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Volume 16 #8
Oct. 2006

Changing Spots
by Jennifer Corday

A richly textured drama, Changing Spots showcases two strong and unique lead lesbian characters and their committed yet complex relationship. Starring Lane West as the haunted former child star Molly Brite, Danielle Egnew as her former rock-star partner Peg Franklin, and Larrs Jackson as Molly’s disenfranchised father Jim Brite, the show tackles issues that every human being can relate to, gay or straight.

Director Susan Turley is helping shape the new face of cinema by incorporating

intelligent, relevant content fueled by gay and lesbian characters. “As a gay filmmaker, I do feel it’s important to speak to my audience about ideas and issues relevant specifically to us,” she says. “There are very real experiences directly related to sexual orientation such as the complexities of starting a family, marriage, etc., and make us markedly different than our heterosexual counterparts. I’m drawn to explore those fundamental differences and the circumstances and consequences we find ourselves dealing with as a product of those differences.”

Actress-musician Danielle Egnew concurs. “Make no mistake, this is a lesbian film, featuring a lesbian couple, and the gay aspect is an important part of the film, but it can also cross over. Susan wrote some tremendous characters that are so real and rich and complex that I think everyone can relate.” Egnew’s character is a former rock star who got dumped off her label and was forced to take a job, something the actress can definitely relate to. As a member of the well-known act Pope Jane, Danielle was a bona fide rock star back in the late 90’s. “We were really kicking it, touring and going strong, selling tons of albums. Dreamworks, MCA and Maverick were all after us, and then the industry collapsed and they all disappeared. So I could definitely relate to what Peg was going through.”

Jenny Sherwin is Egnew’s real-life girlfriend and plays the part of Stef, a struggling comic and Molly’s best friend. “She provides humor, sarcasm, and cynicism in Molly’s life,” explains Sherwin. “I’m like that in many people’s lives. The part was actually rewritten for me.” In addition to acting in the film, Sherwin is an Associate Producer on CS, and is also famous for her career in radio. She was a host on popular L.A. station KLSX with Howard Stern for almost seven years, gaining a huge following as on-air personality Sheena Metal. “Still, I wanted to do my own thing, so I eventually left and started Music Radio Highway in 2004. It’s now syndicated on over 700 stations, has 126 million listeners, and can be heard internationally.” She and Egnew are a great match, with strong mutual respect and admiration for each other’s talent. “She’s a complete genius,” says Sherwin of her girlfriend, “with anything that has to do with sound.” The two artists take on as many projects as they can together and seem to love the journey, side by side. “ It’s fantastic!” says Shewin. “It’s really fun. Danielle and I have been together almost five years and we try to do as many things as we can together. That way we can be crazy workaholics and still spend all our time together.”

Actress Lane West, who has hundreds of TV, radio and gaming credits, portrays Peg’s partner in the movie, Molly. Lane has been acting for over 20 years in film, television and theatre, and co-produced Changing Spots while starring in the film. West loved the challenge of playing such a complex, multi-layered character. “It was both fascinating and frustrating to play a character who just does not know how to communicate or forgive,” she says. “I kept discovering new things about her and, in turn, about myself. The most difficult part was remembering where she ended and I began because, honestly, there were some 12-hour days of intense scene work where those lines tended to blur.” West speaks highly of director Turley, who is also her real-life lover, partner, and best friend. “I love Susan’s directing style — she lets an actor explore and always has great notes to aid in the exploration. Because we’ve worked together on so many films now, it’s become a very natural, collaborative process.”

So what about the love scenes? “The experience of doing a love scene with another woman while your partner directs you is not something I would recommend to everyone,” admits West. Despite her impressive list of credits, she is humble and truly appreciative of the experience. “I feel very fortunate that we had an amazing cast and crew that helped bring this passionate story to life and created a work that has already made my team so proud.”

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© 2006-08 Ave Vox Entertainment™ / Danielle Egnew / All Rights Reserved.