SCENIAC: Daytime Emmy drama

The thing about soap opera stars is there are a ton of them. The gridlock on the red carpet of SoapNet's Night-Before-Party for the Daytime Emmys Thursday, therefore, was not a surprise.

Since most soaps film in New York the majority of the party's carpet walkers were staying together in the same Hollywood hotel and had arrived at Boulevard3, a large restaurant/partyspace on Sunset and Wilcox, on shuttle buses. (No stretch Humvees or black limos for this group).

What that meant is that everyone got there at about the same time.

By 5:30 the line to walk the red carpet was about as long as the carpet itself, but nobody minded the wait. The soap opera community is a close crowd.

"The hotel is like a frat house, the whole thing is like a family trip," said Trey Dawson ("As the World Turns") who received his second nomination this year.

In general, soap opera stars seem to be really nice and don't mind if you've never heard of them and have no idea what show they're on. They'll even crouch down to talk to you if you are short and they are tall and also standing on a riser. Even when you tell them you're worried about their knees they just smile their beautiful smiles and wave their hands.

The publicist, who kept referring to me as "Debby," herded many more soap stars than I was prepared to talk to my way. I decided to ask them what was the craziest thing that had ever happened to their characters.

Justin Bruening, who plays a cherubic faced Jamie Martin on "All My Children," said his character had been stabbed and hit with a car, but the craziest thing he ever did was dress up like an elf and entertain sick kids in a hospital. "I looked like Will Ferrell," he said. "I loved it."

"I once played a character that was an angel and also a vampire slayer," said Brian Gaskill ("Guiding Light"), who has toiled in the soap world for 12 years on five different shows. "That was when I was on 'Port Charles.'"

Dawson, who was walking the carpet with his on-air lover Ewa De Cruz, said, "I got stranded on a deserted island with a girl and there was a murderer on the island who was chasing us down to kill us. Then he decided he was in love with the girl, so I dressed in drag and seduced him and then we beat him up and got away. I think it was the first daytime male to male kiss."

"I can't top that," said De Cruz.

And really, who could?