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It was Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The skies were darkening, a threat of severe weather imminent, as people lined up around the block to see the world premiere of Christopher R. Mihm’s B&W 1950s drive-in-style B-movie, House of Ghosts.

We had a sold-0ut show, with just a few scalpers out front selling available-at-the-last-minute tickets.

My gown cost me $6.99 at a Goodwill store! I borrowed a genuine antique brooch from my friend Carol Johnson. Many enthusiastic fans arrived in vintage clothing of their own, and they deserve some runway recognition.

Executive Producer Bonnie Kane, me, and Kailynn Neal (one of Bonnie’s fellow dog groomers at Royal Pet Beauty Shop, where our Westies were made continuously gorgeous for filming)

’50s Fashionista Jenn Farmer with me.

Josette Elstad, owner of JoJo’s Retro and Vintage (www.jojosretroandvintage.com)    and Kiera McMillan, another of                  Royal Pet’s great staff.

Clockwise from top center, the feet of Jenn Farmer, Maggie Schultz, Anthony Kaczor, me, and Christopher R. Mihm.

Writer/Director Christopher R. Mihm with Ann Segar and me.

Anthony Kaczor, my hubby and butler Piers in the movie, shows off his great new Christian Dior tux (ebay $29). To the right, I’m squishing Bonnie Kane.

Ann Segar and “House of Ghosts” lighting designer,        Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati, looking spectacular.

The cast and crew of “House of Ghosts.” From left: Sid Korpi, James Norgard, Dan Sjerven, Mark Haider, Andy Wilkins, Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati, Catherine Hansen, Anthony Kaczor, Horror Host Dr. Ivan Cryptosis, Michael Kaiser, Stephanie Mihm, Liz Kaiser, Christopher R. Mihm and Mitch Gonzales.  I was holding Blanche, and many of the rest of the cast were pouring out an invisible tribute to our “homies” Mike Cook, Mark Scanlan, and Justen Overlander, who’d already left for home.

Nurse Kira checks the Angel of Death (created by Mitch Gonzales) for a heartbeat.

I’m holding Blanche up to Christopher R. Mihm who is beside the Angel of Death and its creator, Mitch Gonzales.

Here I am with the four, four-legged stars of “House of Ghosts.” (Oliver, Blanche, Keely, Ambrose) They’d come down to take their BOWwows.

Stephanie Mihm (Ursula), in a lovely dress made for her by her mother Carol Eade from a vintage pattern, with frequent Mihm-movie star Dan Sjerven, and Mike Cook (Harlan).

Writer/director Christopher R. Mihm prepares to cut the cake by Melissa Dirtzu.

After taking out the bobby pins from my ’50s hairdo (by stylist Hannah Rouser).

The more than 50 bobby pins I’d removed from my hair!

“Doctor” Warren Porter and “Nurse” Kira Pontiff at the Heights Theatre lobby.

Earlier: Getting Nurse Rachet’s hair ready. Behind the scenes, back home just before all the hubbub was to transpire, I helped to prep our faux nurse (Kira Pontiff) and faux doctor (Warren Porter), who were going to pass out “fear shields” to audience members to save them from dying of fright.
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I got to tell Garrison Keillor a story from my book, “Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss,” last night at his bookstore, Common Good Books! And I personally invited him to come see Christopher R. Mihm’s “House of Ghosts” at the June 7 New Hope Cinema Grill screening.—Sid


 

Retro-style movie maker Christopher R. Mihm’s “House of Ghosts” screens at the New Hope Cinema Grill for a special “dinner-and-a-movie” event Thursday, June 7 following sold-out world premiere in May.

PRLog (Press Release)May 02, 2012
Arden Hills writer/director Christopher R. Mihm is the king of new old, good bad movies. Known as Minnesota’s own Roger Corman (“Little Shop of Horrors”), he brings to life spot-on re-creations of the B&W 1950s-drive-

in-style creature features many of us grew up loving. Fans from across the country will be swarming the Heights Theater on May 23 for the world premiere of his latest B-movie, “House of Ghosts.” Trouble is, the event sold out on Friday the 13th of April (how’s that for a positive omen for a ghost movie?), leaving hoards of people upset that they’ll be missing out.

Well despair not. Diehard fans who are kicking themselves for failing to order their tickets early have been issued a reprieve of sorts. Mihm’s message to them: “If you chose to snooze on buying your tickets to the World Premiere of ‘House of Ghosts’ at the Heights Theater, you lost because that show is 100% sold out. We have, however, scheduled a second chance for you to experience this awesome B-movie in another great theater, the New Hope Cinema Grill.”

“House of Ghosts” screens at the New Hope Cinema Grill for a special “dinner-and-a-movie” event! Mark your calendar for Thurs., June 7, 7:00–10:00PM.

“Do NOT delay this time,” Mihm advises. “The Heights holds 400 and it sold out. The Cinema Grill theater holds about 150. Do the math. Get your tickets TODAY if you know what’s good for you! This is an exceedingly rare opportunity.”

Located in a suburb of Minneapolis, the New Hope Cinema Grill is a full-service restaurant (with three showrooms) that offers a variety of entertainment, including movies, live standup comedy, sporting events, and the latest film from writer/director Christopher R. Mihm! The New Hope Cinema Grill is also one of the select establishments serving Surly beer on tap!

This screening of the newest Mihmiverse film is in the perfect setting for the whole family. For only $15.99 a ticket, you’ll be treated to a screening of “House of Ghosts” and a kid-friendly all-you-can-eat pizza/salad/pop buffet. PLUS, alcoholic beverages will be sold on-site to make the evening that much more enjoyable for those inclined to partake in adult libations!

A Q&A with writer/director Christopher R. Mihm and a few of the actors and behind-the-scenes folks from the film will follow the screening. DVDs and other merchandise will also be on sale at the event.

Check out the official movie trailer at

Advance tickets are now available! Check out the events section of the http://www.SaintEuphoria.com merchandise page to order yours right now!

New Hope Cinema Grill, 2749 Winnetka Avenue North, New Hope, MN 55427

SYNOPSIS

With “House of Ghosts,” his first supernatural thriller, writer/director Christopher R. Mihm pays tribute to the works of the master of classic horror, William Castle! (“The Tingler,” “House on Haunted Hill,” “13 Ghosts”)

Rich socialites Isaac and Leigh have a tradition of throwing exclusive dinner parties that include unique (and expensive) forms of entertainment. This time, they’ve booked a spiritual medium who promises to “open a portal to the great beyond” and allow the couple’s equally eccentric guests to contact the “afterworld.” But, before he begins his presentation, the occultist offers a warning: once the door has been opened, no human being can anticipate or control what might come through. Regardless, the group collectively agrees to go forward, only to find itself greatly disappointed by the results… at first. Trapped in the couple’s oversized house by a massive winter storm, the partygoers begin to experience unexplainable and increasingly frightening things. As these occurrences intensify, it becomes apparent that something evil is at work. Can the group survive the night or will ignoring the medium’s warning be the last thing they ever do?

STARRING
Mike Cook, Justen Overlander, Michael Kaiser, Sid Korpi, Mark Scanlan, Stephanie Mihm,
James Norgard, Catherine Hansen, Andrew Wilkins, Mark Haider, Anthony Kaczor, and
Christopher R. Mihm as himself

Authoring of the “House of Ghosts” DVD is COMPLETE!

House of Ghosts

In honor of this momentous occasion, we have been given permission to take pre-orders for this hotly anticipated Mihmiverse release! Visit the DVDs section of the merchandise page to pre-order your copies today! Only $9.99 plus $2.50 shipping and handling, the DVD will ship on or around May 23rd, the day of the film’s big world premiere!

The “House of Ghosts” DVD will include a high quality transfer of the new film, English and Esperanto audio and subtitle tracks, technical commentary with writer/director Christopher R. Mihm, Mitch Gonzales, and Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati, a director’s commentary, blooper reel, trailer, “The Real House of Ghosts” featurette with Sid Korpi (Administrator Ripley) and Anthony Kaczor (Pajama Zombie/Dr. Phillips), alternate ending, photo gallery, an intro/outro with the official horror host of the Mihmiverse, Dr. Ivan Cryptosis, and numerous “easter eggs!”

Pre-order yours today!

ALSO, the “House of Ghosts” world premiere is down to FEWER THAN 25 tickets! If you have not ordered your advance tickets yet, there is a VERY GOOD chance you WILL NOT get in. There will be NO tickets available at the door. Order NOW or risk missing out on the event of the year!

Interview with multi-talented baby boomer, Sid Korpi

Nadia Giordana's photo

Baby Boomer Examiner

Sid Korpi, film and stage actress, social dance instructor, and pet chaplain, is far too talented and accomplished for this author to take credit for anything more than being an inspiration and catalyst for her recent weight loss, something she’d wanted to do for a long time. That’s good enough for me. Already athletic, fit, and beautiful, Sid became inspired after reading Thinking Skinny and decided to get healthier still. Losing those extra pounds gave her the edge she needed to pursue a film career with creative Minneapolis filmmaker, Christopher R. Mihm. I might also add that the same is true of the content in this article. Other than my questions, the words are Sid’s, and I would be remiss if I didn’t credit her as being co-author of this article. She is, in addition to the talents listed above, a gifted author and editor. I recently had a private interview with Sid, and this is how it went:

Nadia: Sid, Your life, long before we met has been a personification of the principles that I share in my upcoming book, Reinventing New Chapters in Your Life at any Age—and that I live by. I’d like to talk with you about each of the seven steps and hear your unique take on them. We’ll start with #1) Reshaping a healthier body and attitude. Sid, what was it about Thinking Skinny that resonated with you as you embarked on this new chapter in your life?

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Sid: When I learned that I was up for a major role in my first feature film, Chris Mihm’s marvelous B&W 1950s-drive-in-style creature feature B-movie, Attack of the Moon Zombies, (www.sainteuphoria.com) I knew what wound up 30-feet tall on the silver screen was going to be forever-after how I’d be seen. I also knew cameras notoriously add 20 pounds to one’s appearance, and given that, though fairly fit, I was already on the high end of “normal” as far as weight charts went, I really wanted to drop those 20 just to come out even.

I’d lived the diet yo-yo my entire life and vowed this was to be the end of that self-destructive cycle. I had your book, Thinking Skinny, on my shelf and was drawn to it. I read it in one sitting, let its contents sink in overnight, and awoke the next day ready to lose weight in a sensible, permanent way. I went to a website that calculated how many calories I needed to attain my goal weight, designed and printed out a chart on which I’d henceforth record all I’d eaten each day—because writing it all down made eating a conscious rather than reflexive act.

This wasn’t a “diet.” I know better than to ever tell myself that I “can’t” have something; I’m so rebellious, that would simply ensure I ruminated on said high-calorie item until I broke down and had too much of it. I planned to lose between one and two pounds per week, and I did just that by still eating whatever I wanted to, just in more reasonable portions. I also eat many small meals a day, which keeps my metabolism stoked continuously and wards off my “gorging” out of starvation. In several months’ time, I’d lost roughly 25 pounds and am approaching two years at this new weight. I knew I could see myself onscreen and not cringe, except for my scary-looking 1950s bangs, and those were on purpose. (You can see what I’m talking about in the official trailer at www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkMF0oGubho.)

People have been raving over the positive change in me, which is very nice, but more importantly, I can rave over that change—because it’s my opinion of me that matters most. The best part now is that “moving” (my new, less-punitive term for exercise) is its own reward. For instance, I consider myself fortunate when the lot is mostly full and I can park on the sixth level of a parking ramp and use the stairs instead of the elevator to get where I’m going. I can confidently say I have the energy of someone nearly half my age.

To initially attain and now maintain my weight loss, I also record how much (and what kind of) exercise I get each day. The same website I mentioned earlier gives approximations of calories burned doing several dozen different activities, even housework, so I can monitor that, too. I’ve bought a quality pedometer and wear it religiously every day and record my mileage walked each week. It’s keeping both my four West Highland white terriers and me healthy and committed to getting in two-to-three-mile walks almost every day. You know you’ve made a permanent life change when, instead of say, reluctantly dragging yourself to a gym because you “have to,” you feel absolutely gypped when you don’t “get to” walk/dance/do Pilates, etc. for at least a few minutes every day.

Nadia: I can wholly relate to feeling gypped when I don’t “get to” ride my bicycle or take a long walk. Now let’s move on to #2) Realigning relationships and spiritual self: To use your own words from a previous interview we had on this subject, you’ve suffered a tsunami of loss with regard to your family, friends and relationships. How did you manage to get through it and go on?

Sid: In a few years’ time, I lost my mother, stepfather, uncle, three cats, three dogs, a cockatiel, two of my best women friends and my 15-year marriage. Talk about wiping out everyone you loved and who you thought loved you! I’ll be honest with you; I cried my heart out every single day for more than two years. That’s not hyperbole, just a cold fact. There were times I wondered why I was left here when so many of my loved ones were on the Other Side. I even had thoughts of suicide during these darkest of days.

As a matter of fact, these thoughts became so pervasive at one point, I went to the hospital emergency room one Sunday, hoping I could be kept under observation overnight until I could get started on an antidepressant prescription the next day, when I’d already had an appointment with a psychiatrist. (Clinical depression runs in my family and several of my relatives have attempted/succeeded at committing suicide, so I believed I had just cause to worry about being alone at that time.) What happened, however, still boggles my mind.

I spoke to the ER doctor about all this and, instead of receiving any validation or compassion for what I was going through, he said, “This isn’t a hotel. Go home and call us if you actually have a ‘plan’ to kill yourself.” I was summarily asked to leave the hospital.

I had hit my proverbial “rock bottom.”

If ever there were someone who was made to feel absolutely worthless, absolutely unworthy of the most basic human compassion, it was I right then. Yet, standing in the doorway of that hospital, more completely alone than I’d ever been in my life, something profound happened that changed me forever. I still remember vividly this sensation I had deep in my chest, at my physical core, of a tiny little flame like that of a candle. I was overwhelmed by a certainty that that core light represented the part of me that belonged to, indeed was one and the same as, the greater Universe and was necessarily just as valuable and worthy of love as all that is eternal.

It came to me in rush that I’d just been presented with an astounding opportunity to learn an invaluable life lesson. I learned that, despite being stripped of every external source of support and compassion, I was still worthwhile. I was still worthy of love. I was still valuable even if the only person who could or would consistently show me this was myself. I stood there and wept with gratitude for the lesson I’d been brought, despite how painful it had been in its presentation. I even forgave that heartless doctor and silently thanked him for his callous rejection.

I know now never to turn outward to find validation of my worth. I know, too, never to doubt that I deserve love as much as any other living being. I know, moreover, I need to get that love and acceptance from myself first and foremost, and usually, similar support from others follows.

I joined Emotions Anonymous soon after this event, to rebuild my lost community with people who would understand my struggles and not judge. Through this 12-step program, I learned to give up control over my emotions and give them over to my Higher Power. I never again considered suicide. As I became strong, I was able to help others as I helped myself. I stuck with EA for more than two years and to this day remain close friends with several of the people I met through this literally life-saving program.

Nadia: Let’s talk about #3) Redirecting thought patterns toward the possibilities: I’d love to hear how you do this Sid. You’ve had such an eclectic career, and several interesting businesses. Obviously, you are in tune with “possibilities” in a way not found in many other people.

Sid: On a lark, I once visited a psychic at the Renaissance Festival who told me, almost apologetically, as she read my tarot cards that she saw that I would always be changing from one thing to the next, usually with little to no financial reward, and never settle on one thing as my career. I expect she thought I’d be chagrined about that “news,” but instead I said, “Oh, sure, I know that. That’s what I love most about myself!”

I am very driven by the need to personally challenge myself. I’ll often start some new creative endeavor—like designing jewelry, writing a novel, or singing with an early-jazz band—and always see it through to some kind of completion. However, once I win some award or recognition for it (a blue ribbon at the Bemidji Art Fair, a first-place-for-extended-fiction award and publication in the Close to the Ground: Powderhorn Writers Anthology, and a gig at the Minnesota State Fair, respectively) I feel I can move on to the next thing.

“Been there, done that, moving on now” is a kind of creative mantra for me.

I can only stick with things that inherently provide variety, such as my 15 years running my Proof Positive writing/editing business, which never has me composing or reading the same thing twice. Put me in a cubicle, expect me to follow corporate edicts, and make me punch a time clock and you may as well pronounce me brain-dead on arrival. I’ve structure my life so it will always be interesting for me.

Nadia: Then there is#4) Rediscovering the magic in your life: How do you stay young at heart and maintain the fun and excitement in your life?

Sid: I am childfree by choice and have instead opted to retain much that is childlike in me. The world can sometimes be a downright frightening place, and I feel I’m on a mission to remind adults around me of the importance of playing; of having fun, being creative, joyful, and downright silly; and not giving a fig what others think of them for doing so. I’ve been known to wear a mini dress and go-go boots out dancing to a ’60s band, a poodle skirt and saddle shoes when it’s a ’50s band, and so on. I’m my own walking/dancing retro vignette. People around me either gravitate toward the energy and sense of fun or they back away slowly, shaking their heads; either is just fine by me. I don’t need everyone to like or even understand me.

Case in point, I just turned 50 in January, and I threw myself a birthday wake. I rented a coffin, in which I lay as my friends and family “eulogized” me. I’d frequently pop up to laugh at their jokes or throw marshmallows at anyone who got too into “roasting” me. We held this in a church basement and had a reception of Jell-O salads and tater tot hot dish among the delicious items in the Church Basement Ladies potluck buffet. Afterward, we played board games. Frankly, it was awesome!

I did this because I firmly feel we’ve got it wrong when we hold back on telling our family of choice what we think of them and what influence they’ve had on us and the world in general until their respective funerals. That’s just a bit too late. Sure, I think my mother’s spirit enjoyed the 21-squirt-gun salute we gave her at her memorial service (which devolved into a water fight, just as she would have wanted), but it’s important to share these things with our loved ones while they’re here, too.

I try to be a role model for authentic eccentricity. Thanks to this event, I got to learn that I have a sort of fan club of four 20-something young ladies who all say they want to be me when they grow up. I quickly correct them and say, “There’s no ‘growing up’ involved if you really want to be like me.”

Nadia: #5) Removing lingering regrets: Each of us must find ways to do this. How have you managed?

Sid: Most of us are more likely to be kinder to strangers than we are to ourselves. To correct that inequity, start by admitting your mistakes without blaming others in any way for your actions, even if they’re deeply involved. You’re no one’s victim as long as you learn and grow from any experience. Forgive yourself for things you were too afraid to do, for opportunities you missed, and take baby steps toward finding and freeing your inner courage—and reward those steps. Forgive yourself for wishing and hoping you could change someone else to attain the love and acceptance you could/should have been giving yourself all along. Forgive yourself for accepting responsibility for things that really were beyond your control. The fact is you’ve screwed up in the past; you’ll no doubt screw up again in the future. Just try not to keep screwing up in the exact same ways over and over. That’s nuts. Instead expect to screw up once in awhile in unique ways in your attempts to try out new ways of being. It keeps things interesting and proves you’re still growing, evolving, and becoming your finest you.

Nadia: #6) Rewrite a new life chapter: Sid, when I first heard you tell the story of how you set your sights on appearing in a Christopher Mihm film, and how you went about that, it was obvious to me that you set a goal and focused through to completion. Would you tell it to the readers here?

Sid: I had read about this local filmmaker who was dedicated to making black-and-white, 1950s-style horror movies in honor of his dead father, with whom he’d always watched these kinds of films as a kid. His stepdaughter had also been diagnosed with cancer and while she fought to recover (she’s since passed her five-year cancer-free marker—yeah!), he thought to himself something like, “What the heck am I waiting for? I’ve always said I wanted to make one of these movies. The time to do it is now.” That attitude and those circumstances really resonated with me.

My husband and I attended the world premiere of Chris’s third movie, Cave Women on Mars. I’d never been so grateful that I wasn’t lactose intolerant in my life (it was so terrifically cheesy, you see). I determined then and there that before I died I had to have something to do with one of this guy’s movies.

So I decided to stalk him.

Actually, all that entailed was one email, but “stalking” sounds more melodramatic. In my email, I mentioned that I was willing to be an extra, a prop mistress, a dead body, whatever he needed. I downloaded a photo of my high school theater trophy that named me Outstanding Dramatic Performer of 1980, with the caption “Proof I’m talented.”

I’d also read that he liked to write his movie scripts with places in mind where he knew he could shoot rather than have to build sets or scout locations. So, I offered him the use of our third floor dance studio, which is decorated like a ’50s malt shop, and invited him to visit it sometime. A month or so passed before he finally responded, but he took me up on my offer to check out the room.

Worried we might be serial killers or something, Chris brought along his star of Cave Women on Mars, Dan Sjerven, as his bodyguard. They wound up hanging out with us for three hours. We all knew an important, meant-to-be connection had been made.

Two movies later, my husband and I were given walk-on roles in Destination: Outer Space with one line apiece—actually the exact same line. We each got to say, “Greetings, Wise One.”

I helped out as “script Nazi” after our scene was shot (i.e., reading the robot’s part and making sure leading man Josh Craig remembered all his lines). Perhaps it was then that Chris noticed I could actually speak more than three words of his purposely clunky dialogue in succession and tucked away that knowledge for future reference because he gave me a leading role in his next movie, Attack of the Moon Zombies.

Initially, his lovely wife, Stephanie, was supposed to play Administrator Ripley and I was to be Dr. Rutherford, a much smaller part. But as Chris wrote the screenplay, Ripley’s role got a lot bigger, and Stephanie, who had just had a baby and was working full-time, said she didn’t want to have to memorize that much dialogue. She told Chris, “Give the role to Sid.” That’s the nice version of how it happened. If you ask me, I think it was really because Ripley needed to have a bit of “bitch” in her and Chris knew I could definitely bring that to the table more than the truly sweet-at-heart Steph.

Anyway, long story short, the movie rocked the world, I was nominated for a Best Actress in a Zombie Movie Dead Letter award from MailOrderZombie.com, and I was subsequently cast as Leigh, the eccentric dog lady/haunted-home owner, in Mihm’s current film, House of Ghosts. This movie—an homage to director William Castle of The Tingler, House on Haunted Hill and 13 Ghosts fame—was actually filmed in our house though, ironically, not in the third-floor malt shop. That’s going to be featured in this summer’s giant-spider movie.

Nadia: And now #7) Reveal and live your intentions: Sid, please bring me up to date on your activities, there must be some new things in your life now, and on the horizon.

Sid: A few years back, I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t audition for any plays anymore because of the time commitment and would only do them if they sort of fell into my lap—so I’d know they were meant to be. That philosophy got me the roles of Gertrude in Steve Martin’s comic play The Underpants, Mrs. Ellie Banks in Father of the Bride, and Jeri Neal in The Dixie Swim Club.

Since making these Mihm movies, I’ve been in two short independent films with burgeoning filmmakers Timothy Printup and Katie Cragoe, Treasure Box and Breaking for Home, each starring opposite the talented young actress Kira Pontiff. I’m thrilled to have been a part of their maiden voyages into moviemaking and really respect that they set a goal to do these two films in two months and made it happen. I always want to support and encourage those who actually follow through on their dreams.

My costar in House of Ghosts, Justen Overlander (Ray), a hilarious writer/actor/director himself, offered me the role of Goldie in his new movie, The Bequeather. It’s a comedy along the lines of Young Frankenstein set in the 1950s—my favorite era! We start filming in May, and I couldn’t be happier to be working with Justen and Mike Cook, another of my costars from Attack of the Moon Zombies and House of Ghosts (Dr. Edwards/Harlan, respectively) in this new movie.

And as I mentioned earlier, Chris Mihm is working on a giant spider movie, as part of a drive-in double feature. I know I’m to be in it in some capacity, but I don’t know exactly what my role will be yet. I’m game for anything. I’ve even offered to let his son’s tarantula climb on me.

We’re opening up our 1886 Victorian home to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Home Tour at the end of April, in time to promote the May 23, 2012, premiere of House of Ghosts at the Heights Theatre in Columbia Heights, Minn., the oldest continuously operating movie theater in the state. It has an awesome Wurlitzer pipe organ that comes out of the ground and is played before the movie. I’m busy promoting the heck out of this event and seeking the perfect vintage evening gown from a thrift store to wear on the red carpet that night. There’s a fashion war going on among the diehard Mihmiverse fans that are planning to dress up for the event, and I can’t be outdone. And yes, we take our premieres very pseudo-seriously. Who wouldn’t? There’s going to be free cake for heaven’s sake!

In between all of that stuff, I’m sure I’ll “work” now and then, too.

Nadia: I can appreciate your willingness to risk failure.You “get it,” and the potential rewards are unbelievable if you can let go of this fear. What advice do you have for others who seek to follow their passions as you have yours?

Sid: I’ve often joked that I’ve failed at more things in my lifetime than most people do in a dozen lifetimes. But the word in need of redefining there is “failed.” I’ve only failed at anything if its success is measured in dollar signs, brand-new sports cars and vacation homes in the Bahamas. For me, success is measured by how many of my various talents I’ve been able to explore in unique ways, regardless of the fiscal payoff, and how much my creativity has added to the value of my life and the lives of those around me.

For instance, the book I was spiritually guided to write after my tsunami of loss, Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss, has won four literary awards—including “Best Self-Help Book of the Year” from Premier Book Awards—and I continually hear from people about how much it has helped them navigate their grief after losing a beloved animal companion. Is it a New York Times Bestseller? Nope. But its topic has staying power; it continues to sell at a fairly steady pace and is even coming due for a second edition printing. I risked a lot of my own money to get it published and have earned back every penny and am now actually a little in the black. Writing it has led to my getting public speaking gigs, too, which represents another modest revenue stream.

Anyone can follow my circuitous path to creative fulfillment. The first thing you have to do is decide that personally providing your household with financial security is a low priority for you. (Inheriting a huge trust fund or marrying a zillionaire can help here.) That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t be responsible, respect money, and even aspire to be rich beyond all imagining—heck, it may even be in your cards to wind up this way, so you should be ready for that possibility, too. You just have to be OK with the uncertainty that risk-taking brings with it and value what the process itself will bring you more than you do a steady paycheck.

To ensure domestic harmony, make sure your life partner is on board with this plan, of course. My darling hubby has a quasi-reliable income (after a 20% pay cut across the board two years ago at the company where he works, that is) to ensure we’ll at least cover the mortgage payment. Though not getting me off the hook for pulling my own financial weight, this frees me up to do a bit more of my soul-feeding stuff without too much guilt that I’ll render us homeless.

Lest you think I lie around eating bonbons all day, however, I’ll have you know I also operate several other home-based businesses: Proof Positive Editing, my bread-and-butter proofreading/freelance writing/wordsmithing business for the past 15 years; Nonconformist Nuptials, wherein I write and officiate wedding ceremonies for those who balk at the traditional, cookie-cutter approach; and Two Right Feet Dance, through which my husband and I teach beginning social dances like swing, rumba, waltz, etc. Our motto is “Forget Fred and Ginger—we’ll have you dancing like Fred and Wilma in no time!” (This makes particular sense because we have a Flintstones shrine in our basement that has been on TV and in the newspaper.) Each of these brings in a little bit of money, costs me almost nothing to operate, and lets us write off sections of our home as tax deductions.

I’ve even finally found a way to make a little bit of money from my acting. (Alas, there’s been no money so far in the much-beloved B-movie or community theater worlds in which I dabble, but I do these for my soul anyway.) I am paid to act through the Standardized Patient Program at the University of Minnesota. I’ve gotten to portray various patients for med students, dental students, psychiatric nursing students, veterinary students and even law students to practice their communication and practical skills. Over the past couple of weeks alone, I’ve gotten to portray a woman who is “itchy,” receive 12 head-to-toe physicals (it’s been confirmed that I’m quite healthy, thank you), AND settle a fictitious lawsuit through mediation for $5 million! I get to exercise my improvisation muscle and get paid a bit for it. Happy times!

I’ve weathered this great recession better than most because, frankly, I’m used to being broke and subsequently had less to lose both financially and emotionally in the economic downturn. I believe I can adapt to change a bit more easily than most because I’ve always had to diversify or die. But above and beyond just being a means of survival, to me, each of these endeavors represents a different colorful thread in the gorgeous tapestry of my life. I don’t do beige. Instead, I say, “Bring on the rainbow hues!”

Sid Korpi is the human caregiver to seven rescued pets, a compulsively creative person, and is known to act in B-movies for food. She is grateful to be married to an understanding man who thinks life with her and all the critters is an adventure. Her websites are www.goodgriefpetloss.comand www.tworightfeetdance.comand www.nonconformistnuptials.com.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Interview with multi-talented baby boomer, Sid Korpi – National baby boomer | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/baby-boomer-in-national/interview-with-multi-talented-baby-boomer-sid-korpi#ixzz1pZHms3o8

Check out this hilarious blog about Christopher R. Mihm’s newest film “House of Ghosts” at the Jeff Gilbert blog “Drinkin’ and Drive-in.” http://mansplat.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/house-of-ghosts/

And while you’re at it, order your tickets to this film’s May 23rd premiere. Tickets are more than 3/4 sold out already! www.sainteuphoria.com

See also this wonderful posting at Horror Movies CA,  http://www.horror-movies.ca/2012/03/official-trailer-for-christopher-r-mihms-house-of-ghosts/

Another wonderful mention is found at Igor’s Lab http://www.igorslab.com/home/2012/3/16/house-of-ghosts-official-trailer.html

HOUSE OF GHOSTS Official Trailer
Friday, March 16, 2012
Kyle Reese in Christopher R. Mihn, HOUSE OF GHOSTS Official Trailer, Justen Overlander, Mark Haider, Mark Scanlan, Michael Kaiser, Mike Cook, News, Sid Korpi, Stephanie Mihm, house of ghosts, house of ghosts movie

By: Kyle Reese

HOUSE OF GHOSTS Official Trailer

So, I was checking out Youtube and noticed Christopher R. Mihn uploaded a trailer for his film HOUSE OF GHOSTS. After watching the trailer I came to this conclusion…awesome. Christopher captured that old school horror film trailer feel and it reminded me of an old DVD I loved that should old movie trailers and promotion stunts. The film is not trying to be anything other than an homage to those films. Even the use of the prop skeleton in the trailer was effective and I like that he used the old school text.

The film is written/ directed by Christopher R. Mihn and stars Mike Cook, Justen Overlander, Michael Kaiser, Sid Korpi, Mark Scanlan, Stephanie Mihm, Mark Haider and Catherine Hansen.

The trailer states May 23, 2012 as a date I am guessing for a DVD release, but we will try to find out more info about the film. Until then check out the trailer for HOUSE OF GHOSTS after the jump.

Official website: HouseOfGhosts

Article originally appeared on igorslab.com (http://www.igorslab.com/).

See website for complete article licensing information.

Order your tickets TODAY!!

Christopher R. Mihm’s latest B&W 1950s-drive-in-style B-movie, “House of Ghosts” will premiere at the historic Heights Theatre on May 23, 2012. This spooky film and the sure-to-be-remembered event itself are homages to the films of William Castle
House of Ghosts

PRLog (Press Release)Feb 22, 2012
In a singular event designed to re-create the once-thought-extinct cinematic experience of the 1950s, Christopher R. Mihm’s latest B&W 1950s-drive-in-style B-movie, “House of Ghosts” will premiere at the historic Heights Theatre on May 23, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. This film and the sure-to-be-remembered event itself are homages to the films of William Castle (“The Tingler,” “House on Haunted Hill”).

For only $10 (each), you can be guaranteed to be one of the first to see what is being billed as the spookiest Mihmiverse film yet!

Premiere attendees will enjoy a program complete with hand-picked, era-appropriate newsreels, classic trailers, appearances by most (if not all) of the cast and crew, free cake, autographs and photos with a ghost or two from the film (don’t forget to bring your camera), a merchandise raffle and organ music from the “WCCO Mighty Wurlitzer!” AND, with this being a tribute to the films of William Castle, you can expect some “otherworldly” shenanigans that will ONLY happen at this event! DVDs, posters and other merchandise will also be on sale!

Advance ticket holders will receive an individually numbered collector’s ticket (while supplies last) and, as in years past, an exclusive collector’s item (TBD)!

For more information and to order your advance tickets, visit the events section of the merchandise page at http://www.sainteuphoria.com! Last year’s “Attack of the Moon Zombies” premiere completely sold out and, with interest in “House of Ghosts” EXTREMELY HIGH, we expect this event to sell out as well. The premiere is open to the public, so the ONLY WAY to ensure admittance is to purchase an advance ticket RIGHT NOW!

ALSO, the official poster for “House of Ghosts” has arrived! Pictured here, the poster was designed by writer/director Christopher R. Mihm and is instantly reminiscent of classic haunted house films like “Terror in the Haunted House,” “The Amityville Horror” and, appropriately, William Castle’s original “House on Haunted Hill.”

We’re told the poster will be available for purchase soon. Stay tuned…

Jan 29 2012

I’m back with Christopher Mihm, talking about his upcoming film, Domo de Fantomoj [House of Ghosts], which will be subbed and dubbed into Esperanto! You might remember him better from his previous film, Attack of the Moon Zombies

Going back to Moon Zombies, how did its release in Esperanto make it different than your previous movies?

Having the film available in Esperanto allowed it to screen in many new places all over the world — places none of my previous films have played like Brazil, Poland, and Denmark. Being able to have my films seen internationally is a huge step forward and I credit Esperanto with that specifically!

Why do you believe that Esperanto speakers are interested in your films?

I think, if nothing else, there are so few Esperanto language films out there that almost any that are worth watching (as I believe mine most certainly are) are worth seeing. My films are family friendly — meaning “safe for kids” but not made specifically for them. If an Esperanto speaker wants to introduce his children to the language, my films might be a way to do it. My films are just plain fun and can make for a fun night of entertainment for groups of speakers who are learning (they make great teaching tools) or are fluent and want to enjoy a little bit of goofiness! Lastly, one of my goals is to indirectly erase the “bad taste” the 1960s William Shatner Esperanto movie “Incubus” left in the collective mouths of the Esperanto community. That film is so infamous for butchering the language that I want my films to be considered the film that “Incubus” should have been! So, I think that may be happening a bit.

Why did you choose to dub and sub another film for us?

The Esperanto community has been so kind and supportive that it honestly seemed wrong in some way not to do a House of Ghosts audio and subtitle track! Plus, working with the language for Attack of the Moon Zombies has made me quite interested in it generally. I figured doing it again will help further my understanding of the language.

Your further understanding of the language… does that mean you’ve actually started learning Esperanto? If so, what inspired you and how is that going?

It is true. After dealing directly with creating the spoken audio track for the last film, I realized I was starting to pick up the language a bit — it really is that easy to learn! All my life I’ve really struggled learning other languages — something I’ve always wanted to do. Being exposed to a language as easy to understand as Esperanto gives me hope I can overcome that difficulty. Sadly, my studies are coming along far slower than I would like which can be attributed specifically to the amount of time I spend working my day job, creating the films and maintaining the “Mihmiverse,” and raising my family!

What impressions do you have of the Esperanto community?

The Esperanto community has been wonderful. They’re great people who have been extremely supportive and friendly, both in how they’ve received my film but also in helping me to learn the language. I couldn’t ask for a nicer group of people!

What role do you think Esperanto would ideally play in the world?

The thing I find most amazing is how the original stated purpose of the language seems to actually be happening within the community. The language really does seem to bring people together. The Esperanto spoken tracks on my films are a great example of this. You have people from all over the world adding their voice to the film, and their only common attribute is that they speak Esperanto. That, to me, is the role Esperanto should play in the world: bringing people together!

Lastly, how can the Esperanto community support your new film?

The biggest thing the Esperanto community can do is to spread the word. Set up screenings and events or even gather your group of Esperanto-speaking friends and give the films a try! If nothing else, they’re entertaining, fun, and safe for the whole family!

I’d like to ask my readers to be sure to check out your Kickstarter Esperanto campaign. I wish you the best producing this film!

Check out the auditions from our Dec. 30, 2011 Open House of Ghosts!!! You may see some familiar faces. These brave folks are all reading “cold”  (i.e. without rehearsal) from portions of scripts from many of director Christopher R. Mihm’s movies. Kudos to all our guests who courageously risked their self-esteem for our entertainment. 🙂

Some may be rewarded with walk-on roles in one of Mihm’s upcoming B-movies!

A neat ghostly event happened last night, as we finished our “House of Ghosts” shoot. (That’s the B&W 150s-style B-movie by Christopher R. Mihm we’ve been filming at our house.) At 7:35 p.m., during the shoot, TWO of our pendulum clocks just stopped. The big grandfather clock in the living room was one of them, and that has NEVER just stopped before. Since it was that one and Anthony’s deceased mother’s clock in the parlor, and since she’s known for doing that occasionally to let us know she’s around, we’re guessing it was she who was saying she was watching the final scene with her kid. A nice send-off, don’t you agree? 🙂

Remember to get in your RSVPs for our Open House of Ghosts. You can meet these mystical, magical clocks in person!

Friends of the Mihmiverse,

you are cordially invited to attend the

Open House of Ghosts

Whether you’ve been on screen, behind the scenes, or in the audience at a Mihm movie, please join us on-site for an open house party on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, from 5–9 p.m. at the historic South Minneapolis Victorian home where Christopher R. Mihm’s latest major motion picture, “House of Ghosts,” was filmed.

What’s in it for you?

• Meet and greet the director himself, as well as cast members from this and many of his earlier movies at this unprecedented Mihmiverse mini-reunion.

• “Audition” for a walk-on role in an upcoming movie by re-enacting a scene from one of his movies with the actors present or take the Improbable-Dialogue Memorization Challenge.

• Shop for Mihmorabilia—and get it all autographed.

• Pre-order your “House of Ghosts” DVDs and/or reserve your collectible tickets for its May 23, 2012, premiere event at the Heights Theatre.

• Bring along friends or family members who’d like to check out the perks of becoming an associate producer.

• Hors d’oeuvres, soft drinks and desserts will be served.

Please RSVP to rsvp@sainteuphoria.com by Dec. 20 to get the address and directions to the house. For more information, contact Christopher R. Mihm at chris@sainteuphoria.com or Sid Korpi at sid@tworightfeetdance.com.

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