Lesbian Reality Televison Q&A Round up
(page 6 of 12)
Curl Girl's Michelle Fleury Dishes It All
Written by: Colleen M. Lee
As loud police helicopters fly above her head, sexy surfer babe Michelle Fleury of the Curl Girls discusses the reason why she surfs, women’s panties, the Wiggles and her infamous date with Jackie Warner.
The Curl Girls cast is so diverse. How did you all get together? And, is your relationship on screen the same as it is off screen?
We all still definitely hang out and spend time together. That’s a definite, except with the exception of Melissa and Jessica. I don’t believe they have much of a relationship anymore. But I just saw Erin for dinner. I’m supposed to see Melissa, I believe on Friday night. So yeah, we all still spend time together. It’s definitely a motley crew, but at the same time, most surfers are.
There is a fairly small community of lesbian surfers in Los Angeles? Do you all know each other?
We don’t all know each other, but the interesting thing about the show is that I’ve met so many more lesbian surfers since the show. A lot of people that I’ve seen out and about, in an acquaintance sort of way, I didn’t even realize that they surfed, and vice versa. That is what was interesting about the show. I’ve met so many more surfers because of it. And, yeah, I would say a good percentage of female surfers are lesbians.
Surfing is male dominated. What advice would you give to young girls, who want to surf and want to try it, but are a bit intimidated by all the males out there?
It is very intimidating. I would say it is about 90-95 percent male [depending on the] area of the world. In L.A., I would say it’s 90 percent men. As far as girls who want to try it? I would say, if they want to do it, it’s one of those sports that you really have to have a lot of perseverance even once you learn it and want to do it, so it’s not a sport that’s going to come to you. You can’t just walk down to your neighborhood tennis court. You have to be really dedicated to participate in the sport, so I would say you have to just keep at it. It’s really difficult when you start. And as far as the men in the water. I think it’s a really good lesson for life. Some of the men are really great, some are really respectful and some of them are just complete and total assholes. So, you know, you get a wide array and you also learn how to hold your own in a situation where, [you are] the only woman in the water.
What exactly do you get from surfing?
I get a lot of things from surfing. It has taught me patience. As I said it’s not like any other sport. You are at the mercy of nature and the tides and the wind and the weather and everything else, and the energy, and the water, and a storm that is happening 3,000 thousand miles away, that’s sending a pulse of energy to you. Besides patience, it also teaches you that most things are beyond your control and that you just have to adapt and adjust and once you do that the reward, which is riding a wave, is better than anything you’ll ever experience. It’s definitely on par with sex and all those other things [Laughs.]
Better than parachuting?
Yeah. It definitely feels like you are flying. I would say it’s the closest thing you can put to that. I get a lot out of it, it’s a really spiritual experience. I surf, I tend to surf really early in the morning; sun is rising, the light is beautiful, the wind is calm, the dolphins are pretty much within ten feet of you. They’re going up the coast in the morning. And that’s just the most amazing thing⎯to see a pod of dolphins, or a family with the little baby dolphin…you get back in touch with nature and at the same time it gives you this adrenaline rush and the feel that you’re flying on water. And, you also have to realize that you go through a lot to surf. You have to get in the cold water and put on the wet suits and drive to the beach. It’s so arduous.
It sounds like a definite process.
Yeah. You have to realize that, “Oh God, the reward must be amazing to put themselves through all of this. To get, and to go through everything you go through, just to ride that wave.” If you look at it that way, it gives you a glimpse into what it’s like once you do it.
Do you surf every day?
It depends on my work schedule, but I am in the water at least three times a week. Definitely, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Then if there’s more of a swell, or something happening, I’ll get out sometimes four to five times a week. But as I said, once the waves hit, you have to rearrange your entire schedule to get out there. So, you’re not in control. It dictates what you do.
How have your friends and family reacted to the show?
I would say most of my immediate family has all watched it. My niece is very cute. The Curl Girls have now beaten out The Wiggles as her favorite show. And she is 4, so I am pretty proud of that. A lot of my cousins and family—I’m from the East Coast—have watched it and that’s been a great way for us get back in touch.
Not a lot of surfing in New Jersey, I take it.
Well there is, believe it or not, there really is. Fall is more of the season ‘cause you get the hurricanes coming up the coast, but it’s nowhere near as powerful and consistent as California. But all my experiences have been really good: family, friends, the people I’ve met and the places I’ve gone. It’s all been really amazing.
Has you life changed since the show aired?
It has changed for sure and I would say most of it has been positive. It’s pretty much how you choose to look at life. You can always find negative. You can always find things that might not be so great, but with this I really haven’t taken it too seriously. There are always people that are sort of odd when it comes to meet[ing] somebody that has been on television, even if it’s reality TV. I really don’t pay too much attention to it because I realize it has nothing to do with me.
So, nobody’s throwing their panties at you at this point?
Uh, no. I’ve had people fly into events that I was hosting to meet me, which was fascinating. [Laughs.] And they were lovely. They were great. And nothing strange or weird came of it. So I have not had my first pair of underwear, but…I’ll be participating in the fashion show at Dinah Shore.
That just might be the event where you get some panties.
If anybody wants to grace me with a pair of underwear, I would be more than happy to…
OK, switching gears. You seem very grounded.
I was born on the East Coast. My parents are very down to earth. They instill a lot of values of “Don’t buy in to your own hype. You know, don’t try to keep up with the Joneses.” A very typical East Coast upbringing. And I have a lot of friends who work in the movie industry. So, it’s not really new to me. But yeah, essentially, day to day, surfing, and yoga and my friends. My friends mostly make fun of me, more than anything.
Do you think that the show painted an accurate picture of you?
I definitely can be a lot sillier. I felt like I was always sort of the calm, as they said “voice of reason,” which usually I would say I am, but it was funny too, I felt like I was always serious and everybody else was unhinged so I can have my fun as well. My friends kept saying, “No, no, no, you didn’t come across that way at all.” But you know, we’re always our own worst critics, I suppose.
You were the person that Jackie Warner got set up with on her show Work Out in the first season. How did that come about and why didn’t it, for lack of a better term, work out?
Yes, I did go out on a date with Jackie Warner. When I did that, Work Out had not aired and I remember trying to get a bunch of my friends to go out. It was more setup as a friendship thing: “This woman is newly single, she doesn’t have a lot of lesbian friends. Can you just hang out with her and, you know, if something happens, great, but there you go.” So, I had to get a bunch of my friends to come out with me, and none of them wanted to be bothered. They kind of regretted [their decision] after they saw the show air, but you have one chance to get on television, I suppose. But, no, I mean from the moment I met her I could see that we definitely were not a match. I was not interested, nor was she, so it worked out really well for us to just hang out, have her meet other woman because she seemed very wrapped up in what she was doing in her past relationships. She didn’t really seem like she was in a place where she was going to be moving on. And from what we all saw in the show, that kind of turned out to be true.
So is your current girlfriend in the business?
She’s a photographer. I’m an art director so I knew her through people and I had hired her before. The one thing that no one knows and I haven’t told anybody, but Jen is the person that I end up with on my date with Jackie. Jackie ended up talking to one girl on that show and I end up talking to Jen. Jackie pointed to a girl [and said] “That girl is cute.” Well that’s when I said, “I know the other one.” The funny thing is people don’t put it together. They know it’s me, in both shows, but they don’t realize it’s Jen.
What’s next for you besides circuit lesbian parties?
I’ve been doing a lot of writing as well and shooting because I also am a photographer, so Jen and I are collaborating. I am also now writing for gaywheels.com.
So it’s been really great talking to you.
Are you coming to Dinah Shore?
I don’t know, I have a fear of big crowds in bikinis.
I mean, for the absolute, just to say you did it. I ran with the bulls in Pamplona just to say I did it. It ended up to being a great experience. Dinah Shore, I would say, is pretty comparable to running with the bulls in Pamplona. It’s chaotic.
I don’t know if you’ve convinced me to go.
I know. You’re like, “Now I’m never going to go.”
If I do go I owe you a drink and maybe a pair of matching hers and hers underwear for you and Jen.
Oh, my god. I will send you photos of me wearing them on my head.
That would be fabulous. See you soon.
I hope to see you at the Dinah.