Introduce Yourself(ie): 10 Questions with Cats Star Georgina Pazcoguin
July 18th, 2016
by Georgina Pazcoguin
New York City Ballet's first Asian American soloist, Georgina Pazcoguin, returns to Broadway (she made her debut in 2015 as Ivy Smith in On the Town) as the beautiful and mesmerizing Victoria the White Cat in Broadway's first-ever revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. Below she shares with BroadwayBox her take on Victoria & Old Deuteronomy secret relationship, the experience of dancing with Andy Blankenbuehler, and advice for aspiring dancers.
1. My first introduction to Cats was:
My first introduction to Cats was the movie. I was completely enthralled. I remember alternating btw the Cats VHS and the Riverdance VHS in my short down time between the end of the school day and dance class at Allegheny Ballet. Ironic life foreshadowing, no?
2. My reaction to seeing myself transformed in full costume and make-up:
Having "Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent pop into my head, then blasting it aloud on Spotify in my NYCB dressing room. Did I mention I was a hardcore classic rock fan?
3. The most surprising thing about the Cats revival:
Cats is hard! I only sightly jest, there are many surprises that you will just have to wait and see! On a warm fuzzy note, I never expected to love absolutely every person in this cast. I also must say that working with Mr. Blankenbuehler has been such a rewarding experience. It's really special to have someone see potential in you and bring that potential to fruition, all the while creating a safe space to explore and trust.
4. One thing people don’t know about the world of ballet companies unless you’re in it:
I believe the general thought is that Ballet Company life is such a cut throat environment and we are all slightly obsessive individuals who have no sense of fun. Don't get me wrong that exists in some individuals, but for the most part I think there is a motto of, "We work hard, we play hard." For as disciplined as we must be, we also equalize through general goofiness and fun. I know myself and most of my colleagues have the capacity to let loose on a daily basis but I hold myself to the standard, "You better be in class the next morning!"
5. My signature dance move when I’m out at a party or wedding:
Oh God, this is a loaded question. I wish you could ask any of my close friends for this answer! Since the responsibility is mine, I'm going venture that I sometimes only warrant the invite to a party or wedding for the sheer fact I WILL start the dance floor. As for my signature move, it has got to be the inevitable incorporation of a prop. It may be a fan, it my be my train of my gown, it may be the chair I was just sitting on. I tend to create a spectacle.
6. Three things I do to keep my body healthy and ready to dance this show eight-times-a-week:
1: Epsom salt baths every other night 2: Acupuncture 3: EAT! Proper fuel is a must.
7. My favorite dance sequence in a film has to be:
Hmm, first of all, Pina the film should be watched by any aspiring dancer. I would have made any sacrifice to work with her. The raw emotion particularly in the "Rite of Spring" and "Vollmond" excerpts are stunning. On a more commercial note, West Side Story's "America" is a brilliant dance scene. I have to give a special shout out to the warehouse dance break of Kevin Bacon's character in Footloose. Maybe it's more the way it was filmed but it gets me jazzed every time, like the Rocky 4 training montage.
8. One piece of advice I’d give to aspiring dancers:
No matter where you are in your career, resist the urge to compare your path to others'. Don't ever become complacent, the learning never ends.
9. Desert island movie, book, & album:
Off the Wall, Michael Jackson for album: Any science fiction/fantasy novel—The Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy is my favorite: I'd like Bill Murray to keep me entertained so Meatballs the Movie.
10. My Victoria backstory includes:
Victoria is the secret love child of Deuteronomy and the last of his deceased 99 wives (perhaps it's Hello Kitty). Both she and Old Deuteronomy are unaware or this fact, but there is a special connection between them. She possesses a grounded yet whimsical nature. She is confident in her skin yet sensitive to the feelings of all the other tribe members. She's compassionate, quirky, and sensual—which is disarming to characters like Alonzo and Tugger—yet it's ultimately Plato whose aloof yet romantic nature draws her in.
See Georgina Pazcoguin as Victoria in 'Cats' at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre.