While she was thrilled to be reunited with Finn, Rachel began her senior year completely focused on getting accepted into the New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts. In an attempt to puff up her resume, she briefly ran for class president against Kurt, but she quit when she realized he needed the win more than she did. In fact, Rachel was suspended and banned from sectionals after she was caught stuffing the ballot box to help Kurt get elected.
After she mailed her application to NYADA, Rachel obsessed about getting in and worried about what her future would hold if she wasn't accepted. When Finn proposed to her, she was initially indecisive. She worried about how marriage would impact her career, but she eventually said yes.
Despite numerous pleas not to rush into marriage, Rachel and Finn decided to immediately tie the knot. But their ceremony was called off when Quinn, who was one of the bridesmaids, was involved in a serious accident on the way to the courthouse.
Then Rachel's big day finally arrived - not the wedding, but her NYADA audition. She took to the stage to sing "Don't Rain on My Parade," a song she'd been belting out since she was two. But when she choked and couldn't remember the words, her lifelong dreams were dashed.
At nationals, New Directions not only won the competition, but Rachel also spotted the NYADA director in the audience. She hoped the win would earn her a second chance, which she got when her NYADA acceptance letter arrived after graduation. Although she decided to defer her attendance to marry Finn, he called off their engagement and put her on a train to New York City so she could follow her dreams.
Lea Michele made her Broadway debut at eight years old, playing "Young Cosette" in "Les Misérables." Since then, she has shared the stage with Broadway greats Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell in "Ragtime," as well as with Alfred Molina in "Fiddler on the Roof."
She also played "Wendla" in the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of "Spring Awakening," earning a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
For her work on GLEE, Michele was honored with both an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and two Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Television Actress - Comedy or Musical, along with a 2010 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress - Comedy, and a 2009 nomination for Choice TV: Breakout Star - Female. In 2010, Michele was also chosen as one of TIME magazine's Time 100: The World's Most Influential People.
Michele was featured in Gary Marshall's "New Year's Eve." Also on the big screen, Michele will lend her vocal talents to the animated 3D musical "Dorothy of Oz," voicing the movie's lead role and singing on several original numbers, alongside Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Kelsey Grammer.
She currently lives in Los Angeles.