Sunday, October 31, 2010

Interview with Mariann Aalda (ex-Didi, EON)

Hi Mariann!! Let me just say that it is an honor that you agreed to be here!
Mariann:  Lisa, the pleasure is all mine…thanks for asking.

You are well known for Didi Bannister on The Edge of Night...What other soap roles were you in?
Mariann:  Let’s see…I played Dr. Grace Battles, Johnny Bauer’s oncologist on GUIDING LIGHT;  The “tragically disfigured” Lena Heart on NBC’s SUNSET BEACH (which SOAP OPERA weekly proclaimed “The Best BAD Storyline” of that year! LOL), and Ellen Parker, “the long-suffering wife” of adulterous football coach TD Parker (played by O.J. Simpson!) on the night-time HBO soap, FIRST & 10.

   "Calvin & DiDi"                                                EDGE OF NIGHT "Back in the day"

Congrats on your new blog dedicated to Didi..Tell us about it...
Mariann:  Well, Alina Wickham, who writes SOAP OPERA 451 asked if I would like to contribute to keeping the Procter & Gamble soaps “alive” online with a blog for EDGE OF NIGHT.  The cancellations of AS THE WORLD TURNS and GUIDING LIGHT during the last 18 months saddened a lot of  soap fans and created feelings of nostalgia for what a lot of them consider the “Golden Era” of soaps of the ‘70’s; ’80’s and 90’s. 

Ultimately, I decided to do the project because of all the things I’ve done in this business, it never ceases to amaze me how often I am still recognized as “DiDi Bannister.”

So this is my way of giving-back to EON fans for their die-hard loyalty to the show.  In fact, for the last ten years or so, one fan, Julius Burnett, has flown out to LA from his home in Alabama every year to host an  EDGE OF NIGHT reunion! I tell you, I’ve found daytime fans to be some of the loveliest people…yourself, included, Lisa. :-) 

Here I am at an EON reunion with Terri Davis (April Webster), David Allen Brooks (Jim Dedrickson)  & Karrie Emerson (Jody Travis) 
Unfortunately Julius isn't in the picture because he's the one taking it!

Any new projects coming up?
Mariann:  Several years ago, Iona Morris (ex-Fiona Griffin, ATWT) and I started writing and producing together and formed Al & Mo (for Aalda & Morris) Productions. Our theatrical production of  “M.O.I.S.T.!” -- a sex-istential comedy-with-music celebrating the vibrancy, vitality and viability of the “seasoned” woman recently closed in LA after a successful 9-month run.  
With Iona Morris in scenes from M.O.I.S.T.!)

The show was on track to open Off-Broadway in early 2008, but the economic tsunami that upended Wall Street also washed away our investors.  So,  Iona and I decided to produce it ourselves in Los Angeles (with the help of a lot of sweat-equity and deferred-payments from friends) where we already had a loyal live-performance following from previous stage work.  

We’re now looking to bring the show to New York with corporate sponsors interested in appealing to the “boomer-chick” demographic, and are presently in talks with producers who want to bring “M.O.I.S.T.!” to the UK.

(Yes, that is Iona and me with STEVIE WONDER, who loved the show!)

As a bit of trivia, I actually got my show-biz start doing sketch and improvisational comedy with Off-Centre Theatre (which helped launch John Leguizamo) and The Proposition (where Jane Curtain got her pre-Saturday Night Live start.) After moving to LA when EDGE was cancelled, I mostly did sitcoms, including recurring on DESIGNING WOMEN and starring in THE ROYAL FAMILY with Redd Foxx and Della Reese. On a whim and a dare, I started doing stand-up a couple years ago, appearing in club s like Caroline's and Comix in NY and The Improv and HaHa's in LA.

Would you ever do another soap?
Mariann:  In a heartbeat. In fact, here’s another bit of trivia for you: my first daytime day-player role was a 2-appearance stint on ONE LIFE TO LIVE opposite Al Freeman, Jr. (Detective Ed Hall).  I was his first date post-divorce from his wife Carla (played by Ellen Holly).  We went to dinner with another couple…and the woman was played by Linda Dano!  

The thing I especially love about OLTL is that they continue to develop great front-burner storylines for their  “mature” female actresses like Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, Ilene Kristen, Patricia Elliott and Hillary B. Smith; and now I look forward to seeing what Executive Producer, Frank Valentini, and Head Writer, Ron Carlivati, have in store for the wonderful Kim Zimmer.

My dream is to return to ONE LIFE TO LIVE and take up permanent residence in Llanview…while doing my show “M.O.I.S.T.!” Off-Broadway at night. 
                         "Serious" Mariann...                                                         "Not-so-serious" Mariann :-)

Do you watch any now?
Mariann:  I’ve been partial to the ABC soaps since I started watching them when I was a teen-ager.  I’ve talked about this before in an article for Soap Opera Digest.  The characters of Ed and Carla Hall on OLTL and Frank and Nancy Grant (played by John Danelle and Lisa Wilkerson) on AMC were groundbreaking in the complexity of story-lines given to black actors on daytime. Kudos to writer Agnes Nixon for her groundbreaking efforts.

I so related to these characters who looked and sounded like me and the people in my family, that even more than theater and film, I set my sights on doing a soap opera because of the opportunity they provided for comprehensive character development and story-telling, with the evolvement taking place in real time and over many years.  I feel the richness of the story-telling of Ed & Carla and Frank & Nancy helped pave the way for the romantic couplings of Angie & Jessie and Calvin & DiDi a decade or so later.   

That’s why I’m so excited about the return of Angie & Jessie. They’ve been gone from Pine Valley for twenty years, but AMC did a great job in giving them a back-story explaining their absence and providing a plausible return -- which is one of the reasons why, even after a twenty year absence, those characters are as popular as ever.  And Debbie and Darnell are doing great work, so I try to catch that show as often as I can.  I’m also a Susan Lucci fan and am thrilled by the fact that at 62, Erica Kane is still considered sexy and vibrant enough to be at the center of a love triangle!

That’s the message of “M.O.I.S.T.!” -- that women are like fine wine, and that along with becoming more full-bodied with age, we also become more intoxicating!

Thank you again for being here and Good Luck in everything that you do!!
Graciously accepted, and back-atcha, Lisa!

“Eye On Monticello” Blog: 
“M.O.I.S.T.!” Website:
Mariann Aalda Website:
Mariann’s MySpace Comedy:


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My interview with friend and author Miss Daphne

ME: Hi Miss Daphne!! Thank you soo much for being here!! It is truly an honor to have you!!

Miss Daphne: Thank you Lisa, it’s a pleasure to be here!

Me: You are a dear friend of mine. A BFF if you will; but tell us a little bit about yourself....

Miss Daphne: I’m an author, motivational coach and host of The Thick & Lovin It!™ Show which was created to inspire love from within and maximize self-worth as the foundation for true bliss, one jean size at a time. My weight loss journey started in September 2000. I’ve lost over 200lbs in 18 months and have kept it off for over 8 years.

Me: You recently wrote a book...Congrats!! Tell us about it...

Miss Daphne: Thank you! I’ve written my autobiography titled “SoundBITES Behind The Bliss” which chronicles my weight loss journey from a “fly on the wall” perspective of private therapy sessions. I underwent gastric bypass in 2000 and lost 230lbs in 18 months. Little did I know that life would not turn out to be a bed of roses when I became a "normal" size. From self-destruction to self-love, SoundBITES Behind The Bliss reveals how I turned tragic life events into personal triumphs.

Me: I can not wait to read it!

Me: I need to lose 40-50 lbs... What kind of advice do you give to people who are need to or trying to lose weight like me?

Miss Daphne: My advice is to make an appointment with your doctor for a full physical to make sure any weight gain or inability to lose weight is not an underlying symptom for something else such as a thyroid condition or vitamin deficiency. Many people hear the classic line “eat right and exercise” from their doctors, but weight issues are not one size fits all. Everyone is different. If your doctor is telling you that, find a new doctor. Ask for referrals from friends or research doctors. Personally, I prefer doctors who have bariatric expertise. Diets make me gain weight, so I advise against them. Exercise is my key secret to losing and maintain weight loss. 30 – 60 minutes of cardio a few times a week has been my core strategy for maintaining my weight loss.

Me: GREAT ADVICE!! What is next for Miss Daphne?

Miss Daphne: I’m working on new episodes of The Thick & Lovin It!™ Show which is a 30-minute show discussing issues such as weight, relationships and self esteem. Shows will begin airing on UStream. I will also be promoting my autobiography “SoundBITES Behind The Bliss.”

Me: Well, I wish you all the best on the book and in everything you do.. You are truly an inspiration!! Thanks again for being here!!

Miss Daphne: Aww, you are so sweet. I truly appreciate it. Thank you for having me Lisa!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Interview with T.C. Warner (ex-Kelsey, AMC)

Me: Hey T.C.!!!  Thanks for being here!!!

T.C.: I love being here!!!!

Me: Tell everyone the circumstances that brought about me being your President.

T.C.: You crossed my path serendipitously and I was grateful that you were willing to take on such an endeavor as being the President of my Fan Club….  I really wanted someone who could be creative, well spoken and energetic!  I’ve had a fan club before that was not as fun as the one we have today.  With you running the fan club, I now want to get to know each and every one of my fans and keep them posted on things that I am doing.  I get excited when a new fan comes along because it feels like a new family member!  I want the fan club to be the first to see and hear of any new events happening and although with such social mediums like facebook, tweeting and so forth, I do make every effort to send information to my fan club and keep it unique to them first before the public sees any of it or gets wind of it… For example… With this interview, I am sending the photos that the paid photographer has taken and as per my request to the photographer, my mother and everyone else – the fan club gets to see these first!  My wedding photos to Chris Stratton that no one else has – YET! 

Me: You are recently married..Congrats!! Tell a little about the wedding and your new husband.

T.C.  The wedding went off fabulously!  Why and How?  Ask my mother… she did it ALL!  From the numerous locations we had in mind, the one that was finally chosen by my mother and myself was in Santa Fe at the Las Campanas Clubhouse – Somehow everything pointed to having it at that particular location – it was on the 10th day of the 10th month, in 2010 – the exit off the highway was mile marker #10, and it overlooked the 10th Tee on the Golf Course.  It had a gigantic library and fitting room for the males and females.  Plenty of room for a dance floor, patio, arbor, and several floating bars with extremely good food!  A very formal wedding and not one hiccup! 

Me: So, what have you been up to since being Kelsey Jefferson on AMC?

T.C.: I have been doing a lot of writing and production work and finishing my Masters Degree! I opened up Film and Video Art Productions and we have about 12 independent projects going at once.

Me: Any future projects?

T.C.: Two Projects I am focusing on at the moment are a feature film screenplay adaptation from the Novel “Now Silence” which is in re-writes at the moment and we are in Pre-production for the TV series/webisodes of Land of Entrapment.

Me: That is exciting!! Good Luck!! Would you ever consider going back to AMC as Kelsey or any other soap?

T.C.: I absolutely would love to go back to doing a Soap!

Me: Thanks soo much for joining us here and for the opportunity of being your President!
Your unconditional love is amazing!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My interview with Lilly Melgar!!! (Janice, The Bay, ex-Lily, GH)

Me: Hi Lilly!! Thanks so much for not only being the first interview in my blog; but for allowing me to be your President. I am truly honored!
Lilly: I am honored to be your first (laughs) and to have YOU as my Pres! You are pure sunshine Lisa and so patient with my busy schedule. I am so blessed to have found you!
Me: You are now Janice Ramos on the web series "The Bay"; tell us what that has been like?
Lilly: It's been very special to have the opportunity to re-connect with my fans. I am incredibly grateful for their support and encouragement. I love everyone i'm working with and enjoy playing a saucy character as oppose to a sweet one (laughs). It's a fantastic work environment and i am looking forward to more!
Me: Without giving anything away, what can we see from Janice?
Lilly: Janice is saucy, sultry, feisty, fiercely loyal to her family, passionate and having a very challenging time raising her teenage daughter. 
Me: What are your thoughts on webisodes being the wave of the future?
Lilly: I believe that is yet to be seen. I personally think it's a fantastic option for those that are unable to watch tv due to a heavy work schedule. I still see it more as an option than 'the' way. 
Me: Do you have any other projects in the works??
Lilly: I am currently in negotiations in selling my 1st film production 'Black Cobra'. Other than that, The Bay is my main focus at the moment. 
Me: How did get started into acting?
Lilly: I had won a Ms El Salvador pageant here in LA and a UCLA film graduate saw me and asked me to star in his short film which ended up winning best short of that year. (smiles)
Me: Would you do another daytime soap??
Lilly: Never say 'never' 
Me: Well, thanks soo much for taking time out of your busy schedule Lilly!
Lilly: Thank YOU Lisa! 


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My OLTL Experience

Hi all,

I recently attended  the OLTL Fan Club Luncheon in NYC. It was held at the Helmsley Hotel and was star packed!! What a beautiful hotel!

It was so much fun and I was at Table 4 and had front row viewing. YAY ME!

I was not only able to meet the OLTL cast members; but so many people that I know from Facebook. It was so good to see them in person also! Also stars in my book!

One of the perks of the day was that I won a t-shirt in the raffle. I have to say I have been lucky since going back to the soap events.

It was so good to be at a soap event. I hope I go to more in the near future. I have been MIA at them since the 90's. YIKES!

The actors were so gracious and welcoming that I wanted more. Thank you to the Fan Club President, Diane Casale and OLTL cast for a day to remember!

Until next time; take care and be well!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Keeping faves on our soaps

Hi all,

We all got through Monday; Thank God!

To be honest; I have only watched AMC today, but still want to speak about something very important.

With Facebook and twitter around; soap actors/actress are kind enough to add and follow fans. This is awesome....I love Facebook and talking with the "real" stars there. Do not get me wrong. But that is not enough to keep them on our fave shows.

We need to go back to the old fashioned "snail mail" and actually sit down and write a letter to either our fave show or actor/actress.

They count the letters that the actors get and we need to let the show know that we want to keep our fave on.

Please do not let your show or fave actor/actress be a casualty of the recent cancellation and firings. Show them some love.

Until next time; take care and be well!! <3

Saturday, October 16, 2010

WEBISODES...Are tv soaps out?

Good question, right?? I hope not....However, webisodes have taken the soaps by storm! I for one, am loving "THE BAY", by Gregori J. Martin.

"THE BAY" stars my girl Lilly Melgar, Jade Harlow, Tanisha Lyn, John Callahan, Mary Beth Evans; just to name a few! It is amazing!!!!! Kudos to Gregori and all involved! I am hoping that it goes to regular tv soon.

I love the idea and convenience of watching it online; but I am old fashioned and really love the idea of vegging on the couch with my soaps.

That being said; I will still take my soaps any way I can get.

Until next time...Take care and be well!


Hi All and Welcome to my new blog..

I will be posting about my love of soaps..I watch All My Children, One Life to Live, General Hospital, and The Young and The Restless. I also read the soap mags to keep up with the others.

Hope that you will enjoy my blog.  See you next time!