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My Set Visit

After being greeted by show publicist Lauri Hogan, Weekly managing editor Kate Walsh and I headed downstairs to the green room and dressing rooms (some actors lovingly refer to the space as the dungeon because of the lack of windows) and waited by the security guard's desk for Robin Strasser (Dorian).Against one wall of the green room is the studio's kitchenette, consisting of a microwave, coffee machines and a mini-fridge. The microwave was labeled with a request for actors and crew members to clean up after themselves after using the kitchen. The studio was filled with similar reminders. My personal favorite was the note above the water fountain reading: "This is not a sink! This is not a sink! This is not a sink!"When Strasser greeted us — she first carted off some cushions from Dorian's old sofa that she planned to auction for charity — she deemed the green room too smelly of a locale for the interview (apparently someone had just reheated fish in the microwave), so we headed back up to the lobby — and the sunlight.Strasser, every bit as engaging as her alter ego, raved about her current on-screen pairing with Tuc Watkins' David and her newest on-screen family member Melissa Gallo (Adriana). She also provided us with some great answers to questions for our Style section.We then headed to the dressing room Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio) shares with Michael Easton (John) and discovered that actors aren't exaggerating when they complain about the size of their dressing rooms. De los Reyes dished about his new 'do — it was his idea to write the change into the script — and the charity bartending event he's planning for The Gabriel Project that will showcase the talents of his OLTL cast mates as well as actors from ALL MY CHILDREN (more on this in an upcoming Weekly).Then we met up with Melissa Archer (Natalie), who answered some questions for various departments in the magazine and chatted about that week's Sopranos episode and how she'd like to guest on the show as a member of an Irish Mafia clan.Archer's on-screen mom, Ilene Kristen (Roxy) confided that she had begun to look for her Emmy dress with the help of her mother and felt more pressure this year — her first as a nominee — to find the perfect ensemble. She also confessed to being a big fan of Carrie Fisher's novels, in part because Kristen spent six months living in Fisher's guest house.It was then time to leave "the dungeon," and head up to the set to watch musical guest, jazz musician Paul Taylor film his scenes at Ultra Violet , which included Archer, Easton, Kristen, Peter Bartlett (Nigel), Timothy D. Stickney (RJ) and David Tom (Paul), who proved he's nothing like his dastardly alter ego by coming over to introduce himself in between scenes. That episode is scheduled to air May 5.So ended my first trip to Llanview, but with an afternoon filled with good conversation and live music, I hope it won't be my last.

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