Another World's Amy Carlson, November 25, 1997

Carlson: Hi, everyone! It's Amy ... salutations! I'm very pleased to be online tonight and to announce my departure from Another World. This was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made, but I have decided to not renew my contract, and pursue my other interests. I am and always will be very grateful to all the fans for their constant support. Thanks, guys. :-)

JCKVLW: Amy, what is your favorite Thanksgiving vegetable?

Carlson: Summer squash :) Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it allows time to talk and share, and there's no pressure except to eat. I usually overextend myself. Plus turkey makes me nice and sleepy.

Debbie_32: What are you gonna do now? Movies?

Carlson: My last day at work is Dec. 12, and in January I will be relocating to Los Angeles for pilot season. This is a journey that most actors take, one that I have yet to take. I just finished a film during my vacation called Thanks of a Grateful Nation, which will air on Showtime next year, May 31 or so.

Yugemos: Will you be leaving the door open for a possible return?

Carlson: Yes, I do believe that they are going to recast Josie, and my one request of the fans is to give her a fair shake, just like they gave me when I came on as a recast. At least to support Tim, who they know and love, and the lives of Gary and Josie. So to answer your question, yes, Josie is going to continue living, which is great... so who knows.

AWFB: We are so sorry to see you go. Who have been your favorite actors to work with on AW? Who do you miss? Who do you wish you would have worked with more?

Carlson: Tim has been my favorite actor to work with because he's a wonderful actor and has taught me a great deal about acting. I miss Anna Holbrook terribly. Working with her was always an incredible experience. I also miss our day-to-day friendship, although we still talk. I wish I would have worked more with Dahlia Salem, because I think she is an extremely talented and gifted actress. She's also a close friend of mine.

Debbie_32: Do you enjoy lobster.

Carlson: I love lobster.

Debbie_32: Why are you leaving, Amy?

Carlson: As I said earlier, this was a very difficult decision for me. The character of Josie has been great to play although often tiring because of her many trials and tribulations. My fellow actors at the studio laughingly refer to my storylines as "the perils of Pauline." But I have a strong desire to play other roles and explore other possibilities, and I strongly felt that the time was right to leave AW. Although I'll miss my many tremendous friends in the cast and crew, I'm very excited about this new and dramatic change in my life.

CTCH3: Amy, have you seen Anna on AMC?

Carlson: Yes, I have. She was wonderful. Everyone at the studio groaned about how much we miss her and how incredibly beautiful she is. It was also funny to see her playing a madame because AW fans can relate to her Sharly experiences.

GJFAN1: What was your favorite story that you and Tim worked on together?

Carlson: I enjoyed the initial "getting to know you" stages of Gary and Josie. I loved when they discovered that they shared the same fallacies and fears. I thought that the writing was excellent in bringing these two dark heroes together. I also liked when they broke up over Christmas and most recently the scenes involving the miscarriage.

Passionnicole: Amy, I have one comment: Your character has inspired a character I created in my novel. You are wonderful, thanks for being a positive role model!

Carlson: I mentioned that Josie was difficult to play at times because of the physical and mental exhaustion that she experienced, but many times I would receive supportive letters... often from one of my favorite fan bases, which is young teenage girls, and that always kept me going. So thanks.

Montreal97: It must be great working with Diana Ross's daughter... are you good friends with her?

Carlson: Yes, Rhonda and I have a strong bond. I think she's one of the most dynamic and caring -- also real -- people I've come across, not to mention being an absolutely terrific actress. I hope she receives an Emmy nomination for her amazing work on AW. I liked Josie and Toni's friendship because I felt that both of them were strong characters, but with very real problems. And it's nice to see two strong women support each other and learn from each other.

AWFB: Amy, you had a fascinating comment on the Daydream '97 tour in Tuscon where you talked about how personally difficult it is to read fan comments on message boards about you and about Josie. Do you feel fans online are too careless in making comments?

Carlson: Daytime television is an incredible beast to feed in terms of the writing and oftentimes to allow for other actors' vacations and things like that the writers do what they can to make it work. For instance, when Joe Barbara was on vacation, Josie was promoted to captain. This also followed shortly after Josie's miscarriage. Around this time I happened to browse the AW fan postings. I don't feel, -- nor do I think Josie felt -- deserving of her temporary promotion, but I as an actor have to make it work and oftentimes it takes a tremendous amount of mental commitment. So when I read the postings about how many fans thought it was "stupid and ridiculous and that Josie wasn't a good cop anyway," it surprised me how much it infiltrated my confidence, so I decided not to read anymore. The miscarriage storyline was a really nice challenge for me to play, and although I, too, thought that perhaps there could have been a few more scenes about Josie being careful with her pregnancy, it was hard to read comments about the fact that "Josie didn't care about her baby anyway," so I just decided that it wasn't to my benefit to read what people were talking about online. I think a lot of times some people tend to confuse the actors and the characters, but I know not all fans are like that. Even though it was hard for me to read those comments during those two particular instances, I have gotten a kick at other times reading different postings about how my hair looked funny one day or how I did a good job or the likes and dislikes of the fans. And sometimes I have learned from it. And sometimes I thought my hair looked good anyway. It was just a personal decision to not take it personally.

Ivan_maiden: Do you manage to keep up a social life, like a boyfriend and friends etc. I could imagine how tough it is.

Carlson: Besides pursuing other interests one of the reasons I've decided to leave AW at this time is because I need more personal time and missed many of my friends and family. It is hard, but it's one of the most rewarding experiences an actor can have. AW is like family, so we learn to take care of each other during the long hours. Theater, other TV and film, however, are no less time-consuming. It's just show business.

Automatic_Man: Do you actually care what people think of your character? If so, why?

Carlson: I care whether or not they respond to Josie, and if I'm trying to portray a certain aspect of the character, I care about whether or not it works, but I don't necessarily care if they like or don't like her. Only if it has to do with my acting. Sometimes I think it's nice when characters go through difficult times and experiences and have flaws that people may not like. Because so often so many of us go through difficult times in our lives, and we -- as real humans -- don't always make the best choices. I find it fascinating to watch the struggle. For instance, one of my favorite storylines on TV right now has been Mark Greene on ER. I'm a big fan of ER, and he was my favorite character, and I found myself angry at his character... which I absolutely loved. And I became even more fascinated because of it. I think it's only to his credit that he was able to take me with him on that journey. I think a lot of daytime actors are able to do the same thing.

GJFAN1: Will you turn on AW every now and then to see what's going on with Josie and/or Gary after you leave?

Carlson: Of course. I'm a big fan of AW. I think it has the best acting company in daytime, and so many people I love work very hard to contribute to the show's success. I'm also a big fan of Tim Gibbs's work and of the character of Josie :-) So I'll be interested in seeing how they continue to develop the characters of Gary and Josie since I feel that I have a vested interest in her well-being. Well, it's time to go. Again, thanks to everyone for their support, and if I could ask for one thing... it would be for everyone to continue their generous loyalty to AW... and also to Gary and Josie. Many kisses and hugs... Amy