Previous Cover Girls
TF: How did you get started in fitness?
MJ: I got started at a very young age; I actually started out as a dancer at the age of 5. By the time I was 10, I was doing 8 classes/week and dancing in a local company. Think “Dance Moms” but in the 80’s. Discipline, dedication and the fit lifestyle started quite young for me.
TF: When was your first fitness competition and what was the draw to that?
MJ: My very first fitness competition was in 2007. I did it because I was curious and wanted to try something new. I had already started my career as a stunt performer at that time, and was training every day but wasn’t working as often as I’d have liked. So it gave me something else to really focus my energy on. It worked out well too; I won 1st place at my first show! Most people don’t know this about me, but aside from dance etc, I was always a bit of a tom boy growing up. Getting up on that stage for the first time in a sparkly suit with 2 1/2 inches of fabric covering my bum and dressed like a show girl was a HUGE step for me!
TF: Wow; 1st place at your first show! Was your reaction to set your sights higher, or to look at doing something else?
MJ: This was a 1st place Fitness Model win and my reaction was to set my sights higher. I decided then and there to enter my first BCABBA show and compete in Figure, Which I did, and took home another 1st Place win! Actually, the “Best Overall” was between another girl and I. She won the show but later failed a drug test. Even though they do not go back and change things officially, I know in my heart I won it.
TF: How did you fall into modelling?
MJ: I started modelling after I started competing. I was always interested in modelling, and I thought that if I did well in the fitness shows that it might possibly open some doors for me. I looked up to the girls on the covers; my favourite at the time was Maggie Diubaldo (Holla Maggie!).
TF: Has fitness modelling changed since you started with it?
MJ: Oh YES! Fitness modelling and competing I’d say is a lot more mainstream these days! It’s literally an industry within itself. I’d also say that “the look” has evolved along with it and changes from year to year. I’m actually happy to see some of the “softer” physiques in the industry getting recognized by some of the more mainstream media. This can sometimes be a niche market, so it’s good to see some of the models cross over! Beauty/strength has many different looks, from the cut/vascular babes to fit curvy hotties, everyone’s good in my books!
TF: How about photographers.. There are many more following and working in the sport these days. What are your thoughts on this?
MJ: There are many talented photographers who produce different styles to work with. My advice for any aspiring models out there would be to do your research and look at the portfolios of your favourite models, see who they are working with!
TF: Can you describe your preferred method of exercise? Do you subscribe to one or more techniques?
MJ: These days I do a lot of Circuit style training and incorporate Tabata and plyometric movement. It’s extremely challenging! I also like to get outdoors as much as possible. Anything from running, to wake-boarding, yoga. I also find myself enjoying group fitness, it keeps things fun and social. I like to switch things up!
TF: Do you partake in any activities such as biking, running, etc?
MJ: I LOVE going for bike rides! And I usually run 8-10kms a few times a week. I also love to rollerblade (I know it’s very 90’s! lol) but it’s fun and a great way to get outdoors on an active rest day.
TF: Ok, enough small talk. Stunt Woman! Let’s talk about how you came to call this a day job..
MJ: I moved to Vancouver (from Victoria) when I was 20 to pursue a career as a professional dancer. As it turned out, the producers of Scary Movie 4 were looking for a stunt actor with a certain look but couldn’t find the right person to cast. Someone that I had met at the dance studio (who happened to be a stunt performer) actually referred me in! So I went down to Lion’s Gate Studios and met with the stunt coordinator and directors and they booked me. That’s when I fell in love with the film/television industry. Since then I have had some amazing opportunities and have worked with some incredibly talented and iconic people. I am so grateful for every opportunity that I am given. I am a girl from a small town, so to be a part of this industry has been a real dream come true for me. The best advice that was ever given to me was this: “Just watch and listen while you’re on set, learn as much as you can!” Being a stunt performer really is a team effort, you must trust your team mates and understand what is going on around you at all times. It’s truly exhilarating, I feel like I have one of the best jobs on earth!
TF: Is it easy to spot you? Can you name a few pictures/projects we might see your work?
MJ: I don’t think it’s ever easy to spot a stunt performer; it’s sort of designed that way But I’ve worked on projects such as True Justice with Steven Segal, The Cabin in the Woods, Aliens in America, Primeval, Scary Movie, Masters of Horror, Hellcats, Stargate, Psych to name a few. I am planning to release a demo reel this year to showcase some of my work.
TF: What’s next for Michelle?
MJ: Actually I’ve become quite the little entrepreneur! I am also working as a makeup artist. My company “Beauty n Bronze” is at all the fitness shows in western Canada and we provide top notch Tanning/Hair/Makeup services to the competitors for competition day and photo shoots. It’s exciting and a lot of fun…just ask my clients! Check us out on Facebook: Beauty n Bronze Professional Spray Tanning/Makeup/Hair Styling. Bookings and Inquiries: info@BeautynBronze.com
7 random questions:
TF: ABBA or Metallica?
TF: If you found yourself on death row, what would you have for your last meal?
TF: What’s the best vacation spot?
MJ: Tahiti~pink sand beaches!
TF: Name the one thing you cannot live without?
TF: If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
MJ: Flying.. because that would be AWESOME!
TF: What’s the craziest thing (that we can print) you’ve ever done?
MJ: That you can print? Hmmmm throwing myself down a flight of cement stairs at work (on purpose for a stunt….it just feels wrong!)
TF: What was the very last thing you purchased?
MJ: SPF Chapstick this weekend before house boating.. told you I loooove me some chapstick!
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