Van's Blogs

December 2005 January 3, 2006 January 16, 2006 February 13, 2006
February 27, 2006 April 2, 2006 April 10, 2006 April 26, 2006
May 3, 2006 May 22, 2006 May 3, 2006 June 19, 2006
July 10, 2006 August 9, 2006 September 15, 2006 October 3, 2006
October 30, 2006 October 30, 2006 January 19, 2007 February 21, 2007
May 22, 2007 July 2, 2007 July 2, 2007 July 16, 2007
August 15, 2007 September 5, 2007 September 17, 2007 November 26, 2007
January 14, 2008

Dec 2005

December 2005

To start things off, let me tell you that I have never written a blog before. It feels a little strange, sort of like a diary that everyone has a key to, so with that forewarning, here goes my first entry:

My name is Van Hansis. I am an actor from a really small town in Massachusetts. I turned 24 recently. I live in New York City’s East Village, and I am also known on the ATWT set as ‘the new Luke’. My first few days of taping everyone from wardrobe to other actors to the boom guy would all come up to me asking if I was the ‘new Luke.” And I am very happy to say that yes, indeed, I am the new Luke.

When I was cast, in October, I have to admit, I had no idea who Luke was, and I had no idea who Lily and Holden were. I had never seen the show. All I knew was that I was taking over a role and that Luke was going to be aged a few years. I was cast about two weeks before my first day of shooting, so in the time between I bought all the Soap Opera Digests and Soaps in Depth I could and started watching the show as much as possible to get an idea of who Luke is, and what life in Oakdale was like. In fact, when I first started meeting the other actors on the show I was a little star struck because I had been watching them for the previous two weeks. My first day I rode to the set with Alex Chando, and when the driver picked her up I thought, “Wow, I’m riding in a car with Maddie, this is the coolest thing.”

I had never worked on a soap before this, and let me tell you – it’s a lot harder then it looks. I have so much respect for Jon and Martha and all the others who make it look so effortlessly. The scene that the audience sees is usually only the second or third time that the actors have ever said the lines to each other. We rehearse each scene when we get first get to the studio in the morning, then right before shooting we do one more rehearsal in front of the cameras, and then it’s time to tape. Wow – coming from a theater background, where we can have months of rehearsals for a show, the speed and efficiency in which ATWT is taped is astounding.

I hope you all like watching Luke as much as I like playing him. There is a lot of really cool stuff in store for the Snyder family, lots of surprises and drama. Being on the show has been one of the best experiences of my life, everyone is so cool and I am learning so much.

Hope everyone has happy holidays and I promise to write more soon.

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January 3, 2006

Hello, I'm back again at this blog. I'm writing from my parent's house in Massachusetts. It's snowy and cold and all around good weher for the holidays. The last few weeks have been kind of crazy for me, but in a good way. First off * I had my first airdate the other week. I watched with some friends from my apartment. It's weird watching yourself on TV! It's sort of like when you hear your voice on an answering machine or something, but tenfold. I remember being really nervous those first days with Kin and Jon and Martha, I messed up a line in my first scene and was sure that I was going to get fired. It becomes easier though and you really do forget about the cameras and lights and all the crew watching. And it helps to enjoy your character. I always like getting new scripts and seeing what Luke is up to next. Playing Luke is fun because he is so different than me. I'm pretty laid back and think that I roll pretty well with the punches. I don't know if I'd say the same about Luke. He has a lot on his mind, and a lot of drama to deal with, more than the average teenager, that's for sure. The kid has a pretty stressful life. I would tell him that he should grab a beer and just take a breather, but that wouldn't be a good idea because a) the whole kidney thing, and B) he's underage. Maybe a mug of hot chocolate instead?

So I saw a few of my first episodes and then right before Christmas I flew off to Los Angeles to visit with some college friends. I really like California. It seems that New Yorkers aren't supposed to like L.A * I guess an East Coast/West Coast rivalry - but for me, it's never been anything but fun. Plus, going from freezing to sunny seventy-five degree weather and the beach ain't that bad either.

My California vacation was only for a few days though. I flew back east for Christmas at home and I'm getting ready to go back to New York tomorrow. We start taping again the first week of January, so in the meantime I've got to hit the gym to burn off all my Mom's cooking and start finding a new apartment because I'm moving.

Thanks to everyone for tuning in to the show, I suspect that 2006 will be a memorable year in Oakdale and I hope it's a fantastic year for all of you.

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January 16, 2006

It is freezing outside. My computer is in the shop so I am writing from an Internet cafe. I think after I write this I’m gonna go home and turn up the heat and stay inside all day. I am not a big fan of cold weather; I suspect that maybe in a past life I lived in the Bahamas. Because, even though I was raised in New England, I have never dealt well with snow or sleet or anything. Maybe I was adopted from Florida or California and my parents never told me.

I was recognized from the show for the first time last night. A friend of mine from High School was was throwing a party and I got there a little late. I introduced myself to everybody and this one girl said, "You look so much like that guy on As the World Turns." My friend was like "That's because he is that guy from As the World Turns." I turned beet red. It was funny.

I don’t get to watch myself that much because I’m usually taping when the show airs. I found some websites that play clips though, and I watch those. Every time I see myself it gets easier. Although, there are certain things I do which I’m like, "What was I thinking?" Like when Lily came home from the airport and announces that she's going to stay and I run up and give her a hug. I ran like Lurch from The Addams Family, or an overgrown eight year old. Even one of the makeup people on the show mentioned that to me. I guess you win some and you loose some.

Stay Warm! Or, if you are in Texas or Florida or somewhere hot- Stay Cool!

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February 13, 2006

Hello, Van Hansis here - today I decided I'd change things up, so instead of a usual blog recap of what I have been up to lately, I thought that I would interview one of my favorite actors - Van Hansis. I caught up with Van as he was writing his blog on the computer.

Me: Ah, Van, great to see you buddy. You are looking great these days.

Van: Thank you, Van. So are you.

Me: So, you've been working on As The World Turns for about four months now, has the process gotten easier or harder?

Van: Much easier. I can memorize about five times faster than I ever could before. And I have gotten used to waking up at five every morning. The first few weeks were pretty rough in that respect. I was the king of naps.

Me: And now Luke has a pretty heavy storyline. Can you give me any hints as to where it's going?

Van: I could, but then I would have to kill you. And that would be sad, because that means I would be killing myself. What I can tell you though is that Jade adds an interesting element to the story. She and Luke bond. It helps that Elena Goode, who plays her, is awesome.

Me: Now Luke has his own blog. Are you jealous that more people might read his than yours?

Van: No. Luke is actually very jealous of me. He wants to be on a soap.

Me: What is your favorite set?

Van: Snyder Barn, because it was the first set I shot on.

Me: Can you tell me one thing that you know about Luke that no one else knows?

Van: He has 379 striped sweaters. Every Wednesday he goes to the mall and buys a new one. He loves them. In fact, it's almost an addiction.

Me: Interesting. Very interesting. So, any last comments before you go?

Van: I promised that I'd give a shout out to Karl Giraolamo, who plays Kevin. Karl, You Rock!

Me: Any more backrub scenes?

Van: No Comment.

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atwt 50

February 27, 2006

So it seems like Luke's secret is finally coming out (hmmm...maybe I worded that wrong). I actually haven't watched the show in about a month so I get really lost as to what is airing vs. what we are taping. The last few weeks I have been at the studio almost every day, so alot of good stuff is coming up for the character in the next month. And in some interviews and stuff I stated that Jade was a good influence on Luke...well, let me just say that now I'm not so sure. She could end up being worse than Kevin "let's go get drunk" Davis.

It is really exciting to join the show during the 50th anniversary. A few weeks ago the whole cast got together to shoot a picture to mark the event. It was like a big party, or strange family reunion. It was really cool, lots of press was on hand. I think I was interviewed by about six different magazines and websites. Even though I've been shooting for about five months now it still seems slightly surreal. That photoshoot was a perfect example of this: Six months ago I was waiting tables, now there are people making sure my jacket doesn't have lint on it and reporters interviewing me. Hey, I’m not complaining at all but still...it's a little surreal.

I also wanted to also use this blog to say thanks to all the fans of the show who have been really kind and accepting me as the NuLuke (as I have been called online). Being a recast is challenging, but people have been really supportive. It's been great to get mail about how Luke's story means something on a personal level to so many people. So, thanks. It really does mean quite a bit to me.

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glaad

April 2, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AS THE WORLD TURNS!!!

It is 7:38 pm on April second as I write this, my sixth blog entry. I believe that ATWT premiered fifty years ago today. Pretty crazy, huh? March was very busy for me, really great but really really busy. I went to a few 'events' which were pretty cool. I was at the Museum of Television and Radio to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show. I got to meet some fans which was the best part. I was a bit shell shocked though because I never had gone to an event like that before and was not really expecting all the attention.

A few days later my shock was even greater (I'm a poet) when I went to the GLAAD Media Awards in NYC. The show's publicists had told me that there would be a red carpet to walk down but I didn't really know what to expect. I got to the Marriott Marquis Hotel, where the event was held, and was sent to this gigantic ballroom where they had this sprawling red carpet. I did some interviews with the press - was photographed a lot and tried not to say anything too stupid. I think I managed to do okay and I just hope that the shock of it all didn't register in the photos. Don't get me wrong, I had an awesome time at both events but it is still pretty new to me. Even though I'm an actor, I get really shy and tend to keep to myself in new situations. It gave me a respect for people who have to talk publicly all the time. It's hard.

So now it's April. As an elementary teacher of mine used to say "Spring has Sprung" and it surely has. Which is great for me because I hate winter. So get out there and enjoy the weather. I am.

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April 10, 2006


Hello, back again. Better than ever, with a brand new blog. My life these last few weeks has been pretty hectic because I have been shooting ATWT almost every day, then hopping in a car and driving directly to rehearsals for a new play that I'm lucky enough to be a part of.

Third Man Productions presents:

BLOODY MARY: A Comedy of Tragic Proportions

Written by Rachel Shukert
Directed by Stephen Brackett
Produced by Cormac Bluestone, Ian Unterman and Third Man Productions

WHERE: 
Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center
107 Suffolk Street
J, M, F, Z Trains to Delancey St. 

WHEN: 
Previews
April 21-22 & April 26-27 @ 8pm

Opening Night
April 28th @ 8pm

Runs Wednesday through Sunday @ 8pm
April 28th - May 13th

Ticket price: $18
Tickets available online at www.smarttix.com or (212) 868-4444

The play is a dark comedy that chronicles the life of Mary Tudor. I have to say, it is hilarious. It is influenced by Charles Ludlam and the theater of the Ridiculous. It’s a wild, hedonistic, no holds barred look at society. It could also be seen as very offensive - so if you get offended easily, steer clear because no one gets out of this unscathed. Also, this is not for children at all. However, if you want to check out some of downtown theater's finest talents, laugh a lot, and have a riotous good time, by all means check this out. Two summers ago, I was at the premiere of this play at the Williamstown Theater Festival. It has gone through numerous revisions and workshops and this is the New York premiere. The cast is about twenty people, most of whom have three or four parts so it's pretty epic. It's great for me, because it is about as different from Luke Snyder as it gets, so I get to work in two completely different styles. 

So check it out. It's really funny. I will not be in the April 27th or 28th performances though, because I will be in Los Angeles at the Emmy's! However, a really amazing actor, Benjamin Peltesen, will be filling in for me. I went to school with this guy and he is fantastic. 

That's all that I've been up to lately. busy busy. Enjoy spring. I am.

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April 26, 2006

So I'm sitting here in my apartment, with my internet finally working and I decided that I wanted to get a quick entry in about Daytime's biggest night - The Emmys! Be sure to root for all your As the World Turns favorites - everybody - Grayson, Trent, Jen, Jennifer, and Jesse. Good luck to all, not to mention that we are up for best Drama!!!! 

If you have read my blog earlier you will remember that one of my first entries was about Los Angeles, and how I feel a little guilty for liking it as much as I do. That being said, the awards are at the Kodak Theater in L.A. I'm stoked. (I can't believe I just wrote stoked...am I seventeen?) We are shooting tomorrow and then flying out on Thursday. Rumor has it that it is going to be rainy in southern California though. Which is lame, so wish us sun, but more importantly, wish all the nominees - in front of the camera and behind - good luck. As the World Turns has a really fantastic group of people working on it, and I hope everybody gets the praise they deserve. The telecast is on Friday night (Check local listings). Check it out. I will write more when I get back from sunny (or gloomy) California.

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May 3, 2006

I'm back from L.A. It was great to be out there, supporting the show. Like I thought though, it was cloudy the whole time. Ah, such is life, I guess. 

However, much more interesting than the weather was the award show itself. 

It was really surreal, and really awesome to be there. I sat with Elena and Zach, in an As The World Turns bubble...they sit everybody by show, so whenever someone would win there would be little pockets of standing ovations. Like when Jen Landon won, all the ATWT people were thrilled, and she got a standing ovation from our section. Jen is such a fantastic actress and a really wonderful person, so her win was a really happy moment for the whole show. Congrats, Jen! They should find a way to put Gwen and Luke in a storyline together...hmm.... 

The parties were a blast. Chris Goutman hosted a great cocktail party at the bar in the hotel where we were all staying. Elena took lots of pictures because her mom is a big soap fan. It was cool to actually get to meet all these people I had only read about in magazines or caught their shows in passing. I met Jake Weary, who played Luke right before I took over. He's an awesome guy, his mom (Kim Zimmer) had just won for Leading Actress so he was really excited about that. Also, Judge Judy and Tyra Banks were sitting a few seats down from me. Surreal. 

My only regret was how short my visit was. The awards were held on a Friday evening and I flew home Saturday morning at seven a.m. When I got back to New York I crashed and slept for about thirteen hours straight. I had a few days off, which has been nice. Between my play and the soap, my apartment has gotten trashed, I ran out of food and I really, really needed to do a load of laundry. Thankfully, I was able to do all I had to. 

My allergies are really terrible right now. The weird thing is that when I get allergies, it only hits one side of my face. So right now my left eye and nostril are fine, but my right eye is watery and my right nostril runny. I'm a freak. I tape tomorrow and I hope it doesn't show, but if in about a month Luke's face looks messed up and congested - blame pollen!

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paolo May 22, 2006

It's going to be a rainy day. It hasn't started yet, but the clouds are gray and nasty and I bet any second its going to start to downpour. So I decided it's a good time to sit inside and update my blog...

So, lots of stuff is going down in Luke Snyder's life. He's told his parents he's gay, he's feeling abandoned by his mom, and soon (this week I think) he's in for a bigger shock - Damian returns. I don't want to give too much away, but I can say that Damian coming back to Oakdale sets in motion a series of events that leads Luke to make a terrible mistake which spells disaster for the Snyder family. The stuff we are taping now is really intense and I think it's going to be a pretty awesome summer. 

Paolo is a fantastic actor to work with and I have been having a blast. Also, Spencer Grammar is starting as Lucy, and she and I have some nice scenes, too. It's always cool to start working with new actors, everybody has a different energy and style. It's refreshing. 

My play is over, it got some really fantastic reviews (Time Out New York really loved it) and it was a great experience, but it left me pretty exhausted. I would get up to tape ATWT at five am, and not get back to my apartment till about eleven pm. Not much time for sleep. But as my mom always says, and I think it's true, it's better to be too busy than not busy enough. 

It just started raining. Ha. Told you so.

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June 19, 2006

Jean Grey met Scott Summers when she first enrolled at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters; he was tall and lanky and had severe emotional hang-ups. She was a popular redhead who was being chased after by the rich, blonde Warren Worthington, the much older headmaster, Charles, and later the dirty, rugged Logan. Jean was very attracted to Logan, however she loved Scott, and in time, he fell in love with her too, only to have her (seemingly) die years later. Scott grieved, moved on, and eventually met Jean's 'evil twin' Madelyne Pryor. Scott and Madelyne married and gave birth to a son Nathan, however about this time Jean returned from the dead, actually having never died at all. Jean found out about Madelyne, Scott and Jean found out that they had a daughter, Rachel, from an alternate timeline, Nathan was taken away from Scott, Madelyne went crazy (and dated Scott's brother Alex) and was killed. Jean and Scott married even though Scott had flirtations with a British ninja named Elizabeth Braddock. The wedding was a huge event; all their friends were there except for Logan, who never stopped loving Jean. Years went by and Jean and Scott's marriage became distant, Jean fell into the arms of Logan, while Scott began having an affair with wealthy socialite Emma Frost. Nathan came back (seriously SORAS'd) and then Jean died. Again. Sounds like a soap opera right?

Wrong! That was a very brief, not-in-depth-at-all, retelling of the relationship of Scott Summers and Jean Grey AKA Cyclops and Phoenix from Marvel's best selling comic The Uncanny X-Men. I have been a huge comic geek for years, since my young childhood actually, and ever since being on As the World Turns, I have been noticing the parallels between soaps and comics. Basically serial comic books are soap operas, just with super powers and epic battles. That, to me, seems pretty much the only difference. Also, comic characters don't age, soap actors do. The X-Men, along with SpiderMan, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers, all came on the scene in 1963 around the same time soaps were popping up. All four comic titles are still going strong and have the rabid, dedicated fan base that many soaps have. You could ask me the personal history of Peter Parker AKA Spider Man and I could sit you down and talk for hours in the same way that a long term ATWT fan can talk about the history of CarJack or Penny Hughes.

Another connection that I have noticed, which is really interesting, is the social relevance of both comics and soaps. Neither genre is really noted for social change, which may be due to the general population's ignorance of both mediums. Sure, both are escapism in a way, but underneath the bombastic stories, love triangle, and deception are more socially relevant stories being told. For instance on ATWT alone, there are topical storylines about a gay teen trying to find his place and the ethics of stem cell research. Over on the comic side of things, you have Jessica Jones (a Caucasian former super hero) and Luke Cage (an African American hero) being married (after having a child out of wedlock). Iron Man and Ms. Marvel have both struggled with alcoholism in the pages of the Avengers, in the series Young Avengers you have Wiccan and Hulkling, two teenage superheroes in a relationship. And they are both guys. DC Comics (the creators of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) has Speedy, a female superhero who is HIV positive and the new Batwoman, who is a lesbian. 

Many fans of ATWT that I have met tell me how the characters on the show feel like family to them. They watch every day and have a personal history with Lily and Holden, with Kim and Bob. That is the same personal history that I have with Cyclops and Phoenix, with Colossus and Polaris. I think that may be the strongest connection between the two mediums. For better or worse, the characters get under your skin, and try as you might, you can't let them go.

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July 10, 2006

PROCRASTINATION: If there is one thing I really hate about myself, it's that. My bills are always paid the last day before being due, I had a flight to L.A for the Emmy's and I was running around Manhattan the day before trying to find something to wear, in school I don’t know how many times I had to have extensions on papers. It really can get pretty out of hand. Not good. Stress levels rise, and the free time I do have I spend thinking about something that I should have done days ago. Case in point- updating this blog. I love my blog, I love having a connection to the fans and being able to put my two cents in on things and give a glimpse of what ATWT is like behind the scenes. However, I always seem to find something worthless to do with my free time instead of posting or something else productive. I will sit in a bookstore or a coffee shop for hours on end, not doing anything worthwhile, or wandering around the city aimlessly and find that I spent an entire afternoon doing nothing!

So, this is my mid-year's resolution: don't procrastinate so much, Van, do what you need to do so you can enjoy your free time. 

Many people have written to me with questions about New York, or me, or the show. so I'm going to use this entry to finally respond: (if you have your own questions head over to www.officialatwtfanclub.com and drop me a line) I didn't include the names of the people who asked the questions and some questions I paraphrased. 

Q:"Do you have any siblings or pets? what kind of food do you like?" 
A: I have an older brother, I also have two cats and want to get a dog really badly, but don’t have enough time to take care of it. Maybe in a few years I'll get one. As for food, I try to eat well, but I like pretty much anything. Right now I've been gobbling up gazpacho, sushi, and avocados. I don’t like crabs or lobsters or anything like that because I still can’t see a difference between them and giant spiders that crawl around on the ocean floor. I also hate raw onions. 

Q:"Do you smoke cigars?" 
A: No. I smoked one on my twenty-first birthday and wanted to puke. I was only able to get through about a third of it. 

Q: "Did you like X Men 3?" 
A: Yes, I did like it. I saw it at this really cool old 1930's movie theater in Los Angeles. I thought the first two were better but I still had a blast. 

Q: "What is a good way to find off Broadway Theater in New York City? "
A: The New York Times has a great theater section every Sunday. I would also say find a newspaper like The Village Voice, and look in the theater section where they tend to run more off Broadway stuff than big Broadway musicals. Also check out The Drama Bookshop on 41st between 7th and 8th Avenues. They have a good finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the city. 

Q: "Will Luke get a boyfriend?"
A: Somewhere down the line, I'm assuming he will. 

Q: "Are you planning future endeavors in theater soon?" 
A: Yup. I am pretty sure I have something really cool coming up in October at some point but it is still kind of up in the air as to when so I'm going to keep my big mouth shut for now. As things get finalized I will spill the beans. Promise. 

Q: "Have you become friends with any of the other actors?"
A: Elena Goode is a goode friend (stupid joke). We started around the same time and have a very similar sense of humor... little known fact: the girl is pretty amazing at impressions. Everyone on the set is so cool. I went to a party at Zach's place for Fourth of July. Elena and Duane were there too. It was on a rooftop. Really awesome. 

Q:"Do you have any favorite scenes you have done?" 
A: I really thought the push down the stairs scenes came out really well. And there were a few scenes where Luke and Lucinda were at her house talking that I really like. 

Q: "Do you sing?" 
A: Very very poorly. 

Alright. see. Now I feel better about myself. I got something done! hah! Now all I have left to do this evening is memorize twenty-five pages of text for tomorrow morning. yup....still procrastinating.

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young

August 9, 2006: On being young and (a little bit) famous...

So there is a slasher running around Oakdale ripping teenagers to ribbons, Will and Jade slept together and Gwen is heartbroken, Maddie is acting all nutso and pushing Casey away, Luke is drinking again and being manipulated by bio dad Damian and Dallas is trying to pull his own weight in a police department full of veterans. So pretty much, life sucks for all of them. So what else is there to do when things are spinning so out of control - party!

Alex Chando's birthday was a few weeks ago, and to celebrate her big 2-0 she, Jen, Jesse, Elena, Duane, Zach, and I, along with other various friends went out to celebrate. We met late, at around 9:30 or so, because New York, along with the whole East Coast, was in one of the worst heat waves recorded. It was about 105 in the shade. Even though our shirts were plastered to our bodies and the only relief walking down the street came from an open door to an air conditioned store, it was really nice to go out with the people you work with, kind of like what I would assume an office party to be like. Kind of a way to just get out and not think about memorizing and tag lines and wardrobe and maybe talk about something different than the world turning. 

We went to this Northern Italian place in Chelsea. It was really good. Lots of olives and mozzarella and pasta and everything good. We made a rule 'no work talk.' Actually, Jesse made that rule, but I think he was the first to break it. So dinner was served, wine was drank...or drunk? I don't know the correct phrasing...and after the birthday tiramisu was served we headed out to a loud sweaty club and ended up dancing on banquets and getting bottle service and just splurging and letting loose and acting rowdy and having fun. We work hard at ATWT, and I believe that we have one of the best young casts in daytime. This summer all of the teen set has been working close to every day so it is a treat to go out as a group and celebrate and have a night to just forget about everything. It was a blast. Hell, if they were there, I even think the Oakdale Slasher would have loosened their mask a bit and had some fun.

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September 15, 2006: Missing Newness

In mid October, I will have been on the show for a year. God, that is weird. It seems like so much longer in a way, yet it also seems like I took over as Luke yesterday. It is strange to begin to see the season slide into fall, because I associate fall so heavily with my first days on set at ATWT. The crispness of the air, the cooler nights, it is all adding up to a certain nostalgia. An odd nostalgia I might add, because I am still a part of the show, still working. How can I miss something that is still a part of my day-to-day existence? I think what it is that I miss is the newness of everything. I miss being keenly aware of the cameras and how cold the studio always is. Joining the show was like going to a new school - eventually the hallways and classrooms become second nature, but when you are new to a new environment you take nothing for granted.

So it's been a year. Wow. Almost, at least. I would write closer to the actual year date, but I think at that time I will be away. I am going on vacation! I am spending a little over a week in Chile. I am really looking forward to going away. One thing I love, which I don’t get to do as often as I like, is traveling outside the country. You get that same feeling of newness that I mentioned earlier when you leave everything you know. It's weird, in a foreign country even things like streetlamps or bathrooms have a sense of the unknown. I remember when I lived in Moscow a few years ago I felt like I was in bizzaro-world. Most things were slightly similar to what I had known my whole life but with a different twist. Like, there were potato chips, but they were ham flavored or something. Amazing. I miss that; I miss newness. 

When I come back though I have some really cool stuff lined up. I have been hinting at a pretty awesome theater event coming soon. I still can’t really go into details, but it is pretty big and one night only and I am very very excited. I would say 'mark your calendars' but I don’t know if I can even give out a date yet. Also, there are a bunch of fan events coming up in October. You can probably find out more at ATWT's official fan site. It would be great to see some of the fans that read the blog and watch the show. Thanks again to everybody who has been writing to me and supporting Luke and me.

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Laramie

October 3, 2006: A Very Special Event

So as you read this I will be miles and miles down south in Chile. How many miles? I have no idea. Geography was never a strong subject of mine. Many thousands though I think or millions. Who knows? However, although I am far away and probably hiking or drinking a lot of Chilean wine (or both at the same time) I wanted to let everyone know about a really cool event coming up in December.

In a few entries I had hinted about a really amazing one night only theater event I will be participating in. I couldn't speak about it before because there had been no official press release and I didn't want to spill the beans too early. 

I have been informed that it is now okay for said beans to spill. On Monday, December 1, I am going to take part in an evening honoring Moises Kaufman's "The Laramie Project," as a benefit for the Matthew Shepard Foundation. "The foundation honors Matthew Shepard by creating an awareness about discrimination and diversity." While a student at Carnegie Mellon, I performed in "The Laramie Project" and it was an experience I won't soon forget. I'm so happy they asked me to be a part of this special evening honoring the play and Moises. I'm looking forward to getting back on the stage and to be able to help raise money for such a good cause is pretty fantastic all at the same time. 

I hope to see some ATWT fans represented in the audience. Take care, enjoy fall! I will write later with news of my South American adventures. 

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halloween

October 30, 2006: Talk of Weather and My Trip to Chile

New York has two seasons: Winter and Summer. While the rest of the northeast enjoys Fall, and leaves and pumpkins and all that great stuff I was used to back home in New England, all New York does is get cold. Very cold. Hats and mittens February type cold. So right now I am cold - and when Van gets cold, Van gets grouchy. Fall used to be my favorite season, and New York has maybe two or three weeks of it, but really it's just a trick, it's not long enough to enjoy. We in the city begin to bundle up and countdown the months to Spring. Maybe I'm stretching the truth a bit, we don’t start an official countdown ‘til January. Actually, one of my best friends really does have a homemade computer-paper calendar marking off the days till April. It's pretty funny.

So - when the going gets cold, the cold get going. Literally. I spent my first week and a half of October in Chile. It was fantastic. I went for a wedding, two of my best friends were married a year ago in a quickie ceremony at city hall, but decided to have an actual wedding in the groom's hometown of Santiago. I arrived about a week before the wedding with a group of friends and we spent the week prior to the marriage exploring the city and the country. We went trekking in the mountains, enjoyed natural hot springs, went to the beach and ate ate ate. The wedding itself was on a mountainside, overlooking the base of the Andes. One of the best weeks of my life. 

But now I am back, and have been for a few weeks. I've been to a couple of fan events, which are always really nice. Visited my family a bit, which I don’t get to do enough. Now I’m gearing up for the reading of The Laramie Project on December first, which I think will be an incredible event. Stockard Channing, who is a really incredible talent, was just added to the cast. I'm going to be star struck. One more really exciting thing is that tomorrow I am getting a tour of the Marvel Comics offices!!! Honestly, that is kind of a childhood dream of mine. 

Also, in ATWT world it's the week of the Halloween ball, which was fun to shoot. I liked my costume. I know that it wasn't the way they were going with it, but I felt like David Bowie. Luke should dress like that more often!!! Seriously, though.

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January 19, 2007: First blog of 2007

Okay, yes - I have disappeared. I was putting around on the internet today and realized that it had been months since I updated this thing. So here we go: an update!

First of all I really want to take a moment to thank everyone who have been expressing wishes for My Alter Ego to have more to do in Oakdale. It really makes me happy to know that so many fans have grown to love Luke and want to tune into his antics. So hold tight for just a little while longer (I think), Luke will be back. And not just fixing the ice bucket in the background. Gears are beginning to turn which will propell Luke into the next stages of his life. 

So, enough with the teasers....I was asked by a fan to say what I've been doing in my downtime...uh. not much! Actually that's not true, I did a benefit Reading of The Laramie Project for The Matthew Shephard Foundation, which was a fantastic experience. I was so glad to be asked to be a part of the reading. I also spent about a week at my parents house in Massachusetts, which is always nice and something I never get to do enough of. 

But I guess the biggest thing in my life right now is that I'm moving. The timing is actually pretty good that I'm not in a major story right now because it gave me the opportunity to find the apartment I really like. Last year, I procrastinated way too long and ended up taking the second place i was shown. This time I'm sure my broker wanted to kill me. I looked at like twelve or fifteen places. but I'm so happy with my new digs. Now comes the worst part of packing up all my stuff (not that I have much, I pretty much live like a vagabond) and moving it all. I have become an expert mover. I went to boarding school for high school so every year I would have a new dorm room, then it was the same in college. I was thinking the other day and I realized that I have lived in twelve different places in the last ten years. God, I need some stability in my life. If anything though, I've learned an important life lesson - get rid of the junk, minimalize everything! I have no couch, five plates, two chairs, no table...so I guess my goal for 2007 is now that I found a place that I like I can start stacking up on the basics of life, start making a home instead of just a place where I live. I mean, would it kill me to buy a freaking couch?

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GLAAD

February 21, 2007: A Win for ATWT and My Top 10 List

Dear Blog,

Hello. It is your friend Van. I am sorry I have been ignoring you, you are too good to me and what do I do? Well, more like, what don't I do? Update you. For that I am sorry, but, cool things are happening, oh blog of mine, very cool things.

First off, ATWT won the Writers Guild Award using episodes focusing on Luke's story. I always said that I thought the writing in those scenes was fantastic, glad more people than me think so. Congrats As The World Turns writing team. You deserve it...sometimes it boggles my mind how fast our writers have to work. Think about it: as an actor you have a day to put an hour of television up. That is a tall order. Sometimes you are doing your best to try and remember the line, let aloneany sort of emotion (here is a secret: whenever I am in a scene repeating someone's name over and over it's because I'm trying to remember the line so next time you hear "Jade...look...Jade..." from my mouth, now you know why.) Writers have it the same way: a day to write a cohesive script which stays true to up to thirty characters, juggle six or seven stories, and fill the perfect time limit...that's hard, so hat's off to all of Daytime's writers and congrats again to ATWT's writers.

More award news: The GLAAD awards are coming up on March 26 and the show is nominated along with All My Children, General Hospital, and Passions. Good luck to everybody. Extra good luck to ATWT though, naturally. In any event, this is a really fun awards show, I went last year, it was my first red carpet event and when I look back at pictures - I look grumpy. I wasn't grumpy though, I just didn't know that if you don't smile in pictures you end up looking like an ass. I have learned my lesson. This year it seems like it will be even more fun because a> we are nominated and b> more cast members than just me are going to be there...good times, good times...

Random things now: you know what I love about the end of the year? Top ten lists. Top ten best albums, Top ten best books, etc....so I know it's not the end of the year, in fact, it's the beginning of the year, but, consistent with my procrastination problem I have written about, I want to make my own top ten list for movies. For all of 2005 and most of 2006 I had a really strange aversion to going out to the movies. I don't know why, whenever anybody would ask me to go it would always seem like a really boring idea - which is odd because my whole life I have loved going to the movies. I loved everything about it, and then one day it all just stopped. I would rent movies, just never go. However, whatever issues I have had have been solved. When I was in L.A. I went to X Men 3, and I was like, yeah, I remember why I like this -- so now I have been a movie addict. The only two I really want to see but I haven't are The Departed and Babel, so those two notwithstanding, here is my top ten list of movies of 2006:

10) Inside Man - you could make a movie called "Clive Owen reads a take out menu for two hours" and I would watch it. He is fantastic.
9) X Men 3 - huge comic book junkie. So sue me. 
8) Volver - I think Almodovar is one of the most amazing directors in the history of film making. 
7) Strangers With Candy - I was a huge fan of the show on TV and really dug the movie too...
6) Children Of Men - I love a good, based in reality Sci-fi epic. Awesome. 
5) Borat - although walking down the street and hearing every seventeen year old do Borat impressions was obnoxious, the movie rocked.
4) Notes on a Scandal - Freaking awesome! I think this movie has been overlooked but it is fantastic. Everything about it is so well done and sharp. The acting is some of the best in a long time. 
3) Little Children - another overlooked movie. The sequel to Clive Owen reading a takeout menu could be "Kate Winslet reads the operating manual to a coffee maker" and it would be award worthy. This movie is really dark and funny and leaves you feeling more than a little unnerved. 
2) The Descent - I am a scary movie junkie, and this is up there with the best. A woman at the theater literally got up in a panic and ran around trying to find the exit. It is so scary. So well made. It is how horror should be done, rent it and be petrified. 
1)Pan's Labyrinth - my favorite movies are ones that set up a whole world for you. This movie has that in droves. It is political yet not preachy, contains graphic violence yet is about innocence, has a captivating story and is beautifully shot. Best picture of the year, in my eyes.

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Group

May 22, 2007: Busy Times

Hello all. Again, I have started lagging with my blog. Is anyone really surprised? I'm not. Once, when I was a kid my parents bought me a journal to write in. I found it a few years back. For about two weeks I kept it up pretty regularly, entries almost every day. Then it started lagging. A week would go by between entries - then two - then six ‘til I just stopped writing all together. But I don’t want to do that now. A few weeks ago a friend of mine was throwing a going away party, because she was leaving the city after seven years here. We all went out and drank a bit. I came home and wrote the longest most rambling blog entry I ever wrote here on my blog. I think it was about how much I want a dog or something. Anyway, I wake up the next morning and immediately email the publicist who I had already sent it to, being like 'is it okay if we scrap that last entry?' which he did. Thank god. I don’t get embarrassed often, but I reread it later and I would have embarrassed myself a lot. It had tons of spelling mistakes (more so than usual at least) and was pretty incoherent. Oh well - I'm young. This is the time to write incoherent blog entries. Our publicist said it was kind of like drunk dialing, which is true. I think every cell phone and computer should come with a breathalyzer. If you are too drunk to drive you are too drunk to text or call or blog... but I digress. 

These last few months have been happily busy. I noticed the same thing last year, when spring comes about it seems like it's 'event' season. We had the fan club lunch, which was a lot of fun. I got X-Men action figures from some fans! Then this past weekend, I joined Elena Goode, Zach Roerig, Alex Chando, Kenny Franklin, and Jake Silbermann on Marco Island in Florida for a fan event. It was amazing. I had never been to Florida before. We all had a great time. One afternoon they chartered a boat for us and took us to this quasi-deserted island and let us spend two hours on the white sand beach. We were the only people in sight. It was such a rare treat. I don’t think any of us could quite comprehend how fantastic it really was. I'm not really a beach person, well, at least I wasn't before. I am now - a big beach person. 

So I'm back in the New York City for two weeks then As The World Turns is packing up and going to Branson, MO. Both of my parents are from the Midwest, but I was raised in New England and haven't visited my mom and dad's home turf much so I'm really excited to go. I think it will be a lot of fun and hopefully some fans can make the trip to see us too. I hear they have waterslides in Branson, which would make the eight year old inside of me veeery happy. Luke's life is getting more complicated as well. I don’t know how much I can say so I'll err on the side of 'keeping my mouth shut,' but from what I've seen the story that is coming up is refreshingly new and will get people talking. So keep your eyes peeled, come visit us in Branson if you can, and don't drink and blog.

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July 2, 2007: My Time in Branson

Hello. Airing this week is the long awaited Branson field trip. It is funny writing about this now, because so much has happened from when we shot it in early June. The Emmys happened and were awesome; I spent some time in Los Angeles hanging out with college friends, and just spent some time enjoying summer. Summer is the best season ever. 

Let me go back to Branson - we had a really good time there. Having been raised in New England, and living now in New York City, I fully consider myself a lifelong East Coaster. In fact, I had only really ever been to the Midwest once, years and years ago. However my mom and dad are both from the Midwest so going out to Branson was really cool for me because I sort of got to see the part of the country my parents grew up in. It was nice and maybe this is a sweeping generalization, but the people in the Midwest are really nice.

I really like shooting on location. Being on set is a very controlled environment where if it's too dark, you can turn up the lights, you can make sure there is no background noise. However, out in the real world if a plane goes overhead we have to stop and start over. If a shadow casts over your face, you have to stop and start over. For some reason I really like that. It's like an extra challenge to face. 

One of my favorite Branson moments happened during shooting. Elena and I were walking down a crowded street, in character as Luke and Jade, being all dramatic about something. We are taping, the stakes are high and we pass this older gentleman sitting on a bench. In the middle of the scene he looks up at us and says "you two really need to smile more!" We lost it. I really hope that makes it to our blooper reel. But that is what was sort of awesome about Branson, someone stops you in your tracks to basically tell you to smile more. How can you not like that?
Hello. Airing this week is the long awaited Branson field trip. It is funny writing about this now, because so much has happened from when we shot it in early June. The Emmys happened and were awesome; I spent some time in Los Angeles hanging out with college friends, and just spent some time enjoying summer. Summer is the best season ever. 

Let me go back to Branson - we had a really good time there. Having been raised in New England, and living now in New York City, I fully consider myself a lifelong East Coaster. In fact, I had only really ever been to the Midwest once, years and years ago. However my mom and dad are both from the Midwest so going out to Branson was really cool for me because I sort of got to see the part of the country my parents grew up in. It was nice and maybe this is a sweeping generalization, but the people in the Midwest are really nice.

I really like shooting on location. Being on set is a very controlled environment where if it's too dark, you can turn up the lights, you can make sure there is no background noise. However, out in the real world if a plane goes overhead we have to stop and start over. If a shadow casts over your face, you have to stop and start over. For some reason I really like that. It's like an extra challenge to face. 


One of my favorite Branson moments happened during shooting. Elena and I were walking down a crowded street, in character as Luke and Jade, being all dramatic about something. We are taping, the stakes are high and we pass this older gentleman sitting on a bench. In the middle of the scene he looks up at us and says "you two really need to smile more!" We lost it. I really hope that makes it to our blooper reel. But that is what was sort of awesome about Branson, someone stops you in your tracks to basically tell you to smile more. How can you not like that?

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Jade

July 16, 2007: So long, Jade

A year and a half ago I hit a girl with my car. Little did I know that that singular action would rock Luke Snyder's life for years to come. Little did I know that that singular action would rock Van Hansis' life for years to come. If you haven't been watching long, Luke (my character on the show) hit Jade (the amazing Elena Goode's character on the show) with his car. Luke and Jade hooked up, pretended to be a couple, found out they were cousins, and caused a ruckus in Oakdale. Jade became Luke's confidant and best friend and Luke became the single voice that could ground Jade in all her ridiculous schemes.

Now Jade, and more importantly her portrayer Elena, are leaving Oakdale. This is sad news for many ATWT fans, but I think that it is sadder news for me. I don't want to get all selfish or anything, but she was my best friend on the show, and I don't think I could ask for a better scene partner. We just knew how each other worked and rarely in a scene between just the two of us would we have to do more than one take. There is no question that Elena is beautiful, but she is also talented beyond belief, smart as a whip, and can do the best impressions of anyone in the studio.

Coming onto a show like As the World Turns, you are acting with people who have been on the show for ten or twenty years or even longer. Elena joined two months after I did. We were the new kids for a while there, and I will be forever grateful to have had her there to figure things out with. Being a regular on a television show can be a bit daunting, but we figured it out together. We learned how to navigate the medium, we learned how to memorize lines, we learned how to stand on our own. 

I'm not saying goodbye to Elena just because Jade is leaving. Elena has become such a good friend of mine, but it will be sad to not see her at work every day. However, Oakdale's loss is the world's gain, because I fully believe that Elena is a star and she is going to shine so bright and we are all going to be amazed by what she accomplishes. Elena, you know I love you, now get out there and do your thing.

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August 15, 2007: Answers to Your Burning Questions


All right people it is time to blog. I guess I got distracted again. I have this new set up with Alan, one of our public relations gurus, that whenever he feels the blog is lacking he shoots me an email and then I post a blog. See, I'm easy, tell me what to do and I do it. Hah.

The thing was though, I didn’t know what to blog about this time. The summer? Luke’s towel scene? What’s coming up for Luke and Noah? I do all that stuff in interviews. I wanted something new, and like a bolt of lightning, something new showed up.

You see, I have this awesome fansite www.vanhansis.net. I was bopping about, seeing what everyone had to say, as I sometimes do on the net, and there was this thread that was like 'If you could ask Van one question what would it be?' So, as a gift to those kickass fans who support me and have something to ask me, here goes (and as you see, were starting with a classic):

Frisco asks: Boxers or briefs?
Answer: Usually boxer briefs actually, sometimes briefs though and on occasion boxers. I don’t like the way boxers bunch up.

RogerD asks: Career-wise, I would ask Van what are his ultimate plans in the business (i.e. does he want to continue to do theater and stay in New York or does he ultimately want to do big budget films in Hollywood). On a personal level, I would ask him what he values most in another person.
Answer: Well, RogerD, I just want to be a working actor. I love New York, so ideally I'd like to stay here if I could. However, I also love television as a medium, so I want to explore that, too. I will never give up theater, but it's a reality that if you don't sing or dance, making a living in theater can be tough. As far as big budget blockbusters, who knows? They wouldn't be what I would actively seek out, but if one happens for me, I wouldn’t be against it. As for what I look for in other people it's generally humor and integrity, pretty simple huh? Don't be self obsessed and have opinions that you know how to share without coming across as ignorant or overblown.

Brhannada's Armour asks: What is the most powerful, original, and/or enlightening story you can imagine for your character?
Answer: Watch what's happening for Luke in the next few months. Big stuff. Big, big stuff and I'm pretty excited to play it.

Celbabs asks: What is your phone number?
Answer: If only you knew..... 

BNJ31 asks: What is your favorite thing about New York and where do you hang out?
Answer: I love New York because you can get everything here - every food, every type of performance. Sitting in the park is endlessly entertaining watching the people. I love the way New Yorkers band together in crisis and I love the food. I usually hang out downtown or in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is my favorite borough.

Lildenlover asks: Is Martha Byrne very different from her character? Answer: Yes, she is – very, very different. Martha is freakin’ hilarious. She is so witty and quick. She is also pretty business savy, which Lily seems not to be at all.

Jai asks: Who is your favorite dialogue writer on the show?
Answer: Honestly, I have no idea. Soaps keep their writers very separate from actors so I don’t really know who writes what.

B32guy asks: Are you happy?
Answer: Yes. Very much so!

Soapsuds asks: What were you like as a kid?
Answer: Well, I was chubby. Also I lived on the top of a mountain, so I was pretty much outside all the time. My family didn’t have a TV, so I developed a pretty strong imagination. Oddly enough, I think not having a television was what pushed me into acting. I have always been very close with my parents and they really were my best friends growing up.

EKS511 asks: What website do you visit the most?
Answer: Myspace.com, youtube.com, newyorktimes.com, newsarama.com, comicbookresouces.com, vanhansis.net, imdb.com, and lots of blogs and stuff about New York. I also go to some of those celebrity blogs, even though I hate to admit it. Going to those is like eating at McDonalds, so good while you are there but afterwards you feel a little sick to your stomach.

Mysterious asks: What's it like doing intimate scenes with Jake?
Answer: It's sort of like the battle of the stubble.

Madhaker asks: Believe it or not...I'd ask him what was his favorite and least favorite comic book moments of the last few years was. Insightful but not too personal. Or, I'd ask him about the Henry Davis YouTube videos: was it scripted, improved or a bit of both?
Answer: Favorite comic moment: Death of Captain America. An amazing death that hit you out of the blue. Least favorite comic moment: The Return of Captain Marvel. He had a really poignant death over thirty years ago I think and I don't see the point of his return. Only bring a character back from the dead if there is a void that only they can fill. I don’t think there was that void with this particular character. As far as Henry Davis goes (for those not in the know, go to youtube.com and look up Henry Davis) that was just something I did for fun with my friend Zeke Farrow. It was not scripted but we discussed ideas. You should look up his mother 'Sheri Davis'. She is even funnier than Henry.

Browneyes><94 asks: what is your favorite movie?
Answer: Too many to name. I guess I would have to say Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, though.

Safari01 asks: if you could choose who would play Luke's next love interest who would it be and why? Answer: PAULA DEAN! Because I watch her show at the gym sometimes and want her to cook for me. Kidding. Kidding. I don’t know. Jake is cool though, so I would rather have them develop the Luke/Noah thing than bring someone new in. It might be cool if they brought Kevin back though as a twist.

Darkgreen81 asks: can I buy you coffee?
Van answers: Please do with sugar and a little bit of skim or soymilk.

Seanny asks: I want to know who's his inspiration for his portrayal of Luke and also how come he doesn't address all his fans here?
Answer: Part of my inspiration for Luke is based a bit on an old friend of mine, but I don’t really have one 'inspiration'. I honestly don’t think about it too much. Why don't I address my fans on my fansite? I might some day. It's still a bit strange to me that I even have fans. Who knows, maybe I will. But hey at least you all got your questions answered. And again, I want to thank you all for being so cool and supportive. It really really means a lot to me.

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Webmaster Note: Van has a facebook account for fans. He sometimes uses the account to answer questions from fans. You can check it out HERE.

Nuke

September 5, 2007: Luke’s First Love Story

Hey all, so I just wanted to write a quick thank you to everyone who has been so incredibly supportive of the Luke/Noah storyline. 

The kiss between the two was a hit, as I think everyone involved knew it would be. On youtube the video was the second most watched for the weekend after it aired on CBS. The response Jake as well as the producers and I have gotten has been so overwhelmingly positive. In fact, out of the over one hundred emails and letters I received, only one was negative. So in my mind that says that the pairing has a 99% approval rating. I consider that not bad for something that not too long ago would have been considered 'edgy'. 

People from all walks of life are embracing Luke and Noah and want them to be happy. That is pretty awesome. Also, my personal belief is that the hugely positive reaction says a lot about what we stand for as a country. We need to accept each other and embrace differences of all kinds. We need not to label someone who has a different skin color, sexual orientation, social class, or country of origin as 'the other'. The moment people start ostracizing and judging is the moment that we start to fragment, as a community and as an individual. I like to think of people on the whole as good, and accepting of differences. With the reaction I have witnessed to 'the kiss' has affirmed this belief. 

The letters I have received, the blogs I have read, and the message boards that I have visited make me really proud of the story that As the World Turns is telling, and I am so grateful to be a part of it. From everything that I have heard, the show is excited to continue moving forward with this story and I can tell you that Luke is just starting his journey. There is a lot more to come and I hope the fans stay with him for the ride. 

So thank you again, everyone, for watching this story as you would any other on ATWT, and for responding so warmly to the work we have put into bringing to your living rooms every afternoon.

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DMD

September 17, 2007: Double Duty

Wow. Two blogs in a week. What is the world coming to? I guess I'm getting the hang of this blog thing or maybe it's just that I have some awesome news to share: I'm going to be doing double duty!!! Starting next week I'm going to have two jobs. I'm starting rehearsals for Charles Busch's play Die Mommie Die! at New World Stages in New York City. 

Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked about this. Charles is a really fantastic playwright, his work is wicked and witty and pretty much hilarious. I believe this is the first New York production of the play and it is the first off-Broadway production. This is also going to be my off-Broadway debut, and the first time I have been in a long running play in over a year. For more info and tickets check out www.dmdtheplay.com.

I want to thank Chris Goutman and everybody at ATWT for being so accommodating in letting me do both projects. Also, this doesn't mean that Luke will be M.I.A. - he'll still be there. It will just mean that I will be freaking exhausted. Matt Cavenaugh, who played Adam, was balancing ATWT with his musical "Grey Gardens" at the time he was on our show, so it can be done. I'll be taking lots of naps I guess. Lots and lots of naps. I hope you can come and check out the show.

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Holiday

November 26, 2007: Catching Up

Hello. Another blog starting out with an apology. I must get better at this whole blogging thing. I think maybe some people are natural born bloggers and some people (me) are not. But this is a great way of connecting fans with the goings ons behind the show and I like my blog so I do want to keep it up.

I guess I haven't really written anything lately because my daily life is kind of uneventful right now. "Die Mommie Die!" is going really well, it has been the longest run of any show I have done. "Die Mommie Die!" has been a great learning experience. Keeping things fresh after 50 performances is something I have never had to encounter. There is one guy on my show who did like, 1500 performances of "Beauty and the Beast." It is really mind-boggling. I think sometimes people tend to glamorize actors in a way. I think unless you reach the stratosphere as far as celebrity goes, there isn't too much glamorous about it. It is a wonderful life being a working actor, but not one I would call glamorous. That is fine by me. I like working more than anything and have more fun doing that than doing all the other stuff...god, I just reread what I wrote. I sound like a huge cliche. But whatever -- in my case it's true. 

So what else....uh....it is the holiday season. Again. I like Thanksgiving. I'm not too huge on Christmas. It seems like in America our holidays have simply turned into ways to spend more money. It also seems the Christmas season is almost like forced emotion. It is like the (commercial) world is telling you: you must be happy! You must buy presents for everyone! Not to be a grinch or anything, and maybe this is just me trying to be subversive, but I don't like being told that I should be cheerful and get in 'the holiday spirit'. I think Thanksgiving has much more spirit, because it isn't about buying things for the people you love, it's about spending time with them. There is much less of a material push to it. It's about cooking a meal and eating that meal with the people you would most like to cook and eat a meal with. I think that is pretty beautiful. I loved Christmas as a kid, but now, for whatever reason, and I really have no idea why, it makes me feel kind of blue. I am going to try harder this year though. I guess under the material stuff, the season is about connection with loved ones, I'm going to focus on that this year. It has been a really wonderful year for me, so at least I should celebrate that. Also – ATWT's doing something pretty clever for the holiday season this year, so maybe that will help me get in the mood. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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January 14, 2008: "Die Momma Die"

So I was going to start this blog like I feel I've started every blog within the last six months; by apologizing for how few and far between my blogs are. But then I was like, screw it. It's the New Year! I will blog when I want to blog! Quality, not quantity, right? 

These last few months have been really amazing for me. Tonight I finished my run of Charles Busch's "Die Mommie Die!" at New World Stages here in New York City. This is my first long running theater job ever (110 performances- I only called out once!) I got my equity card, and I sort of, as actorish as it may sound, rediscovered my roots. I remember when I graduated school, I was all set on moving to Los Angeles instead of New York, I was going to sign with an agent in California. I was in my hotel room in Los Angeles and Letterman came on. You know how when he goes to commercial, there are shots of the streets of New York? I saw that and I sort of knew that I couldn't live in Los Angeles without hitting up New York first. The next morning I called my parents and told them that I changed my mind - I wanted to go to New York; I wanted to do theater. I signed a contract with an agency here in the city and I packed up and moved to lower Manhattan. I was going to get my start in theater! However, life doesn't happen the way you plan it. Instead I was a waiter for almost a year, then I was lucky enough to get ATWT. 

AS THE WORLD TURNS was my first professional job in the city and it was on television. The irony was never lost on me. I chose not to go to Los Angeles for theater and I end up on television instead. I'm not complaining, I have learned so much on the soap and would love to continue on television for a long long time. I would have been lying if I said I didn't miss the stage. "So Die Mommie Die!" was truly a gift. To work with Charles was a gift as well. The whole experience was something I will hold so close to my heart. One thing that I really appreciate is how many ATWT fans came to see the show. That really means alot to me. One woman drove from Texas to come see me. A couple of fans threw comic books on the stage for me. I got a kick ass Spiderman tee shirt from a fan! So I want to just say thank you to everyone who came out to support me. 

Speaking of fans, the people over on vanhansis.net created a donation for Broadway Cares/Equity fights AIDS in Jake and my names. They have raised over $6,000 dollars! That is amazing. Kindness of that magnitude baffles me. I really don't have any words to express how grateful I am. They created the account because in my previous post I had complained about how I didn't really dig the holiday season. This changes things. I mean it. I am so humbled by people making donations in my name. I know Jake feels the same way. I am writing for both of us in saying thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Happy New Year and all the best!

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