My obsession with the soap opera was in full blossom by the time I entered junior high school. When I wasn't interested in cartoons or escaping into the woods with my cousins in my hometown Stuckey, Florida, I would sit with my grandmother and watch the stories. By the time I got to high school, I had been bitten by the acting bug. I was always artistically inclined as a child, but the soap opera is what nurtured my acting (or dare I say... dramatic aspirations). In 1994, at the age of 16, I created my first soap opera for my Environmental Science class.
I continued creating my soap opera videos throughout high school and college. In 2000, I had decided I would pursue a career in entertainment. I partnered with another student and we created an independent soap opera called "The Winding Road."
That same year I was accepted into graduate school at the University of South Florida where I received my BA and MFA, the work changed dramatically.
It wasn't until about a year ago that I realized my 2000 effort "The Winding Road" had a direct connection to my 2010 appearance on "General Hospital" other than the obvious.
I know the summer of 2010 is the summer I experienced perfect peace. I knew I was in alignment with my dream and a higher power was at work. After surfing the web, it came to my attention that my first big write up on "The Winding Road" was printed on April 19, 2000.
The final was printed on July 23, 2000.
The first write-up was printed on James Franco's birthday and the final was printed on mine. I was excited the "General Hospital Soap at MoCA" episode aired on my 33rd birthday and thought it was a nice coincidence to be able to watch myself on TV and celebrate a dream come true. I knew I had been blessed. But who wouldn't see it as a blessing? Looking back at the dates on these two write ups, it seems this project that felt organic, may have indeed been orchestrated by the gods in heaven. It is a blessing I will never take for granted and whenever I begin to lose faith...this is an experience that reminds me...the impossible can happen. James (Franco) and I had no idea the other existed in 2000. He was starring in Freaks and Geeks and I decided to apply to graduate school, after realizing I wasn't quite ready for the big time. We were worlds apart.
When James Franco invited me to appear of "General Hospital," he was already exploring performance art through a character given his name (Franco) and I was using the soap opera format to create my own video and performance art in the context of the art world. I dreamt of being on a daytime soap opera, but never really thought it would happen, until it did.
Random, coincidence or not? I know what I experienced in my life was a miracle. Miracles often happen when we get out of the way and allow things to naturally align and fall into place. When we try to control things too much, they tend to fall apart.
It feels much better living in my destiny, which is why I hesitate to try and analyze the experience too much. So...here's to my epic love affair with the soap opera!!! The season finale of "Melody Set Me Free" 2012!!!!
Here's the link to Francophrenia (or: Don't Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is),, my big screen feature debut, currently being screened at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. From my point of view... Francophrenia is an experimental film that falls somewhere between the female melodrama of Joan Crawford's Possessed and Mildred Pierce and the male melodrama of James Dean's Rebel WIthout Cause. All shot during a taping of General Hospital's Soap at MoCA episode in 2010. Directed by James Franco and Ian Olds.
What are your thoughts on experimenting with soap operas and films in the context of video and performance art or vice versa?