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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.”

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.

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 !!!

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

As The World Turns

As the World Turns Alum Rita Walter Dead at 71

We’re still losing so many beloved soap opera actors as 2022 comes to a close. Now comes word that former As the World Turns alum, Rita Walter (nee McLaughlin) passed away at the age of 71.  Walter had been diagnosed with Multifocal Glioblastoma, an extremely aggressive form of terminal brain cancer.

Rita had an 11-year-run as Oakdale’s Carol Deming Hughes Stallings Andropoulos Frazier.

The former actress-turned-optician, died on Christmas.  Rita’s brother, David McLaughlin revealed the news on the 26th which also happened to be the anniversary of Walter’s exit from the defunct CBS soap opera in 1981.

In his posting on Facebook, McLaughlin shared: “My sweet, loving sister Rita was called to Jesus today on Christmas day, his birthday. She was a well known actress as well as dedicated server of the Lord Jesus. May you rest in peace Sis, I love you forever. You’ve taken my heart with you.”

Photo: SOD

Before playing good girl, Carol Deming, who always found herself in distress as only a good heroine could do, Rita started her career as Patty Duke’s double on The Patty Duke Show, before getting her first foray into soaps with a role on The Secret Storm as Wendy Phillips.

We clearly remember when on ATWT, Carol was married to Jay Stallings, but Jay was having an affair behind her back. Carol also had failed relationships and marriages to Tom Hughes and Steve Andropolous.  Eventually, Carol left Oakdale after falling in love and marrying Reverend Norman Frazier.  In a case of life imitating art, Rita married Reverend Normal Walter in 1976.

Walter is survived by her three children, Brian, Jill, and Amy, and her husband, Reverend Norman.

Share your condolences and remembrances for ATWT’s Rita Walter in the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

ATWT Alum Michael Park Joins The Cast of Hulu Drama ‘Saint X’

Great news! Fans who have missed Michael Park (ex-Jack, As the World Turns) on the small screen will get a chance to see him once again in the new psychological drama series, Saint X.

The series will stream on Hulu and in it the two-time Daytime Emmy-winning actor will play the part of Bill Thomas, in the eight-episode series adapted from Alexis Schaitkin’s novel.

In story, Bill and his wife Mia Thomas (Betsy Brandt) are upper middle class parents of two, enjoying a family vacation in a Caribbean resort until one of their daughters goes missing.

According to Deadline, the series is told via multiple timelines and perspectives, explores and upends the girl-gone-missing genre as it explains how a young woman’s mysterious death during an idyllic Caribbean vacation creates a traumatic ripple effect that eventually pulls her surviving sister into a dangerous pursuit of the truth.

No further details have been been made available as to when the show will premiere on the streamer, but stay tuned for more updates.

So, excited to see Michael in Saint X? Comment below.

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As The World Turns

ATWT Alum Julianne Moore to Star In New Limited-Series

In casting news, Academy Award-winner and As the World Turns alum, Julianne Moore (Ex-Frannie and Sabrina Hughes) will star in a new period-piece drama for Sky and AMC.

Moore, who won a Daytime Emmy for her work on the beloved CBS soap back in 1988, will play Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham, in Mary & George.

Villers in 17th Century England moulded her  son, George, to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful lover. Through outrageous scheming, the pair rose from humble beginnings to become one of the richest, most titled, and influential mother and sons England had ever seen.

According to Deadline, the series is due to begin filming in early 2023 and is slated for an 8-episode run.

Mary & George will mark only the second time, Moore has starred in a TV drama, after her appearance in the 2021 Apple mini-series Lisey’s Story.

Julianne won her Oscar for Lead Actress back in 2014 for Still Alice, where she played a woman battling Alzheimer’s disease.

Intrigued to see Julianne in Mary & George? Comment below.

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