Soap Opera Digest: How did you go from studying opera to majoring in theater?
John Driscoll: Originally, I was going to go to college for sports. I was looking at a lot of Division II, a couple of Division I [schools] for lacrosse. I was going to do that, but I thought, “There is more longevity in the arts. What if I get to college and don’t like the coach?” So, I hung up my jersey and I went in for opera. I auditioned with — I still remember — a couple of pieces from Phantom of the Opera. I was so young then and I didn’t know what I was getting into. I think I cracked on one of the songs a little bit, but I walked out with a big smile on my face. I was like, “Thank God, that’s over with.” They actually accepted me right there on the spot. I was very happy, at first, but then there were a couple of setbacks. You have to know piano and [music] theory, which I didn’t at the time. So, I started to do communications and I liked it. I went for theater, and a minor in communications.
Digest: Is being on GL what you expect it to be?
Driscoll: Honestly, I didn’t know what I was getting into. It’s a lot of work. I heard it was a lot of work. I heard all the people saying, “On soaps, they have the cue cards on the walls in case you forget your lines, so that’s why it never looks like the actors are looking directly at each other because they are looking over the shoulder to see what their next line is.” Yeah, they don’t have cue cards. So I had no idea how it really is.Digest: I know you’ve liked working with the vets. How was it working with Grant [Aleksander, ex-Phillip] before he left?
Driscoll: I got to work with Grant just a little bit. He has such intensity when he works. Even when he had to work with extras or day players or whatnot, he treated everyone the same way. He would rehearse it and rehearse it and rehearse it just to make sure everyone was on the same page, no matter how big the scene was. I wish I had the chance to work with him more. I got him a card and said that I hoped I could be half the actor he is. He has so many fans; people ask about him on a daily basis. He gave me his number and said if I had any questions at all, give him a call. So I gave him a call and wished him and his family a Happy New Year’s.
Digest: How was it growing up as a military brat?
Driscoll: It was very regimented. Saturday morning, “Stars and Stripes” were playing at 8. In our basement, my dad put up a pull-up bar to get us to work out and exercise at a young age. He’d be like, “I’ll give you 100 dollars in your bank account if you can do more pull-ups than I can.” One time, he did 18 and I did 19; I must have been like 10. He would start working out at like 6:30 in the morning, and since the bar was below my bed, every time he pulled up, I could hear the floor boards squeaking. I couldn’t get back to sleep. It was the most annoying thing ever. It wasn’t bad, but there was no sleeping in. On Saturdays, everyone chipped in and cleaned the house. It was a very militaristic life growing up, which has still stuck with me. I love for things to be in a neat, tidy order, which is kind of frustrating because some of my roommates are not like that. I’m trying to calm down about that. I still have my tendencies: Get up, make the bed, make sure the room is nice. You never know when you are having guests over.
Digest: Did you move a lot when you were growing up?
Driscoll: I didn’t. My brother and sister did. They lived in four different places, including Brazil. Basically, when I was born my dad,who was at the Pentagon, retired.
Digest: What was your relationship like with your siblings?
Driscoll: I was an annoying little kid, I’ll admit it. They were so much older than I was. I was the little brother who is not very cool. The only time my brother would have me around was if my family was there or if there was a girl he was trying to impress. “Look at my little brother, he’s so cute.” All the other times he would say, “Don’t hang out with us. Go home.”