We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Vogel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, how do you think about risk?
To be completely honest, you know when you’re a kid and you and your friends have a cool idea to [insert cool idea here]? I was the one in the back saying, “Are we sure we should be doing this?” I was not much of a risk taker I must say, so its almost comical the 180 I’ve made when it comes to the risk taking business. I started my career off in a 9-5 sales job. Loved the company, the people, you name it, but was extremely unhappy because I was too afraid to take the risk to just “try” what I really wanted to do. You know, we work, what, 30% of our lives, so why not spend that time doing what you love? It’s your life, so live it for yourself. I decided I don’t want to live within the confines of what society says I should do. I don’t want to be on my death bed thinking “Man, I wish I would have done that” I want to be thinking “Daaaang, I can’t believe I did that”. This change in perspective was and continues to be extremely liberating because it has allowed me to give myself permission to take necessary risks in my career and life that has pushed me further along in the success of my dreams, put me in front of the type of people I want to be around in my life and grow in ways I never thought I could. If you don’t take the risk, you don’t reap the reward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I find acting and filmmaking to be one of the most beautiful forms of art. I love that it allows me to use my person to share truth, evoke emotion and capture/highlight the beauties of the human condition. Growing up I always searched for that creative outlet that made sense for me. I started off in dance as a professional sports dancer. One of the most exciting moments was when I first made the Silver Dancers for the San Antonio Spurs (NBA). Standing in that tunnel, waiting to run out on court for intros, I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I feel so grateful for the memories I made, especially during NBA playoffs and ending my time there with a championship ring. From dance, to graphic/web design & creative directing to musical theater, acting has definitely helped me grow the most. One of my proudest moments as an artist was on the set of All the Difference, a film directed by John Bombay Gutierrez. I had a breakthrough moment, allowing me to be completely vulnerable on camera for the first time. It was also a great opportunity to collaborate with filmmakers keen on giving voices to underrepresented communities in film.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
LA has so many great spots, especially if you’re a big movie buff! One of my favorite things to do is to get a list of movie or show locations and find them! LA has such a rich history in film and its a fun way to see the city while snapping some fun movie locations. Something cool to check out is Jazz Night at LACMA near the Urban Lights. It’s a great way to picnic with friends while listening to wonderful music. While in LA you definitely have to soak in the amazing views whether you go hiking or hit up one of the many beaches. If you’re looking for a great beach spot I would recommend Hermosa Pier. It has all the fun restaurant/ bars with a more local vibe. Of course, you can’t forget the great gems around the city from the classic Hollywood Blvd, Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills, you name it. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people who have helped me on my journey. I’d love to give recognition and dedicate this Shoutout to all of my loved ones. Without them, I wouldn’t have had the courage to pursue my dreams. They truly are the backbone to my success. Also, I would love to give a special shoutout to my mentor and acting coach Doug Warhit, who has helped mold me into the actor I am today.
Tony Garcia Robert Kazandjian Shanti Campbell