Michele Lawson was born in New York City. She received her education in NYC and eventually started working for the City of New York. However, Michele soon discovered a keen interest in modeling and the performing arts. This interest lead her right to the runway, where she began developing and refining her confidence in front of audiences. It was at that time, Michele knew she was destined to do so much more, almost instantly she excelled and began walking the runway for such events as Runway the Real Way, Jersey City Fashion Week, Harlem Week’s “ A Great Day in Harlem Fashion Event”, New York Fashion Week, Fashion on the Hudson Fashion Show and Caribbean Fashion Week in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Michele continued her passion and went on to do in-store showings for such brands as Ashley Stewart, Dress Barn, The Fur Man, Estelle’s Dresses and more. Not only did her experience provide an excellent outlet for the enthusiastic and energetic star in the making, it would also prove to be a fortunate precursor for the start of her professional acting career.
What first sparked your interest in modeling and acting and which came first?
I actually always wanted to be an actress, but it was my parents who didn’t think that was a realistic career. I started taking acting classes in high school and then my second year of college. I took several theater and beginner acting classes. Then in 2004, I decided to live out my dream and pursue acting full time. The modeling came years later in 2010 when a friend asked me if I wanted to model for her designer. So after that first runway show and walking in the Harlem Week Grants Tomb Show, where I was also featured in the Amsterdam Newspaper, I was hooked. I have worked as a paid model in fit, catalog, print and runway. As a paid actress I appeared in two plays, one on Broadway, one off Broadway, several television shows and movies.
You have been in 3 Denzel Washington movies. How did you accomplish that?
When I actually saw Mr. Washington I told him he looked just like,Denzel Washington and he laughed at me. It all started with my head shot. I was working with an awesome photographer, and I had a great headshot. I booked a lot of work by just submitting my headshot/ resume to several casting directors or production companies. I was very fortunate and appreciate all of my blessings.
What projects are you currently working on?
Since all of my work has been as a freelance model and actress, I am more focused on working with a talent manager and a commercial agent. I am also taking classes behind the camera. And writing a book. Shhhh. The rest is a work in progress, and I will divulge real soon, lol!
We are hearing more and more how the roles for Blacks are limited in the film industry. Is that why you switch back and forth between modeling and acting and what are your thoughts on such issues?
I love acting and being in front of the camera, but I also enjoy modeling as well. I guess when you look at it , they both entail being in front of the camera and having acting skills does come in handy when you are modeling too. I think they both go hand in hand. I am now more selective when it comes to the projects that I choose. Some projects are just not for me, and I know where I fit in the industry. It saddens me when some people feel like you should not be paid or don’t understand why only you feel that you should be paid. I think that I have paid my dues, and I don’t want to consider any projects where I am not compensated.
Once before when we talked you shared that you have adult children, how do you maintain your youthful appearance?
Well, I just turned 50 last week, and I try to eat right, exercise when I can get it in, and spend time on my personal growth as well as spend time with my family. I try not to sweat the small stuff and enjoy life. I write poetry, travel, and ride horses when time permits. I think that staying busy keeps you youthful too. No, there are definitely not enough hours in a day. I do drink a lot of water and my only vice is shopping!
What are some of your favorite staple pieces for the upcoming warm months?
As I focus on slimming down and toning up, I do plan to change up my wardrobe. I am very conservative, but do want to be more daring. I will wear more bold colors, patterns and show a little more skin, in moderation of course. My skirts will be above the knee, flatter my shape and colors accentuate my skin tone. I will also incorporate more denim, maybe add a few midriff tops, pencil skirts, A-line dresses and definitely some lace or sheer tops, especially, when I am not working as a clinic manager or real estate agent. I will still dress professionally as well as on the conservative side when needed but sexy and trendy.
What advice would you give to other women who may be a little bit older in age but are still yearning to pursue the entertainment industry?
There is a vast market for the mature woman, and you really need to do your research. Find out where you fit and decide whether the entertainment industry will be a career or just a hobby. There is a difference. A person that is serious should focus on investing in themselves by taking the necessary training (which is important in modeling and acting), do their homework, take professional photos, obtain their demo acting reel, have a marketable comp card and headshot, and work really hard at achieving success in this industry.
Please list your website and social network plugs.
My name is shelleymichele70 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I am Michele Lawson on LinkedIn. My websitewww.michelelawsonent.com.