Christopher Goutman: On Working with Writers and Saying Goodbye to As the World Turns
Susan Dansby: How do writers usually come to you?
Christopher Goutman: I actually depend upon the head writer. I’ve been blessed with working with Jean Passanante for a lot of years. And I actually bow to her discretion.
Writers have come to me, but every thing is going to be funneled through the head writer. And if she doesn’t approve of that writer, then I do not go forward with it. That’s actually her bailiwick — or whoever the head writer is, that’s their bailiwick and I don’t usurp that control. I will express my opinion strongly and if I do not believe something is working, then we have a serious discussion about it.
I feel most times when something hasn’t been working, we ultimately reach a consensus about that. But in terms of attempting new writers or writers that would like to try, I think I am a little bit much more adventurous.
If a new writer comes my way, I’m constantly one to throw that on to the pile. But I feel, once more, because soap operas are under such a pressure that if you can’t get it out in a particular amount of time, you are not going to make it. And I think young writers — very first of all — do not gravitate anymore towards soap operas since they look at it as a dying medium. And there are so many other opportunities for them from nighttime to whatever their muse is.
But I believe what we do here in soap operas is incredibly distinctive and also harder than a lot of other issues. Again, I mean, the cliché is if you can make it in daytime, you can make it anywhere and I genuinely think that that’s true.
Susan Dansby: The demands are amazing and the rewards are as well.
Christopher Goutman: The times where I feel just so gratified by it is, once more, when all those pieces fit together, where the style comes together, and you just go like ‘Man, this is like, I have never seen anything like this.’
And the wonderful factor about doing soap opera is — because you are a small bit of a junkie when you do this stuff — is we’re doing a show a day. So, the poor factor is, it’s a grind. But the excellent thing is if one show messes up, you’ve got tomorrow to do far better.
So, you do not have to wait a week or a month or a year as when you’re performing movies. So, that’s the sort of roller coaster that you’re on — that you get to hop on that roller coaster each and every day.
Susan Dansby: Nicely, I have 1 last question for you and that’s, given all these years at World Turns, what’s the huge take away for you from that encounter?
Christopher Goutman: The take away for me is I am the luckiest guy on the face of the earth. I’ve worked with such wonderful folks. The hardest thing for me is to say goodbye to everyone here. And we move on and I know I will by no means replicate this expertise.
Whatever I do in the future will be different, of shorter duration and it will come nowhere near the sense of family, the sense of satisfaction, and the accurate pleasure of running a ship that is — and has been for so a lot of people — a wonderful source of comfort, entertainment, and an exclusive part of their life. So, again, the pleasures have been indescribable, the satisfaction is extraordinary and I will miss it.
Want to know how to make your dream job come accurate fast? Read/hear a lot more great interviews, and find out how actors, producers, directors and other people get their dream jobs on Susan Dansby’s How Did You Get That Job? blog at http://yougetthatjob.com.
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