Rick Hearst: Straight on Till Morning

The play’s just one of many things for BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL’s busiest body, Rick Hearst (Whip).Soap Opera Weekly: Along with your gig at B&B, you’re currently involved with a theater and a production of Peter Pan. Can you tell me a little about that?

Rick Hearst: It’s a not-for-profit children’s theater called ESCAPE (Experience Santa Clarita’s Actor’s Performing Ensemble). [Donna], my wife, has been involved with ESCAPE for seven years, choreographing. Up until recently, I’ve sort of been on the periphery. I started to realize, in the past couple of years especially, how much I wanted to be able to do something with her. But I just didn’t feel that was my thing, because it took so much time and what have you. Well, lo and behold, my B&B storyline was kinda slow, I wasn’t doing too much, etc.

Weekly: So how did you take the plunge?

Hearst: I just went to see a show! I went to see The Sound of Music. Sitting in the middle of the theater, I’m seeing the production value — the awesome, amazing sets and 17-piece orchestra; the costuming is really high-class. It was directed well, but I was like, “These kids are ready.” I’ve watched these kids grow up in this theater, and they’re ready to step into the next level. So I wanted to see: “Let’s see what we can do with this; let’s create a program out of it beyond that. Maybe we can have continuing education and workshops on the weekend where these kids can get a chance to see what people in the industry are actually doing, and invite people up there.” I’ve already asked John McCook [Eric, B&B], “Would you be interested?” He said, “In a heartbeat.” So, with ESCAPE, I watched and I raised my hand and said, “Listen, do you have a director?” And, it’s funny, the artistic director was like, “You’re gonna have to tell me what you mean. You’ve got to be much more direct with me than that.” And I said, “Okay, here’s my feeling.” I told her my idea about the continuing education and having workshops and said, “And I’d really I’d like to direct it.” Well, long story short, we worked everything out, and I stepped in as the director. I’m working with people who have already been in existence there, so they’re getting a chance to see a different energy, a fresher energy, and it’s really kind of ignited everybody.

Weekly: Wow. How do you find the time to do so much? Your schedule must be nuts!

Hearst: Holy crap, yeah, I’m busy as all heck. But I’m finding that all of what I’m doing…it’s very interesting, the way God does things — like, “I’m not gonna give you more than you can take, and I know you can do it.” I’ve just had a series of things, a wealth of riches, that have just fallen before me, and I have to pick them up and run with them. That which I can’t deal with, trust me, it wasn’t meant to be in the first place; it’ll go to the wayside. But so far, I’m handling it all, and I’ve never been more alive!