Perchance to Dream
miss april is miss practical by day, mischief by night
When Danelle Folta tells us, in all sincerity, "I don't think you would want to be in my dreams," our first thought is, We beg to differ.
Then, this 26-year-old international model confesses that she's a devotee of Stephen King, Clive Barker and other horror scribes, and we begin to understand. "Oh," she exclaims, "I look forward to sleeping, because my dreams are so crazy and scary. And I love to be scared! But should I tell you some of my scary dreams? You'll think, This girl is really morbid."
We assure her of our iron constitution, and she relents.
"All right, I had this dream the other night," she says. "I'm riding around in a Jeep -- I don't even drive a Jeep! -- and I come up to this spectacular, half-finished house. I go in and the people inside tell me there's a killer on the loose in the area. So I take charge. I tell everyone to go into the basement and that I'll find the killer. I'm prowling around the construction site, and the killer turns out to be a little boy. I capture him, but when I go back to the basement, all the people are chopped up. That was a great dream!"
While Danelle's imagination may be in overdrive, don't be fooled into thinking that Miss April is a flake. She still has her head on straight, even after six years of working as a model in the U.S., Europe and Asia. She has also done some acting, including a role in the TV series "The Untouchables." "I played a dancer who was dating mobsters, trying to work my way up to Al Capone," she says. "I was sort of a bimbo type, which is the opposite of who I am."
Danelle was raised in Dyer, Indiana and is the youngest of six children. She is an appealing mix of the sweet, small-town girl who brags shamelessly about her sisters and brothers and the urbane businesswoman who is both smart and combative.
"I like to argue," she says. "If you disagree with me about something, I'll keep at you until you agree. I think maybe I have the lawyer gene in me."
To prepare for her arguments, Danelle soaks up information everywhere -- from books, magazines and people she meets on the road. Not long ago, as she was waiting in a hotel lounge in Atlanta, she began talking with a man who works in the recycled-cardboard business. She hung on his every word as he explained how cardboard is turned into pulp and back into cardboard. When the man asked for her number, Danelle had to tell him -- sweetly, of course -- that she was interested just in recycling.
Danelle has her own business ambitions. She has been studying real estate, and her goal is to buy one piece of property a year for the next five years. But just because she has practical dreams doesn't mean that she's ready to abandon her middle-of-the-night adventures.
"My dreams help me get in touch with my fears and my desires, too," she says. "I have my share of sexual dreams, which I guess are the female equivalent of wet dreams. And they're great!" Dream on, Danelle.
-- Michael Gerhart
Photography by Richard Fegley