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Interview with Actress, Business Founder, and Singer Greta Blackburn

Greta Blackburn, thank you for accepting my interview. A bit of a background question for the reader or readers, depending on how my writing goes on this blog. Most of them will wonder who you are. Can you give a story on who you are? A little about your life from California to New York?

I pretty much began life as a theater nerd in Ft. Wayne, IN. I was a bit of a geek, tall, skinny, mop of curly hair when stick straight locks were the holy grail. I took my first acting class at age three with Virginia Withey, (The Withey Playmakers) a local lady who had been in Birth of A Nation. Once out of high school I bolted for New York and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, from which I graduated. Modeling was a natural progression for a tall, thin Indiana girl living in NY and pursuing acting.

I jumped at the chance to move to LA and become a cast member of a tv comedy pilot called ROADSHOW (it never went anywhere, but that's a whole other story about politics, egos and networks) and movies. IMDB tells much of the story of my professional life in showbiz. I ventured into the world of fitness- a true love of mine- and became a fitness magazine editor and then I took a deep dive into longevity and wrote. book about Telomere Biology, "The Immortality Edge" (co-authored with two doctors I brought into the project).

#TBT Greta Blackburn played a hardhat working in Dex’s oilfield on #dynasty. I loved ruffling Joan Collins’ feathers! #joancollins #alexisondynasty #dynastytvshow #80s #80stv #villainess #actress #americanacademyofdramaticartsnewyork #iloveny #hollywoodlife

I'm now circling back to showbiz with my music project. I started doing cabaret in NYC just before the madness hit and will continue after we get back to normal. Meanwhile my YouTube channel Greta B Music has a few of my originals.

I'm back on the East Coast after decades in LA and I feel like I'm home again.


Can you give a personal story that you wished everyone knew that would make them know what makes you. Well, you.

I think that what takes me is a confluence of a couple of factors. First, I'm the firstborn of four siblings and birth order so contributes to who we are and how we operate in the world. Next, I think the fact that I was somewhat of a ned, as I've said, was a blessing. It wasn't until I went to NY and people stopped me in the street and asked me to join their modeling agency or to let them take professional photos of me, that I got any recognition for what might be called "looks." In Indiana if you weren't short and well-fed looking you were a geek. ("You need to put some weight on!" is what I heard a lot.) In NY being tall and thin was considered an asset. Being a late bloomer is an asset for a female. So many beautiful women I've met never developed a personality because they coasted on their looks. "Nice cage, no bird" is what I call it.

This is several questions. On a personal note, what is your favorite book? Poem? Movie? And why?

My forever favorite movie is a little-known flick from the 70's called "Cesar et Rosalie" starring Yves Montand, Romy Schneider and Samy Frey. I love it because the actor are all sexy, intelligent and talented. I love the storyline (two men in love with the same woman and she, in turn loves them both) because it is complex yet so much like life. Not easy. In the end she leaves and the men remain friends. It's funny, my life has mirrored that in many ways

Care to talk about yourself as a professional actress, model, Editor of Ms. Fitness magazine, Fitcamp, or consultant. Seems you hold a lot of jobs. Which is the funnest?

The most fun for me varies depending on what stage of life I'm in. It also depends on what stage the WORLD is in at any given time. I like to mix it up. I'm like the female George Plimpton (if anyone remembers who he was....) When. man does a bunch of things, he is a Renaissance man. When. a woman does it she runs the risk of being considered flaky or a dilettante.

What has made you happiest? What has made you proudest or glad you did?

When you say proud I think of inventing fitness bootcamps. They didn't exist when I did the first FITCAMP in 1990. I guess I had a good idea! Getting the role in "48 HRS" made me super happy, I can still remember the phone call from my manager telling me I had gotten the role. Every actress in town wanted to work with Walter Hill, the director, and they interviewed many, many actresses for the role.

In general I am most happy when a relationship is involved. Whether it's a partner or a friend or a family member, relationship is what really matters.


Swimsuit Model

So as Editor of Ms. Fitness magazine, what are your favorite pieces to read or write?

That so varies. I love discovering new talent or a new protocol and writing it up. I have a nose for what will be the next big thing (hey, I came up with bootcamps!) and I love to help people get their start.


If you can, what is your current project or motivation?

My one-woman show! As I said, I started doing cabaret just before "IT" happened and I've been working during lockdown. I also look forward to the online RAADFEST program ih October. I'm moderating a panel on Human Sexuality!

I'm also in development with several people on film projects.

What are you doing to relieve stress during this time of home lockdown?

Writing songs (My Lockdown trilogy is on YouTube) and of course, always exercise. Lots of different types of meditation. Listening to tons of binaural beats music.

What are your future dreams now? Meaning, do you have a goal for a project that you are working towards?

I'd love to be opening in Vegas with my one-woman show. THAT is a goal I am working towards. Also, I'm ready for the last great love of my life. The "walk off into the sunset together" relationship.

Dreams: what project or script or actor or actress would be a dream for you to get to work with?

I'd love to do a soul/funk duet with Daryl Hall.

What question did you wish I had asked? Could you ask it and care to provide an answer?

 What is/are your biggest regret(s)?

I used to say I ha don regrets. But now I think I'd have to say there are a few moments in time that I would like to change- ever so slightly- by a few hours or a day- to affect a different outcome in a sad situation. But who knows, maybe not?

And in my next life I will get a law degree just because every human should have one with which to navigate life.

Throwback Thursday #tbt before orange was the new black!  V the Final Battle