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Erik

"My Life to Live"

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Has anyone read or listen to the audio book of Agnes Nixon's life?

The audio book was read by veteran actress Judith Ivey, and for the most part I thought all of what I listened to was very good - but being the avid soap fan - I caught some glaring errors in recalling character names and story details. Was this only in the audio version of the book, or has anyone who read the actual book noticed the same thing?

Erik

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12 minutes ago, Erik said:

Has anyone read or listen to the audio book of Agnes Nixon's life?

The audio book was read by veteran actress Judith Ivey, and for the most part I thought all of what I listened to was very good - but being the avid soap fan - I caught some glaring errors in recalling character names and story details. Was this only in the audio version of the book, or has anyone who read the actual book noticed the same thing?

Erik

 

I bought the book the moment it came out and read it through that night. The egregious errors, however, drove me crazy so I ended up donating the book to the library. There is NO excuse for so  many errors making it through to publication.

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I know right! I can't imagine Agnes Nixon confusing the core families of 'All My Children' with those of 'One Life to Live'. Let alone only having praise for the 'All My Children' actors and none of the actors from 'One Life to Live'. It was a very inspirational 'life to live'...but was edited poorly by someone other than Agnes Nixon.

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I always wish there was some in depth interview with Agnes where she only discusses OLTL material....it sounds like from the 2013 book, and now her auto-biography, she can't really discuss "One Life" without mentioning AMC....did she always have to recount the tale about having to put the bible  of AMC away in the drawer for 7 years because of fear of facing a lawsuit with the network??

Edited by YRfan23

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"One Life" was touched upon (it was also inferred that Ms. Nixon came to choosing 'One Life to Live' as the title immediately, with no reference to the more controversial working title of  "Between Heaven and Hell"). "All My Children" was focal, because let's face it "Children"  was her first brain child so she was partial. "Loving" on the other hand, got no mention at all...and I was always curious as to why, aside to cash in on the youth audience captivated by "Children" and "General Hospital", what other reason "Loving" needed to be created...

Also, there was no mention of Michael Knight?! How do you forget 'Tad the Cad' ?!

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I just recently re-read it for research for my soap MA paper.  Damn it's a frustrating book as everyone here has said.

 

On the one hand I understand why it is.  The majority of it was written by her after her stroke--with the help of her son Bob Jr, who seems to have been the biggest support to his mom when her health deteriorated and in making sure the book got out but also seems to have no real experience of his own in watching and reading his mom's work so he'd fail to catch all the errors (surely there's someone they could have hired to do so?)

She praises some of the One Life cast--of course Ellen Holly.  And mentions a bit about creating it, but yeah...  That said we have to keep in mind that she left One Life to Live in 1973 as HW and then was only a consultant for the rest of the 1970s.  She'd have less direct memories there.

YandR fan 23, there was no lawsuit.  What happened was she was meant to offer AMC in 1964 to Proctor and Gamble, she's told this story many times but it's the same in the memoir--she even went to a meeting with P&G and the network and everything was OK and then at the very last minute they found out there was some conflict of legal interest with their sponsors and they had to keep a game show on so had no room for it.  She then didn't bring it to ABC when they asked for a soap because she claims she had no confidence in it, feeling it was rejected possibly just because it was no good, and only used it at the last minute when in 1969 they asked for a new soap and quickly.

I was also disappointed there was nothing about Loving.  As for why it was created?  Well because ABC wanted a new soap and came to her.  But it also was meant to be particularly cutting edge when it came out with its social issue (the AIDS research, etc) AND the first soap centered around a college which was because of course OLTL and especially AMC had become such huge phenomenons on college campuses.  Of course most of that was relatively quickly dropped, etc.  It's funny as in the acknowledgements which were written pre-stroke she DOES mention Loving so maybe it was going to be discussed and after the stroke it wasn't. 

Another frustration of course is that Agnes still wants to come off as such a gentlewoman--which is admirable and surely one way how she managed to make way to the top among condescending men, but I wanted more JUICE finally (ie she could have explained what happened with Marland at Loving).  She does drop her guard near the end--talking, albeit in vague terms about how network execs started sitting in on story meetings and would suggest characters they like interact even when there was no reason to, and deriding a certain writer who no longer made her "welcome" there and who wrote a big tornado story that cost a lot of money but the writers never thought of any follow through stories to come out of it (OBVIOUSLY this is Pratt).   There are a few other tidbits that are interesting but then never fully elaborated on--like how Chris Bruno (Michael Delaney) didn't know he was playing a gay character and was homophobic but came around while playing his role and gave a very moving speech for GLAAD.  Also the stuff about her pre post past is interesting--especially how much her first love who died in the war stayed with her and influenced story, and her lesbian roomate in college, etc.

But yeah SUCH a very missed opportunity.Still I used a few quotes for my essays :P

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I got the book for Christmas last year... still on my to-be-read pile, but kinda disappointing to hear your reviews, as I'd be interested in learning some "juicy" stuff too, as well as more mentions of ALL her "children" (i.e. OLTL, Loving) 

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3 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

I got the book for Christmas last year... still on my to-be-read pile, but kinda disappointing to hear your reviews, as I'd be interested in learning some "juicy" stuff too, as well as more mentions of ALL her "children" (i.e. OLTL, Loving) 

I enjoyed it for what it was MUCH more the second time reading it where I could pick out what was really good about it and wasn't always disappointed with what was missing or incorrect.  So I think if you go into it with, well I hate to say but, lowered expectations you'll get a lot out of it.  Also, it's a very quick read so never a pain to get through.

 

 

On 12/12/2018 at 5:40 PM, YRfan23 said:

I always wish there was some in depth interview with Agnes where she only discusses OLTL material....

I forgot to say that there is.  The 1988 Museum of TV (now Paley Center) 90 minute lecture she gives for OLTL's 20th, as well as part two of the massive five part lecture she gave there in 1997 for the World's Without End soap exhibit and conference are entirely focused on OLTL (the 1988 one makes it clear that--perhaps because she was still ABC head daytime consultant) she is still very aware of OLTL storylines into the 1980s although she's always quick to point out she didn't write them).  Both used to be online--the 1988 one on agnesnixon.com in fact and sadly seem to now be only viewable at the Paley Center.  So--I guess that's not much hope (I wish I had saved them while I could)

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2 hours ago, EricMontreal22 said:

I enjoyed it for what it was MUCH more the second time reading it where I could pick out what was really good about it and wasn't always disappointed with what was missing or incorrect.  So I think if you go into it with, well I hate to say but, lowered expectations you'll get a lot out of it.  Also, it's a very quick read so never a pain to get through.

 

 

I forgot to say that there is.  The 1988 Museum of TV (now Paley Center) 90 minute lecture she gives for OLTL's 20th, as well as part two of the massive five part lecture she gave there in 1997 for the World's Without End soap exhibit and conference are entirely focused on OLTL (the 1988 one makes it clear that--perhaps because she was still ABC head daytime consultant) she is still very aware of OLTL storylines into the 1980s although she's always quick to point out she didn't write them).  Both used to be online--the 1988 one on agnesnixon.com in fact and sadly seem to now be only viewable at the Paley Center.  So--I guess that's not much hope (I wish I had saved them while I could)

That’s good to know! I’ve been to Paley before so maybe I’ll look for the lecture if I go back! 

 

Im curious to see if Agnes has ever spoke more about Dorian...I guess that fascinates me because Agnes did create the character, even if other writers and especially the actresses shaped the character into who she was....I’m curious to see if Agnes has any opinions on her and her feud with Viki.

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I also was curious, YRfan, as to what Agnes' interaction with Bill Bell was like. I thought I heard in a Bill Bell interview (for the Academy of Arts and Sciences), that despite both being Irna Phillips' protégés, they had little interaction - yet they both wrote several of the most popular soap operas.

Erik

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1 hour ago, YRfan23 said:

That’s good to know! I’ve been to Paley before so maybe I’ll look for the lecture if I go back! 

 

Im curious to see if Agnes has ever spoke more about Dorian...I guess that fascinates me because Agnes did create the character, even if other writers and especially the actresses shaped the character into who she was....I’m curious to see if Agnes has any opinions on her and her feud with Viki.

I'll let you know if those interviews ever resurface online

I'm not sure, because Agnes was already preparing to hand over the reigns full on to Russell when Dorian was created in '73 (and he may have had a lot to do with her creation).  She did help cast Strasser in the role when she was unhappy with her character on AMC and originally was offered a recast of Cathy Craig on OLTL (which woulda been a weird fit--funny to think how Cathy in many ways was the big 1970s OLTL heroine). 

1 hour ago, Erik said:

I also was curious, YRfan, as to what Agnes' interaction with Bill Bell was like. I thought I heard in a Bill Bell interview (for the Academy of Arts and Sciences), that despite both being Irna Phillips' protégés, they had little interaction - yet they both wrote several of the most popular soap operas.

Erik

I think they had a friendly rapport.  They ALWAYS spoke highly of each other.  They also seemed to always work on different Irna projects--Irna would split them off (for example Agnes helped create and shape As the World Turns but then Agnes was immediately moved to Guiding Light and Bill was brought to ATWT.  Bill was working on AW with Irna but by the time Agnes came on to try to save it Bill had been moved to Days). 

There's a funny bit in All Her Children where the author is at Agnes' house and hementioned at dinner one of the daughter's says how a newer soap is copying AMC storylines--they're gonna have a facelift story, etc (the daughter also says it's unfair because that soap is done in Hollywood and so has all these beautiful actors).  Agnes is quoted as saying that the writer of that soap is a very talented man so she trusts he'll do things in his own way.  It's obvious who and what she means.

I've always found it interesting that Bell and Nixon seemed to break off from the Irna tradition in different and distinctive ways and styles.

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15 hours ago, EricMontreal22 said:

(I wish I had saved them while I could)

 

I say this all the time, about old videos, magazines, and other memorabilia.

 

I had every single Soap Opera Digest stored in my basement until I moved from a big house to a small apartment, and had no choice but to downsize. I'd kill to have all those issues back again, particularly the ones from the 1970s. I also had all the Daily TV Serials, Daytime TVs and Afternoon TVs, but had to let them go as well.  It was either the magazines or my collection of videotapes. I had no room for both, so I chose to go with the vintage soap episodes on tape. I did keep Rona Barrett's Daytimers and some select special issues of other publications (like Daytime TV's 10th Anniversary mega magazine, featuring the best articles from its first decade), but 90% of my magazine collection is history, alas.

 

I actually told another vintage soap fan that he could have all my SOD for free if he wanted them, but he balked at the idea of paying for the shipping. He said if he took the magazines, he would be doing me a favor (?!?!?), so he wanted me to send them to him for free AND cough up the dough for mailing them.

 

Um...no.

 

When I declined, he threw a hissy fit and never spoke to me again, LOL.

 

But yes, in hindsight, we should have kept EVERYTHING, because once it's gone, it's gone. I want to get my hands on the Daily TV Serials mags again, but whenever they do pop up on eBay, they are outrageously expensive and well beyond my means.

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On 12/15/2018 at 5:51 AM, vetsoapfan said:

 

I say this all the time, about old videos, magazines, and other memorabilia.

 

I had every single Soap Opera Digest stored in my basement until I moved from a big house to a small apartment, and had no choice but to downsize. I'd kill to have all those issues back again, particularly the ones from the 1970s. I also had all the Daily TV Serials, Daytime TVs and Afternoon TVs, but had to let them go as well.  It was either the magazines or my collection of videotapes. I had no room for both, so I chose to go with the vintage soap episodes on tape. I did keep Rona Barrett's Daytimers and some select special issues of other publications (like Daytime TV's 10th Anniversary mega magazine, featuring the best articles from its first decade), but 90% of my magazine collection is history, alas.

 

I actually told another vintage soap fan that he could have all my SOD for free if he wanted them, but he balked at the idea of paying for the shipping. He said if he took the magazines, he would be doing me a favor (?!?!?), so he wanted me to send them to him for free AND cough up the dough for mailing them.

 

Um...no.

 

When I declined, he threw a hissy fit and never spoke to me again, LOL.

 

But yes, in hindsight, we should have kept EVERYTHING, because once it's gone, it's gone. I want to get my hands on the Daily TV Serials mags again, but whenever they do pop up on eBay, they are outrageously expensive and well beyond my means.

 

What a cheap queen lol.  Passed up on a golden opportunity. 

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1 hour ago, Gray Bunny said:

 

What a cheap queen lol.  Passed up on a golden opportunity. 

 

Some people will demand...anything, no matter how absurd. 

 

Check this out:

 

https://ca.style.yahoo.com/naughty-nice-woman-goes-viral-asking-secret-santa-co-worker-buy-kids-120-tablet-212040244.html

 

 

Edited by vetsoapfan

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