Wednesday, April 27, 2016


When I tell people who aren't from New York City (or whose kids are too young yet) about what getting into NYC Kindergarten is like, they think I'm exaggerating, or just plain old making it up.

That's why I say that I'm selling my book, Getting Into NYC Kindergarten, as a how-to in NYC... and as farce everywhere else.

The process is now so ridiculous, overwhelming and expensive (yes, even if you just want to go to your local public school), that Thomson Reuters' Asia division produced a television segment on it for the overseas market... which I helped them with and appeared in.

Check it out below!

And if you're not adequately terrified by that, you might want to pick up a copy of Getting Into NYC Kindergarten for a detailed account of what you've got ahead of you...

To learn about my upcoming FREE Getting Into NYC Kindergarten workshops, go to for dates and times, and to RSVP (space is limited).

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Yesterday saw actress Alicia Coppola (Lorna; Another World) return to daytime as Dr. Meredith Gates on The Young & the Restless.

When I spoke to Linda Dano (Felicia; Another World) for my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, about her favorite scene, Dano cited Felicia's intervention storyline and praised, "I also worked with a wonderful cast who supported each other in any way they could.  Especially on Another World, we were a tightly knit group.  My co-stars in this storyline were the best at their craft.  Stephen Schnetzer, Alicia Coppola, John Aprea, Victoria Wyndham should all take equal credit for making this story work as well as it did."

With turnabout being fair play, I asked Coppola the same question. Check out our interview below!

Alina Adams: What moment/scene/story do you think exemplifies soap-operas at the very top of their game? Why would you say it shows soaps at their best?

Alicia Coppola: I think there are a plethora of scenes to choose from every one of the soaps. For me, playing Lorna Devon on Another World, there are two very memorable scenes. The first was when Lorna sat at Lucas’s (John Aprea) deathbed and the second was when we find out Lorna had been raped.

Both scenes, both storylines, actually, pull from two of life’s most difficult, demanding and devastating life moments. In these moments, I think the writers, directors and actors of Another World told very truthful, sincere stories with dignity and integrity. That is Soap Opera work at its very finest.

AA: What was it like shooting those scenes? How did you prepare? How much was carefully planned out and how much spontaneously rose up in the moment?
AC: This is an interesting question. Prior to shooting the Lucas dying scenes, I was very scared because my own father had passed away two months before I got the job as Lorna. I sat with my father as he lay dying in life and then had to go to work and do the same thing. I don’t think the producers and writers knew what I had just been thru, so it really was a strong case of Art imitating Life. I remember Janet Iacabuzio, one of the writers who wrote the scenes, wrote me a letter telling me she had no idea that I had lost my father and that she was there to support me and love me through these very difficult days of work. I still have that letter and whenever I find myself having a blue day, I reread it. It has become an inspirational touchstone for me.

Those scenes, holding John’s hands, staring into a face that coincidentally resembled that of my dad’s, and feeling those feelings of loss and abandonment all over again, was at once cathartic and emotionally psychological torture. I recall John trying not to cry during the scenes and me trying not to vomit. John was enormously kind, supportive and loving and took care of me in those scenes the way my own father did right before he died. In his silence, in his stillness was a strength that I was able to pull from. Those scenes are some of my favorite work.

To read Coppola's memories of Lorna's rape storyline, click here

And for other soap-opera memories from daytime's top actors, writers and producers, get a free preview of Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime's Greatest Moments at this link.       

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Last week on The Bold & the Beautiful, Wyatt finally found out that his mother, Quinn, had been holding the amnesiac Liam more or less prisoner, telling him that they were married and making plans to run away together. (Allegedly, it was in the interest of giving Wyatt a clear shot at Liam’s girlfriend, Steffy, but, as time went on, Quinn found herself falling for the dumb lug who didn’t realize Quinn was off her cuckoo for Cocoa Puff rocker.)

Despite his mother’s best efforts to convince him otherwise, Wyatt locked Quinn in the closet and sped Liam back to Steffy (whom Wyatt had married in the interim, because the love of one’s life apparently doesn’t come along as rarely as they used to anymore).

As of earlier this week, Quinn still thought she could wriggle her way out of what, to most people, would look like some serious jail-time. Is this yet another example of her utter and complete break with reality? Or has Quinn simply watched enough soap-operas to know the lay of the land.

Soap-opera characters – if pretty and popular enough – can pretty much wriggle their way out of anything. Murder. Kidnapping. Rape.

Because even though Scott Clifton, who plays Liam deniesthat his character was, in fact raped - what else would you call knowingly having sex with a brain-damaged individual incapable of giving consent?

But that’s still okay. Soap-opera male rapists have been getting away with – and even rewarded for – their crimes going on 50 years now. Why shouldn’t women share in the equal opportunity redemption?

If/when Quinn’s case ever goes to trial (even in the court of public opinion) she’ll always have these precedents to invoke...

Read them all at Entertainment Weekly!

Thursday, April 07, 2016


Last April, I released Getting Into NYC Kindergarten, the book that explains all your NYC school options - and how to get them. (For a list of my upcoming Getting Into NYC Kindergarten workshops, click here.)

This year, I am preparing the companion book, Getting Into NYC High School. (Spoiler: NYC High-School admissions makes Kindergarten admissions feel like puppies and kittens in a basket.)

The high-school book will be a little different in that, in addition to general information about how to apply to NYC specialized high-schools, selective high-schools, screened/unscreeneed high-schools, charter high-schools, private high-schools, religious high-schools, etc... I will be including first-person accounts from the kids about their experience.

I want to hear about how they chose the schools they applied to, how they ranked them, and what the process - test, interview, portfolio, audition - was like. (Something like this, but in their own, original voice.)

Are you a teen with writing ambitions who'd like to get a publishing credit before graduating high-school? Are you the parent of a teen who you think might have writing ambitions, would like a publishing credit and/or something cool to put on their college resume?

Please contact me at: for more information.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


Last week on Days of Our Lives, after a tumble down the stairs (the leading cause of soap-opera miscarriages), Maggie woke up in the hospital to utter the time-honored phrase, “I can’t feel my legs!” (Tumbling down the stairs is the second leading cause of soap-opera paralysis.)

Naturally, Maggie was devastated by this turn of events. But you’d think the woman who was first introduced as a crippled farm-girl who was eventually cured of her condition by love (well, okay, surgery was also involved… but it was mostly love) would be the first to realize that, on soaps, paralysis is rarely permanent.

Click here for some of daytime’s most famous medical cases… and how they turned out

Monday, April 04, 2016


The 2016 Daytime Emmy nominations were announced last Thursday and, for the soaps, it was old home week, as category after category was dominated by past winners and nominees, with only a smattering of first-time fresh faces, primarily in the Younger Actor and Actress division.

Even in the newbie categories of Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series, Outstanding Actress in a Digital Drama Series, and Outstanding Actor in a Digital Drama Series, beloved soap-opera vets rule. 

Read all about it at Entertainment Weekly: