Katie: Did you have fun?
Reid: It was a medical conference. If they have actual daylight in that city, I never saw it.

— Katie and Reid

Congratulations (?!) to Luke Snyder for his Sudzie Award | Plus ESS Birthday tribute, best gay kisses, updates from Michael Fairman

Okay, hard to tell if any congratulations are due, but Luke Snyder won Soaps.com’s 2010 Sudzie for “Unluckiest in Love” (like you didn’t know that). If you have any doubt, take a quick scan through the “Luke Snyder, This is Your (Love) Life” summary and YouTube playlist I put together. Plus add to that in the space of 12 months, he thought Holden was dead (survived car crash but Damian hid evidence), Damian was dead (Damian faked his own death and framed Holden), and that Reid was dead (well, not much I can say about that one).

The other ATWT winners were:

Luckiest in Love in a Dramatic Series:
"As The World Turns’" Carly and Jack Snyder

Best Younger Actor in a Dramatic Series:
"As The World Turns’" Mick Hazen (Parker Snyder)

And, interestingly, Y&R’s Doug Davidson (Paul Williams) won for Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series (over Jonathan Jackson!). Interesting because on a lot of fan boards I’ve seen really harsh comments about a middle-aged has-been who’s just getting the sentimental vote. Wonder if this is reinforcement of the sentimental vote, or if he (or his reel) was actually really good this year.

Eric Sheffer Stevens’s birthday is coming up: June 19th

So LuRe fans won’t be able to celebrate Eric’s birthday while watching him at the Daytime Emmys (boo hoo!), but interested fans can still mark the occasion in a few different ways…

The Crew at ESS.com wrote:

We would love it if ESS fans from all over the world would make signs that says "Happy Birthday Eric from (whatever city, state or country you are from)". Then we want you to take a photo and email it to k.5weet@yahoo.com.

We will not be putting names with the photos so unless you have them on your signs no one will know who you are. We are hoping to get at least 40-50 photographs so we can make collages for the homepage pictures. We are also hoping to get them from many different countries so if you know fans that live outside of Canada or the States that might not see this please pass the message on. We’d like the pictures by June 15th…June 17th at the very latest.

You can include a picture of yourself, or just a doodle and a message – it’s up to you! For more information and example of a submission with photo, you can check out the thread on the ESS.com forum (you must be a member to read it).

In the meantime, well wishes are top of Eric’s list for shows of fan appreciation. For those who just can’t sit still for wishing, he has said he does not want presents sent to his agent nor does he receive mail through the ATWT Fan Club post office box. So your best bet is to send a personalized greeting. There’s no guarantee he’ll get the message, but there will be a thread for birthday wishes started on the ESS fan forum, and organizers will try to alert him that there are messages waiting for him (he and his wife Jenny have been known to VERY occasionally stop by).

Also, all of the charities that have been highlighted by Eric have been notified of the fandom’s interest and will forward any messages submitted with donations. A reminder: these are a FAN-INITIATED activities; Eric is not out there asking his fans to do anything other than send good wishes. He has merely named charities of interest when pressed for SOME alternative.

Anyone wishing to donate can check out Vermont Shakespeare (founded by friends and a company he’s worked with in the past), Doctors without Borders (recipient of Reid Oliver tribute funds), God’s Love We Deliver (Eric ran in a charity race for them and their website still features a photo of him and one of his kids), and Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty (not a charity, but they’re still trying to raise funds to get the thing finished!).

You can donate to all of the above organizations on-line. If you want more information on how to donate off-line, or how to make sure your donations are credited in honor of Eric, check out Ripley’s ESS Birthday site which lists several alternatives and more information.

Last, in case you missed last year’s tribute, Paris conned me into helping put it together (natch – I insanely volunteered! what was I thinking?!?). With 8 time zones between us, it nearly killed us, but we were pretty pleased with the outcome though we were pretty relieved that he even got it as it arrived at the studios after his last day of filming! (Thanks to everyone who contributed all the cool stuff!) As of the Vermont Shakespeare event in August, Eric had been too busy to actually try any of the recipes (that’s okay, Eric – we like you busy!) but he was nice enough to send a thank you card and to sign the copies I brought to VT 🙂 :

ESS Thanks

AfterElton’s best gay kisses

In the meantime, in the other fun poll from a couple of weeks ago, LuRe did respectably (relatively speaking) in the “best gay kisses” department, but nothing could compare to the juggernaut that is Glee (though QAF gave it a good try). Luke and Reid edged out Luke and Noah, and both managed to stay ahead of Ennis and Jack. Kish finished surprisingly low, with only 0.6% of the vote.

The top 10 are listed below (at least 1% of the vote). For complete results, check out the original post.

  • Kurt and Blaine – Glee 43.74%
  • Brian and Justin – QAF 28.17%
  • Jack and Ianto – Torchwood 5.5%
  • Christian and Olli – Forbidden Love 3.03%
  • Luke and Reid – ATWT 2.67%
  • Luke and Noah – ATWT 2.48%
  • Ennis and Jack – Brokeback Mountain 2.23%
  • Jack and Jack – Torchwood 2.17%
  • Zach and Shaun – Shelter 2.06%
  • Darren and Todd – Grey’s Anatomy 1.55%

Updates from Michael Fairman: Jerry verDorn Interview and Emmy Predictions

If anyone is still interested in Emmy predictions now that Eric and Van are both out of the race, Michael Fairman will appear on BlazinRy (Blogtalkradio) this Wednesday, June 15th at 10pm EDT/7pm PDF to share his thoughts. Calls during the show will be accepted.

In the meantime, Michael has posted a great interview of Jerry verDorn who played Ross Marler on Guiding Light and now plays the wicked Clint Buchanan. I happened to love Ross with Blake and thought they wrote Ross out of the story in the lamest possible way (well…make that the second lamest possible way). ETA, 13 Jun, 11.05pm GMT: Oh, oh, talk about a coincidence! I’m watching Law & Order SVU and Liz Keifer is one of the lead guest stars! Woo hoo!

At any rate, he has some interesting insight. For starters, Clint has had a heart attack and is waiting for a donor heart, and Jerry says:

Clint is very much just facing facts.  He has a very rare blood type and the donor is difficult to find.  He is not first on the list, even though he owns half the hospital.  Those lists are very sacred and even soap operas will not alter that. So he is down on the list with a hard to match donor profile. 

When asked, “Is it easy to just lie around in a hospital bed in scenes and watch people cry all around you?  Or, is it difficult for you?” Jerry responds:

It’s not easy, and it’s actually very disturbing to me because of my personal history.  I have spent a lot of time in hospitals being a 19-year cancer survivor, and every now and then I have to go back to the hospital to get check-ups.  I am in my fifth week of coming to the set and putting on pajamas and flopping into bed and being hooked up to medical devices, and it’s just too close to what I sometimes go through myself.   I have to watch myself and I am very careful with this, that when the show is over, the show is over, and I leave it all at the studio and go home and live life.

So Clint’s on five weeks and counting (though who knows how long that is in soap-time). Lucky Chris Hughes – he’s in the hospital for two days and not one, but TWO potential donors are identified within a two-hour driving radius! What are the chances of that happening? Don’t get me started!

On the cancellation:

The atmosphere has been as positive as it possibly could be, and we have a long time before we go off, so that gives the writers a way to end it properly, if indeed, it is going to end.  I am fine with it, but I am 62.  The people I am not fine with are the people who are the tech people who are in their early 40’s and they have kids in grade school and that kind of thing, and knowing that there is hardly any scripted television in New York, and those are the people I am worried about.  I am not so worried about the kids, they don’t have kids of their own or real estate yet, so they can bounce around in show business, which happens all the time, but to be caught in the middle is tough.  There are, I would say, 100 like that on AMC, and 100 like that on OLTL.  It’s difficult and that is what hurts me.

On the demise of soaps:

…I also thought this medium got into trouble when they started worrying about production values. I don’t think there is one soap opera fan that tuned in to see how well we would blow something up.  They tune in for one thing, and that is story.  We could do this in front of a black screen and it would be fine.  The special effects we should worry about are: ladies gowns, perhaps, and some perfectly romantic lighting.  But setting a major fire or having an earthquake, and a lot of gunplay, the fans don’t care about that.  They care about what Viki feels after the earthquake is over and are the children okay, and all that kind of stuff.  And those shows wasted just oodles of money, in my mind!

Years ago, I thought they were doing it not for the audience, but for one executive producer to ‘wow’ another executive producer with, “Whoa, how did they do that?”  I promise you Michael, that those confrontation scenes between Bo and Clint at the stable, that is what people tune in to soaps for, and that is what a good cliffhanger is on a Friday episode, with Clint looking at Bo and Bo looking at Clint.  And, there is a gun in the room and a lot of things to talk about, and that is what will bring people back on Monday. We don’t need the stable to catch fire.  So in my mind, our audience gave us a huge artistic license that the producers did not take full advantage of.

You said it, Jerry!  I’m not sure this is the scene he’s describing, but he did mention elsewhere in the interview that all his best clips were after January 1st (2011, and so not eligible for this year’s Emmys).

YouTube responded to TubePress with an HTTP 410 - No longer available

As for how to weave a story and end a multi-generational soap, Jerry says:

There is no abrupt ending and it involves all the children, and what I like about it is it involves all the different generations of characters. Sometimes on soaps characters get compartmentalized such as: here is the younger storyline, here is the old people’s storyline, and here are the people in the mid 40-s storyline and they don’t come together like families.  But these stories have brought actors of all ages together, and I think that is neat.

If only….

Last an interesting commentary on how tight budgets are and how good these actors must be:

I do remember that scene, and one of the joys of working here is looking into the eyes of Erika Slezak, because she is such a nice dance partner.  And that helps, because we no longer have any rehearsal time because we shoot things so fast. 

He also talks about one particular scene and says:

We actually got to rehearse these scenes, and they were so well-written.  It was a very good day and it was partly about what do you do when someone is on their last days.

Yow. No rehearsal. Jerry, you kick butt.

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