At last year’s GH Fan Club Weekend, I attended the Tamara Braun fan event and for various reasons, I never got around to writing it up.  Now that arrangements for the 2004 Fan Weekend are gaining momentum, I find myself revisiting the good time I experienced last year.  In reviewing my notes (I don’t know why I kept them for so long) I see several questions and answers that offer insight into the actors and how they play their characters.  Skipping the details, I’ll dive right in with the most interesting questions and answers.  Questions and answers are paraphrased and not direct quotes. 

Question:  What was the panic room like? 

Ric Hearst (RH):  When the panic room story was first presented Tamara and I talked with JFP and didn’t support the storyline.  In this case, they had to find a way to put on blinders and speak from a character’s perspective.  I had to remember that it’s pretend, make believe and be very careful to respect Tamara Braun’s parameters. 

Tamara Braun (TB):  Ric needs to go to prison. 

Dylan Cash (DC):  On the show. 

TB:  Tamara Braun brought up how they commit 100% to the scenes and end up doing things in character like when she spit at Ric after learning of his supposed rape after drugging her.   

RH:  Neither spitting nor kneeing were in the script. 

Cynthia Preston (CP):  I thought she got him. 

RH:  And she (pointing at Tamara) laughed. 

TB:  She mentioned bruises, ring marks, from when Ric had grabbed her. 

RH:  He likes the animosity between Sonny and Ric.  They are both stubborn about holding onto their viewpoints and believe they are right.  It’s a fine edge between love you and kill you.  Ric’s actions are hard to justify and he has to dig deep.  He can’t divorce acts from remorse. 

Tamara Braun told the story of throwing food at Ric in the panic room.  It was a tuna fish sandwich which stunk up the set for days. 

Question:  What’s the picture on his dressing room door? 

RH:  Rick boxes.  Mo (Maurice Benard) boxes.  Steve (Steve Burton) cuts out pictures. 

Carolyn stood and asked Tamara Braun about her on screen pregnancy wondering when her butt was going to grow? 

TB:  Tamara Braun laughed and sighed.  No butt and no boobs.   

TB:  She likes Carly and Courtney as friends.  She said after a scene she and ALW would stand on stage and talk really loud about how great it would be for Carly and Courtney to be friends hoping the writers would hear.  She also likes the animosity between Carly and Faith. 

ALW told a story about how she realized that what their characters do on the soap matters.  Apparently a teacher wrote to her about a couple of her students who, worried about their weight, weren’t eating correctly.  Since Carly and Courtney have eaten several times on the show, the girls decided that they could eat also.  She also mentioned that she likes Courtney better as a tough chick.  At that point she didn’t know if Courtney and Jason would ever marry.   When asked where Rosie had gone, she laughed and said, “Upstairs”. 

TB:  When asked who she’d like to work with TB answered she’d like to work with Anthony Geary.  She also would like to find out the identity of Carly’s father. 

ALW:  There’s a lot of story available for Courtney regarding her childhood.  She’d like working with Ron Hale more. 

TB:  Carly misses her mom.  Bobbi should show up more. 

CP:  Faith’s family is an untapped well.  She’s more interested in now…she said leering at Rick.  (This was when Faith had a crush on Ric.) 

Question:  Will Ric ever reconcile with Sonny? 

RH:  He doesn’t see Ric making up with Sonny any time soon.  Maybe if there is a point in time when Ric has to decide whether to help his brother they could move closer but he doesn’t think they’ll ever be friends.  At best, they’ll stand at opposite ends of the room agreeing to disagree. 

Question:  Ric needs to face punishment for his actions. 

RH:  He believes Ric’s punishment will be that he ends up alone. 

Question:  Is there an unwritten soap law that there can only be one pregnancy at a time on the show? 

TB:  There seems to be an unwritten law that there will be no happy pregnancies. 

ALW:  (As Courtney) I’m not ready for kids yet. 

TB:  (Referring to Courtney) She loses Rosie. 

Question:  Do you ever look at a script and change lines? 

RH:  We can change some lines as long as we keep the intent of the scene. 

CP:  Sometimes the lines don’t make sense in the context of the character and she makes small changes to feel more comfortable with lines. 

Question to TB about love scenes: 

TB:  Love scenes with Maurice Benard?  Who? 

Question to CP:  When will Faith get tired of chasing Ric? 

CP:  Many people are tired of Faith chasing Ric.  (She leaned towards Rick Hearst, playing)  But I’m not. 

CP:  When she first read the script where Faith kissed Dillon, she thought it meant Dylan (Cash) and she was horrified until she realized they meant Dillon Quartermaine. 

Question to CP:  Did Faith really hold the snake that she put in Liz’s studio? 

CP:  Yes.  Snakes don’t freak her out and she thinks Faith should have snakes as pets.

Question:  Is it hard to play the panic room scenes? 

TB:  She wants to portray Carly as a captive but not a victim. 

RH:  The scenes are hard to play because of the issues involved.  (As Ric regarding his scene where he almost smothered Liz with a pillow)  One day I woke up and thought I’m going to kill my wife.  (As Rick)  I think he should have taken responsibility for his actions.  Ric doesn’t see any way out of his situation.  Sometimes he (Rick) needs an explanation as to why Ric is doing something, but in the end he may disagree but it’s his job to play the scene and make it work.  The panic room is disturbing.  He didn’t watch himself in those scenes. 

Question:  What about love scenes since Carly’s pregnant? 

TB:  They wanted to do love scenes but they couldn’t figure out how to do them with the pregnancy pillow strapped on.  It was discussed trying a love scene with Sonny and Carly and shooting Carly only from the back, but they couldn’t make it work. 

Following the Q and A, Tamara Braun and Rick Hearst came to each table to sign autographs, chat, and take pictures.  It was getting late but they stayed until they had spoken with each person who wanted to talk to them.  I had to leave before the end but I was told the next day that they stayed until 12:30 a.m.  Talk about gracious and dedicated!