critical observations about soap operas – their content, the industry that produces them, and the culture that both loves them and loves to ridicule them...
I love WomenArts' pithy and succinct description of my work.
I began writing about soaps in 1990, and after publishing several articles in Soap Opera Weekly, I received an assignment from Smithsonian Magazine to write a piece on the 40th anniversary of As the World Turns. It took me over a year to place the piece, but by the time I finally arrived on the set in March of 1996, it was clear that the show was beginning its final descent (ATWT’s final episode aired in September 2010). At the time, I could see bits and pieces of what was wrong, but had no idea how to put those pieces together, so I was forced to abandon the piece. But, disappointing as this failure was, it actually planted the seeds for my future work.
In 2006, I began advising a MIT media studies graduate student and the pieces started to fall into place. I found my way to Red Room, and in 2008 began posting my observations – over 125 – considering every aspect of soap opera, past, present and future. A year later, my blog was included in "Ten Best Blogs for Soap Opera Fans." My essay, “The Ironic and Convoluted Relationship between Daytime and Primetime Soap Operas” was published in The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era (2010 University Press of Mississippi).
When Guiding Light was cancelled in 2009, I wrote a post for Red Room’s Guiding Light Project, “what would irna think...,” then continued researching the life of the woman who created soap opera – Irna Phillips. With the future of soap opera in flux, my next step is to gather together the words (and images) into a documentary film and biography of Irna Phillips – As Irna’s Worlds Turned: the Life and Legacy of Soap Opera’s Single Mother; and a collection of essays – Soap Opera Elegies: and the Future of Serialized Storytelling...
My second writing front is short plays and screenplays. I like to think of my 10-minute plays as Legos: each can stand alone, but can also be put together in various combinations. In all of my plays, like the soap opera of old, nothing really happens; the characters simply talk, revealing their back story, and at the end of ten minutes, everything about their relationship has changed.
In March 2008, my 10-minute play, 50 and Counting, was performed at the Boston Playwrights Theatre as part of the second annual SWANDay celebrations. In 2007, my one-act play, Settling In, was broadcast on Somerville Community Access Television. Other short plays have been performed in greater Boston, New York and Los Angeles. I've also completed a screenplay, Never Can Say Goodbye, and the treatment for a second, The Good Father.
When I began this blog I hadn't intended to write about politics. But since I did post several pieces on soaps and politics during the 2008 presidential campaign, full disclosure: I have worked as a political fundraiser as The Share Group in Massachusetts. Among Share's clients, past and present: DNC; DCCC; DSCC; numerous Democratic presidential and senate candidates; NARAL Pro-Choice America; Planned Parenthood; EMILY's List; NOW; The Feminist Majority. I'm a registered Independent; unless there's a strategic reason to do otherwise, I vote in the Democratic primary.
While most of my posts are observations about soaps, I have, on occasion, posted about another of my passions – chocolate.
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