Cast Profile: Lora Rigatti

by stephaniejankowski on March 21, 2017

Today’s cast profile has a big brain and a heart to match. We fell in love with Ms. Lora Rigatti at auditions, and we know you’ll feel the same when you catch her on stage on May 12. You got your tickets, right?!

Lora is a veterinarian specializing in anatomic pathology, and works as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a Pittsburgh native that came back to settle here and start a family after finishing her career training. She currently lives on the Northside with her husband, 2 sons, 2 cats, and dog. In her (very limited) free time, she tries to stay active with yoga, Pilates, and bike riding.

  • Who is Lora?

I have a huge heart, but often a short fuse. I would consider myself an intelligent person, but often lack common sense (ask my husband). I’m a scientist, an exercise fanatic, and an animal lover, but most importantly, I’m a mom that’s head-over-heels for her beautiful little boys.

  • When did you decide that you wanted to be a veterinarian?

I have wanted to be a veterinarian since I was a little girl. My childhood cat, Pumpkin, was one of my best companions and the inspiration for my career aspirations. I always felt that I was better at understanding animals than people.

  • What do you love most about Pittsburgh?

This is a difficult question, but I’m going to have to say that I love my neighborhood, the Mexican War Streets, the most. I fell in love with this little gem when we were house hunting in 2008. The location is convenient, the houses are historic and gorgeous, and the neighbors are wonderful. With a giant beautiful park, the Aviary, and the Children’s Museum within walking distance, I couldn’t imagine moving anywhere else with my family.

  • How did you discover LTYM?
Rigatti - pic 1

Photo courtesy of Ilene Marshall Photography. Fun fact: Ilene was part of our inaugural cast and we LOVE her!

Before last year’s audition, several women from my online moms’ group were discussing how they were auditioning for this LTYM show. I specifically remember thinking how brave they must be to share such personal stories and put themselves out there like that. I never thought I’d have the courage to audition. I’m an introvert that doesn’t particularly like public speaking. Then, I went to the performance last May and fell in love with every single story. I was so moved. I immediately started binge-watching LTYM pieces online. The next night, I wrote a draft of my story and knew I needed to audition for this year’s show.

  • What is the craziest thing you remember your mother saying to you?

I remember being 5 or 6, and hearing a story about how my mom almost married an older doctor, but my dad swooped in and wooed her away.  My mom was taken off guard when I asked her if I would still be alive had she married the doctor. She responded that I would still be alive, I’d just look different. I was so excited about the possibility of an “alternate Lora” that I spent the next week daydreaming about my new look.

  • What is one of your favorite things you’ve ever written?

You can all come hear it on May 12! [editor’s note: nicely placed shameless plug–well done, Lora!] The essay I wrote for LTYM is by far my favorite piece of writing. My #2 favorite would be a research article that I wrote (along with my colleagues) last December after discovering a new virus in one of our animal colonies: http://msphere.asm.org/content/1/6/e00334-16

(In case you were wondering, my LTYM piece has nothing to do with rats or viruses.)

  • What do you wish most for your children?

I want them to be happy and follow their dreams. I want them to be kind and realize the importance of helping others. With all of the scary things going on in the world today, I hope that they will continue to still see the good and love that surrounds them.

  • What do you hope the audience takes away from your essay?

Some wounds from the past will never fully heal, but time and love will help to make the scars a little smaller.

Lora Headshot

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