Hello people...have you been watching?! I just got finished watching the action sequences with the helicopter, I was really really impressed with what they did. This is the direction that daytime is going in. Audiences (and that includes you and me) are far more sophisticated than the days of old, so you gotta give them what they want. What an honor it was to be asked to be a part of all that.
One of the first things I wanted to do when I got to All My Children was change the carpet in my dressing room. And if you've ever dealt with any type of corporate business, you understand when I say the word, "red tape". If I called a certain extension on a certain day at a certain time, and put in a work order, and had that improved by somebody's higher up, maybe at that point, it would be brought before the board where it would be decided upon at a later date like maybe when my contract is up, LOL. So I sneakingly called Empire Carpet, but it didn't sound like Empire Carpet that everybody else gets on the phone, you know, fancy operators that put you on hold, where you listen to the built in advertisement for themselves, and you press 1 for carpeting, 2 for window treatments, 3 for tile. Instead, I got some guy named Ace, who had a thick Israeli accent, he assured me that this was "the" Empire Carpet that everybody knows and loves on the phone. I made an appointment for them to come to ABC. Two days later, three guys in a beat up white van show up. I tried to explain to security that no, they are not hit men, but rather carpet guys. I got them through security. Ace proceeded to show me the carpet samples. And it seemed more expensive than I remembered Empire Carpet being, but I thought what the hell, you are only Jake Martin once. So I proceeded to pick out a luxurious burgundy carpet for my dressing room. Right at that moment, Debbi Morgan walks up and decides she wants carpet. And since I had the samples, I helped her pick a flavor. So at that moment, Darnell Williams walks up and he wants carpeting. And don't forget I'm trying to play this low key, discrete, under the radar, flying low. Then Jacob Young walks up and he wants carpeting. Rebecca Budig, Bobbie Eakes, Denise Vasi. Beth Ehlers came over to visit at that moment and she wants carpeting too. Now it's like a town meeting. We're picking out tile, colors, berber or not, industrial vs. commercial. When all was said and done, a dozen actors had put in their order. And don't forget, I'm spearheading the organization at this point, I'm the Empire Carpet president, and I'm not only the president, but I'm also a member. All the ladies in hair and makeup, and wardrobe, are gawking. I tell everyone I will handle it from here on out. To handle any further disruption, I put thousands of dollars on my credit card for Ace, who says he will be back two weeks from Thursday. All week long, all the actors have been knocking my door like I'm an Amway distributor. In two weeks.....Ace shows up with a mountain of carpet strapped to the white van, along with the padding, it seemed like enough carpet to cover the upper west side of New York City. At this point, I had a conflict. I needed someone on the inside, and don't forget I'm still the new guy, so this is very tricky business. I bribed one of the teamsters (which NEVER happens, *wink*) that maybe, possibly he might carry a blind eye if he didn't see a certain particular crappy white van back up into the loading docks. There was so much carpet coming into the building at this point that it took both freight elevators (that move entire sets by the way), to make this possible. There were golf carts and fork lifts flying by, cherry pickers (one man crane) flying around, people screaming. And every five minutes they call for a lunch break. I'm talking chaos. So we managed to get the carpet into the elevator. All this time, I'm told I'm supposed to be on the set, acting or something, but instead I found myself in the middle of a covert operation. Just at that moment, I get the word that there are inspectors going through the actors dressing rooms, taking notes on what we need and do not need, six guys with clipboards. Long story short, we got the freight elevators shut, and Ace and team went to work. You've never heard so much banging, scraping, tearing in your life. I was technically done shooting by 11am that morning, but I didn't leave the building until 9 o'clock at night, making sure everybody got the carpet that they ordered. At one point, they had made a mistake with some of the carpeting and brought too much deer hunter green and not enough amber jack, but I knew this would be a big problem, until I ran into Jacob Young. I was like, "Look Jacob, see this beautiful green carpet, you too can have this!" I don't know if Jacob liked it or he was being nice to the new guy, but Jacob Young has gone green!
Now let's get serious for a minute, did you all hear about the goodbye party for Gus and Harley? The response to their departure has been sad, but I'm really looking forward to seeing you there. It has a Greek theme, we have invited all of the Cooper family and of course the Spaulding family. We can break bread, and plates together. You don't know what fun is until you've broken a plate with Justin Deas (Buzz, my ex father in law from GL), and Ron Raines (my Dad from Guiding Light), but they will all be there. It will be our last time together on this planet as Gus and Harley. I hope you can make it. You can find more information and book your reservations on my website at:
Do you remember the last words spoken between us? It went something like this:
"We almost got it right. Let's try it again in another lifetime."
Well maybe now you know what we were talking about. So I really hope you can join us.
Next order of business. The Emmys. You should know that I have been asked to host the Red Carpet for ABC's SoapNet, which I believe airs from 6-8pm EST. This time, I'm not going to let anyone off the hook, and I'm not going to ask a single person who or what they are wearing, because people don't care about that stuff. It's all about people and what is going on in their life. Also, you should know that there will be a special announcement during the Emmys regarding All My Children. Certain NEW characters that may or may not be joining the show, you know what I'm "not" talking about, *wink*. So tune in.
Last but not least, I just got back from the CMA festival in Nashville, which was an amazing experience. There were thousands of faithful watchers, with lots of people telling me how much it affected them when Gus died. It really touched me. On the plane ride home, I thought a lot about how much my life has changed.
Tell a family member that you love them.
From my heart,