On May 4, Julie Dove appeared on DAYS as Connie. For the Princeton, TX native, a longtime DAYS fan, the opportunity to appear on the show was a dream come true, one that almost didn’t happen. In November 2021, she landed a role in an episode that was supposed to air in May 2022, but her scenes got cut. After Doveposted on social media how much it meant to be on the show even though it didn’t air, DAYS’s head writer, Ron Carlivati, posted her scenes on the official DAYS YouTube page. But Carlivati didn’t stop there. In October 2022, he had casting reach out to have Julie come back on the show. Here, she tells her story.
Soap Opera Digest: When did you start watching DAYS?
Julie Dove: My earliest memories of watching DAYS started around the time Bo stole Hope from the church on her wedding day to Larry. I loved those episodes right up until the goons showed up at Maggie’s barn then I was devastated.
Digest: What drew you in?
Dove: I had mainly been watching the ABC soaps because my mom and grandma did. Then my dad died suddenly in April 1983, when I was 13, and I dealt with this by taking a deep dive into all the soaps. I starting reading Soap Opera Digest to keep up with what was happening on other shows. I remember reading about Hope’s 18th Birthday because it was still being covered long after it had aired and I just fell in love with Bo and Hope. I knew this was going to be a special couple. I started making scrapbooks and Soap Opera Digest always had the best pictures. I would cut them out put them in my book. It was like my make-believe family album.
Digest: When were you bitten by the acting bug?
Dove: I did my first play when I was in 3rd grade. I was the American Doll in a school production called The Santa Clause Express. I always loved the idea of performing, but we didn’t have any opportunities so I just watched oodles of television. When I started watching so many soaps I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I remember being very young as mesmerized by Judith Light [ex-Karen, ONE LIFE TO LIVE] crying over Larry finding out she was a hooker and thinking, “Oh, I wanna do that.” Looking back on it, I’m sure I didn’t understand half of what was going really going on, but it seemed so magical!
Digest: How did you make your dreams of acting a reality?
Dove: This was a long journey with pitstops and detours along the way. While I was still in high school, I started writing fan letters to soap stars to get advice on being an actor and Lauren-Marie Taylor [ex-Stacey] from LOVING replied with a handwritten letter actually answering my questions. We were pen pals for years. In 1988, during my senior year of high school, she invited me to come spend a day on the set of LOVING. By this time, I had done some more school plays and even won some acting awards so I felt very encouraged. I then got a small acting scholarship to attend East Texas State University and I thought I was on my way. I didn’t get many acting roles in college, and honestly began to have doubts. When I graduated from college in 1991, the drama teacher job in my old hometown was available and that seemed like the safe choice so I took it. While I was teaching I did some great community theatre, including one of my all-time favorite roles as Carnelle in Beth Henley’s The Miss Firecracker Contest. Teaching lasted three years, then the journey to Hollywood included two divorces, two years in seminary, and 10 plus years in the music biz. The music biz took me to Nashville, which led me to Los Angeles in December 2001. While in Nashville I studied with Alan Dysert [ex-Sean, ALL MY CHILDREN] and rekindled not only my dream of being an actor, I also renewed my daytime soap ambitions. When I first came to Los Angeles, my day job afforded me the opportunity to enroll in many acting classes while auditioning for commercials. It wasn’t until 2006 that auditioned for my first TV show. I didn’t start getting regular TV auditions until 2011.
Digest: What roles did you subsequently book and do you have a favorite role you’ve done besides DAYS?
Dove: After 10 years in Los Angeles, I booked my first job on HAPPY ENDINGS then I had a nice string of bookings on CRIMINAL MINDS, THE OFFICE, and then many other shows over the years. Each booking is like a baby, it’s hard to pick favorites, but playing crazy boy band fan Fran Tabuto on ANGIE TRIBECA was very special, and two episodes of the sitcom LEGIT are also a stand-out. I’m still close friends with Ginger Gonzaga, who I met on Legit. She’s been a huge supporter. Both of those jobs were cast by Emmy-Winning Casting Director Wendy O’Brien, who I always say is the love my casting life. But now Wendy has some competition with DAYS’s casting director, Marnie Saitta.
Digest: You were originally supposed to air in May 2022. What did it mean for you to book the show?
Dove: I was astonished with my DAYS booking. This was my first time to audition for DAYS and it was all the way back in November 2021. I think Marnie is a fantastic casting director and reading for DAYS seemed like a white whale. I had taken several one-day classes with her over the years, including one more than 15 years ago that I can say without a doubt was my worst class performance ever. So getting a chance to read for her on such great role, then to get a call back, and actually book it was pure joy.
Digest: What stands out about filming the first time around?
Dove: The kindness of everyone including the wardrobe, hair, makeup, and stage managers. Marci [Miller, ex-Abigail] and Billy [Flynn, Chad] were genuinely thoughtful. They ran the scene with me several times after rehearsal, before filming.
Digest: How did it even feel to be in Salem at all?
Dove: I was so giddy! I honestly felt like a teen again. It all went so quick and I really wanted to take a photo in the Brady pub but didn’t get to on the first visit. But I definitely took one on this latest visit.
Digest: Who did you work with?
Dove: worked with director Sonia Blangiardo, Billy Flynn, Marci Miller, and the dedicated group of background actors.
Digest: What happened to that episode ultimately?
Dove: The episode aired minus several Chad and Abby scenes including our encounter in the Horton Town Square.
Digest: How did you feel when Ron posted the scenes online?
Dove: When I saw it online, I cried. I remember calling my mom and telling her about it and she was so happy for me. Mom knew it was my childhood dream to be on a soap.
Digest: What did it mean to you?
Dove: Unfortunately, actors have scenes cut all the time and I’ve had several lines cut from air. But this was the first time what I felt was a very strong performance was fully omitted and I was never going to get to see it! I felt like I was the luckiest actor in the world when it showed up on YouTube. Fun fact I only found out about it from Cary Christopher [Thomas]. Cary commented on the IG post of my Day on Days Video Diary “Your scenes are on YouTube 🙂 Marci and Billy are my tv parents!”
Digest: Ron went one step further, however. What did he do?
Dove: Those scenes were posted in May 2022 and in October 2022, Marnie from casting called and she said the head writer had seen my social media posts and he wanted to bring back the character of Connie for an upcoming episode. I immediately appointed myself the head of the Ron Carlivati Fan Club.
Digest: Tell me about your most recent appearance on the show as Connie. What was it like?
Dove: I got to savor the experience this time. I was more relaxed. Some of the people in the crew remembered me which was very nice. Being in Salem feels like home.
Digest: Who did you work with?
Dove: Noel Maxam was our director and my scenes were with Jessica Serfaty [Jessica], Jasper Newman [Colin], and again those valuable background actors.
Digest: How does it feel to now have DAYS OF OUR LIVES on your resumé?
Dove: Absolutely extraordinary!