Robert Palmer Watkins is an actor who is well known for playing the role of Dillon Quartermaine on ABC's long-running daytime soap opera “General Hospital.” No stranger to the stage, Robert got his start as an actor appearing in theatrical plays when he was a young man. A musician as well as an actor, Robert graduated from American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Hollywood and sought roles that enabled him to work in various kinds of media including TV shows, movies, feature films, short films, web series and even a documentary. At present, Robert also frequently appears at live events where he meets fans and/or performs. Recently, Robert spoke about his experiences as an actor and his hopes for the future:
AXS: How and when did you decide to get into acting?
Robert Palmer Watkins (R.P.W.): I was always a ham in my family! I loved performing and making people laugh so in high school my teacher talked me into auditioning for a play and then I was hooked.
AXS: Growing up, what kinds of media influenced you?
R.P.W.: I was a huge movie fan; especially horror movies. I also loved SNL and “In Living Color.” Something about the live audience and energy in the room for those shows got me excited. Maybe that's why I enjoyed theatre so much.
AXS: How did you go about finding places to perform?
R.P.W.: I started at Freeman High School, and then auditioned for a center for the arts high school called Henrico and went there half the day for the art classes. Later I started doing some community theatre and then moved to LA where I attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Once I graduated I started auditioning and finally booked my role as Dillon on “General Hospital.” It's been a long journey and it keeps going.
AXS: So far, how many projects have you been involved with? Do you have a favorite?
R.P.W.: I've done tons of theatre, musicals, short films, commercials, web series, music videos, and TV gigs.....my favorite has to be “General Hospital.” I love my character and it's been great exposure and training as an actor.
AXS: How did you land a role on "General Hospital"? What's it like to work on such a long running and famous show?
R.P.W.: I auditioned for Mark Teschner several times for various roles. I guess I wasn't right for those but finally this one came along and he called me in. It's been life changing being on the show. There's so much history and it's cool to meet fans who have been following something for 54 years. I'm also enjoying learning from and working with so many amazing actors. My character interacts with so many of the greats!
AXS: What do you like most about playing your character? Do you have a favorite episode or storyline?
R.P.W.: I like that Dillon is good at heart. He tries to fight for what he believes in. He comes from a family with so much money but he chooses to follow a film career instead of relying on the Quartermaine fortune. I'm loving the romance between Kiki and Dillon right now. They have both been through a lot and I think the chemistry is there.
AXS: What would be your “dream project”?
R.P.W.: I would love to work with Jim Carrey one day. He's been one of my idols for a long time.
AXS: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of being in the entertainment industry?
R.P.W.: I think having any type of notoriety comes with some responsibility.It gives you a platform and a voice to reach a wider audience and I have really enjoyed connecting with the fans and the viewers. I think the most rewarding part for me has been talking with the fans and meeting them. Sometimes we forget how important the show is to people and how much it means to them. It's nice to connect and be reminded that being an entertainer is important and allows viewers to escape for a little while. I've also loved promoting charities and projects for friends or a good cause now that I have a great following on social media. It's rewarding to know I can post something and spark some real attention.
AXS: You have expressed interest in "Dancing with the Stars." What kind of dance routine might you perform?
R.P.W.: Ha ha, my sister posted about this and it blew up with the fans. I'm totally into the idea. I think it would be a lot of fun and a new challenge for me. I have a little experience with hip hop and I've done some musicals, but I am rusty. I guess I would do whatever routine they threw at me!
AXS: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an entertainer?
R.P.W.: I would tell them to really make sure it's their passion. It's a hard road to being a full time entertainer but it is well worth it if it's what you love. If the answer is "YES, I love it and I have to do it" then keep training. Move to a city where the work is available and stay in class or voice lessons or whatever it is you are pursuing. Also, create your own projects. So many people sit around waiting on work but in today's society, we can post and share web series and videos easier than ever! Create art on your own while you wait for the next big audition.
AXS: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you would like to mention?
R.P.W.: I have a few “General Hospital” events coming up August 27 and 28 in NY and NJ and another on October 8 and 9 in Cleveland and Chicago. I have two web series coming soon: “Bad Sex with Good People" on SceneGirls TV YouTube channel, and “Last Life” season 2 on YouTube. A music video with Caroline Brooks artist name "BELL" is coming out on August 27 and #funkitfriday music coming soon from myself and my roommates!
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