My interview with the great Betty Buckley!
Sometimes, I get to interview someone on a red carpet who I am so in awe of that I have to fight to control myself and not get all crazy fan on them.
That was certainly the case last month when I met Tony winner Betty Buckley at the Trevor Live! event in Hollywood.
She is one of the great divas of the stage (Cats, Sunset Boulevard, Song and Dance) who will star in a revival of Dear World on the London stage this year.
Miss Buckley is also known for her television roles on ABC’s Eight is Enough and HBO’s Oz as well as the feature films Carrie, Frantic and Tender Mercies.
While I liked her on Eight is Enough as Abby Bradford, it was an appearance on The Tonight Show in the early 80s where I, for the first time really, witnessed the magic of Betty Buckley’s singing. She sang Over You from Tender Mercies and Memory from Cats and I was just floored. (Here is a LINK to that performance)
So when we met on the red carpet, I told her about how she blew me away that night then I managed to get a few questions out:
Q. Nobody sings like you. How did you develop your own style? Does it just come out of you?
A. I’ve worked and studied at it, I studied with a great teacher in New York for many years named Joan Lader. Before that I studied with a great man named Paul Gavert. It takes a lot of work. But I think we kind of discovered I had this voice when I was around 11 and I’ve been performing professionally since I was 15.
Q. The gay community loves you, we love our big Broadway divas. Do you mind being called a diva?
A. It’s a job description, it’s not who we are. But if they want to think that, that’s fine with me.
Q. Is performing for you just as much fun as it’s ever been?
Q. Are you at a place where you can write your own ticket, do whatever you want to do?
A. Well, not exactly. It’s not quite that easy. I’m more like a working girl. I think every actress-singer, if you tell the truth about it, it’s keeping yourself ready for when the opportunities strike.’
Here is Miss Buckley performing As if We Never Said Goodbye from Sunset Boulevard: