Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vincent Paterson

Vincent Paterson is a director and choreographer who has had an expansive career in the entertainment industry including film, theater, Broadway, concert tours, opera, music videos, television and commercials. He has achieved success worldwide as a director and choreographer.

Today I celebrate Vincent Paterson’s body of worth. 
Think you know him? Think again…here is the real Vincent Patterson.
Vincent and I spoke last month, prior to the storm that crippled most of us in the New York tri-state region, so I apologize to him for the delay in getting this up. I began the interview by asking Vincent what his personal philosophy is. He responded by stating his goal is to live in the moment as much as possible and to learn from every experience he can. He doesn’t know if he made a decision to go into the entertainment business or if it sort of evolved. Like most in this business, he started “acting” when he was a little kid. He wasn’t a dancer but he used to put shows on in his neighborhood with his cousins, brothers and sisters and made everyone come and watch for a nickel , so he guesses he began his career then.   While in high school, he participated in all his high school plays, usually in the lead role. 

Initially he planned to major in law while in college determining law would be theatrical and financially beneficial. However, he got waylaid into working in the theater.  Although, he attended a college that did not have a theatre major, the school asked Vincent to create the first interdisciplinary theater major which he did at  Dickinson College, a nationally recognized and highly selective liberal arts college located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Then, it all fell into place. He did a lot of crazy jobs from being a roofer to giving tours in Pennsylvania, to wiping down the interiors of huge oil tanks at oil refineries. When he looks back at all those old jobs, he realizes  the only thing he was interested in doing was living in a world of fantasy.
Vincent Paterson Choreographer for Michael Jackson

He is one of the few people who have invaded virtually all aspects of the entertainment industry.  He has worked on films, Broadway, concert tours, opera, music videos, TV shows and even on commercials.  His commercial credits include Pepsi, GE, Rubbermaid, NIKE, Payless and El Pollo Loco.

And what a wealth of experiences he has had!  Vincent collaborated with Michael Jackson and Madonna on various projects, including directing and choreographing Madonna's Blond Ambition Tour, the centerpiece for the documentary Madonna: Truth or Dare. He created Madonna's "Marie Antoinette/Vogue" performance for the MTV Awards. He also directed and choreographed Jackson's "Bad" tour as well as conceived and choreographed “Smooth Criminal” and other Jackson music videos and live performances. He also directed the music video for Jackson's hit "Blood on the Dance Floor."
Vincent considers Michael Jackson the one person above all others who truly revolutionized the music industry. 
Anna Netrebko  and Vincent
Michael Jackson created a new sound. He also created a new way of establishing dance rhythms. 
He was the vanguard for bringing black entertainers into popular visual music.
Vincent’s career has evolved via his ability to make choices based on the subject matter that is most attractive to him and interesting to him.  In many ways, his associations have allowed him to dare things he would otherwise not have attempted but in doing so, has prompted him into doing his best work.
The perfect day for Vincent would look like this: Living in California because he likes the sun. Hot, hot, and hotter always works for him. Beginning his day with a protein drink. Exercising, meditating, and working with amazing, positive people to collaborate with and exchange ideas.  On a non-working day, one can find Vincent working in
his garden.  He is an avid gardener. He would end his day making dinner for friends and watching a great movie. He doesn’t eat red meat and in fact hasn’t eaten red meat in forty years!  He is not totally a vegetarian. He consumes a little fish and a little poultry once in a while. He is pretty open in terms of food. He likes sushi, Chinese and Italian food. His drink of choice is red wine, a nice merlot. Those are his top three.  Although he is not an avid TV watcher, he does follow The Mentalist and Persons of Interest. He doesn’t have a favorite entertainer per se, it depends on his mood and upon the person’s work. He doesn’t believe anyone is totally consistent. Glenn Close is one of his favorite actresses. He very much enjoys her style of acting.
Directing Michael Jackson's Beat It
Vincent Patterson is definitely not a night owl. His day ranges normally from seven AM till midnight.  The importance of relationships is at the top of his priority list.  Although Vincent went to school for acting and directing, he taught dance at Arthur Murray’s.  Since Vincent’s father was a social dance instructor, when Vincent was unemployed and didn’t know what else to do, he ended up taking his first actual dance class.  At the time he was around twenty four years old.  So later on, when he  moved to Los Angeles at twenty nine, he worked as a dancer. That led him into choreography which transitioned him into directing once again. Now, he does a little bit of everything even acting once in a while. He still choreographs and he directs.

The genre Vincent most favors is live theater and film. Those are equal for him.  He loves to frequent the theater along with friends. He is not a “party animal” nor a big socializer in general, but enjoys having friends and/or family around him.

He is A Taurus. He is more of a homebody. He has never been one to be part of the Hollywood Social scene or to play the Hollywood game. 

He has always been surprised that his career has been as fulfilling as it has been being somebody who does not get out there and “mix and mingle”.
Our interview took place prior to the election. Politics did come up. Certain politics are very important to Vincent. 
He has always voted ever since he could. He considers himself bent more to the Democratic party. 
However, politics are politics and so even though he does that so he can vote in the primaries, he tries to keep an independent perspective. He just seems to find since he came from a poor family and he knows what that’s like, he tends to believe that the philosophies that are heralded by the democrats seem to be more symbiotic with his own sentiments and feelings about taking care of people in the world.
My next question for Vincent comes courtesy of actress/singer Linda Purl.

Who does Vincent pray to when he’s in trouble? He wouldn’t call himself a religious man, but he would call himself a spiritual man. He appreciates anyone who finds a religion for themselves that makes them a better person and helps them find peace. Vincent cannot tell anyone else what to believe since he would feel pretentious.  He can only express his own personal feelings.
He does meditate every day. 
He sort of believes that there is a bigger sense of who we are. He doesn’t dare say what exactly that is.
When it comes to the world of social media, his agents would like him to get more involved. He goes on the computer often but is not that great at self promotion. He has never had a publicist. He considers himself a very creative man and strongly believes in his own abilities. He sees himself more as a work horse.
He always tries to do a thorough job of making whatever project he is working on special and hopefully enjoyable and extremely creative for everybody involved.   
What makes Vincent the happiest? Love and being loved.       
The one change that Vincent would like to see in today’s industry is for the younger generation entering the industry, especially on the production end; to be more aware of the history of the profession they are entering. They need a broader knowledge of where we’ve come from so they can move forward thoughtfully in order to take us where we’re going.
I asked Vincent how ambitious he is. He remarked that when he commits to a project, he is there one billion percent. Like Dolly Levi, he puts his hand in  every aspect of that project. In fact, on his most recent project, Loving the Silent Tears, which featured Patti Cohenour, he oversaw every costume, every wig, every element of the production. This is true of every project he has been involved in and will continue to be a part of.
If it is not about entertainment, if it is about a need to work in order to fulfill who he is, he has no fear of retirement. As previously stated, he is perfectly content working in his garden or being with friends. 

When I asked Vincent if there is any one time that he would like to go back to, he responded by saying that he believes everyone has a perpetual age that they would like to see themselves as. As he gets older, he looks in the mirror and it’s scarier all the time. He tends to always think he is twenty nine years old.
There are books he desires to read that he hasn’t had time for. There are films he would like to see. There are people around the world that he would like to spend time with.   
Vincent’s favorite vacation spot? His best friend and his wife, who sadly just passed away, have a home in a little village in Mexico called Troncones. Anytime he can get away, that’s where Wayne goes if he is not visiting his mom in Blaine, Washington.

 Vincent would like to be remembered as a man who was creative and collaborative who was loved by people and has returned that love. Vincent Paterson has certainly earned my love. 

Thank you  Vincent Paterson for the gifts you have given to the world and will continue to give!

With grateful XOXOXs ,

Check out my site celebrating my forthcoming book on Hello, Dolly!

I desire this to be a definitive account of Hello, Dolly!  
If any of you reading this have appeared in any production of Dolly, I'm interested in speaking with you!

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If you have anything to add or share, please contact me at


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
My next blog will be... My Exclusive interview with Walter Charles (various companies of Hello, Dolly!)

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
I'm celebrating Pamela Luss TONIGHT November 17th, 2012 at 9:30 pm
Pamela with Houston Person at The Metropolitan Room in NYC
Just The Two Of Us and Friends
Hope you can make it. It’s going to be a party!
Reserve today if that date is available! Call me if any questions!
 Richard Skipper 845-365-0720


Richard Skipper,                            

This Blog is dedicated to ALL THE DOLLYS and ANYONE who has EVER had a connection with ANY of them on ANY Level!

Elizabeth Berkley, Vincent Paterson, Jerry Mitchell, Nancy O'Meara, Step It Up and Dance (2008)

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