Monday, January 09, 2006

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Seasons Greetings to everyone and a very Happy New Year’s! It is now 2006 and I hope it started with a BIG BANG for everyone. I know that this entry comes after the fact but this is not just a happy holidays “I hope everyone is in good spirits” wish but one that is meant for everyday of the year. I am sure that this entry will be a bit sentimental so I hope that you’ll bear with me as I will not just be talking about my holiday break but another departure from the “Guiding Light” family that really hits close to my heart.

My time off started on the twenty-second of December, catching an early evening flight home and getting picked up at the airport by my mom whom I was very happy to see. Yes, at twenty-four years of age, I can say that I don’t mind hanging with the folks and spending time catching them up on the adventures and goings-on in their son’s life. Don’t get me wrong now, I do also enjoy going out with my friends from back home and grabbing a bite to eat or a drink too, but my family and I are very close and I do miss them, I just don’t always talk about it, LOL!

After doing some last minute Christmas shopping, I was given a little holiday surprise by two of my good friends (one a childhood friend and the other my fraternity brother): one had a little baby girl and the other was expecting a child with his wife! Congrats E.I. and J.G., I am so happy for you guys, but why are ya’ll always showing off! All kidding aside, I truly am very happy for them, but it is a wake-up call that this is the age when men and woman start to think about families and their personal futures. I believe that one day I will be ready for that, but right now there are just so many things to experience and so many places that I have yet to see, you know? Being a dad is a wonderful gift but being able to provide the type of life that helps a child excel and hopefully exceed your expectations is a position I am just not in right now. For everyone this is a different viewpoint, but for me I am more nervous than excited by that.

WOW, I think I just got really off topic there so let’s just move right along. My girlfriend came up from her home in Richmond to spend Christmas Eve and Day with my family, which was so much fun, before both she and I then headed back down to her home to do the same with her family. I think that this year I went a bit heavy on the spending towards gifts. It wasn’t that I felt that gifts were the most important part of the Holiday, it’s just that I kept finding things that I thought certain people might really like and before I knew it, I was missing quite a few “zero’s” from my bank account. I guess I will just have to work extra hard in 06’ to earn them back, LOL!

Before leaving to come back home to New York I had to get in some horseback riding with the new riding shoes I received from my girlfriend’s family. They worked so well, but they alone won’t keep your butt in the saddle, guess I still have much to learn ;p

No, I really am feeling more comfortable on horseback and am even getting better about riding bareback (that means without a saddle and not meaning without pants for those who aren’t aware)!!!

Once we returned to New York, it was time to plan for New Year’s. For those of you who haven’t been to New York before or maybe just don’t know the extreme price inflation over the holidays for entertainment, I will illuminate this horrific reality for you. To go to a nightclub for JUST finger foods and open bar access for about four hours will cost you roughly $75-175 per person and a pre-fixed dinner at a nice restaurant will run you about $150-300 per person. That tends to add up very quickly and coming only a week after Christmas, was a bit of an overkill for us. Sarah had some friends coming up to visit so we surprised them with a decorated apartment filled with banners, table cloth settings, hanging “NEW YEARS EVE” decorations and party poppers!

There was an abundance of wine and appetizers that we both made and set out, and soft music playing for entertainment. Her friends (who stayed with us) were absolutely shocked and touched for so much thought. We then went right around the corner to a French Bistro for a very mouth-watering and palate-pleasing meal before getting back to the apartment just in time for the clock to hit midnight.

We toasted in the New Year with a bottle of champagne and strawberrys and watched the fireworks display being shot off in Central Park. It was a really great way to start off 2006. I have to say that seeing Sarah’s friend’s faces and hearing their excitement about the wonderful weekend was reward enough for me. By this time though, I was very excited to get back into the swing of things at work, but there was a dark spot for all of us. Someone was going to be missing from the studio and so when Friday the sixth of January came (my first day back), I was of mixed emotions.

This is very hard for me to type and I have to apologize because I am actually getting a little teary-eyed thinking about this next part. Crystal Hunt (Lizzie) as many of you now know, will not be returning to the “Guiding Light” in 2006. Though her episodes will run through January and into February, her contract was up in December and she chose to pursue that dream that all actors on a Daytime show have and that is to move on to other avenues of work in either Primetime Television or the Movie Industry.

This was not an easy choice for Crystal to make, but she made the decision on what she felt was best for her, and that’s exactly what she and every other actor who either is or was or will be on a daytime soap needs to do.

Now I know that the magazines may have said something to the effect that “Crystal Hunt walks off set at GL” but that was truly not the case. Crystal was an extremely outgoing and vivacious young woman with tons of energy and a flair for just telling it like it is. I remember first meeting her back in the summer of 2004 when I first started and I thought, HOLY $*%@, I have to work with her, I can’t stand her! Yes, I will admit that her personality was bit much to take but that was only because I wasn’t used to her personality yet, I hadn’t given her a chance yet to show me the kind of individual she really was and is. We all make initial assumptions of others and most of the time they are NOT RIGHT, admit it!

Fortunately for me, our stories became involved and I was given or rather forced to interact with her and that’s when everything became much clearer to me about who she was and how Crystal ticked. I can’t give everything about Crystal out in one entry and I’m not going to try because some of who she is are memories that I really don’t want to share. I say that not to be selfish but we all have bits and pieces of others inside who help make us who are as people. Crystal helped me make the transition of going from a struggling actor in New York to realizing what being on a Daytime show would be like. She helped me get through my first fan weekend and bought me an alarm clock when I was late to work for the second time, LOL. I crashed at her apartment on the couch quite a few times when I didn’t want to travel back to Brooklyn last winter, no questions asked. She would give and give and if she couldn’t, Crystal would find the right person who could help out and give. I know that there has been mixed gossip about her as a person and an actress on some GL message boards. I know that people are entitled to their own opinions and I am not trying to sway that or trying to make people change them, but I will say that if you would trade places with any person who has as rigorous a schedule of not just filming but promotion, studying, keeping a certain image physically, starting their own company and trying to stay healthy while traveling every week, and tired from being constantly put under the public’s microscope where every action you do might end up in the soap magazines, you may not be in the best spirits or most talkative mood either.

I am certainly not trying to get off topic here about Crystal and her career on “Guiding Light”; I am simply just saying that I worked with her in person and feel that I know her pretty well to make a statement such as this, that’s all. Anyway, to get back on track, her last day of filming was December twenty-second. As soon as I finished for the day and returned my garments to wardrobe, I headed up to the production office to check my mailbox and wish everyone a happy holiday before heading to the airport. Crystal walked in and did the same then disappeared into one of the producer’s offices for a bit. I thought nothing of it. Later, we stood there in a strong embrace for the longest minute, tears welling up in both our eyes. The person whom I was so close and intimate with on the screen, my first on screen love was leaving and there was nothing else to do. Maybe I am making too much out of this and yes, the part has been re-cast and there will be another Lizzie Spaulding BUT, it won’t be Crystal Hunt. As Crystal said her goodbyes to everyone, she and Scott Bailey walked out together, as I had gotten caught up grabbing my things. As I got to the elevator the door shut and I impatiently waited for another hoping that I didn’t miss her and Scott before they jumped into a cab. I ran to the foyer of the CBS building and she was no where to be seen, so I proceeded out the door and saw them up the block. There I am dragging my luggage and trying to half run/walk to catch up to see her off, I must have looked like the biggest idiot! I finally caught up with them as they were getting in the cab and wished them both a safe and fun holiday and watched as the cab drove off. I assure you that Crystal will always have a place in all of our hearts as I hope she will in all of yours.

Alright, wow that was tough! The new Lizzie Spaulding started yesterday, January 6, 2006 and I will tell you that the character is in good hands. The new actress will bring something new to the character and with time will settle into her own style but she, like we all did and do, needs time and a little support. You won’t be disappointed, I promise! And just a little side note here, her first day on set just happened to be a day that Coop had to be half naked in bed, LOL!

If you have any Lizzie stories or memorable meetings with Crystal, I would love to hear about them!

All my love to you and all my warmest thoughts too. Let’s have an awesome 2006 at the Light!

27 Comments:

Blogger MommyCeratops said...

Thanks for taking the time to write the long blog! I have only heard nice things about Crystal from people who have met her. It was great to hear your thoughts on her; she sounds like a beautiful person inside and out.

I am glad you had a great holiday! I can't wait to see what the new year brings for you. I am sure it will be wonderful!

PS. Don't rush to have kids, (they are wonderful) you are young and have a lot of time for that.

January 9, 2006 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Soap Girl said...

Happy new year! I think alot of people will miss Crystal. I loved her as Lizzie. She was so good to her fans. I remember she was one of the first actors to send me back an autographed picture. And she even sent out a holiday card wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It was such a nice surprize because I got it the day after Christmas in the mail. Well, I can't wait to see whats in store for Coop/Lizzie/Ava on the show!

January 9, 2006 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger CandiceMack said...

John!
*hugs* I have miss you sooo much,I am glad you had a wonderful holiday and New Years eve too.As for me..uh let's see my boyfriend is now is the Army (he isnt here in MD with me but in Washington State),uh as for Crystal leaving,trust me when I say that you were not the only one crying because I was too only cause I just saw her back in october and at the softball game and we bonded real fast (due to the fact we was joking about you lol).I was shock to learn she was leaving..its just weird..oh yeah John..you said

"And just a little side note here, her first day on set just happened to be a day that Coop had to be half naked in bed, LOL!" (Thanks John for the VCR/Tivo moment).

As far as the kids goes..umm we sorta (Tim,my boyfriend and I)had a surprise happen but it wasnt meant to be (if you got that)so I think about 2 years or 3 I will try again.But he did tell me that this is the year I have to go to all the soap events so..John keep us posted on that.

And you said you are missing some zeros in your account huh? I didnt see my present *looks under the tree again* nope no gift from you lol.Trust me my account is at zero and its sad too..my little account with no money to keep it company lol

Candice

January 9, 2006 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger Lashan said...

Wow! John thanks so much for writeing in your blog it has been a while!lol. I loved hearing you talk about Crystal she sounds so neat and cool I always have loved her as Lizzie and believe me she will be missed!!. I am so happy that the hoildays was nice it sounds like you had a lot of fun.Also don not be in a hurry to have a family I work with kids at a school and I have found it to be a lot of work and that is just with kids lol.
Lashan

January 9, 2006 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Monique said...

Dear John,

It has been a forever since we last saw each other and it looks like much has changed (both good and bad)since our last conversation. You can never understand how proud I am of you and all that you have accomplished. I know that we have been out of touch with one another for quite some time, but Sean and Anita called me the day that you got Guiding Light and all I could do was smile from ear to ear. LOL. They didn't know it, but it was like my own secret "I told you so". From the day that I met you, I knew you were made for this. I have never been more confident in a person and I am just as confident that you will continue to do great things.

As for me, I am still at Howard and it has been quite the learning experience. LOL. They have been good to me and the free education was an added perk. Oddly enough, I have actually met more celebrity clientele here than when I was in the agency. A bookstore? Go figure! But apparently the HU Legacy holds a lot of weight with the African American glitterati, so I have booked some rather tony affairs for the bookstore. Unfortunatly, my heart strings still pull towards music and this is going to be my last year with them. My boss understands and is in full support of my efforts. He has even come to see me perform a few times. So I must step out on faith and make some serious power moves. LOL.

As for family, well, 2005 was a tough year. Not too long after I left the agency, my mother started to face a few medical complications and was hospitalized for much of the Summer of 2003. She was a diabetic with a blood clotting defeciency and was forced to endure the amputation of her lower left leg. She was devastated but determined to survive and live her life as she had before. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Shortly after she had started working again, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died October 4, 2005. Life has not been the same since. Nothing has changed me more than the life and death of my mother. As you know, my mother and I were very close and so I miss her all the time. But she is at peace with the LORD and I know that I was one of the luckiest children in the world to have been raised by her.

Nonetheless, I can't say it enough. You have done well John and I am proud to see you making power moves. Keep it up and never forget that the accomplishments in your life are HIS blessings meant for you. Praise HIM and thank HIM everyday, for HE is your Guide, your Friend, your Father, and your TRUTH. Seek HIM always.

Sincerely,
Monique

PS - If you want to get in touch, feel free to e-mail at moniquemozee@yahoo.com and I will forward you my cell. Take care.

January 10, 2006 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

John,

How can I reach you? I have so many pictures of you and your girlfriend from the cruise. Rachel and I talked to Sarah for quite a long time while you were signing autographs. What an amazing person. I have some really good ones of the two of you I think you would like.

You can find me at Kevinwildinnyc@aol.com

or

http://www.myspace.com/kevinwildinnyc

Take care

Kevin

January 10, 2006 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Cynn said...

Hey John. Just thought i'd reply and see how things were going. Glad you had a good time with your fam for Xmas..and thanks for the invite for New Years! haha. no really though, i was working anyways. I do appreciate the phone call on the 4th..even though me answering got me yelled at! haha. i'm gonna be in the city this weekend..maybe we can meet up? i'll let u know the details.

January 10, 2006 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger ~ ALLY ~ said...

Hi John ..It has been really great watching your character "Coop" evolve over the past year. I loved you and CH together ...I thought the love scenes with Coop and Lizzie were absolutely adorable... you did a great job making the whole situation believable. You play the sweet loving "COOP" to perfection.. The guy everygirl dreams of having..

I was hoping Coop could save Lizzie, but it looks like Ava will be getting the prize in the end... well,at least it appears that way. But, it will be easier to take if the transition comes as the new Lizzie is introduced... it won't seem so much like a betrayal then....Also I don't mind Coop & Ava together, so that helps.

It will be hard to replace CH as Lizzie, she has really defined who Lizzie is ... and even tho Lizzie can be a little booger, how can you not love her in spite of herself. We are going to miss her terribly !!!

Anyway, I wish you all the best for 2006 ... Blessings to you and your family

January 17, 2006 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Chelle_Renee said...

Hey John,
Its nice to hear from you. Im sorry about Crystal. It makes me sad that she left the show. I still would like to know how I can get and autograph picture of you. If you could please e-mail me at shortyshort04@excite.com. That would make my day.
It seems like nothing is going good for me so getting a picture of you would just change everything.
About kids Im only 18 and I think about kids all the time. I dont have a boyfriend so I think about what if I never find someone and never have kids. I just hope that doesnt happen. I want kids just not right now and not just with anyone.
Oh I watched The Book of Daniel and I love it. You are so good. I cant wait to see it this friday. Well I got to go ttyl
Michelle

January 17, 2006 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Shanna said...

John,

Thanks for taking the time to write this blog. I'm glad you had a wonderful holiday with your family and friends. (I hope you got the Christmas Card I sent you!)

I know you will miss Crystal very much. I could see how much the friendship that you guys have means a lot to you. I saw Crystal both times I was talking with you at both Fan weekends in '04 and '05. LOL She was and is so sweet and friendly. It was awesome to see you both again this past October.

I will miss her in the role of "Lizzie" very much. Both of you together is what made me like Coop & Lizzie as a couple.

Can't wait to see what's in store for Lizzie, Coop, Ava.

As for me, I have gone back to school to study Special Education(since you've met me maybe you can see why *Smile*)Please keep me in your prayers that I will go where God leads me.

Yes please keep us informed on your events. I hope you get a chance to come to NC for an event so I can come tell you hello. Should you want to email me you can at: wheels9_78@yahoo.com

Take Care my friend

Shanna

January 17, 2006 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 18, 2006 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 18, 2006 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 18, 2006 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

John,

I have visited your blog a couple times now and I have to say you are a very passionate and caring man....from your family to your friends and your soap family as well. I admire your sensitivity, as it is very refreshing to see in a celebrity. Coop is one of my favorite characters on GL (I love those Coopers!!!) and I think you just don't get enough air time. I have been a loyal GL fan for a very long time and it is rare when someone with your talents comes along.I think your emotions and passion pour into Henry and that's great.

Thank you for being "real" and true. I was wondering, if it doesn't creep you out too much to have a guy ask you for your autographed picture, I would love one and would appreciate it.

I am always in NY and have from time to time run across someone from GL. I have always left them alone as they were shopping or eating and I would hate to bother them during their private time. But it is a thrill none-the-less

Anyway, If you want to send me the autograph, contact me at bfhjr7169@aol.com and I can give you my address.

Continue with your best!

Bruce

January 18, 2006 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger mallory0820 said...

What a great entry, John! I loved reading all of the nice things you said about Crystal. I've been lucky enough to meet her the past 3 years during the Guiding Light weekend in NYC. She was always so sweet, and a lot of fun. The first year I met her, we were in line for the Gus Bus - the double-decker bus that took us on a tour around the city, and she and a few other cast members were getting ready to get on, and I tried to get a picture really fast, but it didn't turn out - she was walking away as I was taking it. As I went back and started to delete it, I felt someone put their hand on my shoulder. She came back and said, "Did you want a picture?" I told her it was okay, but she insisted that I got one, and she started posing.

In 2004, we were on the boat tour, and I went to say hi to her. We were right by a window, and she turns and goes, "Oh look, there's the Empire State Building," and she started pointing out all of the different buildings to me that we could see out the window. She mentioned that the GL Studio - at the time - was right across the street from the Chrysler Building as well. I thought that was really nice of her to take time and do that. :)

Keep up the great work, John! I can't wait to see your work with Marcy in a few weeks!

Much Love,
Mallory

January 19, 2006 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger julie said...

John,
Hi i was just wondering.Do you know if there is going to be another soap opera weekend on Marco Island this year? I cannot find any info on it. If you or anyone else knows anything about it let me know.

January 21, 2006 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

For those of you who do not know this already, but John will be on the Martha Stewart show, "Martha" on 1/25 (This wednesday). I believe Linda Eder is there too, for those Linda fans too.

January 22, 2006 at 6:08 AM  
Blogger Michellen said...

John - Do you ever have that odd feeling you have seen someone before? Well I was moving through the dial and saw your face on Martha Stewart promos...imagine...a face I haven't seen since you were 18 and we sang Phantom at Dance Etc. remember???

January 24, 2006 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger TheLightLover said...

Hello John :)

I'm not used to navigating on computers. *laughter* So I think I just messed something up or I think I may have made an account for myself ? Ha! I just wanted to say I enjoy you as " Coop " and I also enjoyed you, as brief as it was on The Book of Daniel which I learned today was cancelled :( I enjoy reading directly from an actor or actress because at least we all know it's fact :) I will miss the interaction with you and Crystal as "Lizzie". I am sure her replacement will fit in as well as Nicole Forester has as " Cassie". I must be one of the few that doesn't like the pairing of Ava and Coop though ( ducks and blushes) I just think that you, as " Coop " needs someone more exciting to show all of your talents. Personally, I just don't see the chemistry but since you're so talented John.. you do your best to make it look good :) Best of luck to you on GL and everything else you get involved in. Your relationship with your g/f sounds very sweet :) Take care, see you soon AND thank you for the reply e-mails. It's nice to know that our favorite actors and actresses take time to type to us with all the pages of dialogue that you have to learn for the show...May the light be with you always, John :)

January 25, 2006 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger jess said...

hey there john... i saw the martha show today, and i have to say- i love the pink shirt.

January 25, 2006 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

John,

I hope this doesn't show up twice, I don't think the first time took. Anyway I just wanted to say excellent job on the Martha show. I can't believe she harrassed you about your shirt! Actually it's Martha, I can believe it. Quite actually though I have never seen a show of hers so that's harsay :) Anyway good job. It was a fun segment to see. As I have said before you have an awesome personality.

Keep up the good work, stay real, and always, always continue with your best.

Bruce

January 25, 2006 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 25, 2006 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 25, 2006 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger josiegirl7 said...

Hi John,
I just wanted to say I really love your portrayal of Coop and really wish they (the writers and producers) would give you more air time. (although to be honest, I don't like Coop and Ava together, sorry, nothing against you guys, I just always loved Lizzie and Coop.)
Anyways I really do appreciate what you wrote about Crystal in this last blog of yours. (Believe it or not I was touched by it so much that I signed up for a blog myself which I doubt I'll never use. I guess you have a tremendous effect on people, but don't let that get to your head) As I was saying, I think it took lots of guts and probably a great friendship with Crystal for you to stand up for her. I mean honestly after reading some of the stuff on different message boards, it is really disheartening how people perceive her. And the fact of the matter is sometimes we are so quick to judge the individual. And I have to also say your last blog really was encouraging to know that there is still some really cool people out there.
Anyways I wish you and all your love ones the best, this coming year! And I hope and look forward to great storylines and acting parts for you and your girlfriend! (I saw some of her posts on The Meant to Be Board and she is so sweet! Which btw when are you going to say hi?) Anyways take care and God bless!

January 25, 2006 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Eli said...

There is nothing to be ashamed about missing your family, no matter what age you are. We forget how lucky we have it sometimes, to have people in our life who love us no matter what, it's a special thing.
I'm sorry to hear about Crystal Hunt leaving, that really sux! You guys seem so right as Lizzie and Coop.
I'm also sorry to have just found out that The Book of Daniel is being "removed from NBC's schedule." I must admit it was growing on me, plus it was fun seeing you in a role that isn't like Coop, or Blossom on DC (not to mention, finally getting to hear you sing).
I can't wait to see how you and Marcy Rylan play whatever is in store for Coop and Lizzie.

January 25, 2006 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Eli said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 25, 2006 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Ginny Rauch said...

Ginny Rauch
Hi John,
How about a few words to your old teacher. I live in Chesapeake and my son flies for Jet Blue so plan on another trip to NYC sometime in the next several months. Would love to see you. Drop me a line when you can. I'm so proud of YOU!!
ginsing@cox.net

June 30, 2006 at 6:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home