Michelle Jeanpierre is amazing! I am thrilled to have been able to interview her! Her answers have inspired me and they are sure to inspire you too.
Above: Michelle Jeanpierre on the cover of Natural Muscle Magazine
MICHELLE JEANPIERRE: I originally moved to Vancouver in 2003 to pursue a career as a professional dancer! I had been dancing for a while in the city and doing a couple of small back-up dancing jobs and casino style shows to make money, when someone approached me to come in for a stunt performer job on Scary Movie 4. I guess they needed a performer with a certain aesthetic, and at the time they couldn't think of anyone in the industry who fit the description so someone in my network suggested me. So I went in and met with the directors and they booked me in for my very first stunt job. That was in 2004. I also worked my first fitness conventions in Las Vegas and California that year after being approached by a supplement company owner at my local gym. I didn't start competing till 2007. I took several consecutive 1st place wins that year. Acting is an art that I've had the opportunity to explore throughout my stunt career. I'm currently working with a private acting coach and looking to branch out a bit more this year : )
AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a stunt performer/actress/fitness model, or did you have other career aspirations when you were younger?
MJ: I've always just wanted to perform, for as long as I can remember...I grew up in Victoria BC and started in my 1st ballet class at the age of 3. And all through elementary school I danced 8 classes/week. I had my own bus pass and would catch the bus downtown after school to make it to my dance classes. I joined a dance company and we would perform all around the city at different venues and always using different sized stages etc. The scenario would always change and it taught me to quickly learn new blocking, choreography, and to hit my ever changing stage marks...all of these skills are paramount to what I'm doing in my life now. That said, I've got a broad spectrum of interests, but at the core of it I've always wanted to be a performer.
AVIVA: What achievements in your career are you most proud of?
MJ: What am I most proud of?? Hmmm...probably my perseverance. It's not an easy life to be a performer. There are many peaks and valleys. The highs are incredibly high, and the lows are usually accounted for by the "waiting" that is involved. If I can offer some advice on this it would be this: Don't ever spend your time "waiting" for things to happen! Be proactive, keep yourself busy, have a positive thought process, explore interests and talents and try lots of new things, and practise the things that you love doing...because the great opportunities in life will come when they come. But if you're always waiting...they seem to take so much longer.
AVIVA: How did you get started? What was(were) your biggest challenge(s) when you were first starting out, and how did you overcome them?
MJ: I've sort of answered the 1st part of this question in #1. My biggest challenge starting out was probably getting myself in front of the right people. And since you can't just walk on to a film set and introduce yourself, I had to consistently send out my packages and try and be seen. So I would send my headshots off every month to the production offices and just HOPE that they actually made it into the right hands! I overcame that challenge by persevering. I was told from Day 1 that the stunt industry doesn't just "let people in". It takes on average about 5 years of pushing till you can start performing regularly. PERSEVERANCE KIDS! Don't give up on your dreams. At times I've questioned some of my decisions, but I can tell you now that I'm so happy that I stuck with it. I'm actually getting to live out my dream! I'm just like anyone, it's funny because people seem to get the idea that success is an instant thing and that it only happens to some people...what people don't see are the years leading up to it...there are usually lots blood, sweat and tears that are exerted before success is achieved.
AVIVA: What does the average day look like for you?
MJ: There really are no average days, my schedule is constantly changing. I'll think that I finally have a chill week coming up when I'll get a call and BAM....gotta jump out of a moving car. But that's what I love about it, constant change. Some people need stability, I thrive on excitement. One constant in my routine is that I train most days for an hr/day with intensity, sometimes more depending on what I've got coming up.
AVIVA: What piece of advice do you have for aspiring models who would like to get published?
MJ: Some advice I have for aspiring models who would like to get published is to only shoot with good photographers!!! If you're starting out in your career, it's worth it to find someone whose work you like and pay to have a shoot with them to get your portfolio started.
AVIVA: What are some of your upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?
MJ: Some upcoming projects to look out for are probably the shows I've worked on in the last 3 weeks. I'm appearing as Melinda Lane in the 100th episode special of the hit TV series PSYCH that is airing on USA Network. And you won't know it's me, but I just stunt doubled the character "Anna" on Steven Seagal's TV series True Justice 2. And I've just been cast as the surfer girl (actor/stunt performer) in a feature film called Prime Evil that should be out later this year. I don't know dates yet, but if I find out in advance I will be posting on my Facebook Public Figure Fan Page "Michelle Jeanpierre" so I invite you to LIKE my page if you'd like to keep up on these types of updates.
AVIVA: What are your favorite foods?
MJ: My fridge is generally full of clean eats. Lots of organic produce, chicken, fish, yams, oatmeal, nuts, protein powder...that sort of stuff. When I go out to eat my fave foods are anything ethnic. I love Japanese, Thai, East Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese....but my fave clean staple is definitely going out for sushi. I also love a good steak every now and then, and turkey meatballs!
AVIVA: What exercises do you enjoy the most?
MJ: These days I enjoy switching it up frequently. Truth is, I spent a few years competing and got into the habit of always lifting heavy...I loved training back, glutes/hamstrings, chest/Tri's....let's just say I LOVE TRAINING! But these days I'm doing a lot of body weight exercises, spin classes, and outdoor training. I am making a conscious effort to streamline my physique as this is a much more marketable look for a female in the film industry. Right now my training focus is on performance, ability, and improving my skill set. The fortunate side effect of this type of training is strong lean physique.
AVIVA: What exercises do you enjoy the most?
MJ: If you'd like to stay in contact with me and hear about my fave workouts/recipes/life/updates and general misadventures, I invite you to subscribe and contribute to my Public Figure Page on Facebook! I also write articles for various fitness publications so I will be posting tear sheets up there from time to time as well. I would also like to mention that I am the female face of Canada's leading Mixed Martial Arts organization "AGGRESSION FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP". If you are a fan MMA, I've attached a link to the AFC site so you can visit there to find updates on upcoming events and breaking news from the world of MMA. We've just undergone a major company merger so the site is currently under construction but will be up and running very soon if it's not already. So stay tuned!
I would like to thank Michelle for this interview and I wish her all the best. :)