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Anthony Anderson: The WLS Interview, Part Five

In Parts One , Two, Three, and Four, the Indie Soap auteur shared how the trauma of bullying fueled his creativity, why the actual suburb of Anacostia became his muse for the acclaimed show ANACOSTIA, how he dealt with the controversy after having a gay suicide storyline on the show, as well as the highs and lows or producing two full seasons of the hit series.  In this final part, we discuss Anderson's appearance on the We Love Soaps 15 Most Fascinating People of 2010, what's ahead in 2011, and why Anderson wants you to watch other people's shows!!

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Now I get to reveal to you that made the We Love Soaps list of the 15 Most Fascinating People in 2010!
Anthony Anderson: Wow.  You have floored me.  2010 was a great year for a lot of Indie Soaps.  Unfortunately I did notice that some of them that were there last year did not return this year.  I think that speaks to support and finances and I hope that some of these organizations and sponsors will back up some of these shows so we can bring continuing stories, diversity, great plots, and new ideas.  I am honored to be part of what has become one big family.  Everybody’s show are different but we are all in the same boat.  It is great to be amongst these other shows that are out there.  It has been a great year of opportunities and personal fulfillment.  I really love what we did with ANACOSTIA this year.  I’m proud of the stories, I’m proud of the actors, and I’m proud of the fans for sticking in there.  I’m proud to see some of the other shows are telling interesting stories as well.  I’m proud to see diversity on show like THE BAY. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: What would you like to see ahead in 2011?
Anthony Anderson: Personally I’d like to see Eric Braeden and Neil Patrick Harris wrestle (laughs).  We hope the box set of ANACOSTIA will be coming out by the end of January.


WE LOVE SOAPS TV: If the cast is doing the commentaries, then those commentaries will be worth the price of admission alone.
Anthony Anderson: We may do it at a lounge where they will have some martinis and start running off with the mouth.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Get Kena talking about Nicole’s love scenes with Andre and you know those DVD’s will fly off the shelf. 
Anthony Anderson: Yes, and Kena was the first one hired for the show. We would also love to have some people with products come on and sponsor the show.  Somehow we always get the show done.  I don’t quite know how, but somehow we always get it done and we always walk away from the project happy.  As the producer and writer that is the only thing that I ask, that everyone walk away happy.  As long as the fans are happy, I’m happy. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: You do amazing work.  Even just a five minute webisode takes so much time. 
Anthony Anderson: Well we are Indie Soap winners.  We have a reputation to uphold (laughs)! We could not come in slouching for season two, we had to blow the trumpets and say, “We may not have Crystal Chappell, but we do have each other!”

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you want our readers to know about you and ANACOSTIA?
Anthony Anderson: First I want to say thank you to the fans who find the show, who leave us great comments, and tell their friends.  Keep supporting the shows that are on the web.  Without the support of them the shows would just be sitting there. 

Also, don’t just be complacent with ANACOSTIA or any one show.  Go check out the other shows.  Check out MONTREAL HEARTS or THE CAVANAUGHS or THE OMEGAS.  There are so many other shows out there that have really great content, great actors, great writing, production.  It’s easy for so many of us to get passed by the wayside.  That’s why I love the weekly Indie Soap Poll at We Love Soaps TV.  You can vote for your favorite, and then you can click on any other show and try out an episode.  I think that poll introduces so many people to so many different shows and so many different opportunities.  That’s how I’ve gotten to see so many of the other shows that are out there. 

We are very grateful for every single person that clicks that play button and watched ANACOSTIA.  We just found out that ANACOSTIA has been downloaded and played in 94 different countries.   When I saw that I was speechless.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: So there is really an international appeal to great story telling.
Anthony Anderson: It blew my mind.  I called the cast, and sent them all messages.  I think a lot of them are people in the military that are stationed around the world.  But just to know that people in Chile are watching the show completely blows my mind. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I think it demonstrates that the basic themes of ANACOSTIA are universal: friendship, heartbreak, overcoming adversity. 
Anthony Anderson: Yes.  Last and not least I want to say thank you to and Roger at We Love Soaps, and Jamey Giddens at Daytime Confidential, for finding ANACOSTIA and taking the time to watch it and to get involved with the story.  [Pause] I’m getting emotional now, I told you I was a big wimp.  Whenever I do something I never expect anyone to see it except my family.  So when we found out that experts like you and Roger and Jamey and Destini were not only watching it, but recommending it, it floors us.  I kid you not.

It floors us when we see people on FaceBook share a link, and then you see it has been shared 100 times.  People don’t have to do that.  But they believe in the show so much and they want other people to experience it.  As the creator of the show, I’ve never felt...I’ve never understood my purpose before as a writer, as a creator.  I am so grateful for this project. It has opened me up in ways I can’t put into the words.  It has taken me places that I never thought I would go.  I had never been to Los Angeles, and this project took me to Los Angeles.  I have seen these actors, who at one point were not getting work, now get recognized on the street, and have fans coming up wanting to get their pictures taken with them.  To know this all started because of a dream I had, it is overwhelming.  I can never really put into words how grateful I am.  All I can do is make the best product I can make and hope that you will enjoy it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please don't miss out on the show that has entertained in 94 countries! Check out ANACOSTIA now! 

Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Therapist now accepting new clients in New York City.  He is also the author of the popular book "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve." For more information about scheduling an appointment, please email him at Shouldless@gmail.com.

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