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A Date With Design

Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda) vows to keep her creative juices flowing during her summer vacation.

With summer hiatus in full swing, she's three months away from the return of her hit NBC series Las Vegas, but that isn't stopping General Hospital's Vanessa Marcil from getting excited over what she hopes to be a lucky roll of the dice! "I'm involved in creating a show that I came up with," she reveals. Add to that putting the finishing touches on her line of children's clothing and a planned trip to Africa, and this is one lady on the move!

Fashion Plate
After more than a year of planning, Marcil is looking at her line of babywear to be available before 2005 rolls in. "The clothes line is called Kash," she says, explaining that it's named after the light of her life, her 2 year- old son, Kassius. "I'll have the whole sample line done by the end of the summer, before I go back to work shooting Las Vegas. It will be out in stores by the end of this year."

Designing her line of kid's clothing isn't the only dream being fulfilled with Kash- it will also raise money for disadvantaged children in Africa. "As a mother, once you have kids, you really have that strong desire to help kids everywhere. It's like everyone's kid is suddenly your kid. As a mother, of course, I want to buy clothes that I love for my son. But if I know that the one I'm going to buy is going to be contributing to building a school in Africa for children, I'm going to buy that one. I'm hoping that it will be the case with this line."

Out of Africa
Once all her ducks are in a row with her clothing line, Marcil is planning to head to Africa to volunteer in the orphanages, "Hopefully, over a five-year time period, I will have seen and gone to as many orphanages as possible to get to know these kids who we'll be building schools for," she says. "I chose to have 50 percent of the profits go to this specific venue because all the kids over there are so in need of our help on every level. Knowledge is freedom and power, and it's the only way we can help them in a lasting way. We can help them and give them gifts and food and love, which is just as important. We can educate them, and then they can find their own way out of the sad situation that's going on over there." Marcil credits Oprah Winfrey for planting the seed that children of Africa need outside support. "I am like a little soldier following Oprah. She is just such an amazing leader. You couldn't watch her episodes in Africa and not want to figure out what you could do to help."

Las Vegas to Africa to Port Charles?
With the resurrection of L&B Records (the B being Brenda) and the return of Lois, her business partner and her best friend, is it only a matter of time before we'll be seeing Marcil making a quickie cameo appearances? Considering that two of her closest GH friends are Amber Tamblyn (ex-Emily) and Rena Sofer (ex-Lois)- both of whose characters were recast after they took their careers in a direction outside of daytime- what would Marcil think about someone else stepping into Brenda's shoes? "I would be devastated if they recast Brenda," she admits. "I would be really upset about it. I always said that if I ended up going back to GH, I would be the luckiest girl in the world. I'm such a goofball when it comes to Brenda and GH. I know I should never say never, but I can pretty much safely say that I would never be anywhere if I'm back on daytime except on that show. She's the greatest character that I've ever played."