gemified | June 7th, 2011 - 12:00 am

Here’s Johnny!

By Gemma Jacob

Despite being absent in Season 2, Aster’s best friend and sidekick, Breck, was never far from our thoughts, especially during the S2 finale where I am sure I was not the only one wishing he would show up to talk some sense into Aster. Thankfully, with Breck’s return in S3 I have hope once again that all is not lost!

Before Breck makes his return, I chatted with Johnny Yoder about what he’s been up to in-between seasons and what hopes he has for the characters of our beloved ABM. Even without any spoilers being revealed I am more than excited about Johnny’s return to the show. I love the dynamic between Breck and Aster. He is the only one that really knows Vivian and Aster as a couple, and his presence is sure to have some influence on what has been happening lately in the ABMverse.

Having talked to Johnny I am reminded of one of the things that sets ABM apart from all the other shows, the people that are part of the show are just as excited as we, the fans, are about what is happening with the storylines and characters. Having him back on board, wherever his storyline takes him can only be a good thing.

ABMFans: So what have you been up to in-between seasons, since we didn’t see Breck in S2?

Johnny: Well basically in-between seasons was the big transition for me – making the big move to Los Angeles. I also starred in “Our Town” right before I left too. Moving turned into a bigger deal for me than I thought and took me a while to adjust! That was about a year ago and half ago. I also did a new play in LA called “When It rains Gasoline” back in July of last year. I am now in a new production of “Fifth of July” currently playing.

ABMFans: So you’ve been kept busy. I see from your Twitter you’re also pretty active with various organisations, like Stella Adler. What sort of work do you do with them?

Johnny: Well, I work for them. I am the Marketing Director for the Stella Adler Studio, and recently became the head of operations at the new west coast branch – called the Art of Acting Studio named after Stella Adler’s book.

ABMFans: How do you find things on the West Coast? You’re one of three ABMers out there now.

Johnny: Well, it’s very different than New York City. It took me awhile to adjust. The thing about LA is that it can make you become a hermit – and isolate you because you are always in your car, and not usually next to people.  And when you make plans – you have to think about transportation – because you have to drive. So most people opt to stay in. That happened to me for a while but I just had to change my mindset. If I want to do something or see my friends, it’s not an easy subway ride – it requires pre-planning.

ABMFans: That’s one of the things I don’t like about LA, the fact that you’re dependent on driving. Where as NY, you can go as far as your two feet and your Metrocard will take you.

Johnny: In regards to jobs – there are just so many more auditions everyday out here – so that really makes me feel more active as an actor.  I audition a lot more because of that. And everything out here is so focussed on the business that, well – it makes me feel a little more important to the world! Of course this can become overwhelming so trips to Las Vegas, San Diego, etc are warranted more. I think I could “escape” in New York without havening to go anywhere. Oh totally – you walk so much in NYC – in LA – if you walk more than a block people can’t believe it. Now I do walk more than most people – but it’s just so funny to see people think of walking like its so foreign.

ABMFans: Tell me about it, I was in SanFran with my cousin once and she asked if the parking spot she has was okay because we literally had to walk across a square to get to where we needed to go. I was like, ‘Um I can see where we’re going, trust me the parking is fine.’ Crazy. Now, your ABM ep hasn’t aired yet (at the time this is happening anyway) so I’m guessing you’re in the next one. Without giving any spoilers away (because Susan and Tina will kill us both), what was it like to be back on the set after your absence?

Johnny: It was wonderful to be back. Susan and Tina are both wonderful, and have created such a great show – and all of the crew that works on ABM are all amazing. I always feel so taken care of, even though I am SO not that type of actor.  And of course getting to work with Nicole again was great. I am happy that we have reconnected in LA.

ABMFans: Which of the cast do you miss the most?

Johnny: Well I haven’t seen Rachael in forever and miss working with her. But everyone really – I feel like in the first year we were all such a family. So much fun having the first reads at Susan’s, having pizza, and just laughing. And Mitch and I were in a funny movie (to remain nameless) before this all started. Ha ha, such a small world.

ABMFans: Oh we’ll find out the movie, don’t worry. I can be pretty good with the detective work. Hopefully when the rest of S3 gets funding it will mean Breck and you are back in NY. Do you think that sense of family is important to the success of the show?

Johnny: Well, I have always felt that in everything that I do. If there is a sense of community and family – the project, whether it was a stage play or a TV show/film then it will be more successful.  We are all in together – and the entire ABM family – including the crew help make this show so great.

ABMFans: Yeah I’ve spoken with PJ and Ava, they’re pretty awesome people.

Johnny: Yeah totally! It was great to see Ava behind the camera again. Wow I am saying “great” a lot.

ABMFans: Lol it’s okay, I say awesome a lot. Did you keep up to date with the show whilst you weren’t on it?

Johnny: Of course. And I have to say the second season really got good. I mean it’s weird to say you are “hooked” to the show you are apart of but I really was! Lol, I was like, come on! When is the next episode going to happen!

ABMFans: I know that pain all too well. So, what did you think of the whole kissing thing at the end of S2? With Sophie kissing Vivian and Aster kissing Jamie.

Johnny: Well, I mean it was a huge deal. I am not sure – waiting to really see how it plans out. I think that if Aster and Vivian are to last and make it through – then they will be tested. This is one test. Let’s see where it goes. Was that cryptic enough?

ABMFans: Hmm…Who do you think Breck wants to see Aster with – this new girl, or Vivian? Who do you want to see her with?

Johnny: Well I think Breck wants Aster to be happy so its a double edged sword. But he knows Aster better than probably anyone except Vivian – and knows when she is just “being Aster” and when she is really going through something. I think Breck is sometimes her conscience going, “Hey wake up.” He knows Vivian too – and knows how much she means to Aster – and I think that is where he wants Aster to be. Of course – Aster’s happiness trumps what Breck wants. So we shall see.

ABMFans: I think Aster “being Aster” is the problem, which is why we need Breck to the rescue!

Johnny: Yes!

ABMFans: So what’s next for you after Fifth of July is done? Would you like to be in more plays or are you looking to do something else?

Johnny: Well ultimately I want to star in my own sitcom. But I will continue to go and do what business wants me to do. I love the stage, but would love to get more involved in on camera work. I am also part of a new improv group – and working to get us out there.  We are the Handsome Men of Improv – and have just made our debut in Los Angeles on May 6th. We have some gigs coming up in the summer too.

ABMFans: Improv astounds me, I always thought that was the hardest part of acting. So well done on that.

Johnny: Or be on SNL one day. Ha ha – yes Improv is a difficult thing – but also incredibly rewarding and exciting

ABMFans: Oh my god that would be awesome! If you are PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get Rachael to do a skit, anything. It would be awesome.

Johnny: Ha ha I would love that.

ABMFans: And it would be live which makes the possibilities endless. There should be a LIVE ABM episode.

Johnny: Ha ha, yes!

ABMFans: That would be amazing.

Johnny: A Live ABM would be so great!!

ABMFans: Although right now I’m sort of pushing for a musical ep, since so many of you are musical.

Johnny: Ha ha, that would be great as well – it’s a very multi-talented cast. I think we could pull it off.

ABMFans: I think so too, I just have to convince Tina and Susan. As a fan and as someone that’s part of the show, did you ever think going in that the show would get the kind of reception that it has?

Johnny: Well, I mean you never know. I knew right away that the writing was great, and after our first read – I really felt that I was apart of something special (and of course when I joined on the show had already started).  I think that Susan and Tina really have a vision – and while that doesn’t always mean anything – I think somewhere deep down I knew this show was special.  Not only is it important to the LGBT community, but to the world of Online TV.

ABMFans: I think the show is definitely more special than the average show, online or on TV. And Tina and Susan seem like they definitely have a plan. Let’s hope there are many more seasons to come.

Johnny: I’m hoping, and just because I am on it but because I am fan too! I want to see what happens!

ABMFans: That’s the problem with Tina and Susan, they have a plan but they’re not letting any spoilers out!

Johnny: Not even to cast members!

ABMFans: One day, one day they’ll leave their Master Plan lying around somewhere!

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