An Interview with Cathy Schenkelberg
Hello Cathy, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Cathy : Hi there! I’m originally born and raised in Omaha Ne. Moved to Chicago and then Los Angeles where I reside…kind of. (I’m a bit of a vagabond)
Can you tell us in brief about your career in the States, thus far?
Cathy : Always built my career in acting and singing. Musical theatre and commercials, but most success was in voice over on several national campaigns. Oh and I was the first female clown, “Pepper,” on the Bozo Show for anyone who knows the history of that!
When did you first find yourself getting into the dramatic arts?
Cathy : I got involved in the arts quite young. Coming from a family of ten kids, I learned early the art of entertainment. 5 years old go go dancer…haha silly family gatherings.
When did you first realise you could write for the stage?
Cathy : Well, that is the amazing thing! I’ve always been a story teller, able to mimic voices and create the picture through spoken word. My writings have always been tucked away. They became a more personal journal of what my heart was truly tortured with a bit. It wasn’t until Squeeze My Cans and my spoken word pieces created a union that I really realized an ability.
What does Cathy Schenkelberg like to do when she’s not being theatrical?
Cathy : I’m in love with hiking and animals! It is the best way to quiet my mind, a sort of therapy for the soul.
What for you makes a good piece of theatre?
Cathy : How you feel when the lights go out at the end of the piece, comes to mind first. I’ve learned overtime to ask questions when seeing or performing in a show. Why are you telling the story? What is the purpose and for whom do you speak? My director Shirley Anderson taught me so much. Her ability to get me to ask these questions and more, not only in my own work but in that of others has been such a gift.You want to feel moved without feeling manipulated, feel delighted without being forced and most especially and hopefully in my piece walking away from a show to find yourself still reminiscing over its content.
You will be bringing ‘Squeeze My Cans’ to Edinburgh this August, can you tell us about the play?
Cathy : It’s an “Everyman” journey I believe. Yes, it is about my journey into and out of Scientology, but its more than the story of that. I don’t think anyone who has lived is remiss of a feeling of loss or regret. Wishing they could shift the choices they’ve made or rewrite a chapter or two. This is a story of search and purpose loss and redemption.
How much personal experience has made their way into the play?
It is all from personal experience and expressed in a theatrical setting. That’s not to say I haven’t thrown in some Aliens and Italian lovers in the mix!
This will be your debut at the Fringe… what have you heard about it from other performers?
Cathy : I have heard it is the best most exciting place to be, perform and celebrate art in all forms! By the way, the folks I’ve met locally and from abroad have been so lovely, warm and welcoming! My mom said to me before I left the states, “I know you’re going to do your show, I don’t exactly know what this fringe thing is, but you sure sound like a teenager!” I kid you not!
What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Cathy Schenkelberg?
Cathy : I will continue to perform Squeeze My Cans across America. I’ve been booking it myself and traveling venue to venue in my car. I will also continue writing and finishing other pieces. I’m currently working on a musical comedy about a sociopath! Lastly, I plan on traveling after this month with my daughter. We need some mommy and me time. Well I need it more than she does…she’s 22!
Aug 3-27 : Assembly Rooms (15.10)