister. I’ve officiated three weddings, and I have another one that I’m doing on October 31.

Most influential person? The person who influenced me the most, and actually changed my faith, which was a defining moment in my life, was my Aunt Kathy. I lived with her for a few months when I was 15, and she went to Salem, and she brought me back a couple of Wiccan books, which she thought I’d be interested in. And that changed me. Once I got into Wicca, it changed my life. It changed the way I see people and things, it changed the way I react to situations, and it changed the way I live my life.