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25th Mar 2019

‘I don’t think I got out of bed for two weeks’ – Michele McGrath on setbacks and how mum is her driving force


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She’s a singer, presenter, model AND she’s set to play American feminist – Gretchen – in Copperface Jacks: The Musical.

Yep, it’s no wonder Michele McGrath found a career in performing because she has wanted to be a Spice Girl since she was little. Geri Halliwell was her idol.

All that girl power and the idea of being on stage was the dream.

None of her success though would have been possible without her mum’s endless determination to ensure she had the best possible opportunities. She says;

“She was a single mam. There was myself and two older brothers and she worked literally six jobs to provide for us and make sure that we had everything that we could possibly want growing up, especially with myself and all the classes that I took growing up – acting, singing and dancing.

“I think I got my work ethic from her as well, watching her work so hard when we were kids made me just want to go out there and work so hard.

This work ethic has been growing powerful since the age of four, attending the Mill Bank Theatre in Rush and later the Dublin Youth Theatre.

Having the tools to show her talents, she was scouted by a photographer while in the Canaries which led to a modelling career – a path she never thought possible due to her being short.

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Later she would work with Assets Modelling Agency.

“I never thought it would be a career for me, but it has just kind of naturally progressed. And I think having the background in Media Studies has kind of helped with what I’m doing now, working on Ireland AM. Everything is interlinked.

“Sometimes I do wish I just focused on one aspect and really went for that but I’m lucky enough that I’ve had a career where I’ve been able to do a lot.”

Her career, she admits though, was not without it’s setbacks. The one that seems to have hurt most was having not made it into Louis Walsh’s girlband, Wonderland.

Practicing for months, going to the gym, dancing, training vocally – none of it was enough.

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“No joke, I think I didn’t get out of bed for about two weeks.

“Some things are going to go your way and some things aren’t and you have to be prepared for that.”

Time, plus an amazing friend who assured her she would achieve what she wanted to gave her strength again and just a few months later, a Eurovision opportunity to be a part of the band called Industry would come in, leading to two number one Irish singles within six months and touring alongside JLS.

“There’s no point in sugar-coating anything, it’s definitely a tough industry, you have to have a really thick skin and you have to believe in yourself and your abilities… and train.

For Mother’s Day she has a surprise planned for the “incredible lady” in her life, who she also credits with having passed on to her a love of fashion, playing “dress up in her wardrobe and wearing her high heels around the house.”

“I don’t even know where to start with how much an incredible lady she is.

“She’s the type of woman who is so inspiring to be around

“She’s a superwoman – a supermom.”

Here’s to all mums and all they do to make our dreams possible.

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