Are you a fan of General Hospital? While I was in Los Angeles, I was able to walk on set of this show, get a tour, take some pictures and chat with the Executive Producer Frank Valentini and Joshua Swickard who plays “Detective Harrison Chase” on ABC’s “General Hospital” as well as celebrate their 55th anniversary with some adorable and delicious bundt cakes. It was SO neat to see the set of a daytime show and I am excited to share the experience with you.
When we walked onto the set, we were led around the area and given a little info about each of the different sets there. The first set was the courtroom which is an iconic set in General Hospital, so we all decided to get a group shot there, how cool is this. One thing that we were told too, is that there are scripts piled up on the floors and corners under desks on each set. Usually the actors will read their lines and study them before filming. Then, they will just toss the scripts down, it was funny to see the piles!
The set of General Hospital is one that is unlike any other as it is large and has different ‘rooms’ set up for different scenes. I’m used to visiting sets that are a single house type set that is changed for different scenes.
On The Set of General Hospital
We then checked out each of the different sets, from a living room, to a bedroom, to a bar/restaurant to the hospital set, you’ll find everything on the General Hospital Set. We learned that before the shooting for the day, each of the actors will meet in the set that they will be filming in and do something called blocking where they interact and find out the exact places to stand, how to interact with each other, etc. Then they go get ready and film the scenes.
Do you recognize any of these sets from the show? As you can see, these sets are smaller than they look in the show. That’s because with the help of cameras, you get more depth and all in the show. I love learning all about the behind the scenes of a show!
The set above is the hospital set, I’m sure you recognize that. What we learned too is that the elevators aren’t functioning, they are just there and the doors open by way of prop men pulling the doors apart and shutting them as needed.
The wardrobes are so awesome too, I love how organized they are on set. It is so cool to see the behind the scenes of a show as a lot more goes into it than we originally think when watching it.
We even got to step behind the counters and take some fun photos on the set. I loved being able to see the set in real life and truly think about the show! Now when I watch it, I’ll know what the set is sized like and be able to think about the technology used!
Before we left set, we all took a fun group photo in the courtroom set!!
After we were done on the set, which was a lot of fun, we headed into the “sweetening room” to screen a scene from the upcoming episode “Nurse’s Ball” which airs 5/17/18!
Then, we headed into a conference room where we enjoyed some delicious bundt cakes and chatted with Executive Producer Frank Valentini and Joshua Swickard who plays “Detective Harrison Chase” on ABC’s “General Hospital.” While chatting with the two of them, we learned that the team gets their lines 7 days prior to the shooting and that Joshua reads his lines 10-20 times right when he gets it. Further, we learned from Frank that most shows have a black out period of May -August to give everyone some time off but General Hospital has that spread out over the year instead to ensure that they are able to keep up with their episodes and fan base. While Frank has been on the show as the Executive Producer for 6 years, many of the actors have been on the show for 20 years or more — that’s awesome!
We learned that Joshua did not necessarily sign up for the dance/role in the Nurse’s Ball episode. Joshua said, “I think I was in the middle of a scene in my first, second or third week of being on the show and I am just terrified because I am so new. Frank said, “hey, you sing?” I said, “yes” and he said “okay, cool.” That was it. Then, I was like, “huh?” It was one of those and then the rehearsal process was the same as daytime life – quick. Frank tells us that Joshua came in on the weekends to practice the routine and all and they don’t usually do rehearsal on the weekends except for things like the Nurse’s Ball.
After chatting with the two of them and getting a sneak peek of this episode, I’m excited to tune in! Here are more details.
Tune in for the Nurse’s Ball Episode
“General Hospital”’s annual Nurses Ball, this year sponsored by Olay, returns WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, and airs through MONDAY MAY 21. Founded in 1994 by Port Charles resident Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring), the Nurses Ball is one of fictional Port Charles’ most glamorous charity events, dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness and research. This year, celebrity guest appearances include “The Chew”’s Carla Hall and “The Bachelor”’s Nick Viall. In her debut performance, Hall takes on an infamous role decades in the making; while Viall joins Aurora media maven Nina Clay (Michelle Stafford) on the red carpet, as they welcome viewers into what promises to be a memorable night. From Sam McCall’s (Kelly Monaco) stunning arrival to Sonny Corinthos’ (Maurice Benard) unwavering support and Jason Morgan’s (Steve Burton) tireless search for answers, as well as never-before-seen musical performances and a surprise proposal, the Nurses Ball promises to be this year’s can’t-miss event.
“General Hospital” celebrated its 55th anniversary on April 1, 2018. It is both the longest-running American soap opera currently in production and the longest-running scripted television drama currently in production. “General Hospital” has won the prestigious Emmy® Award for Outstanding Daytime Drama a record 13 times. “General Hospital” was created by Frank and Doris Hursley. Frank Valentini is the executive producer. “General Hospital” airs weekdays on The ABC Television Network.
General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC (check your local listings) as well as on streaming and on the app.
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Frank Valentini: Twitter