Forums Talk Shows & Game Shows Carolyn Hinsey lets soap actors have it!
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    SOD’s Carolyn Hinsey took the soap actors to task in the most recent edition due to their lack of professionalism when dealing with behind-the-scenes drama on their respective soaps. She noted several key factors where she took issue. That with Twitter and Facebook now at play actors by-pass the media when they are disgruntled about contract issues or when they have been given the pink slip.

    a. And in the case of being let-go she states that they often let the cat out of the bag long before the network wanted it to get leaked. She suggests that this dulls the experience for fans watching soaps when they know that months from now a character they like has been given the heave-ho. Her answer? Networks should not tell the actors of their impending exist until the last minute. This way it saves the experience for fans. Agree or disagree?

    b. Actors over-playing their hand and telling other people’s business. In this she discusses when Robin Strasser took it upon herself to disclose that Gina T. was leaving along with her before the actress had a chance to address it herself. Carolyn believed and I’d agree it was up to Gina to announce her exit from OLTL. Agree or disagree?

    c. Since the soap genre is a team effort Carolyn said that when actors are having contract issues with the networks that the magazines would tastefully (at the networks request) allow both sides to have their say on the subjects. This way the magazines and the rest of the press could spin it so it drew attention to the genre and was free marketing. Good way to help keep your product out there. As the old saying goes “all publicity is good publicity.” Yet with actors taking to twitter and FB to air their grievances they have simply “cut off their nose to spit their faces.” And historically speaking no-matter what the contractual grievances many aggrieved actors come back to daytime anyway. Her answer? If actors continue to do this networks should on- up them and inform the fans of how so-and-so had a drinking problem or how often an actor came into work 20 minutes late and held up production (if this is true). So in other words fight fire with fire. Because since in the entire history of daytime networks have put up with a lot of actors unprofessional behavior that it is a slap in the face for those actors to then go and try to play the martyr when many are not. She’s just saying. Agree or disagree?

    d. To the fans she noted to remember that actors have been coming and going from daytime since Irna had GL on the radio. It is what happens in the business. If every fan of who ever watched daytime counted up how many great-injustices existed because a certain actor or actress was, let-go or fired then we’d be upset 24 hours a day. Maybe, she says Crystal Chappell was let go so they could afford to bring back Deidra and Drake as they don’t come cheap. Maybe, she says since they haven’t had a real good storyline for Louis Sorel that it was better to write her off then to keep her flopping around in some of the most horrendous storylines since she has returned. Give me more Jack/Jen, Jone/Marlena and Bo/Hope in engaging character-driven storylines she says (I’m paraphrasing) and things will be alright with the world. Basically no soap can afford to keep all the fan favorites who require more money than a network can afford and cutting newbies or actors who cost less to play is not going to amount up to being able to keep all your fave on air. Agree or disagree?

    With so few opportunities for soap actors out there especially those of a certain age. Does Carolyn have a point? Are some of these actors burning unnecessary bridges? And are they right or wrong for bypassing the media where they can get the most mileage out of their disputes and at the same time help to try and keep the industry flourishing amid the talks of a soap Armageddon?

    This is a team sport.

    So are actors not being team players or is this a free for all?

    Profile photo of marknsprmomarknsprmo
    407 Posts

    It is what it is. The actors (or anyone else) has free speech in this country and twitter gives way to a large potential audience. If a company has issues with a persons activities on line, they can put a clause in their contract. Or even have them sign a seperate contract saying they will not discuss company issues on public domains. It’s a new world and people are learning to use it to their advantage. It can and will blow up on themselves occasionally. One will only be able to cry wolf a certain quantity of times before people stop paying attention to them. Companies will shy away from employing people who cast them as the villans.
    Carolyn is a journalist and has integrity but she also wants to preserve her job. The media is dying out because of the “new” journalism ( facebook, twitter, utube, wikepedia, fan websites, etc.). Or a more precise statement is that journalism needs to catch up and and evolve with the times. Previously journalism was newspapers and periodicals. Then radio came along, then tv. Now an explosion of information is out there. Not alot of it completely accurate. It is time for journalism to modify itself to fit the current situation. Be timely. Be accurate. Be ahead of the game. If not you lose.
    I do have one issue that I think could help both soap operas, the audience, and the press. It is quite easy and would solve alot of things.
    Stop working so far in advance. Only be a few weeks out in producing shows.
    It will help stop alot of these issues. If an actor is having an issue with a show, we find out only as the person is taken off air. We don’t have time to react. As it is we KNOW everything two months before it even hits the air. Hell people have been fired, vocalized it, audience uproar, even the ratings being effected and rehired before they even missed an episode on the tv. Part of the fun of watching soaps is what happens next. Right now we don’t even have to watch a show to know what is gonna happen in two months from now. It would be a win win situation for everyone.

    Profile photo of alstonboy4315alstonboy4315
    853 Posts

    Personally, I have never been bothered by spoilers. I am the kinda viewer who actually PREFERS to know what’s gonna happen before it happens. I don’t really care for surprises. And unlike some, being fully informed beforehand does not water down my desire to watch everyday. Soap fans who are TRULY loyal to the genre will watch the soaps regardless of whether they know what’s happening or not. I mean, honestly, just because you know two weeks in advance that your parents brought you a new laptop for Christmas, is that going to make you want to enjoy the laptop any LESS after you open it on X-Mas morning? I don’t think so. If you love the shows, stories, actors and characters, you will watch regardless of the situation.

    Not to be rude or anything or disrespect anyone, but I feel that whining about hearing spoilers is childish and ridiculous. People who TRULY want to be surprised should not go to soap related websites and should cover their eyes when they are waiting in line at the supermarket at the grocery store. Or read “Vogue” instead to distract themselves. But seriously, is it THAT serious? I don’t think so.

    I feel that many soap actors are delusional and too self-entitled for their own tastes. I ain’t naming any names, but many simply feel that certain “inconveniences” such as taking pay cuts and being put on the backburner are “beneath” them. Furthermore, a large number of them seem to think that they are entitled to the royal treatment and tend to take their fans for granted, often being rude and dismissive toward them at fan events. They need to remember that soap operas, as much as we love them, have ALWAYS been held in relatively low esteem. Unless you are Tony Geary or Susan Lucci, few people in primetime or film are likely to know or care who you are. They don’t care if you have Emmys, have been on your show for 20 years, or what you think you deserve. They don’t care.

    I have no sympathy for actors who cry about having to take paycuts. Most of them make MORE than enough money and probably don’t even need to work. It’s just their foolish pride that keeps them from agreeing to take one for the team. And many of them have been on their shows for decades, have their mortgages paid off, kids sent off to college and should be happy to just HAVE a job. And they are naive enough to think that they can just head STRAIGHT into primetime or film and make the same amount of money that they were making in daytime……..or more. Foolish. No sympathy.

    Most actors, I believe, are gracious, humble and feel blessed to be working, but many of them are nothing but grown-assed children. And those are the ones that I hope will have the good sense to leave the genre, since there are so few soaps left. There is no more space for these drama queens.

    Profile photo of alstonboy4315alstonboy4315
    853 Posts

    As far as hiring newbies, I feel that soaps do THAT far too often and it annoys the crap out of me. The primary reason is that at least 75% of them seem to be pretty young things with spotty acting skills who usually get thrown headfirst into heavy dramatic material without the acting chops to make the material work.

    I think soaps should only hire a maximum of THREE new actors every six months. Those new actors MUST be GREAT actors who are versatile and they must be DIRECTLY related to core characters that the mainstream audience loves. Mark Teschner should handpick ALL of them personally. That man deserves a pay raise because I don’t think he’s EVER recruited a bad actor. If he does, I can’t recall who it was. And teen stories really make me CRINGE usually because they are usually so poorly written. And they are usually written by a bunch of 40 or 50 year old writers who are PAINFULLY out of touch with teenagers: how they look, sound, act, communicate with each other. Seriously, some of the dialogue that these writers come up with make me CRINGE. I mean, don’t they watch modern TV shows to familiarize themselves with teens of 2011? If not, they should. I know soaps do teen stories in heavy rotation during the summers, but they need to do better. Most make me fall asleep.

    And I have LITTLE to no patience for bad actors, regardless of their age. I feel that EVERY actor should be at least somewhat good, considering how much these people get paid. The rationalization that many people use “it’s only a small role” or “give him/her time to grow into the role” doesn’t work for me. You should learn how to do your job BEFORE you get hired, not after.

    Carolyn Hinsey is a FB friend of mine who I have a tremendous amount of respect for. I even “won” a free copy of her new book. YAH! She knows deep down that her job will essentially be over in a few years and she’ll have to transition into another line of work.


    @alstonboy4315: I hear you. They tend to write teen stories from their own experiences. Like going to primtime who hangs out at a restaurant? That was so 1950’s on BH 90201. Sometimes the language is off too. They use old slang and not the current. Tanisha Lynn on AMC who played the teen Dani must have been ad-libing some of her lines because she had the right urban lingo. I always wished they would have recast Y&R’s Lily with her because she had those Dru quirks to her.

    Don’t you agree?

    On the other hand yes actors need to take pay cuts and stop acting like Diva’s and Divo’s. Tough times call for tough actions.


    @marknsprmo: Shucks, they could go back to during every day live. So we’d really be able to see the gems from stones. Much like Alstonbody, I not so concerned about the spoilers, even though for many the fans who don’t comment on websites and blogs but just look to see it, it might help out in the watching department.

    But going back to when I mentioned some time ago that I had met Charles Divins (ex-Chad, Passions)… When you have an actor like him telling you that you only need to watch Monday and Friday doesn’t say much for the actor’s view of the soap they are on. Not that I disagreed.

    I don’t know if the soaps could do shorter time lengths between taping but it coiuld something to try.

    Yet you know at one time actors would leave a soap and you didn’t even know untilt their last few weeks on air. And sometimes you didn’t know at all.

    When Peter Parros (ex-Ben) left ATWT there was no notice and nothing in the press. Just one day he stopped airing and I realized maybe he was going to be gone or was off contract. At that time the actor left because of his Christain beliefs that collided with the writers. He had refused for years to have sex onscreen unless he was married to the character. He later discussed it in an interview on the Word Network. So in that case he was gone with nothing said.

    Profile photo of marknsprmomarknsprmo
    407 Posts

    Shucks Alstonboy and David! I can see I am getting beat up here LOL. I believe however history kind of proves this point. The further ahead soaps are out from the viewing and the more we know about what is going to happen, the lower the ratings. I know there are other factors such as cable and general tv habits changing and the internet etc. But once upon a time, noone knew much about the soaps. Oh how exciting it was that Marlena was killed on a friday by the Salem Strangler. And we just found out that it was Jake Kosichek. My what a long weekend that was. It was sooooooooo exciting come Monday morning and Marlena walks into the house she once shared with Don Craig. What happened? She’s supposed to be dead. But here she is! Well about the time that Don figures out what happened, so do we. It was Samantha, Marlena’s twin that hadn’t been seen in a few years. The fact that we didn’t know this information ahead of time, made this incredible. Surprise and build up should not be discounted. I personally love who done its. I don’t always want to know ahead of time. However, by golly if the info is out there, I am gonna find it. But if the information is hidden, it makes the unfolding of the story that much sweeter.
    I always compared soaps to live stage work. And personally I liked soaps much more when they were more like a stage. Potential mistakes, temporary recasts, someone getting their hair cut and colored during the middle of a scene or a kid aging 3 years because the baby got fussy and all they could find was a todler to finish the scene… these were really part of the fun. Or someone just flubs a line to pieces and someone else has to pick it up and put the show back on track. It was great. It also created monumental moments that were fresh and exciting and can only be done in the moment.
    One of the greats Constance Ford would often cut dialog if she thought it was getting too wordy. She would have a ten paragraph soliloquey that could be summed up “Shut the hell up and grow a pair!” So she would just say that. It would leave her scene partners scrambling and maybe have to stretch a scene later in the days show but it was always a great scene.
    Bill Bell was really big on keeping his secrets. When he was alive, he seldomly let loose alot of information. Even the synopsises of the week before in Soap Opera Digest was minimal. Yet he grew Y&R to number one. Why? Because people had to tune in to find out what was going on.
    Do I love spoilers? Yes. Do I seek to find out what I can? Ofcourse. I am dying to know more about Days coming up. Do I deep down think it would be better to find out as it is happening? Absolutely.

    Profile photo of SwanQueen59SwanQueen59
    397 Posts

    Hope I can tap out my thoughts on these questions so they make sense.
    A-I can understand Ms. Hinsey’s view that the networks might want to tell their actors “at the last minute”. I’m working here on the assumption that this is something that may be written into a contract, (or not). What I don’t like about this type of thing is that some actors may be completely blindsided-especially if they are involved in major story-i.e. Drew Garett out, Chad Duell in. (Never saw that coming.) Same with Rebecca Herbst-maybe not front and center story per se, (and I wasn’t aware that she wasn’t a “favorite” of TPTB), but still-jeepers!-she’s out!?! What!?! (We all know what happened after that.)

    B-Unless one has permission to release details of anyone’s business-personal or professional-it should come from the actor/actress themself. I(personally) believe this is disrespectful and shows a lack of class and decorum.

    C-I’m not sure what the answer is on this one.My initial reaction is to label it a “food fight” that may very well escalate to where neither side can call back anything that’s put out there be it Twitter, Facebook, their own website, magazine, etc.

    D-I so remember when Rebecca Budig left the role of Michelle Bauer on GL and her part was taken over by Bethany Joy Galleoti, (then working as Joie Lenz pre “One Tree Hill”). I was devastated but in the end that switch soon launched the pairing of Danny and Michelle which, (for me, happily), was a high light couple during that particular period. It also crystallized the reality that turn over in this genre is a given. There are some casts that have remained fairly stable-Y & R is, in my opinion, the best example. Given the economic situation that every soap is facing, (the whole TV industry really), production costs have to be kept as close to the bone as possible. That includes how many cast members can reasonably be carried on the balance sheet. Sure, “newbies” come in “cheap” to fill in story lines, but, in the end, the overall quality of the product will suffer. Better to have fewer new faces and make sure they can really deliver material they’re given with strength and conviction as opposed to “learning on the spot”. There’s nothing wrong with that but time is money and soaps don’t have a lot of either.

    In my own experience, I’ve had students come to me with their “grievances” over the directors’ “rules/regs” and should they leave. In each situation, I’ve been honest with them and said they should go where they think they’ll find the best training that gets them where they need to be for their career ambitions. If they’re not happy they make everyone around them miserable. I think that’s true with the Soap genre. Some, although certainly not all, see it as another rung on the ladder to the top-whatever that top happens to be for them.

    Hope you all had a lovely July 4th. 0:)

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