According to Hayley Erin (Kiki, GH), there are many potential pitfalls when GH treks outside to shoot park scenes on location. “One time, I was doing scenes there with Maura [West, Ava], and the wind was so intense, it kept knocking over all of the trees that had been placed there. Because we shoot in Los Angeles, obviously, there are loads of palm trees, which are not native to where Port Charles is in upstate New York. I don’t know what department is in charge of covering up the palm trees, but they either cover them up with bark, which is really cool, or they place other trees in front of them so you can’t see the palm trees. Whatever trees they use don’t like to stay standing, so we’ll be in the middle of a serious scene, and all of a sudden, plants start falling over.” Even when the wind cooperates, the terrain may not. “The path we’re always walking down is super-steep, so when I’m wearing heels walking down that path, it’s always kind of dangerous. In the scene when Carly saw Kiki and Dillon kissing, my knees were bent because I was seriously trying not to tumble down the hill! It was a challenge. It was actually like a workout.”
When she’s not juggling acting gigs and her sons’ busy schedules, soap vet Tracy Melchior (ex-Kristen, B&B et al) has been spending much of her time behind the camera. Having just celebrated 18 years of marriage to her husband, Rob, a police officer with over 26 years of service, Melchior is developing a documentary about the issues facing law enforcement today. “Lately, the turmoil they face has been far worse than it has ever been and I feel like now is the perfect time to try and have some conversations about the role of law enforcement in our society,” she explains. “So, I’ve been working directly with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on this project. I’m also part of a group that does community outreach, where we go into communities and talk about law enforcement in order to blur the lines and answer important questions regarding authority and accountability. I have to say, I’ve done a lot of interesting things over the years as an actress, but this is one project that I am truly excited about.”
Now that Tristan Rogers (Colin, Y&R) is off the canvas until June, things are a little less confusing on set for Tristan Lake Leabu (Reed). “It’s really funny because over the intercom when they call everybody to set, it’s always cumbersome when the two of us are working on the same day because they’re like, ‘All right, Tristan, come to set!’ ” explains Leabu. “I’ll run down, ready to go and they’re like, ‘No, no no, we’re not using you yet.’ ” It didn’t take long to come up with a solution, but Leabu still went through an adjustment period. “They send out a warning whenever the two of us are going to be on set on the same day just so everyone is aware,” Leabu says. “Since Tristan has been at Y&R longer than me, they still call him out by his first name, and me by my last, but I still had to stop myself whenever I heard them calling for Tristan. When he comes back, I should be used to Leabu.”
Eric Martsolf was pretty surprised when he saw that Brady’s on-the-run alias was Freddie Smith, as in DAYS’s own actor Freddie Smith, who plays Sonny. “I thought it was one of those moments where a writer was going to come around the corner and go, ‘Just kidding. We were just goofing around,’ ” admits Martsolf with a laugh. “But, no, it was written as Freddie Smith and I was Freddie Smith for a few episodes. We definitely had the giggles about that.” Martsolf has “no idea” why the show’s scribes decided to go that route. “I even talked to Freddie about it,” he notes. “He told me, ‘I assume it’s because Freddie Smith just happens to be a very common name.’ Either that or maybe [the writers] don’t know that Freddie Smith is actually named Freddie Smith. I don’t know....” No matter, Martsolf has a suggestion moving forward to even things out. “I think it’s only fair that maybe Sonny should take a lover named Eric Martsolf,” Martsolf cracks.