Blake Berris is a 22-year-old actor currently playing the nerdy Nick on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives
. He knew he wanted to be an actor from a very early age and is a well-trained theater actor. Other than Days of Our Lives
, Berris has made guest appearances on hit shows like Hannah Montana
. Blake spoke with BuddyTV about his career, working with Miley Cyrus
, and his upcoming birthday plans.
Below you will find a transcript of the interview as well as the mp3 audio file.
Hi, this is John from Buddy TV and today we're talking with Blake Berris from Days of Our Lives. Hello, Blake!
How's it going?
It's going good. My first question would be, how did you get started in acting?
How did I get started in acting... well, my dad is a director, and I just felt it was kind of in my family from early on. I decided when I was like two, I told my parents I was gonna be an actor. They tried to discourage me, not in an unsupportive way, but you know, they just… I think they knew what a kind of brutal business it is. I maintained, and I studying theater in college, and started acting in TV and stuff during college, and then ended up on Days of Our Lives shortly after.
When you first got the job on Days of Our Lives, were you familiar with the show or any of the characters?
I was not familiar with the show at all. I was pretty unfamiliar with the entire medium of soap, so it was a really big transition for me, especially from a more theatrical background.
So how do you get involved? Because a lot of it is knowing who the characters are and how they're related. So do you study all that up, do you just learn on the fly?
I mean, yeah, it is something you kind of learn on the fly. They gave me like, a seven-page breakdown of my family history. Like my first day, there it was in my dressing room. I started reading it and I just got so confused, and I don't know how I could possibly remember all this.
And you know, it doesn't really have much to do with the way you're gonna play the scene. You know, interacting with the character you have prior history with, or something. So it's just kind of a learning curve, and I'm starting to get a little better.
And on the show, on Days of Our Lives, I guess you would call your character Nick… he's more of a nerdy character, right?
Well you know, he started out like very, very nerdy, kind of a lot like Napoleon Dynamite, and then they kind of started taking away from that. But I think with the new storyline and the new kind of badass characters that they brought on for the summer, like Jeremy and Jett, I've kind of reverted to my original, more Disney-like character.
And would you say you're anything like that character, or are you completely different?
I mean, I think I'm probably the neuroses are definitely, probably in me, and not so much the kind of dorky, computer side of it. I'm pretty horrible with technology, but I certainly relate to the neurotic side of Nick.
Now that you mentioned your theater background, you also have a background in dancing, correct?
No, I have no background in dancing.
No dancing? Well then, you have to get people on your official NBC website to change some of the information, 'cause it says you have ballet training and all this stuff. Are you a championship polo player?
Yeah, I did play water polo and swam in high school. And yeah, we our team went to the championships three years, and I went to swimming championships a couple of years too.
Now I do have to ask you, just because it's one of the most popular shows on our website. You guest starred on an episode of Hannah Montana?
Haha, that's right.
What was it like working with Miley Cyrus?
It was great, I think she's just, you know. It was interesting because I learned that she was 13 years old, and when you meet her she's, like, easily 15 years older than me. She's just like, this incredible kind of ball of energy, and she was not precocious, but just… she's really smart for such a young girl, really outgoing. So it was cool, it was a great stay.
That's good to hear. Do you have any other upcoming television work or film work?
Where do you see yourself going? Do you see yourself staying on soap operas, or moving back to theater?
I definitely… as long as I'm being challenged, I do anything to be happy. I'm really interested in doing independent film. I always want to keep doing theater, so you know, absolutely. Those are definitely mediums I want to explore as well.
And working on a soap, what is the schedule like? How often do you work during the week?
You know, it's been very grueling recently. You know, just because the rate soap opera works at, it's faster than anything else. We're doing oftentimes 90-100 pages in a day, and sometimes you have two episodes in a day, and you'll have as many as 70 pages of dialog to remember.
So it's really intense when you're trying to put it in, and just give a… it's like line reading, basically. It's really intense, sometimes you're there like 6:45 in the morning up to 8:30 at night. We had a day last until 12.30 at night, but then again sometimes you're in at 6:45 and you're done by 11, and you just get the rest of the day off. So it's intense, but there's good breaks. I think it's some of the best training you can get as an actor.
What are your plans for the rest of the summer, other than working?
Other than working, I'm hoping to go to Mexico with some friends, we have a trip planned. I have some family back in Minnesota that I'm hoping to visit, and there's a couple of fan events that I'm going to. One is in South Carolina, and one in Burlington, Massachusetts, so that's kind of my summer plans. My birthday's coming up in August, so I don't know what I'm gonna do for that.
Speaking of the fans, do you ever go on the websites, or read about what their reaction is toward your character or to you?
You know I did, kind of toward the beginning, and then I realized it's better for me to just get the scripts and interpret the material. You know, with whatever choices I see fit rather than kind of wanting to cater choices to anybody else, instead of kind of what instinctively comes to me. So I've tried to avoid it. Sometimes the people in P.R. will kind of tell you things, and it's great to hear that people are supportive and stuff, but I try not to let it affect my performance too much.
Yeah, that seems to be a common reaction. I was talking to some other soap stars earlier in the week, and they said the same thing. ‘At the beginning, oh yeah, I'd check it out.' But then it kind of dwindles off and you don't go back.
OK, well, thank you very much for talking to us, Blake!
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you!
-Interview conducted by John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)