My name is Michael Slezak, and I’m about to play an entertainment reporter on TV — specifically on the Monday, July 12 episode of CBS’ The Young and the Restless. You wouldn’t think this would be a difficult task, considering that I also play an entertainment reporter in real life. But try being a better-dressed, slightly seedier version of yourself opposite soap-opera legends Eric Braeden (Victor) and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki), with all kinds of lights and cameras and “that line is not in the script!” ad-libbing action around you, and you may find yourself struggling to convincingly deliver a line like, “Hi, I’m Allen Cook from Celebrity Weekly!” Yeah, do not expect a Daytime Emmy for yours truly. Anyhow, a note about the origin of my character’s name: You should know that certain extremely lovely and talented members of the writing staff at Y&R happen to be big fans of American Idol, as well as EW.com’s extremely influential and groundbreaking Web series Idolatry. So once I agreed to fly out to Los Angeles and memorize six lines (if the editors are wise, they’ll cut three), they concocted me a moniker patched together from their favorite Idol winners — season 7’s David Cook and season 8’s Kris Allen. What can I say, these folks not only have good taste, they were also restrained enough not to saddle me with the name Clarkson Fantasiasox.
Below, you’ll find a video of me with the talented and funny Marcy Rylan (a.k.a. Abby Newman), who was kind enough to run lines with me backstage, and to try to help me avert disaster during my small-screen debut. Bonus footage of me giving you “soap opera face.” Head to the comments section and tell me how idiotic I look!
Follow Slezak on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.