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.
Today kicks off the final week of Guiding Light. Not unlike many of you, my own family, crossing four generations, has watched GL longer than I have been alive. So as a final tribute I am linking to a couple of the interviews I was lucky enough to do this year from Guiding Light.
Today is the interview with Orlagh Cassidy. Her portrayal of Mayor Doris Wolfe and her characters journey of coming out to her daughter Ashley in the final days of the storyline has been some of Orlagh’s best work on Guiding Light. I hope you’ll take the time to read the interview, leave a comment and please let Orlagh know what her time on GL has meant to you by visiting her on Twitter. http://twitter.com/orlaghcassidy
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.
The name Orlagh Cassidy is a hard one to forget. You may recognize the name because of its unique Gaelic beauty but you’re not quite sure where you recognize it from. Well if you are a fan of Guiding Light you will recognize the name Doris Wolfe, Springfield’s feisty and oh so politically driven Mayor. The character of Doris Wolfe is played by the beautiful and enormously talented Orlagh Cassidy. Orlagh came onto the scene in 1998 as Doris Wolfe, the hard hitting District Attorney in Springfield. She eventually worked her way up the ladder not just politically but socially when she married tycoon and town Wackadoodle, Alan Spaulding. Now as Mayor of Springfield, Doris is responsible for stirring up the pot and unleashing the firestorm, the phenomenon, the love story that is Otalia. It’s because of Doris’ political drive and ambition that the “My Two Mommies” presentation of one Emma Spencer was broadcast across the Springfield airways setting the stage for the domino effect of events that have taken place over the few months. Doris unwittingly pulled the wool out from under Olivia and Natalia and forced them to take a long hard look at their relationship, redefining who they are as friends, a couple…a family.
Doris Wolfe is the character you love to hate. The woman walks around with bodyguards, drops bombs on an unsuspecting, painfully clueless police chief (“Man up Frank…Your ex-fiancé has the hots for Olivia”) and is a closeted lesbian wearin’ a hat at ladies night! Some may say bitch…I say kindred spirit. This woman is a rock star!
I recently had the pleasure to chat briefly with the one and only Orlagh Cassidy. She was kind enough to take some time out of her very busy schedule to answer a few questions about her character Doris Wolfe and Doris’ role in the Otalia storyline. Orlagh also indulged me a little with a few silly random questions just to let us take a peek into her personality outside of Doris and Guiding Light. Thank you Orlagh!
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.
Calling all Crystal Chappell and Otalia fans! Come one, come all, today is a day you have all been waiting for. What day is that Tiffany? Well I’ll tell you dear friends. Crystal Chappell Podcast Day! That’s right folks, your favorite Guiding Light Goddess will be a guest on a very special edition of The Big Purple Podcast, the official Big Purple Dreams fan forum podcast, today May 7, 2009. BPD’s fearless leader and sexy voice Goddess herself, Destini, will be hosting the podcast this afternoon and assures me that it will be posted to The Big Purple Podcast site this evening.
When I talked to Destini last night I asked her what she hoped to get out of the podcast and she told me “I’m very excited to have this opportunity to chat one-on-one with the original Goddess herself, Ms. Crystal Chappell. It’s something the fans over at BPD and I have are looking forward to. My only concern is that I fear Crystal may try to kill me dead.”
Well there you have it folks! Be prepared to lose your minds when Destini (sexy voice #1) and Crystal Chappell (sexy voice #2) go head-to-head today May 7, 2009 and please don’t forget to be on the look out tonight for The Goddess Edition of The Big Purple Podcast. Let’s hope that Destini survives being Chappelled!
“I am here to solemnize the wedding of Frank Cooper and Natalia Rivera.” Wow, solemnize…that’s what every girl dreams of when she thinks about how her wedding day will be described. What a sexy word!! Mayor Doris Wolfe, played brilliantly by the fabulous Orlagh Cassidy, ends up offering to officiate the wedding and does so with style. Hey Orlagh, call me, we’ll do lunch…I’ll wear a hat! Doris is my star for the majority of this episode. I would imagine she feels that she can throw the odds in her new friend Olivia’s favor by oh, I don’t know, speaking of the virtues of marriage and how it is not to be taken lightly or rushed into lightly. Doris gives the “is there any reason you shouldn’t be married” schpeal to Frank and Natalia when suddenly Olivia bursts out with a “NO…body objects right?” causing a laugh throughout the church and further tormenting me. Crystal Chappell may be a Goddess but she’s pushing me right up to the edge of insanity too. I’m jittery and starting to talk to myself, it isn’t pretty.
Doris continues her rant about the sanctity of marriage and how love is never doing what’s expected (watch out Frank…anvil dropping), it endures all, it shouldn’t be entered into thoughtlessly or out of a sense of convenience (oops, another anvil). She’s peppering her every word with enough not so subtle messages trying to shine a guiding light (sorry, I couldn’t resist) over Natalia to lead her out of this deep fog she seems to be lost in. Doris is my hero today. She even fakes a phone call that forces her to stop the wedding! I’m impressed by what an incredible friend she is trying to be to Olivia by attempting to help her do what she refuses to herself…stop Natalia from making the biggest mistake of her life by marring a man she doesn’t love.
Tuesday my heart was torn from my chest and tossed into the wood chipper by Crystal Chappell’s performance of Olivia Spencer’s tormented confession of her undying love for Natalia. Today I am unsuccessfully trying to recover from Wednesday’s episode, which picked up right where we left off Tuesday with Olivia and Natalia in the cemetery. Olivia once again professes her deep undying love for Natalia.
At this point Olivia is determined to finally speak the truth, finally say what has tormented and consumed her for so long. She realizes that once she verbalizes what she truly feels that she can never take it back, something that Natalia tries to remind her of and something Olivia is painfully aware of but needs to say it because this could be her last chance to, in her words, “set the record straight.” She’s not sure exactly when things changed but they most certainly did. They started out as rivals, became friends, hell, Natalia gave Olivia her dead husband’s heart! Somewhere between roommates and best friends they turned into a family. Natalia is Emma’s (Olivia’s daughter) other mommy. She and Olivia know each other so well they finish each other’s sentences. They love each other and in that moment you undoubtedly know it, you feel it, you believe it.