Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Drew Garrett's "Mentalist" State: The WE LOVE SOAPS Interview, Part 2

In Part One of our interview, Drew Garrett shared aspects of his exciting appearance on CBS-TV's THE MENTALIST, coming up on February 17th at 10 p.m. ET, as well as what happened to his role on GENERAL HOSPITAL. In Part Two below, he reflects on hard life lessons learned and goals for 2011

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Was it hard for you to suddenly become famous and have that much attention focused on you?
Drew Garrett: To be honest, it wasn’t negative.  It was exciting. It was what I had been working for.  The one thing that was surprising was being in the grocery store, picking up stuff for the weekend, and having somebody come up and call me out and start talking about GH.  But that wasn’t a bad thing.  It was cool to see people who are into it.  The whole thing happened so fast and I was so busy I didn’t really have time to stop and think about it.  I was thrown into the fire, so to speak.  It was awesome in every way.  I was working full time, I got to go to fan club events. That was great.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: What did you learn about yourself from that year on GH?
Drew Garrett: I learned not to extend myself too much and to be professional.  You don’t have to brown-nose, you just have to show up and do your job.  It’s not that I was brown-nosing.  But being around such a professional environment on such a regular basis you see that going on.  I don’t think that necessarily benefits you.  I think the truth of the matter is that you have to focus on your work, be prepared, be on time, and show up and kill it.  I think for the most part I did that.  I now know to make myself even more indispensable.  To do whatever I can to make myself irreplaceable.

I also learned a lot about the business aspects—in relation to contracts.  Contracts are really interesting.  It’s almost a false sense of security.  You can’t pull out of it but the studio can.  That’s interesting, and I had never been aware of that.  There are things like that that as a professional you need to be aware of, that I wasn’t aware of.  I am definitely more seasoned and informed in every aspect post-GH.  I take that with me, go onto the next set, and do my thing.

I am definitely a lot more comfortable because I pumped out 170 episodes in 11 months.  Doing one episode on a primetime show feels like a piece of cake.  I thought, “We are only doing one scene at a time?” I shot four scenes in four days.  For me that was awesome, I really got to take my time and focus on each scene instead of just trying to survive through 13 scenes in a period of three hours. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Is there anything you would have done differently on GH?
Drew Garrett: I don’t think so.  I think I did what I needed to do.  I think everything happens for a reason.  I feel like it really forced me to refocus, get back into class, and put some work into myself.  I think, no, I know, that in the long run it will absolutely benefit me.  The worst thing for me that could have happened was to stay on that show for six, seven, or how many years, and get so comfortable that perhaps my efforts would start lacking.  Or not even that my efforts would lack—but when you’re comfortable you’re not forced to take risks and push the boundaries and live life on the edge.

That is where I’m at now.  I was forced back into it, I had to get the audition rhythm down again.  I have a new manager, and that was great for me.  I am honing in on my team that is working with me and it’s definitely paying off.   I can’t think of any opportunity that I’ve had in my life that has been as beneficial as GH.  It was so intense, so fun, just awesome in every way.  I would describe it as “short and sweet,” but hey, it wasn’t that short, it was almost twelve months.  To say that 170 episodes is short would be incorrect in some ways [laughs].  In primetime that is eight seasons, depending on the show. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Was it validating for you go be nominated for a Daytime Emmy after being fired?
Drew Garrett: Are you kidding me? That was the light at the end of the tunnel.  I was so stoked off that. You know, I’m a positive person and I was trying to brush the firing off.   But in reality, deep down, I was torn up about it, I was bummed.  It was a really big deal.  So the nomination was awesome.  In every way that nomination was good for my ego, or more so, it was good for my confidence. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Going forward, after THE MENTALIST, what is coming up?
Drew Garrett: I can’t really tell you exactly what is coming because I don’t even know myself.  But I can tell you what I want to be coming.  My goal for 2011 is to book three guest star appearances. One down, two to go.  I also want to see if I get a recurring role on a show or on a pilot.  Then hopefully book a feature film.  I know that’s shooting pretty high, but why not?

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Doing a year on a soap worked out well for Kevin Bacon and Demi Moore.  After doing 170 episodes in less than a year, directors know that you know how to hit a mark, know your light, and don’t require a lot of rehearsal time. 
Drew Garrett: And I think that absolutely was a selling point for THE MENTALIST.  Once again, GH helped me out on personally, and for my resume.  I think this is going to be a great year.  I’m more ready than ever.  I would love to do a pilot, or a role on an already established show.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Read Part 3 of our interview in which we discuss more of his future plans/hopes, as well as the struggle to keep "balance" in his world. Don't forget to tune into to THE MENTALIST on CBS on February 17th at 10 p.m. ET.

Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Therapist now accepting new clients in New York City.  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 For more information about scheduling an appointment, please email him at [email protected].

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