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From Hollywood: I'm every woman - Talking to Michelle Rae

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HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - In the year 2003 Michelle Rae's Web site had the most hits for an American Indian woman (200,000). She has received e-mails from around the world including far-away places like Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Most were positive e-mails from indigenous people praising Rae for being a positive role model for younger Native girls. Rae said she wants to do it all and continue to challenge herself on every level. She hates the word "can't." It just isn't in her vocabulary.

Rae was born in San Gabriel, Calif. but grew up in Los Angeles. She is very proud of her Native heritage, Yaqui/Pima (Akimel O'odham), and Mexican from Arizona. Rae believes that Native Americans need to tell their own stories and she wants to break down the stereotypes and misconceptions Hollywood has of Native women.

Recently, Rae served as the coordinator for a fashion segment on the popular Los Angeles TV show "KTLA Morning News." She was also the spokesmodel and design consultant for the promotion of several Native design companies including Native Threads, Com-n-acha and Tribal Gear. Rae is grateful to her associates Rachel and Janet for giving her the opportunity. She couldn't have done it without them.

Rae is no stranger to modeling and has an impressive list of credits on the runway with the Movie Making Technology Showcase, Pow-Wow Television, Santa Barbara Native Arts Festival and several GRAMMY Nominee showcases in Los Angeles and New York.

For the last year Rae has been busy working in front of and behind the camera learning from each experience. She has appeared in two independent films: "Freeze Out" and "Room 214." She also appeared on the Discovery Channel's "Wild West's Most Wanted." As a background extra she has appeared in many of today's most popular TV shows including: "ER," "Las Vegas," "The Practice," "Charmed," "America's Most Wanted" and "The Luis Guzman Show." Rae enjoys meeting people in the business and learning every aspect of a production. She asks questions and watches producers, directors and technical people so that she can do those jobs in the future. Rae has also worked the last three years as a production coordinator and assistant on the First Americans in the Arts Awards in L.A.

Rae has landed a much sought after photographer in Los Angeles named Kevyn Major Howard. To date no one has better captured her beautiful look.

To stay in shape, Rae runs six to seven miles a day and has a passion for surfing. She spent last summer teaching youth as a resident advisor and lead surf instructor for the Young Native Scholars Program at UC San Diego.

Rae has also been involved in law enforcement and public safety for more than a decade. As a former police officer she's worked hard and earned numerous certifications. Rae will soon take a re-certification class at Orange County Sheriff's Academy in California. Afterwards, she will start processing with Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department as a reserve deputy. Rae will attempt to take that training to another level in Hollywood with plans to perform stunts and stand-in work.

Rae has done many things including traveling around the world and exposing herself to different cultures. But, she is a Los Angeles native and remains close to her family. Her brother Danny, a fire captain in Pasadena, Calif. is her hero. Her mother and stepfather still live in the same house where Rae was born and raised. Her sister Cathy is a happy homemaker.

Rae is a Native woman who believes in tradition and culture but wants to flourish in today's society through movies and television. Michelle Rae is certainly every woman.

For more information on Michelle Rae, visit her Web site at: www.michellerae.com.