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What's up Matt Ashford?

Bay City's resident bad guy dishes on theatre, daytime and the internet

Last fall, fans of THE BAY, as well as long-time fans of Days of Our Lives' Jack Devereaux [sic], were delighted to learn that Matt Ashford would join the web's newest continuing drama as both an actor and a producer. As more was revealed about the character he would play, fans waited eagerly to see just how this Steve Jensen would take shape.

In February, Steve Jensen made his first appearance in Bay City, and his creepy and mysterious actions left fans to wonder - just what is this guy up to? We may have to wait until the fall to answer that question, but we recently caught up with Matt to see what he's been up to since we last saw him on THE BAY.

"My wife Christina and I have been busy rehearsing a musical called I Do, I Do," said Matt. Set to open in Sacramento at California Musical Theatre's Musical Circus on Aug. 16, the demanding two-person show has kept the actors busy learning lines, blocking, music and dancing. "Doing a show like this a lot of work. We've already been working on this for a month and half, and it's keeping us both very busy." An experienced stage actor, Matt also recently played Antony in the Southwest Shakespeare Company's spring production of Antony & Cleopatra - a performance that earned him rave reviews.

Matt may love the stage, but he is just as excited about the opportunities on the internet. Likening the current move to the web to the early days of television, Matt said, "Back then, people were doing their theatre at night to earn a living, then stepping into this whole new frontier during the day. When taken that way, this whole thing can be fun."

Working with THE BAY's stellar cast has also been satisfying. "I've had to opportunity to work with a lot of great actors. We're all still trying to figure out how this can make money, but what's great is we're coming at it from the same place -- we're boldly trying to make content while holding onto the idea that if we build it, they will come," he added.

When asked how working on THE BAY differs from his previous daytime work, Matt explained that the process is much simpler and therefore, "there's much more opportunity for the actors, writers and producers to work closely together."

Recognizing the difficulty faced by daytime dramas, Matt discussed his appreciation for the genre, the impact soaps have had on television as a whole and the need for change. "I'm glad to have worked through the golden age in the daytime industry. But now, these shows have sort of out-succeeded themselves and it's time for daytime to re-imagine itself. Shows like THE BAY are doing that. Except, they're not daytime...they're anytime. That works because people's work schedules aren't daytime anymore," he explained.

As for what's to come with Steve Jensen, Matt explains his hopes for the mysterious man in black. "We haven't done much with him yet, but I'm really hopeful that will be rectified soon." He went on to encourage fans to voice their hopes too. "That's what's great about a show like this - the audience really has an opportunity to share their desires and know that they're being heard."


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