Hi, I'm Erin Leigh Neumeyer and I am eternally optimistic, which is important in this crazy world we all live in together. I try to keep perspective and balance my bustling life with a bit of levtiy. I would say that I'm about 70% successful in this, it honestly depends on how hungry I am when something inevitably goes off course.
I'm an artist, in that I am artistic by nature. I love to draw, paint, take photographs, dabble in graphic design, write, direct and especially, act. My first acting experience that I remember was in high-school. It was a musical and I played the part of the mean girl cheerleader who, thankfully, sung very little. We had a mic that you had to walk up to and sing your lines and all I could think was, "What have I done? Run away!" Somehow I stayed and faced my fear and now I even enjoy singing in front of people.
Often I have ben able to put my painting and photography skills to work both on the sets and in the promotional material. Once I painted a 26 foot wide backdrop in a an 8 foot wide basement, one section at a time. I like to think that this is how I tackle life, by breaking it down into achievable activities and enjoying the process as much as the end result. Or maybe that is just the paint fumes talking.
Look, I'm originally from Upper Michigan where I'm only slightly exaggerating when I say it snows nine months out of the year. When summer arrived you ran down to Lake Superior and jumped in the subzero water then ran up to the beach to get a nice solid sunburn. You hoped for a strong breeze so the black flies wouldn't hang around. Or you headed over to the Hot Pond - which was this warm pool of water that slowly drained into the lake. It was warm because the water was used to cool off the engines in the power plant about a quarter of a mile away. They don't let people swim in it anymore. I wonder why.
Marquette, Michigan was a small town, I think there are only 20,000 or so people there if you don't count the university. Once I finished college at NMU with a BS in PR, where I was the CEO of AMA, I knew I wanted to get out of there before I earned anymore acronyms. I had a map of Colorado on my wall and since I raced slalom on a club team - figured it was time to head for the real mountains.
After 7 years in Boulder, Colorado it was time to move on. I had almost picked up a second degree in Fine Arts at CU, hiked a few 14'ers, sat in natures Hot Pond at Strawberry Hot-springs, played ski bum & rock climbing nature girl, worked at Mike's Camera, had a career in high-tech at Access Graphics, became the Director of Development for the Larimer Humane Society so I could save the animals (and adopt a few), joined the Lafayette Community Players where I played Rod Serling, bought my first home and married my charming husband, Keith. Yes, you read that right..."You have now entered the Twilight Zone."
Cue 7 year itch, we looked at each other one day and said, let's go west! L.A. was my home immediately, from the first moment I walked down the gritty alley toward Venice beach I was happy. This was 2003 and I jumped right in to showbiz. I was fortunate and found work right away, wrote / directed / acted in and produced 6 short films and had a blast being a student again, taking improv and on-camera classes, acting, producing theatre and in hind- sight, much to much of my time in a repertory theatre group called The Coop. I think it was supposed to be a cute way to say co-op but I truly felt cooped up there.
Walking On Sunshine
In need of steady income I found a great job working in events at Project Angel Food, helping with fundraising and writing the newsletter. After almost having about 100 big breaks and definitely having two children plus a dog and two cats we looked around and realized 7 years had passed again! So my husband proposed we take the kids closer to our extended family and live in another great city, Chicago.
Not being too keen on cold weather it took a bit of time for us all to adjust. I found myself fitting right in at The Second City Conservatory program and was back at it with improv / sketch / writing / producing. I even worked some musical sketch in and sang solo in front of people. I wish I could have told that to my 17 year old self. I think the only thing more exhilarating than putting up a show in the SkyBox theatre at Second City was when my husband told me he got a job that would bring us back to LA. It wasn't an easy road but somehow we ended up only a few blocks from our first home here. I feel that same ray of sunshine well up in me every time I look out my window or bring the kids down to the ocean. I'm home.