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As my trip to New York City wound down, we were taken into the show’s green room for a few minutes so that we could have some time with one of Daytime’s greatest divas, Kim Zimmer. She’s always an exciting person to be around, particularly since you never know what she might say. She also provides an interesting contrast to many of her co-stars. Elements of the production which seem to drive her mad, tend to make many of the other actors happy. We were all a bit nervous as we waited, but when she arrived, she quickly put us at ease with her full bodied laughter and expressive body language. To my shock, Kim actually looks even better in person than she does on TV. Almost as soon as she came in, she went on a long, animated ramble about football before finally stopping to remind herself that she should probably be talking about Guiding Light instead. After asking us how we’d been enjoying the tour, she jumped into discussing the show, what’s coming up and how things have changed.

Zimmer is very proud of her training in theatre and she’s always worn it well. She proudly spoke of her son, Jake, who is now following her footsteps and studying theatre at the California Institute of the Arts. “Theatre,” she emphasized, not film or TV acting. “Theatre should be the base of everything,” she insisted. But that’s been one of the principle stumbling blocks for her when the show moved to its new, stripped down, more ‘naturalistic’ way of doing things. “It used to be wonderful… you could think of yourself as performing on stage. So, in reality, it was more real to me than the way we are doing it now,” she explained. Not only has she lost the proscenium arches of the old sets, and the audience made up of distant rolling cameras, she’s lost the space to make grand gestures, and sometimes even small ones. She finds the new sets ‘claustrophobic’ and the intimate way of shooting things doesn’t help either. It’s hard to give a performance in a small room with seven crew members surrounding you. But she loves to do the location shoots. There, she has more room to stretch out. It also helps that Peapack is an easy commute from her home in Jersey.

Next, she told us about her current storylines. “The more they pile on me, the happier I usually am,” she laughed. Lately, they’ve piled a lot on her, from leukemia to a menopausal pregnancy and a new marriage. Sometimes she even forgets all of the things she’s supposed to be dealing with. The writers seem to forget too, she added, saying that Reva always seems written to ‘go balls ahead all the time’ and then they all have to remind themselves that she’s actually sick. As for the pregnancy, she insisted that she wouldn’t play the story if they were going to kill another baby. Although she promised that the baby would be born, she wouldn’t promise that it would be healthy or that Reva would be doing well in the aftermath.