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INTERVIEW: The Further Adventures Of Bradford Anderson Part One; Working with Frank Valenti, the future of GENERAL HOSPITAL & Golden Handcuffs

GENERAL HOSPITAL fans know Bradford Anderson as the lovably cuddly Damian Spinelli.  Indie Soap Fans know him for his portrayal of troubled Greek hero Achilles in THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF CUPID AND EROS.  Everyone knows Anderson as a talented actor, activist, musician, and devoted father.  Come get to know all these parts of Anderson in our new interview with the Indie Soap Award Nominated star.   

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: It is such a pleasure to speak with you! It’s been exactly a year since our last interview, and a lot has changed on daytime and in the Indie Soap World.  First of all, I would like to sincerely congratulate on your first Indie Soap Award nomination for THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF CUPID AND EROS.
Bradford Anderson: Thank you so much!

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Where were you when you heard the news?
Bradford Anderson: As appropriate as it is, Avi [Glijansky], who brought me into the project, was the one who informed me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Were you surprised?
Bradford Anderson: Absolutely! I was just glad that it could be bring more eyes to the project. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Anything you can share with us about the further adventures of THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF CUPID AND EROS?
Bradford Anderson: I know Avi always has things mulling in his mind.  He’s a pretty smart guy.  He has his hands in a few different pots.  He and I are talking about revisiting a project he did in college.  We are talking about producing our own short film that I would produce and he would direct, so we’re in the early stages of brainstorming for that story.  This year is going to move by awfully quick.  But as far as Cupid and Eros there is nothing set in stone as far as I know, but I know he has plans for more episodes. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: One of the big changes from a year ago was the cancellation of two pillars of daytime, ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE.  We thought they were saved, then we lost them again.
Bradford Anderson: It’s been a roller coaster.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: As someone who continues to work on a network daytime soap, what has it felt like to witness these events from your point-of-view?
Bradford Anderson: I remember when I started early on, it became clear that this wasn’t a forever thing anymore.  I remember when I started in 2005, the end was not in sight.  It was maybe on the horizon but not in-sight.  Then, as a couple of years went by, people started to realize, “Oh, okay, it’s something we have to start thinking about.”  As actors, we have to think about it.  All of us on soaps are incredibly lucky to have jobs that last years, not just days and weeks.  It’s an anomaly in this business.  People came to expect that you can get work on a soap and depend on it.  So a lot of us have had to reconfigure our thinking in terms of , “Okay, I have to stay relevant outside this genre, because this genre may not always be around.”  It’s scary. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: At the same time, with the cancellation of four major soaps in the last three years, we have seen a plethora of creative output.  People have starred in Indie Soaps, written books, headlined Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, performed standup comedy, became public speakers... none of which would have been possible with the schedule of working on a daytime series. 
Bradford Anderson: That’s the thing.  This has somewhat of a negative connotation, but I know some people called their stable soap gig their “golden handcuffs.”  Working on a stable soap is an amazing situation.  But if you are a creative person that has desires to do other things, you may turn down other opportunities because they are not as lucrative, or your eyes simply aren’t open to other creative opportunities.  But as everyone knows, soap actors are scrappy, we have to think on our feet.  When the job goes away, those characteristics don’t, so you’re going to find people that can make transitions into just about anything. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Is there anything you can share with us about GH’s future at this point?
Bradford Anderson: (Pause) It’s hard to say.  It’s tough because we have this new energy now with Frank [Valentini] and Ron [Carlivati].  I haven’t had any of Ron’s scripts yet, so I haven’t seen his influence, we’re still working off the old material.  But Frank is on set at every moment.  We’re not quite used to such an on-hands approach.  Every one is on their toes; they like his point-of-view, they like his direction.  He gives notes to every department, and everyone can see clearly that those notes are good notes.

We’re getting through days quickly, we’re getting out quickly, so they don’t have to pay overtime.  It’s all about money at this point.  So looking at that alone, in theory, we should be on budget.  And, the quality of the work we are doing, at least from what I can see, is great.   He’s getting really good stuff out of people.  He’s crafting moments, which is what soaps are about.  In that respect, there is a very hopeful sentiment in the building.  We feel we are on the path to doing better and better work, and that is great.

At the same time, a lot of us wonder if it even matters.  Is it a certainty that we’re done soon? Is it even in our control to change our destiny?  Some days it feels like it is, some days it feels like it isn't.  In order to go to work and feel positive you have to at least think we have the power to change things.  If the numbers go up and the budget goes down then hopefully we can.  But then you see that THE CHEW got better ratings than we did in January, and beat us in the 18-49 category.  I don’t know the budget cost between us and them but I can guarantee you they are cheaper.  If it’s tens of millions dollars cheaper then, even if we get our numbers up, then I don’t know what they prioritize.  If THE REVOLUTION comes in and does well too? Then why would they keep us?  If money is the only thing that matters, then why would they keep us?

You go to work some days, you see great work, and you’re very hopeful that if that continues and we play our cards right that we will have the opportunity to continue.  Then you look at it from the grand scope of things, you see that the talk shows get greater or similar ratings? I don’t know, it’s a different ball game.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: That unknowing from day-to-day can put you in a very difficult position emotionally.
Bradford Anderson: Yes.  There are days we are hopeful.  There are days we are pessimistic: we hear news or we hear rumors out there.  Some days you feel like you’re at the wheel and you think you can still change things.  Other days it’s pretty pessimistic.

Editor's Note: Come back Monday for Part Two, where we discuss 2012 as The Year Of The Soap, inconsistencies with the Nielsens, and the revolving Maxies.  

Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Therapist in New York City who specializes in treating grief/loss, depression, stress management, anger management, addiction, and bullying. He is also the author of the popular book "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve," currently available at Amazon.com. For more information about scheduling a speaking engagement, please email him at Shouldless@gmail.com, or check out www.shouldless.com

4 comments:

  1. Great interview. Bradford's thoughts on GH's future are very honest and insightful. Can't wait for the second part!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, we have THE REVOLUTIONS first week of ratings...not good. Even THE SPEW did better.

    But, THE SPEW can't keep depending on name guests to bolster their show. When left to the five of the SPEW's hosts, the show falls flat.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hope both those shows fall flat on their faces. I am about to puke on reality shows.

    ReplyDelete


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