In this week's "Indie Soap Beat" feature, we take a look at the latest happenings from around the world of independent soap opera production. Click the show logos to visit the official websites.
The 1st Annual Indie Soap Awards telecast will be broadcast on Monday, February 1, at 9 p.m. ET on the Indie Soap Awards website, at We Love Soaps, Outviews, Daytime Confidential and several other websites.
The show will feature an original performance by comedian/musician Joanna Parson and appearance by several of your indie soap favorites.
For a complete list of nominees, visit indiesoapawards.com.
Voting for the Fan's Choice Award is still ongoing until Jan. 31. You can vote here.
The seventh episode of indie comedy series ALL'S FAIRE featured a guest appearance from former GUIDING LIGHT star Robert Bogue (ex-Mallet). The story takes place at the Southeastern Delaware Renaissance Faire. You can watch Bogue's first episode here. He shows up at the end to save the Faire.
THE LIKE US SHOW is a new radio soap opera set to air around the country beginning Feb. 1. Set on the campus of the fictional Atlanta University, LIKE US tells the dramatic story of the lives of the students of this Historical Black University. After being abandoned by her drug addicted parents, Kori was left feeling bitter and on a hunt for love. Her mother, Antionette Bell, recently recovered from several years of drug abuse and is now living with her two daughters Kori and Shannon. Shannon, whose nickname is "The Golden Child", feels her sister is on the same road to destruction their mother once traveled down. Deeply in love with Robert, its only a matter of time before Shannon discovers his selfish habits that will soon be unveiled and threaten their relationship.
Two stars from ANYONE BUT ME will be presenters at the Indie Soap Awards (tune in to find out!). If you missed the We Love Soaps interviews with Rachael Hip-Flores (Vivian) and Nicole Pacent (Astor), you can watch them here. Episode four of season two will air sometime in February.
The next new episode of VENICE will air on Friday on the show's website for subscribers. Creators Crystal Chappell and Kim Turrisi participated in the NOH8 campaign last week. Turrisi has been confirmed as a presenter for the Indie Soap Awards. VENICE music artists Jen Foster (who seems the show's theme song) and Vanida Gail performed at The Bitter End in New York City on Wednesday night.
SECRETS returned last week with five all new episodes. The show, which is shot in South Jersey and various locations in Philadelphia, had previously aired five episodes in early 2009. We Love Soaps asked creator and star Damian Tracy about the show's return.
We Love Soaps: Why did you decide to release five episodes at once? It's an interesting approach that most of the indie soaps are not follow.
Damian Tracy: When we released the first five episodes last year, I launched them weekly. Frankly, following the number of Youtube hits, I noticed viewership trailed off with each episode. I think people just forgot to come back each week and tune in. I thought for the second season, I'd try releasing them all at once and see how that changed the numbers... and sure enough, the numbers are much closer. The episodes are short enough that you can watch five in one sitting during your lunch hour.
We have another five episodes in the can and will hopefully release them in the next few weeks.
We Love Soaps: For fans of continuing drama and soaps, why should they check out SECRETS?
Damian Tracy: SECRETS is truly an independent soap. We don't have Daytime Emmy winners in the cast. Most of the web soaps getting hype have some major star power and those stars bring the audience with them. I love the idea that soap stars are making the leap to the "even-smaller-screen" and really reinventing the genre... but our show has to rely on our ingenuity and storytelling to draw people in.
I think we have created characters and storylines that really get to the heart of what soap operas are... escapist fun. Our show may not be as "slick" as some of the others, but we cut right to the chase! The tone of the show captures what I love about soaps. It takes itself so seriously that it can't be taken seriously... but hopefully keeps itself from tipping into campiness.
GOTHAM will be taping at the upcoming Nicole Miller show during Fashion Week in New York City in February. If you missed the We Love Soaps interview with GOTHAM star Kin Shriner (Jon), you can read that interview here. The next new episode will air Monday, February 1 at 8 p.m. ET.
COMPULSIONS creator Bernie Su recently wrote a blog entry on titled "Recognizing Traps in Pre-Production." You can read his thoughts here. There is no word yet on when new episodes might air. The show received 11 nominations in total for the Indie Soap Awards including Best Indie Soap.
The latest episode of Indie Soap Award nominated THEN WE GOT HELP!, "Someone Else's Shoes " is now playing on the show's website. When Terry's Role Swapping exercise forces the couple's to play each other for the night, things get over blown and over-heated. ONE LIVE TO LIVE's Nicholas Rodriguez plays Dan on the show.
Episode #10 of the Indie Soap Award nominated CHICK, "Within Me Lies a Superhero," is now playing on the show's website and YouTube. Kai Soremekun is nominated for two Indie Soap Awards, for Director and for Lead Actress. CHICK is also nominated for Best Indie Soap.
Photography Steven Bergman was on the set of EMPIRE last weekend and you can view his photos, including new stars Tina Sloan and Orlagh Cassidy, here. Look for We Love Soaps to make an appearance during Season Two beginning this Spring. Another new star of the show this season, Fabio Taliercio, recently directed a wonderful production of Richard Greenberg's "Take Me Out" in Brooklyn. The show closed on Sunday. Look for stars of EMPIRE to be presenters at the Indie Soap Awards on Monday.
The season finale of Indie Soap Award nominated BUPPIES, "Pretty Wings," is now playing on the show's website. Quinci looks her past right in the face and moves toward the future. No word yet on when new episodes may begin. BUPPIES leads all shows with 13 Indie Soap Award nominations.
Irish soap COVIES has now aired its fifth episode, "After Drowning People." You can watch it on the show's website. Episodes are broadcast on Monday and Thursday nights. You can also follow the soap on Twitter at @TheCovies.
Episode #9 of ANACOSTIA, is currently playing. You can watch it here. The show takes place in DC's Anacostia community neighborhood. If you haven't checked it out, start with the shocking first episode and catch up.
EDITOR'S NOTE: You can find all our indie soap coverage at IndieSoapBeat.com.