Actor Wally Kurth likes to keep his career fresh.
He stars on two daytime TV shows – “General Hospital” and “Days of Our Lives” – still maintains his music career and makes time to greet fans at events like “GH Fantasy Weekend” on Saturday, March 24, at the Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel Tempe.
At the event, Kurth will be joined by fellow “GH” stars Laura Wright (Carly Jacks), Donnell Turner (Curtis Ashford), Wil de Vry (Julian Jerome), Maura West (Ava Jerome), Bradford Anderson (Damian Spinelli) and Finola Hughes (Anna Devane).
Playing Justin Kiriakas on “Days” and Ned Ashton on “GH,” Kurth is looking forward to rubbing elbows with fans. The actor, who started out on the theater stage, said it’s nice to finally have feedback.
“It’s nice to see the audience, and greet the audience and check in,” Kurth said. “It’s nice to see what they like, what they don’t like. Say hello. I’m a friendly guy. I meet really interesting people at these events.”
It’s not so bad to see his coworkers, too.
“In 1987, Finola and I – I don’t think I’ve ever told her this – did an event at a Turlock, California, poultry and dairy fair.
“We’ve been around a long time, and have seen how the genre has grown and changed. I feel like she still does amazing work. Maurice (Bernard, Sonny) works a lot more than I do. I’m very impressed with his craft. He delivers every day. He’s never lazy. I’m a big admirer of him and he’s a good buddy, too. He’s not intense in real life at all. He’s really laid back.”
He loves to share stories about his craft with fans and journalists. Kurth compares working on daytime television to film, in that there isn’t a live audience and there are very few takes.
“You really do feel like you’re acting in a vacuum,” said Kurth about filming the two shows. “It’s almost like scene work in an acting class. There isn’t an audience. I’ve done acting on stage, I started out on stage. It was like you’re telling a story to people in front of a live audience. When you don’t have that, it becomes more of a skill and craft, and the thrill of the performance isn’t quite there.”
The 59-year-old has starred on TV since about 1987 and has witnessed changes in the industry.
“I feel for these younger actors who work on the show because the pace is so much different,” he said. “We used to rehearse twice in the morning, have lunch, do a full dress rehearsal, get notes and tape the show.
“Now, I come in in the morning and I better know my lines. It’s like we walk on the set, have one dress rehearsal, tape it and move on to the next scene. It’s really fast and everyone is expected to do it in one or two takes.”
The Billings, Montana, native hopes to take time this year to pursue his music, via the Kurth and Taylor Band, with Christian Taylor of Nashville.
“My brother built an outdoor venue on his property in Billings,” he said. “Last year, we opened for Orleans, Firefall and Poco. But mostly I tape myself playing one of my own songs, or a cover, and upload it onto YouTube. I’m still doing it. I have a piano at home, and I sang Christmas carols to everybody this year.”