Call Answered: Leanna Creel: Bayside! The Musical!
Known for playing "Tori Scott" on NBC's #1 teen drama Saved By The Bell, "Call Me Adam" chats with actress, director, and writer Leanna Creel about being the featured guest star in the unauthorized hit Off-Broadway musical Bayside! The Musical! from July 10-12 at Theatre 80 in NYC (80 St. Marks Place at 1st Avenue). Click here for tickets!
We also discuss starting her own film company, motherhood, and what she hopes to be rememered for.
1. On July 10, 11, and 12 you will be the featured guest star in the unauthorized hit Off-Broadway musical Bayside! The Musical!, a parody of TV's #1 teen drama Saved By The Bell. What made you want to be part of this musical parody? Well, it looks hilarious. And of course, SBTB is such an inviting comedic target.
2. What do you hope audiences will come away with after seeing you in Bayside! The Musical!? I hope they get a good laugh, especially at my expense.
3. What excites you about stepping back into the role of "Tori Scott"? I'm not sure how much I'll be back, but I'm considering wearing a black leather jacket. I've avoided that for years.
4. Who do you still keep in touch with from Saved By The Bell, if anyone? You know, I don't really keep in touch with anybody, but I've run into Mario a few times over the years. I get a zillion likes when I post a picture of him on Facebook.
5. Shortly after Saved By The Bell ended it's run, you left acting and started working behind the scenes, both producing and directing, eventually creating your own production company, and now photography studio. What made you want to leave acting and work behind the scenes? What do you get from working behind the scenes that you did not get from acting? I acted all through undergrad and grad school. In fact, took off a quarter while I was at UCLA to do the show. This is how I paid for my education, but I've always been drawn BEHIND the camera more than in front.
6. In 2008, you married your partner Rinat Greenberg and shortly after, Rinat gave birth to your son. How do you balance a career and motherhood? It can be tough sometimes, because I travel quite a bit. However, having my own business has been a great way to make sure the schedule works as well as can be.
7. How do you stay grounded in an industry that has lead others down darker roads? I didn't start acting until I was 15, and I've noticed that the kids that "went down darker paths"….usually started a lot younger when it was more difficult to keep a balanced perspective.
8. What's the best advice you've ever received? The most important thing is to keep the most important thing, the most important thing.
9. What have you learned about yourself from your career and being a mother? This would take a novel!! One thing I do know, is that I learn from my boys every day and that they have made me a more patient and demonstrative person.
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? To fly. I hate LA traffic.
11. What do you want to be remembered for? Excellent question. Personally, I want to make a difference in people's lives, and to be remembered as a kind and generous person. As for work, to choose material that inspires hope. I'm a sucker for hope.
More on Leanna:
Leanna Creel started acting for TV when she was 15, moving on from acting after earning an MFA in Film and TV from UCLA’s Independent Producer's Program. From 1996-2000, Leanna Co-founded Ignite Entertainment which financed and produced 10 feature films, working with emerging talent such as Will Ferrell, Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Natasha Lyonne, Peter Facinelli, and Ben Stiller. In 2000 Lionsgate acquired Ignite Entertainment.
2000-2003, Leanna wrote and directed several award winning short films including Offside and Prom-troversy! starring Jane Lynch.
Traveling around the world led her back to her childhood passion for photography, and she started Creel Photo in 2004. After creating hundreds of web and educational videos, she expanded her company to Creel Films in 2007. To encompass the expanding array of projects beyond just photography and video, and to develop original IP, Creel Studio was formed in 2013.