Q- How did you get into acting? I decided when I was 5 years old that I was going to be an actress. I was your original ‘underdog’ – I had literally everything against me. I was sickly, really serious health problems, and there was some doubt whether I’d even grow up. (Some would say I never did!) But I knew I was meant to survive, and to bring whatever unique abilities I could to the stage and screen. I never gave up. When I graduated from University with my acting degree, I sent a card to the doctor who delivered me (who’d said I wouldn’t live) letting him know how glad I was that he was wrong. I guess I’m still living on ‘borrowed time’, and that fuels my desire to succeed and shine.
Q- Who are your favorite actors or actresses that influenced you on your way to becoming an actress? Oh, anyone different, who swims against the stream! I am so inspired by those who bucked the traditional ‘Ken and Barbie’ stereotype for actors. Looking back, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett. More recently, Kathy Bates, Whoopi Goldberg, Janeane Garafalo, Helena Bonham Carter. All the folks you know were rejects in high school, but made it big by refusing to change, and by being who they are.
Q- What other roles have you played before Crowley’s Tomb? I’ve been acting in one form or another for about 30 years. The majority of my work for most of that time was on the stage – I did musicals and plays, like any ‘theatre kid’, only I kept doing it through my 30s. For the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to branch out into commercials (voiceover and on-screen), voice acting and a few indie films. My film roles have been supporting ones thus far, a lot of horror and scifi. You know that gorgeous ingenue or femme fatale you always see in the starring role? I usually play her best friend or her mom. ::chuckle::
Q- Do you prefer to play villains or heroes? Why? Well, I’ve played both sides of the fence, of course, but I’d have to say – without any guilt whatsoever – that I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the villains. Heroes are awesome in their own way, but give me a nice, juicy, evil b*tch role – or a disturbed, possibly psychotically deranged creeper – any day. Heroes have a tendency to be written bit one-dimensional sometimes, but crazy has so many levels and nuances that you can really just have fun ferreting out who that person is, and trying to make sense inside your head with everything that is wrong with them… It just feels more real, more multifaceted and rich. Good stuff!
Q- If you could be in any movie what would it be and why? I always wanted to be in a Stephen King movie. For a while, he had this reputation that he couldn’t write any believable female characters between the ages of 19 and 79, but once he got over that, wow! Dolores Claiborne happened, and Lisey’s Story, and Gerald’s Game, and Rose Madder, and The Regulators and Desperation (all of which have some really rich female characters, who aren’t just arm-candy maidens-in-distress waiting for some guy to rescue them). I’d love to play in any of King’s stories – he gives them such depth, and makes horror out of the mundane, everyday things we see around us all the time. I think that make them more believable, and therefore scarier. My favorite kind of horror story is one that gets under your skin and makes you think, “I know it’s not real. It’s just a story. And I hope the monster’s not there waiting for me when the light goes off,” because it just feels real. That’s scary!
Q- Where did you hear about the casting call for Crowley’s Tomb? I believe I saw it on Craigslist, of all places.
Q- What interested you in being part of Crowley’s Tomb? Speaking with Casey on the phone that first time, he really sold me on the idea with his passion and enthusiasm. He had such a clear vision for just … balls-to-the-wall horror, if you’ll pardon the phrase, and that kind of joyous energy is really contagious. I was sold as soon as I heard the phrase, “Evil nun”.
Q- Are you a horror fan? Oh, yes. Above and beyond everything else. I mentioned I was a sickly growing up. Reading was my escape. I read my first Stephen King novel at age 9, and never looked back. From there I branched out to other horror writers like Peter Straub, Clive Barker, and of course I also went sideways to SciFi and fantasy, but I always came ‘home’ to horror. I’d read these books (and watch these movies) that were designed to scare the pants off of you, and I’d watch them over and over and over again. For me, re-reading or re-watching those dark, disturbed dreams was like visiting with an old friend. One who might kill you in your sleep, but still.
Q- What character did you play in Crowley’s Tomb? Evil Nun.
Q- What can you tell us about your character? The Evil Nun was one of the cadre of villains. Along with the Evil Temptress and the Skull Face Priest, we were a kind of triumverate of nastiness. I was raised Catholic (I’m not now), so I have a lot of memories of nuns in my past. Fortunately, none of mine were evil, but I know that a lot of people shudder just thinking about a nun – particularly with a ruler. Nuns are tailor-made for horror.
Q- What were some of your favorite moments on the set of Crowley’s Tomb? The whole experience was fantastic. If I had to choose only one specific moment, it would be when Autumn (Delila) and I were singing a Little Mermaid duet while walking down the trail to the far bridge. I wish someone had gotten it on video, because it cracks me up to think of the heroine and the Evil Nun dancing about and trilling away to “Part of Your World”!
Q- Tell us about what the atmosphere was like on set in the cemetery? I unfortunately had a conflict and couldn’t film that day.
Q- Do you have any ghost or paranormal activity stories to share with us today? Tons! I’ve been an amateur paranormal debunker/investigator for 20 years and in three states, and have lived in several haunted houses – some extremely so. No stories from on-set this time, though. Sorry. I did see some interesting photos that someone took, though.
Q- What was it like working with an all star team such as Writer Casey Moore, Director Ricardo Protheus Rodriquez, and Producer Nathan Taupez? The team was fabulous. Everyone was extremely professional and knew how to get the best out of us, and kept the atmosphere fun at the same time. This shoot had to be the most non-chaotic of anything I’ve filmed so far – the crew and the talent were all top-notch, with a distinct lack of ass-hattery, which was nice. I’m honored that I got to work with you all, and hope to do so again someday.
Q- What horror movies impacted you growing up? The Shining (the original with Nicholson and Duvall). Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. Night of the Living Dead (the original). The Blob (Steve McQueen). [Blob was actually the first horror film I saw – well, ‘heard’. My mom wouldn’t let me watch it on TV, but she let me read a book in the room while it was on. I had nightmares for a week from the sounds the old man made when the blob was eating his hand.] Also a big influence – horror serials like Twilight Zone and Night Gallery. There was an adaptation of a Lovecraft tale on NG that I was too young to understand when I walked in on my father watching it one evening, and I literally had nightmares for several years from that one…
Q- What actor or actress did you think really stood out on the set of Crowley’s Tomb other than yourself? Pedro did an absolutely phenomenal job as the Evil Clown. I understand he wasn’t even originally supposed to be there, he just came along with someone else. But it was like the part was written for him. He had such an innate grasp of how to work the character just far enough to be truly creepy and horrifying, but staying on the right side of the line that would have taken it to cliche. Great job. But really, everyone stood out – there is no one that I would say did not.
Q- If you could be any character in Crowley’s Tomb who would it be and why? Do you mean for real, or in future incarnations of the material? I would love, love, love to be the Evil Nun in the feature film, because there is just SO much opportunity for a rampage of unholy dimensions with her. I mean, what’s NOT to love about an Evil Nun, right?! If you meant which would I want to be in real-life, then NONE OF THEM! I like my scares to be completely fictional, thankyouverymuch. If it was real, I’d be the one who senses evil on the wind and gets the hell out of Dodge.
Q- Away from acting what are some of your hobbies? I volunteer at an animal shelter, and sometimes take in orphaned litters of kittens to bottle-feed before adopting them out. My partner and I actually visit a bunch of shelters in the area on a weekly basis, just to visit with and socialize the animals there. They’ve had such a hard time, and having positive human interactions can make the difference in finding them a home. I’m an extremely outspoken LGBTQ advocate and sometime-blogger. Also, I write (poetry, YA fiction and speculative fiction), practice yoga and meditation, and I love Live Action Role Playing (LARP) games. I’m also a wicked trivia buff, and have a guilty fondness for Cards Against Humanity.
Q- What did you think after you saw the trailer of Crowley’s Tomb? I haven’t seen it yet – but I can’t wait to see it!
Q- What current projects are you working on? I’m a housewife and mother in Terminal 52 Films’ indie horror flick “Safe Haven”, filming in March. I’m also the focus of a print ad for a Tampa area photographer that just came out, and I had a Public Safety Announcement on bicycle safety running locally last month for the City of Cape Coral. I’m always on the lookout for unusual or quirky new projects, especially ones that might want someone like me – unusual and quirky.
Q- What would you like the fans to know about yourself? About myself – I think I’ve said quite enough already. But I would like to tell them, from the heart: Never, ever let anyone tell you that you can’t be exactly who or what you want to be. No matter how many people try to shoot down your dreams or tell you, “You can’t,” – you CAN. There is no ‘someday’ or ‘if only’ or ‘when this happens, then I can – ‘. None of ever knows how long – or short – our time on this world might be. Don’t wait to try. Try everything! Regret nothing – except the dreams you gave up on without trying. Try – and try again, and don’t be afraid to stumble. And keep getting back up. Another movie that hugely influenced me growing up – a non-horror flick – is Dead Poets Society. And though it may seem trite, I’ll leave you with this. “Carpe… Carpe Diem. Sieze the Day… Make your lives extraordinary.”