What has surprised you (good and bad) about working on soaps?
David Chisum: There have been a few surprises. The first surprise was during the screen test when they gave us one good take. Of course I didn’t get through the first takes and nearly lost out on the opportunity. I put a lot of pressure on myself during auditions, which can really get in my way and not allow me to perform at my best.
The surprise was that they were testing our ability to deal with nerves and perform well in relatively short period of time. The soaps can’t afford to get off schedule with actors that are unprepared or unable to rise to the occasion. The commitment to make these shows daily is a constant battle against time. The solution is to be prepared and relax. The other surprises are the pacing in storylines.
In order to present a good show daily the story is told at a different pace. In a prime time one-hour show there will be a beginning, middle and an end to each story each and every week. The next week we will tell a different story. Soaps will, at times, tell the same story over the course of three months. I was also surprised that during my heavy storyline I was performing thirty to forty pages of dialogue a day, four or five days a week.
At first it was WOW and later I developed the ability to digest all that information rather quickly. That definitely surprised me.
How do you feel about your co-stars?
Chisum: I have had a lot of fun acting with Michael Easton, Christina Chambers and Brandon during our blackmail storyline. We leaned on one another and embraced one another despite seeing each other daily, all day long. It was a blast!
Ilene is a hoot and Trevor can be hilarious unintentionally. He can be an interesting character. I really enjoy playing with Melissa Archer as well.
Read the full interview with Chisum now.