You can go home again

 By Les Honig, Soap Opera Magazine, 1991

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For most New York-based soap actors, "making it" means leaving the safety of home and regular role and heading out to Hollywood to seek fame and fortune in the "big time" world of films and primetime TV But for one newly signed Santa Barbara soap actor, Michael Brainard (Ted), packing up and heading West meant something far different: It meant going home.

Growing up in the security of his Laguna Hills, California, home and getting his feet wet with local theater productions, Michael soon became frustrated with high pressure Hollywood "cattle call" auditions. He grew so disillusioned that lie considered chucking it all and following in his father's footsteps as a fireman until lie was noticed three years ago by an All my Children scout and offered the role of Joey. Before lie knew it he was leaving familiar surroundings and heading for the Big Apple.

Now the 25-year-old actor is back in his home state of California where he's facing a new challenge. He's taken over the role of Santa Barbara's Ted which was vacated several years ago by Todd McKee. "You know, it's funny - I always thought that when I was finished with All my Children, I'd be finished with the soap opera scene forever," Michael told Soap Opera Magazine. "It was the challenge of working with different people in a different setting, with an exciting character, that finally pulled me back into it I don't quite know what shape Ted will take yet but I do know that there are lots of different things I can do with him, since he's a much stronger character than Joey was."

Although Michael's stint as Joey abruptly ended last summer, he's not bitter about being let go from the show. "Looking back, I think I had done pretty much all I could have done with the character of Joey," he said. "What I do miss are the friends I made on All my Children, like Matt Borlenghi (Brian) and Patrick Stuart (Will). I miss Patrick immensely. I can count on one hand how many friends I have who are as close to me as Patrick is."

But there were plenty of pluses in returning to the West Coast For one thing, he's been reunited with his parents, older sister Dawn and his girlfriend, actress-dancer Tina Caspary. And since he moved into a beach home just south of Los Angeles, Michael is again enjoying surfing as well as week end skiing trips at a nearby resort. "I enjoyed the New York experience, but I've been away too long," he says. "Its time now to become reacquainted with all the people I care about out here."