WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - At one point or another, we've all dreamt of flying. Well, through the help of gold medallists and Broadway star Cathy Rigby, I can cross flying off my bucket list.
Rigby is the first American to win a World Gymnastic Championship and first U.S. Olympian to be nominated for a Tony.
After she retired from the balanced beam, she discovered a new talent. "I figured it out about seven years after I started studying acting, singing and dancing. I was a little bit nervous to step out behind the piano to audition," recalled Rigby. "But I auditioned for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and got the role. It was scary enough to do the audition. Then, I was singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in front of 2,000 people, and that was probably, next to the Olympics, one of the most terrifying moments.
In 1990, she made her Peter Pan debut. "For somebody who was a gymnasts, like myself, it wasn't hard to learn the flips."
She also learned the importance of teamwork. "I loved gymnastics. I loved almost everything about it, but when I got into theatre, I found I wasn't working with an inanimate object, like a balance beam, but that I was working with a team of people. That was something very different from what I had experienced. Plus, you don't shutdown emotionally. You don't learn to stuff all your feelings; you have to use them."
In 2005, she attempted to retire from the role as Peter Pan, but she really is the child who won't grow up. "I missed it. There was such a joy in doing it, I thought, 'Ok, I'm going to do one more'. And I started planning it and getting into it. I feel as this production, honestly, is the best one we've ever done."
I think it's time to pass the fairy dust on – to maybe someone like me! But for now, this 60-year-old has no plans of landing anytime soon.
You have until Sunday, August 5 to Rigby in Peter Pan at the Kravis Center.
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