William Morris Endeavor

In early June I spent a week in Los Angeles, meeting with friends and friends-of-friends in the business and picking their brains about their experiences in L.A. thus far.  I also had hopes of meeting with agencies and ultimately getting west coast representation lined up for when I take the next leap in my voiceover career. Which, anyone who has tried to get noticed by a Los Angeles agent long enough to get considered for a meeting can tell you, is no small feat.  Basically, if you’re able to cross the crocodile-piranha-infested moat, slay the 13-headed dragon, and solve the riddle of the sphinx (not the one to which the answer is “man” – a new riddle), then you’re golden.  If not, you’re, to put it delicately, SOL.

But I just happened to luck out with a whole host of people who were wildly generous with their willingness to cross moats, slay dragons, and solve riddles on my behalf.  And so I found myself having three meetings with three agencies, and walking away with representation offers from all three.  And a very difficult, yet exhilarating, choice ahead of me.  And for that I couldn’t be more grateful.

And so, without further ado:

I now proudly find myself represented for voiceover in Los Angeles by William Morris Endeavor.  You can see and listen to my demos in the Commercial-Women and Narration-Women sections (and let's be honest - I would be lying if I didn’t admit that seeing my name fall smack-dab between Tina Fey and Linda Hunt made me squeal and run circles around the room).

I am also delighted and proud to retain The Wehmann Agency for voiceover work in Minneapolis.  Immense thanks to Shirley Venard, Michael Laskin, Sue Scott, Mark and Jill Benninghofen, Rachel Walens, and Matthew G. Anderson for their kindness and their counsel.  I am forever indebted.

Behind the Scenes with Cloud Cult

Today brought my MTV and MTVu debut in the form of an incredibly sweet music video for Cloud Cult's Good Friend - from their newly released Love album:

We filmed it in three locations on February 2, and it was...cold. Ohmygodsocold.  As in, high-for-the-day-was-10-degrees-Fahrenheit cold.  Texts to a friend that morning consisted of helpful weather indicators like "my legs are frozen solid," and, "holy jesus it's cold."  Despite Mother Nature trying to kill us, the day was wonderful.

Without further ado, a behind-the-scenes look at filming for Good Friend:


 The park with the most fabulous old metal play equipment.


A portable ice-fishing tent served as our warming house.

This thing was a tiny miracle.


Musician toes + portable propane heater.


The playground was situated next to an ice rink covered in fresh snow.  The adult boys made a game out of seeing who could run to the edge and then slide the farthest.  There were very specific rules.  The child boys won.


Adam Whisner on the swing set.  In a sweet little bit of all things coming 'round, Adam was the Doug to my Kayleen in the last two Minneapolis productions of Rajiv Joseph's Gruesome Playground Injuries.  When we learned of the casting, our text conversation went thusly:

Me: You and me?  We're gonna be in a music video together.  That makes me happy.

Adam: We're going to be yelling at each other.  Next play we're in, let's just be in regular love 'n' stuff.

Me: It's a deal.


The imaginary friend rests.


Setting up the long shot while Adam and I wait on the metal bench swing.


Adam and I waiting on the metal bench swing.


The pretty, pretty long shot of the metal bench swing.


Reconciliation. Awwwwww.


Our intrepid director, John Burgess, standing in for "Sam."


"Sam," pre-spaghetti-head.


"Mom" and a spaghetti-headed "Sam."


Charles Hubbell looking up something terribly important relating to Captain Underpants on IMDB.


The light truck outside our third and final location, awaiting load-out.  The sweet, quiet end to the long, sweet day.

Gruesome Playground Injuries

In my last greenroom entry, I mentioned a little show I was rehearsing called Gruesome Playground Injuries. In it, I said about rehearsals, “…it already feels like the most important stagework I’ve ever done so far. And to stumble and search and love and thrill and ache alongside the most talented Adam Whisner is a gift.”

It has indeed been a profoundly moving process, and one that I am thrilled to finally get to share with you. We open this Friday and run for just eight performances over two short weeks. I can say this in all earnestness: this one is not to be missed. The script is brilliant, and I would recommend you see it no matter who was in it. I just get to be the lucky girl this time around.

What’s it about? Gruesome Playground Injuries is the story of Doug and Kayleen, told over the course of 30 years between the ages of eight and 38. At times funny and sweet, at others heartbreaking, it’s an exploration of two lives and the pulsing connection between them, even when they’re apart.

Or, as the show’s official promo materials more succinctly state:

Gruesome Playground Injuries is a modern-day love story by Rajiv Joseph, United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist (how does this guy not have a website?!), about the near-misses that pull us apart and the pain that keeps us together.

Who’s in it? Featuring Leigha Horton and Adam Whisner Written by Rajiv Joseph Directed by Natalie Novacek Presented by The Peanut Butter Factory

When is it? Friday, March 23 – Monday, March 26 Thursday, March 29 – Sunday, April 1 All performances at 8 pm

Where is it? Intermedia Arts 2822 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

How much? All tickets $10, cash or check, available at the door

Photos courtesy Richard Fleischmann Photography

Photographer of Frivolous Affairs

John Lukas, engineer extraordinaire at Babble-On Recording Studios, and I are embarking on a new, terribly exciting audiobook series together.  Our very first session consisted of testing out various microphones and accompanying audio gear to obtain just the right sound.  The story, in pictures*:

The engineering studio and the recording booth beyond, taken from the fancy sofas that I never get to sit on when I’m in session.

The headphones I use in the booth to hear both myself and John when he talks to me from the engineering studio.  I initially took a picture of them because John said the last person to use them was Topher Grace.  Yes, that Topher Grace.  He was in recording some promo pieces for his new movie, Take Me Home Tonight.  In case there was any concern, I can now assure the world that Topher Grace does not have head lice.

Shotgun mic.  This was our first try, and ultimately decided against it.  Not that it didn’t sound good, mind you.

Super-duper ultra-fancy expensive mic.  Gorgeous, and did I mention expensive?  We ultimately decided against this one, too.

The winner.  A Neumann condenser mic.  André, John’s boss at Babble-On and an all-around fantastic fellow, told us after the session that he’s used this mic with me before on a couple of occasions with great results.  Nothing like the joy of many minds coming to the same conclusion independently.  We’ve so got this.

This is a windscreen that we decided to ditch because we didn’t need it due to mic placement – as John so aptly put it, “just one less thing up in your grill.”

I think we toggled back and forth between a couple of pre-amps, and ultimately chose to go with this puppy.  Honestly, I’m really not sure, but the light was on when I came out of the booth, so I assumed this is what we used.  I mostly just took the photo because the light is a killer blueish-purple.  How nice of me to then covert it to black and white, right?  Whatevs, it’s become my special light and I am now very protective of it.  Okay.  Fine. Here:

Happy now?  Sheesh.  Moving on.

The first book we’re going to record.  May Futrelle was on the Titanic and survived, her husband Jacques Futrelle, also a famous novelist, did not.  I studied up on them during my stint in the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition portraying Nurse Evelyn Marsden.  There's no way I'm letting 200+ hours of Titanic research go to waste.

I'm working from a gorgeous first edition, printed in 1911.  The illustrations are divine.

John at work, editing out the page-turns and working his audio mastering magic via The Fastest Digits in All The Land.  Holy cajones does that guy fly!

The ultimate goal is to get these distributed via Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.  Of course we’ll let you know when they’re available, are you kidding me?  Until then…you’ll just have to settle for the joy in the anticipation.

*all shots were taken on a whim with my iPhone.  So, you know, don’t judge me on quality.  Dammit Jim, I’m an actress, not a photographer.

The One-Two Commercial Punch of HELL-to-the-YES!

This evening brought a thrilling two-part televisual surprise: I arrived home to find the TV on, muted, with a rerun of the American version of The Office bumbling along (nothing terribly remarkable about that – but wait! There’s MORE!). TBS then broke for commercials and I was blindsided by the trailer for Rango – the new animated film starring Johnny Depp as a gecko; the very same animated film that features my longtime soul-friend Rick Garcia’s music and singing voice of the mariachi owls.

I damn near burst with pride.

And just when I thought I couldn’t have been more pleased – I noticed that the trailer was directly followed by one of my Yoplait Light yogurt commercials. I don’t do the main VO, mind you, just the tag at the end - “Find Yoplait Light cups on sale this week at your neighborhood Albertsons” (or Jewel-Osco, or Acme, or Cub, or Farm Fresh, or Shaw’s, or Kroger, or Fry’s, or King Soopers, or Smith’s or what have you).

But still! Following the incredible talent of my dearest Rick (and, of course, Johnny Depp – I mean, HELLO!) on national TV was pretty freaking sweet. And made mid-winter Minneapolis just a little bit warmer, starting with my heart.


But seriously, I mean it.

Such a Thing as an Aural Peek?

Oh how I love me some public library.  I just ordered a slew of audio books recommended by friends, as I have somehow been on this earth without ever having listened to one that didn’t also provide chimes that alert me when I need to turn the page.  Side note - through the magic of scotch-taped tabs, the Rip Van Winkle audio-tape was the first sacrificial lamb to my homemade strawberry-shortcake-bedroom-slash-recording-studio - “take THAT, boring old white guy!”  I was five.  Cut me some slack. Anyway, I figure if I’m interested in delving into the world of long-form audio narrative, which I am, I had better do some research on what works and what doesn’t. Take an aural peek, if you will.  So a few months back I put out a request in hopes of discovering what single-narrator audio books most delighted my friends, based on the narrator’s read, not necessarily on the quality of the book in question.  And the results were many:

  • Jim Dale’s readings of the Harry Potter series (this came highly recommended by many)
  • Just about anything written and read by David Sedaris or John Hodgman
  • Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation
  • Lisette Lecat’s reading of The Double Comfort Safari Club
  • Tony Horwitz’ reading of his own novel, A Voyage Long and Strange
  • Patrick Tull’s readings of the Aubrey/Machurin series
  • Ralph Fiennes’ reading of Oscar and Lucinda
  • David Tennant’s readings of the Dr. Who series

First off, I’ve gotta admit I am shocked (shocked, I tell you!) by how many of my friends listen to audio books.  Second, I was thrilled by the great response and look forward to taking a listen.  Third, I am always looking for more inspiration - so if you have any favorites, please share them in the comments here or privately via my contact form.

And fourthly, ahhhh, the unfortunate fourthly: I can’t believe I call myself a voice-over artist and haven’t listened to an audiobook since I was a little dude.  It’s embarrassing.  That’s like saying I’m a doctor, but have never looked inside somebody’s ear - except for when I used to practice on my teddy bears.  Guh.

Hello, Chosen Profession, meet Responsibility.  Being a grown-up is hard.

So What is it, Exactly, we're Doing Here?

When I started this blog over five years ago things were very, very different.  Well, mostly different.  I was planning on shipping off to New York for grad school (that’s still on the to-do list, but it’s much more complicated now); I was working full-time in order to support my theater habit; I hadn’t yet set foot in a recording studio; and I was young and thin and bodacious and ready to conquer the world with my self-described Mad Acting Skillz.  This blog was meant to be my marketing machine - it would get me loads of gigs and I would be rich and famous and living The Dream. Since then I’ve settled down rather dramatically - I still live in Minneapolis and I have an organic kitchen garden and a bird feeder in the backyard. Not bad things, but not where I saw myself in five years, five years ago. I am now a full-time actress; I am well-acquainted with recording studios; I am no longer young and thin (have thankfully retained relative-bodaciousness, and working hard to regain once-held thin-ity); I am not rich nor famous, but I am living the dream.  Small t, small d - it's a different dream, after all.

So if this blog isn’t about acting as an everything’s-perfect-rah-rah-rah-please-make-me-famous platform, then what is it?  It’s still about my experiences, but it’ll include more of the scandalous (have I mentioned I am so over covering for shit directors who wield too much power and not enough intelligence, or for that matter, tact?).  It’ll also be a compendium for things performance-related that I find interesting or inspiring and want to share with anyone who is willing to join me on the journey.  And it’ll be a place that allows more than 140 characters (I’m looking at you, Twitter) and more than 420 characters (ahem, Facebook).  And because I wish more people would do the same.

Viva la sala verde!


You’re reading the ramblings of an AFTRA newbie and I have a shiny little pin to prove it. I signed all the paperwork January 7 and wrote them a horrendously fat check to cover a mere ¼ of my initiation fee. I think I urped a little when I handed it over. And I know I about had a coronary when I was handed the payment schedule for the next three months.

I find it ironic for unions to require actors, on actors’ wages, to pay a crapload of money that they don’t have in an obscenely short amount of time so that they can make union wages. It brings to mind a scene in Quicksilver wherein Paul Rodriguez explains collateral to Kevin Bacon, ultimately breaking it down to “you need money to make money” (sidenote - My uncle is credited in Quicksilver as “Options Trader,” and I’m certain I’ve been in a home video here or there with my uncle, thereby solidifying my place as a mere two degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon – WIN!).

Back to my point – I will grant that I’ve gotten some good voice-over jobs lately – it’s just that they’re one-off radio spots and one-off radio spots aren’t all that lucrative if they’re only coming around once a month. I tried to impress this point upon the union’s Assistant Executive Director. His response? A story about a guy who landed a Miller Lite spot aired during Monday Night Football for the season, and how he made a load of cash and how the union initiation fee was a pittance to him. My response? “That’s great for the guy, I guess – maybe he’ll want to pay my initiation fee, too, while he’s at it – do you know his address?”

Enough kvetching… did I mention that I’m actually THRILLED to finally be Union? It’s true! I am.

buh-bye, day-job!

As I've been alluding for several weeks now, after five years of service to the Walker Art Center in the position of Performing Arts Assistant, I am (sadly, yet excitedly) departing to pursue my acting career full-time. That said, we have started the official search for my replacement, allowing ample time for new-hire training before my departure December 6th.

Below is a brief job description. If you know someone who might be interested in the position, and/or who might be aware of potential candidates, please forward along this information. If you have any questions about the position, please feel free to contact Julie Voigt, Performing Arts Senior Program Officer, at 612.375.7625 or julie.voigt@walkerart.org.

Thanks for your help in spreading the word!




JOB TITLE: Assistant

DEPARTMENT: Performing Arts

CLASSIFICATION: Full-time, exempt

REPORTS TO: Senior Curator

HOURS: 35 hours/week, M - F with additional hours as required

RESPONSIBILITIES Provide a full-range of assistance to the Performing Arts Senior Curator, along with added assistance to the department. Duties include acting as lead contact between Performing Arts department and other departments for the oversight and coordination of general office projects (IT systems implementations, office moves, etc.); serving as first point of contact for public and collegial inquiries; serving as liaison between Senior Curator and public for incoming and outgoing communications; assisting with, and often managing, grant applications, interim reports, and final reports; coordinating project details for artist site visits; coordinating national- and international-colleague site visits; arranging Senior Curator’s and artists’ complex travel itineraries; working with box office staff to maintain comp lists and attendance records for Performing Arts programs; managing Senior Curator's calendar; drafting and executing departmental correspondence; and providing support in executing Senior Curator's presenting responsibilities.

QUALIFICATIONS Arts administration or related arts degree with practical experience in an arts discipline and project management preferred. Two or more years of administrative support experience required, executive-level preferred. Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills with strengths in marketing and public relations, strong decision making capability, and organizational skills with attention to details. Essential to work effectively with a wide range of people (artists, administrators, funders, community partners, patrons) and have the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously in a fast paced department. Knowledge and experience with the Microsoft Office Suite (PC), database systems, and Internet required. Knowledge of Photoshop, InDesign, and Quark a plus.

SALARY High $20’s to Low $30’s depending on qualifications; excellent benefits

APPLICATION DEADLINE Wednesday, October 25, 2006

For consideration, send letter of interest, resume, and names of three professional references to Human Resources, Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403.

Posted 10/06/2006 Job line: 612.375.7588 or www.walkerart.org/jobs/

Walker Art Center is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer


The New Phonebooks are Here! The New Phonebooks are Here!

I’m not sure how most of you get to this here greenroom (if you have just the greenroom bookmarked, or if you go through plain old www.leighahorton.com, “coming soon,” to get here). If it’s the latter, you might have already seen the source of my excitement. If you didn’t notice anything different, go back and hit the refresh button. If you generally skip the main page all-together and come straight here, quick-quick go look at www.leighahorton.com! IT’S MY SHINY NEW SITE! IT’S HERE! Yay, yay, yayyayyayyayYAY. YAY!

Now, in all your awesome readership glory, will you check the site out on your various browsers and report back any problems? I thank you, and my web monkey thanks you. And I thank my web monkey. He deserves many head-injury-free naps under coconut trees and many bushels of bananas.

(Insert Horton Happy Dance here)