Photo by Jean Paul San Pedro
Sometimes, art imitates life. In the case of actor Mickaëlle X. Bizet, it wasn’t long ago she left Paris to become an au pair to a family in Boston. Unlike Gabrielle Durand, the character she plays in American Crime, she is on her way to having her dreams come true.
Now, when I heard that her last name was X. Bizet, I couldn’t get the opera Carmen out my head. She found that amusing because she was always curious is if she was somehow related to composer Georges Bizet. Well, if her career continues in this path the folks from Who Do You Think You Are? may reach out to her so she can find out for sure.
Bizet was born in Martinique but moved to Paris when she was a toddler. She studied English at La Sorbonne and trained to be a teacher at UMass Boston, a role she employs from time to time. In fact, she was preparing to see a very special student named Chloé right after our chat. While working as an au pair, she opted to take drama classes and committed to making her lifelong dream of being an actor come true.
The thoughtful and gracious Mickaëlle X. Bizet spoke with TheCelebrityCafe.com about her unique upbringing, her dual love for teaching and acting, what book changed her life, her love of learning languages, how she landed the role on American Crime, her favorite thing about the show, who is her favorite person, her charitable endeavors and more. Everyone will soon be talking about #TheFrenchBlackGirl
TheCelebrityCafe.com: So where are you from?
Mickaëlle X. Bizet: I was born in Martinique which is a French island, but I grew up in France on the mainland.
TCC: Can you tell me a little bit about your childhood?
MXB: Yeah, sure. My childhood, I mean, it’s literally in France because I was two and a half or something when we moved to Paris. And so, yeah, we moved to Paris. And I lived in — I don’t know if you know how Paris is set up? It’s different quarters. We call them arrondissements. At first, we lived in the tenth and then we moved right outside of Paris, but it’s still considered — well, it’s not considered, it is called the Parisian region. Although it’s a different department, but schooling is the same region. It’s kind of like the LA area. And so, yeah, from Paris we moved right outside in another city. And I grew up there until I went to college, to La Sorbonne in Paris. Moved back to Paris and then moved to the States. I mean, my childhood I was very much a dreamer, always. I was in my head dreaming about movies, dreaming about being on the set, dreaming about being an actress, dreaming about doing interviews [laughter]. That was literally me. Just in my head, making movies.
TCC: Is it true that you were trained to be a teacher?
MXB: Yeah, I’m a certified teacher. Yes. Secondary.
TCC: And how did you make the switch from teaching to being a performer? Although some could say both go hand in hand.
MXB: Oh my God! Yeah, you should see me in the classroom. It’s a show. It’s definitely a show. I’m a different type of teacher. I’m not your regular teacher. It’s very entertaining. Although it’s very demanding, what I ask of the kids. So they have this love-hate relationship with me. They always tell me like, “Oh my God. I hate the fact that I love you so much, Ms. X,” because I ask so much. I ask so much of them, but it’s fun if you do what you’re supposed to do. Otherwise, I just turn into Cruella de Vil. And I start as black urban Mary Poppins and then if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do it’s over. It’s Cruella de Vil coming out [laughter]. It wasn’t really a switch because as I said I was born with a desire to be an actress. I just became a teacher out of two things, my mom not wanting me to be an actress like a lot of moms want you to have a stable job. She wanted me to have a stable job. But mind you in my teaching career, I got laid off basically every year. So I was like, “Alright, mom. There you go. That stable job thing. You happy now?”
TCC: So much for stability [laughter].
MXB: Yeah, so much. Budget cuts. And I taught French so, nobody wants to learn French. It was crazy. But yes, the switch I wouldn’t say really a switch more like a blossoming. I always had that desire. My students, I always tell them, “I’m an actress. I’m going to be the best teacher I can right now, but my dream is to be an actress.” So my students always knew that about me always, and it was just a matter of me making the decision 100%, “I’m risking everything, I’m resigning, and I’m moving to California. And I’m going to do it, period.” And this happened when I came across that book, and it’s going to sound hella corny, The Secret: The Law of Attraction. When I came across that book, I was just—my mind just—I was sweating. I was like, okay, where can I get it—it was late in Boston, so I was looking online. What store was still open? Where could I find the book? So I found the book. Then I got the audiobook on iTunes. Then I got the DVD. And I was just, that’s all I did for days and months. I’ll listen to it, fall asleep with it. And I started reading the books that they were mentioning The Master Key System, The Secret of the Ages. All the old books about new thoughts and how to, not control your mind, but reprogram your mind, and use your thoughts and your feelings in order to accomplish what you want to accomplish. So that summer, when I came across that, I decided this is it. This is it. I’m leaving in a year, I’m out. And a year later I was gone.
TCC: What does the X in your name mean?
MXB: The X. is the first letter of my dad’s last name which is my last name as well. My dad is my everything so I wanted him to have the best official spot in my name as I’m experiencing the life I’ve always dreamt of as a little girl. I just love how he stands tall and strong in the middle of it all, with the X. between my first name and my mother’s maiden name (BIZET), which is also my last name; well, it was at some point. I know, I know, this just further widens the mystery. It’s a beautiful story I promise. I’ll tell it one day; maybe to Oprah on Super Soul Sunday, or on Ellen, or Jimmy Kimmel. So, yeah, the X. in the middle represents my dad, my rock, the person who has the best love for me in this entire world. Nobody loves me like my dad does and nobody ever will. And my mom understands how I feel because she knows the story. And I could never thank her enough for choosing my dad as my dad, my father, the most important man in my life. Oh, and it might sound like he’s passed away but he hasn’t. I just love him so much.
My students always call me Ms. X. so when it came to the final decision on my “stage name” I wanted them to always see something that connected them to me. Having the X. as part of my last name, standing in the middle, I think that does the job. It’s like me telling them through the screen when my name appears “Heyyyy y’all, you’re here with me! We’re winning!” Ha ha ha
TCC: I like that. I’m a daddy’s girl too. So I get it and it great to keep your students involved. Which languages do you speak?
MXB: I speak fluently 100% French, English, and Creole. And Spanish I’m really, really good at it because I’m obsessed with it, and one of my dreams is to become fluent. The same way I speak French, Creole, and English, I want to speak in Spanish. But I’m really good at Spanish. Anytime I get to use it, I use it. I just love it. And German, I’m trying to brush up on it again, but I didn’t really pay attention in school because my teacher was scary [laughter]. So I would say 4.25 English, Spanish, French, Creole and then 0.25 of German, but I’m working on it.
TCC: Now, how did you get your training to become an actor?
MXB: Well, the way it started it started organically with my brother and my sister. Well, my sister first because then my brother was born. We were obsessed with movies and cinema. In France, we don’t call it movies we call it cinema [laughter]. We call it film. Because we’re French, we’re fancy. So cinema is a big deal in France. Just like Paris is the capital of fashion, France is probably the capital of cinema. And Cannes, which is the biggest award show in the world. And so we would fall in love with movies, and write down the dialogue, and go in my room and just act them out. And I remember we also had little records, because it was records back then. We had records of Disney movies, and you would open it, it was like a little book and then the record in it. And you had all the dialogue. And my friends would come over and I would assign roles to everybody, and then we would play it out. And my sister just told me recently, was like, “Do you realize that you always wanted the lead?” I’m like, “No, I didn’t.” She was like, “Yeah, you did.”
TCC: I had those, too. I remember having Mary Poppins.
MXB: Right. Like, “I did really? Okay, maybe.” So that’s how we started. And then, I don’t come from—I come from a humble background, so it wasn’t like I could afford acting classes and stuff like that. But I remember once at my middle school, one of the guidance counselors decided to have this little acting club. Oh my god, I was there so fast. I was so happy. So we did that for a little while, and then in high school, I joined what we called the troupe. You guys use that word in America, right? Troupe? Like in the theatre, for a company, or whatever?
TCC: Oh, sure.
MXB: Yeah, so I did that and I was never able to afford real courses but I always managed to practice it in any way I could. But when I was an au pair though, when I came to America as a nanny just like my character on American Crime, I was an au pair, and the au pair program – I don’t know if they still do that – but my au pair program had an educational component. So you had to take a class of some sort during that year. And yeah. All the other au pairs were like, “Oh my God. I’m going to go to Harvard Extension.” I was like, “Pssh. I’m not going to Harvard. I’m going to take an acting class.” So I did that in Boston. So I joined the Actors Workshop in Boston for a few years.
TCC: Now what was your first professional acting job?
MXB: Professional as in paid?
TCC: Yes [laughter].
MXB: Okay. Wait. As in paid paid. Boy. Oh my God. Oh my God. Maybe it was some extra work in France [laughter]. It was probably some extra work, yeah, in France.
TCC: Just to clarify did you say, France or on Friends?
MXB: Oh. No. In France. In France.
TCC: In France? Okay [laughter].
MXB: Yeah. I wish. In Friends? What. I wish. But when I moved to LA, they were the big milestones. The first time I was on national TV was for a TVOne show. TVOne is one of the black channels. So yeah on TVOne it was a show called Will to Live, and it was my biggest thing ever. I had a trailer and everything. So I was like, “That’s it. This is it.”
TCC: That was my next– my next question was, what is Will to Live [laughter]?
MXB: Right. So Will To Live, it was a reenactment show, and it was [laughter]–yeah, we all go through those [laughter]. It was basically stories about people who go through situations where they should have died, but they didn’t and they were real stories. So my story was that of this woman, her name was Veronica Deramous, and she’s in prison right now. She should still be in prison. She attempted what we call fetal abduction. It’s a thing. You know how back in the days people would just walk into a hospital and steal babies from the hospitals.
TCC: That is harder now with current security measures.
MXB: Right. So now, they actually try to steal babies out of a woman’s womb. So it’s called fetal abduction. So basically that woman kidnapped a young, homeless girl who was nine months pregnant. She held her hostage for a few days, and opened her stomach, and went to get the baby out of it. So that’s who I played. It was insane and it was great because I was like, “Oh my God, I’m so lucky.” Because for that role, at first I approached Teka. Teka Adams is the name of the woman who was the victim. I approached her as a social worker who’s trying to help her. And I’m really nice, and I’m like, “I’m going to help you get clothes, and diapers, and everything you need for your baby, but let’s go to my house real quick [laughter].” And then I switched it up on her and I go psycho. So it was great. I had two sides, the nice woman and then boom, the psycho.
TCC: Now how did you come to hear about your role on American Crime?
MXB: So it was just an audition. My manager got me this audition and I mean, when I saw the info, it was kind of like, “Wait. Hold on. Am I reading this correctly? A black, French speaking woman comes to America to be a nanny for an American family.” That’s how I got to America. What are you talking about? Who knows me? Who is stalking me [laughter]? It was so weird. It was super weird. Yes, so the auditions, that’s how I heard about it. So, it’s crazy.
TCC: Now tell me about the audition process.
MXB: The audition process was great. What happens is that — you know actors, when you look at the sides and you go, “Okay, so what’s my motivation? What’s happening in the scene? What do I feel?” I did not even do any of that. And I didn’t realize I didn’t do any of that until people started asking me about the process. Because I remember that — I was born in Martinique. So in Martinique, we speak Creole. We speak Martinican Creole. And my character, Gabrielle, she’s from Haiti and basically Creole. And at first, the sides were all in Creole, Haitian Creole. And I was like, “Alright. I know Haitian Creole,” because when I was a kid I used to think that Haiti was a city in Martinique. I knew a lot of Haitian people. My dad listened to Haitian music all the time. It was part of our culture. Haitian people, I said they were like cousins of us – this city that was a little different from us. I didn’t realize it was a completely different island, so I’m very familiar with Haitian culture and Creole.
So when I looked at the sides I was like, “This doesn’t sound like it’s 100% correct.” So I called all my Haitian friends, and I was like, “Can you take that and make corrections?” And they were like, “Yeah. All right.” So they corrected it for me. So basically what happened is that I was so focused on doing really well with Haitian Creole that I totally forgot about wondering about what was going on in the scene [laughter]. So when I showed up Kim Coleman her casting office, she was there, and she’s a big deal in the industry, and so she was there and I did the audition, my first take, and she goes, “Let’s do that again because you stuttered a lot.” I was like, “Yeah. I know. I know. I’ll do it again. I’ll do it again.”
So I did it again, and then I got the callback and when I got the callback — first of all, getting the audition with Kim Coleman was like, “Oh my God.” I felt so blessed already. I was like, “Okay. Hashtag winning. I got an audition with Kim Coleman [laughter]” — And then I get the callback. I’m like, “Wow. This is amazing.” My first audition, I started not sleeping. It was weird. As soon as I got that audition, I started not sleeping at night. I didn’t sleep for a long time. Then the callback happened, I get there, and I’m like, “Oh my God.” You see the parking spots, and there is an American Crime ABC sign with people’s names, Kim Coleman. And then you walk in the door. It says American Crime everywhere. In all the offices I start seeing the names of the people that I’d stalk on IMDbPro.
So I was like, “Oh my God. I’m really here. This is amazing.” The whole process, I just thought I was winning already every single step. In my car on my way there, I was listening to Drake, “Started from the bottom now we’re here. Started from the bottom now we’re here.” I haven’t even booked it. I really thought this was the best thing in the world. I was on cloud nine from the beginning when I got the audition notice until now.
And so I go in. It was just amazing. And I was there super early because I’m always scared of being late in LA with traffic and construction. So I was the first one there. Kim Coleman wasn’t even there. Nobody was there but the people in the office [laughter]. They’re like, “Do you want some coffee? You have an hour to kill.” And so then, the other actresses come in and, oh my God, I was like, “Oh, they look so perfect for the role.” I was like, “Oh, what’s happening!” And I texted my manager, I was like, “Pam, all these girls, they look so perfect. Oh my God, they smell so islandish. They’re so beautiful.” And she was like, “Well, just calm down. You’re already where you want to be. Don’t lose that excitement. Just enjoy every second like you’ve been doing. You’re winning, you’re here. You’re where you want to be. So everything else is just cherry on the cake.” So I was like, “Yeah.” So that brought me totally down.
And when I went in, it was literally, and I’m not lying, I had no nerves, like zero. I was like on a cloud. It was so surreal. They were like, “Do this. Do that. Redo it,” and they would give me like five directions. And different directions for the same things, so I had to switch it up throughout the scene. And I was just like, “Oh, cool, cool. I can do it.” It was just so surreal. And when I get out, I just wanted to scream. I called my American dad (Jerry Howland), the dad of the family I used to be a nanny for. I just Facetimed him. I Facetimed everybody. I was like, “Oh my God! This was amazing! I don’t even know if I booked it, but it was so delicious.” I was just so happy. Just to do what you want to do. Even when you don’t book, like to go on auditions, I’m so happy.
TCC: And how did you get the call that you got the role?
MXB: Well, you know they pin you, and then they don’t tell you that it’s you, but you kind of feel it. And I wasn’t sleeping. You know the managers, they take care of everything? They start asking you if you’re legal to work in the States. So you’re like, “Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh. It’s me. It’s me.” But you keep wondering if there’s somebody else, if they’re checking out everybody. So they start asking you questions, and they don’t tell you until it’s locked. So I was just waiting to see. I was just getting those emails and responding to the questions. “Yes, I have a green card. Yes, I’m legal.” And then I found out, and oh my God. And I’m telling you, I wasn’t sleeping for a long time. It was crazy the excitement.
TCC: I’ll bet. How did you celebrate?
MXB: I didn’t really celebrate like celebration, celebration. I called one of my friends, and she used to be a teacher in Boston, too, and she’s here. She’s an actress, too, Liz Femi. She’s on Love on Netflix. And when I first moved to LA, I stayed for a month — I stayed with her mom. So, I mean, she was the perfect person. I was like, “Of course, I’ve got to call Liz.” So I went to have tea with my friend Liz. And then another time, I also had tea with my friend Brianna, who’s an actress as well. So I keep it very small. The people I talk to when I book something like that, you just want people who 100% are on your side and there’s not going to be any jealousy. So I didn’t celebrate with a whole bunch of friends. I just told a few people. My friend Patty I called. I called a selected few until the word was out.
TCC: Alright. Well, tell me a little bit about your character.
MXB: So my character, her name is Gabrielle Durand. So she’s a Haitian woman who comes to the States to be the nanny to Lili Taylor and Tim Hutton’s character’s son. His name is Nicky, Aidan Wallace, a cute little actor and so she comes to America, just like a lot of people, like I did. You come here and you want to create this better life for yourself. You have your American dream, whatever that means for you. And you come here, you’re full of hope because it’s America. And she comes and she’s super excited and eyes wide open. She’s going to live with those rich people. And she comes from humble beginnings. But obviously, it’s American Crime, so it’s not going to be a sitcom, her story [laughter]. My story, that’s where our story diverged. Me, I came and my family (the Howlands), the people I was a nanny for, literally, it was like the Cosby show. And for Gabrielle, I mean, it’s American Crime. So her American dream comes at a really steep price that she was not expecting at all.
TCC: What do you like best about being on American Crime?
MXB: The best thing about working on American Crime? Well, that’s easy… the best thing about working on American Crime is LITERALLY working on American Crime. Not because “I’m an actress in LA, trying to get work so I’m just happy to have booked a gig.” No, not in that way at all. Rather, in the sense that, this is American freaking Crime! It’s a critically-acclaimed, Emmy-nominated, Emmy-winning high quality show where every single person in preproduction, production and post production is dedicated to bringing the BEST work possible to the world, even if the way they’re doing it isn’t necessarily the most popular way. It’s all about the authenticity of the stories and the people involved in those stories. There’s no other way to do it since these are real stories.
It’s not just any show. It’s American Crime. It’s the Yale of all TV shows. So for me, this little French girl of humble beginnings, with big Hollywood dreams, who was born on a tiny little “French” island, who grew up in the Parisian inner cities — yup, Paris isn’t all picture-perfect, Eiffel Tower, artsy, fashion, cheese, bérêts, baguettes, crêpes, croissants and all that; we got hoods people, we got projects, and racism, and police brutality, and struggles and all that – who came from nothing to end up on this show as my introduction to the industry and the world, like OMG, somebody pinch me! No, don’t! Don’t! Because if I’m dreaming, I don’t wanna wake up, ever! I am extremely grateful and I sincerely appreciate every single moment of this opportunity because American Crime is literally giving me my American Dream. So thank you Michael McDonald, John Ridley, Julie Hébert, Lori Etta Taub, ABC!! And the American Crime team!!! I really mean that.
TCC: What kind of role do you want to play next or is there a dream role that you’d like to play?
MXB: A dream role? Well, dream role, there’s so many. As far as okay, ideal career, I would love to be able to get roles that fulfill me and at the same time are like, of service to humanity. But it’s like American Crime. It’s stuff to talk about. I think it’s really helpful to us because it helps us think about life and what people are going through. So for me to get my first big gig and being able to do what I love, but at the same time, like we’re talking about a lot of issues and things that might help people. That’s like the perfect combination because it’s not just about me, you know? I’m telling those stories, and those stories are going to help people.
So if my career could be like that— but honestly, I wouldn’t mind like a big action blockbuster movie with Will Smith, you know what I mean [laughter]? Like that’s cool, too. But like the next thing, I would love—you know Richard Cabral? He’s in American Crime.
MXB: I, spending time with him, like I had this idea just like swooshed through my mind of a movie with him. I don’t want to talk about it because I haven’t protected the idea yet. But, oh my God, we were in Atlanta and it just dawned on me, this idea. And I really want to find the right people to help me write it. And I think I found the right person, one of the American Crime writers. So my next plan is to gather the guts to talk to Kirk — he’s the writer of my favorite episode, 307 — so he can help me write that movie [laughter] for me and Richard.
TCC: So when you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?
MXB: Fun? When I can afford it, I love to do Bikram yoga. I don’t know if you know about Bikram yoga.
TCC: Yes, the really hot kind.
MXB: Yes. It’s 110 degrees in it. And it’s very grueling. But it’s so good for you. And I had a tumor, I had a spinal tumor years ago. And thank God it was benign. But it was a big deal. And I was in rehab for a long time, I couldn’t walk. But Bikram yoga is what helped me the most with the post-surgery problems that I had. And so yeah, that’s my favorite thing to do. But it’s so expensive. Another thing I like to do for fun but real, real, real fun, is I’m obsessed with — I told you I’m obsessed with speaking Spanish and Latin culture. So I listen to a lot of Spanish music, and my favorite kind is reggaeton. And what I do is that I have all those songs on my iPhone and I pull up the lyrics online. First, I try to understand everything and sing it without the lyrics, and after a while, I pull up the lyrics. I just learn the songs, and it helps me with my Spanish every day because I’m working on being 100% fluent. So that’s something that’s super fun to me. It’s listening to reggaeton and learning the lyrics and everything. And I stalk reggaeton singers on Instagram [laughter]. This guy named J Balvin especially, and now he follows ME on instagram! Like “whhhhhhhaaaat?!”
TCC: Which charities do you support?
MXB: Well, I’m not affiliated with any charities officially, but autism is really close to my heart because I work with this young lady, her name is Chloé. She’s French. She’s 25. She’s my heart, and she’s autistic. And I met her about a year and a half, two years ago. And I was supposed to work with her for an hour or two each week, and now I see her every day during the week. And I teach her English. I teach her how to play the piano. I taught myself so that I could teach her. Because I’ve always wanted to play the piano, and I got a keyboard [laughter]. So every day we do English, and then we do piano. And then some days I also drive her to her other classes. She takes improv classes. She takes singing classes. She takes this class at this organization that’s called Spectrum Laboratory, and they have all these kids on the autism spectrum, and they create songs with them, then they go to the studio, they record them, and they have a show where they can perform. It’s amazing. And she also goes to Miracle Project and at Miracle Project, she takes the improv class, and she takes another class, her mom takes her to that one. And oh my God, it’s just so amazing, that whole world.
I’m learning a lot and I mean, when I got with Chloé, I was supposed to help her, but I really like Chloé and all the kids there they’re really helping me more if anything because I’ve learned so much, and I’m working on being nonjudgmental but it’s hard because I’m human. You judge people. You judge situations. You judge yourself. But being around them and accepting them for who they are and where they are and at the same time helping them grow and reach their full potential it just helps me not judge a situation too quickly. I always used this example but you know when you’re in, I don’t know, on a plane or at a store and there’s a kid having a fit on the ground and people looking at the mom like, “Oh, you don’t handle your kid. What are you doing?” But what if the kid is not just having a tantrum? I’m not just saying that every kid on the floor of the store screaming is autistic, but maybe there’s something else happening? It’s not necessarily a spoiled child having a tantrum or a mom who doesn’t know how to handle her kids. We don’t know and that goes for every situation. Somebody being rude to you, you don’t know what brought that on. So instead of antagonizing, just sit back and be like, “I don’t know what’s going on with you.”
HAPPY #AutismAwarenessMonth everyone! Check out #ChloéAndMicko on IG and follow our adventures💙#AutismAwareness #LightItUpBlue #AutismSpeaks pic.twitter.com/8EjHuqCLyk
— Mickaëlle X. Bizet (@MickaelleBizet) April 1, 2017
HAPPY #AutismAwarenessMonth everyone! Check out #ChloéAndMicko on IG and follow our adventures💙#AutismAwareness #LightItUpBlue #AutismSpeaks pic.twitter.com/8EjHuqCLyk
— Mickaëlle X. Bizet (@MickaelleBizet) April 1, 2017
I just saw this video going around on the Internet and I’m like, “Ugh, people.” There’s this woman at a restaurant and she’s going, “Ugh,” on a couple who just– the guy kissed his girlfriend on the forehead I think and she’s going off on them. She’s really, really going off on them and insulting them and stuff and people are on the couple’s side. And the couple is recording it, and yes, they’re being calm but they are kind of — the way I see it, that’s my perception, it’s a little bit antagonizing. And if you step back a little bit, you take a few seconds, I’m looking at that woman like, “Oh, she’s not well.” You can tell that she’s not well. So the more you antagonize her, the more she’s going on go because I don’t even think she realizes what she’s doing. So we’re so quick to judge the– “Oh, that’s a–” I’m about to say a bad word. I’m sorry. “Oh, that’s a crazy bitch.” Maybe that’s not a crazy bitch.
TCC: Maybe not.
MXB: Yeah. Maybe not. Maybe there’s some issues there. I mean, she could be. She could be. But I feel like we are so quick to go to the negative judgment right away.
TCC: No. It seems like you keep up with a lot of your former students and families that you lived with. I think that’s great.
MXB: Oh, my God. Yes. My students just yesterday– I did the AfterBuzzTV American Crime aftershow. And so it’s on YouTube and one of my students left me a message and everything. And I get Instagram messages, text messages. Another one of my students from high school texted me. She was like, “Ms., at my new school, look! We’re doing a project and we’re supposed to read this newspaper. And I open it and look what I see! It’s you with the American Crime people!” And it’s great. Even the kids from Boston who already have children now, they send me messages. And I’m telling you, this could be the best thing out of this whole thing. This could be better than me realizing my dream. The fact that the kids that I had in class, and I used to tell them I want to be an actress someday, texting me and calling me and telling me, “Oh my God. Ms., we’re watching you do what you said you wanted to do. That’s crazy!” And so it’s– oh my God, it’s the best. It’s the best.
Oh, I forgot something important. I started working with an organization to help bring attention to the struggles of domestic workers in the states. I’m not talking to you about it because I “have” to talk about it, I don’t. But they do amazing things and they really try to help. They contacted me because of my character’s storyline on American Crime and I was so happy they did because some of my friends are working as domestic workers right now and are going through some really messed up things with their bosses. I couldn’t do much to help them but just be there for them and talk to them. So it’s great to know that there’s help out there for them. The organization is the NDWA – the National Domestic Workers Alliance. You can check out their website if you get a chance or they’re on twitter @DomesticWorkers. Sorry, it’s just that, you know, if we get the opportunity to give a little bit of a voice to people that are usually ignored, why not right?
TCC: You’re right. That is important. Now, what’s next for you?
MXB: What’s next for me is I’m still auditioning, and there’s one particular project that’s in the works, but nothing is signed. I’m just visualizing that it works out because I really, really want to do it. And it has to do with somebody that I’ve admired since I was a little girl. And it’s so weird how the universe has been working in my life. If I book this, I’ll be like, “This is crazy. All the stars are aligning because this is insane.” So, I can’t wait.
TCC: Well, I wish you luck on that.
MXB: Thank you. Thank you.
TCC: Well, thank you so much for taking time with me today. I wish you luck in everything. I hope you do really well. And I’m actually– I haven’t started watching American Crime yet, so I’m actually going to binge it this week.
MXB: Oh, yeah, do, do, do. It’s a really good season. I think it’s probably the best so far.
You can catch Mickaëlle X. Bizet on American Crime on Sundays on ABC and follow her on Instagram: @TheFrenchBlackGirl, Twitter: @MickaelleBizet and Facebook Official: Mickaëlle X. Bizet and her personal hashtag is: #TheFrenchBlackGirl
Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.