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Michelle Stafford may no longer be playing Phyllis on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, but you can still get your fill of the actress via her new Web series, THE STAFFORD PROJECT! And it turns out the idea for this comedic look at her own life was born alongside her daughter, Natalia.
"It started back when I was trying to have a kid," Stafford recalls. "It was such a crazy experience. I said to my friend Denice Duff (ex-Amanda), 'We've got a camera; you've got to start following me around.' I have 40 hours of documentary footage; all my experiences with the surrogate, the doctors, so much stuff. It was born from that. [THE STAFFORD PROJECT] is about a woman named 'Michelle Stafford' who's an actress on a soap opera that's not Y&R who is trying to juggle her career and being a single parent and trying to get her groove on and how it blows up in your face."
While the series is cast with actors, the situations "Michelle Stafford" encounters in each episode are based solidly in reality, just like that extremely awkward scene in the first episode. "All the comments that are said in the car are things that people have actually said to me," the actress reveals. "People would make a racial comment and my surrogate and I would exchange these insane stories."
Stafford enlisted pals Paige Long and Paige Dorian to write the series, and promises that while she's sending up her own wacky life as a single mom and actress, they won't be poking fun at soaps. "I was very clear with Paige and Paige that we are never making fun of daytime," she declares. "I don't want to make fun of Y&R. But there are funny personalities within a working environment. That is funny."
Keep an eye out for new episodes of THE STAFFORD PROJECT and blog posts from the actress on her Web site, www.michellestafford.com. "I really love speaking to women who are making the best of their lives," Stafford says. "I like to touch upon everyday occurrences and make them funny. People say soap fans are the best they are. They're so invested with you. They care about what's happening to you in the future; they want to support you. The fans of our show are awesome!"