Soap Opera Weekly- Who's New, 1996

About Miss Roberts: GH's Sarah Brown

By Janet Di Lauro

CHARACTER: General Hospital's Carly Roberts, a volunteer at General Hospital and Monica's assistant at the Wellness Center.

BORN: Feb. 18, 1975

REBEL ROOTS: "I was born on a hippie commune in Eureka, Calif. My parents were hippies who went up into the woods to live a free lifestyle. They made their own food, [provided] their own running water. It was all self-sustained. We stayed there until I was 4. I don't remember it, but I see pictures and it was beautiful. Eureka is up where the sequoias are, all the redwood forests with big trees."

GIRLS WILL BE BOYS: "I'm a total tomboy. I've always been into animals, sports, nature, and climbing trees- although I never broke legs or anything. I have had more male friends in my life, too. Not because of sexual attraction, but because I get along with them well. I really like down-to-earth people who know how to have a good time- and don't whine too much."

VISIONS OF VIDEO: "I've wanted to be a director since I was 8, although I didn't know what directing was back then. I would just hear songs and see pictures in my head. When I told my parents, they immediately pushed it. Not like stage parents. It's just that they're both artists and were like, 'Absolutely!' So I started shooting my own music videos to Michael Jackson's Beat It with girlfriends. It was really amateur, but I'd always wanted to do it."

INSPIRED BY ANNIE: "It was the movie Annie that made me want to be an actress. Watching it gave me inspiration- she was an orphan, but could do whatever she wanted to do. I also did a community theater production of Annie when I was in the sixth grade. I played an orphan named Pepper- the tough one. It was my first experience with acting, and I fell in love with it."

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING: When I was in high school, I asked my drama coach if she knew of any kind of acting high school, like the one they have in New York. She gave me the phone number for the Los Angeles County High School for the Performing Arts and told me that I should absolutely go for it. She saw something in me and took me under wing. I called, auditioned for them, and got in. It turned out to be quite an experience. You'd do academic classes until noon; then, after lunch, you'd do four hours of your art- movement for theater, voice for theater, whatever."

GETTING CARDED: "I worked on Reality Bites and Blue Chips. I was hired to be an extra, so I could get my SAG card through my agency. In Reality Bites, they boosted my part up. I didn't have any lines, but I got to do this dance around a club as a camera followed me. I worked for about two weeks. Unfortunately, I got cut out, but I did go to the wrap party and met a lot of interesting people. Plus, I made some money, and it was the first time I really got to be around a movie set- see what that was like."

BIG BIRTHDAY BREAKS: "I got a job on VR Troopers on my 19th birthday. It's a kids' TV show for Saban Entertainment that I've been doing for two years, much like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I played a Lois Lane-type: a photojournalist by day, super hero by night and overall good girl. I got my General Hospital job on my 21st birthday, which is interesting."

GOODBYE, BRUISES: "For the last two years, I've wanted to scream, 'I'm an actor, not a stunt woman,' because on VR Troopers we did all our own stunts. It'd go home with bruises. I sprained my entire neck and back. I ended up going back to work on painkillers, because I didn't want to lose my job. Then, one of my co-stars ran into me with a Jet Ski and bruised my leg all the way down to the bone. I couldn't work for a month."

HELLO, DIALOGUE: "I have a photographic memory for dialogue. On VR Troopers, we said three or four lines per scene; then, fight. So that killed me. Now on GH I'm getting bombarded with 30 pages of dialogue a day, three times a week. I love that. I have to study the acting work. That's another story. But memorizing lines is one of the easiest things for me."

THE WELCOME WAGON: "When I first came on the show I expected to just wander around, but everyone greeted me like family. Vanessa Marcil (Brenda) showed me some shortcuts. She tapes my scenes when I'm onstage filming, then gives them to me to watch afterward. Jackie Zeman (Bobbie) has been warm. So have the writers and fans. The really loyal ones sent me letters before I even appeared on the show. And [executive producer] Wendy Riche has been great. She said, 'I'm here if you need somebody. If you get confused or lost, come on up.'"

ASSESSING CARLY...: "She's a survivor; she's not bad or evil. She does what she has to do, because that's the place she was put in her whole life: 'Nothing's going to be given to me ever. If I want something in life, I have to go get it.' And she does."

...VS. SARAH: "There have been some similarities in my life where I've come up against really hard obstacles. My mom is an epileptic, so we've had some rocky roads. I didn't have a real smooth way of it. In that way, it's kind of amazing. Carly has come into town a newcomer. She's on the outside of the window looking in. I've felt like that most of my life, because I moved a lot. I've lived all over California and have gone to 13 different schools. My parents divorced when I was 4. I was juggled back and forth between them for different reasons- financial, my mom getting sick, tons of things."

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