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POP INTERVIEW: Daytime Emmy Award Winning Soap Actress Martha Byrne

Martha Byrne has won two Daytime Emmys and received eight overall nominations since she was introduced to audiences on As the World Turns. Since 2009, her series, Gotham – astoundingly, the soap was created during the height of reality programming – can be seen online and will soon be syndicated on cable television.

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Martha Byrne has won two Daytime Emmys and received eight overall nominations since she was introduced to audiences on As the World Turns. Since 2009, her series, Gotham – astoundingly, the soap was created during the height of reality programming – can be seen online and will soon be syndicated on cable television.

Martha Byrne1

At the moment, you are mostly known to soap opera fans. How does or will your project take you out of this bubble so everyone will learn about you as a fine actress and creative personality behind the scenes?
Thank you for the compliment! Interestingly enough, with the return of One Life to Live and All My Children coming back online, the majority of the press has been mainstream for both shows. The reason the mainstream is taking notice, is because of the business model those shows are following. Three years ago when I did the web series for Gotham, the internet was considered the wild west. The advertisers didn’t know how to monetize the web. The world has since changed and with shows like House of Cards and others, the web market has exploded. All of the above will help Gotham as it comes to television because of our roots. Our existing fans will follow us and the new eyeballs might start to watch out of curiosity and then we’ll hook them in with the story.

You’ve been nominated for more Daytime Emmys than I own small dogs. How is that possible? 😉 Why did you want to take a risk? You were comfortably positioned on soaps for so long. Someone else might have decided to continue acting in similar roles on the same types of shows. Why did you want control over your work when you could coast along just fine?
I love a challenge. I played every storyline five times over on As the World Turns and I was never one to just punch the time card. This is a business for creative people and I felt like I had more to do. Or at least try to do something outside my comfort zone. When I left ATWT in 2008, I did a play, produced a short film with Malin Ackerman, wrote for Bold and the Beautiful and then produced Gotham. I tried on many hats. The one thing I do miss is acting on a daily basis. The only place you can really do that is on a soap opera. It is definitely a muscle that needs to work if you want to improve. A highly respected actor friend once told me, “When you think you’ve learned everything, just quit, because you never stop learning.”

For “As the World Turns,” you played what is probably the top soap cliche but loads of fun: the shocking twin nobody knew about. How is your new show breaking away from traditions like that into new territory for soap plotlines? The twin stories sure are fun, but I’m sure you also have something hidden up your sleeves for viewers.
We are sticking to what works for serial dramas, good storytelling. No one loves a good twin story more than me, but this show is new, so we are setting the tone for the future. It’s a classic story about two people torn apart by their circumstances when they were young and now have a second chance to right the wrongs of their past. Who doesn’t want a second chance at SOMETHING in their lives?

I’m not the biggest daytime fan ever, but I’m so sad seeing legendary shows go off the air for reality television. No, scratch that. New soaps like “Passions,” I should say. Everything. How long do you think it will take before reality programming gets tossed into the East River where some soap fans may think it belongs?
I think we have turned the corner already. There is a show on TV about bras…..and pigs….Not the same show, in case you were wondering. I think it’s almost the end of the reality train.

Martha Byrne

And while we talk about this subject, what do you think it will take for soaps to have their triumphant moment again – for today’s generation to know and love soaps like people did before TV executives deemed them too expensive? That statement is kind of odd, anyway. Don’t they pay reality stars so much that the costs eventually evens out? Weird.
The costs are very similar. The difference is reality shows are shot quickly and then cranked out, but the overall costs are the same. Talk shows are very expensive. I would bet 100 dollars the Katie Couric Show has a bigger budget than the show it replaced, One Life to Live. I think the moment is right in front of us for the soaps triumphant return. Revenge, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Deception and lets not forget Dallas…all soaps. They really never left, but the daytime canvas was torn to shreds. I think the fans outcry was heard.

When you are working as an agent, do you believe that someone always has to have lots of experience? Or are you like the 1940’s days, where someone got discovered based on their eagerness to please, good looks, charm and raw talent?
I’ve seen kids walk in my door at the studio in Paramus, New Jersey with no experience and I just know they have a gift. You can’t create something out of nothing. I do encourage actors to start young, even if it’s just local theater, to get anything on their resume.

Remind people about your show! How are you cultivating something exciting for people who have never liked soaps?
If you’re not a soap fan but maybe you’re into marketing and branding? Or producing? Curious about the trends and future trends of the entertainment industry?…Listen to our story of success, you might be inspired. Oh, and the cast isn’t so bad to look at either 🙂

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Lizzo Is An Icon In The Making – And Here’s Why

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Mirror, mirror on the wall don’t say it ‘cause we know Lizzo cute. And by cute I mean extremely talented, gorgeous and totally inspiring!

A few months ago I was watching The Ellen Degeneres Show when I witnessed one of the most fun, exciting and awe-inspiring performances I’ve ever seen. Lizzo popped onto the screen in a sparkly, pink getup and began singing what would become her big hit song, “Juice,” – I was immediately hooked (more like obsessed). During this performance she also jammed out on her flute alongside her plus-sized backup dancers and suddenly I knew I had been changed forever. I did some more research on the rapper/singer and found out I had been sleeping on this gem! Lizzo has been doing bad all by her damn self for years, having already released two albums in the past. I am suddenly mad at every single person who neglected to tell me to jump on the Lizzo train sooner! If you’re like me and need a bit of catch up, I’m going to break down exactly why you need to know this icon in the making.

You can throw a stone in any direction and hit a triple threat nowadays. Lizzo’s brings talents we have yet to see in the mainstream music industry.

If singing, rapping and dancing make Lizzo a triple threat, what does flute playing making her?!? A STAR THAT’S WHAT! Lizzo has displayed her abilities as a talented flautist, which is not an instrument you would necessarily think of in conjunction with the rap genre making this talent all the more extraordinary. Lizzo even used her flauting skills to compete (and defeat IMO) with Ron Burgundy. Not Will Ferrell, but Ron Burgundy.

Oh, and she can also twerk while playing the flute. 

As if playing the flute wasn’t impressive enough, Lizzo can also twerk while playing. I really hope some high school kid is deciding to take band just so he/she can flutwerk their way around campus like their fav flautist, Lizzo.

Lizzo uses her platform to inspire and raise up everyone around her.

Lizzo uses her voice for more than just creating fire music, ya know. She uses her platform to defend the belief that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Her Twitter is filled with positivity and strong messages about acceptance.

 

Uhm…she’s straight up gorgeous. 

We cant forget to mention that Lizzo is a straight up beauty queen. She is known to switch up her look but I’ve never seen a bad pic of this queen. To solidify my point, she is now officially the first, plus sized black woman to be featured in Playboy magazine!

Credit: Playboy.com

Move over Avenger’s, Lizzo has been in a comic book too!

Ok indulge the nerd in me on this one…Lizzo was even featured in a comic book!!! That’s right, she has become so influential that even Marvel comics wanted a piece of the Lizzo-pie. Check out this shout-out in Unstoppable Wasp #4!

 

So now that you have become as obsessed as I have, you are probably wondering how you can get even more Lizzo in your life. Well lucky for you, her new album dropped TODAY! Her third studio album, Cuz I Love You, is available anywhere you listen to music and let me tell you, YOU WILL LOVE IT. The album is varied and showcases all of Lizzo’s incredible range with some songs being upbeat and funky, and others being slowed down and heart wrenching. For a taste of what to expect, click below to listen to the title track of the album. If the new album still doesn’t satisfy the hunger for more Lizzo, she’s also on tour! You can click here for more info on tour dates.

Oh Lizzo…you are most definitely 100% that bitch.  

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Cher Slapped, Sang And Lip-Synched Her Way Through Her ‘Tonight Show’ Takeover

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If I could turn back time, I would watch Cher take over The Tonight Show again and again.

Give me a rapid vibrato and a strong hair flip and I am just about the happiest man on earth. There isn’t much the iconic Cher can’t do as proven by her lengthy career as an actress, singer and now broadway producer, so it was no surprise when she became one of The Tonight Show‘s most memorable guests in history last night. Cher wasted no time diving into the fun, giving host, Jimmy Fallon, a helping hand with his opening monologue. And by helping hand I mean she slapped him…not once but twice! I am now twice as jealous of Jimmy Fallon. The slap was of course a recreation of Cher’s legendary slap from her Oscar-award winning role in Moonstruck. All these years later and it is still a very effective way of shutting people up.

The Cher-takeover didn’t stop there! Cher hit the couch to answer some burning questions that fans (me) wanted to know about life as a living legend. During her chat she opened up about how painfully shy she was and is despite growing up in show business. She revealed that she was actually so afraid to sing in intimate settings that she lied about disliking “I Got You Babe” when Sonny Bono first introduced it to her just so she wouldn’t have to sing on the spot. It’s hard to imagine the showgirl being so shy but she confirmed that “it was really terrible, I was so shy.” During the chat Cher also confessed that she’s never actually heard a good impression of her! Even though she has to be one of the most impersonated celebrities of all time, she said she struggles to find any inkling of herself in all of the weird facial expressions and “bullish*t”!!! God I love her. The hour then segued to Cher’s new, autobiographical, hit Broadway musical The Cher Show which prompted a performance of “I Got You Babe” by the musical’s Sonny and young Cher, Jarrod Spector and Micaela Diamond. The audience nearly fell out and I audibly gasped when Cher herself joined Spector to finish the performance.

Of course a Tonight Show takeover would not be complete without a little lip-sync battle. This lip-sync battle was different than any other, however, as both Cher and Jimmy lip-synched to drunk bar patron renditions of Cher’s “Believe.” That’s right, Jimmy sent a camera crew to a karaoke bar at 1am and filmed their takes on the classic hit and used those vocals as the source of the lip-sync! Everything about this is hilarious!

The hour seemed to fly by and things only got more exciting as Jimmy brought the three leads from The Cher Show to the couch. Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks and Micaela Diamond cozied up next to Cher and gushed about what an incredible experience it has been working with such an icon. All four ladies closed the hour with an incredibly performance of “If I Could Turn Back Time” and how I wish I could just to be able to relive this hour over and over! I do believe this hour will go down in books as one of the best Tonight Show moments in history.

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Lori Loughlin Shockingly Pleads Not Guilty In College Bribery Case

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After Felicity Huffman pled guilty to her part in the college bribery case, it was assumed Lori Loughlin would do the same.

As if the college bribery case wasn’t already filled with shocking twists and turns, Lori Laughing and husband Mossimo Giannulli have just pled not guilty on all charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The couple face a minimum of 4 years and 9 months in prison for allegedly paying $500k to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. As if things weren’t sticky enough, the Full House actress and her fashion designer husband were indicted by the federal grand jury last week for an additional charge of money laundering. The couple waived their right to appear in court and instead entered their plea via court documents filed by their attorney.

The entire scandal revolves around 13 wealthy parents who used money to bribe college coaches and standardized test administrators to grant their children admission into USC. Prosecutors say that some of the parents went so far as to facilitate cheating on the SATs and ACTs for their children, while others used the money to coax the administrators into smoothing out the children’s paths into college.

Felicity Huffman, the other high-profile actress embroiled in this scandal, entered a guilty plea last week for paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT test rigged. After insisting that her daughter had no knowledge of the wrong-doings behind the scenes, Huffman faces a minimum of 4 months in prison.

Like what you read? Follow @ChrisSiretz on Twitter and Instagram

 

 

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