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article imageVernée Watson talks Emmy win, General Hospital, The H.E.ART Arts Special

By Markos Papadatos     May 14, 2019 in Entertainment
Veteran actress Vernée Watson chatted with Digital Journal about her 2019 Emmy win for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series" for "General Hospital" and she opened up about the multicultural performing arts company, The H.E.ART Arts.
On her 2019 Daytime Emmy Award win, Watson said, "That felt pretty good. To win an Emmy two years in a row is quite unbelievable. I did my best and it was recognized. I am very happy about that and I feel very blessed."
In her Emmy acceptance speech, Watson gave a shout-out to The H.E.ART Arts, and encouraged her fans and followers to support her work as an acting teacher. "I've been teaching acting for over 30 years," she said. "When my children were young, they are a part of a group called the Robinson Project, where Eartha Robinson and I are partners in that project. I taught acting and she had the dance program. Then, I started teaching in different areas."
Robinson and Watson work to develop the diverse youth population of Los Angeles, California, and they hope to pass down their legacies to the younger generations. Watson noted that she has a great deal of respect for Robinson. "We respect each other's talents and we can be frank and honest with each other, which is wonderful," she said. "Eartha is a very creative and passionate person and we get along well. Between Eartha and I, we have 80 years of experience in the business."
"We have the nonprofit organization called The H.E.ART Arts, and we have been around for the past two to three years. "We give children acting, singing and dancing. They get it all with us," Watson said.
We try to give one-on-one involvement with the children. Some children have disabilities and we try to encompass everyone, especially in regard to ethnicity. It is great but it is a lot of work," she said with a sweet laugh. "It is very rewarding, especially when showtime comes and everybody is having a good time."
"I work with the children on diction and projection," Watson said. "We do on-camera work and auditioning skills. I require that they do their homework. I am hard on them."
Watson plays the role of Stella Henry on General Hospital, which requires her to learn a great deal of dialogue and memorizing pages and pages of scripts. "I am glad they send us the scripts in advance. When I first got on the show, I had a friend from New York who was doing dialogue with me over the phone," she said.
"The first year, it was really hard to learn all those lines," she admitted. "I need that interaction and I snatch my daughter or whoever is available to help me run lines."
Watson had nothing but the greatest words about working with her luminous acting partner Max Gail on General Hospital, who plays Mike Corbin, and who won the 2019 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series." "Max is wonderful. He's so thorough and concerned. He works very hard, and it is very easy to work with him. He takes you on a journey every time," she said.
She also described Donnell Turner, who plays her nephew Curtis Ashford on General Hospital, as a "sweetheart." "Donnell was so sweet to me when I first came on the show, and he still is," she said. "Donnell is so protective, concerned and welcoming. He's a real gentleman. He's a very sweet young man."
Digital transformation of the entertainment business
On the impact of streaming and technology on the entertainment industry, Watson said, "There is a lot more opportunity for work for actors. I'm not too excited about the moralistic value of some of the shows coming out, however, there is a lot more work out there. Everybody is trying to get in the game."
"People spend a lot of time on their devices and in front of the television, so they have the audience," she said. "I try to get my students out of their phones and I try to get them to communicate with each other, otherwise they will lose their communication skills."
Watson is a firm believer of "good old fashioned conversations" since it is something that is missing these days, especially in this digital age.
She shared that she uses hard copies of scripts, which allow her to write her notes on them. "Once I give my students corrections, I make them sit down and write down the notes that I gave them," she said. "I make them responsible to bring their scripts back to class each time."
For young and aspiring actors, Watson's advice is as follows: "Get some training and be serious about it. Don't think it will come instantly. Get some tough skin and don't be afraid to take criticism. Always stay humble and continue to learn your craft. Respect everybody on set. Also, always do your homework."
She defined the word success as "learning something, absorbing it, using it and being able to pass it on."
Watson concluded about The H.E.ART Arts, "We are really trying to help these children. We want to establish a professional view and to teach them respect for the business. Any support you can give us will be well appreciated. We are trying to pass all of our years of experience to these young people. Come and join us."
To learn more about The H.E.ART Arts, check out their official website and their Instagram page.
Emmy award-winning actress Vernée Watson
Emmy award-winning actress Vernée Watson
ABC, Photo Courtesy of Craig Sjodin
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