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Spotsy native gets soap opera role
Chauntee Schuler, who got started in drama at Massaponax High, earns spot on 'As the World Turns'

 Chauntee Schuler, a Spotsy native, will appear on CBS' 'As the World Turns.'
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Date published: 9/27/2007

By Rob Hedelt

THERE AREN'T many acting gigs where you get to play a killer turned civic-minded lawyer.

But that's just the role Spotsylvania County's Chauntee Schuler will step into next week on the long-running CBS soap opera "As the World Turns," weekdays at 2 p.m.

Maybe some readers will remember that name from a year ago when Schuler and her fiance, Josh Walker, were part of a competition, "The Today Show Throws a Wedding."

For several weeks, the couple who met while students at the University of Richmond were seen competing against several other couples to win an all-expenses-paid wedding on the NBC morning show.

Schuler, who graduated from Massaponax High School, married her longtime sweetheart in a ceremony last Thanksgiving at U of R.

"We'd had all the excitement and thrills of the 'Today Show' thing, and had put our own plans on hold during that," said Schuler from the couple's apartment in New York City.

After coming off that very-public and high-intensity experience, she and Walker decided to go small and l0w-key for a wedding.

"It was a nice way to get back to what the day was really all about, that Josh and I were committing to a lifetime together," she said.

Just one small glitch: She was still doing nine shows a week playing Nala in a touring Broadway production of "The Lion King."

After a weekend together, Schuler flew off to Nashville to continue in the play. Walker, getting his doctorate at Princeton University, went back to school.

In August, after "The Lion King" run was done and Schuler had finished a play at the prestigious Williamstown Theater Festival, the couple was able to finally take a formal honeymoon, then settle into an apartment in the city.

Earlier this month, an audition with "As the World Turns" earned her call-back meetings and the role of Bonnie McKenchnie.

"It's an existing role, a lawyer who years earlier killed someone and had gone to prison," said Schuler, her tone light at the plot possibilities of soap operas.

Schuler started work Tuesday, and quickly came to respect the hard-working crews and casts of daytime soaps, which produce five hours of action weekly.

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WHAT: Former Spotsylvania resident Chauntee Schuler will play Bonnie McKenchnie on the soap "As the World Turns."

WHEN: 2 p.m. weekdays on CBS, probably starting next week