Svetlana Kim (SK):
Toni, at 14 you took the bus to New York City to study with Uta Hagen. You’re brave. How did you discover Uta Hagen? What do you remember the most about meeting with her?
Toni Bull Bua (TB):
She was the greatest of her time. She took me right out of her husband Herbert Bergdorf’s classroom when she stopped in one day to watch the scenes. She was on fire with passion, like Gene. I also studied for a time at the wonderful American Place Theatre. When I graduated high school and started at NYU, I continued to study with both Uta and at the American Place.
Later, when I met Gene, he introduced me to the Sandy Meisner technique, and I studied that for quite a while. We also studied with Charles Conrad. I must say, I was proficient at each of these methods. However, I went to audition for the CBS soap opera LOVE OF LIFE when I was nineteen years old, and I found myself with so many young actresses who were already well known. Something inside of me said, “Drop all the methods and just become Tess,” the character I was being asked to play. I went into the ladies room and sort of prayed for her soul to enter mine. When I walked in, there was an entire room full of top CBS executives, the director, and Jocelyn Brando, Marlon’s sister, [who] was my “mom” I didn’t even greet them. I looked at Jocelyn, and the director said, “Begin.” I barely remember what happened but it was real, and everyone felt it. I was hired that day, the day that changed my life forever.
by Svetlana Kim
Perreault Magazine - 72 -
Interview with Toni Bull Bua
Toni Bua is CEO and Master Teacher of BUA ACTING FOR LIFE, a powerful and healing playground for actors and others who wish to combine body mind and spirit in their art… and in their lives. Toni and her husband and twin flame, Gene Bua, met while starring on the CBS daytime drama "LOVE OF LIFE" and have been creating together ever since. They wrote composed directed and produced many famous award winning musicals including the longest running musical of its time, “Pepper Street,” plus “Across from Cindy’s Corner,” “Second Wind” and their newest “When I Dream”… as well as many songs for feature films. Toni is also the President of Here’s To Life Foundation, sponsoring at-risk teen and others through art and entertainment.
Toni lost her Gene to Parkinson’s last year, while surviving her own ‘breast cancer adventure’ as she calls it. She hopes her spirit, humor, and positive outlook on Mother Earth’s challenges reaches out to others and uplifts and shifts their own. The Bua’s and their creations have been honored by the White House, The United Nations, and six California mayors.