The world has ground to a halt over the current COVID-19 pandemic, but several soap opera stars have proven that just because they've been ordered to stay at home does not mean that they can't continue to entertain fans. With all four daytime dramas currently on hiatus, stars like Martha Madison (ex-Belle Black, Days of our Lives), Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker, DAYS), and Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis, General Hospital) have turned to starting podcasts to keep themselves in the public eye.
Martha Madison: While We Were Waiting
Madison took to Facebook to announce that she and her husband, restaurateur AJ Gilbert, have started a podcast about the restaurant industry called While We Were Waiting.
"Now that the restaurant industry is effectively shut down, we've had some extra time on our hands," says the official description. "In this series of podcasts, you'll hear from restaurant and hospitality professionals as they recount their very best stories from inside the hospitality industry. We want to do our part to connect, inspire and maybe laugh a little... while we wait to return to work. If you or someone you know works in the service industry, let them know we're here."
AJ Gilbert started managing restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1990s. He worked his way up through both corporate and independent restaurant groups and worked alongside some of the country's most notable chefs. In 2000, Gilbert opened his first restaurant, Luna Park, in the San Francisco Mission District and then went on to open five more restaurants throughout San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City.
Martha Madison started her restaurant career as a bartender in NYC while attending the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. During her four years in New York, she participated in seven restaurant openings throughout the city. In 2003, Martha moved to Los Angeles and met AJ during the opening of Luna Park LA. The couple married in 2007 and ran the Luna Park Restaurant Group together until they sold the business in 2016. In addition to being a restaurant operator, Martha is also a Director of Recruitment for One-Haus Hospitality. She juggles her restaurant roles with the one for which she is most famous: Belle Black on NBC's Days of our Lives -- a role she has played since 2004.
While We Were Waiting is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and/or Spotify. For more information, visit the podcast's official website here.
Arianne Zucker: Everything from A to Z
Another DAYS star to start a podcast during the coronavirus lockdown is Arianne Zucker, who took to Instagram to announce that she has launched one called Everything from A to Z."
As she describes on the podcast's official website, "I am a positivity advocate. My joy in life is to share with people how to become their very own hero. Be the hero for their own audience. With 'Everything From A to Z' we will cover the multitude of ways you can discover your hero. In my experience, people will hear things differently from different mentors. It's just a matter of how or who vibes with your vibrations. So, buckle in, start your engines and get ready to experience a new road to becoming your very own hero."
The first episode of Everything from A to Z is centered on the topic of abundance. "We will discover how abundance fits in your life and the steps it takes to allow yourself to be open to it," reads the description. "I discuss some personal experience[s] and cover questions we ask ourselves of how to get to the next level in our personal quest. This episode is more female driven, but the message behind it applies to everyone."
The second episode of the podcast centers on belief, which includes "the importance of caring for yourself during this 'new way of living'" and "the importance of believing in yourself and continuing to keep your dreams alive."
The third episode is set for Saturday, March 28, and will focus on the topic "because."
Zucker has been playing the role of DAYS' Nicole since 1998. In addition to acting, she co-created the non-profit organization Arrow-Heart Adventure Camps in 2007 with her brother, Todd Zucker. Operating out of the small town of Weiser, Idaho, the organization enriches teen's lives through outdoor adventure.
Everything from A to Z is available on Anchor, Spotify, Breaker, RadioPublic, and on Zucker's official website.
Nancy Lee Grahn: Soaps in Quarantine
Last but not least, General Hospital star Nancy Lee Grahn has also started a podcast co-hosted by Kaore Bonell. Called Soaps in Quarantine, the first episode of the video project includes guest stars James Patrick Stuart (Valentin Cassadine, GH) and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers, The Young and the Restless; ex-Nina Reeves, General Hospital) and delves into what life is like for the stars while they are under stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Grahn has a rich history in daytime television, beginning with her first television role as Marco Dane's secretary Beverly Wilkes on One Life to Life, which she played from 1978 to 1982. She went on to play headstrong lawyer Julia Wainwright on Santa Barbara from 1985 to 1993 before landing the role of GH's Alexis in 1996. As Soap Central previously reported, Grahn is currently writing a memoir that includes "the good and the not so good" of her life and career.
To watch the first episode of Soaps in Quarantine, click here. And if you're hungry for more soapy podcast fun, check out Her Voice by As the World Turns alum Alexandra Chando (ex-Maddie Coleman), which aims to help women in filmmaking; and the interactive murder-mystery podcast Solve, which features the voice of DAYS star Eric Martsolf (Brady Black).
What do you think about the new podcasts that Madison, Zucker, and Grahn have started while the world waits out the coronavirus pandemic? Which of the three is the most interesting to you? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.