Friday, February 12, 2010


Regular readers of this here blog may be aware that I'm one of the producers of a little web sensation called PRETTY. PRETTY is the continuing story of the Champagne family and their quest for the crown in the Miss Star Eyes Pageant - a child beauty pageant. Their daughter Annette is five years old, but due to a sudden growth spurt, she looks about 29+. Episode two premiered earlier this week and introduced us to pageant director Parker Kensington Parker, played by today's guest: the lovely Terri Simmons.

Doug: Howdy Terri! First of all how could you NOT laugh when saying your character’s name?

Terri Simmons: I LOVE saying Parker’s name. I can’t even THINK her name without feeling like I am in control of the world. It gives me a huge sense of power.

D: Yes - she's pure power. I love the character of Parker because she’s such a “soap opera diva.” Her name, her clothing, her hair – she could be at home at Pine Valley, Port Charles or even Salem. Did that dawn on you at all when you were playing her?

TS: Oh, absolutely! I was left alone a lot as a child, and I watched soap operas constantly. I was a very literal child and thought that the characters were real people, that Pine Valley was a real town. I cried in my room for two days when Jenny died in a jetski accident on ALL MY CHILDREN.

D: Poor Jenny. I don't think she's ever came back from the dead. I may be wrong though. Back to Parker. Have you ever met anyone like Parker? Did you base your performance on anyone you know?

TS: Well, I was raised in a small East Texas town, so OF COURSE I know people like Parker and I love them! My family is full of Parker Kensington Parkers (feel the power)! I think Parker is a cross between my mother (“Babes”), my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Cash (kept me after school to tell me I was fat like I didn’t know that already) and Jane Lynch from GLEE.

D: I've worked with Jane. She's a wonderful person and actress and I am so happy for her success. Back to Parker. I also love that Parker is an avid scrap booker, because when I was purchasing art department supplies at the local scrapbook store for PRETTY, the woman who ran it told me that SHE was a former child beauty pageant contestant! Have you ever scrapbooked?

TS: I am a horrible scrapbooker! I have an obsessive compulsive personality and I’m very detail-oriented, so it takes me 8 hours to do one page! I’d rather be outside hiking, water skiing, riding a Harley or building something with tools.

D: I may have to tutor you in scrapbooking for season 2. Speaking of season 2, I would like to see a flashback of Parker from her pageant days. How do you imagine that would look?

TS: Funny you should ask! I actually have pictures of myself from when I was in the Miss Nacogdoches pageant back in my college days, and I’m thinking that’s what Parker would have looked like back then. I did it on a dare, and when it was over the judge pulled me aside and told me to drop some weight, take a drama class and come back next year. I’m thinking Parker would have punched him in the nose and then taken all of the other loser contestants out for beer.

D: That's hysterical! Miss Nacogdoches - LOVE it! I ask these questions of most of my interview guests. If you could be on any comedy show (from all of TV history) which would it be? And who are your comedy heroes?

TS: I love the classics. I would love to have been on MARY TYLER MOORE, BOB NEWHART, or THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW. My comedy heroes are Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Gilda Radner, Tina Fey, Ellen DeGeneres…so many.

D: I love 'em all too. I get CAROL BURNETT SHOW cravings every once in a while. Thank heaven for YouTube! So after PRETTY, what’s up next for Terri?

TS: Oh wow! I’m having so much fun being PRETTY, that I can’t imagine what’s next!!

D: Well, maybe the casting director from GLEE will see PRETTY and cast you as Jane's sister?
How cool would that be?

D: Thanks for the chat Terri, see ya soon!

TS: Thanks very much, Doug!! xoxo

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