A new face is headed to Pine Valley this week but hers is a face that will stay in the background - at least for a little while! Jillian O'Neil will take on the role of the new Chandler Mansion Maid (a job formerly held by fan-favorite Winifred, who is now working for Krystal and Babe). I thought it would be fun to take a look at the soap world through the eyes of someone new.
Kristi: "Tell us a little about your part on the show."
Jillian: "My character is the Chandler Maid. I will be cleaning things up around the mansion."
Kristi: "Does your character have family ties to Pine Valley that you know of?"
Jillian: "Now that would be fun, but there are no
connections that I know of at this time."
Kristi: "This is a small part but the previous maid, Winifred, became integral to the household. Will this part grow to become a larger role?"
Jillian: "That would be a dream come true, but I have been so honored to have been asked to the show. Here's to hoping that the Chandler mansion needs a lot of cleaning!"
Kristi: "Who have you worked with so far and what was that like?"
Jillian: "My scene was with Adam and Hannah (David
Canary & Stacy Haiduk). Walking onto the set and
working with these amazing entertainment veterans was a dream come true. They were both so welcoming. Hearing them rehearse their scenes and executing them so professionally was a big highlight.
Kristi: "We hear that days on the set can be long, especially for characters that are mostly in the background. What do you do to pass the time?"
Jillian: "I am always preparing for the moment that they call you to set. Since this was my first day on the set of All My Children, quite honestly, I was
sitting there with a smile on my face enjoying every minute of it!"
Kristi: "Take us through a typical day on the set."
Jillian: "Everyone has a specific time to be there at the studio for their makeup and wardrobe call. Everyone is always rehearsing their scenes and reading their scripts. The energy you feel in the building is fantastic. The soap schedule is very demanding and fast. The actors are blocking their lines and scenes for the day while rehearsing their upcoming scenes. When you are called to set, you block though the scene. This is where you go through the script and learn where you will be walking and doing your lines. After the blocking, you wait until it is your scene, and then in a matter of moments, you are taping it. It is very much like live theater. When the actors tape their scene it is never broken up like a movie where they can can stop at every line, they run
the entire scene through. Coming from a theater
background, this was great to see.
Kristi: "Tell us a little about you: how did you get involved in acting? What is your history in acting/where could the fans have seen you before?"
Jillian: "I started my career in the business in
musical theater and stage work since I was around 8 years old. I had the amazing opportunity to be a
principal in Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical "Starlight Express" in Germany and USA as well as many stage musicals such as "Grease, Carousel, and Cinderella." My Mom actually signed me up for gymnastics when I was little because I was a daredevil at home jumping off of all kinds of things, and she didn't want me to get
hurt. This year has been a great year for me. I have done commercials, print work, and had a supporting role in an Independent feature."
Kristi: "To all those actors just getting into the business, do you have any advice for them?"
Jillian: "The most positive advice that I can give is when you are called to an audition...they WANT you to be great, they are on your side. They want you to walk through the door and be the one they are looking for. If you can go to auditions with that in your mind instead of doubt and fear, you are way ahead of the game! Best of luck in your amazing journey."
My thanks to Jillian for taking a little time out of her day to chat with us. It is so great to find out what days on the set are really like! Good luck with your new role and we look forward to seeing much more of you in Pine Valley!