Daytime newcomer Avery Pohl is thrilled to have landed the role of Port Charles’ new bad girl, Esme Prince. The Florida native reports, “I had never had a soap opera audition until my 40s, then I had two, one of which my friend Madison Thompson ended up booking [the role of Y&R’s Jordan]. I think GENERAL HOSPITAL was my third soap audition, so I’m very new to the world of soaps; I had never even watched an episode of one. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but I’m really into it and having so much fun.
Pohl submitted her first audition on tape, then was called back to read. “It was my first in-person audition post-Covid, so I was a little nervous,” she recalled. “I think everyone in that waiting room was!” Two hours after I finished, “I got a call that I was going [screen-] test. I was like, ‘Oh, fantastic, cool!’ Testing the soap was different from testing experiences I had had in the past. You actually get to be on set, you get your hair and makeup done, you test against a character that’s already established on the show. I tested with Eden McCoy [Josslyn] and she is so adorable.
Luckily for Pohl, she had a secret weapon to help her prepare. “My dad is a dentist and doesn’t have time to deal with the entertainment industry, but he said to me, ‘You should talk to my friend Rodney Van Johnson. [ex- T.C., PASSIONS et al]’, with whom he was on the University of Cincinnati track team. So I texted Uncle Rodney and said, ‘I’m going to get a soap opera, I don’t know anyone, is there any way you can help me?’ He said yes! I’ll meet you tomorrow in this park and I’ll explain everything to you. So he went over my script with me and explained to me how soap operas worked and gave me some technical notes which were really valuable. It definitely relieved a lot of my nerves because when I got on set I knew what to expect. Eden was so great to work with immediately and we just had some really fun banter and chemistry right off the bat.
Her first day on the job, she was able to share scenes with GH legend Genie Francis (Laura). “Pseudo [Chavez, Spencer] said to me, ‘It’s Laura, from Luke and Laura.’ I was like, ‘How do I know these names?’ And then I realized, ‘Oh, this is just the greatest soap opera of all time!’ So, that was super cool, and Genie is so adorable.
The actress feels like she’s struck gold with her unsettling alter ego, noting, “When I was given the initial cast of the character, I was told, ‘She’s charming and intelligent at the exterior, and cool and menacing underneath. I think it ties everything about Esme together in a nice little knot! We’ll get to see more of her backstory as we continue filming, but she’s definitely one to watch. I don’t think anyone should trust him, ever. She is so much fun to play! I enjoy every second. I’m so happy with where I am right now. I love everyone I work with and it really is a great place.