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Vivian Rules
10.9.07, 12:05 PM
We're Here!

Mary Beth: Hi everybody! This is my first live blog, everybody...

Stephen: Hi! I do a blog elsewhere but this is my first LIVE blog. I've done some chats though. To all of our fans, welcome, thanks for showing up and we're gonna answer your questions!


The Baby Story
Mary Beth: This baby story...I was apprehensive oh geez...a baby! But it really came out sorta sweet and cute and they let the baby cry and we had to deal with it! I felt like a viewer was at the window sill sort of looking in our lives. Which is kinda of a nice perspective from the users.

Stephen: Was that unexpected?

Mary Beth: I am surprised that we were able to pull it off and keep it interesting. People loved it, and I was always surprised.

Stephen: Too bad it didn't last longer! The thing with babies is you have to follow their lead...very spontaneous.

Mary Beth: This baby was great, too...so many expressions. This baby seemed to really understand everything that was going on around us! Actually, babies. Pocket was played by twin girls!

Stephen: Everything was fine until the baby saw me with the patch and started screaming.

Mary Beth: Wasn't the dad like wearing patches around home to help her get used to it?

Stephen: Yeah but the baby still screamed in their faces, too!


Other Jobs?

Stephen: If I could have another job other then acting, I would have to say I really enjoy directing and it's something I plan to do more of in the future.

Mary Beth: I don't know...hmm. I have this whole pie business and I do some dabbling in designing. If I had to go a whole other route, I think it'd be social working. My mother-in-law is a social worker in NY and she's like 74 and works full-time and it seems thrilling and exciting.


Preparation

Mary Beth: We get the scripts a week ahead probably. Stephen is REALLY good about reading ahead, but it depends on my time frame. I'm usually scrambling to memorize and for the emotional thing...usually if it moves me and I pay attention to the scene, that's enough. Sometimes I have to get into a frame of mind, but I don't sit around thinking of tragic incidents...it's more of a frame of mind.

Stephen: I agree...if you know the intention of the scene, you can create exactly what the situation and people mean to you ahead of time, once you're in the situation on stage things work out if you're relaxed and have done your homework.

Mary Beth: When we actually get to tape, if we can just slow it all down and be there for each other it works out pretty well.


Harmonica

Stephen: I hope to play soon! I hope so...I like to incorporate it in. Sometimes I Just pull it out to play it even if it's not scripted.

Mary Beth: Aren't you usually impromptu?

Stephen: 50% of the time...sometimes they write it in. Like when I was trying to entertain the baby, but scenes on the pier with Billie...that was in the script.

Music

Stephen: I like a lot of alternative stuff like Elliott Smith and Joni Mitchell, theb est song writer who ever lived. I love Dylan Nichols, who is a budding musician who is only 16 and great. (And also my daughter.) I love a lot of the old 60s stuff.

Mary Beth: Like Barry White?

Stephen: (deep voice) Yeah baby!!

Mary Beth: I'm a pop queen but my son tortures me with rap. I'm kinda like total pop...Eagles, you know, whatever.


Real Home?

Mary Beth: We ask that all the time when are Steve and Kayla going to move into a real home!

Stephen: Every day we have to work and we are like WHERE IS OUR HOUSE? WHERE IS OUR LOFT?

Mary Beth: We're in a big transition period.

Stephen: There were cuts not long ago...they restricted the number of sets the head writer could use. That was tough...


Shows you Like?

Mary Beth: I just watched As the World Turns and I have to say...I love that show! The simplicity of the story and the conflict of the characters...man, I just love that show. I sent Maura West my apple pie cheesecake when she won her Emmy! I just love that show! I had a great experience there, and still...it's great. I'd love to get to some realistic story lines and personal conflicts on our show.

Stephen: I miss The Sopranos a lot. I like Curb Your Enthusiasm! I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but I do watch Days occasionally...especially when Mary Beth is on. I watch more lately because I like to follow the improvements.

Mary Beth: I love it lately...it's been so great!

Stephen: Our new Director really has raised the bar.


Jokesters

Mary Beth: Depends on the day.

Stephen: Totally depends on the day.

Mary Beth: Stephen can be so goofy and silly...we crack each other other.

Stephen: True, we crack each other up and then we crack the crew up...they laugh so hard they're crying a lot of the times.


Yellow Roses

Mary Beth: That's always been a symbol...kind of "our flower" ...

Stephen: It was a huge deal...a symbol of our relationship. It was a big deal in the 80's, so if we have a love story again maybe the yellow rose will come back.

Mary Beth: Back in the day, people would make t-shirts with a dagger, a rose and a patch with the word "sweetness" on it.

Stephen: It's been very guy-driven lately...we need the romance back.


How do you Relax?

Stephen: Mary Beth never relaxes...hardly ever.

Mary Beth: I have teenagers who need dinner. I have a whole mom life.

Stephen: I do lots of home improvements...I do most of the work around here. I almost never hire anyone, which I picked up from my grandpa.

Mary Beth: I take my daughter to get mani/pedis, read People Magazine in the nail salon. But that's about the extent of it. I actually enjoy going on long walks, too. I am about to go on a long walk around the Rose Bowl after I wrap up this blog.

Stephen: I walk around the neighborhood a lot.


Favorite Storylines

Mary Beth: During my favorite story line, the Emily Gideon stuff, my daughter was a baby and colicky. Stephen was a Civil War soldier guy and was down in the valley on the harpsichord and I would come home and rock this baby of mine and sing my own version of the song and my daughter who is now 17 1/2 and she'll sing Down in the Valley that I used to sing her.

Stephen: I agree, that was one of my favorite. The other was the beginning of our relationship when I'd get beaten up and Kayla drug me off the pier and patched me up...

Mary Beth: Those early scenes were pretty cool.

Stephen: Those early times when I was stalking her and admitting feelings for her and she was testing me and we'd grow closer. It was great. Then Adrienne came on who was so tough.

Mary Beth: That was a fun time!

Stephen: We can't ever go back!


Friends?

Mary Beth: When we were both off of Days, we'd call each other up and meet for lunch. Then we were in GH together for a long time, so every few months we'd get together for lunch.

Stephen: I don't live in Hollywood anymore, by the way.

Mary Beth: Yeah but back then you did! We're really close and we really care a lot about each other...and we're basically like family now. We've known each other for 20 years, so I'd say we're pretty darn close!


Typical Day

Mary Beth: For a woman, you stop in at wardrobe on the way in. You get 10 options, you pick what works. That takes awhile. Then hair and makeup is about an hour. Then hopefully there's time to work on the scenes and run lines and try to make sense of them and what they're about. Then you dry block to show you where to move, on which lines. Then we're called back to the set. We're running it running it running it until we tape it. Then we tape it and then put the script is in the recycling bin and then we're done!

Stephen: I always have to catch Mary Beth with the recycling.
My typical day is a bit easier. I grab a tank top, some underwear and some boots and I'm ready to go. I go to makeup, but not for an hour...more like 15 minutes. The rest is the same...Mary Beth and I do our thing as much as we can before it's time to do it for real!


Any Say in Direction?

Stephen: In terms of the writing and the storyline, no. We could probably throw ideas out there and tell them what we think, but we don't have much control over that. What we do have control over is what goes on on the set while we're doing the scenes, we can throw those in. There's a real collaboration, especially now that there are new people there. They are smart and listen to the actors.

Mary Beth: It's great now, too, because we actually get notes...GOOD notes...and it's great. We can always use improvement and tips to tweak it and make it better. It's just way more collaborative now and so much more fun!


New Pies?

Mary Beth: I am going to do 4" pies that are really cool...they look like the big pies, only smaller. I found this great paper that's hard so you can bake in it...so we're costing them out to figure that out. There's the 4" and 2". The pie I just got into back East...people were stopping and talking to me and telling me to put in toasted walnuts and cranberries. The holidays may bring lots of pie surprises! I test them on teens in my neighborhood and my family.


Favorite Characteristics of Steve and Kayla

Mary Beth: I like that Kayla stands up for what she believes in.

Stephen: Patch is an honorable guy. He always does what he says he's going to do. He's compassionate and he loves children...he tries to protect the little ones.


Goodbye!

Stephen: Don't listen to everyone who says the show is going away...it's game on! We're not going away!

Mary Beth: Keep on watching...we're keeping on! Trust me, it is getting so much better. The shooting, the scripts, the acting. Everybody is going to love the direction!

Stephen: Thank you for showing up for the blog and leaving all of your comments. You guys keep watching, we'll keep trying to bring it. We'll try hard to keep it compelling for you.

http://blog.nbc.com/days/ (http://blog.nbc.com/days/)