You Said It!

ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Jerry verDorn (Clint) bravely revisits quotes of interviews past. For more on the actor, be sure to pick up the 10/26 issue of Digest.Then: “I think you could do this thing in front of black drapes and if the story is good, people will tune in. You live and die with the story. I think soaps got away from that for a while.” — Soap Opera Digest, 4/4/89

Now: “Those were the days where we had bigger budgets. Story still makes a difference. I mean, we reward it during Emmy time; we’re all impressed by production values, but sometimes I think producers like to impress other producers instead of catering to the audience, and the audience wants story. If there’s an earthquake on Friday, what the audience is concerned about on Monday is, ‘Where’s Viki?’ ‘Did Jessica lose the baby?’ and really the first soaps I remember seeing were essentially on black drapes. I remember seeing a DVD of GUIDING LIGHT from 1954 and there were pictures hanging in front of black drapes and fireplace and hearth and furniture. It was not really a set; it was just drapes.”

Then: “I never regret it. A lot of people have asked, ‘Would you have liked to have gone out West and done motion pictures?’ Oh, I probably would have screwed that up.” — Digest, 2/27/01, when asked if he regretted staying at GUIDING LIGHT [where he’d played Ross at that point for 22 years]

Now: “Yes, I probably would have. I lived in Los Angeles for three years. But I didn’t like there being only two seasons: hot and not so hot. In those days, I was doing all theater. Of course, I wasn’t married and I didn’t have kids. I’ve done a lot of canceled shows. I was on shows that were 15 minutes long. EDGE [OF NIGHT] was 15 minutes. I was an evil surgeon on RYAN’S HOPE. I had an agent who just didn’t want me to sign a contract at all. And the show promoted people doing Broadway and things like that. All they had to do was get you out by curtain time and give you Wednesday off. I did a Broadway show for the first nine months I was on GUIDING LIGHT.”

Then: “Now, I go park my car, get out of the car and there’s a camera there taping me.” — Digest, 5/8/07, on how the pace and production of daytime has changed since he started in 1979

Now: “What the kids these days don’t realize is how we used to come in, sit around the table and have a read-through, then have a camera blocking, then have a dress rehearsal or two and then you’d tape, and in between dress rehearsals a director would come out and sit on the set and give notes. Could you imagine? I was making fun of it by saying that, but it’s not too far from the truth. It’s almost like improv with suggested lines. Compared to the leisurely place of before it’s just hysteria. And it spooks the young people when they first come on, or people who haven’t done one in awhile. I heard a story that on Phil‘s [Carey, ex-Asa] first day, he came in with a script and said, ‘How much of this are we going to shoot today?’ and Bobby [Woods, Bo] was the one who had to break the news and say, ‘All of it.’ ”

Then: “Sometimes the younger people, if they’ve had success and then suddenly the show is not about them, they tend to say, ‘Well, when is the show going to get better again?’ That’s really their time to impress the writers because supporting players are usually not written as complete as whoever the story is about.” — Digest, 4/29/08

Now: “Writers love you if you can fill in some blanks, if you’re supporting and make something interesting. You become a writers’ favorite if you can help them out because as much as we’re in a hurry, they’re still in a hurry. There’s no hiatus. They’re under the gun, too, and then the changes come so swiftly now, like a call will come from California that a focus group says this and now this has to change.”

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