Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Laurie Baker grew up watching Days of Our Lives.  She was just a fan like millions of others. Now, though, she is not only a fan, she is a reporter. Her internet radio show, Outtakes Interviews, is a hit with soap fans.  She has interviewed stars from all four soaps, but Days is still her first love. She gets the answers to questions that fans are dying to know the answers to. 

Laurie has attended major soap events like the 50th anniversary party of Days of  Our Lives. Her videos and photos of the gala were amazing.  I felt like I had attended the event with her.

I wanted to know more about Laurie and Outtakes Interviews. I emailed her some questions. Thank you Laurie for taking the time to answer them

What is your professional background?  Were you a journalist/ reporter?
I have not gone to formal journalism school…but I participated in a lot of writing and acting all throughout high school, college and my early years in New York City.  I think those experiences taught me quite a bit.  And I am still learning all the time.
How long how you been a soap opera fan?
I grew up watching DAYS OF OUR LIVES with my family.  But I really fell in love with the show around 1982 with Tony/Renee, Marlena/Roman and Liz/Neil.  DAYS was and is my main soap opera.  With the internet, it became easier for me to watch the other soaps.  In 2009, I began watching all the ones that were still around.  And now every televised soap has something about it that I’m in love.
Where did the idea for your outtakes interviews come from?  The concept is a unique one. you have combined your interest in soaps with reporting.
As the internet kept growing, there were websites that came along that were very inspiring to me.  “Daytime Confidential” and “We Love Soaps” were two of them that really would write good articles, have wonderful podcasts and do great interviews with soap opera actors.  And I said to myself, “I would love to do that.”  I am also a fan of “Inside the Actor’s Studio”.  I love to find out what makes actors tick…and so many soap opera actors are brushed off…although that form of acting under such high pressure with little rehearsal time is probably the hardest type of acting there is.  And I am interested in finding out their real insight into the characters they play.  I don’t particularly care for fluffy questions.  And I rarely ask about what will happen next on the soap opera because the actor would only get in trouble by answering anyway
Laurie interviewing James Reynolds and Bryan Dattilo from Days
Who was your first outtakes interview subject? Who has been your most memorable interview subject/experience?
James Reynolds (Abe from DAYS OF OUR LIVES) was the first actor to give me a yes.  We did an interview about a play he was doing at Cape May Stage in New Jersey.  I was nervous…and there were some tech problems with the first radio show, but James was gracious and wonderful about it.
It is hard to pick the most memorable because there have been a lot of interviews I’ve cherished.  The show with the all-time highest listen count I did was with Eric Martsolf (Brady DAYS) and Christian LeBlanc (THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) where they were promoting a Christmas comedy event that they were doing together.  They were so wild and crazy!  It was hysterical.  There are some who were on my wish list from day one…and when I got them, it was terrific!  Matthew Ashford, Patsy Pease, Charles Shaughnessy, Thaao Penghlis and John deLancie (yes, all DAYS actors!) were a few that come to mind.
How do stars react when they learn you want to interview them?
Usually, it is either “Sure, let’s do it”; or no reply at all.
Have you ever had a star react negatively?
Is there anyone you are dying to interview but haven't yet? 
Joseph Mascolo, Michael T. Weiss, Charlotte Ross, Roger Howarth, Kassie dePaiva and Peter Bergman.  I am sure there are more that I am forgetting!
What's it like to cover major events like day of days or days 50th anniversary?
The DAYS 50th Anniversary Gala was surreal.  It was like a dream where every actor you ever watched on the show was right there.  And I was like…do I want to talk to this actor who I’ve loved forever on my right?  Or this actor who I’ve loved forever on my left?  And meanwhile, Stephen Nichols, Ari Zucker, Eric Martsolf and others were all singing these terrific songs on stage.  So I was trying to film some of that…but I also wanted to socialize at the same time.  Not complaining…but truly a situation where there was too much of a good thing!
With doing interviews at Day of DAYS, I just try to focus on my love of DAYS OF OUR LIVES and the actors/characters involved.  And I try to go for questions that I am guessing fans would want to know about specifically for each character/actor.  Not anything too general or cookie cutter.  In the press room, they bring in two actors at a time to interview every ten minutes; so you have to be prepared and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
How long does the editing process take?
It truly depends on the interview itself.  Sometimes with audio, there are technical problems with volume or static that have to be edited out.  Video itself does not take as long, except for montages, etc.
What are your future plans for outtakes interviews?
I would love to do more interviews on site and on camera as opposed to long distance and audio.  But that is a matter of opportunity more than anything else.  Mainly it is just a matter of persistence, continuing to look for good guests and building up more audience.  I just hope to keep the momentum going!

Laurie with DAYS ultimate super couple, Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth  Evans

Links: – Website
@LauriesOutTakes – Twitter
OutTakes Interviews on Blogtalkradio – Facebook page
outtakesinterviews -- Instagram

Monday, November 21, 2016


This past weekend was one of the worst weekends I have had in the two years I have been here. I won't go into detail, but under staffing, as I have said before, is a major problem here. Aides don't show u[. This leaves the staff that is here scrambling to fill the void. Or, aides don't come in on time. Either way, this leaves just one aide on the floor. If you are not a resident in that aide's assigned area, most of the time, they will not help you.

Sundays are the worst.  It is evident that a lot of aides are just here for a paycheck.  I know this is true because most of the time, when there are two aides helping me, they are taking to each about personal issues or other residents. Sometimes I wonder if they are paying any attention to me at all. I am not bashing this facility, I know the staff is doing the best they can to meet everyone's needs.

Wait. before you stop reading, there is a silver lining, I have an aide aide who is kind and caring. She does everything she can to make sure I get the best care. Here name is Tiffany. Tiffany works part time. When she is here I am up on time and all my needs are met. She is considerate. She treats me like a person. Tiffany listens.

I tried to nominate Tiffany for caregiver of the year, That is an award given by Voyce to a caregiver that goes above and beyond their care giving duties.  Unfortunately, I was too late. There is always next year.

Thursday is Thanksgiving. Tiffany is off. I am wondering who'll be here to help us. Will it be someone who is kind and listens like Tiffany? Or someone who is just doing their job for the money? I am praying for the former.

We need more aides here. We need more aides who listen and care. We need more aides like Tiffany.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for Tiffany. She comes in on time. She does her job, She make life here better.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. I spent the majority of today wondering what that would mean for all of us with disabilities. And, yeah, I cried. 

My tears were born out of fear and frustration. Fear that funding will be cut on services people with disabilities need to allow them to live independently. /Frustration  that if the dire predictions of funds being come to fruition, I will never get out of here. Disabled Americans currently living independently, may be forced to live in nursing homes. .I don't wish my situation on anyone/ Disabled Americans deserve to keep the quality of life they now enjoy. 

If I lived in Great Britain, I would not have been forced out of my home. I have been told that in Great Britain, people with disabilities are treated with respect and dignity. They are treated just like everyone else. 

I have begun looking at my options. Currently, the state pays for just six hour of attendant care,  You can get up to eleven hours, but that's difficult/ People more disabled than I am are living in apartments with assistance. I deserve a chance too..I will continue to explore my options and learn how others manage  I don't need to be in a facility. After meeting other people with disabilities who live in the community, I believe that now more than ever. 

I am not angry. I am not going to rant and rave. The people made their choice. Now, we have to work together to make this country the best nation it can be.

I am just going remind the incoming administration that there are 57 million disabled Americans. We fight daily to be heard, to get the services we need and to be treated equally. 

All I am asking for is a chance. That all anyone with a disability wants. To be able to choose where and how we live, to be able to work so that we have a sense of self worth and can be proud of the contribution we are making.  

I have said all of this before. I pray funding is not cut. Cutting funding will mean that people with disabilities don't matter. But we do matter. I ask one thing of the incoming administration. Please don't forget about the disabled community.. Show us that we matter.

Friday, November 4, 2016


Ever since the first episode of Speechless aired I have wanted to Interview Micah Fowler. Wait, that's
not entirely true. I should have said, ever since I wrote my first piece on the show last August, I have wanted to interview Micah Fowler.

I was amazed that there was going to be a show on network television about a family whose oldest son had cerebral palsy,  My disability. And, the show had actually hired an actor with CP to play the role of JJ. That was all I needed to hear. I knew I wanted to interview Micah for The Mac Wire.

I'd read an interview that two young men with CP had done with Micah for their blog. I emailed them to ask for suggestions on how to get my own interview. They said they tweeted Micah first.  Then they contacted his agents.

I tweeted Micah, telling him who I worked for and that I'd to interview him. I told him that I also had CP. It was hard saying all of that in 140 characters, but I did. I sent my tweet His reply came shortly after. "Contact my agents."

I wrote to his agents. I didn't get an answer. It took more than a month. Finally after Many emails from M.A. Cassata and me, we received a reply from a representative at ABC. I was asked to send five questions for Micah's consideration.

Okay, now I had the approval for an interview.What questions did I want to ask ? The Mac Wire is an entertainment website, not a disability site. I couldn't ask questions related to cerebral palsy or disability.

I asked him about the show, his fans, who he looked up to as an actor. his aspirations for the future and much more. . I hope you read my Mac Wire piece. If you missed it, check it out here. Micah gave very detailed answers.

Getting to interview Micah was important to me both personally and as a freelancer for The Mac Wire.  Anyone with a disability has challenges. Even though he has challenges, Micah is making a difference and hopefully, changing society's perception of people with disabilities. I wanted readers to get to know him as a person when they read my interview. I am extremely pleased because I think I accomplished my goal.

I am on a mission to make sure everyone watches Speechless at least once.You will find it to be extremely funny.  It is a show with themes everyone can relate to. Someone told me this week that it is one of the top five shows, I am happy that people are watching.Speechless. I hope more will tune in.

Thank you Micahfor taking the time to answer my questions. I wish you continued success. Thank you M.A. for not letting me give up on getting this interview.  It  was worth waiting for.