Cynthia Gibb: As A Mom I’ve Learned Compassion & Patience

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Cynthia Gibb will be in the new Lifetime movie The Cheating Pact – set to air on Saturday, September 28. The mom-of-three now lives in Westport, Connecticut and teaches singing and acting. Her long list of television and film credits include Fame, Gypsy, Madman of the People, Full Frontal and Criminal Minds.

Cynthia recently dished her thoughts to Celebrity Baby Scoop and revealed facts about The Cheating Pact, family life, and her acting career.

CBS: The Cheating Pact is a movie inspired by true events.  How do you feel about high school seniors paying others to take their college entrance exams for them?

CG: I feel that cheating is never justified. With kids in our society so much of the pressure is on “results” and not on content. That goes for material possessions, looks, the kind of phone  or car you have, or what school you go to. It’s very much the wrong lesson to teach our kids–who then become adults who teach their own kids the same myth. Another myth is that the more prestigious the school, the “happier” you’ll be because you’ll be more “successful.” Again, this is promoting the belief that happiness comes from outside influences, when true contentedness comes from the inside–being comfortable with and confident about yourself.

CBS: Is it really parental pressure rather than peer pressure?

CG: In this movie it is both. Definitely pressure from the parents, but the attitude is contagious among the teens.

CBS: How did you like working with the four young stars of the movie?

CG: They were fun. Daniela (who played my daughter) is very hard-working. She takes acting and singing lessons when not working and is very serious about her craft. I didn’t work with Max, but he was fun to hang out with between scenes. The 2 guys playing the cops were like Laurel and Hardy until the director called “rolling” and then they became those very serious cops. Lots of laughs with them.

CBS: You now live in Westport, Ct. after living in Southern California for many years. Can you compare the two places? Are you happiest in the Northeast?

CG: I feel like I have many homes. I was in LA for 30 years, so it is definitely still my home and I miss many things about it, mostly my friends and hiking the canyons. I also miss being on the studio lots. I still get a tickle from walking around on them, even 30 years after first walking onto the MGM lot for Fame. It excites me to feel the energy of the film and television business–and I don’t get that living in New England.

Vermont and Connecticut are both my homes as well (born and raised there, respectively.) I absolutely love the autumn and winter, so when in LA I miss the seasons terribly. I never got used to 100+ degrees in October/ November. I started my career in NYC when I was a teenager and used to walk around that city as if I owned it–it is like no other city in the world and I love being able to just put on my running shoes and a backpack and travel around inside of Manhattan. The park, museums, restaurants, theater, subway performers–they all thrill me. I take advantage of that now as often as possible.

CBS: In your opinion – are there any pros/cons of raising a family in Los Angeles?

CG: It is far better to raise my kids in CT. It is safe (my kids can get on their bikes and ride to their friends’ houses without me) clean (you don’t ‘see” the air her and you can drink the tap water,) and the schools are blue-ribbon. I could not educate my eldest in LA’s finest private school as well as I can educate my youngest ones publicly in CT.

CBS: You now teach singing and acting – how did you get started with your new business?

CG: I have been studying singing with a vocal coach in LA since 1983 and studying pedagogy (the art of teaching singing) since 1999. I still study both with Dr. Joel Ewing. I was also in his Master Chorale for about 12 years, so my training is classical (the master chorale,) pop (the music of Fame) and in musical theater (Gypsy.) I have always wanted to teach, but this community was the best place to do it.

CBS: With Glee being such a successful show – have you seen an increase in enrollment?

CG: Oh yes. Glee, The Voice, X-Factor, american Idol, etc. Also, in this area of the US so many people want to go into musical theater, so my studio is quite full. I have about 35 weekly students and another 10 who come periodically.

CBS: What advice can you give to students who want to get become actors and singers?

CG: Study, study, study. Technique, technique, technique. And learn do deal with a lot of rejection.

CBS: Have you ever thought a student didn’t have the talent to sing or act? Did you ever tell them to look for another career choice?

CG: Everyone can sing. It is just a matter of training the muscles to function properly. It is true that some are more naturally gifted, but I can teach anyone how to sing if they are willing to listen and do as I ask.

CBS: You have three children – do your twins have similar or different personalities?

CG: All three are so very unique and different from each other.

CBS: What are your children’s interests? Are they looking into getting into show business?

CG: My son is the “actor.” He takes acting class and loves it. He’s also really musical. His twin is into animals–she has 8 in her room, and another 4 pets in other parts of the house. My eldest is in LA working as a personal assistant to a film composer (friend of mine) and helping the casting director of the new Hunger Games movie (fellow Sarah Lawrence College grad.)

CBS: What has been one of the greatest rewards of motherhood?  Greatest challenge?

CG: I have learned compassion and patience. And I find it a lot easier to be emotional in my acting work. The biggest challenges are finding time for myself and knowing what kind of time limit to set for “minecraft!”

CBS: How do you juggle working with your clients with home life? What’s a typical day like for you?

CG: Don’t ask. It isn’t pretty. I am a multi-tasker between 7 AM-11 PM.

CBS: You’ve had many television and film roles – are there any parts that you’re particularly proud of?

CG: Gypsy and High Stakes (movie for Lifetime in which I played a gambler.) The movie I did last year with David Warner and Tom Sizemore, called “Before I Die.” Not sure when that is coming out….I also loved being on the sitcom “Madman of the People” with Dabney Coleman. So so so much fun and I learned so much from Dabney about doing comedy. He was the best TV dad in that way I have ever had.

CBS: Many of us were big fans of the “Fame” series, do you keep in touch with any of your cast mates?

CG: Yes–I’ve been to Italy with Nia Peeples and Erica Gimble lately. I keep in touch with Val Lansberg. Because of Facebook I am chatting with many of the dancers now and just adore them all. I miss that show so much. Wish I could do it all over again.

CBS: What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

CG: Get more sleep!

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