David Andrew Macdonald
David Andrew Macdonald joined CBS's soap opera "Guiding Light" in June 1999 immediately following the cancellation of NBC's Another World, where he played the dual role of 200-year-old time traveler Jordan Stark and his alter ego, David Halliday. As Prince Edmund, the younger brother of San Cristobel's monarch, Edmund's schemes threatened his sibling's reign. He has appeared on television in American Movie Classics' Paramour, Sex and the City, Law & Order and The Deception, a CBS movie of the week. He has also performed on the daytime dramas Loving and One Life to Live. On stage, David starred in the Broadway production of Two Shakespearean Actors. He also appeared in the national tour of An Inspector Calls and was seen in numerous regional theater productions including The Green Heart and Night and Her Stars at the Manhattan Theater Club; I Hate Hamlet and Christmas Carol at the Actors Theater of Louisville; The Importance of Being Earnest, Comedy of Errors, Henry IV Part I and Arms and the Man at the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe? at the Cambridge Theater Company; Titus Andronicus and The Importance of Being Earnest at the Utah Shakespeare Festival; Love's Labour's Lost and Othello at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival; The Wizard of Quiz at the Philadelphia Festival Theater; Way of the World at New York Stage and Film; Graduation Exorcises and Batman at The Source Theater; and Marathon 33 at the Horizons Theater. While attending The Juilliard School, David appeared on stage in Happy End, The Cherry Orchard, Press Cuttings, Overruled and The Seagull. He also attended The American University Academy for the Performing Arts, where he studied with Joshua Logan, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama from The Colorado College. David, who was born on June 1, 1961 in Washington, DC, currently resides in New Jersey with his wife Nicolette and their children Ian Andrew Nicola (b. 10/24/01) and Elena Caroline Nicola (b. 5/09/04).
What's In A Name For David Andrew Macdonald?
We just have to ask -- was it intentional that David Andrew Macdonald (Edmund) and wife, Nocolette, chose initials for their son Ian Andrew Nicola, 1, that happen to spell out the tot's first name? "It was an accident!" laughs Dad. Deciding on a moniker was quite a process for Macdonald and his poet wife. "Her maiden name was always going to be the second middle name. For a long time, we liked Duncan Alexander," says Macdonals, "but that changed after my mother-in-law said, 'Duncan? Dunkin' Donuts. Duncan Yo-Yo. Duncan Hines.'" Passing on Edward because "there are a bunch of Eds on her side of the family and we just didn't want to add another in there," the couple's next choice for a boy's name, Ian, was the one that stuck. "And we wanted to recognize my father, Andrew, who is dead," says the actor. "So as we thought about Ian Andrew Nicola Macdonald, we realized, 'Oh my God, that's I-A-N!'"
David Andrew Macdonald Is Making... Whoopee?
David Andrew Macdonald (Edmund) feels that couples on daytime television too often "make love." But surprisingly, it's not the intimate physical activity that has Macdonald's feathers ruffles, but the actual terminology used in describing what goes on between the sheets. Or on the couch... or on the floor. "I can't stand that phrase!" he proclaims. "Whether you're with your wife or you're with a prostitute, it's 'making love.' I mean, there is a distinction! I thought vilains were at least allowed to have casual but apparently not!" Ever the opportunist, the actor has come up with several expressions to use instead. "I've said 'have at it' and the let it go. I've tried 'jump in the sack with,' but they can't say that [on public television]," Macdonald laughs. "I think 'have sex with' they allowed at one point. So I've never actually had to say 'make love' yet. It's fun to try to not say!"
David Andew Macdonald Gets Life Lessons
Both on and off screen, GL's David Andrew Macdonald is getting an education about the roller coaster of life! Change can be a good thing, but oftentimes, it's never easy, Guiding Light's David Andrew Macdonald (Edmund) can attest to that. His alter ego is going through a metamorphosis of sorts, hitting rock bottom and clawing his way back to the land of the living. On a more positive note, in real life, the charming performer has taken on his most important role: that of a first-time dad.
A Bitter Pill To Swallow
Edmund would not be the first, or most likely, candidate to be a father. The actor concedes that the former prince may be a little too self-absorbed to give the constant attention a baby needs. "I'm waiting for him to become a little more dangerous, since he lost San Cristobel and Lorelei/Beth," declares Macdonald. Edmund finally gets it that no matter how good his intentions or how hard he tries, he will always be seen as the Devil. "If the good people of Springfield are going to think that he's bad, then Edmund is going to tear them to pieces. Springfield can use another villain. Edmund has never really been in a position where he's really dark and scary."
No Man Is An Island
To stage his massive comeback, Edmund is going to need assistance. Carmen and Olivia are the perfect people with whom Edmund should make a pact, since both women possess power and knowledge in areas that he could use to his advantage. Deep down, the trio wants to become respected members of the community they outwardly revile and they are all willing to do anything to make sure it happens. With these wicked women on his side, or at least having a vested interest in his success, he could learn a thing or two.
"Edmund would have to amass a lot of money, but it would be fun threatening Spaulding Enterprises, take over and mess with Lewis Construction," he says with mischievous glee. "All this stuff where Edmund isn't just a loser. He's a dangerous guy who's now a serious threat," notes the Julliard alum. "Then suddenly, they have Phillip and then they could have a real battle," he contends. "Edmund is in such a weak position right now, which is good because no one would expect him to collect himself and come back horrible. Let's see how that works for a while and still try to maintain as much of the humor as possible; to try to bring out the humor in a dark situation." He models Edmund as some of Alan Rickman's villains ("Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves") -- dark, sick and twisted, but also funny.
A New Chapter
While Edmund is trying to make his way to the top, Macdonald is already on top of the world. He and his wife Nikki became the proud parents of Ian Andrew Nicola Macdonald on October 24, 2001... and it's the role of a lifetime. "It really is an amazing experience," beams the proud father, who typically keeps a plethora of pictures of his son at various stages readily available. "I'm away so much and that's difficult. Nikki is with the baby all day long, the feeding, the crying. She's his support and center. Then I come home from work and he's all happy, staring at me for 30 minutes," the doting dad declares.
Learning As He Goes
Just as Edmund requires help along the way, the Macdonalds have also needed assistance from the beginning of the pregnancy to present day. Their families have been a great source of love, support and advice, but there are people closer to home who have been invaluable. "We have fantastic neighbors, the Delaneys. They've been really helpful."
The actor himself was no slouch in the aid department when it came time for the tyke to arrive. "You hear stories of fathers passing out. I felt more like a nurse. I was fascinated. It was a sci-fi book."
Macdonald wanted to soak up the experience and add it to the virtual library of knowledge contained in his brain. However, the intelligent and inquisitive parents recognize that it's difficult to get all the answers and raise a happy and healthy child. "You ask all the right questions and come up with some right answers and wrong answers," he admits. "You make some choices that later on you say, 'Oh, that wasn't a good idea.' But as long as you've tried, you can feel confident that you're doing the right thing."
While Edmund may try to take that lesson to heart, MacDonald, no doubt, will succeed.
David Andrew Macdonald plays Prince Of Darkness
GL's David Andrew Macdonald would like to see his charming royal become more of a sinister mister. Prince Charming is that other guy -- and Guiding Light's David Andrew Macdonald doesn't want you to forget it. His fallen prince, Edmund Winslow, late of San Cristobel (and Springfield, Chicago and even Mexico), is the rapscallion your mother warned you about; he's definitely not the object of fairy princess dreams.
At least, that's the way Macdonald sees the rascally royal. He wants to be bad. "I'd be interested in seeing him move more into a villainous character. I think the villain has softened up a great deal -- too much -- and I hope he goes back to being a dangerous guy," Macdonald says. "It doesn't necessarily mean you don't have a sense of humor."
Currently, Edmund is embroiled in the search for Ed Bauer, Michelle's father. Danny sought Edmund's help in bringing Ed back from Africa because Rick is ill. Edmund told Danny where Ed was -- but bringing him home won't be easy.
As for Edmund's own life, Macdonald has zeroed in on a storyline opportunity for him to turn down a darker path. "It would be the perfect thing if he's still crazy about Lorelei/Beth," suggests Macdonald. "He does everything in his power to wheel and deal and impress her to try to get her back. I don't mind him being in love, I just would like him to be nasty."
But not irredeemable. "You have to draw the line somewhere," Macdonald admits. "I mean, rape and child murder are a little irredeemable, but there have been some very successful villains. GL's Roger Thorpe (played by the late Michael Zaslow) is one, and (General Hospital's) Luke, didn't he rape Laura? And Jake McKinnon, he raped someone ages ago on Another World -- they're longstanding characters." Macdonald envisions Edmund starting a corporation and manipulating stocks so the Spauldings are ruined and have to build back their fortune. Or, perhaps, "seducing men's wives in order to destroy their marriages so you can make them weak and get hold of their stock: sinister, nasty stuff."
Macdonald explains that his character's flaws stem from battling his personal demons. "His father hated him; there's no reason that he shouldn't have the same opinion of himself," he relates. "He goes to great lengths to prove to himself that he's better than (half brother) Richard and worthy of his father's love. I think that the coldness and cruelty of his father, the death of his mother at a young age and all the attention going to Richard are the largest motivation for him to fill that void. As the writers unfold the character we see he's looking for love to fill up that emptiness."
There was no such void in Macdonald's own youth. Born in Washington, D.C., (yes, the accent is fake), MacDonald knew in high school that he wanted to perform, but in a slightly different venue: opera. However, "I knew I didn't have the discipline it would take to pursue that kind of career," he admits, so he turned to acting in college and eventually attended Julliard. He married poet Nicolette Nicola in 1994, and they welcomes a son, Ian, in 2001.
Macdonald's soap career took off when he landed a role on AW as Jordan Stark in 1998. "He was a gothic villain, a 221-year-old facially deformed, time-traveling scientific genius," Macdonald remembers. "Jordan Stark made Bill Gates' money look like pocket change."
That role ended when AW was canceled in 1999. Later that year he moved to GL. "They were looking for someone who could do a British accent. I told them that I could do British accents. Eventually they gave me an audition.
"When Edmund first came on, my feeling was he was a 3.5 month character who was going to be killed off when he went over the cliff in Puerto Rico back in 1999, but the show saw the character as becoming something more versatile," he explains.
Macdonald has enjoyed adding to that versatility -- particularly Edmund's sense of humor. "I was asked not to do so much, and I did cut back. But I tried to keep it there, and I think now they write it. It's fun to do a villain that has some humor."
Among Edmund's funniest bits was his stint as piano man "Eddie Ivories." But that wasn't Macdonald tickling the keys. "I wish I could play the piano," he says. "The first ghost player was Jeff Alfierro. For the Christmas episode, Brian Siewert, the show's composer, played."
During his awkward school years, Macdonald compose the devilish sense of humor that serves Edmund well as a defense mechanism. "I was far bigger than anyone else and I felt very gawky. I was also dyslexic and not a successful as other students, so I compensated by being funny. I think Edmund has compensated with his arrogance.
"Wittiness, in his opinion, is the only thing that keeps his head above water," Macdonald concludes. "Sometimes, when you're not feeling very good about yourself, the one thing you can hang your hat on is, 'OK, at least I'm clever.' It's a pretty pathetic peg to hang an entire lifejacket on, but sometimes it's the only thing that people like Edmund have."
Big Daddy David Andrew Macdonald
He may play an exiled prince on TV, but at home, David Andrew Macdonald (Edmund) is king of the castle to baby son Ian. "I walk into a room, and when he sees me, he gets all excited and shakes," laughs Macdonald. "Which, of course, doesn't tick off my wife too much! She's like, 'Oh, I take care of him all day. I'm the one that has to take the snot out of his nose. But he looks at you and thinks you're great!'" Little Ian seems to be following in his 6-foot-3 father's footsteps as well. "He's huge! He was 20 lbs., 24 inches at 4 months," marvels Macdonald. But according to Dad, Ian's growth spurt may be slowing down. "At first, he was in the 99th percentile, now he's in the 98th."
No LA-LA For David Andrew Macdonald
Unless the universe experiences a complete metamorphosis, don't expect to see David Andrew Macdonald (Edmund) setting up shop in Los Angeles anytime in the near future. "I hate the weather in L.A.," announces the staunch East Coaster. In fact, Macdonald reports that a two-month jaunt to remind him of exactly what he adores about living and working in the Big Apple. "I like the weather in New York," he shrugs. "I like the people in New York. I met a lot of great people in L.A., but L.A. doesn't have seasons. That really depresses me." However, Macdonald says, should he someday be offered the role of a lifetime out in California, "I'd take it, because that's life," he laughs. And, he could always escape to San Fransisco on weekends to get away from it all. "San Fransisco has seasons!"
The Other Half: Ode To Love
GL's David Andrew Macdonald provides plenty of inspiration for poet Nicolette Nicola. It was the perfect job for her. The kids in her charge were 5,9 and 11, and during the day they were in school while she worked at a magazine. Then she picked them up from school and took care of them until 8 p.m. For seven weeks in the summer, she went with them to their house on the coast of Maine.
"Not a difficult thing to do!" she declares melodiously, recounting her good fortune. She was, however, predisposed to dislike her employer's "baby brother" -- an actor from New York -- when he showed up for a visit at the end of the season. "I decided that he must be very pompous, and when I met him I thought: Yes. He is really pompous." Still, she agreed to have a drink with him, and decided, before the night was done, that he wasn't so bad after all. Slightly more than a year later, her employer became her sister-in-law.
In January 1994, in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Nicolette Nicola married David Andrew Macdonald (Edmund, Guiding Light) in the midst of a heavy snowstorm. It was a fitting backdrop for this daring imaginative bride, who wore an Elizabethan gown of white crushed velvet and carried, instead of a bouquet, a little white muff, adorned only with some greenery. In her hair she wore a simple, circular band, with one satin ribbon flowing from either side. "I love winter, " she says enthusiastically. "I didn't want to wear one of those summery little dresses, and I didn't want a traditional flower thing. I had one attendant who carried a mix of berry and pine, and wore hunter green velvet. It was right after Christmas, and all the white lights were still on the green trees in the church. It was beautiful."
Nicola is a poet. For her, it's not just a gift that transfigures the events of her life or feeds her soul; it's something she does every day -- or tried to. "Poetry is what I always wanted to do," she says. "I started writing when I was probably 10 or 11, and kept journals of it." She loved both reading and writing, which was, she concluded, "reason enough to be an English major." Thinking she might ultimately teach, Nicola attended West Minster College in New Wilmington, Pa., for her bachelor's, and later obtained a master's at Bennington College in Vermont. "There was a professor at Westminster who was a poet, and he was always sending out work. I didn't know anybody could do that. I was like, 'You can send things out? People will publish this?' You don't make any money at it, but who cares?" He also told her about Poet Lore in Bethesda, Md., the oldest continuously published literary magazine in the country. "I called them up and said, 'Could you use an editorial assistant?' " she remembers, "and they said, 'Yes, but you'll only make a small stipend.' "
Academia momentarily behind her, the young woman followed her heart to Bethesda and looked for a second job to pay the bills. "I don't know what made me think of nannying, but I needed room and board, so I called an organization called White House Nannies, and took this job with a family of five. The parents were both lawyers, and I liked them immediately. It was an incredible experience, because I met a lot of people in the poetry community in Washington. Then a lot of people at Bennington were from the New York area, so that gave me a circle in the city."
It is apparently a wider circle than one might guess. "New York has a huge poetry community," Nicola says. "There's stuff happening all the time. There are some readings of other people's works, but for the most part you go and read your own. A lot of poets don't read their works very well, and David says nobody but an actor should be reading it. But I'd rather read my own than have somebody else do it, and I don't think I'm as bad as a lot of people." It can be argues, in fact, that all poetry should be read aloud. "If you look back in time to its roots, poetry is basically meant to be told. "This is a tale I'm going to tell you, and I'm going to tell it in rhyme, because that way you'll remember it.' "
And despite the pandemic seduction of the Internet, there is also, she argues, a kind of tactile imperative that she hopes will guarantee the survival of books. "One thing about being a poet in an electronic age is that you can go on the Web and find literary magazines, or even get your poems published. But I think there will always be a need for people to buy books, because there's something about holding a book in your hand. People love books. They won't want to download it. What are they going to do with all that paper?"
The nettlesome questions, of course, is how do poets survive in a world reluctant to reward their efforts financially, or nurture that creative locus from which their poems spring? Nicola has tackled the first aspect by working four days at a consumer watchdog commission where she is in charge of publications -- the most artistic slot there. Shifting gears from her day job and tuning out distractions is more difficult. "That's very hard," she concedes. "I still haven't mastered that. I'll come home and it's, 'What shall we eat for dinner?' And then it's 'Let's watch CNN for a while.' There will be the lost hours. It helps to have an understanding spouse, which I do. Usually, I can start to write, but sometimes it doesn't happen until very late, and sometimes it doesn't happen at all." She frequently gives herself exercises, like writing a poem about mundane things, such as cooking or shopping. "It's amazing what that can do. I remember thinking: I can't do that. That’s not what it's all about. It has to come to me. But then I realized the more successful writers are those who make it part of their everyday lives. If you wait for the muse to speak, she may never come."
Nicola had her first paid publication just a few months ago. "They paid me $10 a page," she says, laughing happily, "and it was a two-page poem."