«People fascinate me»

 Daytime Digest, 1988

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California born Signy Coleman is a woman of many talents and interests. For ten years she devoted her life to ballet and studied with the San Francisco Ballet Company. After being discovered by a modeling agency, Signy spent the next six years modeling in Paris and the United States. She appeared in two Huey Lewis and the News videos (Heart and Soul, I Need a New Drug) and turned her interest to acting. The part of Celeste on Santa Barbara is her first contract role.

Signy is an unusual name. Where did it come from ?

My mother found it in a book of Scandinavian mythology when she was six months pregnant. Her name is Mary and she always wanted a more unusual name. I hated it (growing up). I wanted a name like Laura or Susan. But when I was about 16, I realized that it was kind of nice having something a little more individual.

Are you close to your family ?

I was very close (to them) when we were growing up. My parents got divorced when I was about eight and my family split up at that point. I actually started spending quite a bit of time by myself. I was out of the house when I was 17 and on my way to Paris. I had planned to go to college and through a series of events I got picked up by a modeling agency. For the next six years, I lived six months in Paris every year modeling and working. Every spring I just get this urge to hop on a plane and take off to Paris.

When you decided to pursue acting, did you continue modelling ?

Right before I got Santa Barbara I made the decision to stop modeling because it was just not keeping me in focus where I wanted to be. It was hard because I knew there was a chance that I would really be starving and struggling for a while, but it was all right. I think that anything you do has to be very focused. If you spread yourself too thin, you get very little accomplished.

What happened to your career in ballet ? Why did you give it up ?

I had just turned 16 and I had been studying for nine, almost ten years. I wouldn't have gotten to go to high school and I would have had to get rid of my horse which I loved. My teachers were constantly yelling at me to get rid of my horse because it goes against your turn out. When you dance, it's completely different positioning of your body and they said that it showed. The main factor that made me decide to stop was that I just saw how frustrated dancers were. I just didn't want a frustrating life-style. I'm a very happy person. I wanted to have a very fulfilling life.

Did you match the soaps before starting on Santa Barbara ?

I tell you something, I very rarely sit home in the afternoon and match television. If my TV is on it's usually to match a PBS special or I have about 200 films in my film library. I study characters constantly. I match films about 15-25 times and I get something different every time.

Have you always studied characters ?

I used to love to go to the airport when I was young just to see all the different people. I love going to any different kind of environment from a greasy spoon restaurant to the very chi-chi restaurants in Los Angeles. Any situation I'm put in, there's always people, and relationships between people, to study. It fascinates me what you can learn from people.