It's The Bay day! At 3 pm EST Gregori J. Martin will drop two, back-to-back episodes of his heat-generating independent soap opera, starring Mary Beth Evans and practically every other star from soap's 80's and early 90's glory days.
In Part Two of my exclusive interview with Martin the ambitious, enterprising creator goes in depth about how he will handle his first big recast onscreen. Will there be a "The role of Detective Mackenzie Johnson is now being played Lane Davies" voiceover, since the Santa Barbara superstar has replaced John Callahan (All My Children; Days of Our Lives) in the role and will be seen later in the season?
Speaking of the best soap opera ever, Martin shares how he was informed by one of California's most tragic, fictional heroines ever, Kelly Capwell and her original portrayer— a pre-movie star and pre-Sean Penn, Robin Wright— in creating The Bay's signature character Sara Garrett. Then Martin, who has directed seven feature films, gets serious for a minute to encourage soap fans to follow their dreams of creating their own continuing dramas, just be prepared he warns, because haters will pounce if you're even the least bit successful!
Daytime Confidential: In the first episode of The Bay, Zoey Johnson's (Taylor Stanley) brother Mac (John Callahan) follows Brian (Dylan Bruce) into the bathroom, just as Brian is taking a threatening phone call. Mac seems to be the protective big brother type. What's his relationship with Zoey like?
Gregori J. Martin: Well, first off, John Callahan did a wonderful job in the first several episodes of The Bay. I was really happy to have him. He was a lot of fun. The role will be played by Lane Davies in later episodes. Mac is very protective of his younger sister. They're half sibling. Mac knows Brian is up to something and he isn't going to let him hurt Zoey.
DC: So, I have to ask, when Lane takes over for John onscreen will there be a voiceover announcing: "The role of Mac Johnson is now being played by one of Jamey's favorite actors from Santa Barbara?"
GJM: [Laughs] It's funny you ask that. One of the things I've been hearing is "try not to do that, it's too soapy." Or "don't do that, it's a soap stereotype," but the whole idea behind The Bay is the fact that it is a soap, so yeah, it will be soapy. It will have those moments where you will chuckle at one of the soap conventions. My favorite soap opera of all-time was Santa Barbara. The one thing they never did was take themselves too seriously. I think that's what makes a soap successful, that of couse and all of the powers that be need to get along! [Laughs] As long as you don't take yourself too seriously, people will have a good time and keep coming back. So to answer your question, yes there will be a voiceover! [Laughs]
DC: All you had to say were two words to hook me. Scratch that, four words— Lane Davies and Santa Barbara! I love me some some Santa Barbara; the best soap opera ever! It is so sad that they stayed in the bottom of the ratings when everyone I talk to loved that show, even people who aren't diehard soap fans.
GJM: It was definitely a fan favorite. One of the first true cult hits. It also won a ton of awards and to this day is being watched all over the world. There's no question Santa Barbara was not only the best soap, but one of the best shows ever on TV, period.
DC: Sho' you right. In daytime or primetime, what this man said! You also have Nicholas Coster, who played Lionel Lockridge on Santa Barbara in your cast. He's playing Jack Madison. I know he doesn't appear until much later in the show's run, but who is Jack Madison?
GJM: Jack is the mayor of the town of Bay City, not to be confused with Bay City on Another World. Our Bay City is a fictional area on the outskirts of Santa Monica Bay in Southern California. Jack has a lot of power in town. He has several children, some nice, some not so nice. He's a very powerful, influential man in Bay City.
DC: And your planned spinoff of The Bay will focus on his family, right?
GJM: Yes, it's called Regime.
DC: Wow, it is amazing that you've done all of this independently. I guess having directed several feature films has helped though! You've really managed to do what a lot of the readers of my blog dream of doing—bringing their dream soap opera to life. What advice would you give to fans wanting to create their own continuing dramas?
GJM: Well, I would say, there are so many people out there wanting continuing, soapy drama. Whether you're watching a reality show or a sitcom, they are all doing continuing story arcs. I say, if you have an idea, just do it! Don't let anyone stop you. If some success comes your way, you'll have a lot of people who try to bash your show and create rumors and say, "this is being done wrong" and "that is being done wrong," or "they shouldn't be raising money this way" or "they're copying this". You're going to hear all of that and then some. You just have to let it go in one ear and out the other. As long as you stay positive and do things the right way, you'll succeed.
My transcripts with Martin are so juicy and informative, I've decided to make this interview a three-parter! Check back for more later in the week, and watch the latest episode of The Bay below!