The second day of my trip to NYC was our tour of the midtown Manhattan studios, where some of Guiding Light is still taped – and where the show was crafted for decades.
We may have been there for GL, but I was on sensory overload absorbing the monoliths of history assembled in the building. Many P&G soaps had been filmed there, including As The World Turns (taped in Manhattan until 2000).
Before we even got to GL’s dressing rooms and green rooms, the history of the building hit me. Photos of CBS’ New York productions hung in the hallways. The CBS Evening News – home of Morrow and Uncle Walter, two of my heroes – was only a few feet away. (Unfortunately, no sign of Katie Couric or her new hairdo.)
I was very in the moment as we were in the studios, so it only hit me later that those same studios housed some of the iconic sets we remember. (Bauer kitchen, anyone?) And I recalled some of the ghosts of Springfield that roamed those studios, like Charita Bauer, Michael Zaslow and Beverlee McKinsey.
I also thought about ghosts that we can still see on other channels – like Beth Ehlers. If there were any questions I left unasked, it was about Ehlers’ departure earlier this year (as sore a subject for the show as it is for the audience) and about McKinsey’s passing. (To ask the actors who worked with her about that loss just seemed too intrusive.)
It must seem unfair to GL’s creative team sometimes that the show’s history is so often used to measure its present day.
But then again, at 71, the show has more history than any other soap.