Where: Crimson and Opera Night Club, Hollywood
When: Thursday June 19 2008
Who: Soap Stars from all our favorite soaps!
Soaps.com's week in L.A. is one of the busiest times of the year. Not only am I invited to dinners, drinks, lunches and meetings at the offices of my employers, but some of my staff and I cover the SOAPnet Night Before party, the Talent Gift Lounge and the Daytime Emmys. It's a full week for all of us, even those not attending the events in person. The big event for Shannon Burrell is the SOAPnet Night Before party and this year, the Young and The Restless Set Visit was my highlight.
Fans were lined up across the street from this SOAPnet party, which took place at trendy LA club, Crimson and Opera.
Highlights of this event: Joking around with Judi Evans, getting a photo of myself and Susan Lucci for my dad, a nice chat with Arianne Zuker and hanging out with Soaps.com reporters.
At a glance it seems glamorous, exciting and the happening thing to do, on a Thursday night, but in 109 degree weather, standing in 3 inch heels for two hours, the glam factor is lowered! Still, we had some good times, spoke with the various talent, drank champagne and ate strawberries and grapes. I suppose it could be seen as glam!
Speaking of glam, this self-professed tom boy, Kristen Renton, looked anything but like a tom boy at this party. She had on the cutest dress there (see insert) and was just like Soaps.com writer Lori Wilson said, after their recent interview. She's a doll. She truly is very sweet and genuine. Both Shannon and I spoke with Kristen at the party.
Kristen: What's my take? I love it! I get to make out with Jay! Nadia (who is beautiful and talented) is yelling at me all the time, we have great banter off camera, so it is so much fun to film with both of them.
Shannon: Are we going to see that going for a while?
Kristen: I do believe so...yes.
Christine: What about your on-screen father dying...what are we going to see out of that?
Kristen: Laughter... Is anyone ever "really" dead? You just never know! You kinda have to tune in everyday to find out huh? (She let us know that Morgan hears from her father soon!)
Shannon: Thanks! Good luck to you... and we love the dress by the way!
Kristen: Thank you so much!
Beth Ehlers (ex-Harley, GL and Taylor McBride, AMC)
Soaps.com: Congratulations on your new role at All My Children!
Beth: Thank You!
Soaps.com: Are you excited?
Beth: Very excited to start work. I've now been about 7 weeks between jobs, and I am a working class, blue collar girl, and I've gotta work! I'm tired of staying home!
Soaps.com: Let me ask your opinion. Guiding Light has their new format for shooting the show, and AMC has a more traditional set. Which do you prefer and why?
Beth: I think there is a great freedom in the new way we were shooting in that format. It was like shooting a film. I felt that it gave me space as an actor and I really did enjoy that aspect of it. It did call for longer days! There was a lot of travel back and forth to Peapack because it's a good distance from the city.
Soaps.com: Didn't they only do that two days a week?
Beth: Two days a week, but some days you would be working in the studio and at Peapack. Because we were just starting up this new way of shooting, it took long days. We were 9. 10 o'clock at the studio. I don't wanna work that long! Laughter... In terms of enjoying that work, Yes, I felt the work was fun and new and interesting to do, but I want to be home with my kids more.
Soaps.com: Quality of life...right?
Beth: Yes! And, I also thing that AMC is a really pretty show! The lighting is beautiful, the cameras shots are beautiful; they are both nice.
Soaps.com: Didn't they do something different with their cameras recently?
Beth: Yeah, I think they slowed down the speed or something to give it a glossier look. I don't know, but it looks really nice.
Soaps.com: Well, congratulations again. We can't wait to see you in Pine Valley! August right?
Beth: I believe so. I start airing in August.
Shannon: So, why are you with Beth Ehlers today? Is she going to be a judge on the next I Wanna Be a Soap Star? [Laughter.]
Michael: Laughter... We haven't been picked up yet! I don't know why!
Shannon: Oh No! I can't believe that!
Michael: I am here with Beth because I took both Rick (Gus) and Beth off of Guiding Light and put them on AMC.
Shannon: Ahh, so you're the one responsible for that big coup!
Michael: It's a big "who's behind it!"
Shannon: The man of the century! Michael Bruno taking credit for it.
Michael: Yeah, it's a big coming out party.
Shannon: Any projections of winners at the ceremony tomorrow night?
Michael: Guiding Light best show. I think Michelle Stafford, I think Christian LeBlanc, I think maybe Rachel Melvin and I think Tom Pelphrey.
Shannon: Alright, thanks for the insight! (Michael got one out of five predictions correct, as Tom took home an Emmy!)
Daniel Goddard (Cane, Y&R) showed up and after blowing kisses, he came over and told Christine that he'd be on the Soaps.com message boards this week.
Christine: The fans love having you on the site.
Daniel: Well, you know, I really appreciate my fans.
We got into a top secret discussion that I won't reveal, and started discussing the Emmys.
Christine: Who do you think had a great storyline and good year, enough to take home lead actor Emmy?
Daniel: I think they all had a chance, including the female leads from Young and The Restless.
More chit chat that I can't print and then we took some photos and started talking with Arianne Zuker and James Scott.
Christine: You two are steaming up the screen lately with the Nicole and EJ pairing.
Arianne and James: (laughter) No, we don't know what you're talking about!
Christine: What are your thoughts on the twists that Days has done with pairing off unlikely couples this summer?
James thought that the storyline was interesting and liked all the new interaction between the actors. Arianne agreed and they both agreed with me that Nicole and EJ have a lot in common. Nicole has changed so much, even since she has showed up on the show this time around. She's sporting a new vulnerability and tells me that her return was like coming back to old family, "But it's not..." She says it's better! She, as a person, did some self discovery while she was gone. She worked on my side of the ropes, interviewing. She likes how the show is interacting the characters with the most unusual people and says it's more complicated than the regular "Here's your hero.." She says her husband Kyle Lowder (Rick, B&B) watches her on Days and is very supportive. He was at the party, but already inside. I reminded her that she had met Lori Wilson at the James Reynolds Basketball and she commented on how much she loves doing that event. Poor James was a little left out and they had to move on.
Shannon and Christine spoke with the entertaining and lovely General Hospital actresses about Night Shift. Minae Noji (Dr. Kelly Lee, GH) and Kent Masters King (Dr. Lainey Winters, GH) were sad that they weren't going to be a part of the show this year, but Sonya Eddy, (Epiphany, GH) squeezed her way into the conversation and we were happy to learn that she'd be a part of the show this year. They told us the cast of GH bonded, like no other and they'd miss that. It's apparent when we see them together on the carpet at this party and again at the Emmys. We agreed GH NS compliments General Hospital and how happy we were to see Epiphany have more of a storyline.
Judi Evans made her way over to us. She greeted Christine like an old friend, with a kiss and a hug. She's really a genuine person, but we couldn't recall where we'd met previously, so Shannon suggested, laughingly that it was “On the street somewhere...” Judi and I just looked at Shannon, unblinking, then started to grin.
Judi laughed. “Yeah some street corner!”
Christine: “That's right, you were honing in on my corner, biatch!”
Judi: “Yeah and we started going at it.... wanna go?” (she puts up her dukes, prepared to fight)
We congratulated her on her nomination, which unfortunately didn't end up with a win, but all the same, she was deserving. She let us know which clip she submitted. There were two. The first was the scene of her trying to break brother Steve out of the mental health hospital and the second was of her and son Conner, getting ex-husband's bones from the morgue. She likes a lot of bone, says Judi! We laugh and chat a little more before she moved on.
It's always interesting to find out what the actresses think about their show and about daytime in general. Especially from this actress, who we all love from As The World Turns. Shannon asked Chauntee Schuler (Bonnie McKechnie, ATWT) about her thoughts on what has been happening on ATWT lately.
Soaps.com: Did you watch soaps when you were growing up?
Chauntee: I did. I was a CBS fan and a huge proponent of The Young and the Restless because that's what my grandmother watched. I actually didn't know much about ATWT until I got on the show. It's been really fun to learn all the history of the show.
Shannon: Television is changing so much. What do you see for the future of Daytime Television?
Chauntee: It's unbelievable. I'm kind of new to it, but they told me coming in that it is literally changing before our eyes. I think daytime is gonna have to change it's format. I really think that the audiences are smart and people watch TV at anytime of day. I think daytime is going to get really smart and start capturing the audiences more...like through webcasts and things like that. It's going to get those people that may not be at home when the show airs at noon.
Judith Chapman, (Gloria, Y&R) always lights up a room, or in this case, the red carpet. A temp reporter, Shaun asked, "I watch the show and I wonder when you leave the set, are you exhausted? Because you play it at 110%." Judith tells him, "She's been so busy lately. Y&R's music director came to me the other day and said, 'Are you exhausted?' I said, 'Honey, bring it on'. And to work with such incredible people, Christian (Michael) and Greg (Kevin), Tracey (Lauren), of course. My entire TV family being nominated - and the great Ted Shackleford. We were all there at 7:30 this morning shooting another wonderful scene - bring it on, I say." Judith also thought that our trip to Genoa City on ProudFM was the funniest thing she'd ever heard and he let her know she has a lot of gay followers. Judith replied, "Tell the gay men of Toronto that Gloria loves them right back!"
Shannon: I have to ask, is Gloria going to bounce back after losing it all?
Shannon: Well, that's what I said. I asked the set directors "Would you mind installing a spiral staircase since I'm going down, down to the depths of hell?" But, she's taking the elevator back to the top, believe me...with her man in tow! (This was a teaser, and she indeed married Jeffrey and is rich again!)
Soaps.com: So that's going to be exciting to watch! Last year you predicted it right with Y&R winning best show. Any predictions on best show this year?
Judith: No, I have been so busy this year and haven't had a lot of time to watch TV. Last year I was watching a lot because I was on your side doing the interviews at the Emmy's for CBS.com. I was watching all of the shows and getting the information so I could talk to all of the actors, but I haven't been able to do that this year. But, I would say it's probably going to be the show based in LA called The Young and the Restless! I think they may have a shot at it! (Good prediction but the Y&R didn't win best show. General Hospital did!)
Carolyn Hennesy (Diane Miller, GH) wandered by and spoke with Shannon Burrell. During their chat, Carolyn asked after Julie Robinson, our GH writer. He explained that she's not here with us on this trip. She has a fan in Carolyn, and we know the feeling is mutual for Julie.
Carolyn: She [Julie] is one of my all time favorite people! I love her!
Shannon: You did an interview with her, right?
Carolyn: I did, she hosted an online chat…Julie and I correspond, she is pretty darn groovy! [Editor's note: We all agree!]
Shannon: I will be sure and pass that along to her! We try our best to support the actors and make the site the best that it can be.
Carolyn: Absolutely! Those message boards though...
Shannon: We try to control it as much as possible! [Laughter]
Carolyn: Whew! They're mean! [Laughter.]
Shannon: How often do you read message boards on the web?
Carolyn: I don't much. Sometimes with the online chats I get on there, and I remember when the Emmy nominations were being announced in New York, they were messaging back and forth live. Some of the people were upset that Diane (Carolyn) wasn't getting nominated, but others were so hateful about it!
There's some honesty! Soaps.com always tries to maintain our sites and ensure the actors are not bashed, but we, of course, cannot stop people from voicing their opinion on whether or not they feel that certain actors should be nominated or not - and why should we? Everyone should feel they can give their honest opinion - just diplomatically!! But I have to stick up for our posters on Soaps.com. They're not mean! They can be feisty!
Soaps.com's Shannon and Christine spoke with many more actors and actresses. You'll have to sweat it out to find out what else was said on the red carpet that night! Stay tuned for part two!
Christine Fix and Shannon Burrell