I did many interviews before the Olympic Games in 1992, and the three most often asked questions were…
- How did you get your name?
- What do you dislike?
- What can't you live without?
My answers were always the same, with questions two and three being answered Cheesecake and "All My Children".
I grew up in an "All My Children" family. My grandpa Charlie, my dad's father, and my mom watched it every single day they could. I grew up with Angie and Jessie, Jenny and Greg, and of course Mrs. Erica Kane. I was so involved in the soap opera that when Jenny died, I almost vowed never to watch it again. Almost. Then, all my friends (tons of them guys) were coincidentally into the show in college. We would gather at our friend’s dorm to catch the episodes.
Somehow, after the Olympics, the show found out that I was a fan and reached out to my agent to see if I wanted to play myself on one of the episodes. I’m not sure who was more excited…oh, who am I kidding, my mom was off the charts elated!! It was the only time she said, "You cannot do this without me." And I didn't. She played an extra walking behind me in the hospital.
My part was with Stewart Chandler. I was visiting the Children's ward in the Pine Valley Hospital, but I was lost. So I stopped and asked Stewart, "Excuse me. Do you know where the Children's ward is?" My scene was very short, I at some point I said, "Oh, I happen to have my medals right here" and pulled them out. Classic! I had my picture taken with as many people as possible and snapped one with Susan Lucci and my mom. I ran into Kelly Ripa a few years ago and said, "Do you remember when I came on the show?" She smiled and said, "Oh yes. I looked like I had eaten myself." It made me giggle. It was a great way to describe my look at that time also. Maybe it was too much cheesecake, which they served once we wrapped.
Thank you All My Children for all the entertainment, and for giving me one of my favorite post-Olympic medals memories. You were so kind to me, and made my mom and I feel so welcome. Daytime TV will never be the same.