David Lago (D. Lago)

David Lago (Nikki Nelson/Wenn.com)

"He kind of marched to the beat of his own drum."

Soaps.com recently had the opportunity to catch up with actor David Lago, to find out what he's been doing since his last stint as Raul Guittierez on "Y&R" in 2009. Keep reading to hear about his latest projects, and what he thinks about the state of the soap industry today.

Soaps.com: After finishing up at "Y&R" the last time, you appeared in Million Dollar Quartet as Elvis, which had a long run in Chicago. Tell us about that…

David: Well, I did a play [Appearances to the Contrary] with some of the people from "The Young and the Restless;" Judith Chapman (Gloria), Christian LeBlanc (Michael), and Emily O’Brien (ex-Jana). After that, Emily called me one day and asked if I knew they were auditioning for the role of Elvis. Elvis has always been one of my favorite guys, so I jumped at the chance and went up to New York to audition. I got the job, which opened up in Chicago about a month later and was there for a year and a half! It was fun, and Chicago’s great. We did 8 shows a week, Wednesday through Sunday. It was based on an actual event that took place in 1956 – these four guys, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins came together by chance at Sun Records – it was just a moment in time that was recorded by Sam Phillips, the producer and owner of Sun Records. It had a lot to do with what was going on in everybody’s life and also what was going on in the world of music at that time.

Soaps.com: You did a pilot with Comedy Central back in the fall. What was that about?

David: When I got back from Chicago, I got new representation and got an audition for a Comedy Central pilot called "Braunger;" it features a comedian called Matt Braunger who’s crazy funny, and his sidekick, Kyle. Anyway, I read the audition, and it sounded a lot like "The Office," which is one of my favorite shows; it had that feel to me. Sure enough, it turned out one of the writers/producer/director of the thing was Brent Forrester, who writes/directs/produces "The Office!" So, that was amazing, to be able to work with him, and Matt, and the whole Comedy Central team. I’ve got my fingers crossed on that – hopefully it’s picked up.

Soaps.com: You’ve done a film recently too, called "Eenie Meenie Miney Moe?"

David: Yeah, I flew out to shoot the movie in Miami, flew back to do the "Braunger" pilot, and then back to Miami. It’s called "Eenie Meenie Miney Moe," an independent film about a couple of street hustlers in Miami. It kind of shows the darker side, the underbelly, of Miami. You’ve got a very different group of people, and everybody’s just trying to come up. My character is the one who’s mostly got his stuff together – he’s trying to make a better life – he’s got a little girl, a fiancée, and a mother; they all live with him. He’s got two jobs and is trying to do what he can, and is trying to get out but gets pulled back in. It’s definitely a drama, with an underground feel to it.

Soaps.com: What other projects do you have in the works?

David: Well, me and my friend, Andrew Garcia, not the Andy Garcia [laughs], but my version, we’ve been making music for the last couple of years, and have been in a couple of bands together, and it always ends up just being me and him. So, I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do with this, but we have all these songs that we love to perform – it’s a matter of it being our passion – and we’re starting to record them and put them down. At the end of this month, I’ll be on ActorsE Online, performing two original songs. It’s going to be fun.

Soaps.com: Would you be open to returning to "Y&R" if they asked?

David: I’d be willing to come back, sure, if it was the right timing and everything lined up. Absolutely.

Soaps.com: Raul is a fan favorite. What did you like about the character?

David: I liked that he was a noble guy; he was a strong, noble guy. I wished he was a little more of a bad boy at times, but I did like that he was loyal and stood by his morals no matter what was going on – he kind of marched to the beat of his own drum.

Soaps.com: Would you ever do another soap?

David: Sure. Again, if it was the right time, and the role was right – if I loved the role and storyline – absolutely. I wouldn’t say no to that as a possibility; I think soaps are great, though they’re kind of dying out.

Soaps.com: What is your opinion on the soap cancellations and changing climate in Daytime TV? Did it take you by surprise?

David: I didn’t see it coming until just a few years back. I thought that the reality TV shows that were coming were something that would be an addition to everything we had, I didn’t realize it was going to be a slow takeover. From a business standpoint, if I was just looking at it in terms of dollar signs, then it makes sense – soap operas cost more than they make compared to reality shows, which cost a lot less to produce. I wish that there was a happy medium; there are so many soap fans that have been loyal for thirty years or longer, it kind of sucks to take that away from them...and it’s going to kill the actors.

Soaps.com: From your experience with "Y&R" do you see it as being able to survive?

David: Well, it’s been number one forever, but it’s hard to say. The ones that were taken off the air, I didn’t think would be taken off the air. I don’t know that anything is sacred or that anybody’s safe. I hope that it stays on – I’ve got a lot of good friends on there and it’s a great show.

Soaps.com: How can your fans interact with you online?

David: I’m on Facebook and Twitter, and if you go to DavidLago.com, there’s a contact page there, and you can write to me. I do my very, very best to respond to everybody, not necessarily right away, but I do my best. I do read them all and send back the love vibe. [laughs]

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- Candace Young