Getting to know 'General Hospital's' Megan Ward

Talk a little about your childhood – you grew up in Hawaii?

MW: Yep. Sure did bradah. I even got strangled on my first day of kindergarten. We were definitely mainlander haoles but eventually we learned to fit in. It's a state rich in culture and beauty but also an island that can sometimes feel isolating.

Both of your parents were actors and acting teachers? Did you feel pressured to follow in their footsteps?

MW: I didn't feel pressured, but it was convenient. I spent my childhood in the wings waiting for my little part in my parent's productions. I was sent on auditions at a young age and allowed to miss school for jobs. It was very natural to be in audition situations for me and I liked winning roles. I knew it made them happy when I succeeded and who doesn't want to please their parents?

I read you started on commercials when you were nine – do you remember much about what commercials you shot? Do you remember the first one?

MW: I did lots of brochures for hotels and travel advertisements with my parents having grown up in Hawaii. My first commercial was for a local store called Gem (think Kmart), for a Christmas promotion. Pretty sure it involved Santa and my hair in curlers.

Can you talk a little bit about the television show you hosted in Japan?

MW: I saw the whole country modeling and even spoke Japanese in a short film made to demonstrate the brand new breakthrough technology: HIGH DEFINITION! Seriously, they followed me around with a UPS-sized truck housing the equipment necessary! The television show I worked on was called 'Science Q.' Every week we discussed and researched the science behind aspects of modern life we take for granted. I would help with demonstrations and participate in conversations. It was a primetime show that was actually very popular. Think 'Discovery Channel/Myth Busters.'

I know you've done a lot on primetime television. But I'm curious if there's anything that stands out about the episode of 'Friends' you did?

MW: It's thrilling to work on a hit show. Everyone knew what they were doing and catering was fantastic.

I read your latest blog entry and I love this – you wrote, 'Life is too short to let fear compromise the possibilities. Sometimes all we have to do is find the mute button.' You also talked about the understanding that you can't 'control' everything. Do you find writing the blog therapeutic?

MW: Yes, the narcissist in me likes to write the blog, but it drives the perfectionist in me crazy. Sometimes I have a lot to say and sometimes I just want to hide under my own little rock. What has surprised me is how my personal struggles, epiphanies and revelations written down are not only therapeutic for me, but others as well. Great, now the Catholic in me feels guilty for not updating in a while.

Have you written anything in the past, aside from the blog?

MW: No, I haven't, but it's on my Bucket List.

You mentioned Yoga – do you recommend it for people who have stress in their lives?

MW: The literal definition of Yoga is the balance between effort and surrender. It's not just good exercise, but it's also emotionally therapeutic. Anyone and everyone can do yoga. You just need to find the style that suits you. Yoga works on several levels and is all about honoring who you are and where you are. Pretty good therapy if you ask me and I don't practice nearly enough.

Do you have any advice for people who are struggling with stress, employment, and similar 'life' issues?

MW: Remember to breathe. Success is based on perspective. It's subjective and biased. Find ways to recognize your own worth and others will see it too.

Is GH the only daytime soap you've done? Talk a little about working on the original 'Melrose Place.'

MW: 'General Hospital' is the first and only daytime show I have worked on. However I have worked on several primetime soap operas. After almost working for Mr. Spelling many times, he very generously offered me a part I couldn't turn down. It was as close to daytime as anything else I've ever done. We spent more time in hair and make-up than on the set and shot two shows at the same time. Oh, and I had a giant secret plus a selfish agenda while wearing too much lip-gloss to bed.

When you first came on 'General Hospital' how long were you supposed to stay? Were you nervous on your first day? Did you watch 'GH' before you started working there?

MW: I had a one-year contract with a one-year option. I didn't expect the character to still be alive 3 years later. I was incredibly nervous the first day because I had no idea what to expect regarding production. I had never even stepped on a daytime soundstage before going up the stairs to do my first scenes. I knew it would be fast, but I didn't know I would be hit by a bullet train. I had watched the show for Rick Springfield in the early 80's but hadn't followed it since I turned 14.

Can you talk a bit about working with Maurice Benard (Sonny)? What do you miss the most about working with Maurice?

MW: I guess I miss having consistent story to invest in. Maurice and I spent time, sometimes hours, every workday discussing our story, characters and acting in general. It was nice to have an active partnership of respect and collaboration.

Is there anything in particular that stands out to you about 'General Hospital' – an experience or a feeling?

MW: What's amazing to me is how the extreme and surreal nature of taping a daytime show, especially in this current economy, has become second nature and comfortable to me.

Tell me about working with Blake (Gibbons, Coleman). Do you have fun working together?

MW: Blake/Coleman has been such a happy surprise for me. Blake and I instantly connected. We've both had such a variety of working experiences and an understanding of never letting an opportunity slip by. Because we didn't know each other very well before our first scenes (and kiss), the audience actually saw Blake and Megan discovering each other just like Kate and Coleman.

Aside from working with Blake, what do you like most about the Coleman/Kate (ColKate) pairing?

MW: I like that the coupling is unpredictable, no one saw it coming. Their future is open ended and full of storytelling possibilities without restrictions and expectations. I enjoy the chance to show different dimensions to my character.

Do you think the pairing brings Kate closer to her 'Connie' roots?

MW: Well, I think the pairing gives Kate the opportunity to NOT try and plan everything. I think Connie was at war with following her heart and following her dreams. She chose ambition and felt discipline was the only path to success. So now she has success but still no love in her heart. I think it's a grand experiment for her to let go and I think she really likes it. I really hope we get to see where it takes her.

I read in 'Soap Opera Digest' that you're a Rick Springfield fan. Did you ever talk with him?

MW: I really shouldn't have waited so long to "find” something to talk about with him, but on his last day when he was taping a concert, I butt into his conversation about traveling in Vancouver sharing with him a similar experience. I never gave him my name and I have no idea if he even ever saw my character on the show. Still just a fan girl. I was mad too, because I wanted to tell him how he almost fell on me in Vegas.