Michelle Pualuan aka Bombshell first came to Burning Man in 2015 when she managed to buy a magical ticket in the Main Sale. You can imagine her shock and awe (and a little bit of panic) when she realized she’d be camping in the Black Rock Desert without knowing a soul if she didn’t get out and meet some burners.
She quickly met up with RealGirl from South Bay Burners and through various activities and meet & greets, Michelle found Silicon Village and her Burning Man camp, No Drama Bar. Through the friendships she made, Michelle became acculturated into the Burning Man ethos and has been lucky enough to visit Black Rock City every year since 2015.
From 2016 through 2018, Michelle began volunteering with Silicon Village, as Village Ambassador. In this role, she helped to acculturate burgins and place them with camps that matched their interests. It was also in 2016 that she started to attend unSCruz, a regional burn in Watsonville, California. In 2017, Michelle stepped up to join the Volunteer Coordination team at unSCruz and has been part of the leadership team ever since.
Michelle also joined the South Bay Burners as a Board Member in 2018 and currently is their President. She helped produce the Bare Burn in 2018 along with fellow burner, board member, and South Bay Regional Contact Manea Trinacria. The Bare Burn is a 3-day long campout in the Santa Cruz Mountains which is frequented by burners. It was wonderful to see 150+ people come and join in the music, art, and interactivity.
In December 2020, she became a Regional Contact for the Burning Man Project and has worked on the ARRR 2020 Summary Report as well as the Regional Network Forum 2021. In June 2021, Michelle joined the Everywhen Project’s Volunteer Coordination team. As a lifelong volunteer and avid consumer of the arts, she is thrilled to be working on organizing volunteers for the departments.
Michelle lives in Los Gatos with a son and a daughter and works at Stanford University. She is a Bay Area native who loves quilting, costuming, writing, and all things burn-related. Her favorite quote is by Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”