Thursday, January 31, 2008


Kevin Stapleton appears as Preston and goes on a date with Harley (Beth Ehlers) on Wednesday, February 6.

In a previous life, Kevin was one of OLTL's many, many Kevins (1996-1998).

He also appeared in Dazzle with Kim Ulrich (ex-Diana; ATWT) and on Broadway in Salome.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Lizzie may not be too happy with Jonathan these days.

But Marcy Rylan and Tom Pelphrey? They're good.


You know how Lucinda (Elizabeth Hubbard) is always trying to protect Lily (Martha Byrne) but Lily never listens and just keeps demanding to know what's going on until she makes the situation worse?

Yeah. That.

Plus, things don't look good for Cowboy Jack (Himself).

This week, on As The World Turns...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

GUIDING LIGHT Launches New Production Model
Soap's bold new look to debut on CBS Feb. 29, 2008

New York, NY-- Guiding Light , the Procter & Gamble Productions soap opera that is the longest-running television show in broadcast history, today announced its plans to take on a revolutionary new production model. The production changes, which will take effect immediately and begin airing on CBS on Feb. 29, 2008, will bring a modern, more realistic look to the show, allowing viewers to be entertained by the stories and characters they love in a more intimate way.

Guiding Light' s new model will represent an end-to-end transformation in the way the show is created, from direction to editing to scenic design. Permanent sets inside the show's New York City studio will now feature four walls and a ceiling and will increase in number from eight to forty, allowing viewers to see much more of the fictional town of Springfield. Handheld cameras will shoot the actors inside the sets and deliver a higher level of realism and intimacy to the audience. In addition to the changes inside the studio, the show has adopted the town of Peapack, NJ to shoot all of its exterior scenes, which will total approximately 20% of production--an unprecedented amount for a contemporary daytime drama.

"Our new production model enables us to truly bring Springfield to life for our viewers," said Executive Producer Ellen Wheeler. "Our fans want to see more of our characters' lives -- from the houses they live in, to the cars they drive, to the experiences they have in their everyday lives. The changes will enable us to tell stories in a more intimate way, capturing real moments and engaging the audience on a deeper level."

The bold move to modernize Guiding Light is the result of a yearlong development process by the show's production team and Procter & Gamble Productions, who in that time were experimenting with new methods and technologies. The resulting new model will combine elements from film, reality and daytime to deliver the more realistic feel for which Guiding Light fans have asked.

In contrast to the handheld cameras and newly crafted four-wall sets the old production model -- one pioneered by Procter & Gamble Productions and Guiding Light in the 1950's -- featured three pedestal cameras that shot the action from outside a proscenium wall. Location shooting was limited to once or twice a year. More than 50 years later, this form still dominates soap opera production.

Feb. 29 will also mark the re-launch of Guiding Light 's website, . The interactive, video-rich site will showcase the new look of Guiding Light , providing daily new content on the happenings of Springfield's favorite residents. In addition, the site will feature a robust community section, offering an engaging area that will foster a stronger connection between the fans and the show, and an interconnectedness between the fans themselves.
GUEST COLUMN: Living on “The Edge…”
The Secret to Success…
Reading Susan Dansby’s blog last week, regarding her book, How Did You Get That Job? My Dream Jobs and How They Came True , inspired me to share with you how I got my gig as "DiDi Bannister" on EDGE OF NIGHT...and without an agent, no less!

Ninety percent of an actor's job is just trying to GET work, so early-on I developed the habit of devoting one day a week to doing just that -- sending out postcards, going to open calls, etc.

When I read in Ross Reports (a listing of agents, casting directors , studios, networks and production houses) that EDGE had a new casting director (Whitney Burnett), I mailed her my picture and resume with a little note requesting a general audition. About three months later, she called me in to read for EDGE.

None of the agents I was free-lancing with had thought to submit me because, at the time, I was doing a lot of TV commercials and they thought of me as a "commercial actress" ...totally disregarding all my theater credits. More than 100 actresses were called in to read for the role of “DiDi” -- a lot of them with major film and Broadway credits. But after a round of three auditions and one screen test, the job was mine!

There were four of us who were screen-tested on-set with Irving Lee ("Calvin Stoner") at the end of a regular tape day. As the last person to go on-camera, director John Sedwick asked if I wouldn't mind foregoing my rehearsal and just go straight to tape so everyone could go home. He promised that if I screwed up, we would re-do it. Well, I knew that wasn't gonna happen! It has been a loooong day for the crew, and they just wanted to get out of there.
Anyway, 30 seconds into the scene, I heard this sexy oboe music start to play (unbeknownst to me, EDGE laid down its music tracks while taping the live scenes as a cost-saving measure). Once I heard the music, I relaxed into it and allowed it to become my subtext for the scene. So while the "cop versus criminal attorney" dialog was antagonistic, the subtext was pure physical attraction!

I was later told by a member of the crew that watching the chemistry between Irving and me was "pure magic." It was the music -- and trusting myself to go with it -- that got me the job of “DiDi Bannister” – and totally changed my career.


I’ve heard it said that the difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful ones are willing to do the things that unsuccessful ones aren’t. In my case, it was (and still is) spending one day out of every week to do the “grunt” work of making sure that every casting director in town had/has me in their files. If I hadn’t submitted myself to Whitney Burnett, she would never have known about me and called me in.

When I recently came back to New York , I sent out a mailer letting everybody know I was back in town. And last week I sent out a mailer letting everybone know about my stand-up appearances at Caroline’s.

“Grunt work” is tedious, time consuming and not very glamorous…but trust me, the REWARDS can be tremendous. So keep the faith…and just keep on keepin’ on!

A blast from the past!
"DiDi & Calvin"

Mariann will be appearing at Caroline’s on Comedy Club, 1626 Broadway (at 50 th St ) in New York City ( ) on Wednesday, January 30 & Monday, February 11. Both shows are at 7 pm. For Reservations call 212-757-4100. Mention that you’re coming to see Mariann and get the “Friends and Family” rate on the cover charge. Pay $7.00 on Wednesday and $5.00 on Monday…saving $10.00.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Get to know Billy Magnussen, As The World Turns' newest Casey Hughes, here.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Paul (Roger Howarth) makes a deal with Lucinda (Elizabeth Hubbard) to trap Emily (Kelley Menighan Hensley).

And he makes a deal with Emily to trap... who?

Tune in to ATWT and find out!


Guiding Light's John Driscoll (Coop) and Caitlin Van Zandt (Ashlee).


Thursday, January 24, 2008


After a year of thinking that her baby was dead, Guiding Light's Lizzie (Marcy Rylan) is finally reunited with her daughter, Sarah.

As you can see in the spoiler pix above, Lizzie is initially ecstatic to see her little girl. But then she gets a little cranky about having been kept away from her for so long.

And when Lizzie gets cranky, things get... fun.

It's a Springfield mother and child reunion you can't miss, coming soon on Guiding Light!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Life in Springfield is very serious.

Life off-screen... not so much.


A picture is worth a thousand words.

And we've got four of them!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Living on “The Edge…”
Playing It Safe…A Cautionary Tale

I’m supposed to be on a train right now going into NYC to try out some new stand-up comedy material at an open mic night. Instead, I’m working on next week’s column. I want to get it down on paper while the feelings are still fresh. Besides, by the time I finished cleaning Mama up, it was already too late for me to catch the train.

In polite terms, Mama had a “loose bowel” moment. She’d either forgotten or was just too ornery to put on her disposable underwear this morning…and then she didn’t quite make it to the bathroom in time. So, I just spent the last two hours giving her a bath; washing, blow-drying and rolling up her hair; washing her soiled clothes, cleaning up excrement caked to the toilet bowl and all around the bathroom floor, and finally, taking a shower myself, because after all that I didn’t smell too good either.

I swear, if I had a dollar for every time somebody said, “What a blessing for you to be able to do that!” to me when they find out I’m the daytime caregiver for my 91 year-old mom, I’d be a very rich woman. But they might feel otherwise if they knew my mother.

I’ve heard it said that as we get older, the more we show the world who we really are because we no longer have the energy to pretend. Well, on a good day, Mama’s a narcissist; on a bad day, she’s angry and bitter. This is not new behavior, though. She’s been that way, if not all of her life, at least all of mine.

Much of her anger is projected onto my sister and me, since pretty much everybody else she’d be mad at is dead…except for the oncologist who saved her life, but whom she swears gave her cancer. Still, I think most of it is directed at herself.

She’s nearing the end, now, and she’s filled with regrets about all the things she didn’t do…but ladened with excuses over why she didn’t do them.

I am grateful to my Mama, though, because she made me the woman that I am today. She was my role model for what not to be. She ridiculed every aspiration I ever had with: “Who do you think you are…you’re not that special.” And I took that as a challenge to prove her wrong.

Believe me, the kind of resilience that built up over the years of my childhood came in mighty handy as an actress! No rejection from any producer or casting director could compare to that which I had already experienced from my Mama. I never thought of failure as a foe, but simply as something I had to go through to get to what I wanted. And the way I saw it, even if I didn’t get it, that disappointment couldn’t begin to compare with the unhappiness of not trying for it.

Mama had played it safe all her life, I was determined to take chances. Baby steps at first, because it was unknown territory, but eventually my motto became “feel the fear and do it anyway.” (also the title of a 1987 bestseller by Susan Jeffers, )

So, even if up till now you’ve played it safe all your life, don’t let fear keep you from pursuing your dreams. Set your destination and the course you’re supposed to take to reach it will begin to unfold. The most important step is the first one, because, to quote the German writer-philosopher, JohannWolfgang von Goethe:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”


I very seldom write an entire column in one sitting and it’s been five days now since I left off…and you’ll never guess what’s happened!

Two hours after “the incident,” when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to make it to that night’s open mic, I got a call from my stand-up teacher who invited me to be one of the stand-up comics for the kick-off of Broads on Broadway, a new “chick comedy” show starting up at Caroline’s Comedy Club!

Then, since I missed Wednesday’s open mic, I decided to go on Friday night instead. When I got to Stand-up New York, there was a camera crew and a woman from MTV shooting footage for a documentary on why anyone would decide to go into stand-up comedy. It was one of the best sets I ever had…they shot it for the documentary, and she’s coming to see me at perform at Caroline’s!

Had I gone to the open mic on the night I’d planned on going, I wouldn’t have gone on the night I was supposed to…

“…raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way…”

Don’t you just love it when that happens?!


PS – Mama had a good day today. We watched The Price Is Right, ate ice cream together and played checkers. She won and that made her happy. It did my heart good to see her smile. And even at 91, it did her heart good to win at something.

* * *
Mariann will be appearing at Caroline’s on Comedy Club, 1626 Broadway (at 50th St) in New York City ( on Wednesday, January 30 & Monday, February 11. Both shows are at 7 pm. For Reservations call 212-757-4100. Mention that you’re coming to see Mariann and get the “Friends and Family” rate on the cover charge. Pay $7.00 on Wednesday and $5.00 on Monday…saving $10.00

(Mariann also blogs at Lee Bailey’s Electronic Urban Report)

Monday, January 21, 2008


Happy Martin Luther King Day everyone!

In honor of the holiday, today's post spotlights Susan Dansby, one of the very few African-American women working as a director and writer in daytime television today.

Susan has been a director on Guiding Light, General Hospital and Generations, and has won four Emmy Awards for writing As The World Turns.

According to Susan:

When I tell people I write for the soap opera, As the World Turns, I get a full range of responses.

My least favorite? “I never watch soap operas.”

My favorite? “I love As the World Turns! It’s the best show on TV!”

But what people say most often is: “How did you get that job?”

I do have an awesome job.

It’s creative – writing a weekly 84-page script for 30 or so recurring characters.

I get to live where I want to live (Atlanta), work at home, set my own hours, get paid well (thanks to the Writers Guild of America and my hard-working agent).

It’s rewarding in other ways, too. I have four Emmy Awards, a 2007 Writers Guild Award, and I get to work with extremely talented people whom I admire and respect.

Fabulous job.

But when people ask how I got my job, I usually give the short answer: I was a theater major in college, which led me to TV, which led me to soaps.

But the real answer, the one given in the book I’ve just written: How Did You Get That Job? My Dream Jobs and How They Came True, answers the question most people are too shy to ask:

Can I get a job like yours?

Yes, you can.

There are lots of books out there on how to land great jobs. What makes this book different is that it’s written by someone who started at the bottom, followed a simple process, and now earns her living in one of most competitive industries out there - entertainment.

* * *

This book is a great, step by step tool for anyone looking to land a dream job in any field. But, for the ATWT and GL fan, there's much, much more:

Here's Susan's favorite excerpt from the book:

One day, actress Harley Jane Kozak (Annabelle, GL) was completely covered with rats. She never complained. And there was the jungle set with the live chickens. One of the chickens flew up into the light grid and wouldn't come down.

There were weddings and funerals, and gorgeous, gorgeous acting.

Film actors can have months to prepare for pivotal scenes. A soap actor has to hit the ground running, and usually has one take (perhaps with no rehearsal) to nail the scene where they plead for a child’s life or commit murder or fall in love with the costar they'll end up having story with for 20 years or so.

When I hear people refer to soaps as an actor’s training ground, I laugh. That’s like calling the Indy 500 Drivers Ed.

To order How Did You Get That Job, go to!

Friday, January 18, 2008


Hughes scion Casey comes home at the end of January, now played by daytime newcomer Billy Magnussen, and quickly catches up with his family: Mom Margo (Ellen Dolan), Dad Tom (Scott Holmes), Grandma Lisa (Eileen Fulton) and ailing Grandpa Bob (Don Hastings).

This is one Oakdale family reunion no As The World Turns fan can afford to miss!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Two, blonde Shayne mothers.

Two sons of San Cristobel princes.

Two dark haired boys with even darker personal demons. (And yes, I know little boy Jonathan had blond hair. Work with me, people.)

The future is not looking good for Cassie....

(Does Will have a half-cousin he can seduce then fall in love with in fifteen years or so?)


Being manly. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Stephanie Gatschet returns to Guiding Light as Tammy when family and friends gather for her memorial service on Tuesday, January 22, Wednesday, January 23 and Friday, January 25.

In a massive coincidence, Tom Pelphrey is also on his way back to Springfield as Jonathan.


To read John Driscoll's (Coop; GL) latest blog entry, click here.

For Van Hansis' (Luke; ATWT) latest, go here.

Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara) will appear in a public service announcement for the Oral Cancer Foundation. The PSA will air during As The World Turns on Wednesday, January 16.

For more information, please visit

And to see what effect Barbara's illness will end up having not only on her own life, but also Will, Gwen and baby Hallie's, keep watching ATWT!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Comin’ in from “The Edge…”
That’s What Friends Are For - Part 2…
To Make a Friend, Be a Friend

As a creative artist and communicator sometimes we can change the lives of people we don't even know and may never ever meet. You can imagine how gratifying it was for me to get this e-mail in response to last week’s column. I wanted to share it with you.

Thank you… For being out there. I turned 45 today and I asked myself what the hell am I doing? I'm so caught up into my husband and children's lives that I left off creating a life for me. Thank you for helping me to gain perspective on the simmer and full boil of creating a life for myself. So after reading your last article I decide to book a hotel room in M----, CA, for myself on the ocean and seek God's guidance on where to begin again. I'm sure my family will appreciate a better me. From a seasoned woman with much to give. Shirley


I am awed and humbled that something I wrote could affect someone like that. And I am appreciative that Shirley took the time to write and let me know about it.


How many times have we all been affected by a kind remark that someone has said to us…or an act of kindness they’ve bestowed on us? And how often have we taken the time to let the other person know how much it meant to us?


How often have we thought a compliment (“Gee that’s a pretty dress she’s wearing”… “Susan got her hair cut…looks good.”) in our minds, but withheld speaking it aloud?

In last week’s column I talked about the value of having a support system. But we can give support in a myriad of ways, and receive support from a myriad of places…not just from friends and family, but from “ships-passing-in-the-night” total strangers.

I’m a big believer in “The Law of Reciprocity” also known as “Paying It Forward.” When we express a kindness or thoughtful gesture to others, I believe it always comes back to us. Not always from the person we extended the kindness to, though, but sometimes from an unknown source...and often when we least expect it…and may be most in need of it.

So this week, don’t hold back. If you think it (and it’s something nice) then say it! Pretty soon it’ll become a habit…and that’s when “The Law of Attraction” starts to kick in. It’s simple quantum physics…

The brain waves of kind, happy thoughts are a different frequency from unhappy, negative ones. And since “like attracts like,” pretty soon you’ll notice that the circumstances of your life are beginning to change in ways that are bringing you closer and closer to the accomplishment of the goals you set as your New Year’s Resolutions. Not only that, but you’ll find that, overall, you’ll feel a lot happier! But don’t just take my word for it, here’s scientific proof from a recent episode of ABC’s “20/20.”

Pretty cool, hunh?

So, to Shirley, I say: See what your act of kindness has done? Your e-mail inspired me to write this column! Your generosity of spirit has helped to change the lives of others, just like you credited me with changing yours. What a great gift you’ve given…not just to others, but to yourself.

Happy birthday, Shirley…you made my day!

XO, Mariann

PS – Don’t know how many of you saw Sixty Minutes on Sunday (1/13), but there was a fabulous interview with the young man who created Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.

Today he’s just 23, with an estimated self-made worth of 3 billion dollars! He’s a low-key kinda guy who just followed his passion. Four years ago, when he was a student at Harvard, and started working on Facebook, his goal wasn’t to make a lot of money, but to have FUN. The money was a by-product. Mark works hard, but he loves what he does and has a tremendous amount of self-confidence and very supportive parents. Check out his interview, there may be something there for you.

BTW – Facebook is extremely user-friendly. With very limited technical skills, I was able to put my site up within just a couple hours. Check it out…and then come be my “Friend!” (You can also see pictures of my grandkids :-)

Mariann’s Facebook site:

PPS – And a “shout out” to Esther, who also left a comment: “Yeah, I miss Edge, too.” (sigh)

(Mariann also blogs at Lee Bailey’s Electronic Urban Report)

Monday, January 14, 2008


After decades working with actors and starring in numerous soap operas such as Edge of Night, Guiding Light, All My Children and Loving, Emmy Award-nominee Larkin Malloy will open his own acting studio, “The Best On-Camera Acting Classes in NYC,” this January with the goal of sharing his years of experience with striving actors who are serious about developing their careers.

Malloy has taught the on-camera acting class at the Weist-Barron School and the Intermediate and Master Acting classes during the inaugural year at Greystone Studios. He was also an on-set acting coach at As The World Turns for seven years. He currently serves on the faculty of The Conservatory at The School for Film and Television.

“The Best On-Camera Acting Classes in NYC” is located at Weist Barron Studios, 35 W. 45Th St, 6th Floor, NYC and will offer classes such as “Excel in On Camera Auditions,” “Master Soap Opera Technique” and “Ace Your Cold Reading”.

“After so many years of watching screen-tests, I have seen good, talented actors sabotage themselves by arriving at auditions unprepared, or having misguided notions of what the director is looking for,” said Malloy. “At our school, we focus on finding the tools necessary for the performer to shine and be seen at their very best. I am extremely enthusiastic about the whole process of helping actors learn to use their talents to their best advantage and develop their skills to the point where casting directors say “Wow, where have you been?”

Malloy has studied with some of the finest teachers in the world, including Wynn Handman's Two Year Master Program, Anatoly Efros at Moscow's Tangaka Theatre (Stanislavsky Method), Ron Daniels of the Royal Shakespeare Company, John Stix (Meisner), Gene Lasko, Gary Armagnac (Strasberg), etc. and is private coach to many rising young stars.

The new studio is equipped with a two-camera / monitor playback so that the performer can experience a real world feel for how their work is seen by others. Since the classes are limited in size, each performer will work and be critiqued in each class.

Malloy’s years of experience as the As The World Turn’s Performance Consultant has given him a unique perspective to see the actors work on camera as the Producer and Director see it, and the ability to successfully develop the actor’s skills. In working with the performer during rehearsals, he knows what will work and what doesn’t before the actor goes before the cameras. Detailed information and registration can be found on his website:

Friday, January 11, 2008


Jonathan Randall is headed back to Springfield, played once again by the Emmy Award winning Tom Pelphrey.

Regular viewers can take a trip down memory lane, and new ones can learn all about Springfield's bad-boy-turned-devoted-dad by going to Guiding Light's official website,

From now until his return, view daily video clips highlighting Jonathan's history from the time he first came to town seeking revenge on his mother, Reva (Kim Zimmer).

Thursday, January 10, 2008


A PGP Classic Soaps Blog reader directed us to this new interview with Victoria Wyndham (Rachel; Another World).

Enjoy this excerpt, and click on the link above for the rest!

DS(I)t doesn’t bother you to just be recognized for one role?

VW: It does when it means that now when I go online the only credit is Another World. That bothers me because all of the people that follow my career, the fan base, know that I do an awful lot more than that. So do the people who know me. While I was doing Rachel, I was never frustrated doing her. She was a fascinating character. I had a wonderful gig on that show and they let me do pretty much anything. I was able to explore all sorts of wacky things and playing the twin was really wacky.

DSYou weren’t particularly happy with that story line though. At first you didn’t mind, but then after …

VW: Oh my God, you have done your research haven’t you? Yeah. It was fun at first and then what a lot of people don’t know is there was internecine warfare between NBC and Procter & Gamble at that point. So there was a lot of push and pull. I now know that NBC was doing an awful lot of sabotaging of the show and that particular character. They had, for many many years, tried to get me off the show, tried to separate me from the show.


VW: They wanted to take it off the air.

DSAnd you were one of the main draws on the show? So if they got rid of you ….

VW: And, of course, Procter & Gamble understood what they were trying to do and were supporting me. NBC never let me know that. This became clear, as it came to a head, before they finally yanked us.

DSWhy did they not want the show anymore?

VW: Because they couldn’t own all of it. If Procter & Gamble had sold it to them, they undoubtedly would have gotten rid of me and made it a young, stupid show, the way they did with Passions...