Updated on December 1
My conversation with Megan was so informational that even after Part I and Part II of this interview for Soaps.com, I had some material left to share on our sister site, Soap Opera Fan Blog. Check it out here!
(As reported on November 25)
As promised, I have plenty more to share with you from my first (of many, I hope!) conversation with lovely Megan Ward. Last week I posted Part I, in which Megan shared insights into her oh-so conflicted character, Kate Howard. Today, I'd like to give you a peek into some parts of Megan's life that haven't played out on the sets of Port Charles.
At the beginning of our conversation, Megan joked about what a year she's had since joining the cast of General Hospital over a year and a half ago. She said that the best advice her mother ever gave her was to 'just breathe' and boy has she had a lot of practice doing that this year.
Soap work has been wonderful for the actress because the genre of daytime makes everything 'regular'. Megan explained that actors and boom operators all work on a level playing field and that's 'quite nice'. She went on to say that going to work every day for the last year and a half has been comforting because as an actor a person is generally unemployed and spends most of the time looking for work. The contractual role can be unsettling, too, she added, because soap actors are handed their job for the day and that's what they are called upon to do. She was quick to point out the flip side and noted that she makes a personal investment in the material. In other words, how it comes out of her is all up to her. She has come to enjoy working with no safety net.
Soaps.com: Can you give an example?
Megan: When I guest starred on "West Wing" it would take eight hours to complete an eight-minute scene because we played with camera angles and things. On GH, you get eight minutes to shoot the scene! That was a huge adjustment. On my first day, I had to speak French! It's just so fast. Your tools as an actor get so sharp. Don't get me wrong, they do start again if you mess up a line or if the camera moves too fast.
Soaps.com: Is it harder to navigate around in your personal life now that you have such a big following?
Megan: After working consistently in this business for twenty years, I was never recognized prior to this. It all changed the minute my first episode aired. I was in the nail salon looking like crap and this older woman stared at me and said, "Are your Kate Howard?" I'm so different from Kate, she's so presentational. I can be a very stylish girl, too, but I'm much more practical. I drive carpools and go to grocery stores!
Soaps.com: You can fit all that in with your schedule?
Megan: It's a gift to be an employed actor in a regular workplace and go to the same place every day. I work three to six hours a day, one to four days a week. I'm always home for breakfast or dinner, or I pick my kids up after school. My husband is a complete corporate guy, so I actually have more time with the kids than he does. I get to do my work, come home and make dinner. It's been profound for me.
Soaps.com: Did you ever watch GH before working on it?
Megan: No! I certainly had no idea what kind of nut I had to crack. What I loved about Kate at first was that she was so extreme it was funny.