Andrea Evans is a busy lady. Between juggling her role as Rebecca Hotchkiss-Crane on the soap opera Passions and taking care of her ten-month old daughter, Kylie Lyn, she is also serving for the fifth year in a row as the Celebrity Ambassador for the City of Hope’s Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer.
Through her role as Celebrity Ambassador, Evans is able to help publicize a cause near and dear to her heart. “As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, it’s important to me to be involved in such a wonderful organization,” Evans tells Soapdom in an exclusive interview. “Any time I do an interview, I am proud to mention City of Hope. Breast Cancer affects all of us. These days you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know someone who has been affected. We all have a sister, mother, daughter, neighbor or friend who has suffered from this terrible disease.”
Evans is knowledgeable and articulate about her chosen charity. “City of Hope was founded in 1913 as a haven for people suffering from tuberculosis, and now the organization focuses on cancer, HIV/AIDS and diabetes, and is one of the world’s largest research and treatment centers,” she explains. “In 2004, US News and World Report named City of Hope one of the nation’s Top 50 Medical Centers for cancer treatments.”
Evans wants to help spread the word that “70 or 80 cents of every dollar raised from the walks goes to treatment, which is rare for a charity.”
The Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer consists of several family-oriented walk and run events held in 13 cities throughout the country to support breast cancer research, treatment and education at the City of Hope National Medical Center. Since its inception in 1993, the Walk for Hope has raised more than $15 million for the cause.
According to the organization’s official website in 2004 alone, over 40,000 people raised more than $3.5 million for the fight against breast cancer.
“The walk is a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday,” Evans enthuses. “There’s good food, great people to talk to, and it’s an excellent way to get some exercise -- which we all need,” she says with a laugh. “Seriously, it’s an opportunity to feel good about yourself and to help others at the same time. I always take part in the Los Angeles walk. In fact, my whole family does; even my daughter will go this year. It’s a nice thing for a family to do together. I like to walk the 3.5 mile distance. If you run, it doesn’t give you a chance to talk to people, and that’s part of the fun. I really enjoy meeting people through this charity and I am so honored to be a part of it.”
Evans is also honored to still be recurring on Passions five years after taking over the role of Rebecca from Maureen McCormack. “I love the role of Rebecca because she is so out there. It’s one of the best things about her. It makes it fun for me as an actor to play because Rebecca is not restricted by any boundaries, so anything is possible.”
Soapdom then asked Evans if there was any downside to playing Rebecca.. Evans chuckled, and quickly answered, “In my own time I’m not someone who shows cleavage so readily, and as we know, Rebecca does!”
Evans is pleased with the way Rebecca’s story is progressing. “I think my current storyline is very exciting, with the whole poisoning of Liz/framing Eve thing in order for Rebecca to hold on to Julian.”
If Evans could choose Rebecca’s next move, “I would like her to take over Crane Industries, and become paired with Alistair,” she jokes “Rebecca should just go to the source of the money since that’s what she’s all about!”
However, Evans loves working with her current leading man, Ben Masters (Julian). “Ben is a wonderful actor. He’s so well prepared. He’s also a really nice man and just a lot of fun to work with.”
She also has high praise for the work of Liza Huber, who plays Rebecca’s daughter, Gwen. “I think Liza is doing such a great job right now of playing crazy Gwen. She’s doing some nice work. The writing has been so good for our scenes, and Liza and I work well together. I like working with her a lot.”
Something else Evans clearly enjoys is motherhood. Throughout this interview there was a loud hammering noise in the background. Evans was quick to say, “Don’t worry, it’s just my daughter banging away on her toys in the kitchen!”
For Evans, the affect motherhood has had on her life is difficult to explain. “It’s so hard to describe. I didn’t get it before when people said they couldn’t put it into words, but now that I’m a mother, I do. It’s just this amazing, all encompassing experience, and it has changed my life. I highly recommend it!”
The City of Hope Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer takes place in Los Angeles on October 9, 2005. For other cities sponsoring walks, visit http://www.cityofhope.org/walkforhope/ .
Lesleyann Coker is a contributing columnist for Soapdom.com, and co-author of Boob Tube, a satiric novel currently being shopped to publishers that examines what really goes on behind the scenes of the soap opera industry. She is a former reporter for Soap Opera Weekly magazine, and has interviewed over 200 daytime and primetime actors during her career.
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