How GH’s Nicholas Chavez discovered he was fit for a prince

NOTicholas Chavez didn’t grow up with an acting career at heart — in fact, finding out he loved acting happened “a bit by accident,” as he puts it. In high school, he explains, “I had a mentor who was the speech and debate coach, Matt Murphy. I was playing football and Matt took over the theater department and for his first play he put on Kill a mockingbird. The kid chosen to play Atticus Finch got really sick and he came up to me and said, ‘Look, Nick, I’ve asked for about six people, and you’re literally my last option. Would you please do this and try to learn the lines? It doesn’t even have to be good. “After leaving the football team to work on the show, the acting bug hit fast and hard – and his raw talent was evident enough that people around him encouraged him to think about doing it professionally. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life at the time, so knowing that this existed as a career option was amazing and completely life changing,” he says.

After high school, Chavez enrolled in the BFA/MFA program at Mason Gross Theater Conservatory at Rutgers University in New Jersey, which he describes as “a really intense top-down experience. Just because of the intensity of the program, it created a lot of drama, a lot of friction between some of the actors there, but I look back on that time in my life very favorably. He dropped out after his second year (“right before I was supposed to move to London and do Shakespeare at the Old Globe Theater for a year”) to give Los Angeles a chance, but when the pandemic hit and the music industry entertainment closed, he moved with his family to Florida to save money, with the goal of eventually returning to California.

The timeline for it accelerated when the self-cassette audition he had sent in for the role of Spencer so impressed GH’s superiors that he was asked to fly to the West Coast to doing a screen test in front of Maura West (Ava). Less than 24 hours later, he found out the job – his first on television – was his. “It was one of the happiest times of my life,” he beams.

Pushed into a central storyline, Chavez had “lots of dialogue and lots of story” to get his bearings as he found his place in the show – and a wonderfully meaty character to explore. “When I went for the screen test,” he notes, “they were big on [me portraying] that Spencer was a very confident guy, maybe even bordering on arrogant; and that he had come from money, in large part, and had a kind of reckless abandon that comes from the unchecked wealth and power of that status. And of course, that he was very charming and in some ways elusive, but also blunt, and he could also make a very snarky comment that might hurt someone else’s feelings. Immediately, my eyes lit up, because I was so excited to play a character that had so much subtext. As I got to know Spencer, I realized what a deeply complicated and complex individual he was. There is a deep vulnerability there. I think deep down he’s broken and he’s trying to find ways to fix himself, while getting everything he feels entitled to in Port Charles.

Eight months after his debut in Port Charles, Chavez observes that “Settling down has allowed me to work more creatively, because I no longer worry about the nerves of being in front of the camera. Now I’m just thinking about how I can create the choices that are the most interesting to watch and what’s going to make the most sense for the story, as opposed to things like, “How bad do I have the looking ridiculous right now? and that kind of awkward stuff that I think every actor goes through. You also get to know different people’s personalities and work with other cast members. As with any job, you learn how to work best with your peers, and that’s what happens with me. »

Although the actor is grateful for the warmth with which his performance has been received by fans, this reaction has not diminished his determination to focus on improving as an actor. He reflects, “It’s great when people like the show and give good feedback, but ultimately I’m watching myself because I’m the only one who knows if I left it all out there in the field, so speak up. Some days I’m like, “Damn, I had more gas in the tank and I could have done more with that scene,” or I’ll think of something later. — ‘Oh, that would have been such a good idea for this scene!’ I always judge myself, first and foremost. But I am so grateful to the fans – the only reason we can do what we do is that there are fans who support us and love the show. I love going online and seeing the dialogue and the discussion, the people going back and forth about what’s going to happen next. It’s so amazing to be part of a show that has the ability to bring people together. I’m honored to be a part of something magical like this.

He intends to use his time on GH to pursue his artistic self-improvement. “My goal is to grow and develop artistically as an actor as best I can,” he says. “And what’s so great about GH is there’s so much content and story and character development that you can learn a lot just by being here. Right now I am fully focused on staying present and making sure I can soak up all the education and training that can be had in this environment.

Did you know?

Θ He worked in restaurants, as a tax resolution specialist and as a car salesman before landing on GH.

Θ His acting coach is Holly Gagnier, who he recently shared the stage with when she reprized her GH role as Jennifer Smith. “It was so much fun having her on set! Holly is riotous and so warm and friendly and full of creative ideas.”

The games people play

Nicholas Chavez is a chess fanatic (“I was playing just before I called you”) and was stunned to discover that two of his Port Charles relatives, Marcus Coloma (Nikolas) and Genie Francis (Laura), share his true – passion of life. “Marcus has become one of my closest friends on the show, and he’s a chess freak like me,” he enthuses. “We found out about him early on and added ourselves on, and now even when he’s in one part of the world and I’m in another, we play all the time. We both stay up until the wee hours of the night watching videos on YouTube about how to improve our strategy and things like that. He really is an addicted player, just like me! And Genie Francis is an incredible player. We don’t only played one game together, but she beat me – she beat me pretty hard! I’m really looking forward to the rematch [laughs]. It’s so crazy – the chess stuff, for me, was almost like a spiritual indicator when I got there because I’ve been playing chess for so long and then to get to GENERAL HOSPITAL and find many people who love and enjoy the same game that I do, and I would sit in the green room and play with me, it really made me feel, ‘There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m at the good place.’ ”

Just the facts:

Anniversary: September 6

Origin: Born in Houston, TX, Chavez grew up primarily in Denver, CO.

Romantic Status: He is happily spoken and describes his girlfriend as “a wonderful brain that I absolutely adore”.

Siblings’ Day: Chavez has a 15-year-old half-brother and a 9-year-old half-sister on his mother’s side, and a 15-year-old half-brother on his father’s side.

Puppy Love: The Chavez family dog, a one-year-old Great Dane, is named Moo “because he’s white with black spots, like a cow.”

Follow the stars: “I’m into this weird kind of music called future funk; it’s kind of like soul, funk and R&B all rolled into one. Some of my favorite artists are Blood Orange, Yves Tumor and I’m a Mac Miller fan, but I’ve also been listening to a lot of Bruce Springsteen lately.

Game enabled: He recently got his hands on a coveted PlayStation 5 while queuing outside a GameStop at 5 a.m. and waiting for five o’clock, but insists, “I’m not a hardcore gamer like some people I know. I like mainstream stuff – mad, mortal combat, Call of Duty. If I just memorized a script, I’ll play something to let my mind process it.

Smile and discover: The actor spent several of his early episodes wearing only a bathing suit as Spencer used the pool at Metro Court. “Everyone made me feel very safe and comfortable,” he says. “I especially felt bad for the makeup artists who painted my body every day!”

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