Kendall OR Greenlee...
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Q: Now ML, with Season 3 launching we've seen ALOT of changes. Some cuts, some arrivals, some recasts, and shifts in many if not all of the stories. Do you think this is for the better, and how do you feel about everything going on?
Yes it has been a lot of cast changes on S.T.E.A.M. And I know it's hard for the readers to accept all of them at one time because that's when they all happened. I wanted to do them at one time to get them out the way. A few roles were re-casted because several actors just weren't clicking with the readers, for example D' Angelo's Dre. A lot of these roles were re-casted to make the series look and feel better. As far as shifts in the story, I wouldn't so much say that, I would say there is more of a focus in the stories from myself and my writers, Tara Smith and newly arrived J. Lee Becker who will join the writing team as an Associate Headwater and creative consult. Another reason for the many cast cuts is I wanted to trim the cast in order to broaden my story base and make my stories and characters stronger and fleshed out . So I do think in the long run it will be better for the health of the series. I really feel good about all the changes and the readers seem to think so to so I am happy about that.
Q: Secondly, we've seen some changes in regime during the end of Season 2 and beginning of Season 3. Alot of writers have been in and out. Can you give us the inside story on what's going on?
A lot of writers have come and gone. Some were trial periods. I also wanted new writers to help freshen up STEAM and breathe in new life. But I want to say right now the writer's team is pretty stable now and will remain so. With myself as Head writer and with Tara Smith my co head writer and the new addition of J. Lee Becker as associate head writer. We are the team now and this will be the team that has already delivered great things thus far and I know things will get even better. We've created some great storylines and this will no doubt turn out to be the best season of STEAM ever. I want to give a special thanks to Tara who is a story genius and a great writer and I thank her for adding so much to this series. So the team is in place and I hope everyone enjoy what we came up with. There's a lot of competition out there and I am not worried about being competitive with the other great blogs out there. I just thank the readers for being patient while we make these changes behind and in front of the scenes. But things are now quieting down.
Q:Related to my second question, how do you think these regime changes will help, and/or change, STEAM?
All the writing changes that began last season stemmed from my pulling double duty as a writer and producer on Life in Salem which lead to me creating a ground breaking spin off "Affairs of the Heart." that killed off the show's super star, Dr. Marlena Evans. I had no idea how massive my work load was going to be and I needed writers to pitch in and help me with STEAM. While I was at LIS and AOTH, I lost focus on STEAM and the series suffered . Once I left LIS and AOTH earlier this year I was able to refocus on STEAM and evaluate it to see where I stood and I did not like what I saw. So hence the massive overhaul. Changes are inevitable of course. But all for the better. The changes will be smooth and seamless and in the end make the series better. We will really dig deep into the characters this season. Readers will notice a more emotional S.T.E.A.M. this season as well. There will always be camp but that also needs balance. We've got some incredible stories coming up that are fresh. Most of the current storylines have been going since episode one and they are mostly coming to a close.
Q: There are rumors Season 3 is the last season of STEAM flying across the mySON TV industry. Can you dispell or confirm these rumors?
Q: Related to all the casting changes, it appears that you've gotten alot of big names lately. Patti LaBelle, Jasmine Guy, Tyler Perry as Madea, numerous others...also we've noticed the now-infamous Sister Pat(at least she's infamous in Pasadena) was promoted to contract status at last. Will this roll continue?
This roll will continue. And in fact I can now announce that super star Madonna will be making a cameo appearance. She will be playing a character like none other in her career. I cannot however reveal what character she will be playing or whom she will be involved with. All that I can give away right now is stay tuned. Also joining is Chris Egen. Chris will take over the role of Bryan. We are taking Bryan in a new direction and Bryan Datilo, who originated the role has been let go. Chris will begin airing as Bryan starting with episode 6, airing Dec. 24th. Also Lauren Woodland has been let go in the role of Lauren. I was able to snatch away Melissa Archer from OLTL. Lauren was re-casted to soften up the character and Melissa Is the perfect actress to do that. And one more piece of casting news is Lynn Whitfield will also join the cast later on this season in a role that will shake up the canvas. I know this all seems like a lot of cast changes but I promise it will be seam less in reading.
Q: This is a question about some of the minor people on STEAM...with his imminent departure from "Days of Our Lives", what's the status of Blake Berris(Gilbert), who hasn't been seen too much so far. Or Missy Elliot(Suga)? And EP/HW JayJay of an SONBC soap "Finding the Light" announced that Alexis Arquette(Rufus) is heading to Springfield, what's his status in Pasadena?
Gilbert, as far as I can say right now is and will probably remain recurring. He has feelings for Sabryn but who knows where the road will lead. I know he is a fan favorite. Suga(Missy Elliot) will have recurring episodes this season to tie up her loose ends with Natalia. Then Suga will leave and head back over to Life in Salem for an upcoming storyline over there. And as far as Rufus, Rufus will indeed cross over to "Finding the Light" and that's series' Remy will cross over to S.T.E.A.M. to help set up a huge storyline for Ria. Rufus will be in Springfield for a bit, but he still has ties in Pasadena and we can expect to see him back down the road.
Q: It was reported that Victoria Rowell(Ria) was close to walking from STEAM, she said so herself...but now Ria is getting a center story. Can you tell us anything about it or just how big it will be?
Ms. Rowell was unhappy for a while I must admit. A woman of her talents deserves something more than being in a supportive role. STEAM got bloated and some characters got neglected and Ria was one of them. Ria is getting a big storyline this season and it's a bit risky even for STEAM but not in a way you think. I cannot give any details yet but I will say Ria will be a redefined woman when all is said and done. She has her family in place and they play a major role in this.
Q: How many more cuts shall STEAM see in the immediate future?
More cuts are coming. I cannot say at this time of the interview who they will be or how many because that may give away to much but I will try my best to keep everyone updated. Like right now. Yes Lauren is alive. Lauren Woodland has been let go in the Role of Lauren. I am taking Lauren in a new direction after much upheaval over last season's sex shocker with Kevin. I was able to get Melissa Archer with the great help of Tara to play the role and I could be none the happier. We are really going to get into the thick of Lauren's and Daniels relationship. They have a very long road ahead. Melissa Archer is the third actress to tackle the role of Lauren, the first being AMC's Lauren Roman.
Q: Now, how would you say STEAM is fairing in these economic times and dire times for soaps? Budget cutting is everywhere.
Budgeting is a concern and cuts are being made everywhere. Here at aMLCproductions, we have stream lined the production to be cost effective. I did have to make cuts in the cast to get some of these big name stars but I am sure it will pay off in the numbers. STEAM is the number 1 show of the SONOP line up and has been for some time so ad revenue coming in is not an issue. We make wise decisions.
Q: Finally, what direction would you say STEAM is headed in throughout Season 3? As in realistic, character driven, campy, in between, etc etc. Surely a questions many fans have, and thank you for your time.
STEAM will take a different direction. It is known for being over the top so that will not change. But at the same time there is going to be more character development, more emotion, The change won't be drastic but it will be nice. Based on the latest comments I have viewed, it is already working.