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Days Of Our Lives

Venice Fan Gathering: Inside Special Report…from the Emcee!

One should never underestimate the power of a gay global phenomenon!  Yes, Venice the Series, that would be you!  On Saturday July 10th, as Crystal Chappell and company were putting the finishing touches on their season two shooting schedule, (there was one more tape day on Sunday that was being directed by B&B’s Susan Flannery) some of the hardest working actors on daytime, who not only have major roles on their respective daytime gigs but also were giving their emotional all for their roles on the upcoming new season of Venice, showed up en masse for the first annual Venice Fan Gathering at the Universal Sheraton Hotel in Universal City, California.

Yours truly was the emcee of the day’s event, and let me tell you, it was not an easy task trying to keep these passionate and fantastic fans tame!  Over 200 plus female fans from all over the world were brought together by Crystal Chappell and her producing and writing partner, Kim Turrisi’s, vision of a web soap series which at its core is a same-sex love story or stories!  So, before we could open the doors to the fans, I was in the Green Room going over some notes with Leslie Penny and Kim DiTomasso, the organizers of the Fan Gathering.  Of course, I stuck my two cents in on a few things from my years of attending these soap opera fan event spectacles.  As I was prepping and tweaking an intro speech and working on the who’s who’s of the cast for the intros, in walked Gina Tognoni, Hillary B. Smith and Jessica Leccia, who in 2010 (who would have thunk) would all be residents of Llanview!  Jessica then showed me a new picture of her adorable baby, Ivy, who was with her on her trip to L.A.   Next, entered the fabulous Tina Sloan, who reminded me to tell the audience about her new book Changing Shoes, which will be on sale on September 16th, but you can pre-order it now on amazon.com.  So now I have told you on this blog, too. The sexy and talented, Nadia Bjorlin entered next along with her DAYS co-star Shawn Christian, whose role in Venice looks to be quite interesting.  More on that in a moment.  Two Venice stalwarts, Michelle N. Carter and Harrison White, were in attendance as well.  I loved catching up with them, since I had not had the opportunity to see them since our original videotaped advocate.com on-set Venice feature almost a year ago.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

While Crystal and Kimmy were checking on things before the start of the event, Peter Reckell joined the cast in the Green Room. This was to be his first Venice experience, being one of the newbie’s this season.  Looking at the entire group, some of whom I have known for decades, I think it’s Peter that I have known the longest.  He and I discussed that gay soap viewers make up a very large percentage of the soap viewing audience, and how for years, I analyzed, it is the LGBT community who has stood by all of the soaps and all of the romances when they barely, if at all, had seen their story told on daytime.  It is a shame for sure that as we are at the midpoint of 2010, only one soap opera, As the World Turns, is addressing anything about same-sex romance at this time, and it’s going away in September.  Peter asked me if I was nervous.  “No”, I said.  “I am not nervous.  I like hosting things.”  But then I thought, “What if I can’t control the ladies who want to lunge at Crystal or something, or throw their panties at her or Nadia?”  But then I remembered I was not the security guard for the event.  Whew!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It was my time to go out and greet the crowd, and for lack of a better word, be the warm-up act.   But in all honesty, it was an honor and a joy to emcee the day, and to make a short speech on how important and vital the global web audience is to the Venice venture, and how Crystal Chappell has truly become a pioneer, and broken ground with a show that was needed for an under-represented segment of the population, and has delivered a great modern day approach, and look and feel, to a class “A” web series.   Now, yes, I can confirm that Team Venice is charging a $9.99 subscription rate for the entire season two, but it is necessary, trust me, for all the costs, and streaming, and quality to bring even longer episodes to the web.

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It was time for the main attraction.  So one by one I introduced the actors starting with Anita Crisinel; this very savvy actress landed a part in season two by sending in videotapes to Crystal and Kimmy of her performances, and of why she should appear on Venice. Anita, who hails from New Zealand, and has a very sexy accent, currently resides in London, England.  She was in L.A. for the week of shooting, and is playing the new role of Jess.  Anita told me later how sad it is to be leaving the next morning back to England, and that she hopes she might be included into season three.  But nonetheless, it was an experience she will never forget. When Anita came to the dais/panel in front of the crowd, I did not even notice she was there. I was still announcing her, while looking for her throughout the ballroom.  Whoops!  We all had a good laugh.   Next, another new addition to the cast,  J C Jewel, who you will see on the your computer screens soon in season two as Christy joined us on the panel.   It was then my pleasure to introduce Michelle N. Carter, who is back for more as Gina’s sassy assistant, Michele, with one, “L”!

If it’s one thing Crystal and Kimmy did in season two it was to increase the male “hotness” factor by bringing in some more eye candy!  Making his first Venice appearance was Wes Ramsey, who is now playing the role of Van, Guya’s son. Following Wes, we brought on Harrison White, who tells me that his character of Jamie will become more of a friend to Gina in season two. Tina Sloan entered next to thunderous applause, and then came the introduction of Days of our Lives, Dr. Daniel, Shawn Christian.  So, what I have learned is that Shawn will play Brandon, Guya’s boyfriend.  How ‘bout them apples, Hillary B. Smith?   In the Green Room, Hillary was ecstatic about it, as she explained, “I am his girl toy!”  Shawn’s DAYS co-star, the tremendously popular Peter Reckell was announced to the crowd next, as the role of Richard, a friend from Gina’s past.

We all missed Lesli Kay, who once again is back as Londoner, Tracy, but unfortunately she was unable to make the event due to previous commitments, as well as Jordan Clarke who returns as the Colonel.  Next, it was so much fun to introduce Hillary B. Smith, whose performance as Guya is one of those scene-stealing roles!  Wouldn’t you say?  The fans showed how much they loved her, too!  By the way, remember Dude, the special needs dog that is appearing in season two?  He was there too! Oh, my God.  How cute is he!  In his little wheelchair, he is a remarkable example of man’s best friend.  And, I got to meet Lindsay, Hillary’s best friend who together started the Willee-Coppee Fund which we have talked about previously here on my website. The BFF’s continue to work on this non-profit endeavor to help assist pet owners in need.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Next, Gina Tognoni came out to the crowd, and those who loved her in season one as Sami, will see even more of her in season two.  Gina’s co-star, the uber-popular Galen Gering was finally in the house and made a grand entrance to the adoring crowd.  Galen has really made the role of Owen one of the most popular on Venice, being the supportive brother of Gina, and main squeeze for Sami.  So who was left?  It came down to the three ladies of Venice who will heat things up in season two.  First out, Nadia Bjorlin; whose part of Lara is even bigger than last season.  The gals in the crowd went crazy, I mean, wouldn’t you?   Next, I introduced to thunderous applause, Jessica Leccia as Gina’s main squeeze, Ani.  But before I brought out La Chappell, I had to bring out her real-life main squeeze, hubby, Michael Sabatino, who returns to Venice in the new season as boot lovin’, Alan.  And, last but certainly not least, the star of the series, Crystal Chappell was brought out through the crowd to a standing ovation getting a piggy-back ride from one of her Venice buddies, Dottie Jones, all the way up to the dais.   Crystal addressed the crowd and thanked them for all their support, and how much their being in attendance was just another amazing part of this journey.

What is any soap fan event without a Q&A?  So, I hopped into the crowd and made my way around the tables as the ladies made relevant, emotional, and fun commentary on how much Venice has meant to them, seeing the cast in person, and asking questions of the panel.  I have to say, it was great to meet so many of the fan base, who have commented on MF On-Air On-Soaps, and have been so supportive of Crystal and Kimmy in their online venture.  From having Crystal sign a pair of panties (I knew this would happen) to asking Jessica Leccia how she felt on playing a role that meant so much to the LGBT community, to fawning all over Peter Reckell, and being so excited by his addition to the cast, to giving Michael Sabatino the biggest, and perhaps most thunderous round of applause of the day, for supporting his wife Crystal on this endeavor, and being so open to letting her be such a key force in the gay community.  It was a great and well-deserved moment.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

After running around in circles (a special thank you for that ladies, as I did not need to go to the gym and do cardio that day) I introduced the musical side of Venice the Series, when Jenn Foster took to the ballroom with a set of songs beloved from the series and her CD. Yes, including a rousing edition of the theme song from Venice.  When meeting Jenn for the first time, I was struck not only by her singing voice that cuts straight to your heart, but her beautiful spirit.  Later in the Green Room, we discussed if she can hook me up with Keith Urban, since she lives in Nashville.  Oh yeah, there is that small matter of Nicole Kidman in the way.  Too bad.

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After Jenn performed, we finally got to the main event, and what everyone traveled so far to do, to meet and greet, sign autographs, and take pictures with the Venice cast.  Now this presented me with the most challenging part of the day trying to keep order, which included keeping these gals from jumping back in the line once they made it through it one time previously.  Naughty! Naughty!   During the nearly three hour autograph session, I sat next to Gina Tognoni most of the time on the dais.  So, we got to catch up with each other in between her fan requests.  It was also during that time I met so many gracious fans, who shared with me how much it meant to them that we all work get LGBT stories out there in the media, and how this series has impacted their lives.  I was personally struck by one woman’s openness to share with me her coming out story, and in the process how she lost the respect of her two older children, who won’t speak to her, because she finally had the courage to live life the way she needed to, and to be true to herself.  She has since found her true-life partner, and created a new family.  I was also struck by some of the absolute creative ways that the Venice fans have come up with, to promote, and be involved with the fan community.  Take a look at this image of one fan’s creation of Veniceopoly!

All of a sudden, and I am not sure at one point, the ballroom became more of sexy dance hall with Michael Jackson tunes creating an instant fervor throughout the crowd.  I have to say Crystal Chappell and Hillary Smith… you’ve got rhythm ladies!  I also have to say there is not a better MJ tune than Billie Jean!

So as the Venice fest became one big rowdy and celebratory party, I had to play the bad cop, and let everyone know that it was last call at the bar, and we only had fifteen more minutes of time in the ballroom, and that would have to be the end of the first Venice Fan Gathering. Yup, I had the job of being the ultimate Party Poop, when I actually felt more like at that point I was channeling Debbie Downer from SNL!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In the end, as the cast and I went back into the Green Room, we were all exhausted from a long and exciting, and very energetic day.  For Crystal, Shawn and Nadia, theirs was not over, as they then hopped on the Venice Podcast straight from the hallways of the Universal Sheraton!  Leslie Penny and Kim DiTomasso escorted me to the entrance way of the hotel, we hugged, said our goodbyes, told a few inside jokes, and I thanked them and Team Venice for letting me be a small part in a very memorable day.

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lina
lina

Thanks so much for this glimpse into the Venice fan event. I was eating my heart out ever since it was announced (since I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend) to the point there was just a sliver of it left on Sunday! lol.
And I’m a little more disappointed now that I find out you were the emcee.
I lurk on your site, but I really enjoy the coverage you’ve given to Venice and really enjoyed your Otalia coverage in the past.
Many thanks for all you do.

kelltwomyn
kelltwomyn

Michael, it was a pleasure meeting you at the event. I’m sorry we didn’t get more time to chat; we were just getting to the good parts! To refresh your memory, I had asked you about online soap awards and we, of course, could not speak of that travesty called the Daytime Emmys.

Thank you for posting this wonderful blog. It is funny and yet so supportive of this project and of Crystal. She truly deserved the Vanguard Award in the Soap Opera Spirit Awards, as she is blazing new trails and creating a niche in the vast Internet for talented actors to truly showcase their talents and to remember their joy of acting (thank you Hillary B. Smith, for highlighting that in your behind-the-scenes interview on Venice DVD).

I had a wonderful time at the event and cannot wait for season 2 of Venice. I have no issues paying for the privilege of watching these actors do their thing!

Karen
Karen

A BIG Thank You to Team Venice. Their spirit in everything they do is filled with Love. I unfortunatly wasn’t one of the lucky ones that attended, but I was kept uptodate with the goings on via Twitter. Congrats on surviving Michael. Let the drama begin in Season 2. Here’s to next year’s event ‘cheers’.

LuLu
LuLu

Jessica Leccia was in the podcast too! Why no mention of her?

devlinof9
devlinof9

Michael, it was so great to meet you after reading your blogs! Loved talking with you and Gina T in the autograph line about “nice Canadians” and thank you for letting me ramble on to the cast about Otalia and my own baby Olivia. Hope you’re Emcee at the next event for sure! much love!

Lisa
Lisa

Michael,
It was such a pleasure meeting you Sat at the event. Everyone seemed to have a rousing good time and you were a big part of that. Thanks for all the support for Crystal and Venice. I’m glad I found your website. I love it!

navygirl
navygirl

Mark this event, the day, the subsequent and final day of shooting, and the entire week preceeding this event as point zero. Everyone knows that I’m biased toward Nadia Bjorlin. But with all the buzz surrounding her season two part as Lara in “Venice: The Series”, it just feels like this role will be a game-changer for the lovely Ms. Bjorlin. Mark my words. Her life will never be the same again.

Adding to that, I also feel that the second season of Venice will also change the course of the series for the better. It seems that the pre-production team really did make changes that would make a better show. Now let’s hope post-production will follow their lead and use what worked in S1, and lose what didn’t. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little disappointed with S1. But that was tempered by the fact that it was their first shot. There was definitely a learning curve involved. I have faith that S2 will show how much they grown as a production, and far they have come. I’m excited for the entire cast and team. I’m thrilled for everyone involved, including the fans.

Sarah
Sarah

Thank you Michael for all you did on Saturday, and everyday to support Venice. I adore you! xoxo

Charlotte Tunno
Charlotte Tunno

I think the show has a little rethinking to do about so much touchy sex and show’s to much sex and I think kids,under 20 need to know how to be responsible Even that I like your show I feel it give the kids, a that’s o.k. Just because Star and Cole made the kid’s should get some reality check,s on how much desease is out there, and the percentage of men or boy’s that take responsible actions is pratically none. Please install some realistic value’s for our missed guided children. thank you for listening too my view’s I do watch your show , yet i still think there could be some changes to make it better:

CC TEAM COSTA RICA
CC TEAM COSTA RICA

OMG! Thanks for all your information, I’ma big fan of Crystal and now you! I love your work. I’m from Costa Rica and here we talk little about it!

I have a small fan club dedicated to Crystal called: CC TEAM COSTA RICA is made with much love for her! This is the address of the website I made for the TEAM

http://ccteamcostarica.webs.com/

I hope you have a nice day!

Greetings! from Costa Rica

CC TEAM COSTA RICA
Georgina

CC TEAM COSTA RICA
CC TEAM COSTA RICA

Dear Michael will add your website to my website in the section that says links! I love your work!

thanks!

CC TEAM COSTA RICA

Rita
Rita

Thanks for providing such detail as to the days events. I knew you would do a terrific job. Hope I get the chance to meet you…and your biceps one day :-))

tina sloan
tina sloan

thanks Michael for all those nice things you said about Venice and all of us on it. It was so nice to see you and I send love as does Changing Shoes. Hope you will make the play. You did get invite right. If not email me and let me know. LOVE, tina

Bina
Bina

I had a really great time at the event, It was a pleasure meeting all the talented actors/actresses. The stars were very warm towards the fans. It is an experience I will never ever forget. The best part of the event for me was the fact that I got the chance to see my favorite actress in the whole world 2wice in one year, Hillary B. Smith (Guya, Venice/Nora OLTL).

denisebella
denisebella

Thank you for sharing your time at the Venice fan event!

PJ
PJ

Your inside report makes me wish I had gone to this. Michael, how about convincing VTeam to have another fan event on the East Coast, for those of us living here?

willie robinson
willie robinson

I ENJOY ANYTHING THAT CONCERNS VENICE,CRYSTAL AND JESSICA AND ENTIRE CAST. CANNOT WAIT FOR S2. I AM REALLY INTO JESSICA, LIKE CRYSTAL SAID ,ITS TRICKY !!!

Days Of Our Lives

Wally Kurth Talks on His Daytime Emmy Nomination For DAYS As Justin’s World Is Turned Upside Down

You kind of know when you are handed the ball in the world of daytime drama, and it’s your turn to shine, especially when you get meaty material that runs the gamut of emotions. And this past Emmy season, Days of our Lives’ Wally Kurth delivered the performances of his soap career (although we suspect there is some more to come in 2020!) in the role of the grieving Justin Kiriakis.

For Wally not only played grief, but starting life anew in a romantic entanglement that can be all too familiar when someone tries to move on after the loss of the love of their life. Add to that, the complication that his son’s husband, was believed to be the person who caused the accident that killed his wife, Adrienne (Judi Evans), and with that the deck is stacked for an emotional fallout that landed Kurth in the running for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at this year’s 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to air on CBS on Friday night, June 26th, albeit in a virtual presentation.

While Wally is getting many accolades for his work on DAYS, let’s not forget the double duty he pulls on General Hospital, where this week his Ned Ashton. This week Ned is front and center during the encore presentations of the GH’ Nurses’ Ball episodes, which feature Wally singing his heart out in numerous memorable performances through the years.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Kurth to get his thoughts and insight into his well-deserved acting nomination for DAYS, plus to find out his favorite GH Nurses’ Ball performances, and much more. Here now is what Wally had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

I am so thrilled about this nomination because you know, I willed this to happen.  I was like, “It’s got to happen!” (Laughs)

WALLY:  You actually were saying that, and you have been very supportive and positive.  I appreciate it.

What did you end up submitting? I believe I gave you “Power Performance of the Week” honors on my site for some of them, too.

WALLY:  I do try to put together a little story in my submissions for Emmys.  I think that’s kind of important because if you’re asking someone to watch 8 or 9 minutes of just you… I didn’t want to just (not that I had this material) but bludgeon them with one sad, sobbing scene after another.  I wanted to give them a whole range of Justin and a little story.  So, I did start off where Justin was asking Adrienne to marry him, and Justin is very happy, and it’s all good, and he gets down on his knee, and you see her, and it’s like, “This is something really good,” and I also wanted to include a scene with Judi Evans in my reel.  Then, I cut to where it’s a year later, and Justin is with Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) in their apartment. They are already living together, and they are discussing the anniversary of their marriages, and about the sadness of Adrienne, and she’s talking about Steve (Stephen Nichols), and then she brings up having to tell me that Adrienne died.  So, that was obviously in a flashback that happened six months earlier; where Justin is obviously very upset, and scared, and doesn’t want to hear it, and breaks down, and Kayla comforts him. Then, I did the continuation where Justin tells Kayla how much she has meant to him, and how he felt like he wasn’t going to survive, and how she came to his aid in a way to make him feel like he really has something to live for.   Then, at the very end, I did two scenes with Will (Chandler Massey) in the jail which is where Justin confronts Will, who obviously Justin thought was responsible for killing Adrienne.  It was a really lovely, really well-written scene where Justin tells him, “You’re a son to me, and you can be disappointed with a son, and you can be hurt by a son, but you never stop loving him.” I think it showed a nice range of the anger, the hurt, the happiness (because Justin tells him about Kayla), so you get an idea of what happened to Justin last year.  I thought it was a good collection of scenes that told a little story, and you could see the range of what Justin went though.  Evidently, it worked on some level because I got nominated.

Courtesy/NBC

In the scene with Will, doesn’t Justin also tell him, “Don’t give up on life?” in a very hankie-inducing moment?

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WALLY:  Yes.  “Don’t give up.  Don’t give up on life,” which is really positive… even though he started the scene like, “I don’t even want to talk to this guy.”  Justin is there talking to Ben (Rob Scott Wilson), and Will kind of surprises him. So for Justin it;’ like, “Now I guess I’ve got to talk to Will about this,” and so he is still angry, he is still hurt, and you’re right, at the end, the scene has sort of transformed him in a way.  So, all of that stuff was just really nice, really nice scenes to get to play and very emotional.

I’ve watched most everything on the soaps from the performances to the storylines, and that one scene with the two of you was one of the best scenes I have seen in long time.  It was just so good from the writing to the execution of it. 

WALLY:  Oh yeah, I can’t even imagine a scene that was as good. Thank God that scene aired in December.  My story really didn’t get started until October/November, and all of those scenes that I included were from October, November, and December.

So, what did you think then when you found out that Chandler, along with you, and Paul Telfer (Xander) are all in the Supporting Actor category together?

WALLY:  I love it.  How great is that?  I love both of those guys.  I mean, I am such a fan of both of them.  Chandler kind of gets nominated every year, so I wasn’t surprised there.

Photo: JPI

Well, he had one year, as he pointed out to me (laughs), that he didn’t get a nomination. But, Chandler has been pretty much a perennial nominee every time he submits!

WALLY:  Yeah, Chandler just delivers.  He is a really an outstanding actor Paul, I think is great.  I love the character.  I was kind of surprised and happy for him because sometimes his character gets overlooked; just like the bad guy with the smarmy smirk and the great English accent.  So, there you go.  It’s terrific.  I think people saw more to his performance, and they should.  He works on a lot of different levels, and Paul brings a lot to the game.

And obviously, you know James Patrick Stuart (Valentin, General Hospital), since you work on that show too, and he is also nominated in your category. 

WALLY:  Yeah, and I have been a big fan of his too.  So, I was really delighted.  I called him up and left a message.  I love James.  We did a thing last year together where we went back east and played some music in some clubs,   I always think that James should be nominated.  He does such an exceptional job at bringing that character to life.  That’s not an easy thing to do either.  It’s kind of like a Xander character, and so, it is nice to see my fellow actors see the complexity in their performances and appreciate it.

Photo: JPI

Last week’s DAYS airshows contained scenes where Justin confronts Orpheus (George Delhoyo), over killing Adrienne, and Justin also goes to visit Adrienne’s grave.  I think you have another run of shows next year to submit for the Emmys (Laughs)

WALLY:  I do like to include the big four emotions that an actor has to play:  happy, sad, angry, and fear.  That is a scene where you get to see Justin really angry.  So, I will probably look to that as you get to see the anger part of the character, which I think is important.  You don’t get to see Justin very angry and lose it like that.

No, and that’s what was so great about it.  George was a great scene partner, though.

WALLY:  Oh, he was great.  George and I had a great time.  It was really awesome.  I mean, it was a challenge because it was very tricky, especially when Steve (Stephen Nichols) and Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) came in because you know; there is a part of the character that is just like, “Please, just let me shoot.  Just let me fire a bullet and just put it over his head or something, or maybe his hands are shaking so much that he misses the target!”  I don’t know, but you do just want to let him shoot, just one bullet.  (Laughs) Another moment that I really, really loved – and I’ll probably include it next year in my submission -was that scene with Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) at the hospital.  They gave me a beautiful speech to tell her that she should be her judge and jury and sentence herself to death, a beautiful speech about how she reminded me of Adrienne.  It brought out a different side of Justin that you don’t usually see.

Photo: JPI

When I spoke to Chandler about this nomination he related to me, “I am so happy for Wally because I feel like he is often underrated.” You have always been the guy on soaps who is always delivering consistent work, but now you’ve been given a story.  So now everyone can see what you can do or are reminded of it.  It’s hard without a story on the soaps; especially playing the Emmy game.

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WALLY:  It’s true.  What did Maurice Benard (Sonny, General Hospital) say?  “If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.”  It’s really true.  Let’s face it, you can only do so much, and that’s why I don’t get too competitive.  If I lose, that’s totally fine.  I feel like I’ve already won.  Being recognized by my peers, that’s it.  Being nominated is awesome, and honestly, after this, so much of it is the material and what the actors got to do.  It’s sort of out of your control, you know.   I am happy for all of my fellow nominees.  It’s all good at this point.  I’m really, really happy.

Photo: ABC

You’ve been nominated once before, right?

WALLY:  Yes. I’ve been nominated once before, two years ago on General Hospital.  It was the year that Jane Elliot (Tracy) left.  In story, Tracy leaves, so there was all of that emotional stuff to play.  That was the year I also submitted myself for Days of Our Lives too, and I was really proud of that work.  That year saw Adrienne having to choose between Justin and Lucas (Bryan Dattilo), and she chose Lucas.  There were just some really nice scenes there that they wrote for Justin and Adrienne, and she was dealing with cancer.  Anyway, I got nominated for General Hospital, and I learned from that year that I am never going to nominate myself in the same category for both shows.  That’s just stupid.

Well, you’re everywhere.  You’re on the Nurses’ Ball encore episodes right now on GH,  

WALLY:  Oh, isn’t that funny?  All of these Nurses’ Balls, it’s hilarious.

Courtesy/ABC

Are you watching them?

WALLY:  Yes!  I watched parts of them the other night, especially my performances. It looked good; actually, they were really good.  I’m always kind of surprised like, “Wow! The dances … the singing … the production!”  I always feel like there should be more people at the Nurses’ Ball.  Shouldn’t there be more people in the seats? (Laughs)  But other than that, good stuff, good story.  It was fun to see the beginning of Ned and Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) as well, you know that first year where she and Sonny were just breaking up on the red carpet at the ball, and the next year, Ned and Olivia are already together.  This week they aired where I sing with sweet little Brooklyn Rae Silzer (Emma), the Elton John and Kiki Dee duet, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

Photo: ABC

Do you have one favorite Nurses’ Ball number you performed of all-time?

WALLY:  You know, someone has been posting old Nurses’ Balls from the 90s, and I forgot that I sang “Forever Young” with Amber Tamblyn (Ex-Emily), and that was so sweet.  I also loved singing “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” in the very first one or the second year, we did it. Some of my other favorites include: “I Feel Good,” with the Quartermaine boys, and Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible” – that was fun because I got to put my own vocal stamp on it, and I remember performing George Michael’s “Faith.  It was fun singing that with Lisa.

Courtesy/NBC

So, we know that this year will be a virtual Daytime Emmy ceremony, and we don’t know what that will look like yet.  So, how would you dress for it, if they had a shot of you from home during the broadcast on CBS?

WALLY:  I definitely am going to wear a suit and a tie.  I think that’s important to try to give the Emmys the dignity that it deserves.

So, thrilled that Wally received a Daytime Emmy nod for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series? What were your favorite moments of his last year? Are you enjoying seeing his performances on the encore GH Nurses’ Ball episodes? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Susan Seaforth Hayes Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination For Julie and Doug’s Emotional Storyline

When you think Days of our Lives, what would it be without the legendary Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie) and her real-life and on-screen husband, Bill Hayes (Doug Williams)?

This past Emmy season, the beloved duo got a chance to shine, when they were put through a ‘heartbreaking’ predicament – Julie’s heart gives out, she is in need of a transplant, and things take a turn for the worse.

What would life be like for Doug without his Julie? How would she say goodbye to him? Fans clearly felt the sentiments overflowing from this real-life duo capturing the essence of their characters in such a raw and realistic way. So much so, that Susan landed a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category for her work.

Already a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient along with her husband, Bill back in 2018, will Susan finally get an award for her acting for her decades of beautiful work on the long-running NBC soap opera? Fans will need to tune-in to CBS on Friday, June 26th to find out with the virtual presentation of the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  But for now, here is our conversation with Susan.

Photo: NATAS

Congratulations on your Supporting Actress nomination.  You have been racking up a lot of these recently, having been nominated in the same category two years ago, and also receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award along with your husband, Bill Hayes at the 45th annual Daytime Emmys in 2018.

SUSAN:  It’s really nice to be nominated, because I’ve had a few gap years.  I’ve had, what? 25 gap years between the recent nominations.

What scenes did you ultimately chose that landed you the nomination?

SUSAN:  I submitted when Julie dies.  I submitted the farewell montage scenes with Bill Hayes, and they were very moving to us… and we’ll see.  I did not submit anything snappy, or bitchy, or hysterical.  I’ve lost against hysterical every time.  Comedy has never worked.  So, I am going to try the heart and soul of soup opera: not bitchiness, but loss.

Photo: JPI

Can I ask how you got through those scenes with Bill, because it was so touching?  I don’t know how you did it.

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SUSAN:  It was very difficult.  I mean, these are the things that make us so connected to the characters and the show.  This is a place where we can show the public what love means to us, which is everything.

They were beautiful scenes.  Do you remember when you did them, if you felt good about them at the time?

SUSAN:  No… no.  I didn’t know.  Everyone on the set seemed happy.  We are blessed to have feedback from out producers now, and they didn’t say, “I think you can do it better,” and, “Another take,” not that we would have anyway, because there is never time to do another take.

Photo: JPI

How did you find out that you were nominated? 

SUSAN:  One of the producers, Randy Dugan called me, or I wouldn’t have found out for a couple of days,

What are your thoughts on this being a virtual Daytime Emmys ceremony because of COVID-19?  We don’t know anything about will play out yet or what that will look like, but it is back on network TV.

SUSAN:  It’s going to be a wonderful surprise.

So, if they have the shot of the nominees, do you think you’d be dressed in comfortable clothes or more formal?

SUSAN:  Well, I’d certainly wear my best earrings if I were at home, yeah.  If my grandson can arrange us to get on the internet (we have a grandson living on our property, and he’s our live-in techy), we will get dressed up, and sit there, if that’s the way to do it.

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DAYS did very well receiving 22 overall nominations and a lot of your co-stars got nomination as well.

SUSAN:  Yes, an excellent year for nominations for our show.

How many times have you been nominated now? 

SUSAN:  This makes six.

Photo: IMDB

Would it mean a lot to you to get the award?

SUSAN:  The Lifetime Achievement meant a lot.  It wouldn’t be bad to win this year.  I’ll say that.  It would be sweet for the show, since I am now the oldest living cast member of the original family – the original, original.  I’m not the original Julie, but close enough.  So, I think that would be some validation for the longevity of this original storytelling.  People look at the show and say, “Are you part of the DiMera family or the Brady family?”  I say, “I’m part of the Horton family!”

What did your husband Bill say when he found out you were nominated?

SUSAN:  (Yells) Billy, what did you say when you found out I was nominated?

BILL:  Yay!!!

SUSAN:  That’s about right. (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What a guy!

SUSAN:  I know!  What a guy, what a guy, what a guy!

I was really happy to see your name among the other well-deserving nominees.

SUSAN:  I know you are because I know you care.  Who knows what will happen? It isn’t going to ruin our lives you know, one way or another.  But it was very nice to receive this acknowledgment from my peers.

So, are you glad Susan received a nomination for her work in her emotional storyline? Do you think she should finally receive the Emmy for her performances? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Hollywood Studios, Producers & Guilds Send Plan To Gov. Newsom and Gov. Cuomo For COVID-19 Production Restart Guidelines

On Monday, the two states with the most television and film production in the United States (California and New York) received a plan from many Hollywood studios, producers and the entertainment and production guilds of a plan and outline to be able to rejigger and restart production of your favorite shows and films.  This includes the soaps: General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful and Days of our Lives.

Via Deadline: In an effort to get the industry moving-forward again where jobs were lost or put on hold, and production were completely stalled out-of-the-blue, the guidelines submitted by “The Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force (the “Task Force”) is asking for consideration and adoption for the resumption of motion picture, television, and streaming productions in an environment that minimizes the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19,” says a report for Governors Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York.

Photo: AP

You can read the details of the report here.  While there has been no word from the Governors and their offices if they have seen the report, bets are that several more steps will be needed before anyone would head and report back to a set yet.

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As one would expect, limiting contact, social distancing, regular temperature checks, ways to handle props, and a COVID-19 compliance officer for all productions are part of the proposal.   As well as virtual writers room meetings, avoiding filming on-location as much as possible and filming in front of large audiences.

So, glad to know that this major step has been taken to try to get production back on track in Hollywood and New York? Comment below.

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