Don’t let fear control you. I didn’t do things at the start of my career because I was I didn’t think I was ready. It was mostly just fear and self-doubt. Never pass on a good opportunity because you are afraid.
As a part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Michelle Harris.
Michelle Harris is a national television personality, actor, producer and lifestyle expert. Michelle hosts and produces Alive & Well, her national lifestyle series, as well as being one of the media’s leading lifestyle experts.
Michelle has hosted, written and produced more than 200 television segments and over 100 videos. On the production side, Michelle is a force of nature who takes projects from concept to production to post to airing.
Michelle appears regularly on the red carpets for Hollywood events and premiers. She is a sought after lifestyle expert and guest for TV shows, radio shows, magazine interviews and live events. She is also devoted to animal causes and is the founder of Animal Angels, a celebrity-based animal rescue and advocacy group in Hollywood.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
As a child, I loved animals and science. I thought I was going to be a veterinarian. During college I realized that I was not going to be a very good surgeon. My roommate studied theater and communications. She brought me with her to some classes, and I was hooked! Our television series, Alive & Well enables me to combine science and communications. It’s the best of both worlds!
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
After college, I was doing free cooking classes in Whole Foods. I wanted to help people to learn to gain healthier eating habits. I had been auditioning and working on producing a completely different type of show. My husband actually had the idea to create a television show around lifestyle and wellness. That is how Alive & Well came into existence.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I wish it was just one thing. The most interesting thing over my career so far has been working behind the camera, not just in front of it. Building relationships with networks and working with some amazing creative talent. I found that what goes on behind the scenes is much crazier than the shows themselves.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Everyone makes mistakes at the start of their career and throughout your career. If you didn’t, how would you learn? Know that if you are on-set and wearing a mic, everyone can hear you, even if you aren’t on camera at the moment. Many funny situations may ensue.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Alive & Well and everything I have done is a team effort. I have been really fortunate to have a wonderful partner with my husband. I have also had a few incredible mentors when I was in theater school and at work. The head of a theater group I was in taught me about acting, navigating the business and just being a good person.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
Many people want to work in entertainment. You have to work extremely hard so make sure it’s your passion. If it is something you love then realize that rejection comes with it and you have to be able to dust yourself off and keep going.
What drives you to get up everyday and work in TV and Film? What change do you want to see in the industry going forward?
I am so fortunate to be able to do what I love. A big part of Alive & Well and our company is helping people. That is what drives me. I already see the industry becoming more diverse and inclusive. We have more to do, but we are heading in the right direction.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
We are excited about going back into production on Alive & Well! Right now, the ability to do a new season is amazing. We expect to be on set soon! We also have a new show coming out in fall of 2021. I can’t say much about it right now, but it should be very exciting!
We create shows that are positive, but entertaining. Our company was created with that purpose in mind.
We are very interested in looking at diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture and our youth growing up today?
Diversity is important in every industry! Because what you see on screen is a part of our lives as well as a reflection of our lives, it should be inclusive. I really feel that we are on our way!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Work harder! I have always worked hard but you have to be prepared to put in the time. In the end, it’s worth it.
- Don’t let fear control you. I didn’t do things at the start of my career because I was I didn’t think I was ready. It was mostly just fear and self-doubt. Never pass on a good opportunity because you are afraid.
- No ego. Your ego just gets in the way of creativity. Check it at the door
- Take care of yourself. I am fortunate to host a lifestyle television series, so I have plenty of reminders about self-care. Especially now, we need to take care of ourselves to be our best and help others.
- The inside is as important as the outside. Don’t just look good, do good. It’s easy to focus on our image but as a creator and performer, doing good will add depth to your craft and make you a better person.
Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.
I eat a plant based diet and attribute that to my health and wellbeing.
I also take supplements to enhance my diet and address specific needs. I love Sambucol Black Elderberry products to help support a healthy immune system. That is incredibly important to my health.
In addition, I meditate and exercise to help reduce stress. I am definitely a type A personality, so I have to work at keeping my stress levels down.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of the rules I live by may sound trite, but it’s the truth. Treat people and animals the way you would like to be treated yourself. Being a person of character will help you go far. It’s something we need more of in life.
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I do a great deal of volunteer work, especially with animals. I would love to live in a world where animals are not killed or abused. I am part of the animal advocacy group, Animal Angels. We are working to make the world a better place for people and animals.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would love to have lunch with Michelle Obama. She is amazing! She is strong, educated and graceful under pressure. She’s a modern day Jackie O.
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
On Instagram you can find me @michelleharris_tv and on FB https://www.facebook.com/AliveandWellTV/
You can also visit the website for our television series, Alive & Well at www.aliveandwell.tv and click through to our social platforms.
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!