The Soaps: Tune In Tomorrow

'Ukeing' It Up With Teresa Castillo

Believe it or not, Teresa Castillo (Sabrina, "General Hospital") has something in common with the late musician Tiny Tim, who famously crooned "Tiptoe Through the Tulips": their mutual love for the ukulele.

"I just started learning how to play it, so I can accompany myself when I feel like singing," says Castillo, who has learned how to play full songs after five short weeks. "I'm very proud and excited about it. I got a beginner's book and learned a bunch of chords ... I found music online that I could play."

Why the ukulele, of all instruments?

"I played the piano when I was a kid," notes Castillo. "It was bad timing, because I refused to rehearse. I asked my mom to put me in dance instead. So I danced growing up, while both my sisters stayed with the piano. Now they can both play beautifully and me, the one person who has been in music, cannot play anything. So I took up the ukulele, because I was able to wrap my brain around it. I felt like four strings -- versus six strings on a guitar -- is more doable. And it's small and compact. I can take it anywhere I go. A guitar is bigger and bulkier. I just wanted to be able to play something simple."

While Castillo hasn't brought her ukulele to the "General Hospital" set, yet, she has played it for one of her co-stars.

"Mark (Samuel), who plays Felix, came over the other day for a little party I had," notes Castillo. "I was playing for everyone here. So he got to hear me play. But, so far, he's the only one."

SHORT TAKES:

The big news from "Days of our Lives" is the exit of Bradford Anderson, who played Spinelli, and Emily Wilson, who played Ellie. Both actors ended their runs with the show this week, when they headed off to Portland, Ore., where Ellie had a job offer she couldn't refuse. The departure of these characters also meant the exit of Spinelli and Maxie's baby, Connie, who went with her daddy, who has custody of her. Anderson had been dropped to recurring status several months back, so his leaving wasn't a total surprise, as this sometimes happens after an actor begins appearing on a less-frequent basis. Thus, Wilson's farewell was pretty much due to storyline demands, since her character was closely involved with Anderson's.

"General Hospital" baddies Anders Hove (Cesar Faison) and Sebastian Roche (Jerry Jacks) are no longer around Port Charles to cause problems. Roche and Hove made their last appearances early this month.

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