On Saturday, November 17, 2012, Gene Bua (“Somerset,” “Love of Life” and “How To Survive a Marriage”) passed away after battling Parkinson’s disease for the past 13 years according to a posting on the actor and his wife Toni‘s website Bua Acting for Life. “The great Master Teacher and my hero and Lion King for 47 years, Gene Bua, passed into the Light on Sat. Nov. 17th at 1:40, after battling 13 years of Parkinson’s and yet still going on to teach, write songs, be a mighty friend, and enjoy much of his life. I am surrounded by his power, love and radiance as I walk through these coming days with as much Grace as God will allow me. Very much love to you all,” said Mrs. Bua of her husband on the website.
Bua, whose career has spanned beyond soaps as he is also recognized for his lyrical work, along with his wife, has helped hone the talents of such individuals as Brad Pitt (“Another World”), Jacklyn Zeman (“General Hospital”), Francesca James (“All My Children,” “General Hospital”), and Mario Lopez (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), among numerous others, through their acting and personal coaching courses at the Bua Acting for Life school. In 2013, the school plans to release their long awaited book and CD, “Gene and Toni Bua’s Acting for Life.” Also planned for 2013 is the mega-musical “When I Dream,” which is currently in development with co-creator and executive producer Tracey E. Bregman (“The Young and the Restless”), who was an alumnus of the program dating 29 years. Bregman’s experience with the school is a featured quote on their website:
“29 years ago, I walked into a church in Hollywood at the urging of my friend and assistant, Deborah Brighton, to meet Gene Bua. I watched class from the back ‘pew’ and was amazed at what I saw. Magnificent transformations, one by one, actors finding their way to the truth in each scene. Gene bellowing, “It’s never what you think it is” and “Anything can happen!” I was struck by the way he worked. You see, I had studied at the Strasberg Institute and the Academy of Performing Arts prior. Where was the exact method? Where were the notes all over the scripts? Why weren’t they spending hours trying to be a tree?! Gene’s work was about focusing the attention on the other person, listening and letting your talent run the scene instead of your head and ego getting in the way. I can honestly say, I have seen Academy award winning performances from actors in class who had only read a scene twice. The work is fun, thrilling and spiritual. Gene and his beautiful wife and my Soul Sister, Toni, create such a safe and loving environment. I always feel, when I’m walking into class, all my defenses drop. I have had such an amazing time working with and learning from them.
A few years ago, I brought Toni an idea for a musical children’s book. Toni and Gene started to write some songs for the book that Toni and I wrote together. Toni suggested that we put a couple of the songs up for one of their charity events as part of the entertainment. After watching a rehearsal, I turned to Toni and said, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, the songs are incredible. The bad news is, this isn’t a book, it’s a Broadway musical!” Toni and Gene jumped into our project with great relish and completed 18 songs, which we all produced with Daniel Alexander and Brandon Jarrett. The music, lyrics and book are something to behold. It was far beyond anything I could have hoped and dreamed of and their talent was so amazing. I got goose bumps every time I heard one of their songs. It was such an extraordinary experience to work with them on When I Dream. We are still trying to mount it on Broadway and hope to Live Our Dream.…as Toni always says, “Live your dream!”
Knowing Toni and Gene has been a gift. They have been my teachers, my friends and always my family. I have used their techniques’ on every project I’ve worked on. And quite frankly, everything they have taught me has also helped me in my life because “ Anything can happen” and life is..”Never what you think it is!” They have made my life sweeter and brighter and I will love them…Forever and a day.”
- Tracey E. Bregman