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article imageWes Ramsey talks 'General Hospital,' advice for aspiring actors Special

By Markos Papadatos     Mar 8, 2019 in Entertainment
Melville - Acclaimed actor Wes Ramsey ("General Hospital") chatted with Digital Journal about the upcoming fan events in New York and New Jersey. He offered advice for hopefuls who wish to go into acting and he spoke about the impact of technology on the business.
Ramsey stars as Peter August on the longest-running daytime drama, General Hospital, on ABC. "To have a gig in daytime is the best job that I have ever been able to have," he said. "General Hospital is the longest-running show on air on television," he added.
"I feel very fortunate, grateful, lucky and blessed to be a working actor. I know what's like to not be as busy, and to be wanting and wishing to be challenged creatively. It's an incredible gift," he said.
When asked how he handles being dialogue-heavy, as most soap actors are, Ramsey said, "Coming from a theatrical background and studying classical theatre, when you are memorizing Shakespeare (rhyming couplets, monologues, and iambic pentameter) as a teenager, from then on, everything else takes a back seat. You can't even change a word. You can't rewrite Shakespeare."
On April 13, Ramsey will be a part of the General Hospital fan event in Melville, New York, and on the following day, he will be a part of the fan event in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. "These events will have the awesome energy of our amazing cast," he said, with a sweet laugh. "I love the East Coast, and I am looking forward to them. You get to meet all these different people that love our show. I love the enthusiasm that the fans exude. Collectively, we have this real bond and I think that's special."
To learn more about these upcoming General Hospital fan events, check out the official GH Fantasy website.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Ramsey noted that New York holds a special place in his heart. "I moved to New York when I was 18. I spent six years growing up in Manhattan. A lot of my sense of character as a man comes from growing up in New York. I love the style there and the energy there. I miss the East Coast weather sometimes," he said.
Each day, Ramsey is motivated as an actor, by his ability to tell stories. "I love being able to create characters," he said. "I have been doing that naturally since I was a kid. I would find a hero figure to emulate when I was young and I would take on that persona in my real life."
He had nothing but the kindest remarks about working with fellow co-star Kathleen Gati, who plays Dr. Liesl Obrecht. "Kathleen and I had a lot of fun last year. She is a lovely and talented woman," he said.
The best advice that Ramsey was ever given was to "take your risks when you are young." "Also, learn from the mistakes of others because you never live long enough to make them all yourself, and that came from my father when I was a child. I continue to retain that for myself as an adult. I am happy to pass that along now," he said.
Speaking of advice, he offered his own advice for young and aspiring actors: "Go see theater, watch people act on stage and watch all kinds of plays be performed. Believe in yourself. Training is important and trusting your instincts as an actor," he said.
Digital transformation of the entertainment industry
On the impact of technology on the entertainment business, especially with streaming services being so popular, Ramsey said, "I like it because it's time for the whole paradigm to shift: the advent of the Internet, and everything from social media into smartphones. Everyone has the ability to have an answer to any question they can imagine in seconds. The days of flipping through the Yellow Pages to find a phone number, or grabbing an encyclopedia to look something up, are over."
Ramsey continued, "Technology has made things a lot faster and a lot easier. The networks have to evolve and step up their game. The existence of Hulu, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and YouTube is a shifting evolution of the way people perceive technology, communication, and information. The fact that streaming services are as powerful as they are means that the networks can't just rest on their laurels and fall back on the old formulas and expect to continue working."
"I like that there is so much content since that creates competition. There are a lot of great, talented people out there that are working now because there are so many scripted dramas out there online, and that's fantastic," he further added.
In his daily routine as an actor, Ramsey uses both digital versions and hard copies of scripts, in an effort to learn his lines.
On staying in top-notch physical shape, the actor explained that it's about understanding your body and understanding your mind, as well as understanding how to listen to your body. "You have to know your limits and to push yourself in the right way," he said. "We are what we eat. You have to take good care of yourself."
Ramsey also spoke highly about two of his former Guiding Light co-stars Frank Dicopoulos and Jordi Vilasuso. "Frank is a hell of a guy," he said. "Jordi and I were doing our very first shows as professional actors, ever, at the same time in New York. We both got our start together playing those characters and having the love triangle with Laura Bell Bundy's character, Marah Lewis. It was an amazing time in New York City, when we were in our early 20s, and we were on a television show. Honestly, it was a pretty magical time."
He defined the word success as "knowing yourself." "You've achieved one of the most deep and important examples of what success is in life, if you start from within. That's the most pure form of success," he said.
To learn more about actor Wes Ramsey, follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.
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