Countless videos on YouTube can prove: when it comes to marriage proposals these days, bigger is better. If you're a fan of watching spontaneous flash mobs break out into dance all in the name of love (like me), then you're going to love Yahoo!'s new original show, Ultimate Proposal. The online reality series is helping ordinary men plan and execute the most extraordinary marriage proposals with the help of an expert team. Better still, it's hosted by hunky All My Children and Dancing With the Stars alum, Cameron Mathison.
Cameron, 42, is the perfect man for the job. He happens to love well-and meaningful proposals, something he showcased when popping the question to his wife, Vanessa Arevalo. Clearly, Cameron knows how to get a woman to say yes! The soap star and his model wife were married in 2002 and have two children, Lucas and Leila.
We caught up with Cameron to learn more about Ultimate Proposal, the best love advice he's ever received and what's next for him and All My Children's upcoming online series.
I watched the first episode of Ultimate Proposal, and I have to say, it made me tear up. Are all the proposals going to be that big?
I think they're all going to have that effect, but I don't know if they're all going to be that elaborate. It's a feel good show and I love being associated with something that emphasizes making a connection and a commitment. We want to make these proposals really special and a little bit bigger than they normally would be, but we don't lose the intimacy of these two people wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. We don't lose that honesty and connection. I love it!
Do you think that's why watching proposals is so emotional?
Yes, because it's so real. The girl who's getting proposed to has no idea. Her reaction is so genuine, it's not even the slightest bit fabricated, because she has no idea it's coming. I think anybody who has ever dreamed of getting married, has talked about it or has gotten married can relate to it. We all have our fantasy, our story, our history with that, so it speaks to everyone.
What kinds of proposals will we be seeing on the show?
It's not going to be forced. There's no point in jumping out of a plane for his proposal if it doesn't make sense for her. We don't want to make it all about what the guy wants to do if it's not going to connect to her heart. What I love about the show is that we do let the guy create the proposal, but it's a process of getting to know him, as well as her through her friends or whatever insight we have. We let their story, personalities and interests drive the show. If jumping out of a plane seems romantic, it will be for a reason that's close to her heart.
How did you propose to your wife, Vanessa?
I did okay considering I didn't have a team of experts! We really fell in love on this one ski trip we took together. So, when I wanted to propose to her, I wanted to do it skiing. We went up to the top of Vail Mountain in Vail, Colorado, and I took her up to this remote summit, which was a beautiful place to take photos. We hiked up through the snow to this little plateau-she was actually a little annoyed at me. I sat her down with a beautiful view behind her and I turned my back to her to go set up the camera. I pulled out the ring and turned around and proposed to her with the camera taking a ton of pictures. Then, I had a big champagne lunch waiting for us at the bottom of the mountain. We skied down the mountain-she said she couldn't feel her legs and was terrified she would fall and break her leg!
If you had Ultimate Proposal to help you, would you have done it any differently?
I've been thinking about it-I think what I did was kind of sweet already, but I think I could've stepped it up by hiring a video crew to follow us around the whole day as we skied, and then obviously, film the proposal. I would've had an elaborate lunch planned on top of the mountain just for her. The key on Ultimate Proposal is to to shoot the actual proposal with video so that it's not suspicious. That's one of the key elements: to capture the proposal without them wondering, "Why are there cameras around?"
What do you want viewers to walk away with? Do you want them to be inspired to up their own proposals, or is it more of a message of believing in true love?
Just believing in true love. These proposals-as elaborate as they are-are all about the expression of commitment and love. They're not big just to make them flashy and lose the intimacy. The expression of love is what I want people to get out of it. To be a part of something that gets that message across is great-not necessarily the cooking or dancing reality shows, but the other reality shows aren't sending these messages, and that's why I'm so thrilled to be a part of this. I'm thrilled to have my name be a part of it, it feels really good.
We heard you're joining the cast of All My Children for its online show. What can you tell us about that?
I'm really excited about it. The people who now have the rights to the show, Prospect Park, are flat out geniuses. They're creating this online network of original programming. It's going to be extremely exciting. There are fewer limitations as to how, where and when you watch. I think it's cool that soaps were really pivotal, from what I understand, in the transition from radio to TV. Here we are again as things are going more online, and soaps of original, full-length programming are at the forefront of it. Obviously, we need to get more actors locked in to it, but they already have the sets, studio, wardrobe, and everything going. They're really doing this right, and I'm outrageously impressed with how it's going, for sure.
What's the best love advice you've ever received?
The very best would be for sure, without a doubt, to learn to take responsibility for our part in problems. In other words, to avoid blaming and to always turn around and look at yourself and see, "What part did I have in this? And, what can I work on?", instead of always pointing and saying, "You did, you never, you always…" It's not hard to be happy in a relationship when everything is going well. The tricky part-and what helps both short-term and long-term relationships -is conflict resolution. One of the main, key factors in that is taking responsibility in our own part of the problem. Of course it's harder to do when you're the only one doing it, but if you're both doing it, it's amazing how quickly conflicts are solved.
Do you want (or did you already have) a big marriage proposal? Tell us about it!
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