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Cramer Vs. Strasser Page 2

So, for several episodes, Strasser became a witch. "They did not want me to do a Dorian thing," she says. "Which was good because it wasn't like I was cheating on my first love." Getting into the spirit of the show was not an issue: "I am grand and silly on a daily basis. I'm just goofy. I liked the show."
As she speaks, Strasser shows no signs of the diva she's occasionally reputed to be. In fact, she lives down her buzz in person. As she gushes over Dorian's old stories, her anticipation for the new ones rivals a rookie's. But she admits that when it comes to acting, she has her ways. "I know if I were working with me, I would not find me difficult to work with because I understand the heart and soul of constructive professionalism," she says. "I can't walk through something." She pauses. "If you have fine wine or a vintage car, you have to take care of it. It takes a little more effort."
After Strasser's PASSIONS stint ended, OLTL still hadn't called -- and she worried that the industry was about to go on strike. So, she lit out for Paris. The plan: to stay for the month of May, but "I realized about two-and-a-half weeks in that I'd only touched the surface of how long I could stay and still be fascinated." She signed up for language and culture classes at the Sorbonne and got her own flat. In August, 2001, she returned home after her mother had an accident. On September 10, she rehearsed for an appearance on DHARMA & GREG."I stayed Stateside until September 28, stopped in New York, visited Ground Zero to say some prayers, got on a plane and went to school for the winter session," she says. But the lark was over. "After September 11, I was far less comfortable there, and wanted to be associated with what I thought was the revival of New York," she says. Still the whole anti-French attitude that recently gained momentum had her bemused: "I would find it impossible to hate a whole nation of people just because their government disagreed with our government's position."
This time, when she came home, the call came in: OLTL, with a fresh regime, wanted her back. They even provided her old dressing room. "That was Frank's [Valentini, executive producer] idea. He said, 'I think you'd feel more comfortable here.' "
She does, with no regrets over making daytime her lifetime career. "There's something about my energy level that seems to suit soaps," says Strasser. "The only times I felt, 'I shouldn't be doing this' were when my contribution to the show wasn't appreciated. When you don't feel that someone gets you, you start to think, 'Maybe I shouldn't be here,' and then defensively, maybe you say, 'If I hadn't always wanted to be in one place for my kids or done the practical thing of keeping a long-term job, who's to say how my luck might have gone?' Gosh, even as I say this, I hate it. It's the most destructive thing you can do to yourself -- the coulda, woulda, shoulda. It's done. That was your life."
And, as the show informs us (despite the recent resurrections of Victor and Mitch), there's just one life to live. Strasser seems perfectly comfortable to be living it in Llanview... again. "I didn't even ask about the storyline when they asked me back," she notes. "I feel like I'm in such good hands. I'm on-board. I'm along for the ride as long as they want me." But then, a very Dorian-like glint comes into her eye. She smiles, adding a footnote: "I will not be easily parted from this role again."


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