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Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Read Part #1 below.

AWT: Episodes of Another World from 1991 are currently airing on Do you ever go back and watch your past work?
MP: I watched my work when I was really young and first on daytime because there is always value in watching yourself and figuring out what you’re doing wrong technically. But I never did watch Another World. I prefer to live in the moment of taping, I know a lot of actors are like that. It’s always much better to feel like you got something done in the scene, in the studio, in the moment, with your fellow actor, under the gun. And then when you see it done, it’s always disappointing to me.

AWT: Why?
MP: Because, in the medium of film and television, you lose such control over it. As opposed to being on stage in the theater where you are in control. In theater, you are flying by the seat of your pants. In television and film, they have the final edit. Anything that you do can either be captured or not captured, and more often than not it’s not captured. That’s not a negative thing, that’s just the way it is.

AWT: How does knowing that affect your performance?
MP: When I first started in daytime, it was 1979 on a show called Love of Life. I’ve done a lot of daytime, and I always found myself getting close to older actors. And most of them came from the theater: Shepherd Strudwick (Professor McCauley on LOL; James Matthews on AW), Ron Tomme (Bruce; LOL), Bill Roerick (Henry; GL), Larry Bryggman (John; ATWT). All these people came from the theater. They understood that this was a medium where you were really asked to work, and work fast. But they came from a process, which was the legitimate stage, which is where I came from. I would watch them work on the set and just steal everything I could from them. Because if you admire actors, you steal from them. It’s a wonderful thing. Some of my favorite actors, I’ve tried to emulate. Whenever I get in trouble, in theater, during the process, in rehearsal, if I’m stuck I bring to mind certain actors and it always calms me down.

AWT: So you would rather work in the theater?
MP: If only I could make a living! I could do theater 365 days a year, but I can’t afford to. So I have to pick and choose the theater I do now. But it’s always for the love of it. I’ve done mostly original theater in the last ten years. I’ve done a few off-Broadway plays, done a lot of classics. I am doing General Hospital, now, and I do that because I need to work, that’s really what it comes down to. There’s less and less work available to most of us who have been around for a long time. This business has changed dramatically. I never, ever thought I’d do daytime television again. I really, really thought, “Well, those days are gone.”

Come back tomorrow to read Part #3!


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