Soap and Glory

Climbing the slippery slope to daytime fame

"You may be as hot and sexy as me," I announced to my invisible identical twin, "but you will never get your hands on my man!" Halfway through my tirade, I realized I was speaking in a classic "Oh, no you didn't!" daytime talk show voice, not in the velveteen lilt of a soap opera seductress. But I couldn't backpedal, so I added lots of snapping and hand-waving before making a dramatic 180-degree turn to the back of the stage.

"We'll have to put you on Passions," scoffed judge Michael Bruno, a professional acting coach and soap aficionado. I was shamed beyond shame; Passions features witches, elaborate dream sequences and numerous references to pop culture. It is a self-aware, goofy soap opera aimed at school-aged kids who want to laugh more than cry. I felt as though I'd let my mother down. How could I have watched so many years of GH and ended up totally unable to imitate Port Charles' ladies of note: Brenda, the Latina seductress, or at least the painfully whiny Emily Quartermaine? I can only hope it is merely my own tragic flaw and not a reflection on the years of quality soap instruction I received from my mother.

As the Fray's ubiquitous lite-rock hit "How to Save a Life" played on repeat over the Gilley's speakers, the crowd anxiously awaited the announcement of the winner. Fittingly, Dallas' Soap Star champ, who'd be making a trip to Los Angeles for the final competition, was a young woman named Vendetta. She'd produced a screeching performance of being left at the altar, delivered specifically to Vaughan at the judge's table. "Lucky! Don't leave me!" she had shouted, and we knew at that moment she had captured his heart.

Glassy-eyed and shaking, Vendetta contemplated the possibility that she might, maybe, if it all works out, win a walk-on role on Days of Our Lives: "This has been my dream, like, forever." Barely hiding her disappointment, Shelly repeated her new mantra, "I just choked up there," and made for the door. No convenient amnesia here. It just wouldn't be a real soap event if everyone lived happily ever after.

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