When you enter the world of soap stars and their fans, you are entering a universe unto itself.
My friend Liza Persky didn't grow up crazy, she was born that way. She was also born a soap fan. Her passion was DAYS. She and her twin sister Jamie started at a young age by unlocking the key to access to soap stars. They methodically befriended fan club presidents because they were the gatekeepers to stars. The girls learned that the key to fan club president's hearts was through stamps (they needed stamps to send out mailers!) so they stole them from their mother and soon were cleaning up Thao ("Tony DiMara") Penglis' bathroom!
The twins also became activists. They picketed NBC in Burbank after the Salem Strangler had killed Marlena. (It turned out to have been her twin - Marlena's not Liza - so the girls were able to sleep.) They were interviewed by "Entertainment Tonight" at a candlelight vigil at UCLA protesting the "fact" that Liz Chandler (Gloria Loring) had gone to jail. Loring showed up herself at the event, wearing all white. (She always wore all white.) They baked Loring's banana bread (from her cookbook) and brought it to Deidre Hall's annual Lunch Break (a fan club gathering). The bread was so bad that Deidre's fan club president forbid the twins from serving it to the other fans.
I have my own deep connection with soaps, specifically "All my Children" and Susan Lucci, but today is about Liza because Monday night Liza attended ABC Daytime Salute to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS at the New Amsterdam Theater on 42nd Street.
According to Liza: Susan Lucci changed clothes four times, Erica Slezak (the Meryl Streep of Daytime) got a standing ovation (just for being Erica Slezak!); the young turk soap stars all wear duster jackets and some played guitars and others banged on drums but all of them screwed up at least once in their performance and had to start over again; "One Life to Live" superstar Robin Strasser (who has an unbelievable website and records a personal phone message to her fans once a week) wore a Bob Mackie dress and boa and sprawled on top of a piano and appropriately sang "A Piano and a Diva"; the joke that never got old in a 3-hour evening was the soap stars reciting all their character's last names (i.e. Erica Kane Brent Cudahy Chandler Montgomery blah blah blah!); and Jackie Zeman (GH's eternally young "Bobbie Brock") wasn't there at all but Liza insists and encourages us all to take a look at her face... T