Leda Jo from Beckinfield!
by Neva J. Howell
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I can't even remember how I first found out about the virtual town of Beckinfield and the web series where anybody could join in the story. What an exciting concept. I jumped in with both feet, creating an original character named Leda Jo Gupta. She was from Mississippi. Leda Jo evolved into this sort of Mother Hen of the town and over the two years that she ran Leda Jo's Bar and Grill, almost everyone who lived there had visited her business.
Leda Jo hosted some of the biggest online collaborations every undertaken in the series, including the only event so big that it actually got included in the weekly topics. Usually, those only featured fictional antagonists. Leda Jo's birthday party, the Karaoke Sing Off and other events were amazing feats in cooperation, creativity and collaboration.
It's hard now to describe how this worked to someone who wasn't part of it. Each person in the Karoake Sing Off and Poetry Slam uploaded their video in sequence and it ended up looking like we were all at the same venue, having this contest. Of course, backgrounds couldn't all be the same but we suspended our disbelief and the effect was magical to watch play out. There was a gathering that watched it unfold live in Los Angeles.
Most everyone was in different parts of the world and yet we all came together for these events, and often made it look as if we were all in the same place. Yes, we were limited by not having green screens and there were backgrounds that were different, etc. but for what we had to work with, I think what we accomplished was nothing short of amazing and I'm so proud to have been a part of the Beckinfield experience.
Leda Jo was known to occasionally hit the bottle though she was never, ever, ever a drunk. She just had the occasional slip up where she drank more than she thought. Always a lady, even when she was threatening to punch out that annoying Roger Teddy or when she literally punched out Stephen Edmonds at the Valentine's Day Dance. Leda Jo is by far my favorite character and I so want to play her again, somewhere in something.