November 3, 2010By Lauren Flynn Kelly Posted: Nov 3, 2010
Last night I had the pleasure of attending a rare Q&A at The Paley Center for Media. In attendance were ONE LIFE TO LIVE cast members David Gregory (Ford), Kristen Alderson (Starr), Gina Tognoni (Kelly), Sean Ringgold (Shaun), Florencia Lozano (Téa), Kassie DePaiva (Blair) and Hillary B. Smith (Nora), as well as Executive Producer Frank Valentini. It was meant to be an anything-goes sort of Q&A for members of the Screen Actors Guild about what goes into producing a soap and became a pretty lively discussion about the viability of soaps. On being the only soap in production in New York, Valentini praised, "I think it's great because New York has all that energy, and having a true multicultural city adds a dynamic element," which I thought was an interesting point. Filming in New York gives OLTL an edge over West Coast-based soaps in several ways, from starring people who look like they live somewhere with four seasons to being able to go on location in a mix of unique destinations. Meanwhile, vets Smith and DePaiva were insistent that soaps are here to stay, in one form or another. "The soap opera form is used in all media," noted DePaiva, pointing out that the format is apparent in everything from reality shows to televised wrestling matches. Nodded Smith, "The medium's not dying; it's actually expanding," referring to Web soaps like VENICE, on which she appears as Guya, as well. I'd love to hear soap fans' thoughts on these ideas. Feel free to post comments below!