Bitten and Bound is excited about our new Exclusive 10 Questions segment and we couldn’t think of a more empowering woman to get us started than Christine Clayburg from Minneapolis.
Clayburg has climbed mountains, kayaked the frigid waters of Lake Superior, bicycled across California, and traversed the Sierra Nevada alone. We think you will agree that this determined woman is a force to be reckoned with.
Christine was born in California and lived on the most remote mission station in Zambia, Africa with her missionary parents from age 5-7. She studied geology at California State University in Sacramento and embarked on a career as a Meteorologist. That path led her to KPAX-TV, KHQ-TV, WHDH-TV, KABC-TV, WCCO-TV, KMSP-TV and FOX News. During her first major market stint on the East Coast, she was quickly named “Boston’s Best Meteorologist” by Improper Bostonian magazine.
Clayburg has since set her sights on acting — nabbing herself a recurring role on the popular hit show “Desperate Housewives”, reporting from Wisteria Lane.
Seems satisfying right? Well, it wasn’t enough for Christine, who started her own production company, Clayburg Creative Group, LLC, in October 2004. She is currently producing the independent feature film “Minneapolis”, a romantic comedy pitting two comically mismatched news anchors against the elements of Minnesota weather, Midwestern values, and as to be expected — each other. Follow the journey of “Minneapolis” on Facebook.
Four days before her 35th birthday, this unbelievable woman decided to enlist as a crew member on a C-130 Hercules with the Air National Guard. It had been a dream for many years that she didn’t want to let slip away.
Let’s talk to Christine…
View Christine’s 10 Question interview, photos and “Minneapolis” short video below:
Missy: First and foremost, I want to tell you that I have huge admiration for you and your drive to get the most out of life! If you could pick one valuable lesson you have learned along your journey, and I know there have been many, what would it be?
Christine: I have found that the greatest joy and reward comes from focusing on what you have to give instead of what you want to get. I focus on ‘what do I most enjoy giving and doing? How can I best help. How can I best care for myself to enable me to care for others too?’
Missy: Meteorologist, reporter, actress, Air National Guard member, movie writer and producer; which has been the biggest challenge in your career thus far?
Christine: Transitioning from Denny’s waitress to singing at Max’s Opera Cafe in Sacramento. I found that once you leap off the high dive you are 100% committed, and completely alone. There is no going back, you will either break the surface, or experience a painful crash followed by a long, slow, embarrassing swim to the edge of the pool. I’ve done both more times than I can count. It’s terrifying, heartbreaking and exhilarating all at the same time.
Missy: I would really like to hear more about the C-130 Hercules. I followed that journey and read about your many ‘ups and downs’, and felt your pain on not being taken seriously. Was it because you had a hard time shedding your television ‘celebrity’ image?
Christine: There was ZERO image going on in Basic Training, but once we put on our dress blues, it was pretty clear who was at home in a power suit. I was much older than most of the students and at a very different place in life. With a deep love of science, weather, engineering and aviation, every moment training on the C-130 was incredible. And yes, you C-5 and C-17 flyers, I do wear a baseball cap that says “Real Planes have Props”.
Missy: Movie time…let’s talk “Minneapolis”. I have seen an amazing promotional short. I’m impressed, and excited to see your finished project. How has this whole adventure affected your life in the short-term?
Christine: So much has changed in the 5 years since we wrote, shot and edited that test short. What has not changed is the central question in the short: “What is it about dressing up that reduces a capable, intelligent woman into a blithering idiot.” There is so much frustration about the different physical and mental demands men and women face to do the same job. We ARE different. Knowledge of those differences is power!
Missy: Where will you get the actors and actresses for the film? Will you be casting in the Twin Cities? Inquiring minds want to know!
Christine: We do have some scenes in LA where we will use West Coast actors, but my hope is to have all Minnesota actors in Minnesota. What matters most is that we cast this movie well the first time around (no favors) so we can make more right here at home!
Missy: How long are you expecting production to take, and when will your movie hit the big screen?
Christine: It’s been challenging, especially with my “get it done” ego. We need all 4 REAL seasons for the film so it will take a year to shoot and because we can edit as we go along, post production should not run too much longer beyond that. For sentimental reasons I’d really like to release this film in the middle of winter. So I guess the short answer is 2012.
Missy: Do you prefer working behind the scenes or in front of the camera?
Christine: I don’t care which side of the camera I’m on, and I don’t even care about the roles that much. What I care about is the story. I like to have a whole sense of the story and how you fit into it so that you can tailor your performance to fit the larger story rather than making it just about your role.
Missy: Which Twin Cities celebrity do you think should be my next featured “Exclusive 10 Questions” interviewee?
Christine: Jason Matheson, the entertainment reporter and film critic for FOX-owned KMSP-TV in Minneapolis. He truly is the Buzz Boy! His excitement is just contagious! We never really got to have a good heart to heart chat about life beyond TV but I know he has an amazing story and I just love him.
Missy: Where are your three favorite places to go when you are home in Minneapolis?
Christine: You said 300 right? Ok good. My high rise corner condo on the Skyway has an endless view of our ever-changing prairie skies, Nye’s Polonaise Room, any bike path in the city, and an ice fishing house on Lake Mille Lacs at -20 degrees.
Missy: Name one thing that you want to be remembered for?
Christine: That I fully loved every moment life has given me and that I turned around and multiplied that love to the Nth power so others could share that joy too. And on that note…I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
Thank you Christine for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our Exclusive 10 Questions. We look forward to reporting on all of your successes in the future!
Photos: Courtesy Christine Clayburg