Very early on in my work on this show. The makeup guy, my friend Carlos, suggested that I stipel in a couple days growth of beard to give the character a rougher edge. Sometimes it comes off looking like I feel into a vat of Hershey's chocolate but more often than not, it works. Makeup on this show was constantly melting off due to the tension and the heat in front of the lights so if you didn't have Carlos around for touch ups thru the afternoon you could well end up looking like Gloria Swanson on an early morning following a long bender.
I miss Carlos. He passed away suddenly years ago and does not grace us with his great smile and prescence any longer. He was always off to the side when I had a funny scene chuckling under his breath. If I knew that, it would help me in the scene because when you do comedy on a soap there is nothing but silence on the soundstage for taping purposes so you have no idea if its really working or not. But I always knew where Carlos was and often I would perform to him.
Now there is some unintentional comedy in this scene. Towards the end, Kirk is blocked to sweep Cruz's hand off his shoulder when A. is threatening him. When cameras roll things got heated up and you'll notice that A. takes his hand off of Joe's shoulder about a beat before Joe then sweeps nothing but air. Very funny. We all had a serious laugh about that after they yelled cut and then had to compose ourselves.
One other thing, sorry. When I watch these old tapes for the first time in many years I remember that my guiding theme for playing Pearl was based on something rather simple called the animal exercise taken from any good acting class one might take at the time. The question I asked was,"What animal is Pearl based on?" From there an actor can really begin to fly since animals are very uninhibited and natural and you can then get out of your head and into your body when performing. Well Pearl to me was always the family house pet. The one that got loose out of his cage in the morning and came downstairs to rumage thru the kitchen while everybody else was off to work. Fun-loving, loyal, puppyish, bad liar, loveable, tactile, curious, troublesome, and a whole lot of energy. You see how it can all come together sometime just asking one simple question?
I hope this answers some of the soap minimalists who were wondering why Pearl was frequently 'over-the-top'. He was always intended to be. The family dog is rarely under control.