PETER PAN is a show that has been thrilling audiences young and old for years. The story is over 100 years old, yet it continues to attract many to see it and hear its story of lost youth and everyone's desire to never forget their own youth. Cathy Rigby is PETER PAN as it sweeps across the country with a great company. In a recent interview with Cathy, she shared with me her hopes, dreams and all the ways that she has managed to stay young as she shares her talent and passion with others.
I think it's better to start this interview by asking you …what haven't you done?
I am so incredibly blessed to do two or three careers that I could have only dreamt about as a little kid. There is nothing I want for. I am blessed and grateful. I can't tell you what I wanted to do except maybe spend a little more time in one place. Sometimes I travel a lot and I have that opportunity when I'm not on the road and it's been wonderful. But I think as far as what I haven't done I think it would be the simpler things. I love gardening, I love making things. I think down the line when I have more time to be at home, those are things that I will do. Also, if I could do it, I would run a zoo.
You seem to have done it all and you keep on going. Olympics, Sports commentator, Entrepreneur, Mother, grandmother, wife, Tell us, how did you get from Olympic Gold medal winner to International singer, actor, performer, etc. When you were a young girl training in gymnastics, did you ever see that this would be your future?
Never. I was incredibly shy growing up and I could certainly do gymnastics. But, the thought of actually standing on a stage and singing or acting in front of anybody, I would have never thought I would have the guts to do that or the ability to do that. Now it's been part of my life for so long. Had you told me this as a young girl or even as a young woman, I would have said absolutely not. But, it's funny when you train for something and apply the same training, you have to get better and sometimes when you're ready and then the opportunity comes up and if you get lucky then you are able to live another dream. I never expected that ever in a million years.
Tell us about McCoy –Rigby Entertainment. You and your husband started it and have great success with it. What are some of the greatest successes you have had with that?
There are couple of things that we do. The obvious thing is the theater works and our actor's theaters are able to go from our theater in La Mirada (California) and take some of the shows on the road like Jesus Christ Superstar, Camelot with Michael York, Peter Pan, Annie Get Your Gun; we've done a lot. We are able to take our shows to regional theaters, to Broadway and we recently did Jekyll and Hyde. When we launch those in our theater and then they go out (and tour), that's always been a great highlight for us at the theater to give the theater national exposure and to see our hard work last for more than one run in our theater. I think the other wonderful thing is that from our theater in La Mirada --we have been able to indirectly move into a conservatory of the arts for children and we have a theater in Yorba Linda, California. It's called McCoy Rigby Conservatory of the Arts where we teach young kids and older kids singing dancing acting and it's been the greatest accomplishment. It's great to see kids who don't necessarily go on to become prima ballerinas, they can and some of them do and become amazing at what they do. But to see kids through theater, their self-esteem rise and become so confident. I would have never guessed that. I see that happening everyday especially when I'm on the road and I go back and witness the improvement and the confidence that comes with being a part of this world. It's very exciting to me. I didn't expect it. I had no idea. I've been in this and to see how it affects the kids and the confidence they have gained, it's been very rewarding.
It's very true. I have a son who is 15 and just started to sing and I didn't realize he had such a good voice until he started to have lessons.
I remember when my son did that. It's really fun to see. This child has a talent. They're not afraid to do it and they're getting trained for it. It's really quite fun. My son's first was "Into the Woods" and he was that same age. I don't care what else they do in life; it's certainly helpful to them.
Tell us a little bit about this new production of PETER PAN.