The queen of the skies is back in Gauteng for the last-ever performances of her cabaret musical Mile High. Mambaonline caught up with Cathy Specific – these days almost a household name – to find out what she’s been doing since we first chatted to her way back in November 2007.
Cathy, it’s been too long. What have you been up to since we last spoke?
Performing; jetting around the world; premieres; opening nights; charity dinners (dinners for two!); shopping; more shopping; island holidays – the list is endless! This girl is always busy, busy, busy…
Have you matured and calmed down or are you the same ol’ crazy gal you always were?
Matured, yes – calmed down, NEVER! In my business, calming down is like going from First Class to Economy – no chance! I’m still the crazy ‘blonde bombshell in blue’ who loves to entertain.
How did the rest of the country respond to Mile High on your national tour?
They loved the show and everything we had to offer. I had a super time on the road and was well received and treated by everyone. I really am good at living out of a suitcase – just take the essential garments (one doesn’t want to crease the Chanel suit or the Versace cocktail dress, not to mention my Gucci, floor-length gown).
Have you had any luck in love since we last saw you?
Sadly, I haven’t yet found a man who floats my ‘black box’ …I mean boat, or anything else, for that matter. No, I am very much a single and available lass who is still waiting for her Greek God…
You were in Cape Town at the end of the year for the tourist season. How was it?
Lots of foreigners (not many Greeks, though). Spent a few days on the beach wearing this fabulous bikini I bought in Barcelona last year – always a showstopper! The city is great for a holiday, but I’m a Joburg girl at heart. It’s good to be back!
We bumped into you at last year’s Mr Gay SA pageant in Pretoria. What did you think of the boys? Did you get to know any of them intimately?
The boys were great, although I didn’t have much to do with them. They were also yummy to look at…that’s all, nothing intimate, just yummy and edible! No biting or chewing… not even a nibble.
What do you think of Charl van den Berg going on to win Mr Gay World?
We are very proud of him and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer boy! I trust he will be a good ambassador for the country and keep our gay flag flying high. Watch out world – we may just have to win it next year again!
What are your thoughts on those new airport scanners that reveal what passengers look like under their clothes?
Honestly, to me the intrigue is NOT to know exactly what others look like under their clothes, but to let the imagination do most of the work – much more exciting. Yet, I’d be quite tempted to work on the ground for a day (or maybe a little longer) and operate one of those scanners all by myself – just to see if my imagination is still in good working order!
Who’s the most famous passenger that you’ve had to deal with?
I have had a lot of famous passengers on my travels…oh my, did I just say ‘had’? I mean, I’ve served a lot of famous people in my time. My favourite, famous ‘on-board’ friend must be Joan Collins. We had such a ball together and boy was she dressed to the nines. Glamour personified, much like me (I’d like to think). She had this black and white ensemble with make-up so precise, it looked like a work of art. She was an absolute pleasure to serve, had her dinner and took a sleeping tablet. That’s when I (and the rest of my crew) took the liberty of trying on her fur coat and parading up and down the aisle!
If you could choose another celebrity to serve on a flight, who would that be?
Nostradamus – he could tell us what the fuck’s going to happen in this country! Then again, Marilyn Monroe would have been wonderful to serve. Both of us being bodacious beauties, I think we would have had a lot in common. Angelina Jolie is a woman to admire – strong-minded with an attitude to match and also a great humanitarian. Although, those lips might actually prove to be competition for me…
And one famous person you despise? Say Julius Malema?
Despise Julius Malema? That’s putting it mildly. I would lace his food with eye-drops to ensure that he spends the rest of his flight on the toilet!
What do you think about claims that airlines are cashing in on the World Cup?
I think EVERYONE is cashing in on the situation. Hotels, private accommodation, taxis, tour operators, to name just a few, are all eager to make an extra buck – and after the ‘kak’ year that 2009 was I can’t blame them!
How should we welcome all those hunky football fans who’re coming to visit? What’s your advice?
We must remain the warm, hospitable nation that we are and be grateful that this huge event is being hosted by South Africa. As flight attendants we’re some of the first people they will come into contact with. And, of course, we’ll ensure they get a REAL taste of what they can expect during their time here.
I’m sure you will… What is a must have for a girl on a long haul flight?
Moisturiser, moisturiser, moisturiser! A good-looking passenger is also essential – vital, in fact!
What’s the best way to meet a man when flying?
In the First Class lounge is not a bad place! Spill a glass of red wine on him and offer to have the soiled garment dry-cleaned – works every time…
Who is your favourite star of the musical stage?
I’m in the fortunate position of having been to the West End and Broadway. Among my favourites are Bernadette Peters, who I saw in Gypsy in New York; Michael Ball, in Hairspray in London; Chita Rivera, in Nine; Sutton Foster, in Thoroughly Modern Millie and John Barrowman, in La Cage Aux Follies. I really am a lucky girl!
Have you ever worked for a low-cost airline? Would you consider it?
Not as yet and quite frankly, selling food does not really appeal to me. I’m quite happy in First Class, thank you.
Why should we come see the show? Any surprises lined up?
Because this is the last time you can (and because I’ll put eye-drops in YOUR food if you don’t)! This is my third season in Joburg and truly the best version of the show to date. It is Mile High’s ‘final flight’ so all those people who have been saying, “We got to see it, we got to see it” – here’s your LAST CHANCE. We knew we had to wow audiences if we were going to tour and that’s exactly what we’ve done and will continue to do until we take our final bow on the 29th of May. It’s slick and highly polished with an energy that never dies. There has also been a cast change with the late Bill Flynn’s son, Ryan joining the team. We look forward to welcoming you on board…
As a performer, do you never get tired of singing the same songs night after night?
Not at all. There is a different reaction from the audience every night which gives us, the performers, and the show a different energy. They are all super songs as well. And with the live band, it’s just ‘plane’ fabulous!
Once you’ve done with Mile High, what’s next?
We are in the process of writing a new show. Who