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October 18, 2018

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OFF THE STRIP | Q&A: ROSLYN KIND:

Streisand’s sister has ‘come to terms’ with superstar’s shadow

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Roslyn Kind recorded her first album right out of high school, then appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and in Las Vegas.

If You Go

  • Who: Roslyn Kind
  • When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
  • Where: The Cannery, North Las Vegas
  • Tickets: $10; 617-5585

For $2,000 you can see Barbra Streisand. For $10 you can see her kid sister.

Roslyn Kind’s career continues to bloom, despite living in the shadow of her superstar sister.

“It makes it harder for me, but over the years I’ve come to terms with it,” Kind says from her home in Los Angeles. “Over the years I have developed a fan base of people who forget the connection. There are so many similarities because we are related. There are certain characteristics that are inborn, you can’t escape. But there are differences because we’re different people, and fans have gotten acquainted with a lot of the differences.”

Kind, whose voice sounds a lot like Streisand’s, performs Friday and Saturday at the Cannery in North Las Vegas.

“She casts a heck of a shadow,” Kind says. “People say to me, ‘I wouldn’t walk a mile in your shoes.’ It’s a much harder position than if you came into the business not being related to such a legend. When I came in my sister had 11 years of experience ahead of me, and she’s so incredible. She’s not just your average Joe. She’s humongous, and so deservedly so. She’s brilliant. She’s talented. She’s the epitome and I adore her.”

Streisand’s father, Emmanuel, died when she was 15 months old. Her mother, Diane, then married Louis Kind. Roslyn Kind is nine years younger than her sister.

Kind began her own career fresh out of high school in New York in 1969. By then Streisand had won two Grammys, an Emmy and an Oscar.

The day Kind graduated she began recording her first album, “Give Me You.” She performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and at the hungry i in San Francisco. She toured the nation, played Vegas, appeared on talk shows and acted on television and Broadway.

But always, she has been Barbra Streisand’s kid sister.

Did you ever aspire to superstardom?

When I was a little girl I always wanted to perform, but I was an overweight little kid and I thought I might end up being a schoolteacher or something. But I lost the weight and I would lose myself in make-believe, doing Broadway shows in front of the mirror — both male and female roles. So as a kid I dreamed of performing. I don’t know if I set a goal of superstardom, though. I don’t know if that’s something you do. Whoopi Goldberg said not too long ago, “You want to be a working performer, a working actress or singer or comedian. The other stuff is something that happens in the course of things.” A lot of it is luck.

Have you performed in Vegas before?

Of course. I can tell you when I first performed there. It was 1973 at the Hilton. I was a baby. Elvis Presley was in the main room and on the side marquee it said “Introducing a new star to Las Vegas, Roslyn Kind.” We had just moved to Los Angeles then. We just drove across country to move to L.A. on the 23rd of June and I opened in Vegas on the 26th. I shared a bill with Louis Prima and Sam Butera and The Witnesses and when Prima left I shared the bill with Bill Medley. That was my first time in Las Vegas. I got great reviews there. It’s been a long time since I’ve been. I was there in ’74. I did the Flamingo twice. A lot of politics were involved at that time, but I was in the middle of signing a major deal and it went kaplooie. Then I’ve been there couple of times for charity fundraising events. Other than that it’s been a while since I’ve performed in Vegas.

Have you worked steadily since your career began?

I lost my mother in 2002. Before that I oversaw her care for a long time, so I haven’t done as much in recent years. I was on tour part of the time, but I came home, even if it was just for one night. My mom had care and I oversaw everything. I was with her all the time until she passed. I’ve never totally retired, I just worked less, choosing what I wanted to do. In certain markets I haven’t been seen as much, so people wonder where I’ve been. I made my comeback to New York at Carnegie Hall a couple of years ago. I haven’t done the club scene there in awhile, but we’re planning to go back to it. I’ve been in Florida a lot. I cross the country touring — not major cities but just outside. I was doing maybe 49 or 50 cities a year. It kept me busy.

Why did you decide to step up your career?

I have a strong urge to make a difference in people’s lives, even if it’s just for an hour. I enjoy performing and affecting people in a good way. I always look for ways to make people smile, help them forget their problems for a while. I think the world needs a lot of that right now. We all do.

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