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I’m Just Sayin’! by Kim Zimmer and Laura Morton

I’m Just Sayin’!: Three Deaths, Seven Husbands, and a Clone! My Life on Guiding Light and Beyond by Kim Zimmer and Laura Morton is as spontaneous as Reva Shayne was on Guiding Light, and while most of the memoir is linear in nature, there are moments where the flashbacks are a bit out of sequence — though never hard to follow.  Zimmer pulls no punches with her memoir and does not sugarcoat anything that happened in the latter years of Guiding Light, which experienced severe budget cuts and went downhill in terms of quality where production was concerned.  On the flip side, she’s also willing to admit her mistakes and allowed her temper to get the best of her when she should have tried a more diplomatic approach when story lines and production were falling by the wayside.

Even more interesting were the early years in which she made some tough decisions about college and acting, when she met her soul mate (A.C. Weary), and when she put her family first and left Guiding Light the first time.  She shares some acting techniques she learned, including substitution in which an actor uses real life images and memories as stand ins for the characters’ current situations.  Zimmer didn’t find this effective, and in fact, found it very distracting.  One of the most interesting things in the book was that she took the bus to the studio rather than have a car pick her up or driver herself to work in the early days, which some of her co-stars found odd.  (I applaud her for using public transportation!)

“A.C. and I joked about getting married any number of times, but one of us always managed to change the subject.  If memory serves me correctly, in the summer of 1980, we were in our teeny-tiny kitchen making dinner when we started talking about having a baby.  I believe I said I’d love to have a kid but I wanted to be married first.  Hint, hint, wink, wink!

A.C. said something like, ‘Are you asking me to marry you?’

I said, ‘If you want me to have your babies, then yes, I’m asking you to marry me!'”  (Page 42)

While some may think that Zimmer is a diva, she certainly is in the sense that she’s talented and passionate about her work.  She talks a lot about fighting for her characters and the show, which she thought of more like a family — and in many ways was more attached than probably some other actors would be to their roles and television shows.  Her resolve and determination helped Reva Shayne’s character grow, but unfortunately, the show itself was not something should could have saved on her own.  Becoming so attached to the show and her character ultimately weighed too heavily on Zimmer and caused her to make some choices she might not have otherwise.

I’m Just Sayin’!: Three Deaths, Seven Husbands, and a Clone! My Life on Guiding Light and Beyond by Kim Zimmer and Laura Morton is not only about acting and her family, but about a passion for her job that became all-consuming and led her astray for a while.  But lessons are always available when people make mistakes, even celebrities.  Zimmer’s memoir seems to have been cathartic for her in that it helped her assess herself and her role as wife, mother, and actress.  She’s candid and funny, but never overly apologetic.  A great memoir for those looking for behind-the-scenes shenanigans, serious acting business, and life-work balance decisions.

***On another note***

My husband and I watched Guiding Light together, and Jonathan and Reva’s story line was one that we loved watching unfold as he was the son she had left behind.  We loved the dynamic of these characters, and it was great to learn about the audition between Zimmer and Tom Pelphrey, which was too funny.  The chemistry between the characters was superb. Another of my favorite pairings was Reva with Jeffrey!  I loved their “What the hell” nature and the jokes and genuine fun time they seemed to be having.  It was so refreshing.  On the flip side, I loved Harley and Gus on the show, a relationship that was torn asunder by the writers and angered me beyond imagination.

It was hard for me to watch the production quality of this show decline, and my mother would call and ask me what the heck they were doing to our show.  The shaky cameras and the outside scenes in which you couldn’t hear the dialogue too well and the overpowering music.  Like Zimmer, I was very attached to these characters, and in many ways they were real….I was sad to see the characters of Springfield go.

About the author:

Four-time Emmy® award winner Kim Zimmer is a veteran television actress. In 1984, she joined the cast of Guiding Light, and stayed with the series for over two decades. She and her husband live mostly in New Jersey with their three children.

 

This is my 65th book for the New Authors Reading Challenge 2012.

  • I watched Guiding Light in the 80s when it was Reva and Josh kept getting together and breaking up. Reva was a memorable character.
    Amber Stults´s last blog post ..Niteblade Blog Train – Final Stop

  • I loved Guiding Light when I was young and watched it with my mom. Loved it! I didn’t watch for years but did catch some toward the end and was appalled. So cheesy. BUT this sounds like it would be fun to read. I just texted my mom that she needs to get it.
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  • Finished this one yesterday too!! LOL! I enjoyed it as a long-time Guiding Light fan.
    Julie P.´s last blog post ..Review: Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures

    • Oh, I’m glad you liked it. I can’t wait to see what your review says…how about those Butt Darts! Hilarious.

  • I adore the title. It caught me immediately. Plus, the Teasers are wonderful. I watched As The World Turns. I did hear a lot of talk about this character. Would love to read the memoir.
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    • I hope you get to read it…it was fun little memoir…and I just loved the part about Butt Darts!

  • I remember watching that show with my mom growing up and was appalled when I watched it with you a couple of times toward the end. To say they cut corners with production is putting it mildly. I bet my mom would love this book. It sounds fun.

    • I liked watching this show and then all of a sudden the outdoor scenes showed up and the shaky camera business…talk about obnoxious.