There are soap opera fans, and THEN there are the "Ultimate" soap opera fans. They come in all sizes, shapes, ages, genders, and professions -- like television personalities for example. One who falls into that category and who would declare it from the top of a mountain is Tracy Butler, one of Chicago's top morning meteorologists at ABC 7 (WLS).
For 18 years Butler has worked at ABC telling Chicagoans about the blue skies, or the three feet of snow that is coming, or how to prepare for the arctic blast.
However, just like Chicago weather changes, she has endured her soaps through thick and thin and has remained loyal and beamingly shows her admiration for the genre.
"I have been watching forever and a day. When I started it just grew," Butler said. "Let's just say...honestly, since the late 1970's. I have been there through it all: marriages, divorces, deaths, and of course...Luke and Laura's wedding on General Hospital."
Butler also contributes to Windy City Live, Chicago's fast growing popular morning show on ABC 7 that replaced Oprah.
Recently, when John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex) of One Life to Live was on WCL, Butler got quite cozy with him on set, confessing her love for him and the show. In fact, a male colleague was sitting next to Lavoisier and when Butler came out on set, she was like "Hey! This isn't fair." She snuggled in next to Lavoisier and the two looked like a real soap duo.
Butler said all the credit goes to her grandmother, Nora, for getting her started and hooked on the soaps.
"Oh Yes! My grandma lived with us. And every time I'd walk in, there is the show (on the TV)," Butler said. "One day I sat down and that was it. I have been watching ever since. My show was All My Children and it was grandma's favorite."
Butler said that with the shows being cancelled and changing the face of daytime TV, it can be a bit much to handle. "I am just devastated. Very sad. These shows are such a part of my life," Butler reflected. "For me, personally, this is so sad because it is a connection to my grandmother who is no longer around. I really hate to see the soaps go."
But lucky for Butler, she got the chance to llve out her fantasy. She is over joyed that she had the chance to have a walk-on role on All My Children and General Hospital. She explains that on All My Children she was nurse number one in a scene with Julia Barr (Brooke) and Susan Lucci (Erica). I mean no small potatoes. Her big debut was to give Brooke flowers to give to her daughter.
Of her All My Children day-player stint she says "I still recall the day being there. Can you imagine being greeted by Cameron Mathison (Ryan)?" Butler jubilantly said. "I mean he was so gracious as everyone was, but that was a moment that I will always treasure."
On General Hospital, Butler played reporter number two. She was in scenes with Anthony Geary (Luke) and all the big names. She was covering the hotel explosion.
"I have to tell you that the energy on General Hospital is contagious. Everything is so fast paced," Butler explains. "For me to get into the scene I was just totally ripped. I let it go. I was firing questions like crazy."
Butler is so proud that General Hospital is still going strong. "I believe the fans are there," she said. "Look at Kelly Monaco on Dancing With the Stars. Look at the loyal following. Soap fans are loyal."
Butler added that she likes the variety in scenes, saying that it keeps people interested. And of course...all tied in with that great love story.
"I love when they bring back the old characters. It's so great to see them." Butler said. "I'm also a fan of the danger. I love the danger, and the weaving of the stories, which makes the show a tangled web that it should be. The fun is putting the pieces of the puzzle together."
With Butler's stunning good looks, charisma and charm, and soap opera quality appeal, Soapdom had to ask, "would you ever consider a soap opera career?"
"Are you kidding! I'm out of here. I already thought of it. In a heartbeat," Butler joking said. But not to worry Chicago. Butler isn't going anywhere. "Getting honest here," she continued, "I really love my job. I love what I do."
|< Prev||Next >|