Yesterday morning, bright and early my photographer and I hopped into a car service (since no taxi driver in his right mind would take us) and headed deep into the bowels of Brooklyn to film a segment on the CBS soap opera AS THE WORLD TURNS.
We met up with Terri Colombino who plays Katie Peretti on the show and had her give us a backstage tour. They have two stages they film on - each filled sets of different rooms, restaurants, and shops. Each had three walls that looked just like a living room or kitchen or coffee shop - with a fourth open wall to film through. It was kind of like walking through a furniture store. I don't know why--I'm usually pretty jaded!--but it struck me as immensely cool. Like a little world existing on a soundstage. They had a huge wardrobe room, filled with outfits - including wedding dresses, of course! (Terri's character has been married six times during her ten years on the show - though only to five guys, she pointed out, since one lucky man got to walk down the aisle with her twice.) I especially loved the prop room - where each character had a basket filled with personal items. Terri rummaged through hers and found her alter-ego's fertility pills from when she'd been trying to get pregnant.
It was especially cool to tour As the World Turns in particular because my step-grandmother has worked on the show for the last thirty something years. She plays Kim Hughes, a member of one of the original families on the show. Unfortunately she wasn't filming the day we were there - it would have been so thrilling to see her at work! But I'm glad at least I had a chance to check out where she spends her days.
All in all, I found it a fascinating experience - to see how a soap opera works behind the scenes. I'd love to someday write for one. I think that would be the best job ever. I'll post the segment when it airs on Better TV, of course!