A plethora of ABC soap stars will be appearing at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival on April 24 and 25, 2010 in Indio, California. I spoke to three of the attendees, One Life To Live’s Kassie DePaiva, All My Children’s Bobbie Eakes and General Hospital’s Jason Thompson, about the festival and all the latest happening on their shows.
Kassie De Paiva, (Blair, OLTL)
How was the Broadway Cares benefit concert?
That was really exciting. It’s so fun to do that event for a lot of reasons. It’s great to see the West Coast actors. We cram, cram, cram and then do it for one minute. It’s over before you know it, but it’s really fun. It’s outside of pretty much all of our comfort zones as performers. I performed a song from [the musical] City of Angels, You Can Always Count on Me.
What are you looking forward to about Stagecoach?
I am a Stagecoach virgin. I don’t know what to expect. I have definitely been around a lot of country festivals. They’re great fun. I am really looking forward to being part of the ABC line-up.
What has been your most memorable fan encounter?
One of the nicest was the year that I was nominated for an Emmy and didn’t win — but that’s okay — one of the fans at Supersoap Weekend gave me a Mickey Mouse bust as an award and said, “Here’s the Emmy you always wanted.” I said if I couldn’t have an Emmy a Mickey Mouse bust would be just fine.
How is Blair and Eli’s relationship evolving?
He hasn’t really been a love interest. He’s kind of been a sex interest. She’s trying to take it a step deeper. That actually came out of a conversation she had with the adolescent Jessica about trying to move on with her life. Blair had to take her own words to heart.
Is it fun having a new love interest after playing Blair with Todd for so long?
It’s always fun to have a new leading man. I don’t think Blair and Todd are ever over. I think there will always be that strong pull for those two. But he seems to have moved on, and good for him. It should be good for Blair too. Elijah is certainly pretty easy on the eyes and he’s sweet and he’s good to Blair, so that’s good.
How does Blair feel about Kelly’s return? She always goes after everything and everyone Blair wants.
It just goes to show you how quickly people forget. All of a sudden Blair’s the bad person and Kelly’s the good person. It’s like, excuse me, she’s the one that did this, and she’s the one that stole that. People tend to forget that. I love having Gina [Tognoni] back. I think the Blair-Kelly dynamic is still a very viable one. Hopefully we’ll see some history resurface with Kelly, with what she did and Blair losing her baby.
Blair has been on the backburner lately. Daytime is very cyclical, and I’m sure she’ll have a bigger story soon, but is it frustrating when she has less to do?
It is, and it’s more frustrating for my fans, I think, because I have so many great cheerleaders. When I’m not on, they get really upset. I’m not really aware how much I haven’t been working until I get inundated with fans. Then I think, “Gee, maybe they’re right. Maybe I haven’t been working.” because we tape things our of sequence. I’m ready to chomp on some meat and potatoes. I’m ready to get in there and be the Blair everybody wants Blair to be.
What are the defining characteristics of a Cramer woman?
Powerful, fearless, strong, passionate and loyal.
How do you feel about all the recent cast departures on OLTL?
As an actor I’m saddened by it. It’s just another step in their career. They’re all fabulous actors. They will be sorely missed. I love Scott Clifton (Schuyler) and I’m just really bummed that he’s gone. I think he does unbelievable work. Daphne [Duplaix], (Rachel) — I didn’t understand it. She’s Nora’s daughter. She’s Tea’s talk to. She’s beautiful. She’s talented. Kyle (Brett Claywell) and Fish (Scott Evans), very, very popular gay couple brought onto the canvas. I don’t know why choices are made. I think each one brought a lot to the show and to Llanview.
Jason Thompson (Patrick, General Hospital)
Are you a country music fan?
I’ve come into it in the last couple years. I grew up listening to it because of my family growing up in Canada. But my first experience with ABC was in Nashville. We got to go the Country Music Awards. I really admire the artists and respect them. I started doing more with ABC and I started becoming a really big fan. It’s cool because I’ve gotten to introduce a ton of people like Reba and Taylor Swift. It’s been a really, really good time.
Everything I know about Canada I learned from the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. Are you saying it’s not all giant inflatable mounties? There’s a big country music scene?
There are a lot of giant inflatable animals. But my grandfather was a big Patsy Cline fan and Johnny Cash so I grew up with that kind of music. I’m a fan of storytelling. I think country music does the best job of that.
Who are you looking forward to seeing this year?
The last couple years I’ve really enjoyed going to the little sidestages and finding new people.
What can fans who come to Stagecoach expect?
ABC has been doing a lot of work with the country music festivals around the country. There’s a really big crossover between country fans and soap fans. I think last year the soap tent was the most visited tent in the whole festival. I think there will be a big wheel that you can spin and win a bunch of free stuff and meet with actors from General Hospital and other ABC shows. It’s an opportunity for somebody to come and get autographs.
What is the most memorable fan encounter you’ve ever had?
When I introduced Taylor Swift in Wisconsin a couple months ago, my niece was ecstatic. So that was cool for me to call and be like, “Guess what I’m doing right now.” She thought I was a lot cooler than I really am.
I loved the scenes where Patrick told Sonny that it was nobody but Sonny’s fault that he shot Dante.
We need a little more of that. I’m hoping he gets to do that more often. Maurice and I have been trying to work together. He came up to me about a year ago, said “Hey, I really want to work with you. I talked to the writers and producers.” I hope it’s going to happen. It’s a matter of finding the right story. After those scenes we both commented how it was fun. He’s a great guy to work with. He works really, really hard. There’s an argument for both sides, for Robin’s and for Patrick’s. I like being able to toe the line between Robin and Sonny.
What does Patrick get out of his friendship with Lisa?
I don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s definitely some chemistry between them.
I think it’s funny that whenever Patrick and Lisa reminisce about their wild times together that they talk about things that 90% of people did in college.
Every time one of those stories comes up, I’m just like, “Oh, geez.” We’ve got to make it sound like it was unbelievable and crazy when it’s just not. But, as an audience member you’ve got to believe that they’ve had good times in college and were a little bit nuts for each other.
Bobbie Eakes (Krystal, All My Children)
What are you going to do at Stagecoach?
The ABC Daytime stars go out to introduce the acts and meet and mingle with the fans that not only like country music but also like daytime television. Last year I got to introduce Lady Antebellum, which was a lot of fun, and meet them backstage in the green room area. It’s a great event. Even if you’re not a country music fan, you can come.
Who are you looking forward to seeing this year?
I’ve heard that Toby Keith is going to be performing. I’d really love to see his show. I’ve never seen him live.
Will being around all those singers inspire you to get back to the recording studio?
Oh yeah. I have a group that’s not country per se with Kassie DePaiva and Kathy Brier, The Daytime Divas. We do casinos and theaters. We’re going to open for Charlie Daniels on July 24th in the Catskills.
What’s coming up for Krystle on All My Children?
Krystle’s got a new career. Liza’s causing her a little bit of a headache.
You have some new headwriters now. Now that you are starting to work from their scripts, do you like the direction the show is headed in?
I like the direction the show’s headed in.
What’s been the most memorable fan encounter you’ve ever had?
When you get to see some of the same fans over and over again, they become like friends. When you’ve been in daytime over 20 years, some people have been watching since 1989. It’s always great to be reunited.
Krystle and Adam were such a memorable pairing. How do you feel about David Canary’s retirement?
I’m very sad. I feel like Krystle and Adam had a special relationship. I do think that no matter what Krystle will always love Adam. And I certainly enjoy working with David Canary. I understand he wants to retire and I don’t blame him. He’s had a long, wonderful career but everyone on the show is going to miss David Canary.
Are you going to cheer for Aiden Turner (ex-Aidan) while he is on Dancing With The Stars?
Absolutely. He’s a wonderful guy. I really think this is a good move for him.
Would you go on Dancing With The Stars?
I would love to. In fact, Aiden and I did a mini-Dancing With The Stars together on Rachael Ray a couple years ago. That was a lot of fun. We had 40 minutes to learn a routine. I have to say, I beat him on the Rachael Ray show.