By Silas Kain

Anyone who’s listened to my show knows that one of my greatest flaws is my failure to keep my tongue in my pocket. (Please hold the snarky retorts.)

That being said, I want to take a moment to set the record straight on a few things concerning today’s rallies or lack thereof for As the World Turns. So, without further adieu, here goes, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

First of all, THANK YOU to all who listened in last week and participated in our Surge on Soaps. Unfortunately, the majority of those who lurked in the background agreeing to attend a rally failed to follow through.

That stinks – not so much for me but for Sue and Tami who have put their hearts and souls into this campaign. So with that said, here goes…

Suffice it to say I am disappointed and if those who claimed they were going to a rally did so to sabotage the movement, you are hereby served notice. There are those of us in this group who are fighting the good fight to save a genre.

We’re not interested in personal glorification, nor are we interested in sucking up to soap celebrities. As much as this is about soap actors, we understand that actors are human beings, too. They have personal lives, they do this because they love their craft and they don’t want deification — they want to work.

Too many people have been involved in this campaign only to promote personal agendas or serve as shills for a band of gutless “pundits” who would sell their own souls to gain a scoop or “one up” the competition.

As I said EVERY DAY last week on my show — leave your egos at the door.

This is more than just a show or two. This is about an art form which is in serious trouble.

And to all the Johnny-come-latelys who are coming out of the woodwork claiming that they’re concerned all of a sudden — where the heck have you been? We’ve been here all along willing to work with anyone who shared our view of the importance of keeping soap opera alive. Sure the times have changed. That means that the soap model has to adapt as well.

I’m sorry to sound so negative but to be honest I am mostly disappointed.

I’ve known Sue for 12 years. I know how strong her passion has been and I know she’s given herself time and time again — at her own expense and to the risk of her health. Let’s not forget just 6 days ago she had a pacemaker inserted under her breast. Yet she made the trip to NYC. She’s put a lot of her own money into this effort and never asked a single one of us for a dime. Yes, it was her choice, but where is the gratitude, folks?

This woman has given of herself, her heart and her well being because of her passion which she thought the rest of us shared. And tonight she may very well be in an emergency room in Connecticut because she just did too much in these last few days. Again, that was her choice; however, Sue can never wear the badge of shame which says she didn’t do her part. For her service, I salute her and thank her for never giving up especially when most around her were giving her nothing but lip service.

I predicted on Thursday that there would be many disappointments today. My prophecy has been fulfilled. And that’s OK, I’ve been through this before.

Eleven years ago, I remember reaching out to GL and ATWT fans about Another World. I remember begging those fans to hear our case. We were ridiculed. We were lambasted. We were treated like Barack Obama at a Tea Party Rally. And, you know what? We proved we were better than that.

When GL got cancelled, the same AW fans that were once shunned were sought out for advice and guidance. I didn’t get involved in that fight. Frankly, I didn’t want to waste my time. Then CBS announced the end of ATWT.

I don’t care what line of crap the soap media feeds you nor do I believe the “official” line of the studios. This is business. Whatever the motivations were for killing a show which has been enjoyed by 5 consecutive generations of viewers is of no concern to me.

What is most important is the shoring up of those shows that remain while encouraging another network to consider the development of one or two new shows.

That’s right, I said it – NEW soaps.

I believe today just as I did in 1999 in the simple premise that there is demand for quality soap opera.

I am a vociferous proponent of getting arts back into education. I think part of the problem with Daytime is that the last two generations of children have been robbed of the gift of exposure to the arts be it music, drama or literature. And that, my friends, creates students who have a diminished capacity to learn the basics.

Tomorrow is a new day.

The Rallies are over; the ATWT post mortem is at an end.

No more grieving, no more looking for excuses as to who to blame.

If you want to work to promote the genre and get these professionals back in circulation, then join us in this renewed cause. We are the FIRST group which presented a comprehensive, bold approach to reinventing Daytime. That is fact. We have an arsenal of professionals behind the scenes who share our passions and are waiting for the right time to do what they must to join this cause.

So, where to from here?

For me, the answer is simple.

We will continue to work on our proposal. We will fine tune it. We will seek input from people who are willing to place their own egos at the door.

And while I’ve slammed a lot of soap press I know that there are many out there who share my passion. I know that there are many actors, writers and crew who are amazed that we have been in this for them – each of them – because we recognize their value to their respective professions. We believe this initiative is the natural progression for the times in which we live.

Irna Phillips has been an incredible influence on American society for over 50 years. This initiative is dedicated to her in gratitude for her accomplishments. We’re not interested in fan club or studio fan events which take money from the same band of fans ad nauseum. We want to see our actors and writers out there executing their crafts in a forum where they will be most appreciated.

When an actor acts, an actor is most fulfilled. When a writer can weave a tale from the times in which we live without the fear of studio reprisals or “political incorrectness” he/she can spin a tale which captures and inspires. When a director can take their experience from Daytime and bring it to a community theatre for the benefit of up and coming actors and audience they are not only a gift, they are mentors to a new generation of accomplished, seasoned professionals.

Later this week we will be putting out our Irna Phillips Initiative in a boldly creative way. Last week’s Surge on Soaps convinced us that there is stirrings of a new movement so we’re going to do something about it.

If you’re in, drop me an email at soaps@delibernation.com.

We have a new website coming out and we have a completely revamped proposal in the works. The foundation of which is encompassed in the original proposal which you can find on this site. OwnUpOprah.com will become SurgeOnSoaps.com complete with tools for every soap fan to promote their own soap ideas and more.

As Michael Swan said the other night, “where there is life, there is soap.” We could not agree more.

And where there is soap, there is inspiration and opportunity.

Personally, I have been enriched by the experience of soap. I’m passionate about theatre and the arts as equally as I am passionate about the state of our political affairs today. I see the intrinsic value of arts being incorporated into academia in a resurgence not seen in 40 years.

That’s my mission.

If you’re with me, welcome. Join the cause. Help us convince a studio, network or theatre group to hop on board our train. Thanks for reading.

I’m sorry, in advance, if you’ve been offended. There are words that Senator Ted Kennedy once spoke which I feel apply to many a situation – be it politics, parenting, education and yes even soap opera. “”The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.” Without passion, we are robots, folks. Passion trumps.

And, as the great Helen Wagner said hundreds of times over the years, “Good night, dear.”

Silas

By Michele Dargan

Hey Gang!

Last night, Silas Kain of Delibernation BlogTalkRadio Show – and a Soapbox1 contributor – launched his Surge on Soaps week.

We all know that soaps are being cancelled right and left….As The World Turns will air its final show on CBS this Friday…

Silas refuses to acknowledge that this will actually be the FINAL show for ATWT. He insists a new home for the show will be found….and I gotta tell ya, with his drive, it can be done!

But it cannot be done by a few…..there is strength in numbers.

Sooooo Silas and his gang needs YOUR help….He will be broadcasting every day this week on his Delibernation BlogTalkRadio show.

The cancellation of soaps affects EVERYONE connected to the genre, whether it be fan, actor, crew….even nearby businesses.

The Day One podcast is located at the bottom of this entry. It includes information about a huge rally that will take place outside the CBS studios in New York City on Monday and other such rallies around the country in protest of the ATWT cancellation.

Listen to it – and listen to it carefully.

And please join Silas tonight at 10 p.m.

Silas has some pretty innovative ideas….apparently the most provacative will be released on his Wednesday podcast.

But, tonight, at 10 p.m. he will be discussing the OwnupOprah.com movement, which aims to get Oprah Winfrey involved in saving the soap genre.

This is BIGGER than just the cancellation of Guiding Light or ATWT….Rumors are rampant for the past year that One Life To Live is next up on the chopping block (and you know where there’s smoke, there’s fire)!

So….listen to last night’s podcast below – and join Silas for tonight’s podcast.

To quote Silas – “We’re all in this together!”

Listen to internet radio with Silas Kain on Blog Talk Radio

By Silas Kain

Normally my column this week would be about something I like or dislike about one of the many controversial story lines we are experiencing across all three of ABC’s “stories”.

But today I want to appeal to you about the genre of soaps in general.

Let’s face it, you and I both know that in the past 10 to 15 years the soaps really have become a shell of what they once used to be.

Imagine, for a moment, if Irna Philips or any of the Daytime serial greats were alive today! Imagine the compelling stories we’d be enjoying based on what is happening in the world around us.

I can see it now.

The Banner and The Sun doing battle in Llanview over opposing political candidates…with some investigative reporting thrown into the mix.

Or maybe have Erica Kane go off on a tangent on her talk show, which propels her to national fame for a controversial position she took.

Or how about if General Hospital kicked up a commotion over the building of a mosque next to the hospital.

The bottom line is that studio executives (Mr. Frons, are you reading?) just don’t get the missed opportunities.

Had they the vision and integrity of Irna Philips, Agnes Nixon and all the greats – they WOULD be pulling stories from the news and finding a way to weave those magic threads through the tapestries of our serials.

American soap opera is about imitating real life….a metaphor. What we have today is a cheap imitation of Reality TV which is neither real nor television.

Anyway, back to my point…

This week I am going to be on air every night on BlogTalkRadio as we head in to the final week of As the World Turns on CBS.

That’s right. Just because CBS has pulled the plug does not mean the battle is over. It has just begun.

And here’s why ABC fans should care.

First of all, I’ve been through this before with Another World. And, believe it or not, 10 years later there are at least a million AW fans out there who would love to see their show back. I’m certain Guiding Light fans feel the same way.

And over here in the ABC side of things, I’ll bet there are a slew of you who would give anything to see Loving or Ryan’s Hope.

The bottom line is the studios want us to believe that Daytime serials are dying and that it is OUR fault! They want you to buy into their argument that viewership has changed…that there’s more to pick from on television these days and that the double income family has made the homemaker obsolete.

News flash: Were it not for our great Grannies, our Grandma’s, our Moms and ourselves – there would be no worldwide giant known as Procter & Gamble or Colgate-Palmolive.

Our families bought all their detergents, hair sprays, shampoos and depilatories. We fed into the commercials we watched. And when we were hooked and needed that second income just to buy the products – POOF – no more “stories”!

It’s time for Daytime fans to prove their worth in today’s market.

We have a unique opportunity to show that woven into all those silly little stories we’ve watched all these years was a message – We are empowered!

We get the cost of producing a daily show.

We understand that viewership has dropped.

So why not find other ways of creating an environment which would make this genre viable? Why just walk away from a socially valuable commodity?

These soap companies got as big as some of those “too big to fail” outfits on Wall Street. They’re so busy investing money into markets overseas that they’ve lost touch with the people who put them there in the first place!

How many of us who are on union pensions even know that P&G may be in our union’s investment portfolio? How many of us are aware that a great deal of these “American” products aren’t even manufactured here any longer?

The bottom line is a dedicated soap fan knows that he/she has the ability to figure this entire thing out.

Remember, we’re the ones that micromanage our shows. We complain when a director is changed. We’re convulsive when a new Executive Producer takes over. And, well, when a new Head Writer is announced – we are as rabid as bats in a belfry.

For ABC fans, the red flag should be the move of All My Children to LA. Brian Frons has his office on the West Coast. The only ABC property he seems to care about is The View. Were he as committed to One Life to Live as he proclaims, why are they not in Hollywood as well?

ABC can deny rumors and claim loyalty to OLTL. The bottom line is the show is on shaky ground even if Roger Howarth and Kim Zimmer return.

The soap press won’t report it.

They live in constant fear the studios will pull the plug and deny access of soap media.

It’s sad.

The majority of printed soap media is nothing but a glorified fan club.

Where are the rabble rousing fans with opinions that matter?

Well, they’re right here on the Internet.

Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly are hereby served notice. We’re picking up where you dropped the ball.

We don’t need access to the studios and the gossip. This isn’t about the private lives of celebrities. And this most certainly is NOT about spoilers.

Thanks to your magazines, you’ve destroyed the allure of Daytime. And we’re here to take it back.

As I said, this week I am on air every night.

Drop by my BlogTalkRadio page and see the lineup.

It’s the Surge on Soaps campaign.

We want to find a home for ATWT. And we want to make certain that the shows which remain on Daytime today are given the support they need.

We’re being bold in our approach. We’re not threatening to turn off the TV. We’re not sending box tops to P&G.

This is business. And when I say business, I mean serious business.

This is about finding a way to cultivate a creative mechanism to keep soaps alive. It begins with Oprah Winfrey, who is herself a direct beneficiary of daytime. We’ll continue with farming the cable networks. We’ll even go to Sony and see if there’s any was to breathe new life into Soap City.

Remember Soap City?

That was going to be a cable soap channel until ABC launched SoapNet. And now SoapNet is leaving cable in favor of a childrens network which will hawk more crap to kids — which parents will have to buy to keep up with the Joneses — who can’t afford to keep up because the jobs they once had have been shipped overseas.

That’s right. It’s about the economy, stupid.

And this time Daytime fans are armed with ammunition.

This week fans are coming together every night to discuss the progress of the ATWT campaign.

But we’re going to discuss more than that.

We’re going to get into the business side of things and explain how the cancellation of a soap puts more than cast and crew out of work.

We’re going to talk about the lack of vision from today’s network executives in capitalizing on the tremendous social value of soap opera.

And, when all else fails, we’re going to discuss how soap actors, writers and crew are a valuable asset in teaching our children about the craft of theater.

Sound provocative? Tune in and hear more.

We’ve got some CRAZY ideas that Oprah may just have no choice but consider. You see, we tuned into Oprah after watching our shows. They were her lead in.

That’s right, Oprah, soap fans know the definition of “lead in”.

Ms. Winfrey has taught us about empowerment, taking control and making a difference. Well, we’re going to ask her to put her money where her mouth is. No, we’re not talking about giving away 5,000 cars or building a house. We’re not talking about Oprah’s favorite things or HARPO studios.

We’re talking about an ambitious plan to prop up a genre in a unique way. Join the conversation. We want to hear what you have to say.

And, I promise next week I’ll write my David Hayward column, which may just send you over the edge.