Behind the Scenes of All My Children

First off, I can’t thank the fans enough for their consistent support of the show.  It’s an incredibly important moment in soap history, our move from broadcast television to the internet, and it wouldn’t have happened or be continuing to happen without the support of the fans.

It’s hard to describe to you what a day behind the scenes in Pine Valley is like, but I am going to do my best so you guys can hear about all the work and caring that goes into making the show great for you.

First off, our call times are around 7:30 AM.  Those of us who are staying in a nearby hotel for the 5 week shoot are taken in a van at that time (with Mr Peanut and other pups in tow) to the studio, which is only about a ten minute drive away.  Then we have a few minutes to settle in and get coffee before we go to hair and makeup.  I like to wear some eye pads in the morning by SKYN or Kloraine because they not only help firm up my under eye, but they catch the eye makeup when it sometimes falls during application! (I’m not wearing them in this picture, but EVERYBODY on set has started to ask me where I get them, so I thought I’d tell you, too!)

photo 1-1Then we usually have blocking in the morning, which means we meet with the director and the AD’s and PA’s who time each scene and record any changes in dialogue.  It is then we are told where we will move in the set when it comes time for taping.  (Mr Peanut likes to come to blocking and then run around the production room!  Everybody gives him tummy tickles!)

Rosa and Mr P







There is an awesome breakfast set up for the cast and crew every day, which is really a lovely gift, but most of us actors are so busy trying to get ready for our scenes we only have a minute or two to grab a bite.  It’s hard to keep healthy when there are pancakes and bacon around, but I try.  Keeping up my energy is really important when you are working 10-12 hours a day, but I also have to keep in mind I am on camera and have to watch everything I eat (ugh) so I usually do egg whites, fresh vegetable juice, or hard boiled eggs.  I like coffee with cream and sugar, so that’s my naughtiness for the AM unless they have chocolate covered biscotti, and then I’m a goner.

Meanwhile, the set builders and designers have from 6AM to 10AM every day to try and get everything in place for the start of shooting at 10AM.  The stage managers announce over the PA system the first block of scenes about 5-10 minutes before you are supposed to be on set. Time is of the essence, as each minute costs a lot of money to the production!  This means there is usually a lot of STRESS first thing in the morning!

photo 2-1 Once the show gets rolling, however, things get into a groove.  On set there is some joking around, but not much.  We are there to work and must know our lines and blocking so that the cameras can get their shots.  If an actor isn’t in place then the camera will miss the shot and we will have to stop and reshoot, sometimes the whole scene, which sucks because that might have been a great performance for someone!  Nobody wants to be the person that screwed up a good take!

We always have hair and makeup on set for touch ups, but I have started to carry my own little bag of lip gloss and powder around with me because I want to make sure I am always looking my best!  I’m over 40 so somedays are better than others.  I always wake up with puffy eyes and it DRIVES ME CRAZY!  I have tried every eye cream on the market!  Right now I am really liking this Lancome cream with a matching eye concealer.  It’s soothing and has nice coverage, but you do have to keep smoothing it out during the day.  I refuse to powder under my eyes because all that powder gets stuck in the crinkles and THAT’S NOT COOL.

Shoot.  I’ve gotta run because I’ve got a big scene with Cara (Lindsay Hartley) that I still have to memorize butI hope you enjoyed a little peek into our AM at All My Children!

Michael and Mr P




23 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes of All My Children

  1. When All My Children was cancelled, it was like losing my mom all over again. She died in 1993, and AMC was her favorite soap. I’d kept up through the years via VCR, and am enjoying the new episodes. So thanks to you and Prospect Park, I have a little piece of my mom, and so many familiar characters that she loved or loved to hate. (yes, that’s Billy Clyde Tuggle!)

  2. I love your blog, Cady. I look for it to read all the time. I am one of those die-hard fans that started with AMC in 1970. I was devastated when they cut the show, but now I am over the moon thrilled it’s back. Not a whole hour, but I’m thrilled with whatever I can get. And I know that you can’t tell anyone (us fans) about when or if Tad (Michael E. Knight) is coming back, but we fans want to keep reminding Michael that the fans love him and want him back and it’s a good reminder for the people who hire to make sure they keep a spot for him. I go online every day and watch the show, and even watch OLTL also even though I never did before, but I do it just to support Prospect Park to thank them for never giving up on our dreams of having our show back. Love you, Cady, for the acting work you do. You’re great!!! Thanks for the information about the under-eye makeup. Where can you buy that?

  3. Thanks for the brief look at what goes on behind the camera. Always interesting to find out what you don’t normally get to see.

  4. The only thing I’d say, beyond “thank you” for this little precis of your mornings, is that you look GREAT. Your entry talked about watching what you eat and several different “eye rescue” strategies. It is terrific that you care enough to do all this, but I want you to be clear that for most of us, we’d love Cady/Dixie even if she had visible inch-thick wrinkles :-). Indeed, your remarkable youthfulness (I’d never guess you were a 40-something person) makes it hard to believe you could have a son like JR or a grandson like AJ. You’re achieving your “look good on camera” goals EXCEPTIONALLY well.

    Thank you for coming home to us, Ms. McClain.

  5. Wow, there is SO MUCH HARD WORK that goes into acting on AMC. I so admire you and all the others Cady. You are so TRULY AMAZING!! I have been with AMC since 1971 and I am SO BEYOND HAPPY that it is back. I am LOVING it! And I LOVE your blogs! Keep them up!:)

  6. Sometimes we, the fans, don’t realize all the hard work that goes into putting just one AMC episode together. Thank you so much, Cady, for keeping us in the loop! We appreciate everything you guys go through to bring us top-notch entertainment!

  7. I love this! I started watching in the mid-80s, missed a few years and then started recording until I was self-employed in 1998 at which time lunch and All My Children were my daily ritual! It’s even more special that we’re getting so many more glimpses into behind the scene. Thank you all for what you’re doing! My three wishes if I could have them are full-hour episodes, an episode on Friday along w/the behind the scenes and your dear Tad back in town—not necessarily in that order! =D

  8. Cady – (you will always be Dixie to me :)). I wish to let you to know how much I personally appreciate your taking the time to give us a look into the behind the scenes lives of our Pine Valley friends. I have watched All My Children since I was very young and I am 61 now. When it went off the air I grieved that I could no longer see and be with people who had become my friends. No! I’m not crazy or anything like that. I realized that while I felt a personal relationship with each of you, you see the sets and the cameras – but not the fans – (except for the times when you were able to get out and meet the fans and since I live on the west coast there’s not much of a chance I’ll ever get to see and get to know any of you personally) – but see – I can accept that because especially now – with AMC being available online – 24/7 – I don’t have to only get to spend 1 hour a day, 5 days a week, with my friends. I can turn on the computer and for a while be with you anytime I want. I laugh with my AMC friends. I cry with them. I dance (in my head as I’m disabled and can’t move about as freely as I’d like but I can in my own world that’s here for me – anytime I want – at the push of a button – thanks to Prospect and my friends at AMC). So – any time you feel down, any time you are so tired you wonder how you can make it through your next scene, any time you feel underappreciated or unappreciated, just remember – I’m but ONE of probably millions of fans whose lives have been touched by you and all the others in “Pine Valley”. Please accept my humble thank you for your continued dedication, your loyalty to your fans, and your sweet demeanor which radiates through your face and eyes each and every day. Thanks to AMC (and to be honest OLTL too), I now don’t feel as if I am confined to my house because of my disability. Now, thanks to AMC and OLTL, I am able to visit sick friends at the hospital, go to a nightclub and dance to the music provided live or through a DJ, see the seedy underbelly of people with black souls, rejoice with the birth of a new baby and cry at the passing of a dear friend, some of whom I feel as if I had a personal relationship with for more than 40 years. For that – I thank each and every one of you. You have made a difference in the lives of so many. Please understand how important each of you are to us. And – thank you..

  9. Thanks for sharing Cady, i love that they let you bring Mr. Peanut, and he looks like he is enjoying all that attention:-) Thank You again to Prospect Park, and all the set designers etc.. I know we sometimes forget them. Loving the show, I find myself watching 6:00 AM because I can’t wait and it is so exciting to find out who they are bring back, never in a million years would I have thought Billy Clyde Tuggle would be back! Matthew is so brilliant at playing the part, and to have Dimitri back, so excited and so happy Prospect Park gave him another chance, unlike ABC. Can’t wait to see who else comes back..

  10. I am so HAPPY that you have returned for this new wave of entertainment of watching a soap on the internet. I look forward to everyday of going on my desktop to watch the next episode. Keep up the great work. I have one more thing to say to you though, when is “Tad the Man” coming back to the show?????

  11. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m a long time fan of All My Children and always enjoy the opportunity to see what takes place behind the scenes. So many people working so hard to put together each show. Thanks to you and the entire cast and crew. Give Mr. Peanut a belly rub for me.

  12. Cady – I’ve so enjoyed all your communications via blog/facebook regarding the return of AMC. I’ve watched you grow since your first week on AMC many years ago, and am thankful for the social media that allows you to “talk” to fans as if we are old friends. The behind the scenes info is awesome! Thanks for keeping it real!

  13. Thank you Cady, for all you do for the fans! We appreciate it! And I love the new show, and I am excited to watch each day! Even getting attached to some of the new faces as well!

  14. Cady … stop using creme under your eyes its part of what causes the puffy … try using gel or something lighter … just sayin’ from one lady with under eye luggage to the other 😉

      1. i think we get over-moisturized and retain water there, isn’t it weird? 🙂 I bought eye cream when i turned 40, just because it seemed the thing to do, and noticed the exact same thing! Glad it’s not just me ;0)

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