AMC's Cameron Mathison on a Public Appearance Roll

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Mathison meets the fans - every free second he gets!

On the Road Again!

Cameron Mathison (Ryan, AMC)Cameron Mathison is a really good sport. Not to mention, half of the popular All My Children couple, Ryan and Gillian. He is not only a hard-working actor, but he is booked every weekend for the entire summer and into the fall for personal appearances. Fine with him, as he loves to meet and greet the fans. "It's a great opportunity for them to see me as I am, vs. as Ryan," said Cameron. "I have a good time with them. I like to see the country and get feedback directly from the fans about the show, about the character. It's the best possible way (to find out what everyone is thinking.)"

So, how does Cameron schedule all these appearances? "I have about ten people who book them for me," Cameron told me over the phone from New York. "There's someone who books the shopping malls, another who books events in Jersey. Someone who books me at Comedy Clubs. I began working with one or two and now it's a bunch of them."

The booking agents originally contacted Cameron through the studio. "And they know each other, so they would get in touch with me that way. Or sometimes ABC will pass on a name to me. Someone will call ABC and say 'we would like to book Cameron on something,' and ABC has worked with this person before so they will pass their name on to me. It just kind of spreads."

To what does Cameron attribute such a demand to see him in person?

"I think it depends on which male characters -- typically it's the male characters -- who are working a lot and are in the public eye at the time," admits Cameron. "You know how daytime is. It is very cyclical. Different people are up and down all the time. Right now it seems to me that I am doing a lot of the public appearances. Mark (Consuelos, Mateo) is still doing a few. And now, Josh (Duhamel, Leo) is starting to do them. In time I won't be doing as much, and someone else will be out there doing more."

I wondered if he was in such demand because of the front burner status of his storyline. He wasn't so sure. "Truth is, I haven't been front burner for a while now. I am very surprised that I am still in such demand to do these appearances. It's been about eight or nine months that I haven't been front burner with a story. You would think being front burner would be the case, but luckily for me, I am still getting asked to do a lot of these even though I am not front burner right now."

He is, however, front burner or not, a very popular character, and many fans enjoy the opportunity of getting the chance to meet him. (See My Weekend with Cameron.) The fans are never disappointed.

"When I do these appearances, I really, really try to make everyone feel that it was worth it to come out and see me," Cameron said. "I try to spend time with each person. Shake everyone's hand. If I have time, (I try) to say a few words to everyone, and to hang out as much as I can because I really do appreciate their support. It is because of all of the fans that I have the wonderful life that I have. It really is due to them. And I try to show my appreciation. I never like anyone to go away without feeling it was worth it for them to come and say 'hey!'"

Sometimes getting out and meeting the fans means a lot of travel and little sleep for Cameron. "Last weekend (July 22-23, 2000), on Saturday morning I flew from NY to Dallas and did an appearance in Dallas," Cameron explained. "From Dallas I flew to Atlanta for a connecting flight to Lynchburg. Got into Lynchburg after midnight. Went to sleep. Woke up and drove two hours to an appearance in Lynchburg. Drove back to the airport, then flew to Charlotte where I connected to a flight back to New York. All in a day and a half!"

That's what I call a grueling schedule. I am exhausted just hearing about it! And that's on a weekend when most working stiffs get to relax. When does Cameron find time for himself?

"Everybody always asks me how do you possibly have any free time, or time for myself," Cameron said with a laugh. "I don't have a ton of time, but I am able to get some time for myself during the week. The way I look at it, I have most of my 'weekends' during the week. They will book me weeks when I don't have a lot of time, but there will be weeks when I will. I may have three days off during the week and that's like a long weekend for me. And I take advantage of that. I just don't sit around and do nothing. I'll leave the city and go play golf. Or fly to LA and hang out with some friends. I try and do things (on my days off), which usually means leave the city."

Of course, the big news for Cameron AMC-wise is the casting of J. Eddie Peck as his nemesis, Jake Martin. Cameron can only guess that his storyline is once again going to heat up now that Jake is back on the scene. "Especially since the new Jake, J. Eddie Peck, is such a big star! "Cameron said. "I can only guess that it will put some more energy into that storyline. I hope it does. But I hoped other things would happen too, and they really haven't. So you never know. I don't want to be too hopeful, and then be not doing much. I can only guess, and only hope, that it will!"

Of all the storylines that Cameron has been involved with so far, his favorite is the rape story, especially from an actor's standpoint. It was the most challenging and rewarding. "Megan McTavish, who created my character, went quite in-depth with Ryan's family, and my brother and his involvement in it, and we got into my abusive parents, and then I took the fall for him raping that woman." Cameron feels that it was great material to work with.

However! Don't get Cameron wrong. He also enjoys working with Esta Terblanche as his co-star in the Ryan and Gillian story. "I love the Ryan and Gillian stuff, especially when it's happy and fun, and we are getting along. But as far as a challenge, it would have to be the rape storyline."

Ryan hopes all of you fans come on out and get to meet him. He asked me to pass along his personal invitation:

"I always try to make it worthwhile for you to come out and say hi! I love you to meet me in person, because you only see a character on television and sometimes you're not so happy with the things that I do (as Ryan) and sometimes you are, but I always like people to get to know the real me!"

For Cameron's appearance schedule check Soapdom's Seeing Stars section.