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TV Guide: The Busy Days of Judi Evans' Life
Topic Started: Apr 16 2010, 01:12 PM (1,155 Views)


The Busy Days of Judi Evans' Life

by Michael Logan April 16, 2010 01:11 PM EST

Sheís one of those thrilling, emotionally daring performers who always works without a net. Now, in these days of slashed budgets, sheís also working without a contract. Judi Evans has returned to Days of Our Lives as Adrienneóa role she originated to great acclaim in the í80sóbut if the gig ends tomorrow, sheíll be fine. Evans, you see, has two day jobs at the moment. TV Guide Magazine spoke with the Emmy-winning multi-soap vet (As the World Turns, Another World, Guiding Light) about the unusual and inspiring way sheís handling a recent slow-down in her career. You canít but admire this lady.

Itís so terrific to have you back on Days. Plus, we find Adrienne in a rather fresh kind of romantic triangle with Justin [Wally Kurth] and Hope [Kristian Alfonso]. Thereís no villain here, no one to hate or resent. Itís radically adult.
It makes a great dynamic and Iím hoping theyíll keep it playing. Adrienne and Hope are friends and theyíre both good girls and Justinís a good guy. No one is being manipulative. Hope didnít have the same feelings for Justin that he had for her, so she brought Adrienne back to Salem, thinking he was just substituting her for Adrienne. She tried to do a good thing by reuniting them. Usually in a triangle the ex shows up out of nowhereóor comes back from the dead!óbut here itís just three nice people trying to do the right thing.

Youíre working on Days this time without a guarantee. Any idea how long youíll be around?
No, but Iím not concerned about it. If thereís one thing Iíve learned in my years in this business, itís that a contract doesnít mean youíre around long-term. You can sign a deal and three months later youíre off the canvas. They either like you or they donít. And today they like me! Tomorrow that might not be the case, so I focus on today. There was a time Iíd freak out if I didnít have a jobóin fact, I felt I had no identity unless I was actingóbut those days are over. Now I have two careers.

Yeah, and I hear business is deadly!
[Laughs] For almost two years now Iíve been working at Rose Hills Memorial Park, a cemetery-mortuary [in Los Angeles], as a family service counselor. Itís a great opportunity to be of service to people. I feel very fortunate. I wanted to do something with my life thatís meaningful. Some people might consider this weird or desperate or a step down, but I donít. Iím helping people at one of the most difficult times in life and that means the world to me.

What do you do there exactly?
When a family experiences a loss, Iím the first counselor they sit down with. I help them select a propertyówhich is what we call a graveóthen bring them to a funeral arranger. A couple of weeks after the service, Iíll drop by their home and make sure theyíre doing okay. Iíll bring information and materials that might help them, like how to wrap things up financially for the deceased. I remind them about all the stuff that might still need to be done, like canceling newspapers and car insurance, things like that.

How is the work, emotionally speaking? Pretty tough?
It can be very tough. And you really need to focus on being the strong one, because there can be some excruciatingly sad cases. Thereís always a time to fall apart later when youíre alone in the back office, and sometimes I do. There are times I get so blindsided by a familyís tragedy that I wind up taking it home. I know I shouldnít but, at the same time, I never want to be one of those people who stops feeling. Iíll tell you one thingóthis job sure makes you a good listener.

How has this changed your perspective on life and death?
I no longer sweat the small stuff. I always remember to say ďI love you.Ē And I always try to be happy because I know things can always be a lot worse. Every day my prayer is ďPlease let me be of service and please donít let me screw up,Ē because what we do is a very important part of the process for a grieving family, and the slightest mistake can be huge. A lot of people donít want to think about death, so we take care of it for them. Hey, before I got into this business, I didnít want to think about it, either! This has helped me face that fear in my own life.

Howíd you get into this line of work?
Iím not very good sitting and waiting for the phone to ring and, as an actress, the older you get there are fewer auditions and offers. I was kinda going crazy. In fact, I was terrified. Iíd think, what if Iím nothing without my acting career? I heard about Rose Hills through a friend who knew someone who worked there. It seemed like the perfect job for me, and it felt like it was the next big step in my life. I didnít want to feel like acting had left me. I wanted to feel that I had left acting. Whatís funny is now that I feel totally refocused on my new life, the acting jobs are coming again! [Laughs] Itís like the mob! Just when I think Iím safe itís pulling me back in!

Ever get recognized on the job?
Oh, yeah. Sometimes right in the middle of all that emotion, someone in a family will say, ďUhÖexcuse me, but arenít you on Days of Our Lives? What the hell are you doing here?Ē It can be a nice distraction. Itíll maybe get a laugh and lighten the mood. I love it!
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They spent more time talking about her other job, lol. It is more interesting than Adrienne...
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I love Judi. I'm happy for her that she got herself an actual job. Smart lady.

I keep thinking what if i lost a loved one and all of the sudden i go to the funeral home and there is Judi to help me. Or if she came to my house!

Have they ever said why Justin/Adrienne broke up?
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Thank you for posting!! Judi is one of my all time favoirte actresses. I'm so glad she's back!
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After all... tomorrow is another day!

I love Judi Evans so much. She'll always be Paulina to me more than anything else, but it's so great to have her back on DAYS. And it's awesome that she has this other career.
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