I'm Just Sayin' !

 By Kim Zimmer, with Laura Morton, 2011

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(...) Once we got settled, I was offered a role on the short-lived daytime drama Santa Barbara. I was brought in to be A Martinez's new love interest by Pam Long, the writer who'd created the role of Reva Shayne on Guiding Light, and Paul Rauch, my all-time favorite executive producer. It was mostly because of Paul that I was so happy to be asked to join the cast. I had met him on occasion but had never had the good fortune of being able to say I'd worked for him.

Paul was tough, acerbic, short-tempered, and demanding, but he was also appreciative of talent, explicit about what he liked and didn't like, had a wicked sense of humor, and above all else (though I know some would disagree), he was kind. He knew exactly what he wanted out of his shows and their actors, and worked like a dog to get it ! Paul was old-school soap opera. He loved beautiful sets, costumes, lighting, and locations to shoot in. He loved going to exotic places all over the globe and shooting romance and intrigue in a location that the fans could fantasize about being in too. This was in the 1980s and early 1990s, when the soaps had money to burn, and before all of the travel shows on cable existed that let viewers see the world vicariously. The soaps that Paul Rauch produced gave the fans all of that ! I adore this man and hope to someday work for him again.

I was brought in to give their show a boost to their slacking ratings. In the meantime, Marcy Walker, who had played A's love interest on Santa Barbara, had been hired by Guiding Light to be the new love interest for Josh. In the end, the switcheroo didn't work. The audiences didn't accept either of us in our new roles.

One thing I know for sure is that no one person should have to carry the burden of a show's success (or failure) on his or her shoulders when it is an ensemble cast. It is a terrible weight to carry around. My job on Santa Barbara lasted only eight months. Word had come down that the show had been canceled and was being taken off the air.

Even though I was there for only a short time, it was sad to experience the cancellation. Anytime a production comes to an end, it's like a breakup. People were walking around the hallways of the studio stunned by the news, talking to their agents and managers, trying to find another job. I hadn't been on the show long enough to be devastated by its demise. I looked at the news as an opportunity to catch up on lost time with my family, and an opening to pursue other roles I could find only in Hollywood. (...)

I'm Just Sayin'!
By Kim Zimmer, with Laura Morton
© Kim Zimmer, New American Library, 2011