Jacob Aaron Gaines On Joining Y&R

Although Jacob Aaron Gaines was unfamiliar with the soap opera genre, the young actor was wise enough to follow the advice of his management team when it came to trying out for the role of the late Neil’s son, Moses. “They said, ‘It’s a really great part, you should submit for it,’ ” he recalls. “I actually waited a couple of days before I did anything about it because I had other school stuff coming up. When I did read about Moses, I actually saw me because he seemed to be a nice and humble kid, really driven and motivated.”

Gaines then created a self-tape to send along to the soap. “I did it with the help of my mom, which is always a struggle,” Gaines chuckles. “I mean, I love my mom but her acting skills could use some work. I was only sent two pages of sides, so we went into the garage and the whole taping went quick and easy. We used my phone and that was a breeze. My family has been really strict with the Covid restrictions, so it was a blessing to have that technology to pull off such a job.”

The scene Gaines read for involved Faith. “I was told that Moses wants to be a doctor, so he’s trying to charm Faith at the coffeehouse and make sure she’s okay,” he explains. “He has a soft spot for her and won’t let anyone push her around.” The actor learned quickly that he was hired. “I heard back from them three days later that I got it, which was the fastest I ever booked something,” he marvels. “It was just one and done, so I guess it was meant to be. I must’ve blown them away [laughs].”

On his first day, he admits, “I was a little nervous and a little shy but everyone was so welcoming. It really does feel like a family. Everyone was kind enough to show me the ropes and be helpful. They showed me where all the break places are, where to eat and where to play basketball.”

Not surprisingly, Bryton James (Devon) took his on-screen brother under his wing. “He’s been really great,” Gaines enthuses. “He said I remind him of when he was my age, so he’s already telling me to have protein shakes in the morning and showing me workout routines. I’m following those guidelines so I can get where he’s at.”

Gaines is also impressed with the rest of his TV family. “I met Christel [Khalil, Lily] briefly in the hall and she gave me her number, so hopefully we’ll have a Winters family gathering very soon,” he reports. “And I love Sean [Dominic, Nate]. He’s probably the funniest guy I’ve ever met. Every time I see him, he doesn’t even need to say anything and I crack a smile from ear to ear.”

Most important, Gaines is moved by everything he’s learned about the late Kristoff St. John, who played Moses’s father, Neil. “Bryton sat me down and talked to me about Kristoff,” he shares. “It’s a very sad story but I’m honored to be playing Neil’s son and to show Y&R fans a little piece of him. I’m thrilled to be able to do that. Kristoff’s story hit me pretty hard and I’m sure I won’t understand the true gravity of it until I’m further into playing Moses. For now, it’s a huge privilege for me.”