Actor, Producer, Radio Co-Host
what a talented musician with a charismatic
personality. Her professional titles include
singer/songwriter (both independently and as
frontwoman for the currently-on-hiatus Pope
Jane), actor, producer, radio show co-host,
clairvoyant and ordained minister! If that isn’t
enough, her musical contributions are equally
diverse, writing songs both for herself and
others, creating a line of meditation CDs and
penning soundtracks and scores for films.
Danielle helped found the all-female rock band
Pope Jane in Billings in 1994, and even though
the band dissolved two years ago, people are
still talking about it. Danielle said much of
her success is due to her days as the
lead singer and guitarist in Pope Jane. The
music is still so vital that most of the songs
Egnew is using in the musical score for the
new film “Changing Spots” are Pope
“The director Susan Turley liked the songs
so much she wanted the entire
to be our music. The score is like a Pope
Jane greatest hits,” Egnew told
Women Business Magazine in a recent telephone
interview from her home in Los Angeles.
Egnew landed one of the leading roles
in the film, a drama about relationships.
She spent most of 2006 involved in the
filming of it and is in the final stages
of finishing its score. The movie, which
is expected to be released in 2007, includes
a large live music sequence
Egnew is lip syncing to her own songs.
“2006 was crazy busy in a good way.
I thought L.A. was going to be a lot tougher
nut to crack,” Egnew said. Egnew
and the rest of Pope Jane, including Kristen
Coyner on drums and H olly Shawver on
bass, moved to Los Angeles in 2002 to
pursue a record deal.
talk-show host, Sheena Metal, wanted
to play Pope Jane music between her
talk segments,” Egnew said. “She
was L.A.’s Howard Stern at the
time. I sent her music and she said,
‘You have to come out here.’
We played a couple of shows and were
immediately booked on Sunset Strip,
which is great
because there are so many bands out
MCA and Universal
record companies were all interested
signing Pope Jane. Then the bottom fell
out of the record industry and all three
deals went sour. “It was really
disappointing,” Egnew said. “That’s
when Pope Jane ended.”
Shawver moved back to Billings and
Coyner moved back to Washington.
Plans are in the works to record another
Pope Jane album, though.
“Even though we weren’t
playing music anymore, Pope Jane just
kept going and going with digital downloads,”
Egnew said. Egnew is also wrapping up
a solo album named after one of her
favorite places, Red Lodge.
Also in 2006, Egnew was invited to be
part of a celebrity cast of a production
of The Vagina Monologues
in New York City, with among others,
Ally Sheedy. “I did get a blush
or two reading the script
I thought, ‘How am I going to
2007 | WOMEN MAGAZINE |61|
out loud?’ But when they put it all together,
it was such a healing experience. We
were in New York for seven days to produce this
and we stayed at the St. Regis. I’ve never
stayed at a five-star hotel before. It’s
the kind of place where you call the butler
you coffee in the morning."
that award was a testament to everybody who
believes in my music and everything they did
to help me get here,” Egnew said.
a composer and actor, both Danielle’s
pop and orchestral works appear in the
first love was musical theater, and she studied
theater at the University of Arizona and Montana
State University-Billings. Now she feels fortunate
to combine all of her talents by writing movie
scripts, acting and playing music. Her first
script, the sci-fi thriller
Thunder Walk has been optioned
by a film company. Danielle shared with Women
Business, “ If I were
film Changing Spots (Clear
Pictures 2007) in which she also stars as former
rock star “Peg Franklin”. Danielle
was honored to be
part of the VDAY 2007 West LA celebrity cast
of The Vagina Monologues with
Jennifer Beals (The L Word, Flashdance),
Alexandra Hedison (Designing Blind, the
L Word), and a host
of others. She is also an alumni of the New
York 2006 VDAY cast of The
to go back to school, itwould be for the sciences
– Physics, Astronomy. I love science”.
Danielle’s future includes filling out
her film production division of Ave Vox Entertainment
by fulfilling her dream of filming her screenplay
Imogene’s Waltz in
Montana. I’ve gotten a lot more involved
with film, as I’ve always loved the
medium, and I’m currently one of the
producers as well as talent in a comedy
called Girl Band written
by my pal Renie Oxley. We’re getting
that project together now, and it’s
going to be amazing. I also want to buy a
cabin back in my home state of Montana –
I used to have a home there, and with all
writing and recording I do, I could use the
peace and quiet up there for a nice backdrop."
biggest thing is you just can’t quit,”
Egnew said. “At the end of the day,
you’ll be the one standing out in the
wheat field and you know how far away you
can see someone
standing in a field. Always let your voice
be heard! I think many women are afraid to
appear too pushy or overbearing, so they don’t
often represent their ideas with conviction.
least not verbally, anyway. This is really
a tough sociological tendency to break, the
need to be the nurturer and healer in lieu
of being the leader and the one who delegates.
the true leader is the one who nurtures the
group and heals tensions, so leadership is
really a natural thing for women, once we
accept that it’s okay for us to step
into that role”.
is also co-hosting a radio show, “The
Music Highway with Sheena Metal,” where
she plays all-independent music. And, lastly,
one of Egnew’s biggest honors was when
named Best Pop Alternative Female Guitarist
in 2006 through a nomination process that
included L.A. music business executives and
voting. She won a custom Minarik guitar, which
led to an endorsement by the guitar company.
Vagina Monologues alongside
Ally Sheedy (High Art, The Breakfast Club)
and Kathryn Erbe (Law and Order: Criminal
her career Danielle has had to dealt with many
challenges as a woman. “The music industry
is traditionally a good ol’ boy’s
network, and in the last few years that has
really begun to change – thank goodness!
But it’s even commonplace as a female
to go into a music store to buy guitar strings
and have the guy clerk talk to you slowly,
like you’re either five years old or missing
a few chromosomes upstairs."
Egnew continues, "When I was coming up
through the ranks fifteen years ago, it was
difficult as a young female Music Producer to
be taken seriously. Thankfully, my work spoke
for itself, and I was afforded a lot of opportunities.
But it never stopped me having to work twice
as hard to prove that I could do what my male
counterparts could, or the attitudes of many
of my more traditional guy piers, who insisted
that women really had no place in the corporate
music world. We were supposed to be talent,
and that was it. You know, look really pretty
in a tight dress,
giggle and sit on the A&R guy’s lap
– the whole Betty Boop thing."
"It was difficult for me," Egnew admits,
"as I was also talent, and I wasn’t
supposed to aspire past singing and possibly
playing an instrument. And this attitude was
only back in 1991! The music industry was about
35 years behind everything else in terms of
getting with the equality program! Very 1963.
So it was
challenging launching out with my own label
at that time. But I learned a lot from the same
guys that were giving me a hard time, and I
can thank them for that”.
For the latest Danielle updates, streaming audio,
screensavers and more, head to www.DanielleEgnew.com.
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