The musical man

Rick Anderson

Courtesy Of Rick Anderson

Last year, at age 49, Rick Anderson tried acting for the first time. His role was to play a school board member in a Chico Theater Company production of The Music Man (pictured). Having been a board member of the Chico Unified School District since 1995, he fit the part well. And he hasn’t let up—he’s currently acting in the theater’s production of Grease. A delegate to the California School Boards Association, as well as an area manager for AT&T Yellow Pages, he spoke recently by telephone, while driving home from a day’s worth of school board meetings in Sacramento, about his enjoyment of acting, trying something new for the first time and community theater.

How did you start your acting career?

I worked with Catherine Beeghly, and she asked me to play the part of a school board member in The Music Man. I had never sung or danced on stage, much less acted, but it was fun.

What have you acted in since?

I had a part in She Loves Me, and also A Night at the Sands, as in the Sands Casino in Las Vegas. It’s a musical review of the Rat Pack. I played Mickey Rooney. I have also been in The Sound of Music.

You’re in the musical Grease, which is currently showing at the Chico Theater Company. What character do you play?

I play Coach Calhoun. It’s a small part. My big scene is when I rev up the crowd of students for a new season of football, even though they have never had a winning season.

What do you like most about acting?

Acting allows me to stretch my abilities and do things I have never done. I like being on stage, but I also like what goes on behind the scenes, helping out with scene changes. The community at the theater is great, too. All the shows are family-oriented, and many of the actors are from Chico Unified School District. Acting allows me to be a part of something that can make so many in the community happy and forget whatever is going on outside in the real world. For me, work is enjoyable, but it is serious. The theater has an atmosphere where you can let that all go.

Do you plan on auditioning for any more shows?

I plan to do a couple more this year. Chico Theater Company is bringing back A Night at the Sands later in the year, so I’ll probably do that. Around the holidays I might audition for Miracle on 34th Street.