With 60 pages of dialogue to memorize each week for her role as Sam McCall on "General Hospital," Kelly Monaco doesn't have as much time as she'd like to rehearse for "Dancing with the Stars: All Stars."
"We're coming up with the 50th year anniversary of 'General Hospital'.... so they're cramming a lot of material [in]," Kelly told AccessHollywood.com's Laura Saltman on Friday, as the soap star rehearsed with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.
Originally, there were plans to lighten Kelly's load at work, but the impending departure of beloved "GH" star Steve Burton, who plays Sam's husband (although they're divorcing on the show), Jason Morgan, has meant more material.
"They're wrapping up a nine-year relationship," Kelly said.
Steve, who plays lethal killer Jason on the show, is moving with his family to Tennessee after more than two decades on "GH," and Kelly doesn't even want to think about her co-star leaving.
"Man, I haven't even been able to cross that bridge yet. I don't like goodbyes," she said. "I'd like to think that he's just gonna take a little vacation and come back. I know it might be wishful thinking."
Kelly has an inkling of how Jason will exit Port Charles, and she said it's likely to be "pretty dramatic."
As she pulls double duty (leaving very little time for sleep), Kelly's feet, luckily, seem to be going strong. She admitted she has just a few blisters (during her first season her feet were left bloodied) to speak of. But, the same can't be said for Val, who has a stress fracture in his left foot.
The pair's first dance in a little over a week will be the cha cha, a dance Kelly never learned on her shorter, original "DWTS" run.
"There are at least half these dances that I've never done before," she said.
Despite the steep learning curve for Kelly, Val said she is doing very, very well.
"She's very good, she's very talented and seven years ago she did a great job - clearly. She won. But this season she's going to do an even better job and it's going to be incredible," he said.
"Dancing with the Stars: All Stars" premieres Monday, September 24 at 8/7c on ABC.
-- Jolie Lash
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