Dr. David Haywood, a deliciously devious character on All My Children might be considered a villain at times but there is not one evil bone in the body of actor Vincent Irizarry and his love shines through during our recent conversation regarding Agnes Nixon, the creator of All My Children and One Life To Live. I had so many questions to ask him and 90 minutes flew by in what felt like 10 minutes. It went something like this:
Q I see you have nominated Agnes for the Kennedy Center Honors?
A Yes. It is a very unique honor. It is very prestigious and you can see if you go to the website that they give it out every year to a handful of people who have devoted their lives to excellence and excellence for the arts. So that’s what this is all about. I honestly can’t imagine anybody more suitable for the award given that she has devoted her entire life as one of the great story tellers of our life time. So I saw the opportunity and I thought why not launch a campaign so that people are aware of their ability to help bring this about.
Q Are you the only one in the cast that are supporting her this way?
A This was just brought to my attention last week that there was even such a process as this where people can recommend other figures. I responded to it immediately that I would love to see her receive this well deserved accolade. She deserves it. I put it on Twitter, I put it on my Facebook and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if other cast members had seen it and then gone on and put in their recommendation as well. I believe that Jill Larson responded and I think she’s done it but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if other people are carrying on the campaign themselves.
Q Right, when you go to the website there is an area where you can nominate somebody and I did that myself for her as well.
A Wonderful, well thank you very much and exactly right, you go there and you give your reasons why you think the person is deserving and that is an easy one when it comes to her.
Q It’s very easy and it just spews out of you why she should have it.
A Oh absolutely and considering the fact that she is one of the handful of people that helped set the foundation of this medium in place. I mean obviously she wasn’t writing when it was on radio but she was a protégé of Erma Phillips who was creator of daytime shows. She was one of them who did that on radio and helped them transition onto television and Agnes came in as a protégé and then became head writer for As The World Turns, for Guiding Light and then she created All My Children, One Life To Live and Loving. She has devoted her whole entire life to this form of storytelling and there really isn’t any medium that has had the success and endurance of this medium considering the fact that shows like Guiding Light which she was the head writer in the early years of television for that show. That show was on television and radio for 72 years and it is the longest running show in broadcasting history ever. Now Agnes has not only made the transition of bringing it from radio to television all those years ago, now she is part of the new transition of bringing it from television to new media as right now with All My Children and One Life to Live on Hulu and iTunes and successfully so. They have been either #1 or within the top 5 since we started about 2 months ago. I think this person having entertained countless millions for all these years and also employed countless hundreds of thousands all these years herself and has just stayed true to her art form and has just continued to expand on it and to broach very difficult social issues throughout those years as she has in her story telling. I think she certainly deserves this award, this recognition because she is a National Treasure without question.
Q Are you saying all of this right off the top of your head or are you reading something?
A No. I am actually looking out my window right now at the hills of Los Angeles with a glass of a carrot juice in my hand and saying this just off the top of my head.
Q That’s wonderful.
A My feet are on another chair while I am just looking out the window.
Q Vincent, are you reading a script?
A No. No. No. This is right off the top of my head.
Q And it’s right actually from the bottom of your heart?
A Without question, you know I feel so privileged and honored to have worked under this woman all these years and to be part of fantasy world, her universe that she created. I also had the great privilege to actually act opposite her right before we left Network television about 2 years ago, a year and a half. She came on for several episodes and I did scenes with her and I am truly in all the years I have worked on this show they are truly some of my most favorite scenes that I ever had the opportunity to perform on that show. It was because I was totally enchanted by her.
She is wonderful as an actress. She really was and she totally became that character and it was just a delight to watch her and when you saw her on screen when it aired, she just has this magical quality about her and in between takes she would be telling me these wonderful stories and I was just in love with her. Agnes is a unique individual. One of the things that really struck me years ago when I started working on the show was that occasionally she would show up on set and usually she would be bringing like some guest that wanted to see the show or be on the set that were fans all those years. So she would come on and come onto the set and she was so quiet.
She was so respectful of everybody on there, she would be in the background and you wouldn’t even know that she was there. That was quite amazing considering the fact that every person on that stage was there because of her. Every person had a job on that sound stage because of this woman but she was so restrained in the way she made her presence known you wouldn’t even know she was there and there she was the owner of the show. She is just so full of humility and just a genuine quality about her that I find so unique and rare of somebody with that success so that is one of those things that was one of my first impressions of her when I first met her. I was just so taken aback by her humility as a human being. I just found her to be incredibly unique.
As you have just read, Vincent is certainly passionate of this campaign so Agnes receives this well deserved honor. You can help Vincent achieve this goal by following the link and instructions below.
We talked and we talked and during this conversation I was to discover that Vincent and I grew up just 12 miles from one another and only 1 and a half years in age difference so that was really thrilling for me. There was much more to this conversation and perhaps I will do a separate piece on that but this article is about Agnes Nixon and Vincent’s campaign to help her get recognized by the Kennedy Center Honor.
If you would like to help Vincent do that, you can go to: http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/specialevents/honors/
And look to your bottom right where it says: Submit Kennedy Center Honors Recommendation, fill in your info and why you think Agnes should receive this honor and let’s make this happen for the lady that has given her whole life to writing the stories we never had to wait to bedtime to enjoy.