Some soap fans need to cut their faves a little slack.
Julie Marie Berman (Lulu) is allowed to quit GH after eight years (and two Emmy Awards) to try other things at the tender age of 29. She does not “owe” GH fans anything other than the good work she has already delivered. Marcy Rylan (Abby) is free to leave Y&R – where she did not have a contract – to replace Berman’s contract role on GH. That sounds like a good financial decision for a young mom with two kids. Brandon Barash (Johnny, GH) hasn’t worked much lately and deserves to spread his muscular wings, too.
The same goes for actors who have not signed up for the reboots of AMC and OLTL. If Michael Knight doesn’t want to relocate from LA to Connecticut right now, he doesn’t have to. He already sold his New York apartment and moved 3,000 miles once for AMC, and we all know how that worked out. To paraphrase Field of Dreams, once AMC builds it, maybe he will come.
I saw some very harsh comments on the Internet about Kristen Alderson “owing” it to OLTL to quit GH and join the new Llanview. No. The people she owes her loyalty to are her current bosses at GH – Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati – who nurtured her all those years at OLTL and then brought her over and gave her a frontburner storyline on GH. Why would she quit a full-time job she loves to work five weeks on, five weeks off on a half-hour show? She already relocated 3,000 miles, too. Moving is hard!
Think about your first job. Did you feel obligated to spend the rest of your life with that employer? Some people do feel that way, and that’s great. We would not have the strong connection to Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak, Melody Thomas Scott, Eric Braeden, Kristian Alfonso, etc. that we do if those actors had left. Others, like Knight, Anthony Geary and Deidre Hall, were able to leave and come back. But I don’t begrudge the Josh Duhamels of the world for making it big outside of soaps. And I know you don’t either.
Soap actors feel like family to us because they are in our homes every day. And most of them are very accessible, especially now with Twitter. But they are still regular people with day jobs who have the right to make the same quality-of-life decisions that all of us are allowed to make.
I mean… What would you be reading right now if I had never left the Chicago Tribune?!