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Credit: Image: Michael Mattes/Shutterstock, J Graylock, Jill Johnson/JPI

Picnics, pets, jump rope challenge, and lots of TV…

In the midst of our “new normal” – life under extended quarantine – it’s pretty much impossible to live totally unstructured for weeks on end. But everyone who has to shelter in place does it differently, and that includes some of our favorite soap opera stars from All My Children, Bold and the Beautiful, Days of our Lives, General Hospital and Guiding Light. asked a handful of actors just what their daily routines are looking like these days, and you might be surprised at how much it mirrors your own…

1. Alicia Minshew (All My Children, Kendall Hart)

“We pop up, do breakfast and get [daughter Willow] started with school. As I’m eating breakfast, she’s doing schoolwork; then she takes a break and we do exercise time. We don’t have a backyard, so I dance like a crazy person and do Pilates, while my husband [Richie] does sit-ups and pushups. Willow does her physical education with me. Cooking has become a thing, and I have a few random auditions where I go into the other room and self-tape myself. Once [Willow] is done we have family time and watch a show, or play a game or cook together. But she also has dance lessons, piano lessons on Zoom – she’s still doing her activities, which is great when you have a 10-year-old stuck in a New York City apartment without an outlet. Before dinner we try to go for a short walk, which still brings me great anxiety. I’ve been shooting [web series Quarantine] in the evening, so I banish Willow and Richie to the bedroom while I shoot from the living room. After dinner Willow may read or practice the piano – I love putting her in front of a book – and we do our things. I’m into meditation and quiet time. Then we watch a show before bedtime.” Read’s interview with Alicia Minshew about returning to soaps.

2. Bradley Whitford (All My Children, Guiding Light alum)

“The first week or two there was a Lord of the Flies sleep as long as you want, grab the food moment. I have a daughter in high school, so her online stuff creates a sort of rhythm in the house. I think the malaise of the first couple of weeks has passed. We’re used to the shock of this and are finding ways to be a little more productive. It’s a good time to be a writer.” Read our interview with Bradley Whitford reflecting on a new actor’s snobbery for soaps.

3. Courtney Hope (Bold and the Beautiful, Sally Spectra)

“Chad [Duell, General Hospital, Michael) and I are doing a jump rope challenge, so we wake up and do ten minutes of jump rope every day. Normally we’ll put on meditation music in the morning and sit outside with the dogs, then eat breakfast and drink tea or coffee. Around 11:00 AM we work out, then go our separate ways – I sit down and do my acting class or [fulfill] obligations I have for the show, and he plays his game. We convene around 2:00 PM for lunch and watch an episode of The Office while we eat, then take the dogs for a walk and go our separate ways again. Or sometimes we find a puzzle to do or play a video game together, then we eat dinner, watch something on TV or finish our puzzle, then another walk with the dogs and go to bed.” Read’s interview with Courtney Hope on how she would scream at her TV.

4. Paul Telfer (Days of our Lives, Xander Kiriakis)

“My wife and I [actress Carmen Cusack] have turned the living room into a picnic area, and we do our chores. I wish I was being more productive right now; I’m supposed to be writing a script. My schedule should be: Wake up, have coffee, work on the script, do some exercise, convene with Carmen to distract her from her tasks, then go for a stroll in a safe area… but the last few days we’ve skipped right to watching the TV.” Read our interview with Paul Telfer for reasons why he loves Xander.

5. Kevin Spirtas (Days of our Lives, Craig Wesley

“I’m still an early riser. I get up, cook breakfast, meditate, tune to the news for a second or two – then turn it off. I’m a blue ribbon Emmy judge right now, and I’ve just finished [watching the shows in] my categories I was judging. I’m staying connected to the business, checking in with friends and family and loved ones, and I’m there for them if I can be helpful. I’m also tilling the ground for when this curtain lifts and we are free to roam the planet once again. I also have Season 3 [of After Forever] to get up and running, so I’m on the phone with my co-creator Michael Slade.” Read’s interview with Kevin Spirtas, who dished about hot soap topics.

6. Maurice Benard (General Hospital, Sonny Corinthos)

“I try to get up and watch some TV. Then I watch more TV. There’s not a lot to do, man. I started watching Tiger King, told everyone about it and then stopped watching for whatever reason. But I haven’t finished it. I’m a big routine guy, and that routine is not there like it was. But, you know, you gotta do what you gotta do.” Read our interview with Maurice Benard to learn more about his best-selling memoir.

7. Carolyn Hennesy (General Hospital, Diane Miller)

“I wake up, realize I could have slept two hours longer, feed the dogs, brush my teeth, lay out what I’m going to binge watch for the day. If it’s raining the dogs do not get walked, but if it’s not raining I walk the dogs and make a list of what I need to do for the day. Do I need to get dressed? Getting dressed means maybe putting on a shirt, but the pajama bottoms and Uggs stay on. My best friend Tracy and I have found online escape rooms, and we’ve lost our minds over these apps. So we’ll do that. Every once in a while I see my brother and his family and we play Monopoly and Clue. I’ve also been reading tremendous amounts. I’m starting War and Peace. I feel it must be done.” Read’s interview with Carolyn Hennesy, who discussed tight soap budgets.

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