By Michele Dargan

I don’t know how anyone could have kept from crying their eyes out during the farewell scenes last week between Starr and Cole.

I was so moved at the raw and real emotions emanating from Kristen Alderson (Starr) and Brandon Buddy (Cole) as they said goodbye to each other and Cole to his beloved daughter, Hope.

Brandon Buddy (Cole) and Kristen Alderson (Starr)

Let me tell you….Buddy and Alderson have grown so much as actors and in their characters together…..which seems fitting that Starr and Cole’s theme song is “Together.”

Kristen Alderson and Brandon Buddy

I have to say that when Buddy first entered Llanview four years ago as Cole, Starr’s love interest, I was kinda lukewarm to the character.

Slowly but surely….I didn’t even know it was happening…somewhere along the way, I became a Sole fan.

I loved watching Alderson grow up onscreen….from a cute little girl, to a smart-talking, reptile loving child, to a blossoming pre-teen to a beautiful and strong young woman.

As for Buddy, he’s come a long way as an actor on the show.

In his early days as Cole, Buddy seemed a bit tentative in the character.

But, in a short time, he took command of the role and brought Cole through a variety of trying and difficult circumstances…..

Remember Cole detoxing off the drugs?

He did an incredible job with those scenes.

As for Alderson…well, she’s always been exceptional onscreen as Starr and she continues to grow and mature in the role.

Another sadness added to mix is the fact that Jason Tam (Markko) also left the show.

So as Starr and Cole said goodbye to each other, they also said goodbye to their good friend Markko. And, of course, Langston (Brittany Underwood) said goodbye to her first love.

So there was a whole lot of sadness going on with the break-up of the Fab Four as they’re called.

Brandon Buddy, Kristen Alderson, Brittany Underwood, Jason Tam

Because all four are great friends on and off screen, the scenes were all that more real, particularly at the end when Starr and Cole said their final goodbyes…..

Let me say that I am especially sad that Tam is leaving, because of the goodness and honesty of character found in Markko….and, quite frankly, with the tone and tenor the show is taking lately, there really aren’t many honorable characters left in Llanview.

And, in my humble opinion, that’s not a good thing!

But I digress….

Let me close with the video below and the final Starr/Cole scenes.

But it comes with a warning….Break out the tissues before “Together” starts with the flashback montage…It’s a killer!

And make sure you watch the very last scene when Cole leaves with the tissues at the ready!

By Michele Dargan

It’s pretty sad when the only thing I like about a soap is the opening theme song.

Yes sireeeee.

I loved hearing the OLTL opening theme song – sung with the words – for those three days of the musical.

Each day the song was performed by different singers – one day it was sung by Kassie DePaiva (Blair) who has a beautiful voice.

And – I think Tuesday – the opening theme was from the late 1980’s sung by Peabo Bryson.

[NOTE: I later found out that it was Mark Lawson (Brody) who sang Tuesday’s theme song – and HUGE KUDOS to him….To me, he sounded just like Peabo Bryson!]

They didn’t use the 80’s photos, of course.

Does anyone know the reason why they would use that theme song for three days and then revert back?

I don’t know why…But I will say that it was comforting….comforting because it made me think of the good old days of OLTL.

Ah yes….The 80’s…when the storylines and writing were still good.

Sad it’s come to this…..

I’ve already blogged about the hot mess of the three-day musical fiasco.

Lots of fast forwarding for me on those days.

As far as I’m concerned, the only good things to come out of that musical are seeing Brody (Mark Lawson) in his dress whites

And having Markko (Jason Tam) FINALLY discover the awful truth about Langston cheating on him with that low-life Ford.

THAT is another one of those storylines – like GH’s Liz cheating on Lucky with Nikolas – that went on way too long!

Oh, yeah….I loved when Markko slugged Ford. Now THAT was good!

And, judging by the previews, OLTL isn’t getting better any time soon…..

Natalie and Brody getting drunk and sleeping together?????

It looks like that will happen today.

Of course, Jessica will regain her memory and John will tell Natalie he wants her back…AND Nat and Brody will have THIS big secret…

Not good, since I like both couples and, of course, they’re being ruined.

Why is it that everyone on OLTL jumps into bed with the first available body when they get upset?

Everyone wants good drama.

But gratuitous sex is insulting to the fans and ruins the crediblity of good characters.

Don’t ya just love the always steady, wise-beyond-his-years, Markko Rivera on One Life To Live?
I know. Me too.
Markko is such an endearing character…. he’s loyal, smart, a hard worker….the list goes on and on of all his admirable qualities.
I spoke with his portrayer, Jason Tam, who will be attending his first Super Soap Weekend Nov. 15 and 16 at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.
markko.jpg
Jason was pretty new to the show when last year’s SSW rolled around, so he didn’t receive an invitation until this year.
And I have to tell you, Jason is really excited about Super Soap.
He very kindly took time out of his busy schedule to do an interview with me.
Jason, 26, holds a BFA in acting with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He originated the role of Paul in the Broadway 2006 revival of “A Chorus Line,” which is one of my favorite plays of all time.
Jason spoke candidly about his career, his thoughts on playing Markko and what it’s like to be a part of the OLTL cast.
Michele: What are you looking forward to about Super Soap?
Jason: “I’m looking forward to the entire experience as a whole just because I’ve heard so much about it so now I want to see for myself what it’s like. I think it’s going to be really great to connect with the die-hard fans of the show, to interact with them, to see who they are. I think that’s going to be really cool. I’ve done the fan club luncheon, a lot of smaller events, the Feast With The Famous Faces [charity event] and other events in New York, but this will be, by far, the biggest fan event that I’ve been to.”
Michele: What about the Street Jam?
Jason: “I’ve been asked to do the Street Jam.I don’t know what I’m singing yet. I’m really excited about that because I’ve been singing my whole life. It’s something that I really love. There’s nothing like getting in front of a crowd and performing, especially a crowd who’s going to be really supportive and excited to be there.”
Michele: What is a typical day like on the set of OLTL?
Jason: I come in to dry rehearsal usually around 8 in the morning and we get blocking for the scenes that we’re doing and, depending where my scenes fall in the day I either go straight to hair and makeup, or I’ll have a few hours to kill. If that’s the case, I usually have scenes with Brittany [Underwood as Langston] so we’ll find ways to kill time together. She’s always watching funny videos on YouTube or watching episodes of Family Guy or sometimes we make our own random funny videos.
“Then we go through the lines with the all the people in our scenes and make sure we have all our lines down. Then we shoot our scenes and go home. The last scenes of the day can go until 7 or 8 o’clock. But if my scenes are the first ones up, I could get there at 7:30/8 o’clock for my blocking and be out of there by 12.”
Michele: Is there anyone who helped you out in your early days on the show?
Jason: “When I was auditioning for the show, I ran into Melissa Fumero [Adriana]. We went to school together. She was a few years ahead of me. It was really great to run into a friendly face and she said, ‘It’s so great to see you.’ And she had a big smile on and she immediately put me at ease in this really foreign environment. And then when I got the job, I was working with Kristen [Alderson as Starr], Brandon [Buddy as Cole] and Brittany all the time and the four of us got close pretty quickly.”
Michele: Are the four of you friends outside of the studio?
Jason: “We are. If we’re all working together, then it’s pretty much a given that we walk across the street to the ABC cafeteria and eat lunch together. We go to movies together or sometimes we just get together at someone’s apartment and play board games together.”
Michele: What is it like working with the OLTL cast?
Jason: “I really enjoy working with the One Life To Live cast. I think it’s a great cast with really talented people and there aren’t any big egos. There’s no behind the scenes drama or cattiness and that’s really good because it makes it so much easier to be open in a work environment where you feel comfortable.”
Michele: What is it that you love or hate about playing Markko?
Jason: “What I like about Markko is his confidence. I think in his head, he’s the kind of guy who has a solution for everything or will come up with a solution for whatever problem is at hand. He’s unafraid to share his solution to everyone else’s problem in the world. He always has the right thing to do. I love that about Markko, but at the same time it could be a bad thing. He sees the world as if he’s kind of a genius in a world where other people aren’t as bright. Confidence is always a fine line with a character. He’s got this strange handle on things and a sense of responsibility. In my head, it comes from his family, which hasn’t been written into the storylines yet. But I think his family plays a huge part in who he is and how he interacts with the world.”
[Although there has been no backstory for Markko related to his family, Jason said he would love for that to happen.]
Michele: Which do you prefer stage or screen?
Jason: “As an actor, my goal is to do everything. I find things from different aspects of the industry fullfilling in different ways. But if I had to choose, I guess I would say theater, because it has the most rehearsal time. I really love rehearsing and finding the nuances of different characters and relationships. I find I do my best work when I have a lot of time to rehearse.”
Michele: What advice would you give to a young person aspiring to be an actor?
Jason: “First of all, get into some classes and try to be open. A lot of learning comes from just observing the real world and watching how human beings react to things physically and emotionally and be open to exploring all parts of yourself. What makes everyone so beautiful is that everyone is an individual. Having said that, some people might be afraid to reveal too much of themself. Find a class where you feel really comfortable and, hopefully, try to bring as much of humanity as possible to the characters that you play.”
Michele: How do you feel about the fact that this will be the last Super Soap?
Jason: “I’ve never been to one…but I’ve heard only really good things about it and it’s something the fans look forward to every single year. I heard ABC wants to put together more local events around the country and I think that’s great. But, to be honest, I think you could do both. I think you could have this one giant event and have these other local events.”
So there you have it.
If you want to learn more about Jason Tam, visit www.jasontam.net
And keep coming back to Soapbox for SSW updates.