Thursday, May 11, 2006

WE'RE IN THE EMMYS!

I’m back from L.A., and oh what a weekend it was!! I flew to Los Angeles on Thursday morning, eager to cheer on all the Guiding Light nominees at Friday’s Daytime Emmy Awards. My brother, Andrew, met me at the airport in L.A. He’d flown in from Hawaii to spend the weekend with me. I was so happy to see him. Now that he’s in the Army, and living far away from home, I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like to. We settled into our hotel room at the Renaissance, which is located right across the street from the Kodak Theatre, where the Emmy’s would take place.

On Thursday night, there were a few parties to go to. They were a great way to kick off the weekend of celebration. SoapNet held a party at the Roosevelt Hotel. Andrew and I dressed up a little bit and went to the party to mingle and enjoy really yummy hors d’eouvres. I got to see lots of my friends, including Laura Wright (ex-Cassie, GL), who I miss terribly. When we first arrived at the party, I pulled Andrew onto the red carpet with me, which scared him silly, but I thought he should experience what it’s like to walk along a red carpet and have lots of pictures taken. He really was a little freaked out by all the camera flashes, and the surreal feeling of it all, but it was cool to have my brother next to me that night.

Friday was the big day. Emmy day. I started getting ready around eleven o’ clock in the morning. I got my hair and make-up done, along with my co-stars, in a hotel conference room that had been converted into one big dressing room. There was so much excitement in the air that day. Guiding Light had fourteen nominations, and a lot to cheer for at the show. I love getting all dressed up, and seeing everyone else in beautiful suits and gowns. Andrew wore a really nice pin-striped suit, with a teal shirt to match my dress.

At three o’ clock, Andrew and I hit the big red carpet, along with everyone else. The red carpet was extremely crowded, but it was exciting nonetheless. We got into the Kodak Theatre just in time for the show to start. The theatre was big and beautiful. I introduced myself to the guys sitting to the right of me, one of whom turned out to be the man who does the voice of Elmo on Sesame Street. He soon pulled Elmo out of a black bag, and started talking to me with the famous Elmo voice. It was so cool.

I went to this year’s Emmy’s with very low expectations. Guiding Light always seems to be the underdog, and we rarely win awards at this thing. So I was just expecting to be happy about the fact that we had so many nominees. Little did I know that we’d walk away with the first three awards in a row, and four out of six total!!! What a night! Every time a Guiding Light actor or actress won, our whole group jumped up and down and screamed, and I shed tears for every win we had. I was overjoyed, not only for the winners, but for the attention Guiding Light was finally getting. Every win was so well deserved.

Needless to say, the wins gave us good cause to party hard at the CBS afterparty. My brother says it was the best party he’s ever been to. There was dancing, and free drinks all night. We’d all been well fed at the sit-down dinner that immediately followed the Emmy broadcast. The dinner was delicious, and there were Emmys sitting on all of our tables, so we were thrilled.I enjoyed the rest of the weekend, too, with a few more parties, and good quality time with Andrew. I flew home Sunday night, and had Monday to recover before going back to work on Tuesday. Initially, I wasn’t sure how I felt about having to go to L.A. for the Emmy’s, but after a perfect weekend, I decided that it was a great idea. I hope I get to do it again next year!

Monday, April 10, 2006

APRIL BLOGGING BRINGS...

It’s been quite a while since I last sat down to write a blog entry. I guess you could say I’ve barely had time to breathe lately. Until now. Now springtime is upon us, and my life is calming down somewhat. I’ve just moved into a new apartment. I spent these last few weeks packing and moving, which, as anyone who’s ever moved knows, is a complete nightmare. It just takes a lot of time and effort to pack up everything you own, and then to organize it all in a new place.

By now I’ve unpacked and really started settling in to my new apartment, which I love. I’m a total homebody, so it’s important to me to have a place that I love coming home to.

Other major events of the last two months include my twenty-third birthday (thanks to everyone who sent sweet birthday wishes), the development of my American Idol addiction (go Taylor Hicks!!!), and my successful creation of a delicious chicken cacciatore, which is a big deal for me, a real amateur cook.

The Daytime Emmy’s are drawing nearer, and my excitement is growing. I just have a feeling that Guiding Light is in for a good year. Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, February 13, 2006

LET IT SNOW!

It’s Sunday night, and New York has just experienced its biggest snowstorm in history. Last night it was snowing lightly, but nothing was sticking to the ground, so I figured the storm wouldn’t really be that bad. However, when I woke up this morning and looked out the window, everything was white. And the snow was coming down hard. I looked at ChiChi, my dog, and said excitedly, “It’s a snow day!” Then I went back to sleep.

I was basically stuck inside all day, except for my two quick trips to the deli around the corner. It was a great day to get some cleaning done and to do laundry and all of that exciting stuff. I was happy to relax this weekend, after a full and busy week at work. Friday was Scott Bailey’s (Sandy’s) last day working with us at Guiding Light. I’ve become good friends with Scott, and losing him is really hard. Of course, I’m not losing him as a friend, merely as a co-worker. But I cried when our producer brought out a “Good Luck Scott” cake and gave a little speech about what a sincerely good person Scott is. But you better believe I ate a big ol’ piece of cake! Lol. After a long and difficult day at work, everyone went out to celebrate Scott at a bar near the studio. He was leaving early the next morning to head out to L.A.

I have an incredibly stressful week ahead of me. Tomorrow I’ll be shooting one of those “Inside the Light” episodes. (For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, Guiding Light’s been airing special episodes every Wednesday that follow one character or pair of characters through a day. Rather than using the typical soap format, which includes several storylines in each episode, the “Inside the Light” episodes focus on one specific storyline, so that viewers get an inside look at a particular character or couple.)

So anyway, tomorrow I’m shooting most of the scenes from the Tammy/Jonathan “Inside the Light” episode, in addition to scenes from other episodes, as well. Tomorrow alone, I will be shooting nineteen scenes. Yes, nineteen. They’re not easy ones, either. I don’t want to give away any of the storyline, but let me just say that I’ll have to scream and cry and limp, and Tammy will be feeling shock, guilt, hurt, nostalgia, anger, and all sorts of other emotions. Thinking about my workload for tomorrow stresses me out, but at the same time I’m so grateful to have such an interesting, complicated storyline to deal with. It might be hard work, but it’s going to be a fun adventure.

Well, I think it’s time to start memorizing my lines now. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Have a great week!

Monday, January 09, 2006

PARTY LIKE ITS 2006!

Aloha! I’m wishing that I were still in Hawaii, where I just spent a week-long vacation visiting my brother, Andrew. The trip was great. I flew to Honolulu the day after Christmas. I had spent the holiday at home in Philadelphia. Went to church on Christmas Eve, and spent Christmas day with my whole family. I had been so busy throughout the month of December, I was really ready to get away for a little break.

It’s a long trip to Hawaii, especially when you’re stuck in the middle seat on the plane. But it’s well worth it, because Hawaii is absolutely beautiful. And having the opportunity to hang out with my older brother for a whole week was a priceless gift. Andrew was recently promoted to Sergeant in the Army. I’m so proud of him. He’s stationed in Hawaii, and works on Hickham Air Force Base. I stayed with Andrew for the week. He’s got a great apartment that overlooks Pearl Harbor.

Waikiki is so cool. I fell in love with it. The beach, like all the others on the island, is gorgeous. The famous “strip” is lined with really great shopping and restaurants. A lot of the nightlife exists there, too. One night, Andrew and I ate a fancy dinner at one of the Sheraton Hotels in Waikiki. It was so nice. We ate outside, overlooking the ocean as the sun was going down. There were hula dancers and guys singing and playing ukuleles in front of our table. And the food was really good!

Luckily, Andrew had most of last week off from work. He did, however, have to jump out of a Black Hawk on Wednesday morning. I rode out to the “drop zone” with him and some of his Army buddies so I could watch them jump. The helicopter took them fifteen hundred feet up, and they jumped using parachutes that were packed by my brother’s unit. It was a cool new experience for me.

After the successful jump, my brother and I drove up to the North Shore, where the waves are really big this time of year. We drove halfway around the island, along a scenic road that took us past coastline and mountains and Dole pineapple plantations. We stopped to get really yummy shrimp from a truck on the side of the road. (There are shrimp farms all over up there.)

Other great experiences we had during my trip included snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, seeing fish and sea turtles through the porthole in a submarine 120 feet below the surface of the ocean, and visiting the Punchbowl cemetery, where our grandfather (a pilot, killed in WWII) is buried. Also loved the beach at Makapu’u The best part of the trip, though, was just getting to hang out with my brother, who I don’t get to see much of now that he’s traveling all over with the Army. We did a lot of swimming, watched funny movies, and played board games. Good brother-sister bonding stuff. It was great.

On New Year’s Eve, we decided to chill out at Andrew’s apartment. We were able to see tons of fireworks from his balcony, which made an already beautiful view even more spectacular.

Speaking of which, Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to 2006!

Friday, December 23, 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Happy holidays everyone! It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is only a few days away. I’m in Philadelphia now, where I’ll be with my family for Christmas. The day after Christmas I’ll be flying to Hawaii to visit my brother. He’s stationed there with the Army, and I’m going to spend a week with him; I’m soooo excited!

I’ve had a lot going on lately between work and preparing for the holidays and whatnot. Last night was the "Guiding Light" holiday party. I had such a good time. The party was at a bar called “Jake’s”. There was a lot of dancing going on (Frank Dicopolous (Frank) was the best, dancing like he was having the time of his life!) Getting to the party took a while though, because there’s been a transit strike in New York City for the past few days, which means there’s no public transportation available. I shared a cab with three strangers to get most of the way there (VERY slowly, as there was gridlock throughout the city), and then I walked the rest of the way.

My days at "Guiding Light" continue to be fun. Sometimes I have to take a step back from it all and really giggle. I mean, sometimes I think about the fact that I’m now part of a huge storyline that, at the core of it, involves cousins that are in love. I personally really enjoy the story. I think it’s complex and interesting. I have to admit, though, it can be strange to think about things like all the debates that the storyline has sparked. And last week, my giggling actually erupted during the taping of a scene! We were shooting scenes in a courtroom. Jonathan and Tammy are in a bit of trouble for the fire that they started, yadda yadda yadda…. anyway, in the middle of one scene, Mel (Yvonna Wright) says to us, “Look, you’re not on trial for loving your cousin….”, and I just about died. She said it so seriously. But for some reason, at that moment, the words, “In love with your cousin” sounded so silly to me that I actually started laughing hysterically in the middle of the scene. The director called cut, and we had to do the scene again (I was so embarrassed.) But it was truly funny.

I’ve been missing Laura Wright (ex-Cassie) lately. She just sent me a text message a few minutes ago, and we texted back and forth for a little bit. She said she’s back on the east coast for the holidays, and that she misses us all like crazy. I told her I miss her, too, but that I hear she’s doing great work as Carly on GH.

I’ve really been getting into the holiday spirit lately, as I do every year. I love Christmas! I decorated my little silver tinsel tree and put it in my dressing room. I spend more time there than I do at home, so it needed to have that Christmas-y feel. I also discovered the world’s most amazing cup of hot chocolate at City Bakery, near Union Square. It’s warm and thick with a homemade marshmallow on top.

I wish everyone a very merry Christmas (or Hanukah or Kwanza or whatever you might celebrate) and a safe and happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I’m minutes away from heading off to catch a bus; I’m going home to Philly for Thanksgiving weekend. I’m so excited. Before I leave, I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. I had a little preview of the holiday meal last Sunday night, when I was invited to a Thanksgiving potluck with friends in the East Village. I made a delicious brandied orange-cranberry sauce to contribute to the dinner. Mmmm….

Guiding Light has continued to keep me very busy. I’ll need this weekend to do some catching up on homework. Then it’ll be back to work on Monday morning.

Wish I could write more, but I’ve got to try and beat the major traffic. Have a very safe and happy holiday. God bless.

Monday, November 07, 2005

OUTAND ABOUT!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write a new blog. Sorry! Honestly, I’ve barely had time to come up for air over the last few weeks. I’ve been fortunate enough to have work on “Guiding Light” every day for a month straight. The Tammy/Jonathan/Sandy storyline has been pretty much front and center, so we’ve had a lot on our plates for a while. We’ve also had longer-than-normal work days, usually starting at 7am, and finishing many nights past 7, 8, or even 9PM. But I’ve been loving my job; it’s been really exciting lately.

A couple weeks ago we shot a wedding. My character’s wedding. It was a big deal for me, and it was really fun. A dress was designed and made for the wedding. It was absolutely gorgeous. The preparation for my TV wedding felt somewhat like preparing for a real-life wedding. There was a lot to do between dress fittings, hair styling and make-up decisions, etc. We had long days shooting the wedding episodes. We stayed so late one night that “Guiding Light” ordered pizza for all the actors. And, amazingly, I was able to keep my wedding gown on and eat the pizza without ruining the dress! I was proud of myself for that.

A week after we shot the wedding scenes, we did a “remote”, or a location shoot, to get the exterior shots from the wedding. We went to an old castle (now a luxury hotel) called “Castle on the Hudson” in Tarrytown, in upstate New York. This place was so cool. It was old and beautiful and there were spectacular views of the Hudson River and New York City’s lights in the distance. Five actors and a significant crew left the city in the afternoon, and started shooting scenes following a really yummy dinner. It was so much fun! I just can’t explain how pretty this location was, and being there with my friends, shooting important shots for an important episode, was so cool.

I’ve missed a few classes over the last couple of weeks due to my work schedule. So now, somewhere amidst constant work, I’m trying to catch up on homework, too. That’s ok, though. My professors seem to really be understanding. Today is my first day off from work in a while, but it’s a good thing I’ve got the day to be home, because I’ve got a Charles Dickens novel to read by tomorrow, amongst other things.

I don’t think I’ve written a blog since our Guiding Light fan club weekend. What a great weekend that was! It was filled with one event after another, and each of them was a good time. It all kicked off with St. Jude’s on Friday night. I love that event, because everyone gets dressed up, and I love seeing people sing and dance. I got to meet a lot of really nice people, fans of the show. I saw many of them again the next day on Ricky-Paull’s boat cruise. We had perfect weather that day, and the boat was full of enthusiastic fans dancing, eating, snapping pictures. I loved it.

That afternoon we continued on to the “Bloss Bowling” event. I bowled with an awesome team. I warned them that I was a terrible bowler, but somehow I bowled a strike on my first turn. (Luck!) The great thing about the bowling event is that it’s always nice and laid-back. Everyone just wants to play and hang out and laugh. After bowling, I ran home to get changed and have a bite to eat. Then I headed downtown for Bradley Cole’s concert. Bradley’s music is the best. I sang along to the songs I knew, and enjoyed hearing all the new ones, too. Kim Zimmer, Mandy Bruno, and Ricky-Paull Goldin got up to sing, too, which was a real treat.

Sunday was the annual Fan Club Luncheon. This event really allows us to thank all of the hard-core Guiding Light fans for their support. After introductions and a few speeches, we were able to sit and meet fans individually, and to sign autographs and take pictures. It’s nice to hear fans’ feedback and to remember the faces of the people that are devoted to the show, that sit and watch what we do every day. It was a pleasure to see and chat with them all. (I’ll be doing some special shout-outs in my next blog!)

Now it’s time to stop procrastinating and get some homework done. Have a great week everybody!

P.S. If you haven’t checked out the Guiding Light “podcasts” yet, you really should. It’s such a clever idea, because you can listen to a whole week’s worth of shows in your spare time (walking to work or running errands or whatever.) I just think it’s such a cool idea. So if you find yourself unable to catch up on the show on tape, just download episodes from CBS.com. The podcast is a really innovative new thing, and we’re lucky that this show is the first to offer such a convenience.