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General Hospital Interviews!

Catching Up with Senta Moses (Winnifred)
By
Laurie Bedigian
February 15, 2009

The lovely and talented Senta Moses is no stranger to television and films.  Senta has a long and impressive resume.   You may remember her from episodes of “Bones,” “Strong Medicine,” “Beakman’s World,” and “My So-Called Life,” among many others.  Senta also had a recurring role on the television show, “Greek.”  She’s been in a number of films, including “Home Alone,” “Home Alone 2,” and “The Blues Brothers.”   Recently Senta took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for us.  Here’s what she had to say:

I love your name – it’s very unique – is it pronounced the way it’s written?  Were you named after someone? 

Thanks, I’ll tell my parents that you like it!  My name is pronounced just as it’s written, although people sometimes mistake it for Sonata, Sanka, and Santa around the holidays.  I wasn’t named after anyone.   My name is Scandinavian, and it means “a feeling.”  My mom’s friend was in Scandinavia while my mom was pregnant, and heard a mom calling her daughter on the street.  She came back and suggested the name to my parents.  Poof!  I’m named Senta.  My middle name is Michelle, a little more common, after my dad, Michael.

You’ve been acting professionally since you were just a baby? Are you from an acting family?  You started in commercials?   Do you still do commercials and if so, what might we have seen you in? 

I don’t come from an acting family.  My mom was a model/interior designer/jewelry maker and my dad is a State Farm Agent.  They put me in commercials at 6 months old, and I’ve been doing this ever since.  I still do commercials.  I love them.  Currently I have an IBM and La-Z-Boy spot running nationally.  Some of my more memorable commercials are Big Lots, Best Buy, Staples, and a bunch of McDonald’s. 

You were in “The Blues Brothers” movie when you were young, correct?  Is there anything that stands out about that experience that you can remember? 

I was in “The Blues Brothers.”  I was a principal dancer in the scene with Ray Charles.  Shake a Tail Feather!!!!  I had a TON of hair, and I was wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt.  Seriously, I’m all hair.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot about my career as a child, but I remember being VERY cold on that set, as it was the middle of winter in Chicago.  John Landis kept in touch after that film, sending me little books and gifts as a child.  He actually wrote me a college recommendation for USC. 

You went to the Chicago Academy for the Arts?   Is it true you graduated at 16?  I assume you were an exemplary student?  And from high school you went to USC to study theater?   At 16 years old that must have been an interesting experience.  Was that a tough adjustment to leave home so young and be on your own?  Was it difficult to fit in since you were younger than most of the other students? 

Well, you did your research!  I did go to the Chicago Academy for the Arts.  Best decision ever…I begged my dad to let me take the train all the way into the city.  Trust me, that was a negotiation.  The school was wonderful in every way.  I was surrounded by kids my age, who understood my passion for acting and the arts.  It changed my life, and those people will always hold a special place in my heart.  I did graduate when I was 16.  For a couple of reasons…When I was younger I was working a lot, and I had tutors on set giving me private attention.  I just got ahead in my work.  I also really loved school.  I was the girl who over-studied for every test, and was bummed when everything I knew wasn’t on it.  Kind of a geek, right?

I went straight to USC from high school, GO TROJANS!!!  It was a bit of an adjustment being so far away from my parents, who I’m incredibly close to, but after time, I found friends that became my support system out in L.A.   I spent most of my childhood surrounded by adults, so I never really worried about the age difference.  And besides, I was in L.A. pursuing my career and auditioning more than I ever had in Chicago.   It’s such a gift to be able to do what I love. 

I read that you auditioned for the role of a nanny on GH a few years back   Was that your first soap audition?   Also, were you a watcher of daytime TV, specifically GH? 

I think that was my first soap audition…there might have been one when I was much younger, but I certainly don’t remember.  And wow, I hate to say this, but I’m not a big daytime TV watcher.  I had seen GH a handful of times when I auditioned, but that was it.  My mom was into “All My Children” when I was younger, but I never caught the bug. 

Was there anyone in particular at GH who helped show you the daytime ropes?  And is there someone you work with who’s your “go to” person if you need advice or assistance with something? 

I don’t know if there was anyone specific who showed me the ropes, I just asked questions as I was going…the cast and crew were so welcoming, I never felt awkward about questions.  And honestly, the producers and directors are so awesome on this show, if I ever need advice or assistance. I just go to them.  That’s a blessing! 

I’ve interviewed Bradford a couple of times and I love him.  Tell me how it’s been working so closely with him. 

Oh, he’s a doll.  I have so much fun with him.  I feel like we’re the Yodas of daytime television, and I don’t think he’d disagree.  He’s incredibly generous and great to work with.  I love when we have scenes together.

I also read that you were only supposed to do five episodes but you’ve been asked to stay on.  It must have been a pleasant surprise to have your role extended.  Any idea how long Winnifred will stick around? 

It was a total shock…and really a wonderful surprise.  By day two, I was completely attached to the cast and crew.  They’re like a family over there.  So it’s cool that I get to hang with them for a bit longer.  Honestly, I have no idea how long Winnifred will stick around.  I’ve only seen the scripts for next week, and I’m not dead yet, so maybe a bit longer. 

Rumors say Winnifred and Spinelli may be heading toward a romance.  Is that something you would like to see happen? 

I think it would be fun to see them in love, and how they would express their feelings in a cyber way.  My father on the other hand, has warned me that I’m not allowed to do sex scenes.  He watches GH in his office during the day, and doesn’t want to see me in bed with ANYONE : ) Did I mention I’m an only child? 

Obviously Winnifred is very computer literate, and you seem very comfortable and natural playing the “tech girl.”   How do your own technical skills compare with Winnifred’s?  

Oh wow, it’s all acting.  I can check e-mail, surf the net, open this word application, and maybe update my website if I’m having an enlightened day…but that’s about it.  I’m surprised I don’t have my own stool at the Mac Genius Bar. 

Tell me about the hair and the glasses.  Do you wear glasses or are they just for affect to make Winnifred look more studious?  And do you usually wear your hair in braids like Winnifred or is that more for the character? 

I used to wear glasses, but about 2 years ago I had LASIK and haven’t worn contacts or glasses since.  Thank you, Dr. Caster!  It figures that I would book a role of a girl who wears glasses after I don’t need them anymore.  And the glasses were written into the script, so when I went to my first wardrobe fitting, they had a box of frames to choose from.   

The only time I put my hair in braids is if I don’t feel like dealing with it.  My hair is very thick, and very curly.  Honestly, props go out to Linda, Joe and Jennifer for handling all my curls and scrunching them into those braids. 

I read that you looked at a bit of Spinelli on YouTube to get a feel for his uniqueness.  Did you do any other research for this part?  Do you normally research a role? 

I did check out a scene of Spinelli’s on YouTube…just to get a feel for what he was like.  The majority of my research for this role was technical stuff.  Trying to figure out exactly what Winnifred was saying, or what she was making reference to.  You can’t act what you don’t understand, so I make sure I completely get every word that is coming out of my mouth.  The tech stuff can be a bit daunting, but thank God for Google. 

I’m crazy when it comes to researching a role.  A few years ago, I was testing for a pilot to play a hostage negotiator, and I called the FBI.  I figured I should ask the real negotiators.  I spoke with a wonderful agent for about 45 minutes, and asked him everything I could think of about hostage negotiations.  I didn’t book the role, but I was very prepared for that audition.  And now I have a file at the FBI, documenting our conversation.  I’m a bad ass. 

Do you have a favorite role or project or one you’re most proud of?

That’s a really hard question.  I tend to put my heart into everything I do.  I really loved “Delia” on “My So-Called Life.”  That show was just beautiful.  And I loved playing “Lizzie” on “Greek.”  She is such a fun, perky, irritating character to play…a sorority fanatic.  And those producers were wonderful!  I’m proud of the work I did on “Beakman’s World.”  I actually learned all that stuff I was explaining.  Talk about a crash course in Science.  I could keep going and eventually I would list everything on my resume…I can find something I’m proud of in every role I’ve done.  Even if it’s just “I stayed away from Craft Service on that show!” 

Have you ever considered another career unrelated to acting and if so, what was it? 

Never.  There has not been one single day where I wanted to do anything else.  I have hobbies that don’t relate to my career, but I’ve never wanted to pursue them professionally.  I’m into home improvement and interior design, but it’s probably best just to keep that one as a hobby.  I’ve been known to get in over my head with home projects. 

What do you miss the most about living in the Chicago area?  Is there a place or a food or something that really makes you miss the Midwest?  I assume it isn’t the snow and cold? 

It is definitely NOT the snow and cold.  I went back to Chicago for Christmas and was hit with 12” and 6 degrees.  No thank you, I’m cold when L.A. gets down to 70 degrees!  But I do miss the city I grew up in.  I miss my family and my friends a lot.  Maybe they’ll all move out to L.A..  The city of Chicago has such amazing culture, history and architecture…it’s really beautiful.  I go to the Art Institute almost every time I’m back there, just to see a few paintings by Seurat.  And you really can’t beat a Bears game. Although I skipped the last one over Christmas in fear of freezing my booty off.  I miss  the PIZZA.  Every time I’m back, I gorge myself on Chicago style pizza.  Usually from a local pizzeria in Warrenville called Arnie’s.  Their double crust is ridiculous!  I had pizza four days in a row during my last trip.

I know you’ve done some work in the theater.  Is theater your “calling” or do you prefer television and film? 

Theatre isn’t my calling at all.  Honestly, I prefer film and TV, and I always have.  I wouldn’t pass up a chance to do theatre, but I feel most inspired by TV and film.

I read you’re currently producing and acting in an independent film called “Crazy Bitch.”  Can you tell us a little about that project?  Is this your first time working as a producer?  And is that what you ultimately would like to do – produce?  Did you write the film as well?  As far as writing, is that something you have an interest in? 

It’s a dark comedy about a woman who does everything she can to be with the man of her dreams.  It’s about how love can make you do crazy things, things you never thought you would do.  We’re still trying to secure financing for the feature, but hopefully something will come through soon, because I’m so proud of that project. I had three wonderful writers on this project, and I’ve done the last two rewrites myself.  It’s the first feature I’ve produced, although I did produce a pilot last year.  I only produce and write as a way to act.  It’s just another door to walk through in reaching my goal of working as an actor always.

As you can see, Senta is an incredible young woman.  Her passion for acting is so obvious.  I found Senta to be witty and intelligent – just an interviewer’s dream.  I’m so appreciative that she took the time to answer my questions.  I look forward to chatting with Senta again soon. 

Visit Senta’s official website at http://www.sentamoses.com.

Laurie
 


Read all of Laurie Bedigian's celebrity interviews:

Melissa Archer (ex-Natalie, OLTL)  10/21/12
Sean Kanan (Deacon, Y&R)  11/20/11
Greg Cipes (JT, GH)  9/5/11
Colin Egglesfield (ex Josh, AMC)  9/4/11
Brad Maule (Dr. Tony Jones, GH)  12/13/09
Tim Gibbs (ex-Kevin, OLTL)  11/7/09
Louise Shaffer (Rae Woodard, Ryan's Hope)  10/23/09
Tobias Truvillion (Vincent, OLTL)  8/14/09
Brian Gaskill (Rafe, Port Charles; ex-Bobby, AMC)  7/24/09
Catherine Hickland (Lindsay, OLTL)  4/12/09
Senta Moses (Winnifred, GH)  2/15/09
Blake Gibbons (Coleman, GH)  12/5/08
Brad Maule (Dr. Tony Jones, GH)  11/23/08
Graham Shiels (Cody, GH)  11/19/08
Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH)  4/5/08
Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH)  1/11/08

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