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James Franco on the art of soap acting and more!

Courtesy/NY Festival

Courtesy/NY Festival

I have to say, James Franco is doing a fantastic job bringing attention to soaps right now, not only with his acting, charisma, and performance art connections, but also his writing.  Check out his entry in a new piece out today by the actor entitled, The Limits of Control which is on Lapham’s Quarterly website.  In the piece, he details the control actors have in certain parts of the medium they work in, which adds to their performances or possibly subtracts.  Franco wrote these words below, which to soapers, means he completely “gets” the soap actor’s style and what they have to work with.

Franco, Recently, I performed in the soap opera General Hospital. It is easy to make fun of soaps, with their melodramatic plot lines, constant exposition, unnatural lighting, swelling music, and lack of action. Most of these aspects are due to the extreme speed at which soaps are produced. With five episodes a week, at least sixty pages need to be shot in a day. That’s a feature film’s worth of material shot every two days. This pace allows for very few takes, usually one. Soap acting is generally considered inferior to other acting, with the lack of takes cited as the reason. However, there are many fine film performances that are made up of just a few takes: Clint Eastwood is famous for doing one or two takes when directing; Robert Altman was very loose with his direction, always looking for spontaneity and truth; Gus Van Sant does very few set-ups, and very few takes. Innumerable directors of Oscar-winning films have used such techniques. The reason that soap actors look the way they do is context—how they are filmed, what they are saying, and how they are blocked. There is absolutely no way to act in a soap and pull off a performance like Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, or Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. These incredible performances are supported by the incredible filmmaking that is behind them. They are given the time, dialogue, space, and aesthetic of films made by great directors.

This isn’t to say that soap opera performers are worse than film actors, or that their performances are inferior. The soap opera performance should always be perceived in context: it involves actors working in a tradition that soap audiences have come to expect and love. Soap actors are delivering exactly what they are supposed to—they are in tune with their audience and they are not attempting to transcend it. If Brando had tried to play Terry Malloy in a soap, he wouldn’t have had the time to sculpt the performance into the brooding, tortured, nuanced emotional force that won him an Oscar. The contender wouldn’t have been a somebody, instead he’d just have been another mumbling dope with bad eye makeup.”

So what do you think of Franco’s thoughts on soap acting?

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bottomchef
bottomchef

James franco is so full of it. This whole article is somehow “justifying” his film star self going into soaps. And it’s quite backhanded. Can’t he say “I went to soaps so I could try all kinds of mediums. Period.” and then he could shut up abt it forever. He’s saying that soaps are crappy bec that’s what the audience expects them to be. Certainly majority, if not all of the soaps are in bad, crappy states, and the ratings reflect that. There’s a lot of disatisfaction now bec of the bad writing and worse performances. But most probably nothing (at that time) was more addictive and dramatic and edge of your seat exciting than Bill Bell penning Y&R’s Sheila escaping to B&B. The acting, writing, directing were all engrossing. It was the definition of great soaps, it was gripping and the audience kept coming back for more. Soaps don’t know how to do that now. And what the hell is james franco saying abt characters not beinf fully fleshed out? Soaps have the luxury of creating storylines for the same characters for years, so the character evolves over long periods of time. B&B’s Felicia may not be the best ex., but the character evolved not bec of Brad bell’s neglectful writing, but bec Lesli Kay was able to develop the character bec of her performances. Here’s hoping Nancy Grahn delivers a verbal smackdown thru twitter directed at pretentious james franco again. His movie star presence did not even translate in the ratings.

General Hospital

GH Nurses’ Ball 2019 Part One: Nina’s Red Carpet Arrival Commentary And Locking Eyes With Jax

On Friday’s first installment of the 2019 GH Nurses’ Ball episodes, it was red carpet time in Port Charles as all of the most famous and infamous residents got dressed to the nines and to impress.

This year, Nina Cassadine (Michelle Stafford) is back for her on-camera hosting duties covering the arrivals on the live-stream, but is joined by Crimson’s New York fashion editor, Sydney Val Jean played by guest star Chandra Wilson of Grey’s Anatomy.  And as you’d expect, these two fashionistas battle it out at times on the carpet for attention.

Throughout the arrivals, and through this episode, this one really belonged to the talents of Michelle Stafford, who through her comedic, romantic, and dramatic timing, made for some of the best moments.  In a surprise, when Nina begins to choke after interviewing Peter (Wes Ramsey), Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and Lulu (Emme Rylan),  she excuses herself and ends up outside where Jax (Ingo Rademacher) appears and offers her some champagne.  The two seem to be clearly smitten with each other! Nina accepts his drink, and thanks him, and then goes back inside to her hosting gig, while Jax looks very intrigued by Nina.  Previously, Nina gave a major kiss to Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) when he appeared on the red carpet.

Photo: ABC

Some of the more shocking …. or interesting red carpet arrivals included: Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) showing up with Sam (Kelly Monaco) on his arm, and then getting into words with Sonny (Maurice Benard), who tells the cult leader that family means everything to him and that there is nothing he wouldn’t do for the people he loves.  Shiloh is convinced Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) will come back to “Dawn of Day”.

When Anna (Finola Hughes) and Finn (Michael Easton) stroll down the red carpet, they get distracted when a dapper Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) shows up, clearly intent on wooing back Anna, to which Anna looks caught by her feelings for both men while Finn is pissed at the game’s Robert is playing.  Later, Finn confronts Robert about his ring.

Photo: ABC

Everyone was shocked when Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom) showed up arm and arm with Ava Jerome (Maura West).  We later learn that this is an attempt to smoke out Ryan, who Ava believes will show his face at the ball.   Lucy (Lynn Herring), the hostess with the mostess, comes up with a plan to get Kevin away from Ava, not knowing they are not romantically together and tries to, perhaps, rekindle their romance up in a Metro Court hotel room.  Meanwhile, Scott (Kin Shriner) wants to get Ava away from Kevin, so he heads up to Lucy’s room with Ava to show her and to catch Kevin and Lucy together, but we don’t know what they saw when the door opened!

Photo: ABC

Meanwhile in Toronto, Canada, Curtis (Donnell Turner) and Laura (Genie Francis) come to realizing they have been tied up and there is a gas leak in the cabin.  Laura realizes Ryan is trying to kill her in an explosion just as he was supposed to have perished in at the fun house years ago.  It appears Ryan set a trap for Laura and Curtis and fled the scene.  The two extricate themselves before running from the cabin just as it blows up!

Back at the ball other notable couples have arrived from: Chase (Josh Swickard) and Willow (Katelyn MacMullen), to Michael (Chad Duell) and Sasha (Sofia Mattson), to Franco (Roger Howarth) and Liz (Rebecca Herbst), to the GH nurses crew.

Photo: ABC

The episode ends with an announcer telling all the guests to take their seats as its just about showtime!  And of note:  Is the opening title sequence music changed to a new theme for GH, or is it just for the Nurses’ Ball episodes? That’s one of the buzziest questions today.

So, what did you think of the red carpet arrivals?  Michelle Stafford’s performance?  Jax meeting Nina? What do you think will happen next with Ryan?  Comment below

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General Hospital

Josh Swickard Performs The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This” In GH Nurses’ Ball Sneak Peek

General Hospital is getting you ready for the GH Nurses’ Ball 2019 edition, by releasing the full musical number performed by Port Charles’ Harrison Chase AKA Josh Swickard during the gala.

As a prelude to the ball and what is to come, Swickard takes on the top hit made famous by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, “Something Just Like This” along with the Nurses’ Ball dancers.  And yes, there is cute moment for Chase/Willow (Katelyn MacMullan) fans when he brings Willow up to the stage!

Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring) introduces Chase before he performs and Lynn Herring took to her Twitter account yesterday when GH released this sneak peek stating: “Hey, how did this get out there before the BALL!! Someone has some ‘splainin’ to DO!”

GH social media accounts teased: “After bringing down the house last year, we couldn’t wait for you to see Chase’s latest Nurses Ball number – so here it is! This is the only place you can watch his entire performance before it airs next week.”

The 2019 Nurses Ball begins tomorrow on the Friday, May 17th episode of the ABC daytime drama series.

Now below watch Josh’s performance and then let us know what you thought of it via the comment section below, and let us know who else do you hope performs at the ball!

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Oscar’s Memorial Brings With It Remembrances By Those Who Loved Him

On Monday’s emotional episode of General Hospital, Ned (Wally Kurth) and Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) summoned family, friends, and loved ones to honor Oscar Nero (Garren Stitt), since he just past away due to his battle with brain cancer.  Oscar had his own way he wanted everyone to mourn his death and Ned and Olivia carried out his wishes.

When everyone gathers together, Ned and Olivia announce that Oscar wanted this to be a celebration.  After everyone arrives they sit picnic-style and some get up to speak to remember the amazing young man that Oscar was.  It turns out to be Michael (Chad Duell) who starts the tribute by saying that Oscar was brave to date his intimidating sister.  Next, Cameron (William Lipton) touches on his journey to friendship with Oscar.  Joss (Eden McCoy) finds the courage to go next and remembers how she had a crush on Oscar and how he wasn’t easy to talk to but how she was intrigued because he was mysterious. She then tells show she eventually fell in love with Oscar, and how she will never forget him.  When Drew (Billy Miller) gets up next, he breaks everyone’s heart by stating that he will be eternally grateful to have known his son and will always carry him in his heart.

Next, Ned asks everyone to follow him to the meadow.  Once there, Ned and Olivia hand out seeds to the attendees.  Then, Ned and Olivia reveal a plaque dedicated to Oscar, as everyone throw up seeds that land in the grass for it to grow.

Courtesy/ABC

Finally, Kim (Tamara Braun) speaks. She talks about how she raised Oscar on her own, and how after she learned he was sick, she brought him to Port Charles so he could meet his true family.  And with the analogy of the seeds, she says it helped Oscar blossom and how it enriched his young life.  In a heartbreaking moment, she thanks Drew for giving her son courage and being his dad when he needed it, and to Joss for being her son’s first love.  Kim hopes that Joss will come back to the meadow often and think of him.  They share an emotional hug.

Later, after Drew thanks Ned and Olivia for putting this all together for his son, Sam (Kelly Monaco) finds him and tells him he was a great father … and is a great father.  He wants to make sure that Scout knows he loves her.

Back at the meadow, Sonny (Maurice Benard) finds Kim in tears alone at Oscar’s plaque. He tells her he understands the deep pain and void she is going through, but she has to hold on to how Oscar touched so many lives.   Once Sonny leaves, Kim in tears looks up to the sky and says she’ll always love her baby boy.

Courtesy/ABC

The episode featured touching performances by Tamara Braun, Billy Miller, Eden McCoy, and William Lipton, who all carried the Oscar dying storyline so beautifully along with Garren Sttit.  Additional kudos go to Lisa LoCicero and Wally Kurth, who as Olivia and Ned, kept Oscar’s memorial moving forward, and were also emotional throughout.

So, what did you think of the episode and the performances? Are you sad Oscar is gone?  Comment below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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Kin Shriner as Scott

General Hospital

Airdate: 4-2-2019

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