Written by Michael Miller | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah Gibson’s three decades as an artist have left an impact obscured by her early success as a teen pop singer. After racking up a string of late-80s hits (including the No. 1 songs “Foolish Beat” and “Lost in Your Eyes,” both of which she wrote), Gibson turned to Broadway, where she has played starring roles in “Grease,” “Funny Girl,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Cabaret.”
She sponsors performing arts camps for young artists, “Deborah Gibson’s Electric Youth,” has bared all for Playboy and has appeared in such films as “Ghostbusters,” “Coffee Date” and the recently released “Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus.”
Gibson spoke to Toledo Free Press June 4 from Los Angeles while driving to a recording studio.
Toledo Free Press: Because you started so young, you have built a legacy across music, film and theater, and you’re not even 40 yet. How do you assess your career so far?
Deborah Gibson: I recently did a one-woman show, and I noticed the demographics of the audience were from 8 to 80. I’ve played “Beauty and the Beast’s” Belle, posed for Playboy and done everything in between, and every female has all those things in them — little girl, sexy woman — and can relate. When you reach people with original music, you become part of their DNA, part of the soundtrack to their life. Add to that the demands of theater, and I am proud of the fact that I am able to remain so versatile; it keeps me from getting bored. To have the impact on pop culture that “Mega Shark” has had amazes me at this point.
TFP: Are you still writing songs?
DG: I am driving to the studio right now to record song No. 5 for a new album of original material. I’m ready for a Tina Turner-style “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” comeback. I feel empowered to be part of a generation that just gets better as we age, to be part of a culture that understands the value of health and youth and owning who you are.
TFP: So we’ll see you on “American Idol” next year?
DG: Maybe! I love to work with young artists, and I have a series of “Electric Youth” projects to help mentor young people.
TFP: What was your reaction when you saw the script for “Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus?”
DG: The title then was just “Mega,” as they wanted to stay way from the camp, but I’m glad they went the campy route! I was offered the part on New Year’s Eve with two weeks before filming, and I wanted to get my feet wet with this kind of film, pun intended. I don’t over-analyze; I go with what feels right. I thought it would be an under-the-radar project.
TFP: Are you open for a “Mega” sequel? The team in the movie could do an “X-Files” type show..
DG: I’m sure there will be a sequel, and I’d love to do it. It’s too fun to pass up.
TFP: You were 16 when you became a star. Any advice for the Hilary and Haylie Duffs of today?
DG: Haley is actually a friend. I tell them to do what makes them happy; there are too many ups and downs to worry about public perception. I may not be the most exciting person on the red carpet, but at least I am still there, year after year.