Lovely Ladies of GH
While having a terrific job, family and friends is great, Vanessa Marcil knows what is most important to her - Inner Peace
For many actresses, juggling one full-time job demanding job is difficult enough. Imagine trying to work not only on your steady gig, but also, in your rare spare time, hosting a weekly music show - ABC's In Concert - and when that is done, taking those precious moments that are left and working with kids who are trying to get off drugs and alchol. For Vanessa Marcil, all these tasks have only given her an appreciation of the finer things in life - things that money just cant buy.
The character of Brenda has really come into her own lately and the fans are really crazy for Brenda and Sonny. Vanessa: It feels really, really nice. I think Brenda has come a long way, and grown up alot in the past two years. It's amazing to me, its like a dream come true! I still cant believe it. I dont think you ever really get used to it, having a character become popular and working a lot - having great co-stars and getting popular with the fans. It's amazing and sometimes, you just cant believe it's true. Every day I think, 'Thank you God!' because it is like a dream come true. It is a lot like being in acting school, because this is my first job. It's like I'm being paid to go to acting class. You come into work and work all day long. Sometimes, we get off at midnight and have to be back at eight in the morning. It's a lot, but it teaches you really good discipline.
How have you changed over the past two years? Vanessa: I think the main thing that's changed about me is realizing what is important to me. Getting a great job like this and having some money and being able to do what I love is great, but what's really important to me is my family and my friends and just to have peace within myself. Not to make everything be about this job when I go home at night. I like to take off my makeup, and play with my dogs. That's what I think I've learned here. People are always going, 'I'd love to have this' or 'I'd love to have that' and we all want these things we dont have, but then you get them, and then you learn they're not the most important things in the world. Material possessions are not the answer to all your problems. The answer to all your problems is having good relationships with the people you love, doing things for other people and not being self-obsessed. One of the biggest things I've learned on this show is never to think you are better than anybody. I never want to think that I'm better than anybody or more important than anybody. Not the hair people, not the crew, not the person who might park my car. We're all the same.
Are there specific things you do to keep yourself in check and not let the job take over your life? Vanessa: In my spare time, I work with drug addicts and alcoholics and I work with kids who are trying to quit and get off drugs and alcohol. I was abused as a child, but I worked through that and now I'm working with other people who have gone through abuse, to teach them to have self-esteem because that's what gets taken from you when you're abused. Nothing is as important as a child in need of help. I have really great friends. My very best friends, none of them are in the business, so they keep me very grounded.
Is it hard for you to be around people who are abused - having come from a similiar background. You almost have to relive it all over again. Was it a tough choice, or was it something you knew you just had to do? Vanessa: It makes it easier for me. All of us as people who understand around us, so I understand what these kids are going through because I've been through it. I feel understood also because they know how I feel because I was them, so its a comforting thing, you know? I dont believe that it's bad to bring up old memories. I dont believe that painful things are bad. I think its the way you deal with them. Its better to face painful things that have happened and to talk about them, instead of going, 'Oh, dont talk about that, dont cry. Everything's okay.' Its good to talk about it.
Where do you think that outlook on life comes from? Vanessa: My whole life as a child, I was suppressed. I wasnt allowed to show any feelings. I think thats the way most of the world is, everyone's afraid to show their feelings. Thats why people are intrigued with television and movies because they are watching people who are expressing their feelings, and they wish that they could but they're afraid. It was such a great feeling for me, realizing that I didnt have to be suppressed anymore. I left the house where my father had done all that to me, I left and came out into the world and I realized that I didnt have to not talk about it, and I felt so much better, so I just want to keep on doing it.
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