This past spring, I was relieved to learn that the restaurant where I worked would not be closing after all. After months of rumors and speculation, I was prepared for the worst. Like many of my co-workers, I thought I was out of a job. Yet I wasn’t worried about closing. I feared cancellation.  Let me explain: I’m not a bartender, but I play one on TV. For over a decade I’ve been mixing drinks and serving up small talk on the CBS soap opera “As The World Turns.”  READ MORE

At the West Side Y.M.C.A. where I work out, there are still vestiges of the days when men and women generally did not exercise together. Out front, carved into stone, are the words “Boys Entrance” and “Girls Entrance.” An upstairs wall bears a faded set of rules, one of which is, “When the track is crowded, girls must yield to boys.” Overlooking the spacious weight room is a smaller balcony, to which women were once restricted.  READ MORE

Complaint Box: “Workout Miscreants”

by Raul A. Reyes / February 19, 2010

Although I am a New Yorker now, I am proud of my Los Angeles roots. I was born in Monterey Park, and my first job was as an usher at the Music Center in downtown L.A. I have hiked in Griffith Park, camped out overnight for a seat at the Rose Parade and wolfed down many roast beef sandwiches at Philippe's.  READ MORE,0,7559777.story,0,7559777.story

Blowback: “An L.A.-N.Y. Unity? Fuggehdaboutit”

by Raul A. Reyes / January 26, 2010

Like many other Americans, I was recently notified that I would soon be out of a job. I'm a long-term employee at Cedars Hospital in Springfield. I work with Dr. Rick Bauer, who went to medical school for all of three weeks, and my boss is Nurse Lillian Raines, who doesn't like talking about the scandalous affair she had years ago. In our hospital, test results are routinely switched and there is a direct correlation between patient... READ MORE

Life: “Saying Goodbye to Guiding Light”

by Raul A. Reyes / July 21, 2009

Preoccupations: “A Soap Actor’s Life – As The World Turns, So May A Career”

by Raul A. Reyes / September 20, 2008

As an actor, I never set out to work in the same place for decades. I certainly never intended to log hours in a fictional hospital among chiseled doctors and sultry patients. But playing a trusty orderly on “Guiding Light” — the longest-running soap opera in history — has been a ritual spanning my entire adult life.  Millions of people faithfully follow “Guiding Light,” a daily dose of romance and drama that began as a radio serial READ MORE

Rituals: “Springfield U.S.A., My Second Home”

by Raul A. Reyes / January 19, 2007


“A Small Part at The New York City Opera”

by Raul A. Reyes

The only thing I never liked about performing at Lincoln Center was the fake snow. During the years I worked at New York City Opera as a “supernumerary,” or stage extra, the tiny bits of confetti used for winter weather effect bugged me. I would be acting away, as much as possible without lines, while the artificial flakes wafted down from above. I found it wholly unrealistic that they also wafted upwards, sideways, and on weird diagonals.  READ MORE

Urban Athlete: “Marching, but to Different Beats”

by Raul A. Reyes / August 13, 2010

I was never a fan of group exercise classes.  I’m a regular guy, a caveman, so when it came to fitness I preferred to do my own thing.  This changed once I discovered Boot Camp at the West Side Y.M.C.A.  The class delivered on its promise of an “efficient circuit-training workout that challenges your entire body.”  But in addition to the usual crunches and calisthenics, Boot Camp introduced me to an unexpected array of characters.  READ MORE

Complaint Box: “Get Out of Line”

by Raul A. Reyes / September 19, 2011

A few weeks ago, on a muggy summer afternoon, I had to fight my way through the throng outside the palace Theater.  My Aunt Emma wanted tickets to “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” and I was getting them for her.  An usher brushed by me, ordering people to stay back.  Nearby, a young man in a pink boa, struggling to set up his souvenir program booth, was hemmed in by the crowd.  READ MORE

Home Forum: “A journal brings life into focus”

by Raul A. Reyes / Nov. 1, 2006

I was 10 years old when I found my soul mate at the library. I was a restless middle child, searching for books to take me away from 1970s southern California suburbia. Proud of my above-average reading level, I deliberately bypassed the children's section and headed for the area marked Young Adult. As I walked through the stacks, trailing one finger across the spines of books neatly lined up on shelves, a title caught my eye:


Voices: “Hispanic Heritage at Center Stage”

by Raul A. Reyes / September 18, 2004

El Pachuco stood center stage, bathed in a spotlight. He arched himself and leaned back. A felt hat rested on his head at a rakish angle, and a gold chain dripped out of one pocket.  "Andale, pues,” he drawled in Spanish. He was scary and charismatic at the same time. Then the lights went out, and the audience at the Mark Taper Forum exploded. "Viva la raza!"  READ MORE

The 2010 Census and Latinos: What race are we?

by Raul A. Reyes / April 6, 2010

Growing up in a Mexican-American household, I was quite familiar with the term “Viva la raza!” Anytime there was a party or gathering at our house, it was normal for someone to get excited and yell this out. One day, I asked my father what it meant. “La raza means the race,” he explained.  READ MORE