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Mark Collier Actor

Mark Collier

Mark C. Collier joined the cast of the long-running daytime drama As the World Turns as construction worker Mike Kasnoff on July 2, 2002. Once the object of affection of ultra-competitive sisters Carly Tenney and Rosanna Cabot, Mike unwittingly meets up with - and is undeniably attracted to - their grieving cousin, Molly McKinnon. Originally from Ocala, Florida, Collier moved to Los Angeles four years ago. A graduate of Georgia Southern University, he landed his first role on NBC’s Sunset Beach. Since then, his television credits include Beverly Hills, 90210 and Arrest and Trial. In addition, the actor starred in films such as Pissing and Moaning, Everytime the Dogs Bark and Loop. He has appeared in theatrical productions of Lovers and Strangers, Lone Star, Children’s Crusade and Six Degrees of Separation. Collier recently moved to New York City. He was born on April 27, 1971, in Ocala,Florida. He is a recent transplant to New York City.

A good day for Mark Collier

AS THE WORLD TURNS' Mark Collier (Mike) put seven wannabe models to the acting test on the UPN reality show AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL. And each scene ended with a steamy kiss.

"Not a bad day," smiles Collier. "It's easy for me to say that, I've been doing this for a while. When I first started, it was very uncomfortable to be rolling around [with someone]. I remember a scene in my acting class where I was in my underwear with this girl and I was very uncomfortable."
So Collier could relate when one model -- Catie -- wasn't into kissing him. "It was pretty funny. She was 18 years old. She was like, 'Yech. I don't want to kiss some guy I don't know.'" Collier was contacted by AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL to do the dramatic, back-from-the-dead scene with the models in front of acting coach Tasha Smith-Arqese. "I would tell them to relax a little bit or try to calm them down, but I couldn't give them any pointers," he notes. "I couldn't tell them anything about acting. I'm no authority to be judging people's acting. I was just there to do the scene. We found out during [the process] that quite a few of them want to be actors. Shandi and April were the best. There's no doubt about that."
While Collier appeared in the episode (which originally aired Feb. 17), he first saw the on-air show with the rest of America. "There was a lot of stuff that was left out, and a lot of stuff they showed that didn't really happen," he reveals. "Some of the girls made a line funny and I laughed at what they said. But they made it look like I was laughing at their acting. I would never embarrass them or embarrass myself by breaking in the scene. But that's the way they made it look. I wish there was a little more of the Camille [scene], because she did change a lot of the lines. It was really funny, actually. And at the end they made it look like I chose [April], which I didn't."

Collier is now interested in the show's outcome. "I'm not a reality show fan," he reveals. "It's weird, but I may end up watching next week now. There was a girl on the show, Shandi, that I really liked. She was cool and down-to-earth. I want her to do well."

Many of Collier's ATWT co-stars tuned in to his reality show debut. "Michael Park (Jack) just walked in the room quoting my lines from [the show]," groans Collier. "Everyone's been making fun of me, but that's okay, I can take it."

Mark Collier Builds a new Mike

Mark Collier had a vision of what was in store for him when he was cast as AS THE WORLD TURNS' construction worker Mike Kasnoff last spring. "I was picturing lots of hard hats and Lucky (Vanous) in the Diet Coke commercials," he groans. "I was like, 'Oh, jeez.'"

Lucky for him, there haven't been many beefcakey shots of Mike, but the character sure has dug himself a hole in his romantic life. He slept with former lover Carly the night before her wedding to Jack, and now she may be pregnant. To complicate matters, his girlfriend, Molly, is Carly's cousin and best friend.

"What an ass," declares Collier. "Mike's a good guy, but he's made some bad decisions." However, falling in love with Molly -- practically at first sight -- wasn't one of them. "Mike feels that Molly is genuine," he notes. "He saw her at a point in time when she was vulnerable, which you don't normally see when you first meet people, and that is what makes you attractive. They bonded there (in New York), so it was a faster start to a relationship. People talk about how fast their relationship went, but they weren't two people who met on the street. A lot of secrets and things came out in the open very quickly, which tends to accelerate relationships. Mike cares for her very much."

And what about the other women in Mike's life? "When you see Mike and Rosanna together you see chemistry, without a doubt," Collier confirms. "Mike doesn't have past feelings for Carly like he does for Rosanna. But nonetheless, there's a bond [between Mike and Carly] because of the child [they lost]. When two people go through that together, there is a deeper connection. I don't think that Mike ever loved Carly, but there was something about her that he was drawn to."

Mike and Carly are now struggling to keep their passionate night together a secret from the ones they love. "I don't think that Mike is sorry about sleeping with Carly," Collier offers. "It was just something that happened. He's more sorry about what the consequences could be -- seeing how much Jack means to Carly and what's going to happen with Molly." If and when their secret comes out, "Oakdale's not a big town," chuckles Collier, "and you're going to have some people who are not going to be very happy about the situation."
The Florida native couldn't be happier about his leading ladies -- two Emmy winners, Lesli Kay and Cady McClain (Molly and Rosanna), and an Emmy nominee, Maura West (Carly). "I'm working with three very strong actresses, and they're all different," he notes. "Lesli and I are friends off the set, and she's helped me get situated -- finding a place to live and helping me out with general questions. It brought us closer. I like Cady a lot, we just don't hang out as friends. Maura's very alive, very vibrant."

Collier, whose previous credits include small roles on BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 and SUNSET BEACH, says he wasn't intimidated to take over a role created by someone else. "I like that there is already a history with Mike," he notes. "There's a foundation for me to work with." He hasn't seen Shawn Christian's take on the role and doesn't plan to. "That was six years ago," he shrugs. "People speak highly of him and that he did good work, but I wanted to make my own choices."

But where there is an established character, there is also a past. "I need flow charts and diagrams to figure out who Mike has had relationships with," he cracks. "Chris (Goutman, ATWT's executive producer) gave me a summary of what had happened with Mike and all the relationships he had. That helped a lot. I couldn't just automatically go, 'OK, I'm going to make up this as our relationship,' because these fans have been watching for a long, long time. If you go on the Internet, you see people talking about 30 years ago! They know everything that happened, word for word, looks that were exchanged."

When asked what he's looking for in a special someone, the currently unattached Collier quips, "You do not have enough room on this tape (laughs)! It's changed a lot. As you get older, you start realizing how important good conversation is -- somebody who can make you laugh, somebody who's strong. I'm very happy with the way my life's going and my career. A lot of times people end up in relationships when things aren't going well and they rely on the other person [to make them happy]. It's never been a big priority for me to have someone there all the time. If it happens, great. If I'm 60 when I get married, that's fine with me, too. I only want to do it one time. So if it takes time, it takes time."

Inside the Bubble With ATWT's Mark Collier

Mark Collier enjoys playing the role of Mike Kasnoff on As The World Turns, a character he says is not perfect, but is a lot of fun to play.

I really enjoy him.. He has flaws, but Mike is a romantic kind of guy," Collier said. "The best part is that he gets to fall in love again and again even though he has made mistakes and bad choices, but that is what I think makes it interesting to watch."

Collier joined As The World Turns in July of 2002. The role of Mike Kasnoff was previously played by Shawn Christian (1994-1997), but for Collier is just walking in and taking over the role.

"I never watched his (Christian's) tapes. I wanted to make Mike my own," Collier said. "When I can aboard there were different writers, so what would be the point. Also the new Mike is more toned down and level headed as opposed to the previous Mike. Mike today is more vulnerable and can be a man's man and not be afraid to show emotion."

Collier reflected in a scene he did with Michael Park (Jack) that he's extremely proud of. When Mike found out the baby wasn't his. "Jack's been down that road, and I think the scene was very touchy for two guys to play." Collier said.

Collier originally screen tested for the role of Paul Ryan, but lost out to Scott Holroyd, but the powers that be remembered him and when it was time to recast the role of Mike he had gotten the role without ever having to audition. As The World Turns is Collier's first contract job.

Collier admits the whole business of acting is a rough business, and there was a time in his life he was tired of the whole process. "I was frustrated. I've auditioned for other work and four soaps and noting," Collier said. "I figured I'd give this a try, and Wella!"

Collier said that he couldn't be happier then he is right now. His contract expires in nine months, and he said that he'd be willing to sit and talk. "If they want me back. I'm willing to act. I'm in this business for one reason and that is to act, so why not?" Collier said. "I also think that soaps are an excellent training ground because of the steady work and the variety you get to do."

Collier hails from Ocala, Florida. He graduated Georgia Southern University with a degree in Accounting, but decided to move to Los Angeles giving the bright light of Hollywood a try. While in LA he studied acting and did odd jobs like waiting tables and working at a gym

Collier landed his first role on NBC's Sunset Beach, and since appeared in Beverly Hills 90210, Arrest and Trial, and had roles in some feature films like Everytime the Dogs Bark, Loop and Pissing and Moaning. He also appeared in several theatrical productions like Six Degrees of Separation, Lovers and Strangers, Lone Star, and Children's Crusade.

Collier became interested in acting after having done some plays. "I just found it interesting and fascinating," Collier said. "I've always thought about business which is why I got an accounting degree, but I just found that it wasn't for me.

Collier enjoys life as a challenge, and said that although he has a boss to answer to, it's not like the business world where one would stand over you. And it gives a chance as a person to be creative and grow.

Soapdom wants to know: Where would you like to see the character of Mike to go?

"You know that is interesting. I've always though about Mike being involved with someone and being the so-called 'super-couple', but that has changed," Collier said. "I enjoy the fact that Mike plays the field, and as an actor I get to explore different facets as well as be able to work with different people."

Collier said that he is so proud to be able to act when the percentage is high for unemployed actors. "I think of this all the time. There is not greater feeling them to be able to do what I love, have fun, and get paid for doing it," Collier said.

Collier's goals are to do primetime and become involved in theater because he said, there is not greater feeling then bringing it out to the audience in the last row.

"I will tell you this... the day that acting becomes boring and I have no more fun, I go off to be a camp counselor," Collier said.

Mark Collier: Work Pays Off

That's what heartthrob actor Mark Collier, who plays Mike Kasnoff on the daytime drama "As The World Turns," tells would-be soap opera stars.

"When you move to L.A. or New York or wherever you move to, work as hard as you can and get into class. Don't go out and party and do stupid things. Just work as hard as you can and it will definitely pay off,” Collier said Thursday on The Early Show.

That was day four of The Early Show's “Soap Star Screen Test.” The two eventual winners of the week-long star search will get roles on the CBS daytime drama "As The World Turns."

Each day, a star from the soap has been taking part in the live auditions.

Mark Collier conducted screen tests with Northwestern University Freshman Megan Goldkamp and Jon Rowland, a senior at Indiana's Butler University, who is planning go to law school.

Collier says he is enjoying his daytime drama work. “I like it a lot. I'm learning a lot. The writers have a great story for me,” Collier said.

The ten participants in this week's screen test have all made brief appearances already on "As The World Turns" when the show went on the road last fall for the "Catch Us If You Can" college tour.

Jon, who played Mitch Pepper on the show, said it is a joke around his frat brothers. “But they, you know, they're my buddies and I'll take it. I'll take it,” Jon said.

And when her live screen test was over, Megan said she was surprised she was not nervous and credited Collier for that.

“He was so nice to us,” she said.

What helped her out? “Just the fact that he doesn't think highly of himself at all. That just helped out. Not really any particular thing,” she said about Collier.

Well if you liked Thursday’s auditions, you can vote for Megan and Jon on Friday. Collier said they both did well: “I just felt it was very real. They seemed very natural. I think they both did a great job.”

False Advertising Is Not Mark Collier's Thing

Katie (Terri Colombino) spotted the magazine ad in Paris.

So you've seen the advertisement for Street Jeans in Tres Chic magazine — "You know Tres Chic," grins ATWT's Terri Colombino (Katie). "Very chic. It's so funny: On the bottom of the ad it says Paris, London, New York, Chicago ... Oakdale!" Well, it features Oakdale's hottest construction worker, Mike, and you probably caught the photo shoot for it in October. "I would be a horrible model," claims his portrayer, Mark Collier. "Not my thing." Even so, the pictures came out pretty nice, and we've got a behind-the-scenes account from ATWT Makeup Artist Eldo Ray Estes, who made his soap debut along with Hair Stylist and DIGEST's "Hair's The Thing" contributor, Theresa Marra Siliceo. Ironically, although the shoot includes a makeup artist and hair stylist, they didn't get those roles.
"When Theresa and I were at the production meeting, we saw that there was going to be a hair person and a makeup person for Mike's big photo shoot, so sort of as a joke, we said to Chris [Goutman, executive producer], 'Can we do it?' Chris being the great guy that he is, said, 'I would love to have you and Theresa do it, but I can't really take work away from actors.' And we were like, 'Oh, it's no big deal.' We were kind of goofing anyway. So then we sort of forgot about it, but when those scenes came around, Katie from casting said, 'Chris has decided to put the two of you in the scene anyway, as extra help.' So it was really something where Chris didn't forget that we had mentioned it, and he gave us a little treat. We were assisting the photographer, and our names even got put into the script, so it was a hoot! And we went through the whole hair, makeup and wardrobe routine. Although I actually did Theresa's makeup! But we had a really good time — Theresa's been offered a contract," laughs Estes, who actually had an early brush with fame. "I'm in the movie Ghostbusters. I have two lines to Bill Murray, at the end when they finally exorcise the ghosts out of the apartment building on Central Park West. The Ghostbusters are coming out of the building, victorious, and I shake Bill Murray's hand and congratulate him. But you see me, probably about 12 times in the last half-hour of the movie. That was my big 15 minutes."

Mark Collier's Baltimore bond

Mark Collier (Mike), Chris Beetem (Jordan) and Peyton List (Lucy) will be at Marley Station in Baltimore, MD. SoapCity caught up with Mark to chat about what fans can expect from a face-to-face with the hunky actor, plus how Mark feels about being part of Oakdale's newest Odd Couple.

SoapCityAlina: The people must know, Mark, what can they look forward to in Baltimore?

Mark Collier: Well, I'm going there with Chris Beetem, so they're probably going to think we're idiots.
Chris and I get along very well together, we hang out, so we'll probably be goofing off a lot. It'll be fun, I'm sure we'll be laughing and having a good time. I'm looking forward to going.

SCA: Now that Katie is gone, Mike is part of a new couple: Mike and Henry!

MC: I love working with Trent (Dawson; Henry). To me there is no one better, definitely on our show, with comedic timing. He's really good at drama too, like when he was talking to Mike at the bar on (Terri's) last day, when Katie left, but he's also very good at scenes that are funny. I think it's a great dynamic. Mike is such a straight guy, and Henry is such an over-the-top crazy guy. When you put them together, it can't help but be funny, because their characters are so different. We're shooting some scenes this week that are just hilarious. Sometimes on soap operas, a character can get to be so one way, you really don't see another side of him. But everyone has another side. I think there's a side to Mike that laughs and goofs off, and I think you're finally starting to see it with Henry. You can't help but laugh with Henry. If anyone can make Mike laugh after Katie left, it's Henry!

SCA: Does Mike harbor any hope at all of reuniting with Katie?

MC: He has a very, very small amount of hope. A part of him wishes she were still here, and a part of him is glad she's gone. I don't think he can deal with this back and forth stuff, and being second best to her husband. You know how sometimes you wish for something to just go away, one way or the other. It's hard to deal with the constant ups and downs. You just want something to happen one way or another. But at the same time, Mike definitely really loves Katie, and wishes there were some way to make her see that Simon isn't the life that she wants. Then, he hopes, she'll come back to her family, and we'll have a chance to try it again.

 

Mark Collier in Colorado

On June 21, Mark Collier (Mike) arrives in Denver, CO to make an exciting announcement about ATWT's upcoming, sizzling hot Summer! If you're in the area, search your local newspapers, magazines, and television stations for Mark's interviews!

If not, check out our exclusive, SoapCity sit-down below, for some hints about future storylines!

SoapCityAlina: So, why Denver for this announcement?

Mark Collier: I've never been to Denver. I asked to go to Denver for this, because I'd never been there.

SCA: Why is now a great time for new or lapsed viewers to watch ATWT?

MC: There are some really good storylines starting right now that I think are going to be really interesting. We've hired some new people, like Sarah Brown (ex-Carly; GH) and Christina Chambers (Molly). People who've been around and are really, really good actors. I think fans will like them and their stories a lot.

SCA: Even though your co-star, Terri Colombino (Katie) is on maternity leave, why should viewers root for Mike and Katie to reunite?

MC: Mike and Katie are two similar personalities. Mike is a guy who sees everything as an opportunity to fix something. He always wants to do the right thing, but a lot of times he does the wrong thing. He has a lot of flaws. But he's always coming from a good place. Katie and Mike are both good people, they both believe in sticking by the person that you love. The small time Mike and Katie had when they were happy together, there was nothing better than that. Nothing more romantic than that, and that's what soaps are all about. Katie and Mike are a very romantic couple. They feel like that first high school or college relationship, where you're just so excited because it's so much fun.

SCA: But the relationship isn't in too great of a place, right now.

MC: Mike didn't believe Katie when she said Pilar was out to get him and had a hidden agenda. Now he's starting to realize that Katie was right about the whole thing, and Mike didn't trust her when he should have trusted her. Katie's feeling is: you should have believed me, and now it's over. So they're not on speaking terms. Mike feels horribly guilty for not believing her. He feels stupid for letting Pilar pull the wool over his eyes, and sad now that he can't be with Katie.

Fan-tabulous Mark Collier

Meeting fans is part of being a daytime star, but some experiences stick out more than others. We asked some AS THE WORLD TURNS actors to tell us about their craziest or most memorable fan encounters.

Mark Collier (Mike, ATWT):
I went to a signing in North Carolina and two girls asked me if I wanted to go to an Aerosmith/Kid Rock concert with them. I wanted to go but I knew I would get in a lot of trouble with these two girls. I had some restraint. As I look back I should have done it, but at the moment I was like, "No, you're going to get in a lot of trouble. You do not need to be going to an Aerosmith/Kid Rock concert and getting drunk with these two girls. You may get arrested at some point."

Mark Collier plays hot Mike Kasnoff

Here is the short story about Mike Kasnoff and his many loves ones.
A few months later in early 1996, Carly discovered that she was pregnant with Mike’s baby. Rosanna and Scott broke up, Mike dumped Carly, and Mike and Rosanna quickly reconciled and started dating again. However, Mike made a commitment to be involved in his child’s life, but Rosanna was livid that this meant that he would still have Carly in his life. One night when they were all at the Falcon Club, Rosanna and a very pregnant Carly fought on the deck of the Valletta, which ended with Carly falling overboard, leading to the baby being born prematurely, and dying. This was the final straw for Mike, telling Rosanna that their love was dead. Rosanna and Carly both left town soon thereafter.

Close friends with Lily, Mike helped investigate the Umberto/Diego connection in an effort to help bring Damian’s “killer” to justice. During the process, he met Pilar Domingo (Diego’s sister) and fell for her. When she returned to Spain after Diego was dead and buried, Mike followed her.

In July 2002, while in a seedy NYC bar, Mike came to Molly McKinnon’s rescue, and they hit it off. They discovered they had Oakdale in common, and once Molly found out his full name, she quickly left, not wanting to deal with their mutual connection to Carly. He followed her back to Oakdale and wore her down until she was open to the possibility of them becoming a couple. However Rosanna interfered, sending him to Venezuela on a construction gig. Molly and Carly figured it out and informed Mike and he quickly returned. With the possibility of Mike leaving town for work again, Molly made an anonymous donation to fund the Hospital’s burn unit and arranged for Mike to the contractor on the job. With Henry’s help, Rosanna exposed Molly, and Mike broke it off with her. The night before Carly’s wedding, Mike found Carly heartbroken, as Jack had just called off the wedding, and they repeated their mistake from years ago and shared a night of passion. The next day, Jack changed his mind and Mike gave Molly another chance, but Rosanna was on to them and vowed to expose the Mike and Carly. Henry got the security guard at Monte Carlo to ID Mike as the man Carly slept with, but instead of going to Rosanna, Henry went to Carly and blackmailed her for $50,000. Mike took out a loan from Lucinda and gave Carly $50,000 to cover what she embezzled from Monte Carlo. Eventually, Craig lied and told Rosanna that he was the one who slept with Carly the night before her wedding. Carly became pregnant and told Mike the baby was Jack’s.

Carly did her best to keep her affair with Mike a secret, but eventually Jack found out. Feeling betrayed by his wife and his friends (for not telling him) and believing that Carly was pregnant with Mike’s child, Jack and Molly fell into a sudden passion filled tryst -- though they did not make love. Mike arrived and mistook them for lovers.

After his disastrous relationships with Molly and Carly (their one night stand, and learning that the child she was pregnant with was Jack's not his), Mike found love again with Katie Frasier. In an effort to find out whether he and Katie had a future, Mike helped Katie find Simon. They tracked him down in Australia, and at the end of the adventure Simon was presumed dead in a warehouse explosion. Katie blamed Mike and they broke up. Eventually they got back together after Katie accidentally (while under the influence of prescription drugs) ran over Mike with Margo's car and nursed him back to health.

They got engaged only to have Simon return to Oakdale alive! Kate chose Simon and sent Mike packing. But, Simon decided Katie would be safer with Mike from his would be assassins and left Katie on a foggy pier. Despite the fact that Simon had left town, neither Katie nor Mike were ready to be back together. Not long after, Mike's old flame, Pilar Domingo returned to town. Katie became jealous and was certain that Pilar had ulterior motives. Katie eventually found herself in the mental hospital because of her accusations. Simon returned again and helped get her out. Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that Simon had actually sent Pilar to break up Mike and Katie. Katie finally told Simon their marriage was over for good. He left town and Katie left shortly after, letting everyone (save Margo) think she'd left town to start a new life with SimonIn Katie's absence Mike swore off relationships. But despite his broken heart he's struck up a friendship with Jennifer Munson. She liked the way Mike's butt looked in jeans and that gave her the inspiration for a new line called "Street Jeans." Mike reluctantly agreed to be her signature model.

Get into Mark Collier's pants now!

The National Hemophilia Foundation is raising funds through a CELEBRITY BLUE JEANS FOR JEANS auction.
Through December 9, 2004, Mark Collier and Ricky Paull Goldin, along with other stars from television, film, music, and pop culture have donated their autographed jeans to be auctioned off on E-Bay.

So what are you waiting for? Go to: http://gomembersecommunicator.com/ct/2d2MahK1TpKp/Blue-Jeans and get into those pants!

Mark Collier is a romantic, novel kind of guy

Susan Dansby, a writer for "Guiding Light’s" sister soap, "As the World Turns," (CBS) asserts that, "Day to day, soap operas fulfill a romance fans’ needs better than any other genre."

Monday through Friday, from ten in the morning until four in the afternoon, the true romantic can flip the dial and lose themselves in ongoing stories ranging from teens stumbling through the pains of first love, to men and women who’ve suffered repeated and agonizing heartache gingerly taking another chance at happily-ever-after.

"A romance novel is the story of a hero and heroine who are leading separate lives, who find each other and decide to join their lives together," explains Dansby. "A soap opera, on the other hand, is many heroes and heroines engaging in many situations. What I personally prefer on a show is seeing different couples at different stages. You have one couple that’s falling in love, you have one couple that’s dealing with the challenges of new love, i.e. the: we’ve declared our love, now what? stage, and then you have a couple that’s been in love for a while, but they have challenges like kidnapping or illness that they’re dealing with. Because once you’ve told the story of their love, you’ve got to do something to keep the story going. You’ve got to break them up. Would we, as writers, prefer that they live happily ever after? Yes! Is it interesting to watch? No!"

It is, in fact, that stage of what happens after the declaration of love that most differentiates soap operas from a traditional romance novel.

"I don’t think a soap opera heroine should be different from a romance-novel heroine," Dansby asserts. "I really love the young, fresh, innocent girls you find in historicals, who have this optimistic look at life that is just so endearing and engaging that the hero, who is usually more pragmatic, just wants to slap her awake and say: "Honey, please! Get real!" But, instead, he keeps falling into her view of life and ends up wanting to protect her view of life. Unfortunately, in daytime, we have very, very few heroines like that. That’s because we live in the real world, and we’re on television every day. We think the public wouldn’t buy someone who lives in 2004 and has that kind of perspective. It’s the contemporary romance novel heroines who are more like soap-opera heroines, in that they’re usually career women, they usually have more than one thing going on in their lives, and they usually have had some kind of sexual experience. Very few virgins left in daytime." A soap hero, however, has a great deal in common with his romance-novel counterpart.

Mark Collier, who plays Mike Kasnoff on "As the World Turns," describes his alter ego as, "Mike does a lot of things that women say real men don’t do, like talk about their feelings, show their feelings, be honest about their feelings, really listen to the other person, really care about that person. Everything that Mike does, he does out of love, not out of selfish need, because he is a romance novel kind of guy."

The toughest part of writing a soap opera versus a romance novel hero, Dansby admits, is that, "If a hero doesn’t come on to a soap with a strong point of view at the beginning, he can go a lot of different places. The heroes in romance novels are strong guys. They have passions, they have interests, they have accomplishments. When a woman comes into their lives they either absolutely don’t want to love her, or they absolutely do want to love her, it’s very clear either way. When you’re writing a daily show, though, sometimes the heroes get vague. Today they love her, tomorrow they don’t, today they’re completely motivated by their job, tomorrow they’re more motivated by their home life. It’s a challenge because you’ve got so many other stories going on, that sometimes you’re just trying to get this person to serve you in this day. Sometimes this doesn’t work to the heroes’ benefit in terms of keeping him a character that the audience can always count on to respond in a certain way."

Soaps are also at a disadvantage to romance novels when it comes to revealing a character’s innermost thoughts. On the page, an author can dedicate paragraph upon paragraph to revealing what the hero and heroine are truly feeling, despite their seemingly contradictory actions. Soap operas have no such apparatus. Their options are limited to voice-overs, flashbacks, fantasies and, Dansby explains, "Subtext. It takes a lot of skill to rely just on your words or your lack of them, and the actors’ skill in playing against the words that you’ve put on the page to communicate that what he’s saying isn’t what he’s feeling. The tags of a scene are about that subtext a lot of the time. The look on the actor’s face has to convey that he’s thinking: I just told her to leave me, but my heart is really breaking!"

In the end, despite the marked difference, Dansby reiterates that a romance reader can "get the same fix from a soap opera as from a romance novel. A romance novel, with its focus solely on the relationship, is like drinking espresso; you get your hit right away. Watching a soap is like drinking a cappuccino. You get a little romance here, a little romance there... then all of a sudden, at the climax of the story, because you’ve spent all this time with the characters, you realize you really do care what happens to them. You can get completely hooked into people’s lives and whether or not they’re going to fall in love, and then, you even get to see what comes after!"

 


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