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'Passions' Actor Joins the Reality TV Bandwagon
October 25, 2007

Michael Dietz, a recurring actor on the soap opera Passions who plays Esme's sexy toy turned corpse, Jake, is temporarily putting his acting skills in the backseat while he pursues work behind the cameras. In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, the 36-year-old actor gives the rundown on his hectic life outside of daytime TV.

For nearly two years, the Passions star has been working as a producer and has even formed a company with partner Richard Friedman in order to launch Lucky Butterfly Productions. A Los Angeles based independent motion picture and television production group, Dietz's company aims to provide innovative and quality entertainment in both traditional and new media. At present, it spans various fields, including a number of feature films and several reality television shows.

“We sold a scripted show to NBC last year. It never made it to pilot, but we got the script order and did the script and we were both going to executive produce it. Jeff Goldblum was loosely attached to it. Then we sold a reality show to Court TV, another one to Bravo, just finished a demo for our latest one and are working on another one. That's really my focus,” Dietz told Soap Opera Digest.

Dietz is referring to his latest reality TV offerings, The Deprogrammer, a series slated for CourtTV that focuses on the extraction and deprogramming of cult victims, and NV, Bravo's series following five owners of top Napa Valley Vineyards.

Ironically, Dietz doesn't have any reservations in tapping into the world of reality TV, unlike others who consider reality shows as a determent that decreases job opportunities for actors.

“I figured if you can't beat them, join them. As an actor, you have someone else's hand as a [puppeteer] telling you what to say and where to walk, but as the producer, you're the hand and the one creating it. That's where my passion lies, developing it and being the one with the ideas and concepts and then going out and selling it,” the Passions actor said.

“I love the rush of pitching and putting stuff together and packaging it. We just spent a month and a half on this last project, shooting it, editing it and putting it together. It's definitely what I enjoy the most,” he added.

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