Just as DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Belle took her law career in a new direction when she moved to Hong Kong, her portrayer, Martha Madison, has built a new life back home in Texas. Between return stints in Salem, she now spends her time submitting audition tapes and working for One Haus, a hospitality industry staffing company. “I’m the director of recruitment,” Madison shared with Soaps In Depth. “I bring in a lot of clients: larger restaurant and hotel groups to our portfolio and then reach out to people who fit the bill for their salaried positions.”
Having co-owned several restaurants with husband AJ Gilbert in the past, the actress was already familiar with the needs of her clientele. But it was doing the job itself that introduced her to the many folks that the coronavirus-related shutdown put out of work. “Things started to get really dark for the industry,” Madison explained of the reason that she and Gilbert started the uplifting podcast, While We Were Waiting. “We said, ‘Why don’t we do what we do best, which is: share stories, over a beer or whatever?’”
From overcoming tragedy to dealing with celebrity clientele to handling grand openings, the couple is now discussing all kinds of challenging circumstances for the listening public. “We’re on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify,” she revealed.
Having previously hosted an entertainment-themed podcast with pal Lilly Melgar (ex-Claudia, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL), Madison was no stranger to hamming it up in front of a mic. But it’s the normally introverted Gilbert, for whom Madison says the restaurant biz is “his everything” that became a surprise. “He really is the star of this show. He’s killing it!” she said proudly. “It’s been really wonderful to see him blossom into a performer himself.”
The co-hosts are also using the podcast to obtain advice from guests like restauranteurs Josh Boyd (the husband of DAYS’ former Jan Spears, Heather Lindell) and Richie Herschenfeld (husband to ALL MY CHILDREN’s Kendall, Alicia Minshew). Because as it turns out, they’ll be needing some themselves as they prepare to launch their own dining venture, The Mayor’s House, in Dallas. “It’s in a home that was built 120 years ago,” Madison confided, “so the reconstruction and the permitting process has been incredibly long and frustrating.”
When the eatery does open, Madison will leave the running of it to her spouse as she’s already juggling motherhood with two careers, one of which requires her to be in Los Angeles whenever Belle is needed back in Salem. “Luckily, I make my own schedule,” she said, grinning.