We Love Soaps: It’s so cool to speak with you again. I haven’t seen you since last year’s Day Of DAYS event. One of your early jobs at age thirteen was a very steamy scene on COLD CASE with Donna Mills.
Dylan Patton: [Laughs] That was really fun to shoot, that whole episode. That show was ridiculous, they spent so much money on pointless things. That episode was shot in a huge mansion up in Beverly Hills. That whole pool was indoors. Donna Mills was great. She was humble, great to talk to. The whole scene was weird. I like to get into what I’m doing. I could tell the director knew it was weird for me. He came to me and talked to me, and tried to basically explain the idea of an older woman coming on to me. It was weird to be at that age and having all that in front of me.
We Love Soaps: How did DAYS come about?
Dylan Patton: I wasn’t really working on anything at the time. I was going out on auditions, getting close, but nothing was really happening. That audition went really well. Marnie [Saitta], the casting director, really liked me. I went to a callback and there were seven people there. I went to a screen test. It was with Bryan Dattilo (Lucas). We get into an argument about something, I don’t remember what. Let me think...nope got nothing.
We Love Soaps: So suddenly you were hired and pages and pages of dialogue to memorize.
Dylan Patton: Yes. They shoot up to about 60 scenes a day. It’s a lot. You can be in half of them if they’re shooting all your scenes that day.
We Love Soaps: How did you memorize all those lines?
Dylan Patton: There was a great acting coach on the show named Maria. She would work with anyone who wanted to work on their scenes. It was every actor’s dream to be working all the time.
We Love Soaps: Was this really your dream? Was this satisfying for you?
Dylan Patton: At the time I did want to be working on the show. But it is a lot of work while you are doing it.
We Love Soaps: What surprised you the most when you started on DAYS?
Dylan Patton: I think it was how hard everyone works, and how quickly they move. They try to settle you into everything, to wiggle you in slowly. But that’s the first week only. After that it’s full blown. It’s like, what do you think the President thinks about when he wakes up? He thinks, “I’m the President.” Until he goes to sleep he thinks about being the President.
We Love Soaps: Did you think of it that way? That you were Will Horton from the moment you woke up until the moment you went to sleep?
Dylan Patton: Yeah. I live an hour and a half away from the studio. Making that drive everyday, sometimes Monday-Friday. Or going to weekend events. I would wake up at 6 a.m., drive to the studio, work all day. Or sometimes we would film all my scenes by lunch. I loved those days.
We Love Soaps: What grade were you in?
Dylan Patton: I was a junior. But I took the C.H.S.P.E. (California High School Proficiency Exam). I got that the summer between 10th and 11th grade.
We Love Soaps: So by the time you started on DAYS you already had your GED? What led you to get it so early?
Dylan Patton: At first I was just doing it just in case I needed it. Then I started junior year at my school, and [DAYS] came up. I started working on the show.
We Love Soaps: Did Alison Sweeney help you adjust to the workload?
Dylan Patton: She helped me a lot. Like whispering on the side to me, things to help me along.
We Love Soaps: What kinds of things would Alison whisper?
Dylan Patton: Like at an event, or during a scene, even in the middle of a scene, if there was an action I had to do and I would forget it, then she would do an action to remind me. She was always good at that with anyone.
We Love Soaps: Do you feel you learned anything from Alison that will help you in your career?
Dylan Patton: Yes. She’s really into the social networking thing and promoting herself and the show. She is always very professional, always talking to the directors. She has been doing that show for so long, she knows how to do everyone’s job. She can work the cameras, she can do sound editing. She has actually directed a few episodes that I have been in. On top of that, she does THE BIGGEST LOSER. Right there, that’s a role model. She’s such a hard worker. I don’t know how anyone can do another show on top of DAYS.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Come back tomorrow for Part Two in which Dylan discusses his 2010 Daytime Emmy Nomination, thoughts about leaving DAYS, and future aspirations.
Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist seeing individuals and couples in New York City at Mental Health Counseling & Marriage And Family Therapy Of New York. He is also the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve.