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The Greg Vaughan Interview – General Hospital

Vaughan Moves On

Greg VaughanBack at the end of last month, word came down that Greg Vaughan’s days as Lucky Spencer had come to an end. The popular actor, who spent almost seven years in the coveted role of the son of soap’s and General Hospital’s most legendary couple, Luke and Laura, was given his walking papers. But with that came the news that GH brought back the original ‘cowboy’, Jonathan Jackson, to replace Vaughan in what has to be the year’s most highly anticipated, yet bittersweet, shocking soap switch! When early reports came in, it alluded to the fact that perhaps this was Vaughan’s decision to exit, paving the way for Jackson. Official word from ABC said that Vaughan “has decided to leave GH and vacate the role to explore new opportunities.” But according to Vaughan, that was definitely not the case. Vaughan then tweeted the news to his fans that he wanted them to know: “As of today, with sad regrets, I will no longer be apart of what has been a big part of me and my family’s life. GH and TPTB have… chosen to take a new direction. I THANK ALL of YOU, for the many memories we’ve shared and new ones to come!!! ALL MY LOVE, & BIG HUGS…”

On-Air On-Soaps sat down with the reliable and hard working Vaughan late last week. In this personally heartfelt and revealing interview, Greg opens up about his feelings about being let-go by the soap; what he feels caused the decision by executives to make the change; and what his plans are in a very difficult economy with a wife, a child and a brand new baby on the way. If there was ever a class act in daytime, this is the guy!


MICHAEL:

What have all your legions of fans said to you since the news has sunk in that you were let-go as Lucky Spencer?

GREG:

Other than heartfelt shock and complete sorrow that things turned out the way they have, and been wishing and hoping there is something greater out there for me.

MICHAEL:

You had a difficult task when you started on GH. You preceded two Daytime Emmy winners in the role, Jonathan Jackson and Jacob Young.

GREG:

Coming into the role with the excitement, and opportunity to take on a loved and adored character was such a challenge and meant so much. Looking back on my seven years there, its flown right by. As I was cleaning out my dressing room and getting all my memories, things that I got from fans, interviews and articles, it was a complete process. I had to go through all that and it helped a lot. Every person that came to me…. we had tears that we shed and laughs that had meant so much. It’s been an amazing opportunity for me and a lot of fun.

Greg Vaughan and his wifeMICHAEL:

When did you clean out your dressing room? That must have been a tough one!

GREG:

I cleaned it out after a week I was let go from the show. I needed time to reassess some things and talk to my wife and my family. I have one child and one on the way. It is terrible timing. I love what I do, and I do it with nothing but respect, and this period of time we are at in the world is a terrible time, not just for me but for so many people in worse positions that I am. I have a roof over my head and a family I love so much. And I will come out of its on top, no matter what.

MICHAEL:

So how did you find out the final nail in your version of Lucky’s coffin?

GREG:

It was a bit of shock and there was a call that was made. I went in knowing one of three things; A) I was going to be fired, B) I was going to be put on recurring, C) There was a story coming. But usually your executive does not call you with a story, that is usually done by your head writer, and that only happened once to me in seven years. So I sort of prepared myself going in to it and going in just at ease and peace. It’s not what you want to hear, but if you go in knowing you are a little bit more reserved, and that was my approach.

MICHAEL:

Did you have any inkling in your gut that this might happen?

Liz and LuckyGREG:

There was a guy who was coming on the show who is recurring, and he is there now and he said, “How are things going?” And I said, “You know what? I think
my days are numbered.” And he said, “No. You’re Lucky Spencer!” I said, “You know what? I know how this system works,
and I know how this show works. I have been here long enough.” Its not that I wanted it to happen, but sometimes things happen for the right reasons. Doors close and others open. Look, I could have been there for a long time. It was a comfort and a great family. I love the people I was with and they were my second family. If you don’t invest in your product then you don’t get a good return, and I was dispensable!

MICHAEL:

It’s almost like now soap opera actors are becoming more like free agent baseball players… you trade them to another team, or re-sign them again later!

GREG:

I think they are doing what they felt is best, and look, now Sarah Brown is at B&B. It is like any athlete. You are expendable and a free agent. I did my time. I felt like all good things come to an end, and it’s sad to walk away. This machine is going to continue with or without me, and it’s time to say it’s the nature of the beast, and I love you, and it’s been fun. These last years though, I felt I was not challenged as an actor.

MICHAEL:

You were sort of wasted, and Lucky had no story of his own. Which means they did not either want to write for you, or they were too busy on other stories and actors.

GREG:

There is too much history and investment into the Spencer family with Luke and Laura. I am sure there are a lot of political reasons to showcase certain people and not others. You put all your eggs in one basket and that is who you invest in. It’s the way the show operates and it’s sad. I learned a lot of great things from it, and a lot of truth. It’s a very cutthroat business.

MICHAEL:

Do you feel like you even had the opportunity to make Lucky your own?

Lucky Liz and LukeGREG:

I think in everything I was given I tried to bring a realness, and was accepted. So many people were voicing their opinions, and
it says they embraced me more as Lucky being the man, instead of the child. You know what? With the utmost respect to Jonathan Jackson, and he is a great actor, but I would never have seen this day coming. He has a family he has to take care of too. Now I am on the outside looking in. I don’t have a paycheck anymore. Now I’ve got to go figure out what I’ve got to do to feed my family.

MICHAEL:

Did you get a call or moment with your co-stars of almost seven years, Tony Geary (Luke) and Rebecca Herbst (Liz)?

GREG:

Tony sent me a nice gift and we had a short conversation. I did not get to speak to Rebecca at all. She and her husband, Michael Saucedo, did leave a message letting me know I was in their thoughts and prayers. I got abundance farewells from the cast and crew. There was a lot of tears. The first week and half I wanted to re-evaluate things in life and figure out what my plan was; and if there was another place for me in this realm and in this medium. I am open to all things and anybody who wants to have a meeting with me from CBS, NBC or ABC, of course I will. Soap operas have given me a great outlet and I don’t want anybody to take that away from me. I was losing that at GH. There is a vehicle there, and that is why you see great actors on General Hospital, because they have an outlet daily.

MICHAEL:

What kind of role would you like ultimately like to do?

Greg Vaughan and girlsGREG:

I think the romantic comedy genre would be great for me as an actor. I really haven’t gotten the chance to do much comedy. With Kelly Monaco (Sam) and me, I tried to make things bigger with her, and find
the humor between the lines. That was the most fun I had on GH. I just booked a little independent film the other day, and I am playing a doctor. So maybe seven
years on this show, rubbed
off on me!

MICHAEL:

You tweeted to your fans when you were officially let go from GH. Why?

GREG:

There was so much speculation as to what was going on: that I was being released from my contract, that I was in contract negotiations, and that I was done. This is months before and this was right before our fan weekend in July . I was in a long 26-week cycle and a four-year contract. So, I still had a year and four months left on my contract. There was a power among us, who in the political environment that we are in, made a choice. I was an expendable asset to the show to make room for somebody else. They made the bed and they have to sleep with that. I have peace, and it is what it is. I stay in touch with my fans, though!

MICHAEL:

Greg Vaughan and a fanYou have some of the most loyal fans I have ever seen. They really needed to hear the devastating news from you to make it palpable.

GREG:

They are great to me, and I wanted
them to hear this from me. I don’t like
a person spinning my words, which has been done. If somebody wants to talk to me directly you find a way to get me on the phone and we will talk. And if it didn’t come from my mouth then it isn’t the truth. Sometimes magazines and things don’t say the truth from me. In this new social networking, such as Twitter and Face Book and email, it was like I did a good interview with Soap Opera Digest and gave my official expression of what happened and to be true to myself, and I let people know through these new networking tools, too. I am grateful as to how the fans embraced me, whether they liked me or not. It was my job to win them over and I did that in due time. And if I didn’t, well then I hope down the road you will see something and I can bring more light to it. But it’s not about what I was doing as an actor; it was about the material I was given as an actor. If you don’t write it and you don’t shoot it and you don’t put it on camera, then you can’t see the actor doing the work he is doing because they are focusing on other people’s faces. In going through a lot of my footage, when I was hopefully going to be pre-nominated for a Daytime Emmy for my drug addiction storyline that I was not nominated for, I saw how good the work can be.

MICHAEL:

Is Lucky’s drug addiction storyline the work you are most proud of?

GREG:

Obviously, because it was the only story I was ever given. When you give something like that to somebody and they can take it… it’s like they want to see how much value you can bring to our show. If you are given great material and you can deliver, you think you are going to have a follow-up story or more than that. You would think they would say, “Wow. You were more than challenged and you delivered beyond expectations.” I think in some ways you can’t outshine those who are already stars on the show!

MICHAEL:

Which must be frustrating then.

Greg VaughanGREG:

I would not want to be tied down to someone or something that does not have value in it. If I am giving 100% of myself then I want them to have an open communication with me about what they are thinking and what I am thinking, and ask and reciprocate the same thing. Because we are actors does not mean
we are puppets, but that is how we are treated. When certain people are let go from the show, it’s an eye opening experience for everyone.

MICHAEL:

So do you think when the news spread of your departure that it put the fear of God in your cast mates… that they could be the next to go?

GREG:

Yeah! You see great actors like, Ted King (Ex-Alcazar), Sebastian Roche (Ex- Jerry ), Rick Hearst (Ex-Ric) and people unused like Megan Ward (Kate). I just don’t get it! I don’t get how you can have one of the most talented ensembles and you can only showcase three people.

MICHAEL:

They have their chosen people!

GREG:

And look, I think they are great people outside of the work place, and inside they are great actors as well. But if you don’t see other characters intertwined in story then it does not make a good show. It’s become more of a suit and tie business and about making budgets. Now back in the old days when Jonathan Jackson was there, great people like former executive producer Gloria Monty (who passed away) were in charge, and that is when everybody came together and hashed things out… storyline and possibilities… and that was always everybody’s greatest memories. Not anymore!

MICHAEL:

No matter what transpired, you were still a part of one of the most famous soap families of all-time, the Spencer’s. Do you feel that in the end, the business of soap opera got in your way of being able to show your chops?

The SpencersGREG:

Everybody nowadays has somebody breathing over their shoulder. We’ve got a budget to make, and if
you are not in their good graces, or not up there charming their pants off
and bringing the apple to the teacher, then you are the one who is not going to get any work. The best way I can describe it is like, this is supposed to be the place you get to play and when you don’t have the material, you are not playing. And so, I never got the chance to play, and I am an actor and I wanted to play. I knew when I took on the role of Lucky that this was a great opportunity for me as an actor. I am going to contribute to history… now it is not what Tony Geary or Genie Francis (Ex-Laura) created but Jonathan, Jacob and I, we all had something. I was Luke and Laura’s son. I was not there for nine months. I was there for seven years and I will always be remembered as being there once. It was actually 6 years and 10 months…. but you know what? I have great friends and good people out here, and it’s interesting to see. I know how people believed in me and I know I made a permanent mark on the character of Lucky.

MICHAEL:

Now that you are in the middle of this grieving process, what possible advice could you give to anyone who may read this, who has just gone through a life-changing event or personal and professional set back? How do you go through something like that and come out the other side?

Greg VaughanGREG:

It’s a difficult thing to do and overcome, and the stakes are even higher now with the economy and the limited amount of jobs in the market place. I mean, specifically focusing on the job aspect of it, you have to take what you learn in any situation and you have to apply it to your life to maintain your stability. If I was in my 20’s and independent and on my own righ now, I would be out having a drink with the guys. But I have a family with children, and one on the way. My wife and I have had some good heart-to-heart talks. We have looked at it as; we have to take a moment to step outside and breathe and wake up tomorrow. That is how I live life. I live life to the fullest, no matter what it is. And if it all ended today, am I OK with that? Yeah! I could walk away saying I had a dream. I came to California and I have achieved it. I did good work and challenged myself and now I am ready to set sail. Let the winds blow and let it take me wherever I am supposed to go. I am happy, and I hope that I will have greater and many more opportunities down the road.

Photo Credits: Courtesy JPI and ABC

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RjNANCYtraceMarcuspink Recent comment authors
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pink
pink

I love G.V! Thanks for the interview. It is nice to read what he had to say.I am glad that he confirmed what the fans have always thought about them propping three actors/characters on the show. My guess is those actors/characters are Steve Burton AKA “St Jason”,Maurice Bernard AKA Sonny “the midget” Corinthos & Laura Wright AKA Carly “The Hypocrite” Jax!?

Marcus
Marcus

gotta love him, even when is gone he still manages to keep a good head on his shoulders and he has no regrets. GV to me you are and will always have a special place in my heart, i do love and respect what you brought to Lucky with what you were given, you will never be forgotten. I LOVE U, u are in my prayers and thoughts.

trace
trace

I hope he can get another job in the soap business… We are only hearing 1 side of the story here but wow… how cruel of GH… right? What I think is hugely strange here… Anthony G. bought him a gift.. and had a short conversation with him?? wow.. Anthony was his SOAP DAD.. you would think they had more to talk about then a gift and a short chat… Also..Rebecca Herbst didn’t see him off at all??!!!! She managed to leave him a message that said.. “your in my prayers.!!” ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Somethings up here… and so far.. noone’s talking!!!! drat!

NANCY
NANCY

I LOVE THIS NEW ACTOR THE NEW ERIC BRADY HE’S TOTALLY HOT HE CAN BE MY PRIEST ANYTIME IN A THORNS BIRDS KIND OF WAY

Rj
Rj

GV has been great as Eric Brady on Days! Hope they will give him more storylines and time to keep growing in the role. He has been good with everyone on the show, but he and Nicole have been excellent together. The temptation and passion have been fun to watch. Glad he was able to get this role after GH. When one door closes another opens!

Big Brother

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Should Drew Get The Flash Drive Back, But Lose The Last Five Years Of His Life In Doing So?

On Friday’s episode of ABC’s General Hospital, Drew (Billy Miller) is faced with a dilemma that could change the course of his life forever.  It all comes down to DA Margaux Dawson (Elizabeth Hendrickson), and her vendetta against Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), and how she is leveraging her possession of the flash drive that holds all of Drew’s memories and the key to his past.

In a confrontation at the Metro Court, Drew comes over to talk to Margaux, where he says he is not sure why he hasn’t taken it upon himself to turn her into the cops.  She adamantly points out that she is an attorney, and that he has no evidence that could be used against her in a court of law.  While she goes on about making Sonny pay for what he did to her father, she tries to get Drew to come along with her in her vendetta.  Drew refuses, not because of Sonny or Jason (Steve Burton), but he does not want to do this to Sam (Kelly Monaco) and have Danny be without his father.

Drew then stands up to her and tells he he knows she has been manipulating him for months. Even knowing she has the key to his life with the flashdrive that hold all of his missing years, Drew tells Margaux that she can hold this over his head, but even if he had the flashdrive there is a chance that the procedure to restore his memories could go wrong, and the sad fact that in doing the procedure, he will definitely lose the last five years of his life and all of those memories with Sam and more.  He says to Margaux that those memories mean everything to him.

A confident and irritated Marqaux tells him she is sure he will want the flash drive one day and that he knows her terms if she was to give it to him – helping her bring down Sonny and Jason for the murder of her father.   Drew is left with a difficult decision, while Margaux gets into an elevator and begins to cry over wanting to avenge her father’s death.  But little does she know, that evidence could prove that he was not the man she thinks he was.

So this begs the question to GH fans: Would you like to see Drew retrieve all of his memories as Andrew Cain, at the cost of losing the last five year of his life since being in Port Charles …  or should Drew leave his mind and memories alone and just go forward keeping the last five years in tact, and foregoing what other important history in his life that he may need to know now, or in the future? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Dancing with the Stars Juniors

LISTEN TO THE REPLAY: Soap Nation Live! With Special Guests: Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, DWTS: Juniors & GH’s Hudson West & B&B’s Joe Lando

Photo Credits: CBS, JPI, ABC

Listen to “Soap Nation Live! October 2018” on Spreaker.

If you missed Thursday night’s broadcast of Soap Nation Live! with Michael Fairman you can now listen to the replay right here in audio player above!

This episode was given to the gents in soaps as Michael welcomed his very special guests: The Young and the Restless Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman), Dancing with the Stars: Juniors and General Hospital’s Hudson West (Jake), and The Bold and the Beautiful, and One Life to Live and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman favorite, Joe Lando (Judge Craig McMullen).

During this fun night of chat, Joshua weighed-in on the Shick wedding that went bust, when Sharon told Nick at the altar that she knows he had sex with Phyllis.  Morrow, who will celebrate his 25th year as Nick Newman in early 2019 chimed in what the future for the stat-crossed couple may hold, and how he has enjoyed showing Nick’s dark side of late, plus he revealed one scene he felt uncomfortable with that he would not play, the ladies over the years in Nick’s life, and when asked by a listener of his memories of the late, great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor), Joshua shared some fun and poignant remembrances. He also addressed the status of Doug Davidson at the CBS daytime drama, and hopes that the writers will find a way to utilize the Y&R vet in the future.

Next, Hudson West’s joined the podcast where he gave listeners the inside scoop on what it has been like to be one of the 12 celebrity kids competing in the first-ever Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, which debuts Sunday at 8PMEST in a two-hour season premiere on ABC.  Hudson talked on how he has been learning the dance moves with his young pro dance partner and Dancing with the Stars pro mentor, how he deals with nerves before performing his dance routines and more.  General Hospital fans who know of Hudson’s Daytime Emmy-nominated performance of Jake Webber, Elizabeth and Jason’s son, got some interesting tidbits when he talked about working with Rebecca Herbst, Steve Burton and more, and how much he loves being on the show.

The final guest of the night was Joe Lando.  Prior to bringing Joe on the air, Michael played a classic clip from Megan’s death on One Life to Live from the 90’s, where Joe as Jake Harrison performed one of the saddest and most memorable scenes in soaps with his then acting partner, Jessica Tuck.  Joe then revealed when he was on Soap Nation Live that it has been over 20 years since he had heard the scene, and was still moved by it.  Lando who is now appearing as Judge McMullen on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful teased there could be a love interest around the corner for the judge, as well as some retribution for his ruling in the custody case of Will Spencer, because of a favor called in by Ridge.  Lando also talks about his time on the hit primetime series, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman as Byron Sully, and shared more about his time on One Life to Live working with the likes of: Erika Slezak, Bob Woods, and Tuck.

Last, during out Game Show segment, a lucky caller won two VIP tickets to the Star Struck Fan Event Fall Festival in Alexandria, Virginia featuring members of the cast of Days of our Lives, as well as a Y&R goodie bag; which includes a personalizes autographed picture of Joshua Morrow, after answering correctly some Nick Newman trivia!

For archived and past episodes of Soap Nation Live, you can go to the official show page on Spreaker.com here.

Now, listen to the broadcast with Joshua, Hudson, and Joe above, and then let us know via the comment section below what was your favorite moment in the broadcast.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Honored With Sentinel Award For Alzheimer’s Storyline

This week, ABC’s General Hospital was one of the recipients and honorees at the 2018 Sentinel Awards.

The awards honor storylines that inform, educate, and motivate audiences to make choices for healthier and safer lives.

Now in their 19th year, the 2018 Sentinel Awards were presented by Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), a program of The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

The 12 outstanding Sentinel Awards honorees for 2018 spotlighted topics that included: nuclear safety, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, autism, sexual assault, mental health and disabilities.

One of those programs to receive the award was ABC’s General Hospital for “Sonny’s Dad storyline” which as viewers know shed a light on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease for those afflicted and their loved ones.   The story is beautifully played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).  Accepting  the award on behalf of the series was EP, Frank Valentini.

Other series, notably Empire was recognized for their abortion storyline, and Grey’s Anatomy for their Hemorrhage cart storyline representing Maternal health were two other popular shows that also received recognition for their work. among others.

So, proud of GH for receiving this honor for the work they are doing in telling the emotional tale of Mike’s battle with Alzheimer’s and how it affects Sonny and his family? Comment below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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