As if acting in a frontburner storyline on daytime's number one soap wasn't fulfilling enough, busy, talented, and charming Kristoff St. John, Y&R's Neil Winters, has a few other major ventures cooking! In his off hours, Kristoff has taken on several major soap-related projects.
As a follow-up to his successful Backstage Pass 1998, a self-directed and produced video highlighting special behind-the-scenes moments at the 25th Daytime Emmy awards, Kristoff has just put the finishing touches on this year's brand new Backstage Pass 1999 covering the 26th Daytime Emmys!
What inspired Kristoff to pursue directing and producing? "We did Backstage Pass for the 25th Annual Daytime Emmys, because I wanted to do a show about the Emmys for CBS," said Kristoff. "There is a show I do for the network called Soap Break. I host and produce it with CBS. And I tried to persuade them to do a behind the scenes of the Emmys. What came back was it was too much money to take the crew and get an entire show out of it."
Undaunted, Kristoff set out to produce his own video. "I decided to put together a crew and try it. I thought I'd walk away with some good material, maybe! I didn't know it would be good enough to put a project together, and honestly, the reviews have been only good. It's your insider's connection."
Backstage Pass 1998 is told through the eyes of Kristoff. The video follows him on his whirlwind itinerary in New York. The 1999 version, covering the 26th Annual Daytime Emmys, has a different spin.
"The new Backstage Pass has co-hosts," explained Kristoff. "Although they are mostly CBS people -- Shemar Moore (Malcom, Y&R), Joshua Morrow, (Nick Newman, Y&R) and Ashley Lyn Cafagna, (Kimberly, B&B) -- ABC's Cameron Mathison (Ryan, AMC) does a fun segment outside the premiere of George Lucas' Episode 1, the Phantom Menance, and Kelly Ripa (Haley, AMC) shares how she copes with her husband, her son, and her Emmy Nomination." Plus, there are segments with Eric Breaden (Victor, Y&R), Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R), and guest appearances by Rosie O'Donnell, Susan Lucci, Aretha Franklin, Barbara Walters, and Wayne Gretski.
Shooting the new video had it's added pressures. "Last year I wasn't nominated for an Emmy," said Kristoff. "This year, I also had the nomination, which made producing the video more of a challenge."
Kristoff and his crew shot footage that covered Tuesday through Friday of Emmy week. "It was a hectic four days," Kristoff laughed. "I got very little sleep!"
Both Backstage Pass videos are now available online at http://www.soapstarworld.com, another of Kristoff's producing ventures.
"SoapStarWorld began as a membership-based site," said Kristoff. For $25.95 visitors were allowed access to the inner sanctums of soapdom that only Kristoff and his editors could provide, offering almost daily updates on the latest soap news. "A site like SOD would never put up daily news, because it would ruin their hard copy sales," Kristoff said. But for cyber soap fans, the best news is this: "We've been so successful," Kristoff continued, "we just opened the site to free access!"
Backstage Pass 1998 sells for $14.95. Backstage Pass 1999 is $19.95. Or, buy both and save! "Soapstarworld will be the only place you can get them for the next six months or so," said Kristoff. "Then, we may go retail."
What does the future hold for Kristoff in terms of directing and producing other projects? "I'm doing the producing on television now, which is wonderful. Feature films is where I am headed. At least, that's what I hope. From my lips to God's ears. Who knows?" Kristoff remarked. But he has faith. "It's all up to God, as to where I go. I realize what I have to do for the next 20 years it may take to get there. I have to rely on my acting skills for the time being. And meanwhile, doing videos behind the scenes is just fine with me."
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