Singer, songwriter, all around music maven Jen Foster thought she was simply submitting her song “Venice Beach” to the website of an up-and-coming web series discovered by some of her fans. Little did she know how this seemingly small action would set into motion an explosion of excitement, exposure, blown up servers and an even broader fan base. Of course I’m talking about the highly anticipated web series from Soap star Crystal Chappell, Venice the Series [Launching Friday, December 4th 8pm PST].
I had the pleasure of chatting with Jen recently to discuss her latest album Thirty-Nine as well as the overwhelming success of the updated version of he song “Venice Beach” featured in the promo for Venice the Series. Jen was an absolute delight and has agreed to give away some cool swag so please, fans of Jen Foster, be sure to check the end of this interview for contest details.
This Saturday, November 7th, is the Days of Our Lives “Day of Days” fan event. So as a special treat to gear up for the event we have an interview with Peter Reckell (Bo) and Crystal Chappell (Carly). Earlier this week they participated in a roundtable conference call with various online media groups to discuss Carly’s return, Crystal going head to head again with Louise Sorel and the new Bo, Hope and Carly triangle.
Below is the transcript of that call. If you are in the LA area be sure to stop by the “Day of Days” fan event where you can meet the cast of Days of Our Live. There will be autograph signing, a Q&A session and so much more! See you this Saturday, November 7th at the CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood!
Venice the Series debuts on the web sometime in November this year but is already one of the most highly anticipated interactive projects to hit the online entertainment industry. So when I got the chance to chat with Kim Turrisi and Hope Royaltey, two of three creative minds behind Crystal Chappell’s new web series Venice, I jumped at the chance. You know that saying be careful what you wish for because you just might get it? Well I had no idea what I was getting myself into but most definitely enjoyed the ride!
It was shortly after the cancellation of Guiding Light that actress Crystal Chappell decided it was time to creatively take matters into her own hands. What better time to start your own production company to produce your own material where you’ve got total control and the artistic freedom to tell a story in the fashion you believe it should be told. No studio’s wrapping you up in contracts or red tape, no producers tying your hands behind your back censoring your creative vision.
So Tiffany, you ask, in what strange universe could a project like that stand a chance of actually coming to fruition? Why the internet of course! The business savvy Chappell realized that the time was now so she called up longtime friend and writer Kim Turrisi and through a mutual friend contacted producer Hope Royaltey to create their very own production company, OPEN BOOK PRODUCTIONS, so they could tell the type of stories that were passionate to them on their own terms and thus Venice the Series was born!
Recently I had the chance to chat with Crystal to discuss her newest adventure as co-creator, executive producer and future director of Venice the Series due to hit the web November of this year. Unfortunately for me the new online recording service I used decided it would be fun for me if they deleted the interview. By the grace of God, a full day of me huddled in the fetal position crying and one very generous publicist (thank you Leslie), Crystal Chappell graciously agreed to an email interview. There’s a reason why her fans refer to her as a Goddess!
Earlier this year I had the distinct pleasure of scoring one of the first interviews with actress Jessica Leccia who over the better part of a year has so beautifully played one half of the Guiding Light super couple affectionately referred to as Otalia. Jessica (as Natalia Rivera) along side veteran soap Goddess Crystal Chappell (as Olivia Spencer) has given a voice to so many who have for far too long been without. The love story of Olivia and Natalia has transformed the canvas of television in an unassuming way by redefining what it means to be a family on television. They did it with grace and style and a true love for one another. This wasn’t a ratings stunt. It was, is and always will be a beautiful love story.
Revisit the interview and enjoy the fun, kind hearted, ever grateful spirit of Jessica Leccia.
If you’re a fan of daytime television and have been following Guiding Light’s break through storyline over the past year between Olivia Spencer (Crystal Chappell) and Natalia Rivera (Jessica Leccia) affectionately know as Otalia, then you most definitely know about the fan forum Big Purple Dreams. BPD was created by a group of soap fans wanting a place of their own to gush over the burgeoning epic love story they were witnessing over at Guiding Light. Though Guiding Light is winding down and about to take its final bow, BPD is running strong and has no intentions of fading quietly once the show goes off the air. It’s become more than a fan forum, it’s a community of people who love and respect not only the story of Olivia and Natalia but also one another and have come together as a family.
Revisit the interview with the girls of Big Purple Dreams and see just how far this community of loving, passionate, die hard fans has come over the past year.
Crystal Chappell is on fire these days. Yes, its true that her role of Olivia Spencer is coming to and end when the beloved soap Guiding Light concludes in September. But that’s not the end for one Ms. Crystal Chappell. Touted as the most talented actress in daytime, a title I happen to agree with, is also one of the busiest. In the last week she reprised her role on NBC’s Days of Our Lives as Dr. Carly Manning and from what Chappell has tweeted herself, filming is going really well. She says, “Really loving this Carly. She’s got some fire!” Along with husband Michael Sabatino and Louise Sorel who also return to Salem, this trio’s reunion should make for some highly entertaining soap drama. Personally, I’m foaming at the mouth with anticipation!
But wait, there’s more! Reprising the role that made her famous is just the beginning. Chappell has also taken on a new role, several new roles actually. This is a woman wearing many hats these days (luckily she looks good wearing a hat) with her new highly anticipated project Venice, a web series that she and writing partner Kim Turrisi and producer Hope Royaltey have created which is scheduled to debut later this year.
Not only is Crystal producing Venice but as of yesterday’s big announcement, she is now starring in it as well. Taking on the role of lesbian designer Gina, Chappell leads an impressive cast of characters. She’s recruited several of her soap star buddies including her current on screen partner in crime Jessica Leccia as Ani, a potential love interest for Gina; long time friend and One Life to Life alum Hillary B. Smith as Gina’s eccentric aunt Goya and throw in a couple Billy Lewis’ err I mean Jordan Clarke and Daniel Cosgrove (GL’s Billy and Bill Lewis) as Gina’s dad and brother and you’ve got an all-star line up of actors to launch a series. That’s not all! Also recently announced is the addition of former L Word bad girl Elizabeth Keener as Lara. Yes, I said Elizabeth Keener! Loved you as Dawn Denbo…just sayin’.
Venice isn’t set to launch until later in the year but currently you can follow along on Twitter @VeniceTheSeries or the web site www.venicetheseries.com and take a stab at the ridiculously difficult clues Hope is notorious for creating when debuting a new feature to the site. They recently had a logo contest asking fans to submit their design ideas for the sites logo and are currently taking music submissions for original music to be featured in the show. This is a highly interactive project. It’s also the beginning of how we are going to see more and more entertainment projects produced. It’s less expensive, it’s highly accessible to audiences and you come away with a more well-rounded experience. When it’s all said and done, Crystal Chappell just may go down not only as a key player in one of the most beloved couples in daytime, breaking new ground for same sex couples by bringing grace and love and respect to a community that is so lacking but also as a leader in new media, someone with the vision and quite frankly the balls to take that leap of faith with this ever evolving technology.
Today in Peapack New Jersey marks the final shoot day for the cast and crew of Guiding Light. After 72 years of broadcast this American icon will close its doors. I still feel shell shocked that CBS actually canceled the longest running soap in history that has been such a big piece of the culture in the lives of generations of American families. In this day and age it is near impossible to find a show that you can honestly say you’ve watched since you were a kid with your family. I myself grew up watching soaps and Guiding Light was one of the big ones. If I was home sick from school I’d spend the day with my grandmother and little Italian immigrant great grandmother who would often yell at the TV in broken English whenever Reva Shayne would fly off into one of her crazy antics.
Over the years Guiding Light has come to mean so many different things to so many different people. It’s a multi-generational American experience. So today they shoot their final scenes and bring a conclusion to a 72 year tradition. I hope you will watch the show today and everyday through September when they air the final show keeping the cast and crew in your thoughts. If you see someone from the show stop them and tell them thanks, if you’re on Twitter send out a tweet to your favorite cast members or camera guy and let them know you’re thinking of them today or an email letting them know just how much they and Guiding Light as a whole has meant to you over the years.
According to his Twitter page, Frank Dicopoulos (Frank Cooper) has the final scene of the day along with co-stars Tina Sloan (Lillian Raines) and Jordan Clarke (Billy Lewis). I wish them all luck on their final shoot and a thank you for the many years of entertainment!
If you’re on Twitter, the following people from the show are out there:
As a fan, what could possibly give your give your favorite actress for her birthday that she has never had before? If you are Guiding Light’s Crystal Chappell you get to become the #8 Trending Topic on Twitter.
Today is Ms. Chappell’s birthday so as a present to her, her loving, loyal and wildly enthusiastic fans spent the day adding #CrystalChappell to their tweets to ensure the Goddess herself would make the cut on her very special day.
Not a bad way to spend a birthday. Happy Birthday Crystal!
You can follow Crystal @CrystalChappell and her new web series Venice @VeniceTheSeries on twitter.
Technology can be a wonderful tool. It allows you to listen to music from your iPhone on the way to work, download new songs while enjoying a latte at your favorite coffee shop and receive instant tweets from damn near everyone in the known universe. This is no exaggeration, even Elizabeth Taylor (Yes, Dame Elizabeth) has a Twitter account and she uses it! We’re living in an age where you can chat with your best friend in Wales over Skype then switch over and check your Twitter account to see Dame Elizabeth’s latest tweet and then post to your blog about the conversation you had with your best friend about Elizabeth Taylor’s tweet’s, all from your slick new iPhone. Yes, I have a mild addiction to my iPhone…so sue me!
In all seriousness, it is amazing the ability we have today to reach out and touch the people in our lives in an instant. I’ve finally jumped on the Twitter bandwagon to keep in touch with our readers here at Eclipsemagazine.com and fellow writers who enjoy singing snippets from the soundtrack to Glee repeatedly (yes, I’m talking to you DuckyDoesTV) and mytakeontv). I’ve had “…the smell of wine and cheap perfume” in my head for a week now!
But I digress. So I was on Twitter yesterday setting up my account and searching around for people I wanted to follow when I came across a flurry of activity surrounding our friends over at Guiding Light. It turns out that one Ms. Crystal Chappell (Olivia Spencer) has also jumped on the Twitter train and has taken to it like a duck to water. Yesterday during what appeared to be a long shoot day on the set of Guiding Light, Crystal Chappell did want all soap fans could only dream of…she tweeted LIVE from the set. This wasn’t a media event with journalists doing a set tour. This was an actress connecting with her fans. And trust me; Crystal Chappell has fans…lots and lots of devoted fans. As of this morning her Twitter account was up to 1961 followers and I’ve been told she only started her page 4 days ago so yeah, the girls got fans.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that our favorite fan forum Big Purple Dreams reached another milestone over the weekend. As of yesterday, Big Purple Dreams reached 4000 members! That’s 4000 members in five months for a television show that has been canceled. Hey Lifetime, you might wanna keep an eye on this one, 4000 members in five months…just think what they could do in a year! The members of this fan forum are going exponentially rivaling any other fan forum in daytime or primetime for that matter so congratulations to BPD, Guiding Light and Otalia!
While the U.S. population make up a majority of those very fans, there is an impressive international following as well that most definitely needs to be acknowledge and praised. Guiding Light is being followed in at least 28 countries other than the United States from countries such as Australia, Bosnia, and Finland to Israel, Peru, and Wales. Keep in mind, these countries don’t receive a live feed the way U.S. audiences do. They aren’t even able to watch online from the CBS.com website the way U.S. viewers do either. To say the international following is dedicated is an understatement. Really, how many shows would you go out of your way to find that don’t show up in On Demand or cable reruns or download from iTunes? The international Guiding Light fans have none of that and yet they show up each and everyday to watch the show. They have also started their own international campaign to save Guiding Light with phone calls, emails, postcards and letter writing to join their U.S. family in the fight to save a show they love. I was lucky enough to sit down with several members of Team International over Skype (gotta love technology) to discus how they actually watch the show, differences in culture and how the international audience has a strong voice.