Peggy Molloy’s Bayside Currents: Bayside and Beyond

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Editor of the Arcata Eye has been good enough to offer me a column on a local community known as Bayside. Bayside residents are known for their great voter turnout for elections, but also we have a cozy, intellectual set of writers, physicians, travelers and artists. Please give me your news.

It is my hope to offer a method of communication between us, by facilitating community news. I also wanted to introduce the column’s mascot, named Oliver, and mention that he enjoys getting mail just like everyone else, especially from children.

Please feel free to e-mail the mascot, and then I can channel his cat answers and enter them into the column, should he and I find them appropriate enough and they pass the funny test.


Several years ago, I was living in Palo Alto, selling very expensive jewelry, when in a period of two weeks, I was down-sized from my job, my landlord died, and perhaps most importantly, I converted to Catholicism. My mother was ill, my dad elderly, so it seemed best for everyone that I should come on back to where I was raised, and settle in.

I had attended Bloomfield Elementary School in the 1950s and in my report cards it was noted that I had high verbal skills. In fact, this got me in lots of trouble for talking too much, but my clever mother decided the best place for all that energy was dancing school.

For the next 12 years I was driven to La Verne Krei’s School of Dance in Arcata, or Betty Merriweather’s School of Dance in Eureka. I then had lessons in classical music, grace, rhythm and movement. Once out of Arcata Union High School I went off to Montreal, Quebec, to study teaching dance.

I am leading up to my first experience participating in a film. A never-released movie was being filmed in Quebec City during the Winter Carnival, and since I looked like, talked like, and acted like the quintessential California Hippie, I was given five lines in French. I promptly destroyed the lines to the director’s amusement, and then had a great time with the cast and crew surrounded by five-foot snow banks, cameras rolling and an antique city to explore. I was 18 years old, wearing a full-length fur coat, a heavy leather belt with a peace sign buckle, a hand-knit orange cap with long, brown hair streaming down.

The film was full of directorial and production horrors, and so I witnessed the unglamorous side of the industry. My second experience was being given the task of marketing and organizing the World Premiere of Dark Carnival at the Minor Theatre. This was in the early ’90s, when I had just finished my Art at HSU.

During my most recent return to Bayside, I widdled away my time with writing and getting published online with a writers’ site called I dabbled with a series of part-time jobs, while we as a family took care of my mom.

I now have published over 350 articles on a broad range of topics, from jewelry to art to politics. In addition, I took some online courses with The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Web Design and Media Animation. These classes have led me to offer a small business for arts marketing called Webmistress Design  Service. My site: Pegalomania.Biz.

Last month there were auditions for a local film, Flea. I attended the Saturday afternoon gathering of young experts and wannabes at Jane Morgan’s Dance School in Eureka. Upstairs I was led into a room full of activity, led by Suza Lambert Bowser and her camera people. I was asked to speak a few lines with a fellow actor, and then was gently ushered out to wait a few weeks to find out if I had been cast.

Yes, hooray, I landed a non-speaking role as a hospital patient. I have had a costume fitting and a meeting about some web design work, and marketing for the film itself. Going to the film’s production office is always exciting as it is full of activity with young, serious production staff e-mailing folks inside and outside the Arcata community.

The four key players from Hollywood are Barry Williams of the Brady Bunch, Brian O’ Halloran, of Clerks 2, David Hood, most recently seen in a McDonald’s commercial, and Josef Cannon of Cannon Karst Productions. This is Suza’s second film this year, having previously completed A River of Skulls. Information call Tally Wren at (707) 599-9190.

I have learned about IMDb, which is a research tool offered to us on the web and it means Internet Movie Database. One can locate information regarding characters, roles, actors, plots and music relative to the movie industry. The reader can check out the actors listed above by going to IMDb online.

I have learned about Suza Lambert Bowser, who is an advocate for her fellow Humboldt County artists. She is dedicated to promoting and developing Humboldt County filmmaking as a marketable resource, mining the talent and strengths of the local talent pool.

The new production is titled Flea and has a budget of $325,000, 90 percent of which will remain in Humboldt County.

For film updates please check out or my blog,

Peggy Molloy has performed with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Santa Barbara Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet, and The Opera Company of Boston. She has toured Europe with The California Redwoods Chorale and currently sings with Christ Episcopal Church Choir in Eureka. Currently residing in Bayside, she sells dolls on eBay and has multiple writing projects.