Soap opera actors get all the glory when it comes to their shows being in the spotlight, but it takes an awful lot of work from a multitude of other talented people to bring The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of our Lives, and General Hospital to life. We wanted to kick off the new year by making sure that the men and women who tirelessly toil behind the scenes at the world's best drama series get their turn in the spotlight. So Soap Central asked actors from all four shows: "If you could switch places with a crewmember from your show, which behind-the-scenes job would you want and why?" Here's what they had to say:
Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke Logan, B&B)
"I think casting. I like the whole element of finding people, and also finding new, upcoming actors. Fashion would be fun, as well. But I'm not sure I'd want to do it on a soap opera, because it's a lot!"
Gina Tognoni (Phyllis Summers, Y&R)
"Immediately I think director. I would love to direct! There's a lot there, and I would love to learn how to do it. To be on the other side of the camera and to be a part of the scene that doesn't have to do with you at all [would be refreshing]. As Phyllis, it's always from that point of view and who I'm working with. But to be on the other side, as director, you have to put all the parts together and be there to support and understand the story everyone is trying to tell. I would really love that. It's such a neat job, and I've always been fascinated with it."
Chrishell Stause (ex-Jordan Ridgeway, DAYS; ex-Amanda Dillon, All My Children)
"Does casting count? Because that would be such an easy answer for me. I'm so intrigued by that process and getting to see what different people bring to the read. It's kind of cool to see how different someone does something. So I would love, love, love to do casting for a day. I think it would be such a fun job, and I've always wanted to do it anyway. So if [DAYS' casting director] Judy Wilson ever needs a day off, I will happily take her place!"
Heather Tom (Katie Logan, B&B)
"I've had to sit in the editing booth when I was directing shows, and they are amazing. I knew that we had great editors, but I had no idea just how good. And I could say that about a lot of our crewmembers. But how they clip it a little here and add a little here and suddenly the show has a whole different pace and whole different feel. It's amazing what they do. I find it really fascinating."
Kate Linder (Esther Valentine, Y&R)
"Because she's so incredibly talented, I would say Patty Denny, who's in charge of our hair and makeup. I watch her all the time. I couldn't do it, but maybe she could teach me!"
Suzanne Rogers (Maggie Horton, DAYS)
"A camera guy! Our cameraman John, he's so nice, and it makes you feel good. So I'd like to be in his place and give the actors support."
Don Diamont (Bill Spencer, B&B)
"Camera. It's amazing how those guys wheel those huge machines around and get the scenes logged in. And they do it so effortlessly. It's really amazing."
Lisa Locicero (Olivia Falconeri, GH)
"I would say the stage manager who gets to hear what they're saying about us in the booth. I've heard that sometimes it's super mean! Some directors are like, ‘What the HELL is she doing out there?!' Meanwhile, you're out there thinking you're having a great moment! So I would love to hear that."
Anthony Montgomery (Andre Maddox, GH)
"Just because I'd want to do it just once, [our executive producer] Frank Valentini. I would only do it once, because I've watched the stress that that man has on his shoulders constantly. I'm launching my own sci-fi franchise. I'm the Gene Roddenberry of the universe, I created it, I've got a graphic novel, it's going to be an animation live action film, so because I'm going to be in that position myself, I would want to just know from Frank's perspective, what all of the parts look like. Because I won't know that until I'm there, and by then, everyone is going to be, 'Oh, my gosh, it's you!' And I'll be like, 'No, I'm still the same guy.' Because I see how people treat him. There's God, and then there's Frank. For Star Trek, there was God, and there was Gene Roddenberry, and then there was us. So I get what that dynamic is. But I would only want to take it for a little while."
John-Paul Lavoisier (ex-Philip Kiriakis, DAYS)
"One of the boom operators to see how much stuff I can catch the actors saying under their breath! All the little things they say between the scenes or during the rehearsal, getting all that stuff. That would be fun."
Greg Rikaart (Kevin Fisher, Y&R)
"Maybe I'd be in the wardrobe department. I'd skip places with Scott [Burkhart], who runs our wardrobe department. I think he has a really fun, creative job. He gets to approach his creativity in a different way than I'm used to. So that seems like it would be a fun outlet. It would be a challenge for me though. Anytime you see me looking good, it's because of Scott. I'm not much of a fashion guy. I'm a J Crew guy, t-shirts and jeans. And what I like about them is they put out a style guide, so I feel like I can get a lot of pointers from them."
Karla Mosley (Maya Avant, B&B)
"I think I would be a cameraperson. They get to be active all day, and they channel the director's vision. Also, they kind of take care of you. If I have a love scene, they'll be like, 'You may want to move your left leg a little in a different angle.' Do you know what I mean? You really feel cared for, and you get to see them one on one every day."
Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans, DAYS)
"I think our directors are especially gifted, because they're given a script a few days ahead of time, and they have to organize it, mark it, set up all the shots they want, and then in your hands, we have this multitude of personalities, and they have to know the actors and their temperament, as well as the characters and their temperament. It's a lot of plates spinning at the same time and a really fine balancing act. I imagine it keeps their ears up! I would step into the role of director at some point."
Tamara Clatterbuck (Alice Johnson, Y&R)
"I would love to direct. I've worked with such great ones, and it's great to set up actors with their motivation and what they want out of [the scene], and how to drive the scene. And then of course to work with actors, because actors are great. We're all a little crazy, but shoot, we're great! I love actors. You never know what's going to happen next; they keep life exciting. So to be hands on with the actors would be great."
What do you think about these stars' dream behind-the-scenes jobs? If you could switch places with someone from your favorite soap for a day, who would you swap with and why? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.