The audition process was kind of funny to me at the time but in hindsight I get it!
I went in to read for a 30 year old and they said I was too young. 6 months later they had me read for a 25 year old and still, too young. Then 6 months later the character of Jill was added and I had hope. I went to read with them at the studio and when I was done they asked me to stick around. I was not sure why but I watched one actress after another go in and out and leave. When they were done they took me to the main offices and introduced me around then took me to set. On set I saw Tom (who played my guardian and I shot my first commercial with) and Sue/Becky (who I had done a stage show with). They greeted me with open arms and I felt a lot more at peace once I saw them. Until that moment I felt like an outsider looking in.
I left with hope but not expectations. Then one day about a week later my agent called the movie theatre I worked at. Normally our boss would not let us take calls so I was surprised when he came to the counter and told me to take a call. When my agent told me....I jumped all over the place. My boss was very happy for me.
In hindsight it dawned on me they wanted to hire me from the moment I auditioned but needed to see everyone just in case. But they picked me!!! Still tickles me to no end.
Tom, I think was a much stronger actor than they gave him credit or lines for. Carolyn who played his wife, she and I often got frustrated because our characters had the same arguments so often we would get lines mixed up from previous scenes. But when you are on a soap...the writers stick to a 'bible' and don't make changes quickly. So, you take the lines they give you and try your best. Amy who played their daughter was so much fun to work with. We got along considering the age difference and she was such a sweet kid. On Tom...while we were on the show a short film he was in won the Oscar. He had chops, but seldom got to show them.
When I left the show I did see changes and some were good and others seemed bad. But it was industry wide and not something that Another Life was the only one doing. There became a trend of hiring models to play the roles instead of actors. Sure, one or two could act but plenty could not. It was all about the looks and not the ability to act and it was happening on tv shows and in feature films all over the country at that time. It died down for years...then started again.
So..those changes were not something I would have blamed on the shows makers, but on the industry as a whole at the time. It was very hard to be an actor who started doing stage young and focused only on being an actor to lose parts to people who looked good but never took an acting class and could have cared less about working on their craft. But again...that was NOT the show...that was industry standard at the time.
If it means anything, I wished they had kept me around too. I was one of the only 'gray' characters on the show. Most were painted black and white, good or evil...my character was probably one of the more human characters in that she was a bad kid because of a hard life who started to turn things around slowly like most people do. Sure, now and then a person will find their way and do a complete 180 but most people change a lot slower. I really felt like Jill was very human...