I have been neglectful. A month ago I should have written the equivalent of the Horton Happy Dance upon the introduction of whole, raw carrots to my diet (yeah, yeah, fine - whole until I chew them, smartypantses). Hell, I’m halfway tempted to add that regained ability to the “special skills” section of my resume (yes, actors have a “special skills” section on their resumes - one never knows when her years Irish step-dancing or the time she drove cattle for a week is going to land her a gig). I digress. Carrots and apples and popcorn and, and, and...caramel. Ohmygod, yes. These incredibly wonderful braces-mangling objets du désir. I, Leigha Catherine Horton, being of dubious “sound mind,” officially endured 18 months of legalized self-initiated torture, and on March 3, 2009, with the determination that my treatment was complete, had my braces removed. I’m like a shiny new raw-vegetable-eating girl with fabulously straight teeth and a brand-new confident smile. Even now, a month later, I go from quiet delight to spazzy-thrilled and back again without notice. A far cry from the generally ill-disposed and/or bitterly pained swings that, um, “colored” the last 18 months. To put it lightly, that shit HURT. But, this process was way, way overdue and I am now stupidly happy.

And okay, so technically I’m not entirely done yet. I have three weeks remaining with the Invisalign on my upper teeth, but they’re damn near perfect now. And I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’d probably cry if I could somehow stop grinning like a silly idiot. It’s wonderful.

UPDATE 4/21/09 (because Meghan made a valid point in her comment): Leigha Horton + beach

Leigha Horton + Monster Sea Kelp

Of Windmills and Monsters

In the countdown to my first day as a full-time actor (Wednesday, December 6), I have been consumed by my working life. Blood, sweat, tears, and a slew of curses have been shed, and my social life has been anything but. Yet, I shall soon reemerge, Jean Grey-style, unto my fellow X-Men. Indeed, I am a Phoenix, and we actors are all just mutants when you get right down to it.

Until that day, which then I’ll have no excuse but to write daily, I'll be offering aggregations of what’s been smoldering as of late:

1) Chasing Windmills won two Judges' Choice awards at this year’s Vloggies on November 5th: Best Fiction Blog and Best Entertainment Vlog.

2) A Chasing Windmills episode is scheduled to air on The Tyra Banks Show in early December (I am not in the chosen episode, but it doesn’t matter – our team is getting national TV coverage, and that’s pretty sweet). The producers will inform us of the air date a few days prior, and I’ll be sure to give everyone plenty of notice to set their TiVos to record. It’s gonna be fierce.

3) The Easy Reference list of Chasing Windmills episodes that I’m in thus far –

overture – 9/18/06 (just a brief appearance) relapse – 10/23/06 altar – 10/24/06 shopping – 11/10/06 telephonies – 11/14/06 (just a brief appearance via flashback) PLUS - two/three more episodes to come this very week! Joy! Rapture!

I'm not providing direct links to these episodes because I think you should spend some time poking around the site. It'll be a good time, I promise.

4) The Monster of Phantom Lake has continued to woo audiences at film festivals across the nation, and has garnered some great press to go with it – including a glowing review written by the kind and generous Duane Martin for Rogue Cinema magazine. I've recently come to know Duane via e-mail, and he's tops.

5) The Monster of Phantom Lake has been officially picked up for DVD distribution! Here’s the news lifted directly from TMoPL site: “Shadow Creek Studios, a subsidiary of Braun Media Services, has signed an exclusive deal with the producers to distribute the film in retail and online outlets in the United States. A new 'special edition,' complete with additional special features, will be released first quarter 2007. As part of the deal, the current version of the DVD will no longer be available for sale on (the TMoPL) website and can now be considered a collector's item!”

Okay – enough news for now. There’s actually more to tell, but I have to pace myself. If I share everything at once, I might implode.

Giving Them What They Asked For

The Heights Theatre The Monster of Phantom Lake (my first lead role in a feature film) is back by popular demand! Please join me this Wednesday, May 17th, at 7:30 pm at the stunning Heights Theatre in Columbia Heights. We've received loads of great press (check out the TMoPL website for links to reviews) - so here's your chance to pretend you're from Missouri and insist on seeing it for yourself!

Also, by coming to this screening, you might be helping us land a distribution deal. We've got a producer in L.A. who is interested to see audience reaction; so while you're watching the movie, he'll be watching you. Oh, the horror!

"The Monster of Phantom Lake" returns to the Heights Theater in Columbia Heights, Minnesota!

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Wednesday, May 17th, 2006 - 7:30 PM, $5.00 at the door The Heights Theater 3951 Central Avenue NE Columbia Heights, Minnesota 55421 www.heightstheater.com

We've recently been discussing wider distribution with a producer in L.A. who, unfortunately, is unable to come to the screening. He has asked us to videotape audience reaction to the screening as a way to help him get a better feel for the movie. For this, we would like to absolutely pack the theater with moviegoers so please, BRING EVERYONE YOU KNOW! The more, the merrier, the better our chances of securing a meaningful distribution deal. The film is family-friendly, although children under 5 might be frightened. We will be selling DVDs & posters after the show and much of the cast & crew will be in attendance.

Here's a little snippet of an article that was published in the Flint, Michigan paper "The Flint Journal" regarding the recent Flint Film Festival held last month:

"... the best of the features I saw was 'The Monster of Phantom Lake,' a hilarious parody of grade-D horror/sci-fi films of the 1950s ... the film is full of cheesy dialogue, improbable plot turns and a dead-on performance by Josh Craig as a stuffy 'man of science' who has none of the right answers but can strum a rock 'n' roll song on his handy guitar.

According to the film's Web site, a 'Phantom Lake' sequel already is in the works, with Craig reprising his role as 'Professor Jackson ... from the university.' Here's hoping we'll see it in a future Flint Film Festival."

It's only five measly dollars, so bring friends and buy them some popcorn while you're at it. Can't wait to see you Wednesday!

On the Up-and-Up

A couple of weeks off is definitely enough time to get into scads of trouble… here’s what I’ve got my mitts into these days: Saturday, March 25 (through June 18) My disembodied voice will be on the wall at the Walker Art Center as part of its newest exhibition, OPEN-ENDED (the art of engagement) – just find the photographs of skyways and icehouses by Catherine Opie and nearby will be a listening-station where you can hear me read an ice-fishing story or two by local authors (this was from a public reading that I did for Opie’s residency in 2002; recently re-recorded in the studio over at Undertone by my friend, Mr. Tom). This, friends, is the one time where snowpants = sexy.

Monday, March 27 Filming a short PSA for Foster and for equality. It’ll be broadcast on the web at some point in the near future; link to snarky political statement to follow.

Getting interviewed for the April edition of the Lipservice Talent Guild podcast. It’s like my Lipservice quinceanera! Except I’m not 15 and I’m not Mexican. Okay, it’s like my Lipservice Bat Mitzvah! Wait - not 13, nor Jewish. Damn. What coming-of-age celebrations do they have for Irish/Hungarian/German/Russian Americans besides getting blitzed at prom? On second thought, don’t answer that.

Tuesday, March 28 Public reading of The Lost and Found, a new screenplay by James Byrne. Someone recently dropped out, so I will be reading several roles. Come watch me use funny voices so you can tell them all apart! Kidding, Mr. Byrne. 7 pm at The Varsity Theater in Dinkytown if you’re looking to hash up some college nostalgia; be ready with your joneses for coffee and exercises in futility.

Sunday, April 2 Screening of The Monster of Phantom Lake at the Faux Film Festival in Portland. I have family in Portland. Family, if you love me, you probably shouldn’t go to this. Our very special screening is called the B-Movie Massacre for a reason. There will be improv comedians “improving” the script, as it were. B-Movie? Check. Massacre? Check.

Saturday, April 8 Callbacks for a new low-budget (but paid) feature-film, The Completely Remarkable, Utterly Fabulous Transformation of a Regular Joe. I’ve read some of the sides and I’m already getting invested in it… I hate it when I do that. Getting invested is not acceptable unless I’ve been cast. Gah.

Wednesday, May 17 The Monster of Phantom Lake returns to The Heights Theater – back by popular demand! You’ve asked for it, and the people who can make it happen made it happen. So for those of you who had to leave early to shoot a basketball game and didn’t get to see the end, or were out of town, or were in a show, or, ahem, said you’d show up and then didn’t (you know who you are; and you should know that you’ve earned yourself the title of Chump for that little stunt) – you’ve got another chance! Cast the weight of Chumpiness aside! Redemption in the form of pure entertainment can be yours!

Saturday, June 3 I’ll be wearing my best Appropriate for Children Disguise while reading Pinocchio the Boy: Incognito in Collodi to a bunch of youngsters as part of the Walker Art Center’s Free First Saturdays program. I will be reading the book aloud, playing several characters - come watch me use funny voices so you can tell them all apart! Not kidding, Mr. Byrne.

August 3-13 The Minnesota Fringe Festival returns. And so does the Ministry of Cultural Warfare. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! Some of you have recently been surprised to learn that I’m part of that company. Part of it? Hell, I’m Foster’s slave-driver (Write me a script! And make it good!)…seriously though, he’s the Artistic Director, and I’m the Executive Director and Stage Hog, which means he writes the good stuff, and I make sure people see me in it. Here’s a photo of an, um, elated Foster once he heard our name announced at the Fringe lottery! So what is MoCW going to present at Fringe this year? It’s a surprise! To us, too!

Summary While I shared all of the above so that I could be instrumental in getting you away from the computer and into an active role as part of the arts community, I also did it to prove to myself that I’m a working actor. Sometimes I freak out about stagnancy. List compiled = freak-out averted. Mostly. There are some awfully obnoxious gaps between the April and May gigs, and again between June and August. Perhaps those would be good times to go to New York and San Diego, respectively. Yes. Freak-out officially averted.

Post-Show Blues

Twelfth Night closed with a bang on March 5th – overall, we had a fantastic run of shows; and an even more fantastic closing weekend. It could very well be that they were my favorite cast to work with. Ever. Not counting Reid and Nathan, of course – but those guys are my guys, so I get to hang with them more often than not. Often when shows come to a close, I am ready to be done with them…it just feels right to move on. But this time around I find myself missing these amazingly kind and funny people. It makes me sad to think that the same group will never hang out in the greenroom together again. Sad-almost-to-the-point-of-tears-sad. Yes, The Post-Show Blues have pulled up a chair and made themselves comfortable. Tacky, really, since they weren’t invited in the first place. But alas, here they are. I hate them.

But then I was quickly consumed with the hype of The Monster of Phantom Lake premiere at The Heights Theatre, which was a certified blast. I don’t know how one goes about getting a blast certification, but one was definitely obtained. Honestly, I was highly apprehensive about the screening; I would have much preferred to take a Valium, show up late, and sit in the back corner and watch everyone – but I realized the evening wasn’t about my acting (which, in this film, I can safely say is pretty terrible), it was about celebrating this silly-yet-enchanting movie that we made. And celebrate we did. I had loads of family and friends there – and I keep finding out daily about more friends who were there, but who I never saw (the glasses didn’t go with the vintage dress). It was reassuring to be surrounded by 250 people who were excited to be there and quick to laugh. The positive reviews kept rolling in, and it felt great…

…but then my usually-out-of-town family went back to their respective homes, I got my apartment back, and I was unable to answer to the question, “what are you working on now?” without sounding pathetic.

But THEN I got to spend some time on Sunday with my main music men Dan and Don…and made super-slick recordings of Feste’s songs from Twelfth Night. Dan played like the pro he is, I sang my heart out, Don was the best cheerleader ever, and we were engineered by Kent, who worked on an album with one of my favorite bands (holy crap!). These guys definitely made my day.

And now here I am…reminiscing in the awesomeness of it all…and not foreseeing such levels of awesomeness converging again anytime soon. Who’s feeling needy? That'd be me, the one with her needy little hand raised. The only thing that could make this worse would be getting my wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow. Oh wait, I am getting my wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow. feh.

Monster Love

Just in time for the premiere of The Monster of Phantom Lake (and my first lead in a feature film) tomorrow night at The Heights Theater, we got a great write-up in this week’s City Pages! SCORE!

The Monster of Phantom Lake Heights Theatre, Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 pm

A glowing tribute to the creature features of the 1950s, this homegrown film from director Christopher R. Mihm works as equal parts reflexive comedy and straight-up drive-in shocker. When a scientist (Josh Craig) and his love-struck grad student (Leigha Horton) set out for a jolly weekend of "scientific experimentation," they're in for horrifying results. After a shell-shocked WWII vet stumbles into a lake that's loaded with nuclear waste, the duo, along with a group of rock'n'roll-loving co-eds, find themselves stalked by a leafy, slimy monster. In keeping with the low-budget tradition, the indelibly costumed creature is kept under wraps for most of the film, appearing only as the hand that reaches into the frame and grasps terrified victims. Craig demonstrates his mastery of Shatner-style pause-acting ("Wait a minute... Wait...a... minute"), while Mihm takes the audience on a jolly tour of tongue-in-cheek '50s sexism, hilarious innuendo, and plenty of arm's length slow-dancing. Featuring Mihm's original composition, "A-Rockin', A-Rollin', All the Way A-Ramblin'" along with a wealth of public-domain mood music (listen closely and you'll hear snippets from Carnival of Souls), this is an unusually warm and witty homage.

Be there, or be so TOTALLY square. Or out of town.

If it isn't the latter, lie.

All the News That's Fit to Print

The Monster of Phantom Lake PremiereFilmed in black and white, The Monster of Phantom Lake is a throw-back to the B-grade science-fiction/horror movies of the 1950s.

I am thrilled to report that the premiere date and location for The Monster of Phantom Lake are finally confirmed! Mark your calendars for Thursday, March 9, 2006 and join us at the lovely Heights Theater for a 7:30 pm screening. Running time is 90 minutes, so bribe your babysitters accordingly.

The director and cast (and my parents) will be present, and DVDs of TMoPL that include outtakes and director’s commentary will be available for purchase onsite after the show. For those of you out-of-towners not able to make it to Minneapolis during the snowiest month of the year, I will post an update in the near future about how the DVD can be purchased online.

Heights Theater 3951 Central Avenue NE Columbia Heights, MN 55421 tel: 763.788.9079

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night opens next week at Theatre in the Round 1960s Cape Cod is the setting for this production of Shakespeare’s dark, witty comedy of romantic confusion. The drunken Toby Belch torments Malvolio, while cross-dressing Viola finds herself caught in a love triangle. Twelfth Night’s tale of madness, love, and mistaken identities makes for a charming evening, rich with Shakespeare’s poetry and prose, and featuring some of his finest low comedy.

I am playing the part of Feste, and will be dressed as a Drag King and singing regularly throughout the show. Luckily, the director has brought in a guitarist to accompany me onstage, so I have been relieved of my auto-harp duties and will only be playing a few chords on the ukulele (even though I actually learned how to play the song that it accompanies). Performing Shakespeare while singing, and accompanying myself on instruments I’ve never touched before this rehearsal process, is a bit like patting my pia mater and rubbing my stomach, so I find great relief in our new guitarist.

Anyway, we open NEXT WEEK, so come see!

Previews: Wednesday - Thursday, February 8 - 9, 7 pm Tickets: $5

Performances: Fridays - Sundays, February 10 - March 5, 8 pm (EXCEPT Sunday, Feb. 12 + Sunday, March 5 – 2 pm only) Tickets: $20*

*I have unlimited vouchers for $2 off per ticket for every member in your party – contact me for details.

Theatre in the Round 245 Cedar Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55454 tel: 612.333.3010


Oh man, I just saw more edited footage of The Monster of Phantom Lake, and dang, it looks good. So why the title of this post? I’ll tell you why. In that same footage I noticed a huge continuity flaw with my hair. “Huge” only because it’s based on vanity; but noticeable nonetheless (and therefore something seemingly worth obsessing over).

The offending issue: by the time we got to shooting the last two scenes on the schedule, my curling iron had jumped off this world’s Functioning-Gadget Coil. Being that I work for an arts non-profit, my hair remained markedly straight for scenes 28 and 30 (the final scene). Big whoop, right? Yes, it IS a big whoop because I HAD FORGOTTEN THAT I WAS IN SCENE 29. The same scene 29 that gave us 89% humidity and a 3 a.m. wrap-up. Oh yes, curly-haired scene 29.

In an ideal world where scene 29 didn’t exist, it could have been accepted that Ms. Stephanie Yates set her hair in curlers before she left University for her study-weekend with Professor Jackson, but after a full day-and-a-half of tromping through the woods the curls naturally fell. BUT since scene 29 DOES exist, it looks like the curls had naturally fallen come scene 28, but upon arrival at the teenagers’ campsite (scene 29) Ms. Yates appears to have been attacked by woodland creatures with curling-irons.

I can’t wait to see the curly-to-straight-again transition from scene 29 to 30.

    Storybook Voice: “Yes, children, on the other side of the forest, there are woodland creatures with flattening-irons. These two opposing gangs of style-savvy fauna have turf wars with one another involving jazz choreography and snappy musical numbers. There’s no killing, just some nasty scorch marks and the distinct odor of burning fur.”

And the worst part of it all – the hair looks way better straight (especially considering the humidity during the first few weeks of shooting was making my curls all weird and gross anyway). Gaaah!

I wonder what the director would say if I requested a re-shoot of scenes 1-27, + 29? Kidding, only kidding.

    Cue Music: When you’re a bear, you’re a bear!…


The Kissing Scene

Last weekend we finished filming The Monster of Phantom Lake. The final scenes included the ultimate destruction of the monster costume by having the monster walk into, and then for the sake of the movie, out of, the lake. It looked pretty sweet, and our monster was a total sport. Especially despite the forced re-takes caused by the speed-boat morons in the background trailing a water-skier (it’s illegal to have gas-powered watercraft on that particular lake). Then there was the kiss. The kiss that we decided not to rehearse for the sake of making it look spontaneous, the same kiss that ended with the cheesy cheek-to-cheek post-kiss bit (where we’re both facing the same direction and looking dreamily off into space) a la Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Or Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae. Or Judy Garland and Tom Drake. Yes, my father raised me watching musicals, and I couldn’t help but open my big trap to make the suggestion - once spoken, it simply had to be done. I always thought it looked dorky when I watched it happen in those old films, now I can safely report that it feels at least twice as dorky as it looks.

So, now it’s editing time - I can’t wait to see it all finished and shiny with a score and everything. Although I am terrified of the audience response, and wish the Riverview Theater had secret two-way mirrors facing everyone so I could watch their reactions. Alas, no such luck. This is where the lack of immediate feedback just kills me... between on-camera work and voice work, I won't know until long after the fact if I've engaged the audiences or not, and can’t make adjustments based on the energy in the room. We’ll just have to wait and see… wait… and… see…

Five points if you can name the source of that last line – because my memory is terrible.

I’m mellllllllting…

Oh man – it was HOT this weekend. Temps were in the mid-90’s and the humidity was, I kid you not, 89%. So basically the air consisted of 11% oxygen, and 89% water. Okay, I’ll admit that this is not exactly how humidity percentages are determined, but when it gets to the point that one sweats profusely while sitting and it’s difficult to breathe in and out – WHO CARES ABOUT MATH?! Humidity makes me cranky. For that matter, so does math. We filmed several scenes for The Monster of Phantom Lake this weekend, and it’s days like these that make me curse a poly/cotton blend. Wrinkle free? Yes. Breathable? Not so much.

FRIDAY Friday night started at about 9:30 – there were a few scenes to shoot before anything I was in, so I got on camera round 11/11:30 – humidified (frizzy) hair, melting makeup and all. Ahh, to be the engenue in a movie. Comedy. Pure comedy. A few hours outdoors in that weather, and they could easily recast me as The Monster.

My favorite parts of the evening in no particular order:

  • At some wee hour, I was officially dubbed the “fire fluffer” since my girl-scouting days qualified me to keep the campfire going. I honored my badges.
  • At about 1:30 am, we had an unsettling interaction with some local fauna. During the shoot, we stopped due to some crashing through the woods out of range of the floodlights. Whatever it was kept getting closer and closer, and we all started to get quite nervous – finally, the thing burst through the bushes straight for us. It was worse from my perspective, because I was standing behind the director and couldn’t see what it was (but was thoroughly convinced it was a psycho killer). The director let out a frightened yelp, and grabbed the camera and tripod like a spear – I just froze. It turned out to be a dog-sized raccoon that took a hard right as soon as it came within 15 feet of us. Laugh we did, but I can’t say that did much for our nerves the rest of the evening. There were many suspicious twig breaks over the next hour or so…
  • The director accidentally swallowed a bug. While I truly felt for him, I couldn’t stop laughing…that was just too funny. Although frankly, there were far, far more spiders about than I would ever like to truly consider. And I can’t say I really enjoyed the persistent divebombings into the ear by those ginormous moths.

Around 2:15 am, we all started getting a bit punchy and couldn’t get our lines out correctly to save our lives. We finally wrapped it all up, and I got home at 3:15 am. I’m pretty sure I’m getting too old for this.

SATURDAY Thankfully, I had Saturday off to recuperate.

SUNDAY Sunday’s call was a very early, very unappreciated 8 am. That meant getting up at 6 am to shower, get in costume, do makeup and hair, and drive the 45 minutes to the producer’s house (near the shooting location). It was raining, so upon arrival we had to wait an hour and a half for the storm to clear. An hour and a half of cherished weekend-sleep, wasted. *sigh*

The day turned out rather pleasant - we filmed in a beautiful bay that looked remarkably untouched (well done, location scouts!). We were shooting a scene where the professor and I are taking samples from the water, and running them through various pieces of ridiculous equipment. At one point, I got up from the blanket too fast and just barely spared myself from landing in the lake head-first. Grace and I aren’t the best of acquaintances… And yes, that lovely stork dance was captured on camera - I feel kind of proud making it into the “outtakes” section of the DVD special features! Ah, the sacrifices I make for comedy…

To finish out the day, I rewarded myself with a head-dunking in the lake. On purpose, thankyouverymuch.

Holy bobblehead, Batman!

The first day of shooting for The Monster of Phantom Lake was yesterday, and thank god for digital cameras – they let one see how awful one is right away, so one has time to fix it. Yesterday’s shoot is in the can, but fortunately the rest of the scenes I can still salvage. The source of my dread?: the director did an overnight rough-edit of yesterday’s footage, and I look like a Janeane Garofalo bobblehead doll. Active listening, while generally appreciated in the real world, on camera makes me look like I have a bit of the Parkinson’s. The highlight of the shoot was at 7:30, when the gorgeous 1955 cherry red Chevy convertible came rolling down the road in all its diesel glory. Hot damn, that was a fine machine - it was so clean and shiny and big and wonderful – and it was there for us to use. Just sitting in it had me all giddy and stupid and numb to the 96-degree weather and 86% humidity and the fact that my makeup was sliding off my face. That high quickly faded to horror, since the opening scene required me to get out of the car and lean against it, and the re-takes required me to get back into the car - with each re-take I proceeded to track tree seedpods and dogwood fuzzies and dirt and all sorts of nature garbage into the car, all over the light-tan floor mat. I tried kicking my shoes to get the junk off before climbing back in, but those evil little $3 keds are the stuff of housewives’ nightmares. I felt like such a chump when apologizing to the owner couple – they were cool, though.

So far, I have to say that the best part of this experience is getting to try things out – seeing what works and what doesn’t on film (as a character – usually I’m just an announcer-type in industrials) is a learning process, and I’m honored that these guys have faith in me to make it work. I hope to make them proud.

a visit from the procrastination fairy

cosa numero uno: my first foray into audioville, Fringe Podcast #1, is officially available to the masses. One could download it from the Minnesota Fringe Festival website, and one could also download it directly from iTunes. Yes, we’ve hit The Big Time. Heck, on iTunes you can even subscribe to the Fringe Podcast via RSS feed (I’m writing like I know what this is) and get automatic updates when we post new ones. So fancy! cosa numero dos: must. memorize. lines.

Filming for The Monster of Phantom Lake starts this weekend – a week earlier than anticipated – due to the oh-so-lucky securing of a 1955 Chevy convertible. Yes, the leading man gets to drive a snazzy car. Lucky.

Tonight was to be my night of hunkering-down and memorizing my lines before the weekend. But no, I’ve brushed-up on my procrastination ability instead – ‘tis a learn-ed skill that I have mastered well. So far tonight, I’ve sold some embarrassing CDs to the Electric Fetus, pampered my soon-to-be oft-used bicycle with chrome polish/rust remover, ate some turkey and crackers hoping it’d pass as dinner, talked to The Bean on the phone, actually managed to highlight my lines and make a scene breakdown before writing to the director to see if the shoot schedule is set in stone (so I can memorize the appropriate scenes each week before the shoots instead of all in one sitting), and wrote this entry. Alas, the hunkering is not going so well.

Meet the new Ms. Stephanie Yates

I can’t believe it - I got the part! You are looking at the new female lead, Stephanie Yates, scientific graduate student extraordinaire and love interest of WWII Veteran (don’t be grossed out, it’s set in 1956) and all around sexy mofo, Professor Daniel Jackson, in the Saint Euphoria Pictures film The Monster of Phantom Lake. Oh, and by the way, I finished reading the script Saturday morning and realized that it’s definitely a throw-back to The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Not Swamp Thing. Well, maybe Swamp Thing, but I just remembered that I’ve never seen Swamp Thing. Anyway, it’s going to be a blast. The script is funny and well written, and the director and producer are smart and geeky-nice – so it’ll be just like working with MoCW or the old Scrimshaw Brothers/Look Ma, No Pants crew. I’m so excited, I’ve been doing the Horton Happy Dance. If you’ve never seen it, that’s probably a good thing because it’s ridiculous. Ask Reid Knuttila, he’ll show you.

Auditioning according to Darwin

I had my film audition on Saturday, and it went pretty well. The biggest challenge of the audition was just getting there – it was clear out in Mahtomedi – so far out there that even Google Maps couldn’t get it quite right. There were two very specific streets (Wildwood Road and this thing that goes by four names: Division St./Century Ave. N./Geneva Avenue N./East County Line Road N.) that I came to discover, after a good 30 minutes of driving around in Mahtomedi, are labeled as County Road numbers instead of their proper given names at major intersections. But only at major intersections. So for all intents and purposes, Wildwood Road is actually County Road 244, and is NOT to be confused with Wildwood Avenue or Old Wildwood Road. Same deal for that freaky road with four names. By the time I put a few thousand extra miles on my car, clearly convinced that if I could even FIND the place, they’d have to cast me out of sheer awe for my incredible perseverance, I found it. I had a good laugh to myself after the audition when the producer mentioned that their afternoon auditioners were far more regular in showing up than their morning ones. Apparently their 9 am didn’t show, and the others were late. No kidding - If I had a 9 am audition (God help me if I ever do – ick), and I got lost in Mahtomedi, I would truly just say fuck it and go home.

Thanks to the locals of Mahtomedi for their patience and kindness in offering directions. Even if they never mentioned the bizarre Christian Name/County Road # phenomenon.