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As an aspiring writer, I blog about whatever happens to move me at the moment -- though some posts contain serious content, my big-picture goal is to bring a little humor into an often humorless world! Welcome, y'all, and make yourself at home! Please make sure you update your bookmarks!
When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The Light Dims
I've just heard that the long-running soap, GUIDING LIGHT, will come to an end in September. I've watched this show, on and off, my whole life (which means nearly 50 out of the 72 it's been on the air!). For some reason, though, over the last couple of years, I let it slide -- finally taking it off the "Season Pass" on TiVo. With my writing and a renewed interest in reading, something had to give and a five-day-per-week soap was what went.
Soaps have so much time to fill each week that you can literally not watch for awhile and then jump right back in without too much confusion. But, after hearing the news -- and having not watched in so long -- I had to check out what was going on -- and, wow, things have sure changed in Springfield!! Most of the old familiar characters still seem to be there -- but in different configurations and dalliances. I think, when it gets closer to the end, I may have to set my TiVo again, for the long goodbye.
Actors such as Robert Newman, Bradley Cole, Nancy St. Alban and Kim Zimmer have given me visuals as I created my own stories, their faces becoming my characters, giving me a starting point until my creations grew into their own faces. There's no better place than a soap, with their huge casts, to find the perfect form for a character to take.
Many actors started out on GUIDING LIGHT, then went on to other things -- Melina Kanakaredes (who was in one of my favorite GL storylines of all time), Cynthia Watros, Brittany Snow and many other recognizable names. I've always believed that soaps are probably the best training ground for actors -- where else do you have to learn that many lines and be on your toes nearly every day? And suffer the slings and arrows of being "just a soap actor"?
I once saw Justin Deas (Buzz Cooper) at DisneyWorld but didn't say anything to him, though I could have walked right up to him. He was fussing at his kids at the time -- actors are people, too -- and I figured it was probably best not to intrude. Michael O'Leary was here in town once to open a new furniture store. I took my GL book and had him sign it -- my eldest was with me at the time and she said I spoke to him like I knew him. I guess when someone has come into your home, so to speak, five days a week, for years and years, it was almost like I did know him. He was very nice, by the way, and didn't seem, in that brief moment, too unlike his character of Rick Bauer. And he told me he loved the south because his wife was southern.
Even though I haven't been watching for awhile, I always knew the fine folks of Springfield were there, going through their problems and falling in love, just like they always had. It seems funny to think that this program, come September, will no longer exist.
Seventy-two years on the air! No matter your feelings on soaps, it's quite an accomplishment.
Thanks, GUIDING LIGHT, for letting me be a part of that world. You will be missed.