April 28th, 2010  |  Leave a comment

The Ricky Paull Goldin Interview – All My Children

Courtesy/ABC

Take one of daytime’s greatest performers, put him on a real-life road trip with his best bud to tackle questions and believability of paranormal phenomenon, and what do you get?   No, not a remake of Thelma and Louise with two guys, but the TLC special, Seeing vs. Believing airing this Sunday.  All My Children’s Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake) is the executive producer and co-host of the one hour metaphysical, and at times, eerily spooky special television event.   Born out of the last wishes of his dying father, world-renowned hypnotist Paul Goldin, the soap star examines three intriguing subjects during the special.

We then turn our attention to Ricky’s magnetic performances as Dr. Jake Martin on All My Children, and for a revealing look into his many loveable roles throughout his soap career.  From his thoughts on AMC’s move to L.A – to what went down with the Beth Ehlers situation which ultimately saw her exiting the show – the on-screen pairing of Jake and Amanda – his expectations with the arrival of new AMC head writers, David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski – and saying goodbye to GL’s, Gus Aituro… it’s all here! One of the best guys in the business that we have had the privilege to know for many years; On-Air On-Soaps is pleased to bring you this look at all things… Ricky Paull!

Note: You can hear selected audio bytes from this interview by clicking on the player below, and read the feature in it’s entirety below. To view more clips and previews from Seeing vs. Believing, click here.

Listen to the audio:
The Ricky Paull Goldin Interview

Play

MICHAEL:

This Sunday is the premiere of your special Seeing vs. Believing on TLC.  I was reading up on this project of yours, and I was fascinated why you decided to do the special.  I understand it had a lot to do with an homage to your father.

RICKY:

Correct.  My dad was the world-renowned hypnotist Paul Goldin and he hypnotized hundreds of thousands people.

MICHAEL:

Did he hypnotize you?

RICKY:

© JPI Studios

Yes, many times, and all the people in our family.  He came to Guiding Light once and hypnotized the crew to get them to stop smoking.  There were about 60 people in the room.

MICHAEL:

You mean, he didn’t hypnotize Ellen Wheeler to stop her from doing the shaky camera work? 

RICKY:

(Laughs) He didn’t know that was coming.  I thought he was a pretty good psychic, but he didn’t see that coming.  None of us did. (Laughs)  My dad asked me on his deathbed to please go find “the ones”.  And I said, what do you mean, pop? He said, “I want you to find the ones that are special and that have a gift, and the ones that have a paranormal and supernatural talent.  I want you to show them to the world, because you and I both know, Ricky, that they are out there.”  And he is speaking from experience, because I have seen him do incredible things in my life, as we all have in our family.  I said, “I would do that for you.”  And he said, “At the same time, I want you to expose the phonies and the frauds. I want you to capture that feeling that we have had.”  The ones that have had experiences are called “Believers” and tend to be on the believing side, in this world of ours.  If they experience something they can’t explain suddenly their eyes are open, and their hearts are open to believing.  It doesn’t mean you are not a realist, and it doesn’t mean fickle, and others of us are closed off to it.  And to those people, it’s black, it’s white, we’re born, we live, we die, end of story!  Personally, I think that is not possible.  If we are to believe that we are the only things in this universe and in this galaxy, then that is pretty closed minded, because how can we be the only creatures in existence?  So I know there is something, and I feel it.  And I have had experiences.  Now if I could have you or a viewer experience it, and capture it, then we’re talking!

MICHAEL:

Was it hard putting the special together, of how we as the audience, would relate to what is going on?  What were the hurdles you were facing in production to get this issue out there to the viewing public?

RICKY:

I don’t want to manipulate anything, and that is why I came up with the idea of bringing a “skeptic” with me.  My good buddy, Jeff Gurtman is my smartest friend – an Ivy League Kid.  He is very black and white about stuff, and the perfect person for this journey with me. We don’t always get along as friends. We have spats and stuff, but to keep it real and to keep it honest, Gurtman was the man.

Courtesy/TLC

MICHAEL:

How long ago did your father pass away?  Were you at all close?  

RICKY:

It has been two years last month.  It was tough.  I loved my dad, and here is the thing; he was in another world.  He was in the spirit world.  He was not of this world.  He worked for the CIA.  Everything he did was covert.  He did lots of projects.  For example, one of them was to help clean up the Jonestown Massacre. He also hypnotized 10,000 people at one time!  He used his gift to heal people, too.  He had a clinic in Beijing and Ireland, and they are growing still.  I have over 16,000 hours of audio tapes from my father, and ledgers and books, so that did not leave a lot of time for him to be “daddy”.   So, I can go around all my life with a chip on my shoulder, or I can go around and see the world through his eyes, or I could not care at all.  I am not doing the latter.  I want to see the world through his eyes.  When I am alone with him, and the man is dying, look, I love my father – the words that have been known to come out of my mouth is that I didn’t always like him. This is the catalyst for the show.  There are so many things I did not know about him, and the full capabilities of his gifts.  So, I wanted to know and get to the bottom of it.

MICHAEL:

Did you “believe” growing up?

RICKY:

You believe what you see and that is what I knew.  I was running around the living room while my dad was with the Rolling Stones, or Bob Geldof, or Enya.  I was just a kid then, and to me it was no big shakes, and it’s still no big deal to this day.  They all wanted one person to perform for them, and the man that they wanted, and that fascinated them, was my father.

MICHAEL: 

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Did he want you to go into the same kind of career choice and follow in his footsteps?

RICKY:

He would have loved for me to expand the clinics.  He wanted to do a Goldin vs. Goldin on stage and maybe do it in Vegas, but I was always too busy with the soaps and my career in America.  We had the pond between us, as he lived in Ireland.  I will tell you a secret.  I was at a party with them and the manager of U2 in Ireland, and again I am not saying this to be cool, but I was honored to be there.  Are you kidding?  But anytime I hung out with him that is how he rolled.  I met Bono, who is one of my idols, and when you shake his hand electricity seems to run through it, and of course, he is an incredible man!  You know the first thing he said to me?  “My God, you’re Paul Goldin’s son.”   It was unbelievable! The first thing Bono talked to me about was my father, and that is how it was all the time.

MICHAEL:

Did you ever feel then, you were in your father’s shadow?

RICKY:

No, no, my father was not an actor.  He never purported to be an actor, and my brother was an inventor and went off and created hair extensions… Great Lengths Hair Extensions, and he is the sole owner of that company, and it’s a billon dollar business.  I am doing what I do.  I have never stopped acting since I did Romper Room at three years old!

MICHAEL:

No!  You did Romper Room? 

RICKY:

I would do, “I see Ricky, I see Michael,” through the little mirror, (laughs).  But look, I have been blessed.  I had a wish when I was very little and that was I wanted to be a working actor, and I got my wish.  Now when it comes to this special, it’s more about what my father told me when I was younger, that I was a “receiver.”  And, I shut it off when I was twelve and thirteen.  Before he left me and passed on, he asked me not to do that anymore, and to open up that avenue in myself.  I would do that by taking this journey.

MICHAEL:

I am sure you have watched back Seeing vs. Believing.  Did it work out the way you hoped it would?

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RICKY:

You work these things out.  It’s the event and the premiere that is the thing that launches the show.  I was on my 726th performance of a certain play I did in New York City, and on the very last night I was still trying to tweak my performance.  I will always be like that.  I don’t think I have left any scene in daytime, primetime, or Broadway, where I am ever fully satisfied with the results.  My mind is always reeling… How can we heighten this?  How can we make it better?  I have seen the special and I love the show, and I hate everything!  But of course, I am really excited about going to a series, and I already know how I would like to end the segments with more information for the audience, if that were to occur!

MICHAEL:

The goal is to obviously go to a series with Seeing vs. Believing.

RICKY:

Yes!  That is how it works now.  They don’t hand you 6 or 12 episodes.  And by the way, if they do commit to that, they can still pull you after the first one if it doesn’t do well.  They yank it, and you never hear from them again.  I am hoping people watch the show.  I think we have already moved mountains!

MICHAEL:

Please explain to me what on earth is going on in the promos with burlap bags over your heads while driving a car?

RICKY:

There is somebody who had a claim about Hellstromism, and that was founded by Axel Hellstrom, who knew my father.  It’s actually about being a human lie detector.  It’s being able to read somebody by their pulse and the shifting of their eyes, or their body language better than a detective.  It’s the most amazing, incredible thing!  So one of the subjects we explore on the special is; that this guy wanted to prove it by being blind and bagged, and driving an automobile on a road, and staying on the road and not crash.  And, this man wasn’t using my pulse.  I wanted him to use the “skeptics” pulse.  So, who would be responsible for the bag that was bought not being a trick bag?  That is Jeff, who does not believe anything, and he is the subject that this gentleman would use during the premiere.

MICHAEL:

Were there scary moments during the filming? 

RICKY:

Courtesy/TLC

Very scary!  There was something terrifying in Hell’s Half Acre, that is in Hot Springs, Arkansas, which is cursed.  You step on something, and if nothing happens right away you think nothing of it.  Meanwhile, I walked out of that place, and I needed 21 stitches on my face, and I am an actor. You think I would do that to myself?   We got so freaked out.  I went to the ER, and Jeff Gurtman went to interview this American Indian, and Jeff said, “Nothing happened to me, but something happened to Ricky,” and the American Indian said, “Nothing yet.” And something did happen to Jeff after we got home.  All our time codes that we used to edit the show with were caput from the Hell’s Half Acre shoot.  So, we had to get spiritually cleansed by the American Indians.  I had Chip, my psychic advisor say to me, “We are going to build you a pile of medals that you are going to put on chains, and when you go back out for this journey, Ricky… and I know you will…  I will build medals for every cast and crewmember, and we will fight fire with fire.  Also, we will not disturb the spiritual world.  We have a game plan.”  I know it sounds when talking like I lost my mind.  But Michael, I have known you for so long, I am going to tell you what I went through, and this is some of it.

MICHAEL:

What is the take away or message you want viewers to get from the show?

RICKY:

I want them to know they can write in to us right away, and they can fire off where they want us to go, what they have experienced, and we are going to go there.

MICHAEL:

So, it is basically a complete reality show, but for the paranormal?

RICKY:

I am not casting this.  I want the real deal.  If it was an experience they had, or a phenomenon, or it’s a local legend… we are there.  And by the way, when it’s a local legend, we show up.  We get off a plane, and we start knocking on doors and start finding out the stories from the people.  This is a docusoap!

MICHAEL:

There had to be a time where even you went: “This is so ridiculous, I cannot believe it!”

Courtesy/ABC

RICKY:

Yes.  Some that wrote in to us were ridiculous, and that is the flip side to this.  We are going to expose the frauds and the fraudulent claims, and the stories that are bogus.  That is part of the fun of the show.  Fans can write us at www.seeingvsbelieving.com. I am on Twitter and Facebook, and I am really accessible when it comes to this project, and I want to stay that way.   

MICHAEL:

OK, now let’s talk about Jake Martin and All My Children. The new head writer’s work begins to air in May.  And fans and I are hoping that since David Kreizman wrote for you over at Guiding Light, and Donna Swajeski wrote for you at Another World, that this could be a fantastic time to see great material for you to play.

RICKY:

You know, I am getting older now.  I was one who did not burn my bridges, thank God.  David Kreizman was there at Guiding Light for the whole drug addiction storyline of Gus.  I actually broke a blood vessel in my eyeball with that storyline; because I was just a friggin’ mess everyday!  Donna Swajeski was there at Another World when I was just a punk.  So it could be a very exciting time coming up.

MICHAEL:

Donna wrote for you at AW, when you were singing and dancing as Dean Frame?

RICKY:

Yes, and I went in for this role, which I was completely wrong for, and it was just a role.  It was not singer, musician or rock star.  It was a role that ended up being played by Danny Markle for six months, and he got axed.  I was leaving the audition room, and I know I am like “Quirks McGuirk”… I am a quirky dude… and I am walking out the door.  And she says to me, “Oh, by the way, do you play guitar?”  And I go, “No, I don’t play the guitar, but I do play piano.”   And that was the birth of Dean Frame.  And that show had a very dry sort of wit about it.  It did not have a lot of musical stings, and it reminded me of the old soap, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.   There was no music and it sort of sat in itself for a while.  I used to play the music on AW with just the piano and me all the time, and it was not produced.  Later on, when it got into the band and the rock star storyline, I would go into the recording studio.  I used to go all over the world and sing for people acappella.  That is how I got Grease on Broadway, because ten-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune used to watch Another World, and he saw me singing on TV, and I got a part on Broadway.

MICHAEL:

I had no idea on that one!  Now, here at All My Children, how do you feel that things are going for you?  The soap business has become so unsteady for actors that you never know from time to time what shoe is going to drop! 

Courtesy/ABC

RICKY:

I am lucky.  I pretended that there were no Jake’s before me.  I just wanted to be a family member.  I know how it works.  I love Michael Knight (Tad), and he is also a “Quirks McGuirk”, and the two of us together is great fun.  I love Vincent Irizarry (David).   He is one of the best bad guys.  There is a genius to the way he plays that role, and David Hayward annoys the hell out of Jake, but Vincent, he is one of the best.

MICHAEL:

There is a fantastic dynamic between the two of you!

RICKY:

There is no possible anti-hero or Superman movie unless you have an arch-nemesis, or a really bad villain.  So, keep it coming!

MICHAEL:

How do you like playing a doctor?  (Laughs) 

RICKY:

(Laughs) I have to be honest; I did not want to play a doctor.  My actor friends on Grey’s Anatomy or ER, they are like: “The worst thing is having to memorize the medical terms.”  I am so mental as it is, and I am like Rain Man in the corner, going over my medical throws, and I want to make it even better so I can throw it off the top of my tongue like, I got this.  This is the one thing that makes me have to break out another cylinder in having to do this.  But, if I have to do it, I wanted it to be the best.  We are moving at a pace here which is so much faster than primetime, and sometimes it can be really frustrating.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Last week we watched the beautiful James Mitchell/Palmer Tribute episode, where you did an homage to Joe remembering Palmer.  Do you miss Ray MacDonnell (Joe)?

RICKY:

I loved him and he is awesome!  Not having Ray McDonnell here sucks.  He is the real deal old school actor.  And, he would like to have fun with me like the best of them, and so I had to be more on point with my cues for delivery with him.  But, that is a small price to pay to be able to hang with him.  He is a funny, loveable guy, and I miss him a lot.

MICHAEL:

Let’s talk about you and Chrishell Stause as Jake and Amanda.  Were you surprised that this couple captivated the AMC audience, as one of the most popular couples in Pine Valley?

RICKY:

Well, look what she brings to the table.

MICHAEL:

I never thought this relationship would go. I honestly didn’t.  I never thought she would have the acting chops to go with you.  But she has proved many wrong. 

RICKY:

Courtesy/ABC

Well, that’s fair. You are one of the experts in your field.  I read with her, not on camera, and I can tell what somebody can do in a room.  By the way, I am a terrible cold reader, so I say this with that caveat. (Laughs)  I am good at seeing what actors can do, and Chrishell is not like a fluffy girl who had everything handed to her.  She came from very humble roots and has worked for everything she has.

MICHAEL:

So you knew that this could translate on-screen?

RICKY:

I started to dig, as I do, and I found out more about her.  For me, it’s not about the written word.  It’s about wanting to know what my writers want me to convey, but Chrishell is willing to play.  I don’t have a gage if we are popular.  I used to get addicted to what was being said on the Internet, but I know I don’t follow it as much.

MICHAEL:

I need to address with you, the Beth Ehlers situation.   It was sad to see this not work out at AMC for her.  Can you speak to the issues of what happened?

RICKY:

Beth is one of the greatest, and I am not saying this to appease you, or the listeners, or the people who will read this.  But, Beth is one of the best technicians I have ever seen in this medium.  She really is!  I learned a lot from her, and I dare say, she learned one or two things from me, and together it was something great.  I don’t know if it was a round hole/ square peg story over here.  I know that it was powerful enough for All My Children to try it.  I also know it’s kind of a shame, because there was another show in love with Beth at that same time.  I think her loyalties were with me, and can we capture lighting in a bottle twice?  Sometimes, when you try to set out to do something, it’s not how you pictured it.  I have no doubt Beth will come back and slam something home, and even though she is not 19 years old anymore, she has a really big talent.  She is very smart, and she is a medic and an ENT.  Beth is back in New York and raising her two boys, and I think she is filling her soul back up.  You really do give a lot to an ongoing series like a soap opera.  Beth is a very spiritual girl.  I am sure she will blow someone’s socks off again.  I think it will be sooner than later.

MICHAEL:

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But what went wrong?  The storyline was a mess for her and for the viewers! 

RICKY:

I will say this: they wanted to tell one of the best stories ever on daytime, they wanted it to be Coming Home with Jon Voight and Jane Fonda, and then these two fall in love, Taylor and Jake.  Taylor saw her fiancée blow up, and then he shows up six months into these two getting to know one another and she is letting her guard down, and she can’t not be with him.  Now, there are a lot of corners to be easily painted into.  How do you tell that story, and then turn down this fantastic war hero and not be with him, and be with the Jake Martin character?  How do you do that successfully?  You can’t, because then you are the bitch.  You are painted into a corner.  It’s worse than raping or killing somebody on these shows, which is usually the kiss of death… for most…but now it’s not putting the old Ricky Paull Goldin and Beth Ehlers together, it’s doing the opposite.  But it’s the best efforts, and it was a great idea.  By the way, JR Martinez (Brot) has been doing a great job. The guy never acted.  I am thinking, looking at the history and what he has been through in Iraq, it makes him a full human being, and gives him an opportunity to shine… and look at him!

MICHAEL:

So what you are saying is that the Brot/Taylor/Jake storyline was a conundrum?

RICKY:

The storyline was an absolute conundrum, and Beth was on the horns of the dilemma the minute she took the gig.  And listen, everybody loved her and respected her here.  You are going to have creative differences, and we were trying to have it have the ending we wanted it to be, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.

MICHAEL:

Ok, so I know this may be a hard question for you.  Since you are always looking to be better and better with your work and your scenes, are there a few favorite moments over the years on daytime, where you can say, “I was good in that”?  

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RICKY:

I had some moments on Another World with the music, and I had a couple of moments on The Young and the Restless, where I played this guy with three personalities with Heather Tom.  I had a few of those moments on Guiding Light with Gus doing drugs, because he was the guy you love.  Gus was such a great guy.  He was human and I really enjoyed playing that.  I had a few moments of the death of Gus Aitoro.  I did not watch that for six months, and when I watched it I wept.  My mother, who was my biggest critic, usually calls me and says something like, “I saw you operating on Tad today.  It looked like you were eating Spaghetti Bolognese.”   But, she was a mess from the death of Gus Aituro.  I am still looking for that great moment here at All My Children.

MICHAEL:

What can we preview next for Jake?

RICKY:

There is something big coming up for Jake and Amanda that we are taping now.  It is something different.  It’s quick and pivotal.  I am looking forward to the new writers and the new material.  I am looking to load up the bases and have a man on every base, and I want to slam it home.  That would not feel good coming back to the dugout by myself; you have to do it with the team.  We have one of the greatest casts now, and there is not a bad apple in the bunch, and the energy here is great.  We are at a great new place with new sets.  We were not allowed to be happy when we left New York, because we were leaving so many people behind.  We were not allowed to be happy because in the hair and make-up room, they weren’t coming with us.  That was sad, but when you turned the page this past January 4th here in LA…. you have never seen a happier group of people.  We had to stick together because it’s a bunch of east-coasters now on the west coast, and it’s really the greatest feeling in the world. 

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MICHAEL:

So you were obviously at the Town Hall meeting at The View set, when Brian Frons (ABC President Daytime and SOAPnet) informs the cast you are headed out of the Big Apple for Sunny L.A.  What was your initial thought?

RICKY:

My jaw was on the floor, but I am used to that.  You see, back to my dad, I went to 20 schools growing up, and that moved me around.  I used to be in three different schools in one year.  I am used to being the new kid.  Some people would call that a survivor!

MICHAEL:

You are so extremely popular, dare I say, “A Fan Favorite”, and because of that, there had to have been a fan or two along the way, that has touched you personally.

RICKY:

I was with a kid when I did a personal appearance, and that child was fighting for her life with her lungs, and did not make the fight.  I went and sang for her in the hospital room, because that was one of her last wishes.  I don’t really feel those moments as much when we are meeting thousands of people at one time.  I bow out of lot of those things because it’s so rushed at those big fan events and fans get upset.  So there is no way to win. Sometimes, I feel if I just extract myself from that equation nobody will feel bad.  The thing that moves me the most is when I come across somebody whether they are 99 years old or 9 years old, and I have. If I made them smile, or took them away from their problems for awhile, or took them on a journey of any kind – and I don’t mean a fluffy depthless journey – I would like them to really experience something.  I would like to take them on a journey away from their life, even if it’s for an hour of the day during daytime.  I think one of the most amazing things is when people have named their children after characters that I have played or named them after myself. 

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MICHAEL:

OK Ricky, as we close, this Sunday, May 2nd on TLC at 8 and 11PM EST for the premiere of Seeing vs. Believing, do we need beer, chips, and hankies for this?

RICKY:

I’ve got to tell you, it’s a little bit of a roller coaster for sure. You will need all of them! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

And, any final words on AMC’s, Dr. Jake?

RICKY:

You know me, I always try to deconstuct this stuff.  I am always trying to serve it up to the audience in a way that you don’t know what you’re eatin’. (Laughs) I just try to keep it fun.

  1. Debbie U says:

    Your interviews are always fascinating and this is one of the best….thank you. It’s a great read. Just love Ricky and this interview gives a very candid insight in to different facets of him that are both interesting and perhaps unexpected. Bravo to both of you!!!!

    Reply

    dian_kane replied

    I love that you are real and so very open and honest about your relationship with your father. Too many times, everyone thinks “other”people…especially on T.V. have perfect families or lives. I love that you are on this search. I love that you are doing it for the right reasons and to fill in the spots/voids. I have loved you in everything else you have done. ….thank you…. :) GO forth, can’t wait to watch and I pray you find what your heart desires and needs for peace. :) take care….good luck…..

    Reply

  2. lynel helmers says:

    i went t 30 different schools ,lol

    Reply

  3. lynel helmers says:

    this was a great interview

    Reply

  4. Stephanie D. says:

    Great interview Michael! Ricky seems like such a great guy, has a great personality, and a good outlook on life. Can’t wait to see his new show on TLC.

    Reply

  5. Doe says:

    Michael, once again you have hit it out of the ball park with this interview with Ricky. His is a fascinating background and life story. I hope this new series will complete his quest for him and his father, And who knows, maybe he will be able to contact his father. Wouldn’t that be life altering? This was the most interesting and different interview I have been privy to. Thank you, Ricky, for sharing this part of your life with us. And thank you Michael, for bringing this story to all of the fans.

    Reply

  6. semaj says:

    love jake and amanda on amc they are amc next big supercouple they are golden together and they have amazing chemistry

    Reply

  7. john power says:

    ricky, about 40 years ago, paul was doing show in dublin. they were selling little booklet written by paul[not the 6 sence]. there were several mentions of freud.[freud wrote about paul,he said someone may come who'll use the copper of direct suggestion, with the gold of psychoanysis, and use hypnotin tecnique'',]. i’d give anything to get copy of booklet. i thought it was magical, brilliant, in it’s ordinarinees. my address is ”john power, flat 10, 9 moreton st, pimlico, london, sw1v 2pw” sincerely john power

    Reply

  8. Carol says:

    I have heard that Ricky Paull Goldin and Michael Knight are both Jewish. Is this true? Their humor leads me to believe it is!

    Reply

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