Patricia Bagby: It’s Never Too Late to Explore the Arts!
By Ilija Sekulovski
Have you always lived in Astoria?
I was born in New York but raised in California. I met my husband and we wound up in Reno, then I went back to school to get my PhD and I needed an internship – so we both decided to live in New York City. We planned to stay for just a year, but a year turned into two, then three…and we ended up with kids and grandkids, and it turned out we had been living here since 1982.
Can you tell us about being in the APAC Senior Stars show?
Astoria Performing Arts Center is an off-off broadway company, and they do some very good plays. Every summer they have a program called the senior stars, people in queens over 60 years old. It’s mostly singing, a little dancing, a little bit of everything.
I also have a group of ladies that I meet with – I realized I needed a group of friends. Now we have a group of friends that meet regularly, and at one of the meetings someone mentioned the senior stars the auditions are in three days. So I decided to go for it! I did it in 2013 and 2014.
The first show’s theme was television and commercials, so I performed a song from All in the Family. This year’s theme was old movies, and my solo was If I Were a Belle, from Guys and Dolls.
You’ve also been an extra in the movie Love is Strange, what was that like?
Oh, well I was on Facebook – which I have another funny story about – and I saw a post that said “If you want to be an extra in an independent movie, call this number.” So I did, and they told me to show up at Queens Theatre. It was lovely and a number of hours long, and I didn’t think I’d really see myself. But a couple of days later I get a call asking me to be in Brooklyn at 6 am!
I show up, and there are 6 of us. I walked in and they told me to sit down…and then suddenly the two stars walked in! John Lithgow walks in with a sketch pad, and he tells the director its part of his character – but he didn’t like it, so he told him to put it away. In between scenes I asked him what was in it, and it was all nude pictures! It turns out he was taking a local art class.
That’s an awesome story! What else do you do for fun in Astoria?
I joined a flash mob! That was lots of fun. Let me tell you about my funny Facebook story. I had a friend, years and years ago – probably almost thirty years. So I made a Facebook, and I was on it one day, and I happened to find him! We reconnected, and I’m going to LA for a school reunion, so I may see him. What an interesting thing Facebook is – meeting friends thirty years later!
I like to stay active, and I like to challenge myself. I like to have fun! After my husband died, I started trying a lot of new things, and I’ve been really enjoying them.