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WLS Interview: Patsy Pease (Part Five)

Two-time Soap Opera Digest Award winner Patsy Pease has been sharing her thoughts on acting, landing the role of Kimberly Brady on DAYS OF OUR LIVES and the decision she made to return to the show multiple times despite less than perfect circumstances. In Part Five our of our interview, Pease explains why she's so much happier if life these days and answers our question about whether she would go back to her most famous role.

We Love Soaps: I admire the way you have made active choices to have more peace in your life, even if it meant giving up the job of DAYS.
Patsy Pease: Whenever you’re selling out your soul to be successful it’s time to quit. There are some actresses over there, I don’t know where they went, but they’re behind an iron door, just to be able to survive. But I can’t do that. I don’t have whatever it is that makes rawhide skin that you can’t penetrate. I seem to be unable to do that. I would still be working today if I could. But I can’t. I wear my heart on my sleeve and what comes out of my mouth is exactly the way I feel. You never have to guess with me, if I have something to say I’ll tell you.

We Love Soaps: What were your visits to DAYS like after your left in 1992?
Patsy Pease: It was just kind of funny. I would get these long faces, these sympathetic looks, like “Awww, here she is.” And I would be looking at them like, “Awww, there they are. Those poor things. They’re trapped in a building which has no sunshine for 12 to 14 hours a day. They look haggard and awful. They say terrible things behind each other’s backs. And they think this is fun and successful? Oh God, those poor little babies! And I get to leave to go home to my three dogs and my two wonderful boys? And I have great friends and we have a wonderful time really talking about things that matter? Awww. Poor Patsy!”

We Love Soaps: If they ever offered you a contract to come back...
Patsy Pease: No!

We Love Soaps: Even if Charles [Shaughnessy] was willing?
Patsy Pease: No.

We Love Soaps: Well I guess that’s pretty wise given the state of affairs over there recently.
Patsy Pease: The funny this is, you can look at the show and you can tell nothing has changed.

We Love Soaps: Just like a toxic family system, huh?
Patsy Pease: Worse than family toxic systems. You see, toxic family systems always have some kind of humility, somewhere, where a few members ask for help. But they have so much money and so much wealth and so much fame, why would they ever need to ask for help? And who can they ever trust?

We Love Soaps: How do you think the actors who have been there for decades have been able to do it?
Patsy Pease: To be honest with you? I wouldn’t want to be in the same park with many of them. Oh I’ve had breakdowns before, I’m not the calendar girl for mental health, that’s for damn sure. And I will proudly say that. I am human! If I get pushed and prodded and jerked around and have my child’s life in danger, then yeah, I do get very, very depressed. Good grief, can you imagine that? That I would actually get depressed with things like that going on? And a boss telling you that you’re being unprofessional, and you just have to do your job, and now play crazy because your mother is crazy? I don’t know about you, Damon, but as a human being, I got very depressed.

But when you have no feelings left, and you fell off the end of the world somewhere, you can easily do things like that. Now, you won’t do a good job, because if you have no feelings left then it’s going to be kind of hard to act. However, I saw several actresses, after I left the show have plenty of opportunity to show their, oh, “variety,” and it kind of left me null and void. But they were still there, showing their variety in a way that I and everyone else knew they would. I mean, it’s also called "bad acting." But you end up having to sacrifice something if you’re going to stay in a toxic family situation.

We Love Soaps: Yes, I think that is a choice, a choice I’m not sure I’d want to make.
Patsy Pease: The trips back have been very, very refreshing for me.

We Love Soaps: Now about this last trip last year...
Patsy Pease: I’ve never been so happy! Because a lot of times when things get really tough financially, you think, “Oh maybe if I just tried a little bit harder...” and these thoughts go through your head naturally because you’re struggling to pay your bills. However, when you get the opportunity like I’ve had to visit, that last job that I had, every time I’d walk out at the door I’d go, “Oh God, thank you, thank you ,thank you, I’ve never made a better decision in my life! Thank God, I don’t want to end up like those people! Please God, I don’t want to end up like those people! They’re dead, and they don’t even know it!” It’s not the same people I started out with 22 years ago. There were signs of life 22 years ago. Vivacious, wonderful, full, laughing, life. And I can’t recognize that person 22 years later. There’s something very odd about that to me.

We Love Soaps: As a viewer I have seen this too. And it wasn’t until these clips started appearing on YouTube that I was able to see the difference, how much life had been in these actors back then. Before that I had wondered if I was just young and impressionable, or if there truly something magical about the show back then?
Patsy Pease: No, no, there was something magical, there was something wonderful.

We Love Soaps: It had a soul in the early and mid 1980s.
Patsy Pease: Yes! And I’m not trying to personality bash. I’m just saying, my God! For people, if they think that money and fame is going to fix it, take a look at the clips from 22 years ago, and take a look at the work by the same person now. And tell me, please tell me, if there’s a soul left in that body. If there’s a sparkle! I saw a sparkle in the eyes of people I worked with 22 years ago. There was a light coming out of their face, out of their being, they had light. It’s not there now. And that’s sad to me! Something happened along the way, steady, consistent and over time.

We Love Soaps: It sounds like they made compromises you weren’t willing to make.
Patsy Pease: And I’m not saying I’m better than they are. I’m the last person to say I’m better than they are. Look, I can be a basket case at any moment of the day. You can tell me I didn’t pick up my dog right and I’ll feel guilty and run out the door with eight empty bags...that’s not a well person either. [laughs] I’m not saying I’m better. I’m not saying I’m well. I’m not a poster child for mental health, we all know that. So let’s just accept that right away. But what I am saying is that I just have such an amount of fun that I am refusing to give up today. When I go to bed at night, my mind is free. I have genuine peace. And I don’t think you can put a price tag on that.

We Love Soaps: I don’t think so either.
Patsy Pease: Maybe I’m wrong. If this goes out on the podcast, I’m willing to admit that I could be wrong. But I just know for me, when any job starts costing me more than what they’re paying me, it’s time to quit.

RELATED:
Patsy Pease - Part One
Patsy Pease - Part Two
Patsy Pease - Part Three
Patsy Pease - Part Four

Damon L. Jacobs is a Marriage Family Therapist practicing in New York City, and the author of Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve. He blogs regularly at www.shouldless.com.

13 comments:

  1. I feel like I comment too much, but I just have to say that this interview series was...unbelievable.

    If you look throughout the soap press, at least recently, there has not been ANYTHING of this level of depth and candor. I realize some of that is the particular alchemy of this aware-and-direct "subject" and her interviewer--who is, by definition, skilled at eliciting insightful comments.

    At the same time, I saw the same level of excellence in the James DePaiva interview that Damon did pre-WLS.

    Putting it together, it confirms for me that in Damon you may have found someone whose sum of experiences and qualifications came together to give the PERFECT interview!

    My hope is that you can convince lots and lots of folks to go for the "Shouldless" interview.

    I must confess, in this last installment, where Pease talks about the soullessness of veteran costars, I smelt the cinders of bridges burning. I gather she is comfortable with that at this point. But as soon as she said it, my mind's eye turned to some of her long-term costars (still on DOOL, or relatively recently departed) and I could see exactly what she meant.

    I wonder if she is describing the burnout and end result of a career length of compromises that MOST people make in long-term jobs? Or if this is specific to her former show? We'll never know.

    Here's hoping you all can line up 50 subjects! And Damon, if you need help transcribing, call me :-).

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  2. Mark, we love your comments so keep making them. Damon is an amazing interviewer and there are some people we discuss that I know instantly he's "the one" to do the job because he draws people out so well. He even makes me want to spill my guts every time we see each other. :)

    His next interview is both historical and insightful so stay tuned.

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  3. Nice interview. What is Ms. Pease doing for work these days? Is she still acting or is pursuing another field (web design)? I've heard that a lot of ex-soap actor are real estate professionals.

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  4. Thanks for taking time to interview .I am a huge Kim & Shane fan , so I was very excited about the reading this.. I am disappointed though. Parts one to three, are pretty insightful, but in parts four & five Patsy comes out as bitter and resentful.

    She says she feels sorry for those who are still there and at the same time she says she is not better then they are. I think you can only feel sorry for someone if you feel you are better or superior.

    As far as the missing spark goes, the writing is so bad these days it's hard to have any. Plus the period she is referring to most of the actors she interacted with were young and in the beginning of their acting and probably invested a lot more of themselves into the show. Now for most of them days is just a job and perhaps they invest themselves in other things besides their job. Some of them have started their own businesses which they invest into and passionate about, and one actor I know is writing plays and also does a lot of theater, so where do we see they they have sold themselves to Days for a paycheck?

    Besides, I watched Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols during their second run and they have done an amazing job, despite the bad writing.

    I assume a lot of what she said comes from the pain she feels about mistreated at days and having a hard life in general, i.e. her childhood abuse and her son's health problems. but that doesn't make it ok to insult other actors for decisions they make.

    I am sorry to say Patsy comes out as bitter, superior and awfully judgmental in this interview.

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  5. I loved Patsy Pease from her first episode on DAYS as Kimberly Brady. I don't think I ever missed an episode that she was in as I loved her character so much.

    If Patsy comes across as bitter, she is in good company. DAYS has not treated its veteran actors well; and I suspect she was one of the first to get shoddy treatment. I don't think it was too much for her to ask for a different storyline, given her pregnancy. DAYS should have taken the high road and compromised a little.

    I always appreciate interviews that have real depth and candor, especially in the soap world. The soap mags mainly pander to the "party line" and are all gloss and no substance.

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  6. Hi Estiew, I certainly respect your opionion, but Patsy was just giving her opi nion. As I think she had mentioned, she isn't out to judge anyone. She went down her path and others have gone down a different path. And we may watch these actors on our screen every day, but she KNOWS them. Considering everything Patsy has gone through, I spplaud her honesty in every aspect of her life.

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  7. I felt like Patsy was accepting a lot of responsibility which a lot of times you don't see. She was stating things as she saw them but also admitted the issues she was having and openly discussed her struggles and how she has overcome.

    There's an interesting balance between actors, writers and producers being honest and frank and how that will be perceived. Beth Ehlers was very honest in her interview and took a beating from some over it. I wasn't that thrilled with some of her comments as well, but it may have been more of a shock that she was making them. We're so used to actors spewing the party line from the shows that when someone has the courage to really state how they feel, some take it as them being negative.

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  8. In this particular interview, Patsy doesn't come across well in the things she says.

    She says she's done whatever needed to survive, but she's critical of them for doing the same.

    How is that good?

    I can't admire her for saying what she said because I find it unnecessary for her to sound so bitter and unkind and yes, judgmental.

    I was interested in Parts 1, 2, and 3.

    But by the time I read Part 5, I was just disappointed.

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  9. I hear you KG. I just look at it a different way. Patsy was speaking her truth and sometimes honesty hurts. Obviously we weren't on the set and don't really know what it's like for the actors there. If anything, she seems to be relieved to be in a happy place now.

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  10. I don't sense happiness from her.

    She may SAY she's happy, but her part 5 comments indicate bitterness more than anything else.

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  11. I'll let Damon answer this definitively, but I believe in the actual interview, she made the Part 5 statements before some of the other parts. There was some reflection on the past and she stated how she felt and then she talked about how she's overcome so much and moved on. There's still one more part to go and hopefully that will tie it all together.

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  12. Well, i truly do believe she is working towards it if she isn't there yet. She has been through a lot and this sort of thing is a work in progress. I admire her for doing what she can to fight her demons. She has had a tough life and still brought lots of enjoyment to so many people who watched DAYS while she was on

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  13. I was a huge Days fan in what I believe was the shows true golden years period, early 80's to just before the 90's. Yes, I was also a huge Shane & Kim fan but I feel her comments in the interview weren't exactly truthful.

    She states that she doesn't want to ever go back to Days and although she would often panic and think maybe she ought to for money, family security etc that after every visit she would know she had made the right decision.

    Over the years I have seen/read many times of Patsy actively campaigning, and getting her fans to as well, for her to come back to Days. Comments like where to write to let them know they want Kim back and her eventual disappointment when Charles was asked to reprise Shane for a guest appearance but without her in the role of Kimberly.

    Although I no longer watch the show and genuinely feel for what Patsy has gone through in her life it makes me feel extremly sad that she makes statements on other people then tries to clarify it by making statements along the lines of, "Ohh, I know I have no right to judge but . . ."

    Patsy always wanted to come back to Days but for whatever reason she was never invited to come back fulltime, that's the way it happened and her re-writing history and casting blame and critiques at other actors speak volumes to me about her level of sour grapes.

    I'm sure other actors/actress' could say or initiate terrible things about her to but they have wisely kept their opinions to themselves, something I wish Patsy would learn. Speak about your passions, life goals, children or whatever but have abit of courteousy and tact as well.

    It doesn't make you a sad person to do your job, hit your mark and then go home to your life. Patsy sees no soul or spark in her former co-stars eyes, perhaps they are/were sick of the truly bad writing of Days from the 90's on and her truly terrible re-write of why and how she left the show.

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