Actor Colin Egglesfield admits that when he got the job playing Erica Kane’s son on the ABC soap opera, All My Children, he had no idea how tough the gig was going to be.
Egglesfield played Josh Madden, a young man who caused controversy on the show because he was the child that Erica thought she never had. During a groundbreaking moment, especially for daytime television, Erica discovered that she was pregnant.
Rather than have the baby and compromise her budding career, she decided to end her pregnancy. Unbeknownst to her, the doctor who performed the abortion ended up implanting Erica’s embryo into his own wife – and Josh Madden was born. True to soap’s wild storylines Josh arrives in Pine Valley, shrouded in mystery.
‘All My Children’ was amazing and grueling, Colin says
Soap storylines often push boundaries, flirting with taboo topics. Egglesfield told Showbiz Cheat Sheet that the actors who work on soaps usually don’t get the credit they deserve for the work they do.
He recounted his experience on All My Children as being a pretty wild ride. “It was amazing and grueling and terrifying all at the same time,” he said. “Because with a soap opera, we’re shooting a whole one-hour show in one day. There’s no time to really do three, four, or five, six takes. You’re essentially doing only one or two takes, and then you’re moving on.”
Soap actors don’t get the credit they deserve
That means if the script changes or if you are trying to keep up with a wild, twisted storyline like his, actors have to pivot and keep pace with production. “So you’ve got to know your material,” he said. “You’ve got to know it like the back of your hand. And it’s great training ground for any actor. Because it just forces you to be able to process a lot of information and learn your lines very quickly.”
Egglesfield admitted he was pretty terrified when he first joined All My Children. “The first few weeks that I was on the show, I’m sure I looked like this [shocked] because I was just like, Oh, my God, there’s four cameras. What’s my line? I’m supposed to walk over here? It’s pretty incredible.”
“And I think a lot of soap opera actors don’t necessarily get the recognition or the respect that they deserve,” he added. “But after working on a soap opera for three years, when actors are able to pull all of that together in such a short amount of time and the producers and the writers, I mean, it’s nothing short of miraculous.”
Colin Egglesfield was facing cancer when he was on ‘All My Children’
Of course, adding to Egglesfield’s anxiety was being diagnosed with testicular cancer while he was on All My Children. Busy with scripts and work, Egglesfield tried to ignore symptoms. “I just noticed that my left testicle had swelled up, and I went to see the doctor and he said that we needed to do some tests, ultrasound, a blood test. And they discovered that it was at a pretty advanced stage, and did the surgery and found that some of the cancer cells had gone through the veins and arteries to the kidneys,” he recalled to Fox News.
He had only been playing Josh on All My Children for about nine months when he was diagnosed. Thankfully Egglesfield is cancer-free today. “This was 13 years ago, so thankfully I am cancer-free,” he said. “I feel like at this point in my life, it made sense to put it down on paper.”
He wrote a book and created a program about finding passion in life
Egglesfield recounted how he faced cancer (twice) and wrote about his experience with the disease but also working in the entertainment industry. He created a program called INSPIRE from his book “Agile Artists: Lessons from Hollywood and Beyond.”
“In this book, I talk about how the things that I’ve learned from the industry have helped me in my personal life,” he told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “And how I think it could help so many other people dealing with whatever they’re dealing with. I’m a cancer survivor, so I have a chapter about how what I’ve learned, my acting principles and success principles helped with my mindset.”
Egglesfield’s INSPIRE program will take place at RomaDrama Live! on Sunday, June 26, from 9 a.m.-noon ET. Fans will have the opportunity to experience his inspirational performance in person and be treated to a preview of the presentation on the kick-off day, Friday, June 24.
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