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Soap opera stars speak out on working hard.

When Fox News recently job-shamed former The Cosby Show actor, Geoffrey Owens, for bagging groceries at a Trader Joe’s, despite soap stars celebrating Labor Day, many were quick to join others in the industry in pointing out that the only shame belonged to the news station for attempting to humiliate the actor, who played Elvin Thibideaux on the series from 1985 – 1992, for working hard. Soaps.com saw numerous soap stars, past and present, leap to not only join SAG-ACTRA in honoring Geoffrey Owens on Labor Day, but also to share their own stories of taking non-acting jobs in between gigs. It’s no secret that there are more actors than there are acting jobs available and many take other jobs at times in order to support themselves or their families. Many soap actors also maintain website businesses, jewelry and/or clothing lines, or run businesses on the side, such as GH’s Michelle Stafford’s skincare line and Y&R’s Kristoff St. John’s new paleo restaurant.

Numerous soap actors also have, or do, work in real estate, including soap vets Vincent Irizarry (Scott, Santa Barbara, Lujack, Guiding Light, David, One Life to Live, David, The Young and the Restless, Deimos, Days of our Lives), Austin Peck (Brad, As the World Turns, Rick, OLTL, Austin, DOOL), Terri Conn (Katie, ATWT, Aubrey, OLTL), and Chrishell Hartley (Amanda, All My Children, Jordan, DOOL, Bethany, Y&R), who posted on Instagram, “I could not possibly support #geoffreyowens more. Earning an honest living is not shameful, being judgmental and elitist IS. I dealt with judgement when pursuing my real estate license. I am so glad I did not let it deter me! Some wondered if it’s embarrassing when people recognize me, but I embrace it-in fact it’s in my realtor bio! It is part of my story & it helps my clients be understanding when I need to report to set. In fact one client I am working with is someone I also work with at Days of Our Lives So shout out to Geoffrey Owens & all the creatives out there that know who you are no matter what job you have. Because this business is very fickle and is filled with highs and lows. Your worth is not wrapped up in what movie or show you are on. Always keep people around you that know that. #Realtor #Actor.”

Two examples of soap actors who recently worked other jobs between acting roles are The Bold and the Beautiful’s Linsey Godfrey, who taught pilates before Godfrey was hired to play Days’ Sarah Horton, and Y&R’s Stacy Haiduk, who drove for Uber after her last stint as Patty, and before landing the dual Days role of Susan/Kristen.

Geoffrey Owens did an exclusive interview with ABC news, telling the host that he did feel shame about working a regular job when the Fox News article came out about seeing him bagging groceries at a New Jersey’s Trader Joe’s stating, “There is no job that’s better than another job. It might pay better. It might have better benefits. It might look better on a resume and on paper but actually, it’s not better. Every job is worthwhile and valuable.” The actor doesn’t think anyone should feel sorry for him, stating that he’s had a great career. When asked about any incoming acting job offers he said, “I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting acting jobs from this event. I wouldn’t mind getting auditions.”

Soap actors who took to Twitter to address the matter included Julie Berman (ex-Lulu, GH), who shared SAG-ACTRA’s post and tweeted, “Got a job as a hostess when I left General Hospital. Many didn’t understand why I’d leave #GH without another acting gig waiting for me. (If only we could all be so lucky). This is what dedication to your artistic happiness actually looks like. #actorswithdayjobs.”

Jessica Collins (Dinah Lee, Loving, Avery, Y&R) also responded, “Thank U @sagaftraFOUND I’m a proud, union working actor for 30 yrs & at various times, between acting gigs, I waitressed, painted houses, & cooked in a restaurant kitchen. Cheers to ALL actors who take care of themselves & their families. #LaborDay #ActorsWithDayJobs ”

Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, GH) commented, “I think the bigger issue is the audacity of judging the value of an actor on a hit series verses the bagger at Trader Joes. NO ONE is more special than anyone else. NO ONE’S job is more special than anyone elses. We’re all the made up of the same stuff & are all worthy of respect.”

Frances Fisher (Deborah, The Edge of Night, Suzette, Guiding Light, Gladys, Days) elaborated, “The reality in our business is that 0.01% actors make a consistent living. The press magnifies those who are stars. The rest of us are working paycheck 2 paycheck. Think about it: when an actor is wrapped, we don’t have another job. We r unemployed till we luck into another gig.”

Chris McKenna (Joey, OLTL, Mark, Y&R, Dr. Hayden, B&B), posted, “I’ve delivered flowers, did security and sold paintings out of a truck. Shove your shaming, @FoxNews.”

Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH) shared, “After I left GH in 2013, I immediately signed up to be an Uber driver. In this business there are peaks and valleys and you never know how long they’ll last. No shame in making a living. Only shame in mocking others…”

Wally Kurth (Ned, GH, Justin, Days) shared a photo of Owens working and observed, “The acting profession is tough. How can people criticize a hard working man?”

David Fumero (Cristian, OLTL) responded to the FOX news report by saying, “So we’re not elites after all. Just regular folks that do what it takes to survive and support a family. Good for him! And shame on you @FoxNews for your bullying tactic! How is this news worthy?!”

Martha Madison (Belle, Days) tweeted, “I was bartending full time in West Hollywood this time last year. When you’re an actor, you often have to mitigate periods of unemployment. I can only imagine why @FoxNews felt this was newsworthy, but there is nothing shameful about working and providing for your family.”

Lisa LoCicero (Olivia, GH) stated, “anyone ridiculing anyone else for doing honest work is a POS (also, I’d love it if someone hooked him up with a sweet acting gig outta this).”

As it turns out Geoffrey Owens, happily, did get offered a sweet gig, by none other than Tyler Perry, who tweeted, “#GeoffreyOwens I’m about to start shootings OWN’s number one drama next week! Come join us!!! I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist.”

I could not possibly support #geoffreyowens more. Earning an honest living is not shameful, being judgmental and elitist IS. I dealt with judgement when pursuing my real estate license. I am so glad I did not let it deter me! Some wondered if it’s embarrassing when people recognize me, but I embrace it-in fact it’s in my realtor bio! It is part of my story & it helps my clients be understanding when I need to report to set. In fact one client I am working with is someone I also work with at Days of Our Lives So shout out to Geoffrey Owens & all the creatives out there that know who you are no matter what job you have. Because this business is very fickle and is filled with highs and lows. Your worth is not wrapped up in what movie or show you are on. Always keep people around you that know that. #Realtor #Actor

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