For a change, I am the one who got interviewed. Enjoy this piece written by Joanna Grana, author of the CONFESSIONS OF A DISABLED DIVA blog
Laurie Baker grew up watching Days of Our Lives. She was just a fan like millions of others. Now, though, she is not only a fan, she is a reporter. Her internet radio show, Outtakes Interviews, is a hit with soap fans. She has interviewed stars from all four soaps, but Days is still her first love. She gets the answers to questions that fans are dying to know the answers to.
Laurie has attended major soap events like the 50th anniversary party of Days of Our Lives. Her videos and photos of the gala were amazing. I felt like I had attended the event with her.
I wanted to know more about Laurie and Outtakes Interviews. I emailed her some questions. Thank you Laurie for taking the time to answer them
What is your professional background? Were you a journalist/ reporter?
I have not gone to formal journalism school…but I participated in a lot of writing and acting all throughout high school, college and my early years in New York City. I think those experiences taught me quite a bit. And I am still learning all the time.
How long how you been a soap opera fan?
I grew up watching DAYS OF OUR LIVES with my family. But I really fell in love with the show around 1982 with Tony/Renee, Marlena/Roman and Liz/Neil. DAYS was and is my main soap opera. With the internet, it became easier for me to watch the other soaps. In 2009, I began watching all the ones that were still around. And now every televised soap has something about it that I’m in love.
Where did the idea for your outtakes interviews come from? The concept is a unique one. you have combined your interest in soaps with reporting.
As the internet kept growing, there were websites that came along that were very inspiring to me. “Daytime Confidential” and “We Love Soaps” were two of them that really would write good articles, have wonderful podcasts and do great interviews with soap opera actors. And I said to myself, “I would love to do that.” I am also a fan of “Inside the Actor’s Studio”. I love to find out what makes actors tick…and so many soap opera actors are brushed off…although that form of acting under such high pressure with little rehearsal time is probably the hardest type of acting there is. And I am interested in finding out their real insight into the characters they play. I don’t particularly care for fluffy questions. And I rarely ask about what will happen next on the soap opera because the actor would only get in trouble by answering anyway
Who was your first outtakes interview subject? Who has been your most memorable interview subject/experience?
James Reynolds (Abe from DAYS OF OUR LIVES) was the first actor to give me a yes. We did an interview about a play he was doing at Cape May Stage in New Jersey. I was nervous…and there were some tech problems with the first radio show, but James was gracious and wonderful about it.
It is hard to pick the most memorable because there have been a lot of interviews I’ve cherished. The show with the all-time highest listen count I did was with Eric Martsolf (Brady DAYS) and Christian LeBlanc (THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) where they were promoting a Christmas comedy event that they were doing together. They were so wild and crazy! It was hysterical. There are some who were on my wish list from day one…and when I got them, it was terrific! Matthew Ashford, Patsy Pease, Charles Shaughnessy, Thaao Penghlis and John deLancie (yes, all DAYS actors!) were a few that come to mind.
How do stars react when they learn you want to interview them?
Usually, it is either “Sure, let’s do it”; or no reply at all.
Have you ever had a star react negatively?
Is there anyone you are dying to interview but haven’t yet?
Joseph Mascolo, Michael T. Weiss, Charlotte Ross, Roger Howarth, Kassie dePaiva and Peter Bergman. I am sure there are more that I am forgetting!
What’s it like to cover major events like day of days or days 50th anniversary?
The DAYS 50th Anniversary Gala was surreal. It was like a dream where every actor you ever watched on the show was right there. And I was like…do I want to talk to this actor who I’ve loved forever on my right? Or this actor who I’ve loved forever on my left? And meanwhile, Stephen Nichols, Ari Zucker, Eric Martsolf and others were all singing these terrific songs on stage. So I was trying to film some of that…but I also wanted to socialize at the same time. Not complaining…but truly a situation where there was too much of a good thing!
With doing interviews at Day of DAYS, I just try to focus on my love of DAYS OF OUR LIVES and the actors/characters involved. And I try to go for questions that I am guessing fans would want to know about specifically for each character/actor. Not anything too general or cookie cutter. In the press room, they bring in two actors at a time to interview every ten minutes; so you have to be prepared and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
How long does the editing process take?
It truly depends on the interview itself. Sometimes with audio, there are technical problems with volume or static that have to be edited out. Video itself does not take as long, except for montages, etc.
What are your future plans for outtakes interviews?
I would love to do more interviews on site and on camera as opposed to long distance and audio. But that is a matter of opportunity more than anything else. Mainly it is just a matter of persistence, continuing to look for good guests and building up more audience. I just hope to keep the momentum going!