Soaps.com’s The Young and The Restless set visit was one of a kind
A wonderful afternoon spent at the CBS studios.
As reported, earlier in the week, Soaps.com was offered a set visit at CBS’s The Young and The Restless October of 2007, and of course we responded with a…. hell no! Even after all the begging and pleading and offering me a walk on role, I turned up my nose…. Okay, this is how it really happened: They offered, I replied…”Uh… ” Confused by my silence, they thought I wasn’t a fan… wasn’t a fan of Y&R? I was too busy fantasizing about sitting on the Abbott sofa and wandering through the Chancellor Mansion set, to say yes, yes, yes!
I was contacted about the visit and walk on role on and off throughout the months. By the time June 4 rolled around, the Associate Producer and casting called me to prepare for my role. I elected not to discuss the cameo on Soaps.com until it was taped, for fear that something would come up and would leave me with my tail between my legs, apologizing for being a tease. Daniel Goddard knew (Cane, “Y&R”) and Soaps.com staff. I was glad not to have written about it because we had to reschedule the cameo for a later date, because the actors were all fighting over who would play out their scenes with me…Or was it work visa related issues?! They were more upset than I, knowing that either way, after watching “Y&R” on and off since I was a child, the prospect of touring the set was awe inspiring. Not only would it be loads of fun for me, but I was pumped about getting the scoop out there for our readers.
I knew right away who I’d be taking with me. I had known Shaun Proulx, and have been a guest on ProudFM’s Shaun Proulx Show, for a year. We go to ‘Genoa City’ each Friday afternoon and I fill their heads with the “Y&R” spoilers for the following week. I asked Shawn to come along as my red carpet date on live radio, and he promptly passed out.
Fast forward to the day in question. We headed over to the CBS Studios in Hollywood in silence, dolled up, with the occasional big goofy grin, plastered on our faces. Directed to the Artist’s Entrance, we found my dear Teni, the show’s publicist, who had originally extended the invitation and set it up. We headed to the “Y&R” classroom to speak with the exuberant ex-actor, Judd Laurence, who has been the Dialogue Coach for several years. It’s obvious that he loves what he does. He works closely with 20-25 actors per day, running through 60-70 pages, daily, of lines, in order to make suggestions about how to make those lines come out sounding flawless. During our chat, my eyes kept wandering to the monitor, where I could see a juicy scene being taped between Amber (Adrienne Frantz) and Daniel (Michael Graziadei). Judd mentioned that today he’d coached both of them, Peter, Jeannie, Eyal, Amelia, Christian, and Jess, amongst a few others.
We wandered into hair and make-up to find George Guzman, who has been a “Y&R” hair stylist for the past six years, relaxing. Apparently he’s either lying low or insanely busy, sometimes doing two heads at once. Getting up from his chair, with a smile, he came to me and complimented me on my “beautiful” hair and asked if it was real! That was the second time I’d gotten that line in a month and replied that yes, it was real. “I’m from Toronto, not L.A.,” I said with a grin. Of course, he needed to touch it. As he fluffed, ran his fingers through my hair, I was glad to have done a deep conditioning that morning. George and the other stylists and makeup-artists remember working 17-18 hour days, but tell us they’re on a 10 hour day schedule these days. He commented that Emily (Jana), Tracey (Lauren), Amelia (Victoria), Jeannie (Katherine), Sharon (Sharon Case) and Jess (Jill) were on the roster for today, as well as Christian (Michael), Michael (Daniel) and Peter (Jack). The men of the cast don’t do their own hair, but he gives them a slightly sexy bed head look. I asked if he was the one who changed Michael Graziadei ‘s (Daniel) hair for that surfer movie he recently did. He had, and showed us before and after photos. The array of products nearby caught my eye and we found out that Adrienne Frantz (Amber) preferred ‘Goddess’ products, while Judith Chapman (Gloria) swore over ‘Kerastase’, much like some of our actor friends over at “Days of our Lives.” George uses Moroccan Oil, as do I, to blow out the actress’s hair and give it that gorgeous sheen that we see daily. He also hand dyes the flirty hair pieces that we see in Emily O’Brien’s (Jana) gorgeous locks, and grins that many of the actresses wish they too could use the hair pieces, but they simply wouldn’t suit the style of the character. Since Patti, the head of the make-up department, was rushing around with brushes and other assortments in her arms, making up Sharon Case (Sharon) and Amelia Heinle (Victoria), we were not able to pick her brain.
We check out one of the studios they tape on and are amazed when we can’t spot the sets as quickly as we thought, they’re so incredibly tiny. We move from one set to the next, marvelling in the size, when who should stroll through the Abbot living room but Jack Abbot himself. Perfect. Peter Bergman introduced himself and after finding out that both Shaun and I are Canadian, he told us a cute story about when he met his idol, Joni Mitchell in a Toronto restaurant, where he’d been lunching. We sat on the lumpy and uncomfortable Abbott sofa, as I’d always wanted to, and took a few photos, then moved into the Abbott dining room, coming in the door that Jack had thrown Gloria out of, wandered through Restless Style, Amber’s penthouse, the GCAC and Crimson Lights, shaking our heads in veneration.
We headed to the commissary for lunch, seeing Sharon Case, Adrienne, Melody Thomas Scott, Amelia and a few other actors pass by. Amelia Heinle rushed by, all dolled up for a fight scene and after lunch, we saw Michelle Stafford donning a blue bathrobe and crocs (ick), chatting up Lesli Kay (Felicia, “Bold and the Beautiful”). We didn’t stop to say hello. We were told she wouldn’t be there because she’d recently had back surgery. Peter Bergman joins the two as Winsor Harmon wanders around and we head into the set to watch a scene being taped between Adrienne Frantz (Amber Moore) and Emmy Award winner, Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor). I was mesmerised by Jeanne. If you read Candace’s little pre-set visit interview, you’ll know that Jeanne is so far the only actress who I’ve been star struck with. I remember watching her as a kid. All those rings and those gorgeous long painted nails and the acting…I loved watching their scene in Amber’s penthouse – which if you recall, was Phyllis’ old apartment. It was an emotional scene and one that I unfortunately can’t discuss yet. It was a huge spoiler, even for me. We watched them block their lines, read, then tape and I was so enthralled with Jeanne that I missed out on Eric Braeden’s arrival beside me. Shaun nudged me and I looked around but saw…nothing. This is what Jeanne does to me. She’s so captivating. After the scene ended, we spent a little time with her and Adrienne. Adrienne didn’t want photos taken and had to rush off to get her Emmy jewels. We agreed to an interview soon and she dashed off to remove her make up and change while Shaun picked Jeanne’s brain. Not me. Shaun. I had nothing to add, I was ridiculously star struck. First time this has happened to me, aside from seeing Jeanne at last year’s Emmys. I was simply happy to be sitting across from Jeanne. She held my hand and the little kid in me kept saying, Katherine Chancellor is holding my hand, so I blurted it out. Not Jeanne – Mrs. Chancellor! How embarrassing for me but she’s heard it a million times. We took some photos and I floated out of the room. We then watched a quickie scene between Jack and some unknown. It sounded intriguing. We are invited to view more scenes, but declined. We discussed rescheduling my walk on role as Shaun did a guest spot for The Shaun Proulx Show on Proud FM between the faux potted plants and outside the CBS studios. We hired a car to take us back to the hotel and back to our places around the pool, where we basked in the afterglow that was our “Y&R” set visit.
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– Christine Fix