Making it in Hollywood: Actress with local ties lands spots on top-rated shows

The OlympianOctober 16, 2006 

Actress Allison Miller donned temporary tattoos, fake piercings and leather stripper attire for her latest gig.

She plays "Omen," a Suicide Girl, on the upcoming episode of "CSI: NY," which airs at 10 p.m. Wednesday on CBS.

Miller, whose parents are Margo and John Winn Miller of Olympia, isn't a Suicide Girl in real life - although several of the women who pose for the alternative porn Web site and perform in the group's touring burlesque show guest star in the episode.

"I do not fit the bill," Miller said, giggling. "I do not have tattoos or piercings."

Not to mention that her dad, who is the publisher and president of The Olympian, wouldn't approve of it.

"Oh my god, he'd have a heart attack," Miller said. "When it's fake, I think he's OK with it."

Wednesday's show was written by CSI series co-creator and executive producer Anthony E. Zuiker.

Miller's character is named "Carensa Sanders."

"She's very young and naive," Miller said. "She's always been kind of sheltered. She's from Wyoming and she's always felt out of place - like people didn't get her."

Her character runs away to New York to join the Suicide Girls. That's when she takes the stage name "Omen."

"She ends up finding a great sisterhood with the women," Zuiker said. "She ends up falling in love with another woman named 'Al.' And the killer in a jealous rage ends up killing 'Omen.' "

Eight of the real Suicide Girls appear in the episode, including the group's founder Missy Suicide.

Zuiker said Miller was chosen for a difficult role: She had to transform her character from an innocent Midwest girl into a rowdy sex kitten.

"It was a little bit of a risk, so it was important that we had a real actress playing the (part)," he said.

Miller said she has fewer lines and less camera time in the episode than her appearance last spring in "Cold Case."

"But I think the part is such a strong character, th at kind of makes up for it," she said.

Miller, who asked that her age not be published because she auditions for teen roles as well as adult roles, broke into the industry last year when she was one of eight finalists to compete for the role of "Laurie" in the VH1 reality show "In Search of the Partridge Family."

Before that, she had been a part of the Young Actors Theatre in Tallahassee, Fla.

She moved to Hollywood in January, and has temporarily shelved college to pursue an acting career.

Miller said she goes on several auditions each week. Earlier this year, she did some voice-over work for an interactive children's book.

"It was really fun to do because you don't have to really worry about what you look like at all," she said. "It's about making your voice as a character."

Miller recently shot a bit part on one of her favorite shows, "Desperate Housewives." Her character is a teenage model.

"She kind of upstages Eva Longoria's character," Miller said. "It's so bizarre."

She said she feels extremely grateful for the work that she's gotten so far.

"I've just learned that a lot of it is luck, as much as it is talent," Miller said.

She said her experience on "CSI-NY" was unforgettable. In addition to filming the episode, she posed for some seductive photos for SuicideGirls.com to help promote the television show.

"Omen" wasn't an easy character to play.

"It was very strange," Miller said. "I kind of had to get over myself because I was so self-conscious - and the clothes they were giving me, and the things I had to say? I kind of had to suck it up and do it."

Lisa Pemberton writes for The Olympian. She can be reached at 360-704-6871 or lpemberton@theolympian.com.

What is a suicide girl?

Suicide Girls is an alternative soft-core pornography Web site that also features text profiles of indie-styled young women, who call themselves Suicide Girls. The site is fashioned in styles reminiscent of the 1940s and '50s pin-up models.

Access to most of the site requires a paid membership.

The Web site was created by "Spooky" (Sean Suhl) and "Missy Suicide" (Selena Mooney) in late 2001, and based in Portland. Mooney has said that the purpose of the site is to give women control over how their sexuality is depicted.

The term doesn't have anything to do with suicide. The term is credited to a usage by "Fight Club" author and Portland resident Chuck Palahniuk in his novel "Survivor." It refers to girls who don't fit into any conventional sub-culture.

The Web site does not rely on model searches but reviews about 200 submissions a week from women who want to become Suicide Girls. The site features more than 1,000 women and logs 5 million visitors a month.

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