Even before Donny Boaz joined Y&R as Chance, his mother was a big fan. She has a different perspective on the show now that her son is part of it. “My mom already watched Y&R and now she loves talking about the characters with me,” the actor explains. “Since I’ve been on, she calls the actors by their real names now. Before it was, ‘What is Phyllis up to today?’ and now it’s, ‘How is Michelle [Stafford, Phyllis]?’ She’s thrilled that Michelle and I have become close friends.” Boaz called on his new pal when he needed to do something extra-special for his mom. “Her birthday was in May and my sister, who’s been in the Navy for 19 years, and I are very competitive,” he chuckles. “She had an admiral call my mom to wish her happy birthday, which really made her day. When I heard that, I knew I somehow had to one up an admiral and I finally decided, ‘I’m calling Michelle Stafford!’ So I did call Michelle and asked, ‘Will you tell my mom happy birthday?’ And boy, did she follow through. Michelle sang happy birthday to my mom and they talked for, like, 10 minutes. I was so grateful for that because I think that trumped the admiral.”
B&B’s Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) bursts with pride when it comes to talking about the work his TV daughter, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) has done with her current pain pill addiction storyline. “You must print this,” he exclaims. “We become actors to tell stories and yes, of course, money is an issue but like in professional sports, you’ll see that great players will play for sh---y teams if the money is great. But, you’ll also see great players playing for great teams for less money because they know they can win. Not that acting is about winning, but acting, in a way, is about knowing that you did something; that you made some- body feel something. And, you feel good about that. To watch Jacqui go through what she went through, she had so many notes and we got to stand there and just get lost in her performance.... We don’t get that enough times. She’s got my vote [for a future Emmy]. She had everyone else’s vote on the floor and in the booth that day, so congratulations!”
Australian-born Isabel Durant has gone the extra mile to cover her accent to play DAYS’s Claire. “I have been working on my accent from when I first thought that I wanted to at some stage move to America,” she explains. “I was working on a show back in Australia and my reps over here were like, ‘You want to make yourself as employable as possible, so you need to have a really strong American accent.’ And so I had a wonderful accent coach for many years over in Australia, which was, of course, very, very helpful. I worked on a TV show that was shot in Australia but it was an NBC show called CAMP. We had an incredible voice coach there on that show, which really laid down some firm foundations for me in terms of accent work.” Now that she has a steady gig in Salem, “I have a vocal warm-up that I do and an accent warm-up that I do each morning, which really helps you feel secure with your accent so that you can just play in the scene and not be worried about getting your mouth around the words in the right way,” she reports.
Mark Lawson (Dustin, GH) is grateful for the mentorship he received from the actors he worked with as ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Brody. “I was lucky,” he says. “I mean, I worked with everybody! When they made Brody a cop, I started working with [Michael] Easton [ex-John; Finn, GH] and Bob Woods [ex-Bo], and through that storyline I got to work a lot with Brian Kerwin [ex-Charlie], too. Those three guys were guys that I really watched and really admired and looked up to. Bob had that sort of generational, John Wayne feel to him. Michael has that more modern kind of film noir, educated writer’s mind. And then Kerwin, he’s just an actor you’ve seen in a million things and you just don’t realize how effortless that guy makes it look, and he’s just gracious as hell. [The late] Roscoe Born [ex-Mitch] is another one who I really learned a lot from. There was a day in the storyline where we had to go rescue Jessica; I was doing my thing [to prepare before the scene], I was getting all amped up, and he was like, ‘One day, you’re gonna learn how to relax into this and just let that come in the moment.’ And that really, really stuck with me. He was great.”