Casting Director Mary Clay Boland on Saying Goodbye to As the World Turns

Van Hansis (Luke) ATWT Photo

Van Hansis (Luke) ATWT

The daytime drama, As the World Turns, was cancelled after being broadcast for 54 years. The last episode of the soap opera aired on 9/17/10. Here, casting director Mary Clay Boland shares what she appreciates most about her eight-year tenure in soaps.

Susan Dansby:  What’s your biggest takeaway from your time on World Turns? What was the thing that most impressed you about the years that you spent there or the biggest surprise?

Mary Clay Boland:  Well, I think there were a couple of things.  One was the acting caliber. 

I’ll be honest.  I was working at Warner Bros. for three years doing their prime-time television; and I walked in thinking that soap opera actors weren’t as skilled – I don’t know what I was thinking.  I thought you just were looking for hot people. 

Jake Silbermann (Noah) ATWT

Jake Silbermann (Noah) ATWT

And actually daytime is ten times harder than anything else because the writing is so much more dramatic in that – for 54 years we have told every story there is to tell. And the writers have to tell a story over a five-day period.  People just don’t understand.

Also we don’t have the production value and money that a prime-time show has, so if you have to do a scene where a car explodes or something like that, you are not dealing with – the special effects are not going to act for you.  The editing is not going to act for you.  You have to sell it.  It is up to the actor to sell the words.

And I just was blown away at how these actors would take scenes and just make them wonderful, and create these characters. Also the fact that they had to do 30 to 40 pages a day is unheard of in any other medium.

So I really just took away nothing but respect for actors and also actors that work in daytime drama.  They really worked their butts off. And I really believe that if you have done daytime successfully that you can translate that into any other medium as an actor.

About Susan Dansby

Susan Dansby has received four Emmy® Awards and two Writers Guild Awards for her work on the soap opera, AS THE WORLD TURNS. She is the author of HOW DID YOU GET THAT JOB? MY DREAM JOBS AND HOW THEY CAME TRUE.
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