Laura Michelle is a singer and songwriter, who has garnered national attention with the release of the official music video for her single “Chuck Norris” from the recently released debut album Novel With No End.
Attention, however, is not always positive in nature. Many artists have encountered social media backlash, and cyberbullying via comment sections. Laura Michelle is no stranger to such intimidation. How she responds to such negativity, though, may seem strange to some. She confronts it in a lighthearted manner, and even posted a video on YouTube in which she reads aloud some of the “Mostly Mean Comments” and responds to them with humor.
Don’t be fooled though, bullying is a very serious issue to Laura Michelle, and she took the time to talk with TheCelebrityCafe.com about her experiences.
TheCelebrityCafe.com: I’d like to begin by thanking you for taking the time to speak with me, and to let you know that I think what you are doing is very inspiring.
Laura Michelle: Thank you.
TCC: I am familiar with bullying and coping with humor seems to me to be a learned skill as opposed to an instinctual one. So, did you have experience with bullying prior to now?
LM: Yes, during my eighth grade year. It was very difficult because my dad was ill at the time.
TCC: Are there other ways you’ve coped?
LM: I’ve always used humor, but I use humor when coping with things in general. Bullies say the things they say because they’re unhappy. I also remind myself that what they are saying is not really about me.
TCC: A lot of people internalize what bullies say to them. Did you experience this?
LM: No, I haven’t experienced that yet. When dealing with the internet, I knew that people would have their own opinions, and I went into it with that in mind.
TCC: What do you recommend others do when faced with belligerent comments whether in real life or in the cyber world?
ML: Well, it’s easier said than done, especially for middle schoolers. I’d tell them “Don’t let it get to you.” Remember that for someone to be so mean, something must be going on with them. Something must be happening to make them so unhappy that they feel the need to bring others down. I try to have empathy for them.
TCC: I work with elementary school students and with the increase in media coverage and being able to see the results of bullying, including some people taking their own lives, many educational institutions have instituted a zero tolerance on bullies. Bullying of any kind, even name calling, is dealt with immediately, but I’m wondering if you think the victim should only be protected?
ML: The victim should receive counseling. There should be someone there to counsel the kids. I agree with zero tolerance. Act on it the first time it happens and nip it in the bud.
TCC: Some teachers and volunteers who work with kids believe that the victims should also be taught to shrug it off. What do you think?
ML: Well, every situation is different. I don’t think the victims should be babied, but there should be a counselor to teach them coping mechanisms. The bully needs counseling too.
TCC: Before I let you go, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
ML: Yes. I’d like to let people know about the Novel With No End Album Release Party and Concert that will be held at the El Ray Theater in L.A. on September 1. It’s going to be a lot of fun, so if anyone is in the area, they should come. Tickets are available.
Also, I performed a concert for Xfinity Sessions, available through Comcast On Demand.
Finally, my album Novel With No End is now available on iTunes.