How One Hunk Got to Harmony

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The year is 2000 and it's Soapdom's very first interview with Galen Gering

Galen Gering (Luis, Passions)There is nothing better than having the hum drum of the daily office routine interrupted by a surprise phone call. Well, maybe there is, but not when the surprise caller is Galen Gering (Luis, Passions)! We exchanged the requisite pleasantries, and he tells me about his new website, Then, we talk about how he won the role of Harmony's favorite Deputy Sheriff.

"To be honest with you, getting the part was really difficult and really easy," he said. "The most difficult aspect was that I was actually enrolled in the university at the time when the auditioning was taking place. I was in my last semester, and was really focused on what I was doing in school."

Which was studying to become a filmmaker. "Writing and directing. Behind the camera stuff," notes Gering. His going out for the role of Luis came together unexpectedly. He almost didn't audition.

"My agent sort of pushed it on me," said Gering. "It just came together. It was really strange the way it happened, because it was a little hard for me to take seriously at first. I thought I had a lot of other opportunities behind the camera building for me, and I was working very hard to make those happen."

Which turned out to be a blessing. The fact that Gering wasn't obsessing over getting the role probably assisted in his landing it. Lucky for us! "I wasn't really stressed out or nervous about the part," he said. "Or about getting it or not getting it. Because I had my other goals. But when I finally decided to go for it, the first and second screen tests were right in the middle of my finals!"

Not that big a deal, I suppose. It is very possible to study and take finals and audition at the same time. Even when there's about 3000 or so miles in between doing each thing! Passions auditioned its actors here in Los Angeles. Gering was in school at the University of Miami!

"I was flying back and forth," said Gering with a laugh, "taking the red-eye, staying up all night on the airplane, arriving in Miami. (Then I) would sit at my computer for three hours, write a report, go in and take two finals, drop off the report, go back home, study for a test the next day, take that test, fly back out to LA – it was pretty crazy!"

Give this guy a lot of credit! Not only did he get the part of Luis, he aced his finals and graduated in the top of his class! "It all worked out pretty well, " he said.

Gering had some previous acting experience, but believes that being in a front-burner story on soaps is like a boot camp for actors.

"I did some acting before this. Not a whole lot. So I am learning a lot as we go along," said Gering. "What I had done, if I'd done something, it wasn't nearly this amount (of material). In daytime, if your character is in a major storyline, you're just working a lot. A lot! You're working every day, five days a week. And that's great practice. And if you're focused, it's a wonderful opportunity, not only to get exposure, but to get practice, and to make a living."

As we know, Gering is definitely in a major storyline right now. It's keeping him pretty busy. "I have today off, and I had yesterday off," he said. "But that's only because I shot 13 episodes last week!"

Gering doesn't mind working so hard, especially since he gets to work with co-star, McKenzie Westmore (Sheridan). "It's great! She's wonderful," said Gering. "She comes from great roots working in this business. She understands how it works and she is not an affected person. She's not jaded in any way. Everything is still sort of new to her, I think, and that's great -- especially in this business -- to be working with someone like that. And she's funny! We have a really good time."

Of course, there is the matter of taping those "sizzle alert" love scenes. "The love scenes are fun to shoot," said Gering. "They're funny! We haven't really had love scenes outside of the fantasy ones yet, and those are kind of silly. But the ones where we really connect is the most fun, because we have these little moments and it makes you want to laugh because you've created this sense of being a teenager in high school again, meeting that girl you really dig, and that is really fun."

For the sexy, steamy, passion-filled tango scenes, both Gering and Westmore put in extra effort. "The tango stuff takes a little work," said Gering. "We get lessons, and then everything is choreographed for the cameras," which takes a lot of time and focus.

One thing's for sure. All that hard work is paying off. Sheridan and Luis are definitely the super couple of Y2K. I'll never forget the very first scene of the very first episode of Passions last July. It was Luis and Miguel driving past the Crane Mansion. It was easy to predict, even from first glance, that Gering would become a star.

As we were wrapping up, I asked Gering if he was picking up any pointers on filmmaking being an actor on a soap. "Yes," he said. "But I have to admit, I was probably learning more when I was studying, and making my own films. Just because that's a different focus. But yes! Absolutely. Especially because the way we shoot is totally different from the way I would shoot. Passions really can't afford the luxury of creative shots or really setting up a shot. They have to get coverage. They have so much to cover. They shoot an hour (show) a day! I'd spend three months making a 10-minute film," he said with a laugh. "It's a totally different process here (on Passions)."

Even from this brief first encounter with Harmony's die-hard deputy, it's easy to see that Gering has a wonderful future in the entertainment industry, whether he continues with acting, or returns at some point to his original dream of writing and directing. We wish him all the best.

Oh. One last thing. About the headline for this article. TRO does not succumb to blatant drooling, or exploiting the looks and finely-sculpted physiques of the stars of daytime in any way. Galen Gering is charming, intelligent, has focus, and ambition. Him a hunk? Nah. Nope. Sorry. That doesn’t begin to describe him. He is out and out, make no mistake about it, drop-dead gorgeous! But the alliteration was just too darn good to pass up. ;o)

LMS 2/26/00

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