In light of the high demand for answers, brings you our third installment of “I’ve Always Wondered” where we answer some of the most sought after questions surrounding the wonderful world of soap operas! Now that you’ve presented us with yet another round of intriguing questions, grab a cup of your favorite java, sit back and become enlightened as we touch base on some of the many wonderments of our readers…

Satie asks: I’ve always wondered why is it that storylines play on the evil of life and not draw out the positive and goodness in people? Although we know this seems to be true, unfortunately in the name of drama, it’s the outside evil forces that push the storylines to the limit and gives them the extra twists and turns needed to make them realistic. However, in the end, no matter how long the storylines take to play out, the good characters always seem to prevail!

Cindy_P asks: I’ve always wondered if the writers are partial to any real character or couple or write the stories according to the ratings only or what they think will bring ratings. Also how far will a writer go to please the public thereby how far will he sacrifice his/her art, his character for ratings, plotlines. Also I wonder if the writers themselves know for sure (written in stone) the direction they will take with any story once they begin or can any story change drastically at any point in time! Is any story written in stone or do many factors collude to achieve any end product for a s/l? Good question! While many actors have told that they have no say in or sometimes don’t even know what’s planned for their characters, the shows and networks definitely take fan reaction into account during a storyline, whether it’s a storyline in general or a popular couple pairing or break up. We think you’ll get a better grasp for how it all works by reading our recent Fan Petitions “Do They Really Work” article where the networks and actors touch base on your question. Enjoy!

Goomie asks: Do they do shoot a weeks worth of episodes in one day or do they shoot ‘live’ every day? Although all the soaps and networks have their own schedule, we can definitely say, no, the soaps do not shoot live episodes daily – nor do they ‘play out’ in front of a live audience. Given the recent Writers Strike we have been privy to the information that all the soaps have episodes taped through January. As for how many episodes they film daily, we’ve been told from some actors that while there are occasions where a whole show may be filmed in one day, others are not. This is where you can catch some ‘soap bloopers’ during scenes where an actor’s hair may look different from one shot to the next, during the scene in that day’s episode, as some scenes may be taped over a few days. In the end, depending on the depth of the storyline, to answer your question best, filming for the soaps varies from one day to the next.

SamiATX asks: Are there any actual soap stars and or writers that we know of that come in here? (These message boards.) Although a few actors have admitted to scanning and/or posting on our message boards, we’d prefer not to make their names public so they can post and read in peace. Yes, surprise, surprise, some soap actors have been known to post on boards!

Daysluver asks: I’ve always wondered if Soap Stars ever pick a storyline they want to do. While a soap actor may have a storyline idea for their character, only a few have expressed to us that they’ve had the nerve to bring it to the head writer’s office! Though most writers have been known to ‘listen’ to an actor’s ideas, most actors and writers alike tend to leave the writing to the writers and the acting out of the storylines to the actors. It’s sort of a ‘mutual understanding’ in this business!

Yummi asks: I’ve always wondered if the actors get to keep any of the clothes that the wardrobe dept picked out for their characters (since we never really see the outfits pop up again)? Since most of the wardrobe departments work closely with the actors – and even take some of them out shopping – the clothes are tailored for that character and sized for the actor. Although some actors enjoy wearing their fictional wardrobe, others have been known to auction articles of theirs off for numerous charity purposes! So keep an eye out, you never know when you might be able to snatch your own personal piece of your favorite show!

Itsme asks: Is there a way to view soap episodes from years past for new viewers who are interested? Awe, Itsme, wouldn’t that be cool? However, it wasn’t until just recently, this past year, that the networks started offering same day episodes of the soaps. Should they ever decide to bring the fans a ‘blast’ from soap history past, we’ll be sure to let you know! Until then, fans can find many past soap clips on YouTube by doing a simple search of the soap in question!

Stacey T asks: I always wondered when they are doing a scene while eating, is it actually their breakfast/lunch/dinner that they are eating? lol cause it seems their chowing down sometimes! Just like actors are groomed to ‘act’ out their role on demand, they are also sometimes forced to eat on demand! While some actors have admitted that that onscreen morning cup of coffee is actually empty, others have confessed to skipping a meal in favor of killing two birds with one stone when they are aware of, say, breakfast being part of their morning scene shoot! has enjoyed bringing you your requested answers, and we hope they have brought you a little more understanding into the fictional world of soaps – and how they are made possible! As always, we’ll be peeking into our Soap Lounge “I’ve Always Wondered…” thread periodically, so if you have a question, be sure to ask!

Amy Mistretta
Assistant to the Editor-In-Chief