Most of you know in "real life" I'm a speech pathologist. I went from full to part time work about 11 years ago when my son started school. I am now in private practice and see people on a "my schedule" basis. When I run into folks I haven't seen in awhile the conversation goes something like this:
Them: So! What are you doing??
Me: Oh, Private work..and I run a website (or wubhub says I run one and I kick him under the table)
Them: You do?? Wow...what is it about? Speech?
Me: Uh, no...General Hospital
Them: Rochester General? How cool!
Me (or WubHub): No...the soap...you know..General Hospital
Them: (big pause) HA! (Brenda laugh) uh... the SOAP OPERA? You? You mean like Luke and Laura?
Me: Yeah...heh... (then, trying to dazzle them, I go into a big explanation of learning HTML, meeting great fans, running an actors website, yada yada...)
Them: Oh. Wow. Huh. (crickets chirp)
Yep... you all know it, especially those of you that are closet fanatics. You might go to events and actually tell people. ("You're going to see WHO?? Where??!!Why would you want to do that!?" ) -- or talk about it on your Facebook page ("OMG, you still watch soaps!!?? I think my grandmother still watches those things").
BUT..who do they call if they want spoilers?? ("Not that I watch, but come on, tell me are Sonny and Brenda really getting married this time??!") When the soaps were canceled, a LOT of people called and texted me to see if it was true. Ergo, I have to believe there are an awful lot of people that still tune in now and then and just don't say anything.
This brings me to the latest press-spree about ABC canceling the Soaps and all the crap that inevitability written about us fans. Most of the time we're fat and lazy housewives-- or old people trapped in nursing homes. Perez Hilton (who I refuse to link to anymore) even went so far as to say we didn't know how to use a computer. Really?? Really? Has he not seen the millions of fans sites and soap sites out there??! Soap fans come in both genders, all ethnic groups, and you'd better believe all age groups! When I went to NLG's event in NYC I can't tell you how many Moms and Daughters were there..some 3 generations. Husbands and wives...and yes, a few smart people that even knew how to use a Blackberry!! My readers range from teens to 80 year olds...and I'm so proud of the fact I've met people based on FUN not on their age.
Not for nothing but ALL things have fans. Sports fans?? They usually make the most fun of me. Those that sit with their faces painted mulit-colored and watch football like obsessed maniacs. But hey, that's sports...!! Like that's somehow better than watching a story unfold over the years?? How about sci-fi fans? They dress up when they go to their events. Yet the media loves them... Comic con is like the uber-geek fest everyone wants to go to. Last I looked comic books were just as "campy" as any soap is. NASCAR fans spend millions on tickets and merchandising and go live at racetracks on the weekends. Gamers wait in line for midnight releases of their product. Not to mention the MAC people that camp out whenever a new iPad comes out.
So why are WE crazy? Why are WE looked on with such disdain?? If half the lower-rated TV shows had a loyal base like us, they'd be groveling at their feet! If you watch Mad Men and throw theme parties, buy the merchandise and start a fan page, you're somehow "cool"... us, not so much.
This whole canceling of AMC and OLTL just brought it all up again. I'm through apologizing for loving my shows. If the networks dared to count all the online watching and DVRing of soaps, I think they'd be shocked.
Just had to get that off my chest. We've poured a LOT of money into this industry over the years and have usually gotten crapped on for doing it. Our actors take sheeze for even acting on soaps when we know how hard they work and what amazing talents they are. It's time people woke the hell up. Oh, and PS..world out there?? I don't know any "lazy" housewives. Usually, they run things.