Harsh Words Online

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On line cruxifictions and Visiting the Y&R set

It's sometimes so easy to sit in the comfort of our living rooms or the movie theater, and dis the hard work of performers whose sole essence of being is to entertain us. A screenwriter friend of mine, who I have not seen in years, has yet to have a project of her own produced, but was always quick to criticize the work of others. She'd never even been on a live set. Never worked a 16-hour production day in her life. Was never exposed to the myriad challenges faced by today's producers, actors, directors. Yet, trashing an effort seemed to be her preferred first choice. A true argument for the "who died and left you boss" category, especially since she had no direct experience, aside from writing scripts. But that was enough to consider herself "in the business" and therefore, at liberty to put down anyone and any project she felt not worthy of her own high standards. In all my days as a friend to this person, I never once heard her praise a project, or any element therein. Not surprising we are no longer in touch. I have worked in production, have been on the stage, have slaved away at the computer developing production budgets, writing screenplays. Funny, but even if a movie, television program or actor is not a favorite, I can always find something that can be sincerely praised.

Which is why when I hear comments like: "She can't act. He better go back to waiting tables. They suck," it grates on my sensibility like chalk on a blackboard. Michael E. Knight (Tad, AMC) who, at one time loved going online, severely decreased his participation because the negative comments about his fellow performers turned him off to the medium. "It's the anonymity of it," he said. "It's easy to sit behind a computer and no one knows what you look like, or what you do, or who you are, and say terrible things about people I work with every day." He felt particularly bad for the "Camille" character. "Schyler Grant had become a friend of mine," he told me, "and was working very hard as Camille. The people online hated her, and said a lot of cruel things in the chat room that really upset me." He hasn't been seen online much since. (To read more of Michael's comments on this subject, see "He's Got Mail" in Soap Suds Past Articles.)

J. Eddie Peck (Cole, Y&R) shares a similar opinion. "I remember reading the message boards, and they (the posters) referred to my costar as "Trashley." I took offense to that and haven't been back to that board." Lesli Kay Sterling (Molly, ATWT) an active participant on message boards, has suffered numerous attacks, both personally and professionally, at the hands of the posters. Her grace in responding is much to her credit.

But why are we so quick to criticize? The thought occurred to me that one reason might be because we, as fans, are unfamiliar with the process.

In an upcoming issue of Soap Opera Weekly (issue #32) we cover the topic of acting for soaps. By taking a class called "How to Make it In Soaps," taught by Jerry Douglas (John Abbott, Y&R) and sharing the experience, it is my hope to shed light on some of what goes into performing for daytime. Plus, there are fun stories about how many of your favorite stars got their big break in soaps. Look for issue #32 to be on sale soon!

Speaking about being on the set -- ever dream about visiting your favorite soap? Being in the trenches with the stars, lights, cameras and action? Well, a lucky Y&R fan is going to get their wish. Kristoff St. John (Neil, Y&R) will host a tour of Genoa City! All you have to do is be the highest bidder! Go to http://www.theBroadcaster.com/AUCTION.html Click on the link that says - "Go to auction." Then, select the category "Mega packages" for the Y&R tour.

Soap City informs us that their "Boys of Summer" chat series continues this week with Shemar Moore (Malcom, Y&R), Tuesday, July 27, 1999 at 6pPT/9pET.

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Watch for Turtle-Run's exclusive interviews with Barry Jenner (Admiral Ross, Deep Space 9), Daniel Markel (ex-David, ATWT) and Shawn Christian (ex-Mike, ATWT), Shemar Moore (Malcolm, Y&R), Kevin Spirtas (Craig, DOOL), Mick Cain (CJ, B&B), Catherine Hickland (Lindsay, OLTL), Jess Walton (Jill, Y&R), Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda, ATWT), Robert S. Woods (Bo, OLTL) Kristoff St. John (Y&R) and more coming soon!

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"Brain cells come, and brain cells go. But, fat cells live forever." Mut51 .

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