Saturday, March 20, 2010


Michele Boulet just popped into our lives and took on we tourist junkies. Nice! We spent three days, plus, with her and met people we would not have known about without her introduction. Michele, "the mysterious one with the beautiful eyes" as part of a collage, below.
Her path to what she calls her Farm School, where she takes in abandoned,  in trouble animals, gives them nurturing care, and helps find them a home is checkered, adventurous and intense.
Half-orphan-local-girl graduates Sacred Heart Boarding School at Grand Coteau and heads off to college at Loyola to be near grandmama.
Her siblings were brothers and she joined a sisterhood of girlfriends, all of whom found their way into theatre arts.
Theatre professionals and semi-professionals generally ride a hard road. Competition is wicked. With only High School drama, a play-a-year experience, Michele hooked a paying role with Richard Schenker Productions at 18, The Manson Family play. She shivers when she mentions her part in stabbing the pregnant woman. Scarey.  Schenker's talent nurtured Sam Shepard and Will DeFoe. His philosophy was everybody works, nobody complains. Even without another role from Shenkeer,  she knew acting is what she wanted to do.
Young, adventurous and brash,  the sisterhood decided to go to London to try acting on the big stage. Kennsington Drama Club, the Childrens Hour with Lillian Hellman, competitive venues.  Michele did one show that got decent reviews, then nothing.  Back to the states.
University of Southern Louisiana had a great drama teacher in Rich Zimmerman. Moving there, learning gobs, loving it, she left just short of getting her degree because Zimmerman left USL and was replaced by an "inferior" teacher. "We were bored, the program we loved was gone. We went everywhere and did everything. San Francisco, L.A., Seattle-that was the best; Beer Theatre, Tap Roots, Christian Theatre."
In the process she discovered her talent as a Light Designer; enjoyed teaching kids to love Shakespeare; did some writing and eventually burnt out.
"We got tired of performing, then packing the van to move on to another location."
She attended Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. where she learned writing and film production.
And, she returned to Louisiana. "I accomplished my goal, to be home by age 30 with a degree."
She  formed a production company called CoonAss Girl Productions. She tried out for and won a part on America's Most Wanted, and Vampire Lestat-cast as a prostitute both times. "My grandmama was offended and I had promised her I'd never embarrass her on screen," she laughs.
She worked five years with Louisiana Folk Festival, as a volunteer the first year before being written into the grants."I just fell into a documentary about Cajun Culture. I wanted to story my people." She became their documentarian on film.
At the same time she volunteered for five years with the St. Martins Parish Animal Shelter.  Michele bought 15 acres outside of Arnaudville and started her "Farm School." She loves this  beautiful spot and has a studio space at  Nunu's so her creative juices have an outlet.
What's next?
"I'm organizing to relaunch my company and plan to make my ranch a blind horse sanctuary and rehab for abused horses."
Meet Michele my new friend at:
We said goodbye to Michele and her friend Russell, and hit the road for St. Francesville from which we will visit the Angola Penitentiary Museum.

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