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As The World Turns

The Forbes March Interview – As The World Turns

forbesMain.jpg

Next week is the debut of Forbes March in the new role of Mason Jarvis on As the World Turns. Soap fans have eagerly awaited his arrival back on daytime, since his demise as Nash Brennan on One Life to Live. Many were upset that this fan favorite has been off daytime screens for sometime, when “OLTL” chose to kill him off. Now, with a new role and a fictional town (Oakdale) to play in, Forbes, one of daytime’s all-time leading men, is back…but this time he is playing gay. Mason is introduced to us as a film advisor who will be involved in story with Luke and Noah. Is Mason the ultimate spoiler in the Luke and Noah romance? How will he shake things up?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with the witty, funny, and charming heartthrob. Forbes gives us his take on stepping into Mason’s skin. However, and of note, this is not the first time Forbes has played a gay role. In (We Love Soaps) Roger Newcomb’s recently released new film, Manhanttanites; Forbes plays a guy who steals the fiancé of his former One Life co-star, Ilene Kristen. You can see that performance currently on DVD.

So, without further adieu, here is Forbes on how he plans to take ‘World Turns’ in a bit of a…different orbit!

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

Forbes, next week you are debuting on As the World Turns and you are playing a gay character, which means there are more than two gay characters in Oakdale!

FORBES:

Apparently so. There are three points to a triangle, isn’t there? Oh-oh!

MICHAEL:

When you auditioned for this role, did you know at the time you would
be playing a gay character?

manhattanites.jpgFORBES:

I had an inkling. I had heard the role would be available, and called my agent to look into it. I got the ‘sides’ for the audition, and saw I was going to be talking to two guys. I thought, “That was odd,” because usually in a soap audition if you are reading for a male character it is usually opposite the young lady you are having a story with. I ‘googled’ it before hand, and went, “Oh, Luke and Noah, the new Luke and Laura.” So, I had an inkling. I went into the meeting. I had read for Chris Goutman (exec producer “ATWT”) before. I find him to be a real charming guy. I did my audition and he went, “Ok, I kind of like that.” Then he says, “There are a couple things you need to know about the role.” I said, “You are going to tell me the guy is gay, right?” and he goes, “YEAH.” He was waiting for my reaction, right? And I went, “That’s great.” That was about it. He said, “All right, we will call your agent.” And that is how I got the role.

MICHAEL:

So, when you found out you got the role, what was your initial reaction?

FORBES:

Oh, I was very excited.

MICHAEL:

So, it wasn’t, “Oh God. Now I have to play gay?”

FORBES:

I knew there was going to be some kind of reaction to the whole gay thing. But, I really did not anticipate that people would be this excited by it.

MICHAEL:

We are in a different day and time, and we have seen how popular recent gay storylines have been in soap operas. Like what Luke and Noah have done for “ATWT” and what Otalia has done for “GL”. So it’s great to see that they are integrating another gay character into the canvas. That is one reason I think so many people are excited about it, plus having you playing the part!

forbesWife.jpgFORBES:

Now that I am in the role, I understand it. Maybe because I have always been surrounded by very diverse people in my life, it did not cross my mind that much. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood, and it was a neighborhood that was not quite gentrified yet. To the left of me, I had a biker clubhouse. My dad was an academic. The next house was a cathouse, and the next house was a gay couple that had been together for 20 years, and I never saw them in any way being different. I never thought it was a big deal or had a major discussion about it; that it was a man and a man who lived together. They are like husband and wife, but man and man, and that was the end of it… and that was when I was three or four years old. So I never had any contact with homophobia, really. I had been in the arts my whole life and that is a very open culture. I am a little surprised about how much attention it’s getting because this is a gay role. But, you know what’s been really weird? The number of people who have been concerned for my wife, which is so bizarre! They keep saying, “What does your wife think”? Like this should be a real point of concern for her. I mean, she is this bodacious blond! If anybody can attest to my straight-hood, it is my wife. Do people think I am going to turn gay? I don’t think it works that way! (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Mason has a boyfriend named George, who is bored and needy in Oakdale, and there is tension between the two of you. True?

FORBES:

Yes, I do have a relationship, but he promptly gets annoyed and stands up and stomps out. And that’s the end of George. That is the first and last we see of him. That’s how we find out that Mason is gay.

MICHAEL

So he walks out right away? Well, that’s pretty funny! So, that frees Mason up pretty early on!

FORBES:

It’s actually really funny and was a lot of fun to shoot.

MICHAEL:

How is working with your on-screen cast mates, Van Hansis (Luke) and Jake Silbermann (Noah)?

lukeNoah.jpgFORBES:

They are fantastic! They have been in this storyline a lot longer than I have, but their comfort and their confidence is a lot of fun to be a part of. They are very talented guys, and good actors.

MICHAEL:

And Mason is Noah’s film advisor.

FORBES:

Noah is a film student, and Mason is introduced as his advisor.

MICHAEL:

So, they will obviously be working together. Do you think down the road there will be a Noah and Mason possible pairing/romance?

FORBES:

I don’t know how to answer that. I answered once sarcastically in an interview by saying, “That’s a ridiculous suggestion. J ust because there is another gay character does not mean they are going to be bed-hopping. What is it, 1950? We just assume all gays sleep together?”

MICHAEL:

But. we are dealing with a small gay group on the canvas!

FORBES:

However, there are three points to a triangle. I assume there will be a triangle, because otherwise I am going to be looking for another job in six months.

bree.jpgMICHAEL:

You left such an indelible impression as Nash on One Life to Live. Your exit facilitated heartbreaking story for your former co-star, Bree Williamson (Jessica). Have you ever tuned in to see how it played out after you left?

FORBES:

I have watched only very briefly, and I caught an episode a few weeks ago. I have no doubt Bree is doing very well.

MICHAEL:

Well, the funny thing is; they cast Nash’s dad for some pivotal episodes, and he had similar long hair to you… and resembled you!

FORBES:

Dude, are you kidding me? A friend of mine saw it and said the guy has some of Nash’s mannerisms. I don’t know because I have not seen it. But that’s funny, but good for them.

MICHAEL:

What do we know about Mason? We know he is gay, but what is his emotional make-up? Good guy? Bad guy?

FORBES:

forbesJacket.jpgI am always hesitant to answer that because those decisions are usually dictated by plot. I come up with my own version of the character, but it’s one of the challenges in working in daytime. You have to be very open to changing your character when the plot dictates that you were wrong. I imagine Mason to be very worldly. He has been around. He knows things. He has a high level of confidence. I imagine him as not a soap opera villain, but I am not playing him as a soap opera good guy, although they are pushing me that way. I would like to play him as kind of a pragmatist, and none of the BS, and the fact that he is gay does not define him. He is confident enough in himself without having any arrogance. He is squared and truly not afraid of who he is. This is who he is. Mason does not over compensate because of it. He is not embarrassed about it, and he is like, “So, let’s get on with it.”

MICHAEL:

Obviously, with Proposition 8 and the importance of gay rights in our country at this point in time and the struggle with equality, it makes this another role that people will be closely looking at. Any pressure that you feel comes along with this role?

FORBES:

The whole gay thing was not a big deal to me. I thought it would be a chance to play something interesting. A lot of my friends are gay. I did call them and asked, “How would you like to see a gay person portrayed on TV?” I know it sort of sounds like a kind of a funny question. The consensus was, “Please! Don’t do the campy effected thing.” I have some close friends who are gay and I owe them one. They wanted me to portray a gay person as a human being, as a person.

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As The World Turns

Emmy Winner and Noted Soap Opera Head Writer; Hogan Sheffer Passes Away At 61

Over the last several hours, reports have broke that one of daytime’s most notable scribes has died.  Hogan Sheffer, who was head writer at As the World Turns, Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless has passed away at the age of 61.

Soap Hub, first reported the news via multiple sources, however, many writers who worked with Hogan during his tenure on the soaps have taken to social media to share their condolences and their grief and remembrances.

Sheffer’s appearance on the soap scene was unexpected, especially in a genre where it is often rare for new blood to take the reins at the head writer position.  Proctor & Gamble had decided to bring in Hogan after his work as the Director of Screenplay Development for DreamWorks, not because of his writing credits for a previous network soap.  He was given trial deal as a breakdown writer for the CBS soap and 10-weeks in became the beloved town of Oakdale’s new head writer.

Hogan and his then writing team were able to turn the classic, As the World Turns around.  The show went up in the ratings and during his time with the series ‘World Turn’s’ won two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, and he and the writing team picked up four Emmy victories all through 2000-2004.

Photo: JPI

Next, Sheffer landed in Salem as head writer of Days of our Lives along with Meg Kelly from 2006 through to the beginning of 2008.   He would later join The Young and the Restless and team up with then head writers: Maria Arena Bell and Scott Hamner, and eventually stay with the show till 2012.  During Sheffer’s time in Genoa City, Y&R also won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in 2011.

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On Sunday, former WWE and daytime writer Tom Casiello, who was extremely close with Sheffer…  and who shared how Hogan gave him his start at writing in daytime, took to his Facebook page to pay tribute to a man who had such an impact on his life and many others.  It is worth the read here. 

Y&R writer, Sara Bibel tweeted: “Hogan Sheffer was a gamechanger for ATWT and daytime. Everyone I know who worked with him adored him. RIP”

And, iconic ATWT star, Martha Byrne (Ex-Lily) tweeted on Sheffer’s passing: “To say he was one of a kind would be a tremendous understatement. Our years at ATWT with Hogan at the helm were a rebirth for our beautiful show. Loved his writers, actors,crew. Blessed to have him on the first floor in Brooklyn ready to listen. Talented. Funny. Generous. RIP”

Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) also took to Twitter upon learning of the passing of Sheffer sharing: “I loved him, loved him, loved him… he was so good to me. Thank you for everything, Hogan. You were so loved. Especially, by me… Rest in peace…”

Michael Fairman TV will continue to bring you updates as the soap world mourns the loss of a creative force in our genre.  Share your condolences and thoughts on the death of Hogan Sheffer via the comment section below.

 

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All My Children

FRIDAY: ATWT’s Larry Bryggman and AMC’s Dorothy Lyman Guest Star On ‘The Blacklist’

Two of the most revered performances ever in the world of daytime drama will be seen tomorrow night on an all-new episode of NBC’s drama series, The Blacklist. (10/9c).

In “The Pawnbrokers”, Daytime Emmy winners, Larry Bryggman (Ex-John Dixon, As the World Turns) and Dorothy Lyman (Ex-Opal Gardner, All My Children) will be seen as a criminal duo!

Bryggman and Lyman play a couple that fronts cash to criminals on the black market. In story, series star, James Spader’s Red acclimates himself to his new digs in federal prison, where he is challenged by an old rival.  Samar (Mozhan Marnò) goes undercover to stop a black market organization that fronts cash to criminals. (Enter Larry and Dorothy!)  And, Liz (Megan Boone) and Jennifer (guest star Fiona Dourif) continue their investigation into Red’s past.

Check out the promo for tomorrow night’s episode below.   Then let us know if you will be checking out Larry and Dorothy and if all of this brings back memories of their amazing performances in Oakdale and in Pine Valley in the comment section below.

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TAINTED DREAMS Season 2 To Bow December 21st!

Tainted Dreams is back with a second season offering from Daytime Emmy-winning director and series creator, Sonia Blangiardo!

Beginning December 21st, the next chapter of Blangiardo’s the soap behind a soap, will be available for streaming on Amazon and Amazon Prime. (season one is also currently available on Amazon)

This series, which was nominated for five 2017 Daytime Emmys, follows the behind-the-scenes drama of a fictitious soap opera titled Painted Dreams.  Many soap opera notables have roles in the online series including: Alicia Minshew, Michael Lowry , Austin Peck. Terri Ivens,  Walt Willey, Kelley Menighan, Grant Aleksander, Bobbie Eakes, Natalia Livingston, Marnie Schulenburg, Nathan Purdee, Colleen Zenk, James DePaiva, Tonja Walker, Ilene Kristen, and the late Larkin Malloy . In addition, Jessie Godderz of Impact Wrestling and Big Brother fame, and Dina Manzo of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, also appear.

In a statement, Sonia Blangiardo said that she is “excited to take everyone along these characters’ journeys in Season 2, as they evolve and deal with ever increasing professional and personal turmoil.”

Fore more on Tainted Dreams visit their official website here.  (more…)

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