Commander Monday: Kristin Bauer van Straten

No spotlight is needed for this week’s Commander Monday focus. First Lieutenant Kristin Bauer van Straten is a beam of shining light herself, and also the only female First Lieutenant in the Zombie Survival Crew. She recently rose to rank in the ZSC alongside fellow First Lieutenants and True Blood co-stars Sam Trammell and Jim Parrack. Collectively, the True Blood trio are a force to be reckoned with during those times when vampires make noise. But being the girl in what so far seems very much an all-boys’ club, Kristin faces no disadvantages. She is fierce, powerful, compassionate, and has a sense of determination matched only by her tenacious work aimed at improving the treatment of our beloved four-legged friends.



Kristin hails from Racine, Wisconsin. She learned to ride horseback and became adept at handling firearms before moving on to study fine arts in Saint Louis, Boston and New York City. Soon after she shifted gears again and decided to focus on acting. In 1995 she landed her first recurring role in the television series The Crew. From there, the number of television appearances grew so numerous they cannot all be listed here. LA Law, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Dark Angel, Two and a Half Men, Star Trek: Enterprise, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Desperate Housewives, Crossing Jordan, Justified, and Once Upon a Time have all featured Kristin in guest roles.  In 2009, she became a series regular on HBO’s True Blood, playing the sultry and deadly vampire Pamela Swynford De Beaufort. Watch for Kristin in the upcoming film The Story of Luke, scheduled for release later in 2012, and of course her ongoing role as Pam in the continuing saga of True Blood.



I have a theory that’s the game here on Earth: “CHECK IT OUT AND PICK A TEAM.” Then at the end of our lives, we know we lived our own life and not a life by default because we didn’t stop and look.

In direct contrast to her True Blood character, the beautiful Ms. Bauer van Straten is a vegetarian and dedicated animal lover. She dislikes “meanness, the circus, littering, testing on animals, starving, pesticides, fur, most zoos, slavery, intolerance, and genetically modified food.” She strives to live as nature intended and takes inspiration from life on all forms. In 2011, devoted fans and fellow animal lovers launched a Birthday Charity Project in her name.  She is an avid supporter of The Amanda Foundation and stands before us as inspiring reminder to all that our world does not belong to humans alone.


Kristin has also recently joined ranks with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), adding her considerable passions to help free Tony, the Siberian-Bengal tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.


Be sure to check out the other ZSC commanders!

Commander in Chief and Red Brigade Commander Juliette Terzieff
Blue Brigade Commander Norman Reedus
Yellow Brigade Commander Jinxie G
Light Blue Brigade Commander Anthony Guajardo
Orange Brigade Commander R.C. Murphy
Green Brigade Commander IronE Singleton
Purple Brigade: The Oracle
Yellow Brigade First Lieutenant Sean Patrick Flanery
Red Brigade First Lieutenant Neil Brown Jr.
Purple Brigade First Lieutenant Anthony Michael Hall
Light Blue Brigade First Lieutenant Ted Raimi
Orange Brigade First Lieutenant David Della Rocco
Green Brigade’s Second Lieutenant Casper Van Dien
Blue Brigade First Lieutenant James Gonzaba
First Lieutenant Jim Parrack
First Lieutenant Tony Todd
First Lieutenant Sam Trammell


Jim Parrack brings new blood to ZSC command

Photo by Mitchell McCormack

Priority Status: HIGH
Dispatcher: Juliette Terzieff

It’s not every day your Zombie Survival Crew Commander-in-Chief meets someone as prepared for the Zombieapocalypse as she is… but Jim Parrack, known to True Blood fans as the charming Hoyt Fortenberry, is armed, trained and ready.

We encountered Jim on a recent reconnaissance mission and had just barely begun discussing disaster scenarios and survival when he produced a dizzying array of information from his cell phone. I guess it’s not all that surprising for a guy who faces vampires, werewolves and aliens on a regular basis. Sure it’s all for the benefit of our television and movie screens, but convincing action like that doesn’t come without preparation.

The Texas native left ZSC Command with no doubt he’s ready to help lead the charge into battle, and do what it takes to make sure we survive.

Zombie Survival Crew please raise your weapons and welcome our newest First Lieutenant JIM PARRACK!!!!

Ted Raimi takes a spot on ZSC Command

Priority Status: High

The approach was unexpected. I was re-sorting gear for the umpteenth time at the Zombie Survival Crew temporary command post at Spooky Empire recently when a voice called out: “Zombie Survival Crew. I need to know about this.”

Now there really isn’t much that will leave your fearless commander-in-chief speechless but when I looked up and saw Ted Raimi standing there my jaw dropped. I did a lightning-fast mental check to regain my senses and sputtered out a greeting.

Over peppermint candies and gum I walked Ted through ZSC command protocols and mission parameters with permagrin he was kind enough not to comment on. I do believe I even stuttered a few times. Nonetheless, Ted accepted a Command mission and assignment on the spot and walked away with ZSC gear to call his own.

Ted’s years of experience fighting demons, the possessed and all manner of the undead gives him a definitive edge against the zombie hordes. He thinks fast but strategically, and has an unnerving store of knowledge about weapons.

Zombie Survival Crew please raise your weapons and welcome our newest First Lieutenant TED RAIMI!!!

Welcome to First Lieutenant James Gonzaba

Priority Status: High

Our latest Command mission to assess the battle-readiness of Dallas, Texas has brought another experienced zombie slayer into the command structure.

Zombie Survival Crew Command is delighted to welcome our latest First Lieutenant:

James Gonzaba

Some ZSC members may not immediately recognize this vato –who was decked out on The Walking Dead with bandanas, baseball bats and pistols to battle walkers. The fact that James participated in the on-screen beat down of Blue Brigade Commander Norman “Daryl Dixon” Reedus? Command has decided to let that slide.

Check out James’ exclusive message to ZSC members –and raise your weapons for a new command member!