This… explains so much, really.

The always fabulous Megan Ward dishes on what it’s like to work on a soap, the reasons her contract wasn’t renewed, and her thoughts on Kate Howard.

I think most soap fans are aware of the grueling fast pace on soap sets, and we’re usually willing to cut the actors a little slack because of it. Personally, I may spend a lot of time ragging on the writing ( …because it’s awful), but I have a ton of respect for the actors and crew for being able to put out so much product so quickly.

Even knowing all that, however, Megan’s description of the process is really eye-opening:

When you’re working on a soap opera because of time, you have two words of direction from the director and you’re doing 5 scenes together without any real rehearsal. You just have to throw it out there and hope people perceive all the nuances of the material and the character choices. You hope you’re on camera when the character makes a realization or has an important line in the scene. Quite honestly, often you’re not.

So maybe the writing is really fair and balanced and full of nuance, but it’s the crappy direction that’s messing everything up? HAHA. Well, no. But I’m sure that rushed direction doesn’t make bad writing any better.

THOUGHTS TO PONDER.

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Megan on Good Soap:

History needs to apply and it’s frustrating for everyone. I love when a good soap creates water cooler talk. You can dissect the actions and points of views of characters.  But when the characters are not represented equally it sort of invalidates that conversation. You’re not really talking about anything; you’re not talking about the points of truth, what the story really is.

Preach it, sister!

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On Bad Writing:

It’s frustrating to say something logical for your character with conviction then two months later be faced with a contradiction or an omission of all the facts.  All you can do is justify why you changed your position.  Sometimes there may not be the words on the page to explain it […] Often you’re the only one tracking the history of what you’ve established but for several reasons you may not be able to make adjustments.

Oh, girl. It’s really frustrating for the audience, too. Believe me.

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Finally, on her hopes for Kate:

Beyond romance, I have about 20 other ideas for Kate. (Tracy becoming an investor at Crimson, Kate mentoring Maxie, Kate making Kristina a successful teen model!)

How awesome would any of those things be?!

Anyway, the full article is worth reading for many reasons, including her lengthy analysis of Kate’s feelings toward Olivia and Sonny, which proves that she has already put waaaaay more thought into her character than any of the writers.

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2 thoughts on “This… explains so much, really.

  1. Re: the prep work for a scene…from what I’ve gleaned through interviews here and there and tweets (yes, I know), there really is no rehearsal time anymore for the most part due to budget cutbacks. Read throughs are up to the actors themselves if they’re interested. I think we can generally tell onscreen the ones that aren’t. And they typically only get 1-2 takes per scene. It’s amazing really that anything coherent really makes it to air.

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