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Van Hansis Pet Project MS. GUIDANCE Launches Kickstarter Campaign!

Courtesy/MsGuidance

Courtesy/MsGuidance

For awhile now fans of former As the World Turns favorite Van Hansis (Ex-Luke Snyder) have been hearing bits of information about his upcoming new web series project Ms. Guidance. 

But on Wednesday, Hansis and the Ms. Guidance counselors launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the final three episodes of their first season of six!  They have already shot three that are in the can.  After the first 12 hours of the campaign, Ms. Guidance raised over 5K and was even named a Kickstarter staff pick!

Ms. Guidance is the brainchild of Hansis and playwright James Ryan Caldwell.  In addition, Van co-directs the episodes of this dark comedy, and he also appears in the series as well in the role of Walker.  And from what we can tell you the premise is pretty brilliant! Check out all the info on Ms. Guidance from the series official press release below:

Created by three-time Emmy nominee Van Hansis and acclaimed downtown playwright James Ryan Caldwell, Ms. Guidance follows Jenny Bump, a struggling actress, who, after a nervous breakdown on the New York stage, returns to the performing arts boarding school she attended in her youth to act as an interim guidance counselor. However, listening to the dreams and ambitions of her students only stokes the dying embers of her own, and soon Jenny is back to her old tricks, scheming for fame, and ruining lives (her own included) in the process.

Hansis describes the show as “ Strangers With Candy meets Anton Chekhov’” noting that although the series is an entertaining “fast and dirty comedy”, underneath the humor is “that layer of life that a lot of artists- actually, a lot of anyone- feels all too deeply.  It’s a feeling you carry along with you, but try to ignore- the feeling that what you have become is less then you were meant to be.”

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Caldwell agrees, stating “Ms. Guidance is about much more than theater and drama kids and singing and dancing. It’s about the sense of uselessness when your skills and talent don’t materialize into a successful career. Its about what we do with the dregs of our dreams – do we allow them to torment us, or do we shape them into something new? It’s about having the dreams of a teenager, when in reality, you are an adult.”

Having privately funded the first three episodes, Ms. Guidance shot almost entirely on location at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Hansis’ alma matter, in Natick, Massachusetts last summer and is looking to the public to raise funds to finish the six episode season.

Hansis co-directs with Melodie Sisk (producer on features “Summer of Blood” Tribeca, 2014, “Female Pervert” Slamdance, 2015 and “Applesauce” Tribeca, 2015, among others) The cast includes Amber Gray (the title role Soho Rep’s acclaimed “An Octoroon,” “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812”), Adriane Lenox (2005 Tony winner for “Doubt”), Van Hansis (Three time Daytime Emmy nominee for “As The World Turns), Ian Unterman (The Good Wife), Tyler Hanes (The Cohen Brother’s upcoming “Hail Cesar!”, Broadway’s “A Chorus Line” and Link Larkin in “Hairspray” among others), Peruvian film and television star Marco Zunino, and introduces Elliotte Crowell as Jenny Bump.

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Below watch Van and James discuss Ms. Guidance with some clips from the episodes they have shot, and how you can help participate and help fund this very clever project!  Then let us know… are you glad to see Van again and hear of his new project?  What do you think of the concept?  Share your thoughts below!

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I hope Van fans & just people who want to see an entertaining series will donate to Van’s wonderful project. Van is such a talented man .I’ve followed his career from the beginning & am always amazed at how he puts his heart & soul into everything he does….Donate whatever you can…in a case like this, every little bit really helps….Watch the video….you’ll see sneak peeks of the series & hear from Van & James !!!

LeeAnn
LeeAnn

Amazing to see Van again!! This looks like a great show!

As The World Turns

ATWT and ‘Vampire Diaries’ Alum, Zach Roerig Arrested For DUI

Another actor has been arrested for a DUI, and this one happened over Memorial Day Weekend.

News out of TMZ is that former As the World Turns actor, Zach Roerig (Ex-Casey), who went to appear in CW’s Vampire Diaries was taken in by the cops.

According to the report: “Zach was busted Sunday around 2:30 AM in Montpelier, Ohio. Police tell us, officers noticed Zach’s pickup truck did not have a front license plate, so they pulled him over.”

Apparently when the officer went up to the driver’s side window they noticed that Zach’s slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and say he, “reeked of booze”.

Roerig was arrested for  for a misdemeanor and was held overnight in a holding cell.  He was later released.

Photo: JPI

Zach’s arraignment is set as of now for June 4th.

ATWT fans will remember Zach as part of the younger set in Oakdale comprised of: multi-Daytime Emmy winner Jennifer Landon (Ex-Gwen), Jesse Sofer (Ex-Will) and Alexandra Chando (Ex-Maddie), all who went on to primetime fame during their careers.

So, what do you think about the latest past or present soap star receiving a DUI? Remember Zach on ATWT? Comment below.

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As The World Turns

Michael Swan and Margaret Reed Set For ATWT Reunion

More As the World Turns former cast members come forth during the COVID-19 pandemic to participate in Alan Locher;’s weekly ‘Locher Room’ virtual chats.

Newly announced on Thursday are former on-screen lovebirds, Michael Swan (Ex-Duncan) and Margaret Reed (Ex-Shannon).

Look for the twosome to appear on the upcoming Thursday June 4th edition of the reunion series, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a. m. PT.

To log on for the time of the conversation click here.

Remember Duncan and Shannon’s ATWT love story? Looking forward to seeing Michael and Margaret? Comment below.

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All My Children

ABC and PEOPLE’s ‘The Story of Soaps’: What Was Your Review Of It?

Tuesday’s night airing of ABC and PEOPLE’s two-hour special The Story of Soaps featured many notable daytime and primetime soap stars, past and present, clips from backstage to classic memorable moments, and some participants who were providing commentary on the erosion of the daytime soaps in our culture.  Still others, maintained and realized that everything today is serialized from the news we watch, to some of Netflix’s most binge-watchable series, and of course, the birth of reality-programming.

Throughout the airing of the special, The Story of Soaps was trending on Twitter and social media either at the #2, #3 or #4 spots for the entire duration of the broadcast presentation, and the cancelled and beloved All My Children was also at one point trending.

However, known soap writers, journalists, ardent fans, and actors of the genre, were all on Twitter last night live-tweeting their thoughts as the special went down, and there was definitely mixed reactions and reviews, when all was said and done.

What the special did not shy away from, but tackled, was Luke’s rape of Laura at the campus disco on General Hospital. and how that moment now, as Genie Francis (Laura), so eloquently put, would be considered as ‘date rape’ in our culture.  The series even included a pivotal moment where Laura addresses Luke (Tony Geary) about the rape years later, after helping Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) through her rape ordeal.

John Stamos (Ex-Blackie Parrish, GH) got a bevy of “Right On’s!” for his comment that the soaps do not get the credit that they deserve and clearly came through as one of the soaps greatest supporters, as did former The Doctors and Knots Landing star, Alec Baldwin.

However, throughout the two-hours, Andy Cohen’s commentary was thread throughout; mostly citing soap’s demise and the creation of reality-programming and his “Real Housewives” franchise, that the special touted as the new soap operas.  It continued on the narrative that people preferred to see real-life drama then made-up drama on a fictional soap.  And while, that has been a trend in American culture for decades, the commentary came off as often out of place in a celebration of the soaps; and bringing in a lot of negativity to the special that soap fans were tired of hearing.

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In a lighting rod moment, Cohen stated: “I know Susan Lucci doesn’t agree with me, but I think that the Housewives have replaced soap operas because truth is stranger than fiction. Soaps became kind of unnecessary because you could do it with real people, and they’re writing the drama themselves.”

The special did also address the cancellations of All My Children and One Life to Live, (which many were not sure they were going to do – given this special was airing on ABC), where One Life’s leading lady and six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki) said what we all wanted to sa ywhen the ax fell on the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, “People were horrified”.

Clearly, OJ Simpson and his murder trial and reality-programming were also given a chunk of time to show where the once mighty landscape of daytime soaps which once had 13 shows on the air, dwindled town to 4.  But, it would have been nice to see more time spent on how in this day and age, the people in this current landscape of the genre work so hard to get episodes done at an unbelievable pace, and how in that climate the performers still deliver gut-wrenching performances.

Photo: ABC

Former Loving, OLTL and Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston, did point out how the once powerful soaps, just don’t have the dollars they used to, and need to, to help with production costs and their taping schedule.

Viewers were reminded of soaps’ socially relevant storylines including hankie-inducing moments from: Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Stone’s (Michael Sutton) HIV/AIDS storyline on General Hospital, to Billy Douglas being a gay teen coming out on One Life to Live, played by a young Ryan Phillippe.

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There also did not seem time spent on the contributions of William J. Bell; one of the most prominent writers of the soap genre of all-time.

For many commenting on social media last night, there seemed to be a feeling of some glaring omissions of participants who could speak on this genre, who have been in the trenches as soap producers, soap writers, pundits, actors, and more, who were not included in the special.

So, what was your review of The Story of Soaps? How would you grade it? Do you feel it accurately reflected the history of the genre?  Were you happily surprised,  or when it came to the end where you over it, or somewhere in between? Sound off in the comment section below.  Below are some tweets from notables who have worked as an actor, a writer, and a journalist in the soaps.  

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It’s “Villains Week” on Y&R an that means some Sheila Carter, David Kimball, and Isabella Brana, Check out the promo from CBS Daytime here.  Leave A Comment

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