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Working On A Soap Opera

In June, The Early Show brought you a special series in which each of the anchors was given the opportunity to do something he or she had always wanted to do.

Since Hannah Storm had always wanted to be an actress, the two days she spent taping the role of wedding planner Tiffany Gable on "As The World Turns" were a real thrill.

If Storm's wish sounds like something you'd like to do too, Marie Masters, who plays Dr. Susan Stewart, and Jessica Dunphy, who plays her daughter Alison, visited the show to critique Storm's performance and talk about the challenges of soap opera acting in general.

Though Storm thought she was too melodramatic for her role, Masters disagreed.

"I think you nailed it," she said. "What wedding planner isn't melodramatic?"

She said Storm did a wonderful job, and noted portraying a character is not easy.

Even soap actors get nervous. Masters explained, "Sometimes even one line, you can go, 'I can't make that come out of my mouth.' Then other times, five scenes are a snap. It depends."

What Storm found nerve-wracking was not having enough time to rehearse, something Masters and Dunphy are very used to.

"It's like dry rehearsal, then you're taping," Dunphy said. "It's pretty hectic."

Masters added, "You don't have time to think about it. You have to do it."

Working on a soap is as close as you can get to a 9-to-5 type job for an actor, shooting an hour-long story every day.

And though the actors don't get a lot of opportunities to mess up, Masters noted, "We've got a great editing department and a lot of producers who are watching and saying, 'no, let's do that again.'"

The challenge Dunphy finds in her work is shaking off the emotions she plays at the end of her workday.

She said, "Sometimes you have the light, comedy stuff, which is so much fun. That stuff, when you're done at the end of the day, you have a smile on your face. Other times, it's deeper and you come home with swollen eyes and bruises or whatnot, whatever you're doing for that day."

At one point, for example, she had to cry on the show for six solid weeks.

Hearing what Masters and Dunphy had to say has not put Storm off from wanting more opportunities to perform. Don't forget to watch "As The World Turns" Monday, when Storm has six scenes. Tuesday she has one.

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