DC Interview: Ilene Kristen, Jane of All Trades
Ilene Kristen is truly a jane-of-all-trades. Not only does she keep millions of viewers in stitches with her malapropism-proned character Roxy Balsom on ABC Daytime's One Life to Live, but she also rocks out to crowds on both coasts with her vocal stylings. This coming Saturday, Oct. 17 from 8-9:30 pm PT, Kristen will serve as the musical guest for the red hot sketch comedy show ACME Saturday Night. I caught up with the talented actress, who serves as Grace to Brett Claywell's (Kyle) Will on OLTL, to dish about her ACME gig and of course, her one life to live.
Daytime Confidential: The last time we talked, you were hosting ACME Saturday Night, now you're the musical guest. What numbers will you be performing?
Ilene Kristen: I'm going to be performing some of my original songs. One called "Lion's Den", another called "Rise to the Occasion" and then also, "I'm Not Done With You Yet". I've also been working on this jazzy version of The Beatles' "Cant Buy Me Love". My brother-in-law Mike Hoffman is doing the arrangement for me. I'm a little nervous, with me being here in New York, and him doing it out in California!
DC: Really? You've done it all, Broadway, soaps, music, you still get nervous?
IK: Oh yeah, I still get nervous. I did Grease on Broadway for two years, and I was nervous every night. I still get nervous before a scene on One Life to Live. I just know how to use my nerves to my advantage. Once I get on the stage, everything is fine and the nerves go away, but yes, I definitely still get nervous. In fact I am going to be doing this evening of plays for the Ensemble Studio Theaters called "Asking For Trouble", where the actors and directors names go in a hat, and are selected at random, and we will then be given 20 different 10 minute plays. I am so nervous about that!
DC: Well you don't look nervous on screen. I am loving Roxy's relationship with Kyle. You guys are daytime's Will and Grace! What is it like working so close these days with Brett Claywell?
IK: Oh I love it. Brett and Scott [Evans] are great guys. Really nice additions to the show. I haven't been working a lot recently, but I have a lot of good stuff coming up soon.
DC: That's definitely good to hear. Your former Ryan's Hope costar and good pal Roscoe Born is back on the show. That should be fun to see.
IK: I haven't worked with him yet, but I will very shortly. I think it's fantastic that we have him back; he is such a great actor.
DC: What do you make of all the One Life to Live cancellation talk?
IK: Nobody wants to think about that kind of stuff. No one wants to think about losing their jobs or a character they love. I love Roxy. I've had a sensational time playing her and hope we can continue doing what we do.
DC: Trust me, so do we here at Daytime Confidential!
IK: Well, we appreciate the support!
DC: So what's next for Ilene Kristen?
IK: Well, I got inspired recently. I saw this really amazing jazz singer named Carmen Lundy perform and it really got me wanting to write more. I am a decent jazz singer, but my music is really a mixture of rock and jazz, but she really inspired me. Who knows, maybe I will go to Europe and do some more music there, but for right now, I wanna keep on doing Roxy.
If you're in the SoCal area, be sure to check out special musical guest Ilene Kristen, performing at ACME Saturday Night on Oct. 17, 2009 from 8-9:30 pm PT. The ACME theater is located at 135 N. La Brea Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90036. You can also catch the show online at www.acmecomedy.com.