Book Review: ‘The ABC’s Of Soaps’

Trying to get into the Soap world? 'The ABC's of Soaps' is a great way to start!

Have you been looking to break into the soap market? Need a road map to get there? Try The ABC’s of Soaps! It gives you exactly what it says in the title, the ABC’s of breaking into the soap world.

With the recent cancellation of As The World Turns (don’t worry, it’s not going away till late next year) those actors who want a career in soaps better get in gear before they all go way of the dinosaur.

This book is a great way to start.

Along with informative interviews, its basically a workbook with action plans at the end of each chapter. The book begins with getting a headshot to finding an agent to booking the job to your first day on the set.

It’s very detail oriented to where if you follow the steps, there is a very good chance you could break into the market.

I thought one of the best things about the book were the interviews.  At the end of each chapter they have interviews with actors, casting directors and writers giving helpful advice on what they did to break into the business. One thing I noticed, in most interviews, each person stressed training. Actress Eileen Fulton tells us that “you better know your craft. You don’t get a starring role on a soap and learn how to act. You learn how to act and if you’re good, they’ll hire you!” Amen.

The book also answers some questions that are widely asked: Is being on a soap a detriment to getting other acting roles? Director Francesca James says that “it’s interesting to note that when they put daytime actors into primetime shows, they always get the highest ratings. So someones watching.”

Also asked? Memorizing all those lines! Actress Kristen Renton says that “if you remember to focus on knowing the heart and soul of the scene and story, the rest will come. I do know the story inside and out, and then the words just seem to come.”

Another thing I found interesting was the this tidbit about casting: “It’s unlikely that an actor will be miscast on a soap. The casting director might make a mistake about the actor’s ability to perform the role or learn the lines but its almost impossible for them not to notice his quality. It’s easier in the long run to go with the actor who is naturally closest to the character being cast.”

Written by Gwynn Gilliss, a working actress who has appeared on All My Children, One Life to Live, Another World and many other daytime shows gives us a comprehensive rundown on “what-to-do” to break into the soap world.

If you have any interest on this market, this book is for you!

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