Christa Lawler

Forum News Service

It's Valeri Mudek's turn for what she refers to as a "rite of passage" for actors in New York City: The former Duluthian has a guest spot on an episode of "Law & Order: SVU," which airs Wednesday on NBC.

"Everyone takes a turn," she said in a phone interview from her home in Brooklyn. "My number was called and it's my turn to be on the show. I've joined the club, which is great."

Mudek plays a suspect's wife in the long-running police procedural. The episode, according to a TV Guide listing, is about a student who disappears during a school trip and a mysterious masked man.

"I do make it through the episode," Mudek said. "I'm not a victim."

Mudek is a Duluth Central High School graduate and full-time actor who has been living in New York City for about 10 years. She started her career at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, which included a bucket-list role as Elena in Chekov's "Uncle Vanya." She traveled with the company's production of "Tiny Kushner," which played at the Tricycle Theatre in Britain.

Other TV credits include "The OA," "The Mysteries of Laura" and "Forever."

Mudek said the "Law & Order" episode was filmed a few weeks ago in the frigid cold. Her Minnesota roots, she said, helped her.

"It's a one-scene deal," she said. "In those procedurals, you go in and say the info that forwards the case and you get out. It's a fun task as an actor. You have to be really concise and really hit all the marks of the scene."

The best part, she said, was working with the show's regulars.

"I got to see how they work on a day-to-day basis," she said. "I've done most of my work in theater, so it was awesome to see. The way they work reminded me of the old-school theater actors who don't take themselves too seriously."

Earlier this week, "Above All Things," an indie movie she stars in, was released to streaming services Amazon, iTunes and VOD. It's the story of a man who retreats to a lake house to mourn his dead wife and Mudek plays the ghost. The movie is described as a supernatural/horror/thriller/comedy/buddy-movie/love story and likened to "The Lost Weekend" and "It Follows."

Mudek didn't have big plans for the "Law & Order" viewing. She said she would probably just watch it with her cat and her boyfriend. Usually, she said, she doesn't even tell people about these gigs until after they've aired.

Mudek said she has taking a page from the women who created "Above All Things," and she's begun working on her own projects. She wrote a short film and shot it last fall and she's got a project in the works with fellow Duluth Central grad De'Lon Grant, who made his Broadway debut in 2017.

If you watch

What: "Law & Order: SVU"

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: NBC-TV

Watch for: Mudek plays the wife of a suspect