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The Q Guide to Soap Operas


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“A masterpiece of toilet bowl reading!”

 


Daniel R. ColeridgeBuy the “Q Guide to Soap Operas”

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TVGuide.com’s resident soap expert extraordinaire, Daniel R. Coleridge, recently published his very first book, “The Q Guide to Soap Operas.”  He calls it "a masterpiece of toilet bowl reading." Soapdom just loved it. We say "it’s a quick read, full of fun and interesting insights into the world of soaps, and a must have for every soap fan." 

We hooked up with Coleridge to find out how the book came about.  We talked for almost two hours, discussing “The Q Guide” and getting his take on some of the recent developments in today’s soaps. From gay storylines, to AMC’s new camerawork and more, Coleridge not only shares his inspiration for "The Q Guide," he’s candid and honest about what he thinks is right and what could use improvement on todays soaps.  Grab your favorite beverage and a snack or two and get to know your TVGuide.com soap columnist like you never knew him before.  It’s a long interview, but well worth the read.

SOAPDOM:  Daniel, congratulations on your book, “The Q Guide to Soap Operas.” How did you first connect with the publisher?

DC: My book is published by Alyson Books.  Just before Christmas ’05, the editor of Alyson Books contacted me and said “We love your voice in your TV Guide.com column and would you like to write a book about soap operas for us?”  Alyson Books, a cool sort of niche publisher, was doing this series called “Q Guides,” which are sort of a Queer-Eye-for-the-Straight-Guy-type-book on pop culture topics.  My book is “The Q Guide to Soap Operas” and the others in the series are “The Q Guide to the Golden Girls” and “The Q Guide to Broadway.”  There are more to come in the series.  They enjoyed my column and they thought “This guy would be perfect to write a soap opera book for us.” Basically, they gave me carte blanche to write my dream book about soap operas and that’s what this is.

SOAPDOM:  You open the book sharing your experience on the set as an extra at the funeral of Tony Jones on General Hospital.  How did that come about?

DC:  General Hospital called me up and asked, “Would you want to do a little cameo?”  So, I was a mourner at the funeral of Dr. Tony Jones at the General Hospital chapel. This was at the time around February of ’06 when a deadly fictional virus struck General Hospital and characters were being killed off.  One of them was Brad Maule’s character Dr. Tony Jones and so I appear as one of the mourner extras at the funeral.

SOAPDOM: Very cool. Did you have any lines or anything?

DC: I didn’t have any lines, but I think the cool thing was that there weren’t really very many extras and I was like the featured extra because it was a small service, just in the General Hospital chapel which is not a big a big set. They really only had core characters from the show and I’m sitting in the same pew as the core characters.  They had a few extras in the background in the very back row to fill out the room a little bit, but I’m sitting next to Scott Clifton (Dillon) and Lindze Letherman (Georgie) and Robin Christopher (Skye) in the same pew. That was fun and that’s how I start off the book in the introduction, talking about how does a nice boy like me find myself in the middle of this whole world of daytime drama.  Which then got me thinking on the larger scale of how did I become such a soap fan that I actually started watching at 11 years old and ended up making a career out of being a professional soap fan.

SOAPDOM:  Not under your professional moniker now, but under your soap fan moniker, what was it like being there on the set of General Hospital sitting in the same pew with those General Hospital luminaries?

DC:  Oh well, General Hospital luminaries!  Well it was very…it was cool!  I mean I had Jane Elliot (Tracey), sitting in the pew right in front of me cracking jokes. In between takes it was fun to have a little taste of what it’s like to be a soap actor doing another day’s work on the set – we’re in the middle of taping these very dramatic scenes where we’re mourning a character who has been beloved on GH since the 80’s, but in between takes, it’s not at all somber.   Everyone’s having another day at work and cracking jokes and gossiping and it was very fun to just feel like I was on the inside in the midst of all that.  (It gave me) a real sense of what it was like -- an intimate sense of what it was like -- to be a soap actor on a regular old day at work.

SOAPDOM:  Let’s talk a second about soap opera fans and why “The Q Guide to Soap Operas” is a must read for every single one.

DC: As I discuss in the book, soap fans come from all walks of life.  Unfortunately, soaps are very marginalized and denigrated as a genre, and people have this idea that soap fans are all lonely, desperate housewives sitting at home mindlessly staring at the tube eating bon bons, or soap fans are elderly shut-ins. Certainly there are those people, but soap fans are  -- I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again and I’m gonna keep saying it -- soap fans are some of the most creative, passionate, intelligent people that I’ve come across. They’re very loyal and there’s a very special feeling that you get from watching soaps that you don’t get from any other entertainment medium. It’s not the same as watching an hour drama or watching a movie; it’s a much more intimate feeling that you get from following the lives of the same people played by the same actors, five days a week for years.  It’s very special; it’s a very special feeling and a very special thing that appeals to many people from all walks of life. It’s so fun for me as someone who does it professionally, but also as a soap fan, to hear people’s stories. I’m looking forward to going out to book signings and really meeting soap fans and getting to hear their stories of how they got into this and it’s a very fun.  And then there’s this great thing called the internet!  We have tvguide.com, we have Soapdom; you know we fans have these places where we can come and share our mutual love/obsession with soap operas. (Check out Soapdom's Seeing Stars calendar for Coleridge's upcoming booksignings.)

SOAPDOM: Exactly.

DC: Because soap operas are so stigmatized it’s very hard to just be at a dinner party or a cocktail party or whatever and bring up the fact that you love soaps, because you’re gonna get raised eyebrows from people or snickers or some sort of bitchy comment. And it’s so ridiculous because people are fine with just chatting about how much they love Big Brother or The Bachelor or other reality nonsense. Or they just came from seeing the latest Nora Ephron movie, which is usually some sort of fluffy bit of nonsense, you know what I mean?  For some reason, all this other mindless popcorn entertainment is fine, but soap operas are...

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The Q Guide to Soap Operas... something that people enjoy feeling superior and looking down upon and they don’t really understand how rich it is and how special it is. So it’s great that we can come online and we can read books like “The Q Guide,” and discuss and enjoy with one another as people who really get it. I think that’s important.

SOAPDOM: You bet it is. And even though your book is “The Q Guide to Soap Operas,” you don’t have to be gay to enjoy it.   I think everyone will delight in reading it because you talk about some of the histories of some of the soaps, and trivia, and some of the main characters, You have your picks for the Top Hunks and the Top Divas, fun quizzes…
 
DC: Yeah, even though this book does have a queer eye view on soap operas of sorts, it’s not an exclusively gay book by any means. It’s something that anybody who’s a soap fan who has a sense of humor will enjoy.  I really try to put a laugh on every page. I try to have you laughing at every page, but I also take your love of soap operas very seriously and I researched this book very carefully and I put a lot of work into it.  It was a very grueling six months. 

SOAPDOM: I can imagine.

DC: It was a quick turn around for the book.  I was doing my full time job as the Tvguide.com soap expert during the day and my nights and weekends were spent writing this book.  Fortunately, I was able to -- in the course of doing my job and because of my position, I have an access to these actors that another journalist off the street might not be able to get.  I had the relationships in daytime and all that as an “insider,” or whatever you want to call it.  Going back to what you were saying, it’s funny because I feel like I had to come out twice as I write in the book. Once as a gay man and once as soap fan because they’re both groups of people who are creative and special, but who are misunderstood by many.

SOAPDOM:  I have a great respect for all the work that goes into the making of soaps.  From the grueling writing parameters to the actors who must learn 40 pages of dialog a day -- if they’re in a front burner storyline.  Everyone works very hard to entertain us on a daily basis.   I am feeling very happy about how now many former soap actors are being scooped up for primetime work and features.

DC: Yah, now daytime is almost considered like…people are talking about it being a great training ground.  For example, one of the guys in my Top Ten Soap Hunks chapter is Jesse Metcalfe from “Passions.”  Jesse started out on “Passions.”  Nobody knew who he was before that. He had a lot of shirtless scenes as Miguel and was this kind of puppy dog heartthrob. Then, he went on to become a hot commodity on “Desperate Housewives.” He recently did the movie “John Tucker Must Die” in which he plays the title character and that’s all in the book, kind of recognizing that.  It’s interesting to see people start out on soaps and take off, but then of course you have the other people who, are still very serious actors who come and get work on soaps. I think it’s something like 90% of the cast of “One Life to Live” has been on Broadway at one time or another. They’re an immensely talented group of people, like Renee Goldsberry.

SOAPDOM:  Two things I want to ask you as a soap opera expert.  Number one, what are your thoughts on the new cinematography techniques on “All My Children?”

DC: Steady cam I think they’re calling it. I constantly receive mail from and I’m constantly being asked “Why has All My Children changed their look?” People are saying that they’re distracted and unhappy with it and I share their view of AMC’s new look. I think that the show is going through an experimental phase right now.  Julie Hannan Caruthers, the executive producer has been trying something new and I think they should be commended for trying to innovate in daytime and keep things fresh and not just leave things stale and try to do something new.  But as we know, sometimes experiments fail and so I think that ABC is aware of all the negative feedback that they’re getting. I have not heard from one single person, personally, or who comments on my Tvguide.com blogs or contacts me on my MySpace page or anything like that, or who I just run into in my daily life—not one person has told me that they love AMC’s new look.  Everybody is vehemently against it.  I think what’s wrong with the steady cam look is that I haven’t seen such shaky nausea inducing camera work since “The Blair Witch Project.”

SOAPDOM:  I’m hearing that it’s here to stay.  But who knows, right?   I agree they should be commended in trying to do some innovative stuff to attract younger audiences that are into their iPod’s and video games.  The jerky motion is not so offensive to me, but I am obviously in the minority.

DC:  The problem is soaps are an emotionally intimate viewing experience unlike any other and it’s…what I think that the steady cam look is doing is it makes it look like we’re watching a TV movie.  Doesn’t it?  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on daytime soap operas because it takes you out of the reality of it somehow.  I feel too much like I’m watching a movie. Traditionally shot soaps like “The Young and the Restless” or “The Bold and the Beautiful” are great examples of classic high quality soap opera productions.  The way AMC is doing it, their new look distracts you, it distances you emotionally from the characters. It does not make you feel more intimate or close with them.  It distracts you. Not just because it’s new and different, the way it looks with the shaky camera work is distracting. Just the look of it makes you feel more distant from the characters.  It doesn’t have that warm, that traditional soap opera look -- that warmth they have.  You know, it’s not workin’.

SOAPDOM: Thanks for your comments on that.  The other quick question is -- as long as we’re talking about change -- what’s your slant on Dillon’s new look on GH? Scott Clifton’s new look?

DC: Oh, well he got a haircut recently didn’t he?

SOAPDOM: He got a haircut and he’s wearing glasses.

DC: Dillon is a teenager and as we know, teenagers will --  if they’re having emotional…I mean really it’s true with any of us. Men, women, whatever, if we’re having emotional turmoil within, sometimes we don’t know how to deal with that and so we’ll change our look from outside. We’ll get a new car or we’ll change our hairstyle or get a different look. I think that Dillon is a young teenager who is trying to figure out who he is and so he thinks if he dresses the part he can become someone more acceptable to his family, more acceptable to himself because he doesn’t like himself very much right now. He made some choices that he regrets with regards to cheating on Georgie and getting Lulu pregnant and it resulting in Lulu having an abortion which has all been very emotionally traumatic for everyone involved. I personally though, Scott Clifton’s spiky hair with the highlights was a little ridiculous. I’m sorry, he’s a cute kid, he’s never gonna be the handsome soap opera leading man. He’s not. He’s a little more of a character actor than the classic handsome leading man and that’s fine. But I thought the spiky highlights were a little silly especially since we’re supposed to be in upstate New York and not southern California.  General Hospital is taped in southern California, but the show is not set there and I don’t think it makes sense…for example, Steve Burton (Jason).  I appreciate whenever Steve Burton tones down the spiky...

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Daniel R. Coleridge...hair and the highlights because he’s supposed to be mobster.  Mobster’s do not look like southern California surfers.  I’m from New York. I’m Italian from New York City.  Trust me I know what mobsters look like.  They look a lot more like the Sopranos in real life than they do like Jason Morgan. And I find that funny. Yah, so I personally like Dillon’s new look. I don’t know if the glasses are working, but I definitely think the toned down hair is certainly a step in the right direction.

SOAPDOM:  I like it too. I think it’s a total change for his character and I like it. Shifting gears a bit, what are your thoughts on the gay-themed storylines on many of the soaps?  Are we seeing a proliferation of it right now, or is it about time we’re seeing more gay characters on soaps?

DC: At this time in October of 2006, we currently have three out gay characters on soap operas. There may be some temptation to say, for those people who are uncomfortable with it, or who are new to seeing this on the soaps, there may be a temptation to say, “Oh my God, suddenly the soaps are all with the gay storylines. Why is this in our face?” There are three characters on nine soap operas, each of which has a cast of what, 30, 40 people and considering the fact that if you combine the casts of all nine soap operas that’s hundreds of people. There are three actors playing gay people, so I wouldn’t say there’s a proliferation of that.  But I would like to say, which I talk about in the book, which I think is interesting to anybody, anybody who likes soap trivia, this is the first book that has ever gone in depth and compiled a list of every gay character that’s ever been on a soap opera. And it doesn’t just list them, or names the soap opera and that’s it, it goes in depth into their stories. I have exclusive quotes from people (who were in those storylines) and I also talk about soap stories that were aborted when the shows ran into the backlash and gave it up. So in the “Q Guide,” I trace all the success and failures of gay storylines since they began, essentially.  And this is the first book that’s ever done that -- where you’re gonna find all that information all in one place. I think it’s a pretty juicy piece of trivia --  the gay characters on the soaps chapter.

Um, what’s great about those three gay characters on the soaps right now, the current three gay characters, Lucas is gone as you know --

SOAPDOM: Right.

DC: We have Eden Riegel who plays Bianca on All My Children and I have a whole chapter devoted to Eden Riegel because there are so many Bianca fans. There are women gay and straight  that have gotten into Bianca’s lesbian love stories, because they’re not so much about sex, as they are about romance. Bianca is a saint. Whenever I write about Bianca, I call her the patron saint of gay soap characters, because she is, for a traditional entertainment medium like a soap opera. It’s amazing that Bianca, a lesbian, is essentially the moral compass of Pine Valley. She is the town’s most decent person.  She is the person with the most integrity, morals and capacity for forgiveness in Pine Valley. I think it’s really important to say that.  And Bianca is not perfect.  She loses her temper with people. She’s had her moments of selfishness, but that’s what I like about her. She’s not entirely a victim.  She has been a long suffering heroine in the great tradition of long suffering soap opera heroines, but she is not spineless like Sheridan on “Passions.” And she has a brain and a heart and I think she’s a well-rounded person.  I would love to see her lover come back on screen, you know Maggie, instead of it’s just understood she has a relationship with somebody off screen. But I think Bianca’s great. 

My favorite soap character, though, is Luke on As the World Turns, played by Van Hansis. He is the most realistic gay character I’ve ever seen on a soap opera, ever -- in all of the years of soaps. The reason why is because he’s so normal for a young gay man who’s coming of age and going through his coming out process. It’s just been depicted in such a nice, normal way. A lot of times you’ll notice when they introduce a gay character on a soap opera they have to be gay bashed or raped like Bianca was, or something horrible has to happen to them so that people can have sympathy for them.  That hasn’t happened with Luke. His coming out process has been very real. For people who haven’t had to go through this, it’s very difficult. Because he doesn’t get to be like other teenagers because he didn’t feel comfortable expressing his normal feelings of having a crush on another boy -- unlike all the teenage girls in town who can be as boy crazy as they like and slut around.  But Luke can’t tell his family or his friends about his perfectly innocent and sweet feelings for his friend.  So he’s had to go through a lot of stuff, but in a way that was presented as sensitive and realistic.  And I think…I like him.  I think he’s a character, again a character who has integrity, He’s a good person and he’s not self righteous. You see him being friends with Jade even though she betrayed their family basically by pretending, by being a con artist. He’s still friends with her. He’s still there for her even though, despite what she did.

SOAPDOM: He can see the good in people.

DC: That’s a really good way to say it.  He sees the good in people and he’s a good person and a loving person. He’s there for his family.  I think it’s really important and the same goes for Simone on “Passions” (the third currently running gay character). That show’s really ridiculous, but they’ve done some really groundbreaking stuff with Simone. She is the first African-American lesbian character on a soap opera. She’s had some very passionate kisses with her on-again, off-again girlfriend and they didn’t have to be censored and there wasn’t a lot of publicity around it, it just happened.  Simone again, is a very decent, loving, strong person who is there for her family and there for her friends. She tries to see the good in people and stands up for people who are underdogs and I think she’s great.

Those three characters are great representatives of progress in daytime. What’s really important to bear in mind is that because of the success that “All My Children” had with the character of Bianca, soap operas feel safe, because it’s a copycat medium, they will…if something is successful from one show you’ll see it pop up on other shows.  And that’s why you see Luke on “As the World Turns” and Lucas pop up on “General Hospital” and Simone on “Passions.”  What we’re seeing now is that soap characters who are gay are being introduced as the children of super couples. They’re no longer these islanded characters who just sort of wander into town and have no connections to anyone, therefore we don’t care about them.  Luke is the son of Holden and Lily. Bianca is the daughter of Erica Kane, and that’s why we can care about them. Gay people don’t exist in a vacuum; we don’t just pop out from under a rock somewhere.  I mean we are your sisters and brothers and all that. It sounds cheesy but we’re your friends at school and work. We don’t just materialize out of nowhere and have issues and be victimized and teach you all a lesson and then go away.

SOAPDOM:  Do you think it’s about time we are seeing characters like this portrayed in this way as part of the core families and do you think soaps have finally caught up or is this something that should have been done ten years ago or…

DC: Yes, it’s something they should have done, but I’m a big cheerleader for daytime and I’m much more inclined to praise what they’re doing right now, then to obsess about what they did wrong in the past. If you want to get a whole view of it, you will with my book. It traces the progress of what soaps did wrong in the past, what the gay storylines were and the progress they’ve made and how great things are today.  It’s really interesting and fascinating to see that. I think it is. It’s high time and I have Anthony Geary (Luke, GH) saying that in the book, actually. His TV nephew on the show is a gay character, Lucas, and you know it’s high time.  Gay people are a part of our daily lives, we’re in everybody’s family in everybody’s school and workplace.  Society is changing and I think it’s about time that the soaps change with that. It’s ridiculous when a soap opera doesn’t have any characters that aren’t white, heterosexual and wealthy. Let’s look at The Bold and the Beautiful. I’m not knocking B&B because I love B&B, but The Bold and the Beautiful takes place in the fashion industry in Los Angeles. Both the fashion industry and Los Angeles are known to ...

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Bryan Dattilo (Lucas, DOOL) with Daniel R. Coleridge... attract gay people because gay people are very often creative, artistic people. That’s not always true, that sounds stereotypical, but there are many gay people who happen to be artistic and creative and so they come to Los Angeles for the freedom and for the entertainment industry and the creative expression. It’s ridiculous that The Bold and the Beautiful takes place in the L.A fashion industry and has never featured a homosexual character. 

SOAPDOM: Right, that’s one show that really should have one.

DC: It’s outrageous.  I mean they’re also, a police officer comes on The Bold and the Beautiful and there are no black people. Are there no black people in Los Angeles? Are you kidding me with this?  My version of Los Angeles where I live is not what I’m seeing on B&B.  I understand B&B is a soap opera and it’s a fantasy and that’s fine, but it’s outrageous that the show takes place in the fashion industry and we’ve never seen one (gay character)  There’s all these male fashion designers and they’re all straight and all sleeping with the same woman—Brooke.  

SOAPDOM: Very incestuous that show.

DC: It’s ridiculous. I think it’s hilarious that B&B condones incest but shies away from having any gay characters. In my book, sleeping with your mother’s husband is unacceptable. Having a normal healthy relationship with another person of the same sex, there’s nothing wrong with that. Sleeping with members of your family is not ok. I mean I just find strange double standards on soaps.

SOAPDOM: Which leads to my next question for you which is the MyNetworkTV and its new telenova format. Have you watched "Fashion House" or "Desire?" What are your thoughts on those prime time telenovas?

DC: Yes, I’ve been covering, the show’s very low rated, but I cover Fashion House because I’ve had some interest from my readers. The readers seem to have rated Desire, “ND,” for no desire. That’s why you see virtually no coverage of Desire in my blog. The show’s very low rated and no one cares about it.  The premise of the show is stupid.  It’s about two brothers -- one slept with a mafia princess and so that means that her father blew up their restaurant and wants to kill the whole family and so they have to be on the run and they have pick these low rung jobs in a restaurant and now they’re both in love with the same ugly woman.  The show is stupid; the premise is stupid. I mean as daytime soap fans we’ve certainly had our fill of badly done mafia stories.  So that’s why Desire is rated ND for no desire. Fashion House, on the other hand, what I have to say about that is I have very mixed feelings about it. I think the production values are great, I think it looks great.  You know the people are very pretty, I like the look of the show and I enjoy Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild camping it up. Of course the writing is abysmal and 95% of the actors are talentless hunks. 

SOAPDOM: Daniel, back to the book.  What would you want the reader to walk away with when they finish reading this book?

DC: I would like the reader to walk away from this book having laughed and had a good time. There are a lot of exclusive interviews and in depth trivia for the serious soap fan.  But even if you’re someone who only has a light passing interest in soaps…I’ve noticed a lot of people who’ve said, “You know I really didn’t think I was that interested in soap operas, but I enjoyed this. It is like your voice in the book and I enjoyed it and I laughed and it was funny and interesting and I was surprised it was so accessible.”  I really tried to write for the accessible. I really didn’t want it to be like where you had to be reading Soap Opera Weekly since the first day and you’re not gonna get it if you don’t.

SOAPDOM: Hey, I learned some stuff! I’ve been working in the industry since 1999 and you have some stuff in there that I didn’t know. 

DC: I really tried to have some juicy gossip and trivia and funny, irreverent quizzes that are gonna make you laugh out loud like crazy multiple choice.  Like that question about who’s daytime’s first STD?  I really want people to laugh and have a good time and get into and just enjoy it the way you enjoy your soap operas, for fantasy and diversion. And that’s all this book is meant to be. It’s meant to be pure entertainment and just a good time. I think it is a masterpiece of toilet bowl reading.  I really do. This is not high literature; this is not something that takes itself too seriously.  That’s something I really want to get across in the interview, this book does not take itself too seriously. It respects soap fans, it respects your intelligence, but at the same time you’re gonna laugh a lot.  You’re gonna get both of those things out of that. A lot of in depth trivia and interviews and things like that, but you’re also gonna laugh and it’s gonna give you a very different and fresh perspective I think, on soaps that you don’t get from opening up a magazine or whatever.

SOAPDOM: Plus, it’s a very quick read, it’s a fun read, and you’ll learn some stuff about your favorite soaps that you may have not known before with a few laughs along the way.

DC: And I hope to get letters from people, for example the Top Ten Hunks/The Top Ten Divas chapters, you know I really, I know… I only had to please myself when I wrote this book, and I know there are gonna be people who strongly disagree with my picks for  The Number One Soap Hunk of All Time, or the Number One Diva. But I really had only myself to please and what I hope is that even if you don’t agree with everything, you enjoy what you learn from reading it and if it stirs up controversy where you sit there and have a little book club with your friends and debate who should have been on the list or who should have been ranked here or there. That’s the fun of lists and I think people will have fun with that, too.

SOAPDOM: I’m looking at your list now, and you do have some that surprised me.  But I could certainly agree with your pick for Number 1 Soap Hunk.  He’s definitely hunky, that’s for sure!

DC: I wanted people who wanted to be included in the book as well. I wanted actors who were gay friendly. Because this is a book for everyone, straight and gay fans, I wanted actors who appreciated the rainbow of soap fans that’s out there.  If somebody wasn’t interested in being included in the book, I really didn’t write about them too much. I don’t want somebody on my list of Top Ten Soap Divas and Soap Hunks who doesn’t like or appreciate the gay fans. Which really wasn’t too many people to be honest.

SOAPDOM: That’s great to hear.

DC: Everybody was really like, they didn’t bat an eye. Everyone was like “Oh, this is great.” “I think this sounds so fun I haven’t heard of anything like this before. This sounds so fun, I want to be a part of it.”

SOAPDOM: Did you come against any resistance from some of the stars who didn’t want to be in it?

DC: I came up against some resistance from actors. There is a chapter in the book called The Daytime Closet, in which I explore in depth, something again that is a taboo topic, that you’re never gonna see any other soap media discussing.  I mean fans on message boards or your friends, you may debate which actors are gay or lesbian on a soap, but you’re never gonna see any of the formal, professional soap press discussing this issue. Rarely.

SOAPDOM: You have that great quote from Mimi Torchin.

DC: Right, but she’s not gonna talk about that in Soap Opera Weekly.  She has to come over here to talk about that. We discuss…

SOAPDOM: But in a way, it’s kinda true.  If there’s this gorgeous hunky guy who’s embroiled in some major love romance triangle with a beautiful woman and in real life it turns out the guy is gay, which is certainly fine, but if the fans find out about that, will they then perceive the character in a different light and lose interest in him as a love interest for their fave female character?

DC: Well, that’s the question I raise in the book. For example, as I point out, you’re already accepting, it’s not will you accept gay or lesbian actors playing romantic leading roles on your soaps, you are and have been accepting these actors in these roles.  If you found out that so and so from XYZ soap opera was gay and you’ve been watching this person for thirty years, are you really gonna stop enjoying them because you found out they have a partner of the same sex at home?  I mean is that really gonna cause you to no longer enjoy that supercouple that you’ve been enjoying for so many years; are you gonna suddenly turn on that person?  I don’t think a lot of people will. I really don’t. We raise a question in the book, because society is slowly becoming more open and issues are coming out that were previously swept under the carpet, people want to live their lives in a more authentic way and we see with politicians in a very public way what happens when you try to live a lie, how unhealthy it is. But what’s sort of the unfortunate and unhealthy and unnecessarily negative direction your life can take when you choose to live a lie and not be your authentic self.  It’s very, very important to stand in your own truth. I really feel that. That’s sort of me writing this book, too. I have to tell you, when I was presented with the opportunity to write this book, I’ve been out for many years, but for me, every time I do something more and more public, my life isn’t all about being gay, but this book happens to be written from the perspective of a fun, opinionated, openly gay soap fan. And I think that’s a refreshing and fun perspective, at least that’s the reception I’m getting from people. But again, it’s me coming out on a more public level and making myself into a little more of public figure when you write a book and call attention to yourself by publishing something and what are people gonna think and how do I feel about this and I realize, you know what, this is me, this is who I am, I gotta stand in my own truth, I’ve gotta, you know? God makes everybody with some kind of intention and you’re gonna be willing to shine and be yourself and hope that people will appreciate that.

SOAPDOM: Daniel, thank you so much for your time today and in sharing your insights with us at Soapdom.com. We wish you the best of luck with the book, and I for one, encourage everyone to get their copy right away!

DC: Thanks, Linda. 

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Linda Marshall-Smith (QueenRuler, Soapdom.com)
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Young and Restless, Jeanne Cooper, Speechless on Oprah

She has seen it all, done it all, and met them all, but it was being on the Oprah show that was a high that Jeanne Cooper (Katherine of The Young and the Restless) will never forget. And she tells Soapdom that she can't talk enough about having been able to experience this wonderful moment in her life.

Cooper was invited as Oprah celebrated with a show dedicated to legendary soap stars.

"I have to tell you...anyone that knows me knows

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