Sunday, March 25, 2012
Stephen Nichols Q&A Recap with Joyce Becker and Audience, Soap Opera Festival, Atlantic City
At the "Soap Opera Festival", March 24th-25th, Stephen Nichols (Tucker, The Young and The Restless; ex-Steve, Days of Our Lives; ex-Stefan, General Hospital) had an hour-long Q&A panel -- with Joyce Becker (founder of "Soap Opera Festivals") and the audience -- about his role and career in daytime television. Here's a summary of all discussed.
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Upcoming spoilers? Tucker and Devon will not end up using sign language. Tucker will be more of a bad guy again soon. There will be more of a real mother/son relationship with Katherine coming. He doesn’t think kids will be coming for Ashley and Tucker.
Does Stephen have any say on storyline? No say on storyline. He does, however, have some ability to tweak character choices with how Tucker is played.
What storyline is he most proud of? The storylines with Katherine and Devon.
If he could play any other character from Genoa City, who would it be? Daniel. Then he could be an artist and “grow the hair long, wear the outfits and have the tats.”
Did he have to audition for Tucker? He was called, based on his history in soaps.
Will there be any storyline coming up with Genie Francis (a Stefan/Laura redux from GH)? Stephen does not predict future storyline with Genie. He thinks Tucker and Ashley will remain the couple.
Out of Steve, Stefan and Tucker, which character does he prefer? At this time, Tucker. He feels Y&R is very well written. In the 80s, he felt he had to put a lot of energy in how Steve was portrayed. But there is no need to do that with Tucker. Tucker is a good “hybrid of Patch and Stefan”. All three of the characters reflect some part of his personality.
DAYS OF OUR LIVES
How has working on Y&R differed from DAYS? While filming DAYS in the 80s, there was “more time, money and production value”. Now everything moves much faster. “Working on DAYS from 2006 to 2009 was a nightmare. I couldn’t believe how bad it had gotten. I told Mary Beth, ‘don’t expect this to last’.”
Did he wear a see-through patch? Always a real patch.
Steve’s harmonica. Stephen never used the circular breathing technique when playing the harmonica as “Steve”. When taping the film, Phoenix, actor Brad Dourif taught him how to use a didgeridoo (an Australian wind instrument).
Why does he wear Steve’s watch as Tucker? He used to borrow fancy wardrobe from the soaps. “Now you can’t get anything”. He owns the watch. Austin Peck and Peter Reckell also have the same kind of watch as he does.
What was his favorite storyline as Steve? When Kayla looked under the patch.
What made Steve and Kayla work so well as a couple? His friendship with Mary Beth Evans. They worked well together. Also, there was so much more time to rehearse on scenes.
How did Stephen transition from being a monk to an actor? “Clumsily”, he joked. He realized he was not cut out to be a monk. He wanted family and children, but it was something he needed to do at the time; and a transition to adulthood. Being a monk taught him self-discipline, focus and concentration. He got involved with theater at LA City College on a dare and “loved it”.
What was his first acting job? Shakespeare in the Park at the Pilgrimage Theater (now John Ford Theater) in LA. He was in Othello, making $25 a week. Also, he was doing a children’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
What were his survival jobs? Waiter, bus driver, cab driver, a customer service rep at Frederick’s of Hollywood, Santa Claus. (Maria Bell later freaked out when Stephen was “Santa Claus” at one of the Y&R children’s parties and kept her kids away from him!)
Advice for those breaking into acting? “Do plays. It is the best way to learn how you are doing. Be very clear and honest about who you are. Always stay working. Always be prepared.”
Get The Dime. A 30-minute short film that Stephen wrote and directed. Not available as of yet.
Will he be doing more theater? No plans at the moment. He would prefer to direct.
What was his greatest treat or thrill? Going on a belated honeymoon with his wife in Paris.
Hobbies? Stephen paints when he can. He is working for an oil painting for his wife. Most of his paintings are in storage or in his house.
If he could not be an actor, what would he be? A musician. He wants to learn to play the guitar.
What was the necklace he was wearing at the Soap Opera Festival? It had a symbol on it of all the sound in the universe. It was a 15th wedding anniversary gift.