Official Podcast 3

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Official Podcast 3
October 18, 2006
Original Post

Katie Leigh, the voice of Connie, talks about acting and missions; plus, Aria Curzon (“Mandy”)


Katie Leigh talks about her mission trip to Peru, reminding her of Adventures in Odyssey’s interactive games set in Peru. Plus, actress Aria Curzon discusses being a Christian in Hollywood.


Katie Leigh: Hi! This Katie Leigh, the voice of Connie. Welcome to The Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast!


Jesse Florea: Welcome to the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast. I’m Jesse.

Suzanne: And I’m Suzanne. We’re the editors of Focus on the Family Clubhouse Magazine and your hosts for this October 18th, 2006 edition.

JF: Coming up on the podcast, we’ll interview actress Aria Curzon, who plays Mandy on Adventures in Odyssey. But before we hear that, let’s get to the latest new.


Suzanne: Adventures in Odyssey’s interactive computer games have recently been given several awards, including honors from the Dove Foundation and the National Parenting Center.

JF: Those are some big awards.

Suzanne: That’s right. In these exciting games, you can play as Whit, Connie, or Eugene. You’ll explore Whit’s End, plus, discover important lessons like loyalty, the value of time, the joy of playing arcade games-

JF: Wait, wait! The joy of playing arcade games?!

Suzanne: Oh! How’d that get in there? Anyway, the best part is, Focus on the Family has just released a pack of all three computer games so you can catch up on all the thrills!

JF: You know, I recently spoke with actress Katie Leigh, the voice of Connie, about her experiences in the Adventures in Odyssey CD-ROM games.


JF: So Katie, one thing that I heard is that you usually don’t like to see a script until you step into the studio.

KL: {laughs} Yeah, that’s true!

JF: Now why is that?

KL: I want to be surprised. Because as we go through the script, I really am able to get into the character and everything is real to me, so as it unfolds, I have honest reactions to it.

JF: So it actually helps your acting by not seeing it beforehand so you can be more genuine with the character?

KL: That’s what I think. It doesn’t get old that way. I don’t know what’s happening, so you know, a lot of times I’m anxious to know what’s gonna happen as the script unfolds, just like the listeners are.

JF: That’s great. Now you’ve said in the past that you and Connie share the same personality qualities in some ways.

KL: A lot. Yeah.

JF: When you were recording for the interactive games, was there anything happening in your life that was similar to the things happening to Connie in that game?

KL: {Laughs} Well, yeah! ‘Cause I went to Peru on a mission trip that year, so I thought it was very interesting that Connie was going to Peru too!

JF: Can you tell me a little about what you experienced in Peru on your mission trip?

KL: It was wonderful. I learned a lot about the Peruvian people and our trip was less physically oriented and more spiritually oriented. You know, we weren’t there building houses; we were there to teach people.

JF: Well, thank you Katie, it’s been a pleasure talking with you. And I know our Odyssey Podcast fans will enjoy some of that insight into Adventures in Odyssey, the radio show, and how the interactive computer games are made.

KL: No problem!


JF: You can learn more about the interactive games in a recent story from Clubhouse Magazine about computer-game developer Digital Praise. It even includes tips for young games wanting to make a career in video games.

Suzanne: You mean playing games to make money?

JF: I’m not telling! But I wrote that story and you read it, learn how to subscribe to Clubhouse Magazine, and check out the interactive games at Whit’

Suzanne: Next up, Nathan talks with actress Aria Curzon, who is not only featured in the latest Odyssey computer game, but also plays Ducky in the “Land Before Time” TV show.


Nathan: Well, we’re here with Aria Curzon, and she plays, well, I’ll let her tell you who she plays on Adventures in Odyssey. Go ahead, Aria.

AC: Hi everybody. I play Mandy Straussberg. She’s best friends with Liz, my brother is David, and she is a frequent at Whit’s End and she’s been on the show for quite awhile now. I’m very proud to play Mandy.

Nathan: How many years have you been on the show?

AC: Well, actually about ten years. My first show I actually played a different character named Clara, it was the episode “Clara”, and then I became recurring as Mandy. I think it was about 1996, yeah, ten years ago.

Nathan: That’s a long time on this show to play a kid.

AC: Yes, it is. But I don’t think I’ll ever surpass Connie in the kid department being a kid forever! I love it. It’s a lot of fun.

Nathan: Now tell us about, you mentioned Connie, a lot of the actors on the show mention that their characters are just like themselves. Is Mandy like you at all?

AC: Yeah, I’d say we’re a lot alike. We both like helping people, we both like to write. I’m a writer and my parents try to encourage me to write even more because sometimes I don’t get the time to. We’re both Christians. I’m very dedicated to learning about the Bible and about the Lord and I know Mandy is as well. I think we both have a similar personality and so that’s why it’s pretty easy for me to play Mandy.

Nathan: Did you know Adventures in Odyssey before you came on the show?

AC: Absolutely! My best friend from kindergarten, him and his family were huge fans of the show. They listened to it every night before they went to bed, they always had the tapes, and so when he found out I was gonna be on the show he was really excited. And I had listened to it on the radio. So yes, I was definitely aware of Adventures in Odyssey.

Nathan: How has being a Christian affected your acting in Odyssey or in any other parts?

AC: Well, as a Christian, my family and I have always looked for the parts that have a redeeming value. I definitely told agents in the past that I don’t want to do things that are obscene or cussing, vulgarity, things like that. I’ve turned down parts before because the content has been not redeeming. I love Odyssey because it’s a chance to proclaim the message through a very good, well-written story and that’s one of my favorite things about doing Odyssey. I know I’m always safe and it’s gonna be content that I believe is glorifying to God no matter what the script is.

Nathan: That’s great. Tell us about, there’s been a recent storyline introduced where Mandy’s parents are actually going through a separation. Were you surprised when you read that first script?

AC: Yeah, I was. I was like “wow, this is gonna be really different” because usually there’s a good lesson to be learned but it’s nothing quite as serious. But I’m glad because I have a large amount of friends who have parents divorced and it’s a very hard thing and I think that if a show that’s as well-written and well-rounded as this show, that’s based on Christianity, can confront this topic, then it’ll help kids maybe understand the subject a little more and know that it’s something they have support in and that they have people who understand where they’re coming from and maybe they won’t be as afraid.

Nathan: Sure. Now tell us, one more question here before we go, tell us, what is your favorite episode of Adventures in Odyssey and why.

AC: That’s a good question. Well, I’d have to say, there’s been a lot, but I love The Great Wishy Woz because we got to sing and it was so creative and so wild. And it had a really good moral to the story. It was just a lot of fun. I got to hear Will and Katie do little voices of little characters, crazy characters. It was so much fun.

Nathan: Alright, well thank you for being with us, Aria.

AC: Thank you very much, I enjoyed my time here.


JF: Great interview, Nathan. But I can’t believe he didn’t once say, “isn’t that Ducky?”

Suzanne: Yeah, he missed a golden opportunity.

JF: You know, next time he’s just gotta go for it!

Suzanne: That’s right. You know how Aria mentioned The Great Wishy Woz? Well, it’s one of the episodes available in the Adventures in Odyssey sampler packs that just released. These packs, which include ten or twenty copies of the same CD, are a perfect way for you to reach out to your friends. These CD’s would make a great treat for your neighborhood at Halloween or give them to your friends at school. You could even use the CDs as coasters!

JF: You know, my mom hates it when my drink leaves those rings on the coffee table. But, if you do use your CDs as a coaster, just make sure you wipe it off before popping it into the boom box. Suzanne: That’s for sure!

JF: Seriously, sharing Adventures in Odyssey could make a big difference in someone’s life. For more information about the sampler packs, log onto Whit’ You’ve been listening to the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast, a presentation of Focus on the Family.

Suzanne: Visit us online at Whit’

JF: And remember, with God in your life, every day is an adventure.