January as Noelle (ABC)

Ever since One Life to Live newcomer Noelle stormed onto the screen as the pie-baking waitress from the Bonjour Café in November 2007 fans quickly fell in love with not only the storyline but with the character as well! However, after Viki Davidson (Erika Slezak) returned to Llanview fans were devastated and begged for the show to bring Noelle, and her feisty boss Moe, back to the canvas.

Well, fans, not only are Noelle and Moe making a comeback to the show in May, I was able to catch up with Noelle’s portrayer, January LaVoy, to chat about her soap opera experience, her career and I even managed to get a few fan questions answered for you!

Amy: We can’t tell you how happy we are to hear Noelle and Moe will be returning to the show in May! Although you were on contract, did you expect this to happen, or were you worried the character would be left in Paris, Texas for good?

January: “It’s funny, in my whole career I’ve never been under contract for as long as I’ve been with One Life to Live. With the Writer’s Strike, I was grateful to still be with the show but knew no one had any control. I just had my fingers crossed and here I am!”

Amy: Can you tell us a little about how you learned the southern accent you used for the part and if it was difficult to do so or do script details like that come easy to you from past acting experiences?

January: “I have to admit… I love doing accents. I had a wonderful teacher who taught us how to use accents as a whole – teaching us a process in order to learn them. Once you have that process down, you can learn any manner of speaking – at any time. I’ve done a lot of accents, but this was the first time I’ve had to do a southern accent.”

Amy: We got a real kick out of your pie contest storyline – and the scene with the pie fight! Was it hard not to laugh during those scenes?

January: “It was one of the most fun days of my life – career or otherwise. It was harder for the crew not to laugh. For Noelle, I had an easier time because the event surrounding the storyline was so important for Noelle. Every time a pie was thrown in someone’s face, the crew would go to a ‘cut’ to make sure everyone was okay – for safety reasons. I could hear the crew, and everyone, let out a big sigh when I got the pie in my face. As soon as they ‘cut’, everyone burst into laughter. I remember when I got the script, I was laughing. They gave us a wonderful script!”

Amy: Care to share any episode bloopers involving Viki (Erika Slezak), Gigi (Farah Fath) and Moe (John Rue) at the Bonjour Café?

January: “We had such a great time, everyone was so relaxed. I can’t seem to remember any bloopers. I remember Erika Slezak (Viki) saying the story was one of her all-time favorites. It was kind of like this magical place, everything went smoothly. The pie fight was done in one take because no one would have been there to clean it up after any more!”

Amy: You’ve been in a lot of on-stage productions… How is daytime different, other than being on stage in front of a live audience?

January: “The pressure of the two is really different. With plays the pressure of having a live audience is like… once you’ve started you have to keep going. In daytime if something gets messed up, they can always do another take. In soap operas, we take a whole hour episode and film it in a day – unlike in primetime where we have a whole week.”

Amy: Which do you prefer?

January: “I grew up in theater… I love theater. In all honesty that’s my first love. But I would live at the One Life to Live studio if they let me!” January laughed. “With OLTL, it was like a big family from day one. I do think the tone is set by Erika Slezak (Viki). She’s the most generous and kind actress and human being. The OLTL studio has an added aspect for the fans… They can stand outside our studio – there’s an access there.”

Amy: Would you return to daytime television again in the future?

January: “Absolutely!”

Amy: Do you have any new projects in the works? Care to give us a sneak peek?

January: “I haven’t had time to work on any theater since coming to One Life to Live. But I have worked on the new Revlon campaign featuring Halle Berry – That’s my voice you hear. I’ve done many voiceovers. So the next time you see that commercial, if you listen carefully, you may hear a touch of Noelle there – but there’s no Texas accent!”

Amy: Although we know you can’t divulge any specific storyline details, is there anything you can give us a peek into – regarding Noelle and Moe’s return?

January: “I can tell you that Moe and Noelle will not be the only favorite who you will see returning… There’s a lot to look forward to. It’ll be someone very unexpected who you’ll see with Noelle and Moe!”