Michelle is a Los Angeles native whose distinctive writing and filmmaking voice she attributes to her American West and Mexican heritage, in addition to being on the spectrum.
As a Directing Fellow of The American Film Institute, where Michelle earned her Master of Fine Arts, she was the Mary Pickford and Remy Martin Foundations' Grants recipient. Michelle was interviewed in American Film Magazine, Seattle Times, and by the New York Times who described her award-winning short film, Pinfeathers, as having a “Salammbô-like decadence ...” Pinfeathers was awarded at the Chicago International Film Festival.
The American Film Institute describes Michelle as a "...gifted, original talent and ... true storyteller."
She is the writer of When Rent is Due, a play that premiered at New City Theater in Seattle. She authored All the Leaving, a novel that has been translated into Spanish and published in Mexico.
Michelle also holds a bachelor of science in digital filmmaking and is currently at work on a documentary series about Neurodiversity and an audio series reading her short stories.
As a Buddhist practitioner, Michelle believes that being a volunteer is the practice of employing one's compassion for a high purpose. Ms. Espinosa spent three days a month in prisons for fifteen years facilitating Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) for inmates. AVP is a process by which inmates and community members learn communication, coping skills, and deeper self-awareness as alternatives to violence.
For three years, Michelle was a volunteer responder and on-call manager for the Los Angeles City Mayor's Crisis Response Team. CRT is called to the scene by L.A. Fire and Police Departments--to assist witnesses and family when there is a fatality or multi-casualty incident--until the Coroner leaves.
While a practicing mediator and facilitator with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for twenty years, Michelle was invited to coach students at U.C.L.A. Law School and peer-to-peer mediators in L.A. middle schools.
Michelle received the President's Volunteer Service Award and bronze medal from President Barack Obama, presented by Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa.