Talented Artist Michelle Tomlinson Talks to TV Grapevine

Tell me about yourself and career.

I’m a single mama and I am blessed to have the most amazing and epic daughter in the world. She inspires my every breath, every day.

I am what would be considered a multi-hyphenate in the entertainment industry. I’ve been fortunate to book a lot of Acting gigs, I coach Actors, and I’m working a lot behind the camera these days.

What projects are you working on now?

I’m currently Directing two Documentaries (Rise of the Millennial and Edge), Casting a groundbreaking Narrative Podcast (Frijoles y Arroz), Directing a hilarious Comedy Spec Pilot (Deeply Superficial) and I’m releasing my first children’s book in the fall. (Growing up May)

What attracted you to them?

I am drawn to stories that need to be told. Everything we put out there has weight to it, an importance and urgency that needs to be shared. The various teams of people I am working with all share the same vision and we all work together seamlessly to tell each story.

With RISE OF THE MILLENNIAL, my partner Kimberly Amato and I feel that it’s important that older generations understand this is the first generation raised during the reign of terror, school shootings, social media and technology at the tip of their fingertips at all times. Add a melting planet to that pot and you have an entire generation facing and dealing with things nobody before them ever has.

With EDGE, partner Lori Bowen and I dive into what it means when Native American people lose their language. It’s vital to the core values of our Indigenous population to have their languages intact. Their cultures, heritage, relationships with the earth and relationships with one another all hinge on their individual languages. I was inspired by a conversation with my dear friend James Mountain to dive into action.

Creator James Walter Charleston has a serious mission with his narrative Podcast, FRIJOLES y ARROZ: End sexual assault. In the time of the Me Too movement and my own personal stories of sexual assault, it was very easy to say yes to casting this Podcast. It’s set in a fictional town with rich, relatable, detailed characters woven into it with very real life issues and a beautiful thread of comedy that comes in just at the right moment.

DEEPLY SUPERFICIAL is an absolute stitch. With big, broad characters, Creator and Actor Keith Allen West has written a fabulous comedy that chronicles a gay entrepreneur Marc, played by West, who is deep in the turmoil of his midlife crisis. Loved & supported by his diverse and wildly inappropriate friends and family, Marc finds

his search for a healthy, productive life an hysterical team sport. I’m thrilled to be on board as the Director!

When I was pregnant, I was at the Japanese Gardens in Van Nuys, CA watching butterflies and ducks cruising around and the story for GROWING UP MAY suddenly sprouted in my mind. After several drafts of the book, my Mom used her mad watercolor skills to illustrate it and it went from an endearing story to a precious journey that chronicles the unconditional love between mother and daughter.

What do you hope fans like about it?

I hope that fans who knew me in the world of Indie Horror branch out into this new world with me and become inspired to take action in their own lives and help us all create a brighter, stronger and more sustainable life. (While being entertained, of course!)

What are some memorable moments from your career?

In 2015, Joe Williamson made it possible for me to receive a Humanitarian Award. It was the highlight of my career and life to that point, and happened very shortly before I became pregnant. That Award and the support was like the close of an epic chapter of my life—and thus began my incredible journey as a Mama.

What was the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge for Acting has always been bits about the business. I was always told I was either too skinny, not skinny enough, too tall, not tall enough, etc. etc. and that’s a challenging thing to constantly fight against. When I discovered that I just needed to be authentic, a lot more acting bookings came my way. You have to believe in yourself a million times more than anyone in your corner, because you’re the only one living in your skin. Nobody else can do the work but you.

What would be your dream project?

I’m grateful to say I’m currently living my dream projects and working with my dream teams, with every single project I’m involved in.

With that said, my fantasy would be to book an episode of Supernatural before it ends. It’s my favorite show and looks like an absolute blast to work on.

Who are some people you would like to work with?

Jim Beaver. He is incredibly talented and a very kind human. I think working with him would be pretty amazing.

I would also love to create a book of poetry in partnership with Ani DiFranco.

What else are you working on?

I’ve been writing a lot of poetry lately. I might wind up creating a compendium of poems that reflect what it’s like to not only survive but thrive while dealing with different traumas, divorce and grief. Me being the smartass I am, I will likely find a way to weave in some puns!

What is a fun fact that would surprise fans?

I absolutely love muscle cars. I love geeking out at car shows, checking them out and drooling over the engines and horsepower. Don’t confuse this with my being a knowledge base of fast cars, I am just a fan of them. My dream car is a ’69 Corvette Stingray or a ’67 Impala.

What are you watching on tv these days?

Stranger Things 3 was PHENOMENAL! I’ve also been digging on Riverdale, the Magicians, You and the Turkish TV Show The Protector. Loved the last seasons of The Punisher and Jessica Jones and I look forward to seeing what is cooked up for Season 15 of Supernatural.

Anything else you want to tell America?

I love you and I look forward to the day we can all come together and rise up in love and compassion for the earth and for each other—regardless of race, creed, religion, gender, etc. We need each other more now, than ever before.

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