Demarva Life Interviews O’Leary and Aleksander Guiding Light Breathing Under Dirt

Phillip and Rick 2016

Phillip and Rick 2016

In late June 2016 Michael O’Leary (Rick Bauer #5, the adult one we know and love) and Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding #2, adult Phillip) sat down for a Baltimore area regional talk show DemaraLife. They discuss both their time on Guiding Light and their new joint production – with O’Leary as author and Aleksander as director and star –  Breathing Under Dirt. O’Leary says it’s based in part on his coming to terms with unresolved issues dealing with his deceased father’s alcoholism.  Find out about the current production August 13-14, 2016. Keep up with future news on Facebook. Today O’Leary says he gets up everyday at 5 am just to do a little writing before his day really starts so look out for new material.

The cast from Guiding Light includes:

  • Cynthia Watros (Annie Dutton #1) ,
  • Michael O’Leary (Rick Bauer #5), 
  • Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding #2),
  • Tina Sloan (Lillian Raines)
  • Beth Chamberlain (Beth Raines Spaulding #2 – played Watros’s role in the original prize winning one-act play production)

Most of the Guiding Light stuff you would have heard before, but since this really isn’t directed at a GL fanbase audience what they say about their connection to fans is interesting. The best part, as always, is O’Leary‘s description of Charita Bauer (Bert Bauer). They also say that they are real life best friends and that Aleksander was determined to dislike O’Leary coming in since he was replacing the previous Rick (Phil MacGregor – who played the first adult Rick for about half a year) who had been a friend of his “and is now wildly successful at something else, but who could hold out against Mikey? He could melt an iceberg.” Aleksander said both he and O’Leary are still friends with MacGregor. They also briefly touch on how the cancellation hit them and especially recall their last time playing basketball together in character.

Aleksander: “Actually in an odd way, and this used to drive some of the ladies that we worked with nuts, because you internalize, you can’t help it you internalize a little bit about what’s going on, and every time we’d have one of these situations the writers sort of knew that the rooting value was always that Phillip and Rick, as long as they’re still going to be friends as long as they’re going to be friends. And sometimes the love interest whoever it might be would be ‘we were married and we do have a child and we care about THIS!'”

O’Leary: “They’d come up to me in the elevator and say ‘um Rick, Roxie may be a prostitute and have amnesia, but she loves you, child and Phillip, Phillip he’s cheating on you, but you’re going to still love Phillip. And I’d say, Ya, ya and ‘thank you Lord!'”

Interesting question on difference between soap opera acting and being on stage.

Besides the performance they’ll also have an actor workshop with Michael O’Leary in the same venue.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


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