By Mariann Aalda
I recently had an opportunity to catch up with my former EON castmate (and dressing-roommate) Jennifer Taylor (Detective Chris Egan)
MA: So, Jennifer, what have you been up to since we last saw each other... what has it been, two years, now?
JT: More like four years, but who's counting. LOL Anyway, The last few jobs I’ve had were; the realtor in DeRailed, John Heard’s wife in The Lucky Ones, and Stacy Keach’s secretary for the first season of Prison Break.
In addition to the occasional local commercial, I continue to operate a business I’ve had now for about 17 years called the Painted Board Studio (www.paintedboardstudio.com), where I work on my own oil paintings. (I started painting when I was on Edge of Night and haven’t stopped.) My favorite painting is called The Wedding , 3’x6’:
I never paint knowing what the painting will be – that would ruin the surprise – however, at the time, I had just completed an intense master acting class where I worked hard on the character Roberta in a scene from, ''Danny and the Deep Blue Sea'' by John Patrick Shanley. It was later that I could see the psychological aspects of the play peering out from the painting.
I also enjoy custom painting furniture:
Painting furniture brings me pleasure to know that I’m able to help ‘save and recycle’ a lot of old furniture pieces just by using paint in a really cool way and painting murals is just fun!
Lastly, and this has nothing to do with the arts at all, I started a website called Lily’s List, www.LilysList.com, (named after my daughter) which is a student loan gift registry designed to help anyone with a student loan pay it down – One Gift at a Time.
The debt college kids are incurring is unfathomable to me (can you imagine being 22 with an average of $23,000 in debt right out of school? Many have MUCH more than that!) I want to help educate kids on how to think outside the box when it comes to paying down their loan and so, with three women friends, I created a website to do just that - we only launched a few months ago but already have been publicized on CBS Money Watch and in the Chicago Sun Times.
Someday I hope to return to NY or LA for a bit to try to find more acting work now that my kids are grown, but in the meantime, my husband and I enjoy life right where we’re at.
Mariann Aalda played DiDi Bannister-Stoner on Edge of Night from 1981 to its final episode on December 28, 1984. She also played Grace Battles on Guiding Light and Lena Hart on Sunset Beach. She is currently starring in M.O.I.S.T.! -- the "sex-istential" comedy-with-music celebrating the seasoned woman -- which she co-wrote/produced/performs with Iona Morris (ex Fiona Griffin, As The World Turns).
Check out her latest installment of Edge of Night Today at: http://eontoday.blogspot.com/