INTERVIEW: Guiding Light/Otalia International Following Speak Out

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Bonnie (England): Even though it wasn’t planned to film that scene in the snow, I think it just made it all the more romantic. It was great to see Natalia really showing some emotion and just blurting out her feelings like Olivia had done earlier on, as it just proved that they both needed to be really emotionally charged, and even provoked by the other, for those confessions to bubble to the surface and eventually come out. The smile Olivia gave Natalia afterwards – when she says “You never said anything” – is my absolute favorite part of that scene. You can see how blissfully happy she is to hear those words, despite what comes afterwards. She just can’t suppress those little moments of glee.

Rita (Ireland): Well Tiffany, I’m glad that you left this one until last, because I’m having a terrible time trying to concentrate with the mere mention of Crystal in that hat and walking in the snow! As I said, the minute that I saw Crystal walk across the graveyard in the snow, it was like looking at Julie Christie in Dr. Zhivago and what a love story that was! I know it was freezing for Crystal and Jessica having to work during the snow blizzard, but as a viewer, it made the scene even more romantic. The Gods were definitely on our side, when it came to shooting those scenes that day.

As I mentioned during our chat, no sooner had I seen the clips of Crystal walking in the snow and the Gazebo scene, but I was off sending a personal message to our brilliant banner maker on the Big Purple Dreams board asking for a banner with those clips!.

Turning the Table on Tiffany (Like the alliteration?)

It isn’t very often that during an interview my subjects will turn the table on me and ask me a question either personal or professional but because of the nature of this interview and the fact everyone on the call is from various parts of the world, I thought it was only fair to open up the floor and allow the girls to throw a few questions my way.

Team International: How did you come upon the idea to chat to us Europeans?

Tiffany D’Emidio: Well I noticed on the BPD board that there was a thread referencing the international following for both Otalia and Guiding Light. I was curious just how many people and how many countries were involved. Since there isn’t a way to watch the show, that I know, by live broadcast or online for any international following such as or Hulu, etc. I wanted to find out just how all of you were able to watch the show and if you were made up of just a couple folks from maybe Canada and England or if there was a true following. I was more than surprised that there is a true international following. It’s not just a group of American ex pats spread out across Europe. Team International is exactly that, a team of fans spanning the globe dedicated to Guiding Light and the Otalia storyline. It’s impressive and a true testament to the show.

TI: Are you happy with the way the story is being told?

TD: I love the way the story is being told! As I’ve said many times, I grew up watching Guiding Light with my grandma, mom and sisters but fell away from it after high school. It was a fluke thing that got me to watch it one day while home sick from work and it was the “My Two Mommies” episode where Olivia and Natalia kiss. I was floored. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing and of course very skeptical that it was a stunt that wouldn’t lead to anything real, certainly not what it has become today. I started doing some research because I wanted to write an article about it and the deeper I got the bigger this story became and the more I became invested because I realized that it was a year in the making to even get to this point. This was an old fashioned soap opera story, the kind I grew up watching and what I loved about it. I love being told a story that has twists and turns and keeps my attention for more than a minute. I don’t need the instant gratification when it comes to a well written story, especially a love story and to my surprise that’s exactly what this was and still is over a year later.

TI: Do you feel that there are more people for the Otalia storyline than against?

TD: Yes, I truly believe that there are more people championing for this storyline than fighting against it. When you have a fan forum like BPD that has garnered almost four thousand registered members in five months, you have nearly 800 people a day participating in a play-by-play, and people writing countless stories with such positive comments and feedback as what we are seeing…then yes, there is a great deal of love for the Otalia storyline, Crystal Chappell, Jessica Leccia, Jill Lorie Hurst, Ellen Wheeler and Guiding Light. Not many shows head writer and executive producer are as well known by name to the fans as those of Guiding Light. Not many shows head writer and executive producer get flowers and postcards and personal notes of love and appreciation thanking them for showing the fans the respect, dignity and love like those of Guiding Light. It just doesn’t happen. The critics and the folks who spew bigotry and hate will always make some noise at first but it’s just that…noise. The positivity of such a loving, devoted fan base as the one that Guiding Light and Otalia have right now will always rise above to drown out the hate.

For more information about all things Crystal Chappell, Jessica Leccia, Otalia or related visit the Big Purple Dreams fan forum.

Interview by Tiffany N. D’Emidio

25 thoughts on “INTERVIEW: Guiding Light/Otalia International Following Speak Out”

  1. This is really wonderful fans love Otalia & GL all over the world, everyone together to save the light! When you believe anything is possible!

  2. Outstanding! So nice to see the international faction getting exposure and showing how deep the fanbase is for Guiding Light as well as how strong the passion is to save the show.

  3. Thanks Tiffany for letting our voices be heard. Thoroughly enjoyed the chat 🙂 Rita (a.k.a. Renville68)

  4. So cool to hear from the international fans! It's a shame CBS doesn't make it easier for them to watch the show on their website. Hopefully, whatever network picks up GL will make more of an effort 🙂

  5. Thank you so much Tiffany! This is a great article (though I may be biased ;-)) – it's good to get the word out that there is lots of international interest in Guiding Light and Otalia. Wonderful! I really enjoyed chatting with you and the girls. 🙂

  6. Great interview! As a member of Team Scandinavia myself, I love the fact that the voices of us international viewers are being heard too.

  7. Thanks Tiffany, this was such a great idea for an article! I have to say as an American fan of GL, part of the most fascinating aspect of the fandom have been the international viewers (and my heart goes out to them with how hard they have to work to see the show!).

    I mean what better barometer toward measuring how extraordinary a program is, when you have it being so appreciated across the globe and how it measures to various local offerings. I feel the same about GL when comparing it to other U.S. soaps and dramas; it feels like its working on a different plane right now, and one can only hope that this global phenom will finally get people to think differently of why this show MUST be saved.

  8. I am one of the international views and can only say one word Otalia!!! The reason I started to watch GL. Love the story, love the acting! Just love being part of that incredible love story. It is a magical experience.

  9. Great article! I love reading about BPD's international contingent. There are so many, spread so far and wide, and they deserve so much love and attention for the efforts they have to make to see the episodes. That's devotion! At least we reward them with the Activia lady.

  10. That was a great interview on both sides! It's great to see Team International get some recognition! We are making a difference, and we must continue to do so! Ten minutes to send an email or write a postcard could do wonders! Team International wants to Keep The Light Shining!

  11. Great article! The international Otalia fans bring so much to the Otalia community. It is good to see them recognized for their devotion. The Big Purple Dreams fansite wouldn't be the same without them!

  12. How wonderful is this! Again such brilliance. The international fans help make it happen in a very big way. Thank you so much for showing how far and how deep this fanbase truly goes

  13. A MASSIVE thank-you to Tiffany for giving us the opportunity to get our voices heard like this. It was great to chat to other international fans and to see the technical viewing troubles that we have in common! I really hope whoever picks up GL will be kind to us and allow us to watch at 3pm with everyone else.
    Thanks again…..the international will keep working hard to help Save Guiding Light.

  14. I just want to say a Big HELLO to our international peeps. Nice to see all of you here. About time someone recognized just how wide spread Otalia is. {CBS, you watchin?} Lifetime, you would be getting a show with a worldwide fanbase. Hooray for you and all of us Otaliafans. Keep watching, keep writing, let's not lose track of our goal. Our goal is, Keep the Light Shining!!!! Have an awesome night!!! Otalia = Big Purple Passion!

  15. Imagine this, I'm from Nicaragua, a little country in the middle of Central America and I'm also watching this show. It's the most beautiful love story I've ever seen on my tv and I had always hated soaps, but GL and Otalia are so good I am hooked…the international fan base is growing every day. i can't believe no one is picking up this show and seeing the enormous potential market it has…*i'm looking at u, lifetime* IT CANNOT go off the air…please!!!!!!

  16. Another great article! BPD is truly a community for all! Thanks again for highlighting BPD and Guiding Light!

  17. A big thanks for the great interview, from a Belgian Team International member! BPD is really a very special place, the positivity, love, respect and purpleness rub off on everyone who visits it. It's the people who are in it that make our living room what it is, but I believe it's also the living room that makes the people, even if it's just for a small part. I have been very excited to see the international fan base grow every single day..I have been glued to my screen ever since I started watching GL 4 months ago (though it seems more like a year to me..) and to be able to share laughter, love, angst and fangirlyness with so many people…It's amazing to feel so connected.

  18. Fantastic article and it was good to hear from some of our international viewers. I love their comments about American tv.

  19. Great article! I'm part of Team International (Finland) and I do wish that the show would be more accessible to international viewers, but where there is will, there is a way and this is a true testiment to that. I'd actually be willing to pay a monthly fee to get access to it wherever the show might end up at, to see the show the same time everyone else does, commercials and all. Do you hear me, P&G/Lifetime/etc.?! I AM WILLING TO PAY to see Guiding Light online!!!!!!! Make it happen, please 🙂

    Thank you Tiffany for this article, really!

    And what comes to advertisement… some products are internationally available, like Activia so not all go to waste. We might not have Jamie Lee Curtis as our Activia Lady, but we do have the product in our stores so … there you go. Message received 🙂

  20. Great Article!! Its good to show that Guiding Light has a worldwide fanbase! I would also be willing to pay to be able to watch it online, and I'm sure that nowadays it would be possible to have the advertising be specific for the country of witch the viewer is from?? Something to maybe think about P&G/Lifetime/etc.??? S-thur, proud member of Team The Netherlands!

  21. We at BPD love our international fans!! It really brings to light how far-reaching the Otalia storyline is, and how much of a positive impact is being made. It is so much fun interacting with such a diverse group! If you haven't checked out Bonnie and Scooby with their 'Brit Girls Do' Otalia run-down, it is a MUST! Thanks, Tiffany, for another fun interview! Keep the Light shining!

  22. International fan here (Scotland) I fell in Love with GL,due to Otalia clips from YT, I have watched as many clips as possible past romances, deaths, fights all the drama you could ask for in a great soap. I hope they Keep the Light Shining it is so worth it

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