Tuesday, June 16, 2009

FLASHBACK: Brenda Dickson Sings 1978

Soap Opera Star Sings

Ellensburg Daily Record
May 15, 1978

Soap opera stars are a different breed, mostly because the public reacts to them differently. Real dedicated soap opera fans become so emotionally involved with the stories that the actors cease being actors and become real people to them.

Brenda Dickson knows all about that phenomenon. She has been playing Jill Foster, the ingenue, on CBS' THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS since that soap opera began some five years ago.

"I'm a good girl on the show," she says, "and that's important. That means the people who watch the show like me."

She says that her fans are very involved with her and with the plot of the show. When she runs into fans outside, they always call her Jill, never Brenda, and always talk to her as though the things that happen to Jill Foster were real.

And, once in a while, even Brenda Dickson begins to think that Jill Foster is real, and her problems are real.

"Right now," Brenda says, "Jill is going through a crisis. The guy she wants to marry is already married but he doesn't know it."

Even though Brenda Dickson, an exceptionally attractive and pleasant young woman, has a steady acting job, her professional heart is elsewhere. Given her choice, she'd rather be a singer.

"Since I was four," she says, "I have wanted to sing. But when I was young, somebody at a small studio told me that I would never make it as a singer, so I gave up. People should be more careful about what they say. When that person told me I wouldn't make it as a singer, that stifled me for years."

She gave up singing then, and instead worked on acting. She made it via the beauty contest route - she was a Miss California once - and by the time she was 17, she was working professionally as an actress.

But that singing dream has always remained with her, and now she is working at that phase in her life again.

She studies voice two nights a week - her schedule with THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS precludes daytime classes - and just cut a demo record. So things may be moving for her on the musical front.

Still, despite the singing yearnings, she enjoys the work on the soap opera. It is secure and people need some security. And she says it is great experience, "a chance to keep my acting instrument tuned."

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