Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2020 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters.
This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lieutenant JG Melody Delri’ise playing a female Kerelian/Argelian Tactical Officer assigned to the USS Juneau. She won the Sisko Tactical Cross: “The Sisko Tactical Cross is a duty post award and is awarded to those Tactical officers who have shown cunning and bravery in battle. Master strategists, and experts in targeting and shield power distribution, these officers have done the impossible to save their ship and the lives of its crew.“
Tierney: Tell us a little about the writer behind the character — where in the world do you hail from?
Delri’ise: Hello! I’m Ryan, and I write for Melody Delri’ise. I’m an 18 year old, small town drag performer hailing from the outskirts of Melbourne Australia.
As Captain Oddas Aria noted in her presentation, Delri’ise is seen as creative character that does not always fit the mold of a Tactical Officer. From where did you draw inspiration for this character?
Melody is a character I thought of on the fly and kind of built as I went. I wasn’t at all thinking about trying to make her different from the average tactical officer, or starfleet officer at that. My main thought process in creating her was figuring out how I could incorporate stuff like my love for theatre and performing, and recontextualizing that into a character that could exist in a world like Star Trek.
I drew on a lot of inspirations to put Melody’s character together. In particular I drew on two characters as my main influences for her personality. I chose Lisa Freymont from the Hitchcock movie Rear Window and I chose Leia Organa from the Star Wars series. One thing that always mesmerized me about these two characters in particular was how they drew on things like femininity and portrayed the idea of a strong female character that focused on traits that are particularly seen as very effeminate. I liked the idea of going against the grain of having to be overly stoic or emotionless to be seen as strong.
Another thing I wanted to focus on was giving Melody some kind of element of camp, or just a certain kind of dramatic flare. I’m very much inspired by cheesy 60s television and retrofuturism, which i feel is a fairly unused area within Trek. That, mixed in with an oddly ‘vintage’ or old timey feel is something I really enjoy portraying through Melody. It’s a very fun and chaotic mesh between what’s seen as very old fashioned qualities and what pretty much is the future.
Kerelian and Argelian are an interesting combination of species. How do you see their cultures coming together or diverging in Delri’ise?
The thing is, Kerelians and Argelians are probably some of the least well known species among 118. I could pretty much do whatever in terms of fleshing out Melody’s culture, all because there is basically nothing built around the cultures of either species. But in saying that, I really wanted to make a character that explored the ideas of what it’s like growing up around the culture of humans, but not exactly being human herself.
Melody is a character who I feel has gone through life creating her own journey, her own path and her own culture — mostly because she’s not exactly this one thing. She’s a hybrid, who looks human, grew up around humans, acts human, but doesn’t quite know where her journey has yet to take her. I see her as someone who lavishes in the idea of choosing her own family and building her worldview throughout her journey in starfleet. She’s someone I feel comes from a background you wouldn’t exactly expect for the origins of an average Starfleet officer.
One of Delri’ise’s hobbies is singing – hobbies often enrich characters and make them alive. How did you select this hobby and how does it play out in simming?
Singing directly plays into my character’s background in theatre. In my head, it made sense Melody’s talents would lay in less physical areas of performing, that being things like stage presence, singing and of course, acting. Personally I thought it would’ve been an interesting thing to add in seeing as Kerelians are known to have hearing and vocal gifts that are above and beyond that of most humanoids. In writing, it plays out as more of a generalised specialisation, as I haven’t done that much of a look into her hobbies off duty or her as a performer. Frequently I describe Melody’s voice as very “singy-songy” as I genuinely picture much of her delivery with lines as being quite melodic and fluid.
What advice would you have for a new Tactical Officer on how they can be the best they can be in the position?
Playing a Tactical Officer can be a very daunting role to play. Usually I’d say, think how your character would think, and remember to think outside the box. This is Star Trek after all, this is an environment that encourages out of the box thinking to abstract problems that are presented in character. Don’t be afraid to go in depth with descriptions for what could be happening outside the ship, similarly to that of a Science Officer, on a mission you have the opportunity to move the plot forward in ways other duty posts can’t. Use that to your advantage and have fun with it! We could all use more great tacticians in the fleet.
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant JG Delri’ise!
You can read more about Lieutenant JG Delri’ise on the wiki.