Work Out Like: A Soap Star

The "Ladies of General Hospital" tour hits the Wilbur Theatre on September 8.

How do you get those arms? Yoga and Pilates. Photo of Lisa TK provided.

How do you get those arms? Yoga and Pilates. Photo of Lisa LoCicero provided.

Disclaimer: I’ve been watching General Hospital since I was in the womb. So when I saw a commercial for the “Ladies of General Hospital” coming to the Wilbur Theatre on September 8th, it got me thinking about how they work out and stay in shape. I mean, all of that back stabbing, slapping, fighting, and hair pulling must take a lot of athletic ability. Plus, let’s not forget about the steamy love scenes in which the women are half naked and the men are shirtless. And the camera really does add at least 10 pounds.

At the event at the Wilbur, fans will really get to meet their favorite stars: Emmy award-winning actresses Finola Hughes (Anna Scorpio) and Laura Wright (Carly Corinthos Jacks); Kelly Sullivan (Kate/Connie, who was recently killed off, but you never know with soaps, one minute you’re at the bottom of the harbor, the next you’re in a cryo-chamber being brought back to life); and Lisa LoCicero (Olivia Falconeri, mother of Dante, and off-again, on-again lover of Port Charles’ resident gangster with a heart—and bipolar disorder—Sonny Corinthos). If you don’t watch soaps and I’ve already lost you, don’t worry, the good stuff is still to come.

I spoke to LoCicero—who says that these events are not a song and dance show, rather it’s an opportunity for the ladies to interact with their East Coast fans—to see how she stays in shape for her demanding role on the soap which is currently celebrating 50 years on television. In real life, LoCicero is a 43-year-old mother, actress, and wife who has to balance the demands of a full-time job on daytime, traveling for appearances (like the one at the Wilbur), and motherhood, all while figuring out how to stay in shape with limited time.

What’s your favorite way to break a sweat?

I do a lot of yoga. I love a vigorous sweaty flow. And I like to try a variety of different classes because yoga classes are sort of like meatloaf, in that everyone’s class is different. I also really like reformer Pilates group classes. For cardio, I walk my dogs and I love a good dance class like Sweaty Sundays in Silver Lake. It’s a real dance class with real dancers. I think that fitness classes that keep you engaged are important.

What workouts do you dread?

I’m too old to do stuff I hate, so if I hate it I’m not going to make it a part of my life. Honestly, I hate spinning, and I hate jumping classes, like kickboxing with really loud music. Everyone is different but if you don’t like something, there’s no point in making it a part of your life.

In Hollywood, there is a different diet du jour everyday. Do you partake in the trends?

I try to keep it healthy, and I don’t gorge myself. I think junk food is so plentiful now, it’s all around us all the time, so you have to say no. When I was a kid in the 70s – I’m 43 – I was like every other actress in my teens and 20s. I overdid the dieting thing in acting school. But now, I have a lot more acceptance and appreciation of my body as I’ve gotten older. Theres a lot of to be said about how each woman carries their weight, and where they carry it. If I gained 60 pounds tomorrow I’d have a gigantic butt but I’d still have bony shoulders. When I was pregnant I looked like I swallowed a basketball and had a huge ass, but where the camera focuses [on my upper half] I still look bony.

Well, your body is amazing. Are there any foods you absolutely stay away from?

I’ve tried to keep it to what I know about what is going to make me feel good after I’ve eaten it. So I know if I eat that gigantic bagel I’m going to feel like shit in 30 seconds. That’s what I know to be true for my body. When it comes to eating, 85 percent should be nourishing the best way you can. What do they say? You eat to live, not live to eat. But, sometimes its party, and it should be. [My family and I] were just traveling in Italy. When I was there, I didn’t say, “Don’t put cheese on that.”

In between the hectic hours of working on daytime television, being a mother and wife, and traveling for work and pleasure, how do you stick to a workout schedule?

It’s a schedule that makes it difficult to have the same workout everyday, unless you’re one of those people that can get up at 5 a.m., and I’m not one of those people. So my workouts end up being a variety of different things. You can’t schedule your favorite yoga class for the same time every week.  Some days you are at work early morning to late at night, and even if you are in hair and makeup, you can’t go get all sweaty. When I’m at work, my mind is on work, so it’s hard to find the balance. You just have to make the time and find something you love to do.

Do you have any advice for women who are struggling to juggle it all, especially the younger girls that are just getting into the working and working out routine?

Appreciate the body you have right now. I feel like I look more like myself now, rather than when when I look at pics of myself from when I was younger. I wasn’t satisfied back then. It’s important to learn to embrace yourself as is, and the earlier the better. Also, take care of your skin. A lot of girls don’t. I keep the sun off my face like its poison.

You can hear more from LoCicero and the other ladies of General Hospital at the Wilbur Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 8th. For tickets, click here.

LoCicero isn’t the only fit lady on General Hospital. Kelly Sullivan regularly tweets her workouts.: