Soap Opera Fan Blog Speaks With Y&R’s Greg Rikaart!
Meet the man behind the multi-faceted character, Kevin Fisher!
I felt fortunate to have had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Y&R’s Greg Rikaart (Kevin Fisher), who was a very well-spoken, caring, and down-to-Earth individual. Our sister site, Soaps.com has all the scoop on what Greg had to say about Kevin, but here on Soap Opera Fan Blog, Greg gave us the inside story on what he has been up to, if he’s staying with the show, and what his stance is on the upcoming Presidential election!
Soap Opera Fan Blog: I’d like to start by asking if you have any acting projects outside of Y&R brewing right now, and ask about the online series you’ve acted in, “Imaginary Bitches”, and what that experience has been like for you.
Greg: Actually, “Imaginary Bitches” is the only acting job I have going right now outside of Y&R. I’ve been pretty busy the past few weeks working on the Obama campaign. I’m always auditioning and open to other projects, but Y&R keeps me pretty busy. As far as “Imaginary Bitches” goes, that was a really fun experience. I know Andrew (Miller, Creator) and Eden (Riegel, Bianca, All My Children) through mutual friends and had worked with them on a play last year, and getting to work with them on this project was great. Andrew conceived the project during the writer’s strike last year and it was amazing watching it go from an idea, to the script, to these wonderful episodes that were edited so well. Everyone involved gave 110% of their time and talent and the end result was fantastic! It was shot on a shoestring budget and it looks wonderful, and it was really fun to play a character who is somewhat unlike Kevin, and working with a crew and actors that I wasn’t accustomed to was a really great experience.
Soap Opera Fan Blog: What kind of reaction have you received to the online series? What is your opinion on the future of online entertainment?
Greg: The number of YouTube hits that “Imaginary Bitches” has received is well over a million hits. It’s been reported on big news channels, because it became something of a web phenomenon. Unlike other YouTube videos that become a hit, or go viral, this was a series, so you could really chart the progress. So if one episode had ‘x’ number of hits, the next episode would inevitably have exponentially more because it was gaining a loyal audience. So that was great, you can have an instant gauge of how something’s doing – the fan reaction has been pretty great – people enjoyed seeing me do something different than what I get to do everyday. I think online entertainment is a natural evolution, and there will always be a place for network TV, but online entertainment is here to stay, and I think that’s great! 15 or 20 years ago, if you wanted to have input about a television show, you had to sit down and write a letter and send it to the network, which took a much greater effort than to sit in front of the computer and watch something on YouTube and post your thoughts. It engages the audience more. I think it’s great – technology is a good thing!
Soap Opera Fan Blog: As an award-winning actor, what’s down the road for you? Are you the sort of actor who will be looking for new and different challenges, or are you content to stay on Y&R for as long as you’re able?
Greg: For starters, my career history is such that I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 right after I graduated from college, and I spent about four years auditioning and, you know, waiting tables and doing odd jobs, and all of that time taking acting classes and donating lots of my free time toward pursuing my career. My manager always likes to joke around with me that there was one year that I had 175 auditions and I didn’t book one job! So, while I realize how fortunate I am in the grand scheme of things, four years is not a long time, as long as it seemed at the time, I’m grateful that I had those years to learn the craft and to understand and appreciate how difficult it can be to find success, and I don’t take it for granted at all. So, am I content at Y&R? Absolutely! Do I love the idea of, and welcome, any future opportunities that would come my way? Yes. But I also don’t have much of a passion for anymore fame than I have, and when I look at the cost-benefit analysis of staying on the show versus leaving, it’s hard to find pros. The only pros would be more money and more fame, and I already make more money than I need, and I have more fame than I need, so would I take another job in the future? Of course. But at this stage of the game, where I am right now, if I had to make a decision to leave the show to pursue something else – that would be a difficult decision to make.
Soap Opera Fan Blog: Our readers think so highly of your acting ability that they wonder, isn’t it a logical progression for an award-winning actor to go from Daytime to Primetime and/or feature films?
Greg: Sure. Every now and then I’ll watch something on TV – I love Dexter – Michael Anthony Hall is great, or I’ll be watching a performance on television and wishing that it were me in that role, but I think that those roles are really few and far between, and it’s really flattering that [the readers] think that, but I feel that I get challenged artistically at the show. I mean, not everyday, sometimes you’re just in the background and not really doing much, but I feel like I have the creative outlet that I need for the most part at Y&R. Not to say that I wouldn’t absolutely love to do other stuff, and I’m sure I will someday, but for the time being I’m happy where I am.
Soap Opera Fan Blog: You once did an internship on Capitol Hill after college. What is your feeling on politics now? Do you see yourself becoming involved in political life in the future?
Greg: I can’t say that I see myself becoming more involved in politics anymore than I am right now. Running for office is not something I’ve entertained. But [politics] is something I’m very passionate about. I think we’re at a really wonderful time in American history, that where we are right now, 50 or 100 years from now, will be something they’ll be learning about in school. We’re on the precipice of something really exciting, and different, and new, which is what I think we need, not just here, but globally. I’ve been pretty active in doing whatever I can to make sure that Barack Obama is our next President.
Soap Opera Fan Blog: At sister site, Soaps.com, we’ve given press to your Fan Club’s ‘Change a Light’ Challenge. Tell us more about your feelings on the environmental issues of the day, and what you do in your own life to be environmentally conscious.
Greg: I love the idea of putting a solar roof on my house, but there are really easy, cost-effective things that we can do day-to-day, like I’ve gotten into the habit of using canvas grocery bags, things like that. They’re so much more durable! [We laughingly agree that it's sooo easy to forget them] I try to keep a few in the house, a few in the car, but I still forget at times. [We discuss how San Francisco has already banned plastic bags] It’s a great idea, but on the flip-side, there’s really no alternative, I try to use these bags that are made from corn or something, as far as trash bags go, but I don’t think we have a viable alternative to like, a Glad bag. [Environmentally-speaking] I also take part in a project in my area called ‘Guerilla Gardening’, where basically, there’s a group of us who find abandoned lots or property that’s being neglected and we’ll sneak onto it late at night or early on Sunday mornings, and we’ll just bring some plants and trash bags and clean it up, and what happens is, beyond just making that one spot, for the moment, look nice, I think it sort of energizes the community around any site to become more civic-minded and proud of where they live, and oftentimes people come out while we’re working and applaud our efforts and agree to come back and do some watering when needed. So that’s one I participate in. I also drive a hybrid and recently got a Vespa, which gets seventy miles to the gallon, and I bike to work when the weather permits. With an Obama administration we’d really see some changes in environmental policies, which is really needed.
Soap Opera Fan Blog: Could you tell us what causes you are currently supporting, and why?
Greg: In this current political season, I’ve mostly worked to support or oppose the propositions on the California ballot, namely, Proposition 2, which would create more humane conditions for farm animals that are being raised for food, which I support, as well as Proposition 8, which is an equality amendment that would put an amendment on the state constitution not allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, and that’s something that I’ve been working on, a “No Prop 8″ campaign. Gays and lesbians pay taxes like everyone else!
Soap Opera Fan Blog: You participate in many fan-oriented events – why is this important to you and what do you get out of it?
Greg: It’s always great to meet the fans, and as I said earlier, I don’t take any of my success for granted, or take for granted that without the fans I wouldn’t have a job that I really enjoy. I think it’s really important to participate and to show my appreciation the same way fans come out and show their appreciation for what we do.
To read the portion of the interview where Greg discusses his alter-ego, Kevin Fisher, and to find out what is ahead for Kevin and his family, visit our sister site, Soaps.com! For more on Greg Rikaart, his Fan Club, and activities, visit Greg’s MySpace Page!
Please be sure to comment on this interview!
- Candace Young
Photo Courtesy of CBS
Fun fact! Candace Young wrote this story just for you on October 20th, 2008 |