Catching Up With ... Michael Dietz

In between creating board games and producing shows, Michael Dietz (ex-Joe, PC; ex-Mark, B&B; ex-Alan-Michael, GL) made a brief, yet memorable, appearance on PASSIONS as Esme’s role-playing-sex-toy-turned-corpse, Jake.
Dietz gives Digest the rundown on his busy life outside of daytime TV. Digest: So, you’re more into producing these days than acting, aren’t you?
Michael Dietz: Soaps are the only thing theatrically I’ll do if something comes up, but I don’t actively pursue acting anymore as far as going on auditions. I’ve been producing for the last year and a half or two years. My partner, Richard [Friedman], and I formed a company, Lucky Butterfly Productions. We have a Web site, www.luckybutterflyproductions.com. We sold a scripted show to NBC last year. It never made it to pilot, but we got the script order and did the script and we were both going to executive produce it. Jeff Goldblum was loosely attached to it. Then we sold a reality show to Court TV, another one to Bravo, just finished a demo for our latest one and are working on another one. That’s really my focus.

Digest: It’s ironic that an actor would develop reality shows, which are decreasing the amount of jobs for actors.
Dietz: I figured if you can’t beat them, join them. As as actor, you have someone else’s hand as a [puppeteer] telling you what to say and where to walk, but as the producer, you’re the hand and the one creating it. That’s where my passion lies, developing it and being the one with the ideas and concepts and then going out and selling it. I love the rush of pitching and putting stuff together and packaging it. We just spent a month and a half on this last project, shooting it, editing it and putting it together. It’s definitely what I enjoy the most.

Digest: Rumor has it you’re also in the game-making business.
Dietz: I invented a board game that came out across the country about a year-to-year-and-a-half ago. It’s called Bubble Brain. A friend of mine and I invented it, came up with the concept and then sold it to Patch Products, which is a big game company. It’s done well for the first year it’s been out. It won eight awards, which is more than any other board game for the company. It won Family Fun magazine’s Toy of the Year [for 2006] and seven other awards, which is phenomenal. It’s a really fun game. We actually just sold our second one to another company a few weeks ago, so we’ll have two board games out.

Digest: Creating board games is a random side project for an actor.
Dietz: Totally! I never, in a million years, thought I’d be inventing a board game. It’s crazy.

Digest: How do you play Bubble Brain?
Dietz: There are 300 random pictures with bubbles by their mouths. You pass the card around and everybody fills in something funny for what the person is saying or thinking, then everyone has to guess who wrote which comment. Some of the comments that people come up with are hysterical. It has a life of its own, depending on who you play with. If the adults have a couple of beers, then it gets a little raunchy.

Digest: What is the second game?
Dietz: The second one is called Say So and it’s more of a card game. For example, you draw a card and it would say, “This item would most likely be found in Donald Trump’s safety-deposit box.” Everyone has to look through their cards and lay one down. The judge has to pick which one they think is the best to fit the story. Say So will hopefully be out by the end of the year.

Digest: Who do you keep in touch with from PORT CHARLES?
Dietz: Jay Pickett [David, GH; ex-Frank, PC] and Kin [Shriner, Scott GH/PC et al] and Jay were just over at my house recently. Jay, I see all the time. He’s my daughter’s godfather. Sarah Aldrich [ex-Courtney], I stay in touch with. Julie Pinson [Billie, DAYS; ex-Eve, PC], I see every now and then. I ran into everybody awhile back; Kin, Jon Lindstrom [ex-Kevin, PC], Billy Warlock [ex-Ben, Y&R; ex-Frankie, DAYS; ex-AJ, GH] and Julie, all of us went out.

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