Thursday, April 30, 2015


From Baby Does NYC:

"I am a huge believer in school-choice. But it is very difficult to make a choice if you are unaware of all your options. I wrote “Getting Into NYC Kindergarten” for two reasons. One) So that parents will be aware of what’s possible (and I inject it with enough reality to make clear what’s probable). And Two) Because not everyone can afford a $10,000 private admissions consultant, or a preschool with a director connected enough to pick up the phone and get you into the school of your choice. I believe that information about the school process (as well as how to work it to your advantage) should be available to all NYC parents – without breaking the bank. Most people guard what they know like it’s a state secret. I want to change all that, and this book is, hopefully, a start. I think of it as: Admissions secrets for the rest of us."

From Parents of Accelerated Learners NYC:

"If you ask my children, they will tell you that I am a horrible mother because with my oldest son, a pure English and History guy, I sent him to Stuyvesant, a math and science school, whereas with my younger son, a math, science and computer whiz, I sent him to a private school that heavily focuses on literature and geography. My rationale is, the things they love, they are going to do anyway. And they are going to study their passions deeper than any school possibly could accommodate. The subjects they don’t love, they are going to have to be dragged to, kicking and screaming. Which means they had better learn them at the highest possible level, because then, even if they only retain 75% of it (i.e. “C” level), that will still be more than they would have gotten in a school that doesn’t spend as much time on the topics they’re not interested in. My children are not ecstatic with my approach."

From School Choice International:

"No other book like it currently exists. There are books on NYC's top public and private schools, books on applying to private school, and books on how to prep your child for a variety of entrance exams. But "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten (September 2016)" is the first to cover everything in one. And because it's electronic, it features links to dozens of sites, articles and reports for parents to learn more about each topic; things like the pros and cons of gifted programs, red-shirting, single-sex schools and longer school days. Plus, the NYC Department of Education is known to change rules and requirements midstream. "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten (September 2016)" can be instantly updated, unlike a print book. I also have an option for parents to sign up for email updates to be notified right away when processes change."

From Smart Coos:

“Getting Into NYC Kindergarten” sprang directly out of my own experience. The Department of Education is almost impossible to get a straight answer out of (not to mention, they have a tendency to change their own rules mid-application cycle). The process for applying to public school is different from charter, which is different from private, which is different from Gifted & Talented. I wished there was one unified place to go for all the information parents needed. So I made one."

Click links above for more.

"Getting Into NYC Kindergarten" is available at:

And I'll be giving two "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten" workshops in May:

* Thursday, May 14, 2015 at River Park Nursery School on the Upper West Side

* Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at Evolution Enrichment in Chinatown 

Click here for more information and to register. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


The 2015 Daytime Emmy Awards returned to television on Sunday, April 26, with a live broadcast on Pop (formerly TV Guide Network) that, for the first time ever, went about 15 minutes over its scheduled time. Read on for a soap-centered recap of highlights, lowlights, and host Tyra Banks’ periodic lack of pants.

Matt Lauer and Ellen DeGeneres open the show with a pre-recorded segment, followed by a live Tyra rapping, and Steve Harvey presenting the Outstanding Supporting Actress trophy to Amelia Heinle (Victoria; The Young & the Restless). She is the first actress to win back to back statues in this category, but viewers at home might not know that, since this show doesn’t have the backstage Voice of God spouting factoids while the winners walk up to the stage. (Maybe I’m the only who noticed, since I used to be the one to write those for the Dick Clark Productions telecasts.)

Leeza Gibbons and Alex Trebek present the next award, and we have to wait until 8:24 PM for a pair of soap-opera presenters, General Hospital’s Ryan Paevey (Nathan) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie) to hand out Outstanding Morning Program.

Fans vote on their favorite Bitch Slap. The winner is: Quinn smacks Brooke on The Bold & the Beautiful.

Tyra loses her pants.

Daniel Goddard (Cane; Y&R) surprises a fan and invites her to present on stage with him. They do.

Chad Duell (Michael; GH) wins for Outstanding Supporting Actor. The show must already be overtime, since they’ve dropped the clip packages with scenes from the nominees. (Again, maybe I’m the only one who notices, after way too many years spend in the production truck, listening to the director scream at actors for taking too long with their acceptance speeches.)

We get a montage of soaps’ greatest love stories, set to A Chorus Line’s “What I Did For Love” (psst… it’s a song about loving your work, not loving another person). Those in the audience see the montage on a pair of screens. Those at home see the montage whenever the camera isn’t on the singer. The camera is on the singer quite a bit.

The Daytime Emmys fulfills the requirement of having every award show honor Betty White for being the last living Golden Girl. (Fred Willard mentions that she was also on B&B.)

Catch up on the rest at:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


 On Days of Our Lives, Kristen is back – again.

Guess actress Eileen Davidson wasn’t kidding what she told me for my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama’s Greatest Moments, “I would do something like this again, but I would want to know a beginning and an end date.  Even when I left DAYS, I knew that the shelf-life of those characters was running out.  It wasn’t something that could go on forever because it would lose its punch.  I felt like I got out at the right time.  But it’s certainly something I would love to do again.”

The last time viewers saw Kristen, she’d made off with Theresa’s embryo (snatching it right out of Theresa’s womb; ‘cause science works differently in Salem). That embryo turned into bouncing baby Christopher (Kristen is nothing if not egotistical). Alas, the infant suffers from an autoimmune disorder and needs a bone marrow transplant, stat. Wouldn’t you know it? His oblivious biological mommy is a match! If Kristen could steal an embryo without the pregnant woman noticing (or, at least, believing she’d gotten a false positive on her pregnancy test), how hard can a little surreptitious bone marrow be? Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, on General Hospital, Ava remains in her death throes, while her tot daughter, Avery (another mom and her egotistical naming) remains missing. Ava, coincidentally, could also be saved with some fresh bone marrow. Baby, baby, who’s got the baby? Continue staying tuned!

But the above is nothing new on soap-operas. Check out some of our past favorite extreme bone marrow transplants (or rather, the way they were harvested) from Y&R, AMC, GL, OLTL, ATWT & more, at Entertainment Weekly!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


It's finally here! My new book, "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten," covering all available options, public and private, magnet and charter, gifted and dual language, religious and secular, as well as insider tips on how to enroll your child in the school of your dreams, and why the process for starting Kindergarten in September of 2016 begins NOW, almost 18 months beforehand!

"Getting Into NYC Kindergarten" is available at:


So many people have been so helpful and so supportive throughout this process, that I want to give something back. So, as a special thank-you gift for the first 25 people to buy the book, I am offering a FREE half-hour, personal phone consultation about your particular child and situation.

Just email me your receipt at:, and I'll get in touch with you to schedule a good time for us to talk.

I can wait to hear what you think of the book!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


If Luke Skywalker had been a soap-opera watcher (did they have soaps a long time ago in a galaxy far away?), he'd have had some inkling that the guy he hated most in the world was likely his long-lost daddy. It's kind of a soap-opera given. And yet, the characters involved still appear to be surprised. Every. Single. Time.

This week, it was Days of Our Lives John's turn. Remember Paul? The guy you chewed out for seducing your married, step-grandson, Will? Well, surprise, John - Paul's your son! Congratulations! What dad doesn't want a son who's a professional baseball player?

And their little squabble over Will isn't all that bad. It's not like when upstanding (with just enough beard scruff to keep him "edgy") cop Bo found out that Victor, the criminal mastermind he'd been trying to bring down and who'd tried to kill him on numerous occasions, was his biological father. Victor wasn't too thrilled about it, either. Especially when Bo pretended to be warming up to Newfound Daddy Dearest. But it was only so he could dig up evidence to put Victor behind bars for good.

On General Hospital, upstanding (with just enough hairstyle scruff to keep him "edgy") cop Dante was also determined to see mob kingpin Sonny rot in prison. He went by the book, did his homework, got a warrant and everything. He told Sonny he was under arrest. At which point, the mobster whom half of Port Charles swears is really the most noble and decent man in town, shot him in the chest. Dante's mother, Olivia, freaked, and blurted out that Sonny was Dante's father. Sonny then promptly declared his love for the boy. Because that's what noble and decent men who shoot cops in the chest apparently do.

Like Bo and Dante, who both found out they were really part Greek (maybe that explains the sexy scruff), The Bold & the Beautiful's Ridge also acquired a new ethnicity when his mother's old friend, the vaguely shady Massimo, turned out to be Ridge's biological father. Ridge didn't necessarily want Massimo to go to jail. He just wanted him to stop butting into Ridge's relationship with Brooke. Later, once the two had gotten to know each a little better, Ridge wanted Massimo to keep his other son, Nick, away from Brooke. (The fact that Brooke, herself, chose Nick was of no relevance to Ridge.) Ridge threw the mother of all hissy fits, blamed Massimo for his screwed up love life, and went back to being a full-time Forrester. These days, he's fighting his stepbrother for control of the family empire with nary a mention of his Italian blood ties.

Of course, lest you think that soap-opera parent/child feds are limited to newly discovered fathers and sons, rest assured, there are plenty of mothers and daughters in the mix, too.

Read the entire post at:

Friday, April 10, 2015


On March 31, 2015, That National Academy of Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced nominees for 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards (get your exclusive cheat sheet to who will win in the soap-opera categories, here).

A day later, on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, the 6thAnnual Indie Series Awards handed out their trophies for the best in independently produced, scripted entertainment created for the web.

Held at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, the sold out show was hosted by Daytime Emmy winner Eric Marsolf (Brady; Days of Our Lives). Presenters included Lilly Melgar (ex-Lily; General Hospital), Martha Madison (ex-Belle; DOOL), and Patrika Darbo (ex-Nancy; DOOL).

And familiar soap faces were well represented in the winners’ circle, as well. Three-time Daytime Emmy winner Sarah Brown (ex-Carly & ex-Claudia; GH, ex-Julia; As the World Turns, ex-Aggie; Bold & Beautiful, ex-Madison; DOOL) was named Best Lead Actress – Drama for Beacon Hill. Andrea Evans (ex-Tina; One Life to Live, ex-Tawny; B&B, ex-Rebecca; Passions) won Best Guest Actress – Drama for DeVanity, and even Richard Hatch, primarily known for his work on the original Battlestar: Galactica, and an Indie winner for Best Guest Actor – Drama (Pairings) got his start on All My Children.

Gregori J. Martin, multi-Indie winning director, writer and producer of The Bay praised, "I think the ISA's are a wonderful up and coming awards ceremony and a great outlet for independently produced web shows to get some sort of recognition for all the hard work and efforts we put into producing our shows. They are certainly growing!"

Colleen Zenk, host of the 2013 awards and a 2015 nominee in Best Lead Actress – Drama for Thurston, added, “I came on board as the MC/Host for the Indie Series Awards in 2013 not knowing anything about this new world. I had a sharp learning curve and was completely smitten and wanted to be a part of it, in any way. Here is why: Not all of the shows are network quality, but the support and love of the people in the Indie community is unlike anything in network television. To see this kind of joy for the competition is rare. Everybody watches everyone else's shows and the love in the room is palpable. Unlike the political - and, sometimes bitchy - feelings that were always at the Emmys.”

But could it be on its way?

Find out what's next for independent soaps and actors at Entertainment Weekly:

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


Although soap-opera episodes air five days a week, 52 weeks a year, the Daytime Emmy Awards, which serve to honor the best of the best actors, writers, directors and shows, distribute their golden trophies based solely on two, self-submitted episodes (in the case of The Bold & the Beautiful, which is a half-hour long compared to one hour for Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, and The Young & the Restless, they may submit four).

Unlike movies, which have a definite beginning, middle and end, soap-operas are almost all middle. It's difficult to get a sense of a complete performance from only a snippet, but that's what the Daytime Emmy judges have to work with. As a result, winning comes down less to a great acting moment, and more to the power of the story itself. As I explained once, completely unironically, about an actresses' chances, "She had a great year. She was raped!"

So even before the stars and shows announced as 2015 Daytime Emmy nominees reveal their reels, we present your Daytime Emmy Cheat Sheet, based not on what the actor actually did, but on which Emmy bait card they played, at Entertainment Weekly.