By Michele Dargan

WHAT has been going on with all of the actor exits on our favorite soap operas recently?????

It seems we need a scorecard these days just to keep up with who’s leaving which soap.

Earlier this month, Mark Hapka, Nathan on Days of Our Lives, got the axe after being involved in a front-burner storyline.

Now we find out that two more Days actors are leaving: Shelley Hennig (Stephanie) and Jay Kenneth Johnson (Philip).

Paula, over at Paula’s Soapbox, discusses the recent DOOL exits and the possible impact on current storylines.

Click here to read her Days blog titled “On the Outs: DOOL.”

Meanwhile in the past few days, there’s been a plethora of exits on the ABC soaps.

Melissa Claire Egan (Annie Lavery/AMC) is leaving. She opted not to renew her contract.

Melissa Claire Egan (Annie/AMC)

THAT is definitely a BIG loss to AMC. Annie added so much to life to the show and Egan was so much fun to watch…particularly when she turned into Crazy Annie!

Egan posted a letter to her fans on her official website.

It says, in part: “After 4 and a half incredible years as a member of the All My Children cast, I have made the extremely difficult decision to leave the Pine Valley family that I have come to love and respect so much.

“It has been an amazing 4 and a half years for me! I have had the privilege and honor of working with the most talented and fun cast, crew, producers and directors imaginable. I have learned so much from them and am forever indebted. To wake up each morning and love going to work is a true blessing for which I am unbelievably grateful!”

And over at One Life To Live, Brittany Underwood (Langston/OLTL) has been fired.

Another BIG loss….I so enjoyed watching Langston grow from the “freak” in high school into a Cramer woman.

Perhaps the biggest shocker of all….

Rebecca Herbst, who has played Elizabeth Webber FOR-ever on General Hospital, was let go.

Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth)

Whhhhhaaaaatttt?????

Although, I have to say, the writers have totally ruined the character over the past several years….they turned Elizabeth…who survived a brutal rape all those years ago…who used to be a strong, kind, giving person…into a jealous, insecure – and I might add annoying – character.

Be that as it may, I still loved to watch Herbst onscreen because of her talent.

Not to mention that the character is steeped in so much GH history!

Paula, over at Paula’s Soapbox, has written a blog about her take on Herbst’s firing and speculates on how Elizabeth will be written out.

Paula also discusses how Elizabeth’s exit will impact the characters in her universe – like Lucky, Nikolas, Jason and her children.

Click here to read Paula’s blog about Herbst’s exit: “Farewell to Possibilities: GH.”

Hey Gang!

I’m still working on my interview with Aiden Turner from All My Children and will have that for you tomorrow.

IN THE MEANTIME…..

I want to alert my Days of Our Lives followers that there are two recent blog posts up on my buddy Paula’s site – Paula’s Soapbox – that I think you’ll want to check out.

Although Paula thinks that Days is one of the best soaps on TV, she says that some of the storylines have “jumped the shark.”

Click here to read the full post called “The Dance: DOOL.”

In another recent post, Paula discusses the big reveal about Chloe’s fling and Parker’s paternity.

Paula says it took too waaaay too long for the truth to come out.

Paula writes: “This is my main complaint with Days, they tease their audience too much so that by the time the event that they have been teasing us with finally happens it’s anti-climactic. I think this particular reveal should have happened shortly after Melanie and Nathan left quarantine because I never really understood how they could come so close to death, say their “I love you’s” then go back to their respective mates as if nothing ever happened.”

Click here to read Paula’s entire post titled: My Baby’s Got a Secret: DOOL

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By Michele Dargan

Buckle your seatbelts Salem, Kinsey’s back in town!

Or at least she will be in the not too distant future.

I sat down with Shelby Young, the actress who plays the scheming Kinsey on Days of Our Lives, earlier this week, when she was in South Florida visiting her family.

Now 18, Shelby started modeling at age 5, then moved on to commercials and acting. She has done extensive voice work, which include commercials and films.

Shelby Young (Kinsey)

Shelby, who’s on recurring status, said she will begin shooting with DOOL again in January. When we spoke, she hadn’t yet seen the script, since she was still in Florida when the script arrived at her L. A. apartment.

But whatever happens, Shelby hopes that Kinsey will be sticking around for awhile.

Shelby originally read for the role of Mia. Although casting director Marnie Saitta didn’t think Shelby was the right fit for that role, she called her back in for the role of Kinsey.

“I got the call later that day that I booked the role,” Shelby said. “It was one episode, possibly recurring. And I’ve been doing it for 1 1/2 years…I love the soap and it would be great to be a contract role. But for the time being, I’m alright with being recurring, because I can do other projects as well.”

One of those “other projects” included a part in this year’s box office hit The Social Network.
“I was so nervous the night before [filming],” she said.

It was her second major feature film. Her first was the 2008 film Wild Child.

“With the soap, you film an episode a day, so you get one take,” she said. “And then I go on set for The Social Network and [director] David Fincher’s known for taking numerous takes. So for my one little scene, it took 60 takes.”

Shelby knew Aaron Sorkin was the screenwriter, but she didn’t know what he looked like.

“So we’re doing the scene and this man comes over to me and said, ‘We’re going to change this line,'” she recalled. “And I said, ‘Won’t Aaron Sorkin mind?’ And [reaching out his hand] he said, ‘Hi. I’m Aaron Sorkin.’ I was a little embarassed, but at least he knew I was looking out for him.”

Even if the movie receives Academy Award nominations (and judging from various other awards and nominations it’s already received, it most likely will), Shelby doesn’t think she’ll be able to go to the ceremony. But she’s hoping to attend some Oscar parties and the gifting suite. She’s been to gifting suites for the Emmy and Grammy Awards.

As far as her role on Days, Shelby’s hoping the new script contains a good storyline for Kinsey.

“One of the things that I dislike about being recurring is that it’s not steady and I never know if I’m filming this month or next month,” she said.

Hanging out behind the scenes: Dylan Patton (formerly Will), Taylor Spreitler (Mia), Casey Deidrick (Chad) and Shelby.

Overall, it’s been a good year for Shelby.

“I’ve had a lot of fun this year,” she said. “I have a new boyfriend and he’s fantastic and I have all my friends and I got my own apartment.”

Shelby said she is also thankful to have an extremely nice roommate in actress Kay Panabaker, who is on the sitcom No Ordinary Family.

In the romance department: after a breakup with actor Charlie McDermott, Shelby is now dating P J Boudousque.

“Pilot season is coming up and I would love to land a pilot and end up getting that picked up and have a great TV series,” she said.

As far as Kinsey goes….

“Kinsey has no filter, first of all, which is why everyone says she’s so mean, but I think she just says it like it is,” Shelby said. “Sometimes she is mean, but she has her reasons. When Kinsey first came on the show, I think a lot of the meanness came from jealousy towards Mia. But now Mia’s gone. And Kinsey’s become funnier lately and I’m happy about that…She’s a misunderstood girl. She has a nice heart somewhere, but she just says what she thinks and that gets her into trouble. She still needs to soften up a bit.”

Kinsey (Shelby Young) and Nicole (Arianne Zucker) in Days.

Shelby started out having all of her scenes with the other teens on the show. This year she has moved on to interactions with some of the adults, including Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe) and Arianne Zucker (Nicole). And Shelby is happy that her character is broadening her interactions.

One thing Shelby is hoping for on the show is that Kinsey gets a boyfriend and a family.

“I’m interested to see where they take Kinsey, because I feel like it could go either way,” Shelby said. “She could end up being a huge schemer and creating havoc in the town or it could go the other way where she does realize she has a heart of gold. Who knows? I love working and I love working on this show. I’m enjoying the time I have here and if they write more for me, I would be thrilled. It’s been a blessing.”

[Screencap provided by Sheryl’s Days of Our Lives board.]