I would like to thank Steve Cardenas and Catherine Sutherland who are well known from Power Rangers for their time for this interview. Enjoy!
GWW: How are you both enjoying MCM?
Steve Cardenas: Great, this is actually my first time doing MCM. Although I’ve done lots of cons in the U.K. but MCM is a really nice outfit and I’ve been wanting to be a part of them for a while so it’s been great.
Catherine Sutherland: Yea me too, it’s been huge.
GWW: Is this your first time too?
CS: Yea, this is the first time. I’ve done 2 other cons here in the U.K. but this is my first time here with MCM. Hopefully not the last.
GWW: What got you guys into acting early in your careers?
CS: I’ve been acting since I was really young. I went to a performing arts high school. When I graduated, I did a lot of theater and then got cast to come over here to Power Rangers. So yea, it’s been in my life for a long time.
SC: I fell into it. I had no aspirations to be an actor or anything like that. I heard about an audition on the radio, a commercial. Yea, they were doing an open wide cattle call and I just went out to try it out. I went to the local TV station in Dallas where I was living because I heard about the audition on the radio and there were like 5000 people in the parking lot just waiting to try out. I thought to myself there’s no way I’m gonna make. A couple of days later, they called me back and they were like “Hey we really liked your audition and want to fly you to California to meet the producers.” I was like, WOW really?!
GWW: Haha, that’s amazing. Towards the end when you guys decided to leave Power Rangers, what made you feel like you were ready to leave the show to try out for other things.
CS: Well, I wouldn’t say I was ready to leave at that point. I think we should’ve finished Turbo, but that’s just my opinion. We had graduated high school on the show, power rangers is supposed to be teenagers so there’s only so long you can stay. So it was time.
SC: They forced us out. (Steve and Catherine laugh together)
GWW: What were a few things you two did following the show?
CS: I continued to act for a couple of more years and ended up giving that up. I became a mom and all of that fun stuff. Started a family. The industry is a tough industry, you have to have nerves of steel to stay in the acting business.
SC: I opened up martial arts studios. Which is what I was doing before I was teaching martial arts, before I got hired on Power Rangers. So after I left Power Rangers, I opened up schools and ran school pretty much you know up until probably a couple years ago when I started doing this convention circuit full time. Now I tour probably 10 months out of the year just non stop different cons and different cities every single week and week after week after week.
GWW: We all know with these conventions, fan interactions are drastically different than they were back in the 90’s. How were fan interactions for you when they happened back then if they did?
CS: We were saying its so funny now that we do conventions we really get to see the impact the show has on people. But back when we were working, we were working so much and then when we were filming, the show would air after we had done filming. I had a few experiences when people would stop me on the street. Its actually been more now ironically.
SC: We have way more interaction with our fans now than we ever did back then, they were too young. They were too young and too shy to talk to us back then. There was no social media, no way for us to communicate back with them or any way for them to communicate with use other than snail mail. You know, fan letters. So now we get to really interact with them now and embrace it.
GWW: What made you two decide to do con appearances in the first place?
CS: Steve has been doing a lot longer than me. I was contacted by someone back in 2009 for a convention in LA called Anime Expo. I had no idea what a convention was and I was like for what? What did they want? What? Power Rangers is still on? And they were like “yeah”. Ok. I was shocked at how many people were there to meet us. But Steve has been doing them a lot longer than me.
SC: I did my first con back in 2007, it was the very first Power Morphicon they ever had. That was my introduction to conventions. Then I would 1 or 2 a year here and there in 2008 and 2009. But then 2010-2012, I didn’t do any conventions at all. I didn’t start going full on to conventions until 2013. JDF (Jason David Frank) reached out to me, he’s like “You gotta start doing cons. You’ve been not doing them for like 3 years and there’s money to be made.” I was like ok cool. He kinda got me started back into again.
GWW: You guys know the Power Rangers fandom is really strong and in the comics world. Steve, you’re aware of the current comics going with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and I’m sure you know about it too Catherine. There’s also the companion comic Go Go Power Rangers. Have you two had a chance to read either of these series?
SC: It’s kinda like Riverdale, haha. I don’t know if it’s necessarily like it but the covers always look like it. You know what I mean.
CS: I’ve read a little bit of Shattered Grid and I love it. I love the direction that they’re going and that it’s a little darker. And now they have Soul of the Dragon coming out. So they’re kinda exploring different things that the fans really like and wanted to know about or the ideas they may have had about the characters and where they ended up. So I like that they’re getting the chance to kinda relive that.
GWW: Thank you two for your time and I hope you enjoy the rest of the con.