I’ve been thinking, as you all have lately about all the things that I have buried within myself over the years to survive the injustice of what has now come to light.
As many of you know, for years I have been out there in the front lines with my nation wide cosmetics company events, and hypnosis show tour. My book tour alone was 30 cities! That’s a lot of soap watching folks to meet.
I remember coming back to work after one of these appearances, where I met literally hundreds of fans at a single clip, who were all eager to share their thoughts with me. As a soap opera star, when you are out in public, whether you like it or not, you are going to hear what they are liking and not liking about their “stories.” Why wouldn’t they? We are family to them, unlike any other medium, we are in their living rooms five days a week. They feel as if they know us, and they do. I happen to love this part of the dance, it’s so wonderful, I often wished my eyes were a video camera to tape the passion and enthusiasm when they talked about who did what to whom and when is so and so going to get theirs. “Leave Nora alone!” they’d say, to which I would reply with a Lindsay-like grin, “oh, come on, you know she had it coming”
Without an ounce of arrogance, and with all humility I say, I felt as if touring that way gave me the fringe benefit of actually having my finger on the pulse of what the audience was communicating, and it was easy, because most people said the same thing! I’ve always thought using focus groups were a waste of time and money. I felt and still feel that you must go to the heart of your audience and they will tell you the truth. It may not be what you want to hear, but for crying out loud, the audience is who we make the shows for! Middle America is where you go! It is too easy to be out of touch when you are a big city person. Being in the middle of Middle America was eye opening for me in the best of ways. In fact it was downright illuminating. I began a deep love affair with the fans across the country, which I am grateful for to this day. I get them.
When coming back from a long fan filled week-end, I offered to convey the direct messages at work. No one was interested to hear about that. *Sigh*
I have asked time and time again for an explanation of why things were being changed and done in a certain way (I am a curious person and I need to know why things work or do not work), I want to know, what other genre, when it ends, causes the viewers to cry, get depressed and makes them scream at their televisions when characters are acting out? What other genre has cause viewers to organize protests to not only save their shows, but to get an executive ousted? It’s unheard of. It takes a lot of energy to rally their troops to save their shows when believe me, they have jobs to do, children, homes and husbands to take care of, and most important, shopping (read: advertisers) to do Here’s the answer. None.
I have a cosmetics company that is now 10 years old (www.catcosmetics.com) I built it for the people. Companies need customers and there are a lot of other companies for them to choose from. If I want to be successful, I have to think out of the box but still include the peeps. I encourage women to tell me their wants and needs and then I give it to them. I even let them name the products! It’s so simple! I used to joke that Cat Cosmetics was the company that SOAPNET built, because I would do for them, they in turn did for me, and it was a gorgeous relationship. I Loved SOAPNET. It was at one time I believe, the fastest growing cable network in America, before a certain someone took over. It had such potential. And do you know, it was Anne Sweeny who launched it. Her intentions for that channel were incredible. She did a brilliant launch. I remember asking her at a meeting if they had planned to keep the integrity of soaps and she was totally on board for that. I believed her and I believe her still. I liked Anne Sweeny very much. I have no issues with her at all. She is a very busy woman overseeing a lot of things and you-know-who reports to her. She knows what he tells her and spins to her. The fact that she obviously likes him is of concern to me, only because he is so darn transparent (at least to me) and gross and so utterly socially inept. I don’t get it. But it’s not for me to get. He must have a charming side (although I have never seen it) she really has no way of knowing (until now) how utterly despised the man is. That being said, being one of the very few women in my field of work as a clinical as well as comedy stage hypnotist and motivator, I am always proud to have a woman sit high in a man’s world, and I support that. I only hope her eyes are now open.
Now that brings me to a funny story. Six months after you-know-who became our boss, (he was already despised from the get-go) we all thought he was way too arrogant and rude. It was also obvious that he had a significant ageism issue and did not understand us, or our audience at all. The axe was always just thisclose over any actress’ over forty neck. It felt awful. Each time a popular actress over forty or fifty was let go without so much as a good-bye scene, we knew our days were numbered. Statements he made at meetings were leaked to us, and we knew more than they thought we knew. We weren’t used to be being treated that way, and it was deteriorating company morale, certain death for success.
For the most part, Soap actors are humble people, very grateful to work in a profession we love and give our lives to. We had some great leaders of Daytime prior to you-know-who (although I am having a hard time forgiving Angela Shapiro for putting him in place) and in the past were treated respectfully.
Many (and I mean many) of us got together to put the “Molokio” on him. BIG stars of daytime I am talking about here! About Forty of us from all 3 shows put his name on a little piece of paper and put him in the ice cube tray so we could “freeze” him from ousting any more of us because of our age. Every time we’d be at an event, we’d whisper to each other, “is he still in your freezer?” Year after year, we’d wait, hoping, even praying (I had three prayer groups at some of the biggest churches in America praying for him to go anywhere else, but for the love of GOD just get RID of him) But no. He would get promoted. I was sure he must have a goat or lamb he must be sacrificing somewhere….
This is an excerpt from my book I’m finishing up titled “The Night Tad Martin Kissed Me”