Pillsbury Crescent Dogs

Mid-August I posted the following little blurb on my professional Facebook page - || while this week was rather insane (two on-camera auditions - one TV pilot and one TV commercial; rehearsals for a stage play; voiceover session for a Pillsbury TV spot; and voiceover for Marketplace Events Home and Garden Shows - TV and radio spots in 5 markets), it's moments like this - noticing how the light is hitting a vintage Neumann microphone in the recording booth - that give me pause with gratitude and appreciation.

photo (60).JPG

And here’s the result of that session in the booth with the vintage Neumann:

Ten points for the copywriter who gave pigs-in-a-blanket a fancy-yet-accessible turn.

(By the way, have you ‘liked’ Leigha Horton - Stage || Screen || Voice  yet?  No?  Do! It’s an easy way to be notified of new Greenroom posts!)

Yoplait Greek Yogurt

After doing voiceovers in Minneapolis/St. Paul for six years, it’s a rare occasion to find myself in a recording studio that I haven’t yet been in. So today was a treat, as it brought me to the curious and charming NoWare Media. We recorded the tag for a Yoplait Greek Yogurt TV commercial voiced by Lisa Kudrow (yes, Phoebe of Friends fame); I come in at the end to wrap it up:

NoWare is a sweet space – they’ve even got those classic sliding barn doors (swoon).  But putting down voiceover in a booth that includes a chandelier? – Definitely an awesome first.

NoWare Yoplait Recording
NoWare Yoplait Recording

And the Winner of School Picture Day is...

...this kid.  He gets all the points for being equal parts kickass and adorable. It was a delight to finally get my hands on a copy of this, as we did the voice-over months ago.  Only recently had I started hearing from friends that there's a new commercial running on TV and they swore it was my voice.  They were right:

And here's a little bonus behind-the-scenes peek in the editing suite, after recording the tracks, as my audio was set over the video:

Crystal Farms spot recording at Echo Boys
Crystal Farms spot recording at Echo Boys

Have I mentioned I have the best job ever?  I have the best job ever.

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.

A Little Love for the Pacific Northwest

For the past several months I’ve been working with some of the coolest people on the planet over at Campbell Mithun (that’s right, Mim, I’m talking about you) voicing tags for KeyBank spots – tv ads and just audio, I believe, to run on Pandora – and, of course, having a blast. I also learned something really cool about marketing on Pandora – they can target which ads they play based on your location, almost down to the block on which you live, so that it’s ultra-relevant. I’ve found myself listening to Pandora in the past, hearing an ad come on, and thinking, wow – my neighborhood ACME Anvil company had the money for an ad on Pandora? Nah, turns out they can just be super-specific, and probably, in turn, find it more affordable.

Anyway, KeyBank has locations in 14 states, and I’ve taken the most quiet joy reading the tags for Portland, Seattle, and a couple of places in Colorado, just because I’ve got family and dear friends in those places. Here’s hoping that even if they didn't recognize my voice, they maybe felt just a little closer in that moment.

The National

A couple weeks ago I voiced my first, truly national television commercial.  As opposed to what – an only-partially national television commercial?  Yeah, yeah, I’m kind of arguing semantics here: I’m making a distinction between a single spot that will play all over the U.S. (as this one is) as opposed to a slew of commercials that will play in specific markets all over the U.S. (as the Marketplace Events Home Shows spots with Ty Pennington are). So, behold – my first national television commercial.  For Land O’ Lakes butter:

I was surprised to learn from a few friends that it’s already airing – at least in Minneapolis and northern California, anyway.

You ever have one of those career-defining moments where you think, wow – I’m really doing this – this is, somehow, actually real - I’m making a living doing what I love?  Standing in the editing suite, post-recording, watching my VO dropped over the final picture and music for this spot was that moment for me. There are no words to adequately express the feelings of joy and satisfaction and peace and comfort and gratitude and place that accompany a moment like that. And so I'll just sit back and let it be.

2011 in Review

While relatively tedious to compile, I’ve come to love these year-end reviews.  They remind me that I actually make a living at my craft, no matter how insecure I get during the course of the year about my abilities or accomplishments (or seeming lack thereof).  Lists like these remind me that I am doing what I love, and am being rewarded for it.  Lists like these remind me that my career choice bought me passage into my very first house, all on my own, and keeps me there.

Because let’s be honest - there is always a point (or five) in the year when I panic.  I think, ohmygod, they’ve finally realized that I’m a total fraud and NOW I WILL NEVER WORK AGAIN.  EVER.  This happens regularly.  Without fail.  And then I end up inexplicably landing another incredible gig and think, oh, well, okay – maybe I’m not that bad.  It is a joy and an honor to be so lucky.

Without further ado, my performance highlights of 2011:

January Continued part-time work at the Science Museum of Minnesota on the Science Live team – performing live science demonstrations and science-related short plays for museum audiences.

Marketplace Events spots - third year running.  Ty Pennington and me on national TV and radio urging you to attend home shows across the U.S.  TV commercials aired on HGTV and ABC and their affiliates.  Recorded at Audio Ruckus.

VOs for General Mills, but I took very poor notes about this, and have no recollection of what it was for.  My guess is that it was, perhaps, some pickups for the 42 spots I did back in December for Progresso Light Soups, Yoplait and Yoplait Light Yogurts, and Big G Cereals national TV spots.  Note to self in 2012: take better notes.  Recorded at Babble-On for Shout! Creative.

February Script workshop and stage-direction reading for public presentation of Carson Kreitzer’s new play, Behind the Eye, as part of The Playwrights’ Center’s Ruth Easton series.  Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and commissioned by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park for a world premiere in April.

Not much else to report other than travel to Florida.  It was warm.  I remember needing that.  Oh yes, and travel to Madison, WI, to teach museum-theater techniques to institutions across the U.S.

March VO for the trailer of TRIUMPH67, an independent feature-length film that went on to become the official selection of the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival.

Spent the day in studio at Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), recording the voice for a sultry character in The Winner, a pilot for Minnesota Stories – a new program dedicated to showcasing Minnesota writers.

VO for Target - a short film about inclusiveness called You Make Us.  Recorded at Audio Ruckus.

Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio at Minnesota Public Radio

April Table-read of a new script by Patrick Coyle at The Jungle Theater.

The Winner, recorded in March, airs twice on Minnesota Public Radio.

May VO for Cadillac.  With Laurence Fishburne.  I played his talking GPS.  Recorded at Babble-On for Fallon.

I bought my very first house, all by myself.  I think this is what officially makes me an adult, but I’m still not quite sold on that idea.  The only reason I’m including this here, amongst my gigs, is because those VO gigs are what made this possible.

Home, in as many words.

June Script workshop and stage-direction reading for public presentation at the Playwrights’ Center of Scratch, a new play by Shira Naharit.

Started rehearsals for Minnesota Middle Finger, Ben San Del’s Minnesota Fringe Festival entry.  Yes, Fringe is in August.  We started way, way early because of everyone’s insane schedules.  I think when all was said and done we only had 12 rehearsals.

July VO demos for Hormel, recorded at Modern Music/Fischer Edit for BBDO.

Co-wrote and produced a short satirical 1950’s-style educational film, The Wonders and Worries of Nanotechnologyon behalf of the Science Museum of Minnesota for The Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).  Film + Production by Teddy Media.

August 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival, and my performance in Ben San Del’s Minnesota Middle Finger with the incomparable John Middleton and Tim Hellendrung.

VO spots (more, again) for Marketplace Events home shows with Ty Pennington – TV and Radio.  Continued airings on HGTV and ABC.  Recorded at Audio Ruckus.

Three-day script workshop at The Playwrights’ Center of Outcasts of Eden, a new play by Andie Arthur.

Served as host/barker for the AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion at the Minnesota State Fair, on behalf of AFTRA.

Cast in kaotic good productions’ The Cooking Show con Karimi & Comrades: Viva Las Roots! to be presented at Intermedia Arts in October 2011.

Script workshop at The Playwrights' Center


September Cast as both Anne Bonny and Mary Read in the Science Museum of Minnesota’s next major exhibition, Real Pirates, as well as cast in the publicity crew for advance event appearances.  Exhibition opens mid-February 2012.

Attended the 7th annual Ivey Awards – Minneapolis/St. Paul’s version of the Tonys.  Very, very swank.  Very, very inspiring.  I know I said that last year, but I still mean it.

VO spot for General Mills – radio spot for Yoplait Yogurt in the NYC market.  Recorded at Audio Ruckus for Shout! Creative.

Real Pirates coming soon to the Science Museum of Minnesota

October Cast in The Peanut Butter Factory’s next production, Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries – a two-person show with Adam Whisner to be presented late winter/early spring 2012.

Went on a three-day writing retreat to northern Minnesota with the company of kaotic good productions’ The Cooking Show con Karimi & Comrades: Viva Las Roots! to create character and storyline.

VO narration for short documentary Does Every Silver Lining Have a Cloud?, a look at the effect of nanosilver on the environment, created by the Museum of Life + Science in Durham, North Carolina, on behalf of the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).  Recorded at Babble-On.

VO for the National Marrow Donor Program’s annual council awards ceremony recognition film segments.  Recorded at Aaron/Stokes for Blue 60 Pictures.

Script workshop and stage-direction reading at the evening performance of Sarah Gubbins’ new work, The Water Play at The Playwrights’ Center.

Performances of kaotic good productions’ The Cooking Show con Karimi & Comrades: Viva Las Roots!at Intermedia Arts.


November Performances continue of kaotic good productions’ The Cooking Show con Karimi & Comrades: Viva Las Roots!at Intermedia Arts.

Got my eyes did.  Yep.  Lasik.  No more contacts or glasses.  This changes everything on stage and in the recording booth, for the better.

Spent the day at the Hennepin County Courthouse, serving as a key witness in Faegre & Benson’s mock trial program.

Spices in the Viva Las Roots! kitchen.


December VOs for Marketplace Events Home Shows with Ty Pennington – fourth year running!  Recorded at Audio Ruckus.

Appeared on Kare 11 News morning program as Anne Bonny, marketing for the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Real Pirates exhibition opening February 2012.

Script workshop and stage-direction reading at the evening performance of Kira Obolensky’s new play, Vasa Lisa at The Playwrights’ Center, co-presented by Ten Thousand Things.  Workshop in preparation for a late-spring full production by Ten Thousand Things.

Real Pirates get sassy with the news crew at KARE 11.

Epilogue 2011, you treated my career well, and for that I thank you.  2012, we’re going to roll up our shirtsleeves and till this soil for continued growth.  My last major career goal was to make my living as an artist, which I have been doing for the last few years; it’s time to dream bigger dreams.  And then run to catch them.

On Target

Voiced-over a two-minute film for Target last week, entitled You Make Us.   In addition to being live at www.target.com/diversity, it's also hanging out on YouTube. Turns out this is what I sound like at 7 am.  Waitwaitwait - let me rephrase that - this is what I sound like when I'm awake at 7 am.

UPDATE - 1/11/2013:   In September 2012 we recorded a new, updated version of this video to take the place of the video linked above.  The updated video, entitled Anthemcan be seen by visiting Target's diversity site directly.

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.

Worst Line Reading Ever

This here tidbit (after months and months of silence, for shame) has dual purpose: 1) To see if I've properly figured out how to embed videos in blog entries;

2) To advise you that I'm coming back, and with a soupçon of snark no less.  You see, I just had me a birthday and realized that I will probably never ever play the ingenue again.  And hell, being a yes-girl was terribly boring.  So let's see what kind of critters go a-crittering when I rustle the shrubs a bit, shall we?