By Michael Gioia
30 May 2014
As a self-proclaimed Barbra Streisand worshiper, Lea Michele opens "Brunette Ambition" with a nod to her role models in the first chapter, "What Makes Me Me." While other girls were watching "90210," Michele was watching "Funny Girl," taking comfort that she looked more like Streisand than the girls projected on TV. She recounts the day that she met Streisand. After singing "My Man" (from Funny Girl) at the MusiCares benefit honoring Streisand — admitting she was "incredibly nervous" — she thought she missed her chance to chat with her idol. A few nights later, Streisand and Michele exited the Grammy Awards around the same time, and Streisand tapped Michele on the shoulder to ask, "Did I sound good tonight?" Michele replied, "You were incredible." The actress admits to always being nervous around the music icon and once passed on the chance to see Streisand backstage at the Hollywood Bowl. Weeks later, Streisand sent her a note asking her why she didn't come back to say hello — she wanted to give Michele a hug!