Centerfold is center of attention at signing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 28, 2003

Hundreds of men and women &045; well, mostly men &045; of all ages lined up for an autograph Wednesday afternoon. Many pushed the limits of their lunch break, waiting more than an hour for one signature.

Hartland’s Audra Lynn, 23, Playboy magazine’s October Playmate of the Month, signed copies of the publication Wednesday afternoon at Sam Goody in the Northbridge Mall.

Most of those who lined up to see Lynn said it was worth the wait.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;Obviously, it’s the thing to do,&uot; said Ryan Graves, a student at Riverland Community College, looking at the long line ahead of him. &uot;It’s not often you get to meet a girl who poses in Playboy.&uot;

Lynn, a blue-eyed Scandinavian blonde with local roots, is trying to launch a career in the modeling business.

She says the decision to pose nude in Playboy wasn’t difficult.

&uot;I always admired Playboy,&uot; she said. &uot;They’ve done a lot for so many famous people. So many established actresses have gotten their start there.&uot;

Lynn listed Drew Barrymore, Bo Derek and Jenny McCarthy, among others, who have posed for Playboy.

Posing nude in front of millions of readers was psychologically easier than she thought it would be. She said the magazine made her comfortable, and soon she didn’t think about it.

Lynn now lives in Los Angeles, but says she misses home.

&uot;I’m a small-town girl at heart,&uot; she said.

She grew up figure skating at the Albert Lea ice arena and showing horses locally, nationally and internationally.

All the while, she dreamed of modeling. When she was five, she knew it was something she wanted to do, but her parents made her wait until she was 15.

The Alden-Conger graduate started out modeling for department store catalogs, and soon after, it became a full time job. She moved to Arizona, where she could get more exposure.

She moved back to the Hartland area and worked for a time at Geneva Liquor.

But modeling was still her focus. She decided to go to Los Angeles and drop by the Playboy offices.

Lynn asked if they were interested and they did some test shots. Soon, they asked her if she would like to be a centerfold.

Two years later, the magazine is on newsstands, and she’s in the centerfold.

Theresa Hennessey, Corporate Communications and Publicity Specialist for Playboy, said only one other playmate &045; Jenny McCarthy &045; got into the magazine through a walk up.

Lynn said like McCarthy, she wants to pursue a career in acting. She has already starred in one independent movie and has deals to do more. Television networks such as ESPN are interested in the rural Minnesotan doing a hunting show with them.

She said that if a career in acting or modeling doesn’t pan out, she will go to school to study psychology.

For Lynn’s parents, Dana and Sylvia Christiansen, Audra’s decision wasn’t an issue.

&uot;Her dad and I were very supportive of her,&uot; Sylvia said. &uot;Every parent needs to be supportive of their child, no matter what path they are taking.&uot;

The Christiansens knew when Audra was young that their daughter wanted to pursue modeling as a career.

&uot;She’s always wanted to be a model,&uot; Sylvia said. &uot;She was always into presentations, in both horse shows and figure skating. She’s just a natural.&uot;

How do they feel about hundreds of men lining up to have Audra autograph their copies of Playboy?

&uot;I think it’s great,&uot; Sylvia said. &uot;I’ve had a lot of friends calling for copies. We even got a call from Mississippi this morning for one.&uot;

Lynn requested that Playboy arrange an autograph signing in Albert Lea. Next, she’s off to Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and other cities.

&uot;It’s kind of a reality check to come back home,&uot; she said. &uot;L.A. is so unreal, it’s nice to be home again.&uot;

Wednesday, the line wrapped around the inside of Sam Goody, with almost 100 people in line consistently for two hours.

Men walked up to Lynn’s table, many with their hands quivering nervously, and asked for a signature or a picture. Audra, smiling, obliged, as she’s done for many others in many different cities.

Still, she sometimes doesn’t get the hype.

&uot;Six months ago I was just working at Geneva Liquor serving drinks,&uot; she said. &uot;I’m not any different than I was then.&uot;

(Contact Peter Cox at peter.cox or 379-3439.)