The one and onlywill perform at the Kravis Center For The Performing Arts on March 29.Prior to her arrival, Ms. Reynolds took time out of her busy schedule to do an exclusive interview with Bill Hernandez and AllVoices.com. Here is that interview in it's entirety.
Q: I know that you enjoy your profession as an entertainer but, does the traveling agree with you?
A: The traveling is always very hard for everybody but it’s the only way to get there, and the covered wagon is no longer running. We have it arranged very well here because we travel after the show. We came in last night after the show, around 2am, went to sleep, and then we rest the next day, and do the show the following day. We got it worked out to where we get enough rest.
Q: As a young little girl, did you know that you wanted to be an entertainer?
A: I knew I loved the people and I knew my neighbors and I entertained the neighborhood. I was just a clown, you know, I liked to have a good time and entertain people and make people laugh. I think it just comes naturally to a young person. You are just born with it. Then you have to develop it. Through the years I have studied at MGM, under contract with the studio for 17 years. We had teachers 8 hours a day, teaching us all kinds of ballet, tap, jazz, modern dance and all kinds of horseback riding, fencing, trapeze work. You had to learn everything in those days. It was a school and I was very lucky because it was the end of the Golden Era, an era where they taught you and trained you. It was wonderful to be paid to learn.
Q: During your MGM years, who were some of the artists you looked up to that might have helped you shape your career?
A: While under contract there, I became friends with, June Allison and many, many others. Sid Cherise, Fred Astair was there and he was very nice to me and taught me a great deal. , of course, I worked with on Singing In The Rain. I had a wonderful childhood.
Q: I bet you have some really great stories. Ever think about doing a book in the future?
A: I am writing one now. I am just beginning now and I have about three months in on it now. It will take about another seven months to write it. I just decided to do it before I kick the bucket. I went from movies to the night clubs, where I became good friends withand Dean and Sammy and we just hung out. Tom Jones was there and was a good friend. It was great, wonderful, crazy. Good music, great stories... just a crazy time.
Q: You must have one heck of a photo album.
A: (Laughing) You’re right, I do! I have wonderful pictures of all my friends like, Dick Van Dyke. I have all the old timers too, that I knew. , Eddie Cantor. It goes way back. I love show business and I keep a little of it. I am a big collector of little things, all kinds of memorabilia. I have really had a marvelous life.
Q: As you just said, you love the entertainment industry. If you weren’t an entertainer, what do you think you might be doing to earn a living?
A: When I was 16, I was studying to be a gym teacher because I was not in show business yet. I think I have gravitated towards show business anyway. I really don’t know what would have happened. I am grateful that it did happen and that the river flowed the way it did. It is a great life, I have traveled all over the world. I have met Kings and Queens and just the most exciting people. It is a lot of fun! I am NEVER gonna retire. I am going to be like George Burns. I am going to be on stage until I drop dead, and then I will have myself stuffed like Trigger (Laughs)
Q: Do you do anything special to maintain your voice?
A: Yes... I have a routine. At MGM, we had to learn the techniques of how to breathe and how to approach the vocals. I use steam. I travel with a steamer and I use tapes to vocalize and exercise my voice. I do that daily otherwise you lose it
Q: What is next for Debbie Reynolds?
A: I just finished a movie with Katherine Haigle, titled One For The Money. I played her Grandmother and they are gonna make another movie of that. I just did that movie last year. So whenever a part comes up that is for someone my age and is interesting, and not just a silly part, I will do it. I did four Disney films for children that were very successful called Halloween Town, and I do a lot of voiceovers. I really do a lot of everything.
Q: How is your daughter Carrie (Fisher) doing?
A: She is just good. She is in Japan right now. She is at an autograph show because they love Star Wars and so they are having a big celebration over there. She has been over there for five days now, and then she comes home to New York to see her daughter Billie, who is quite beautiful and 19 now and she is going into show business, it looks like. She is going to finish college first. She is at New York University right now. So Carrie is really busy and she id doing her play, Wishful Drinking. She just finished a new book called Shockaholic. She is a very funny writer, and a very talented actress.
For more information about Debbie Reynolds and up-coming concert dates, log on to her website at www.debbiereynolds.com