The ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ star was determined to make it as a singer and dancer and when she got to her later teen years her mother Arlene got her a fake ID so she could pass for 21 and encouraged her ambitious daughter to get out on the New York club scene and meet people who could help her realise her dream.
Michelle – who moved from New Jersey to New York City to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan – said: “My mother sent me a fake ID. She said, ‘You have no excuses if you wanna be discovered you need to go out to a bar.’ And it worked.”
Michelle was noticed on the club circuit and first found success as a member of dance-pop group Seduction and it was her nights out partying that resulted in her meeting her life-long friend RuPaul, the now-world famous drag queen whom she has worked with for years on his talent shows.
The partners in crime met by total chance on a staircase, when RuPaul grabbed her out of the blue.
Speaking on the ‘Tom Read Wilson has words with…’ podcast, she spilled: “I was walking down some dark steps this beautiful brown-skinned boy grabs me by the arm and he says, ‘You have the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen.’”
The then 17-year-old Michelle was swiftly led into an underground world of flamboyant drag and readily acknowledges that moment was “where it all started” for her in showbiz.
She said: “Dorothy clicked her heels three times and ended up back in Kansas. I clicked my heels three times and ended up on Christopher Street in New York City. That’s where my LGBT journey began.
Michelle – who has appeared on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ – would go on to have more music success, become a radio host and work on a number of shows with RuPaul – full name RuPaul Andre Charles – before joining ‘Drag Race’.