SO, we are in the midst of March Madness…
I personally have not made a bracket because I lack much … ( any ) … knowledge of basketball. :’)
I played basketball when I was a wee-one, but haven’t kept it top of mind since. One of my many nicknames is STILL “Four Points” b/c I averaged 4 points a game one season. You could say that was my peak ??
My dad however is a BALLER. Well – he keeps up with basketball.
While I was taking a bus from Madison to O’Hare, getting ready to kick off my SPRING BREAK, my dad was flying to Atlanta to support the Loyola Ramblers as they faced off the Nevada wolf pack in the Sweet Sixteen.
Thankfully, the Ramblers came out with a “W” – prolly with a blessings of Sister Jean!
( even though she predicted that the Ramblers would take the “L” this game but SHHH, don’t tell my dad !! )
As a basketball nubie, I don’t know much about the ~lingo~. BUT, I am aware of a TRIPLE THREAT…
It’s when you are an actress, TV personality, and cook, right??!
OH WAIT – I’m thinking of Michel Janse… HAH – see what I mean about “basketball nubie”?!
Michel Janse is a dime who has made a name for herself in LA.
She grew up in Texas and started school at University of Texas Austin – only to find herself packing up her life into a suitcase and moving to LA. ( “with a dream and *her cardigan” … )
Janse hustled her way into the Tastemade’s team while studying nutrition, acting, working in a restaurant, creating YouTube videos and creating DANK A$$ FOOD!
Without further ado – here is the woman behind Tastemade’s Pretty Healthy cam., Michel Janse!
Hails: How did you become interested in nutrition?
MJ: My interest in nutrition started pretty young when doctors found out that lactose-intolerance and fructose-intolerance were the cause of my continuous 9-month migraine in 4th grade. I started to learn how food affected my body, and wanted to research it further. Then, fast forward to high school when I was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease after some major medical complications. If that wasn’t enough, a blood test revealed I had an egg allergy. Soon after, I got really into cooking for myself out of necessity, and then decided it would be fun and helpful to major in something within that field!
Hails: Where did you learn to bake and cook? You mentioned that you worked at an upscale restaurant. What did you do at the restaurant and what did you take away from that experience? Any tips for someone who is just starting out in the kitchen?
MJ: Yes! I learned a lot from experimenting at home, reading cookbooks, and watching a lot of Tastemade. When I moved to LA and needed a job, I started working as a hostess at a restaurant. I told the chef there about my dreams and goals, and he offered to hire me to learn hands-on. (He said the kitchen needed a little diversity, hah! I was the only female, the youngest by a lot, and the only one with no prior professional experience). I learned a lot on the line, and eventually left the job when crazy kitchen hours conflicted with auditions too much. I’d say research as much as you can and never be afraid to take a job where you learn hands-on!
Hails: You’re originally from Austin, but moved to LA – why did you move? Were you nervous about the move? Did you have any connections to LA prior to moving?
MJ: Funny story… I moved because of a breakup. I made a dumb teenage mistake of following a boy to a college that I didn’t want to go to, University of Texas at Austin. When that relationship crashed and burned, I decided to do something I have always wanted to do—move to LA. I moved out of my Austin apartment the day after the breakup and was in LA within about 10 days. I was 18 years old and did not know a single person here but it was the best decision of my life. Weirdly, I wasn’t worried about the move. I was eager to follow my dreams. I had to figure out how to navigate the city, the industry and make friends all on my own. But so much greatness has already happened in two years, not to mention meeting Brook, my boyfriend.
Hails: Tell us about your experience in acting (Cupid’s Match)! Where do you hope to take your acting career?
MJ: Yes, I am so excited about it! I started acting pretty young; I signed with my first agency at age nine. Cupid’s Match is based off a book with over 32 million reads on WattPad. The pilot went really well and we are waiting to hear if we get the whole series! (Fingers crossed). My long term acting goal is to be able to support myself financially off of it alone. That doesn’t sound like a big goal but less than 1% of actors can get by without a side job. I absolutely love acting and I am here for the long-run!
Hails: How did you end up working in TasteMade?
MJ: Another funny story… I was simply annoying. It was a goal of mine for a long time. I made a super low-quality YouTube channel and made cooking videos on my Saturdays. Every time I saw a job or internship opening at Tastemade, I would apply and link my channel. About 5 tries later, they called me in for a job interview. I didn’t get the job, but when I told them about my goals, they called me in for an audition. I started with a couple episodes and then they gave me my own show, Pretty Healthy. It’s been a dream come true! I’m working on Season 2 right now.
Hails: Has your experience acting helped you with your show on TasteMade, Pretty Healthy? What inspired you to start a YouTube channel and do you have any advice for girls just starting off on YouTube?
MJ: Acting has definitely helped. Being comfortable in front of a camera is essential. Tastemade is even enrolling us talent into an improv. class to help us all be even more comfortable. As far as YouTube, I’m probably not the best one to ask, HA! I am fully aware that my channel is low quality. Of course, I’d love to make it better! But right now it’s kind of a fun hobby whenever I have time.
Hails: What advice do you have for girls who want to pursue their dreams?
MJ: Take risks. Reach out to people via email. Nothing good happens when you’re comfortable. Put yourself in new situations! Ask for opportunities! The worst-case scenario is you’d be told no, and then you’re at the same place you are now.
Hails: How did you balance acting with being a student?
MJ: Honestly, I’m at a season of life right now where I always feel a little overwhelmed. I just accepted a new job as a personal assistant, taking a full load of classes, recipe prepping for Tastemade, going to auditions, working at my church, and dating my boyfriend who lives a couple hours away. But, I have learned I am happiest when I have a to-do list. I’m the type that can’t really relax. The only time my TV is on is when I’m cleaning or folding laundry. The only time I go to the beach is when I have to read or to workout. I guess I have gotten really good at multi-tasking. Also, I am extremely type A. I plan my day out to the minute. I’ve learned I do mental work best in the morning and physical work best in the afternoon.
Hails: How do you see your future in acting meshing with your passion for nutrition? Do you hope to pursue them together, separately, or focus on one?
MJ: I really hope to do what I’m doing now! My manager and I have dreams of maybe having my own show on Food Network. I’ll always pursue acting separately as well. I love the essence of acting and being a completely new person. I’d love to write a cookbook too.
Hails: Happy 21st birthday, girly! How did you spend your birthday week celebrating?!
MJ: Awe, thank you! My family flew in from Texas and we went to Palm Springs for a week. My 21st was actually alcohol-free, per my choice. I had so much more fun at the spas than going out and drinking!
Hails: Your special on TasteMade, Pretty Healthy, will have another season, congrats!! What can we expect for Season 2?
MJ: Thanks! More sweets. Those were the fan favorites. More Paleo recipes too. And of course, lots of chocolate.
Hails: Where can we find you?
Thanks so much Michel!
LMK what you thought on my latest TWEET ( @allhailsthekale ) !