I also have been a longtime fan of General Hospital. I don’t watch it much anymore, but it used to be an after school ritual, and I can tell you the back story of just about every character. A friend and I were once in Balthazar in NYC (back when it was super trendy, and we thought we were so hip for going there even though all we could afford was a drink), and we saw an actor from the show, and we both got all giddy, and then laughed because if either of us had been with another friend, they wouldn’t have known what we were so excited about.
Anyway, James Franco and General Hospital have come together: he’s doing a guest star run on the show. Which, even as a fan, kind of blew my mind. Turns out, he’s calling it performance art. He says he’s blurring the line between high brow and low brow. The article definitely shows that he’s a smarty, which makes me love him even more, but I’m not sure I buy the whole performance art angle. I mean, he’s an actor. He’s acting. Just because it’s a soap, and he doesn’t normally do soaps, doesn’t mean it’s art. Even if it’s all meta and he’s playing an artist with the one-name moniker of Franco.
Coincidentally, the idea of what art is has been on my mind lately since it’s a key piece in my WIP. In the current draft, one character asks, “If you say you’re an artist, does that make you one?” If James Franco calls his work on GH performance art, is it? Does intention create art? Maybe. It doesn’t mean it creates good art, though.
I understand there’s more to this project. He’s already done a piece with single-named artist Carter called Erased James Franco, and apparently they are working together again. There will also be a guest spot on 30 Rock as himself. And all of this ties into a film they are doing together. I think I’ll reserve judgment until then. In the meantime, I’m going to go watch Franco on GH on hulu.