General Hospital star Sydney Mikayla may have exited her popular role of Trina Robinson earlier this year to dedicate her time to school, but that hasn't changed how much the ABC soap opera means to her. She tells Soap Central that she still holds a very dear place in her heart for the show's cast, crew, and fans, which makes being brought back into the soap world via her Daytime Emmy nomination all the more special.
Keep reading to find out how Mikayla feels about her acting work being honored, how she's doing in her studies, what her post-university goals are, and whether or not she feels any pangs of regret about stepping away from a glamorous TV job to pursue her education.
Soap Central: Congratulations on your Emmy nomination!
Sydney Mikayla: Thank you! I'm super excited and in planning mode now. I'm really looking forward to everything that's in store, and I love seeing my Pinterest boards come to life. I love organizing -- I'm in my happy place right now, for sure!
Soap Central: What are you planning on your Pinterest boards? Is it focused on fashion, or beyond fashion?
Mikayla: All of the above! I get really specific in what I want, and last year, I remember saying that I wanted to look like a princess, and I think I did that. But this year, I really think the theme I'm going for is more sleek, borderline, sassy, and fun. So, I'm very excited to see what I come up with; I have a very clear vision of what I'm looking for, and it's exciting to see it all come together. I love that part.
Soap Central: How do you feel about getting your second nomination? That is pretty exciting news!
Mikayla: I am shocked. Last year, I was a little more confident, even though, of course, I'm never one hundred percent sure. But this year, I wasn't really sure because the year had a lot happening all at once, and I don't know that Trina necessarily had one storyline to go all the way through. At first, it was more focused on her friends and her relationship with her mom, and then her storyline kind of shifted to her falling in love with Spencer [Nicholas Alexander Chavez], so I wasn't sure and thought, "Is storyline going to be the thing that makes or breaks my tape?" But I think the writers made space for me to still have amazing acting moments last year, which I super appreciated, since I put all those moments in my reel -- and I think it turned out pretty well!
Soap Central: Do you remember which specific scenes you included on your reel?
Mikayla: Well, of course I included the Spencer and Trina scenes, which I think the audience really fell in love with, so that made me fall in love with them even more, too, so I loved using those. Of course, Trina's moments with Portia [Brook Kerr] and just her love with her mother, and then of course those friends scenes, when Esme [Avery Pohl] was put on the scene, I included a lot of those scenes, like the showdown between the two girls of who's going to win. That one was fun to capture.
Soap Central: Do you have any standout memories from filming any of those scenes?
Mikayla: I remember that it was always a lot of fun when the five teens got together -- a lot of shenanigans and always lots of fun. It was great. It can kind of be difficult sometimes, just because we're all working so much, that sometimes people do entire scenes and you won't see them the whole day, but it was always fun when we got to do scenes all five of us. A lot of that camaraderie that you see on-screen is very real.
Soap Central: Now that you have this nomination and you're celebrating with your General Hospital cast mates, does it make you feel like you're part of the GH family all over again?
Mikayla: It does, yes! It has brought me back to those amazing days when I would go to the General Hospital set. I called Nicholas and William [Lipton, Cameron Webber] and congratulated them, and I am so excited to see everyone in person.
Soap Central: How does it feel to be sharing your category with Nicholas, your "Sprina partner" with whom you shared so many important scenes?
Mikayla: He is a powerhouse. I mean, to be able to go from your first role to Emmy nom?! That is absolutely incredible. He's really killing it, so, my kudos to him, and I just feel really lucky that I got to act alongside him, even though it was just for a short time.
Soap Central: What were you doing when you found out you'd been nominated?
Mikayla: Well, unlike last year when I had a whole idea set up, this year I got sick, so I was in my dorm and not feeling well. It was really awful -- a really bad cold was going around, and it was kind of worse than COVID because I got tested and it came back negative, and I was like, "What's going on?!" It was a cold, and it was bad. It hit my body like really, really badly. I ended up having to come home, actually. But [when the nominations came out], I was there, still trying to figure out what had happened, and I woke up from my sick nap to see the Emmy nomination news. My previous makeup artist had told me that I got nominated, which was really great. So, I still made a thank you video on my Instagram, because I like to key and clue everyone in, just to give my "thank-yous," because it can't be done without friends, family, and, of course, the supporters of the show. It's just not possible without the support of everyone, so I just wanted to go on and say thank you, but I definitely did not plan it out like I did last year. It was definitely more out of the blue. Last year, I feel like I was on pins and needles, but this year, I was like, "I'm not feeling great. I'm going to take a nap." But I did give a heartfelt thank you that really was from the heart, because I do appreciate everyone's support.
Soap Central: I know you didn't feel well, but did you contact any friends or family to share the news?
Mikayla: Yes, I texted a friend, and she was so excited for me, and I called my mom and dad, and they were both shocked because they were both working their 9-to-5s, so, it was a nice break in their day. It was just a lot more unexpected this year, and I think maybe because also last year was really in the midst of COVID, so we were all at home and like, "What does the day have to bring?" It was that weird time in May, that weird COVID time, when nobody knew what was going on, and I think this year, because everything is kind of going back to normal, it was a break in the day more so than waiting for the news anxiously all the night before. [Laughs]
Soap Central: Speaking of this being a back-to-normal year, the Emmy ceremony is going to be in person again! What do you think about that?
Mikayla: I am excited, especially about [getting my outfit together]. Last year, I did the big, poofy layered dress, and it worked for what it was because I only had to have it on for about an hour, so this year I'm also taking into account that I'm going to have to have on this dress for a lot longer period of time! [Laughs] But I'm excited to see everyone, as well, and I'm really excited for the contrast between the years. I'm really lucky to have worked with so many talented people on such a talented team, and I'm excited to see them. I'm so ready.
Soap Central: As we know, you're quite the planner, so, have you started to prepare an acceptance speech in case you win?
Mikayla: Oh, good question! But I think for that, I can wait until we're about two weeks out. I feel like that's still a good amount to prepare that -- a month feels a bit too advanced! [Laughs] But two weeks is a good amount of time. I gave myself a night or two for all my General Hospital lines, and I figure if I can learn those lines in that amount of time, I can probably get a speech down in around the same amount of time. Maybe some would say that is procrastinating, but I feel like it will work out. [Laughs]
Soap Central: Do you feel like all of that memorization that you did for General Hospital is helping you at school?
Mikayla: It has, but I also think that anything that you love, you'll make time for, and it will come naturally and easily. I loved General Hospital, I loved devoting my time to it, and I loved the storylines and the writing, so, of course, it kind of came easily to me. Learning stats and formulas isn't quite the same level of excitement, so that can be a little hard! [Laughs] But I think when you love anything, it just comes easily if there's a passion to want to do it. And when you want to do it, and there's a need to do it, everything does just come together. But long story short, it is helping me, because when I want to learn things, I can easily retain it.
Soap Central: I know that leaving the show to focus on your education was a big decision. Was it also a very difficult one?
Mikayla: It was difficult in the sense that I had to leave a family that had been treating me so kindly. Frank [Valentini, GH's executive producer] had made such a space for me to be able to go to school and work. Like, he was working with me so much and working with my schedule, which I really appreciated. But ultimately, I just knew that I needed to commit to school and give all my attention to school as much as possible. So, yes, it was a difficult decision to make, but ultimately, I knew what I needed to do in order to complete my goal [of finishing school].
Soap Central: Do you think you'll return to acting in the future, once you're done studying?
Mikayla: Yes! Acting will always be a part of my life. I'm really excited to learn more about the behind-the-scenes aspect of how filmmaking is done and really give myself more of an educational background on it. That way, when the opportunities present themselves for me to be able to take higher roles in the film and TV industry, like a producer or a director role, I really have the education to back that up. That's really important for me. But acting will always be a part of me, and I look forward to exploring the medium, even if it's not necessarily through TV, but more learning and reading and doing performances that are student-led, things like that.
Soap Central: Is there anything else that you'd like to add?
Mikayla: I would just like to say thank you so much to my General Hospital family, those who are on the show and those who have just been supportive all these many years. I genuinely appreciate it, and I couldn't have been able to experience this opportunity without every single person. So, I really appreciate everyone. Thank you, and regardless of what happens, I'm glad to just be able to call myself a two-time Emmy nominee!
What do you think about Sydney Mikayla being nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award? What did you think about her work as GH's Trina last year? Do you think the actress will take home the gold during the Emmy ceremony this June? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.