New York native Robin Richie is a musical theater enthusiast, choreographer, writer, illustrator and 14-year producer of Imagine That! with Robin Richie. Every week her show features a variety of accomplished guests, including Grammy Award winners, Tony Award nominees, and emerging artists. We sat down with Robin to discuss the show, her background, and how her love for Brooklyn brought her to the BCAT TV Network.
In a nut shell, what is Imagine That! With Robin Richie about?
We provide a platform for artists to shine, and keep the importance of the arts at the forefront for our viewers. We truly have a love for what we do.
What were you doing before this?
I’ve been involved in the performing arts since childhood and a lot of what I do today actually began then. Years ago, my friend and Associate Producer, Apryll Abraham, and I used to work for the United States Coast Guard as civilian employees, and produced many marvelous shows on Governor’s Island. That’s actually where we cut our teeth, so to speak. She handled more of the business aspects, and I was involved in the creative process.
How did the show come to be?
Fifteen years ago, I was producing and hosting an event at the Crossroads Theater in New Jersey. A manager of one of the actors came up to me afterwards and asked if I had ever considered a talk show, and it all took off from there. It started off as a variety show with just some talented individuals that I had collaborated with. The pilot episode was a comedic sketch, where I played a bogus fortune teller named Madam Escargot who was giving a reading to her competitor without her knowing it.
How is the show produced?
There are a lot of components that go into producing a cable television show. There are producers, production assistants, talent liaisons, and more – all crucial to the success of the show. A lot of our guests happen to be friends I’ve gotten to know through the music industry. Even with a limited budget, we are blessed to be able to continue to provide quality programming. It’s a collective effort.
What are your favorite things about the show?
I love interacting with the audience and dancing whenever we have on musical performers. It’s become my signature and you’ll often see me dancing with one of the camera guys or the floor manager. We had the New Jersey Tap Ensemble on once. They showed me a little soft shoe and then, of course, I wanted something more complicated. It was a lot of fun.
What brought the show to The BCAT TV Network?
We are proud to be celebrating 14 consecutive seasons on the air, and this season is our premier on the BCAT TV Network. I’m a native New Yorker and lived in Brooklyn for many years. There’s a certain pulse here unlike any other place in the world. Brooklyn is artistically rich and culturally diverse, and I think it was imperative to bring the show here. It was only natural to want to be a part of BRIC and the wonderful programming they offer at the BCAT TV Network. We are tremendously excited to be part of it.
What inspires you to produce?
I’m always inspired and humbled by the fact that we have worked with multi-Grammy Award winners, Tony Award nominees, and a wide variety of emerging talents that have gone on to become enormously successful.
Who are your biggest influences?
I would be remiss if I didn’t say Oprah Winfrey. Her philanthropic efforts move me to no end. When you’re given a platform such as television or radio, it’s imperative that you project a positive light. Oprah does this, and I admire it. I believe that if you’re going to emulate someone, let it be the best. But you always want to remain an individual. It’s not our desire to be a carbon copy of anyone, but just to be the very best that we can be.