Julia D’Orazio was lucky enough to go behind the scenes of the Emmy Award-winning soap opera ‘The Bold and The Beautiful’ for a day at the CBS Studios in Los Angeles. Here’s what went down…
I thought only in a soap opera universe could the far fetched happen. I’m not just talking about how my onscreen step-sister stole my husband away from me, or how I moved on with my life with my ex-husband’s half brother to adopt a child that secretly ended up being my half-sisters’ (that’s me predicting my twisted storylines).
I realised that the soap opera world isn’t just limited to what’s on screen, the ‘beyond your wildest dreams’ scenarios can happen in real life too. For me, that was stepping foot onto the set of the Emmy award-winning soap opera, The Bold and The Beautiful (BB).
Never mind after school cartoons, I had been an avid watcher of the scandals, affairs and elite fashion house tribulations of one the world’s longest-running soap operas since the age of nine. Being the BB fanatic that I am, I have even attended two fan events; once flying from Perth to LA in 2009 to meet my favourite soap opera stars and again in 2019, to recapture the moment of BB fandom for whimn.com.au readers.
However, no wild storyline could ever prepare me for a visit around the set.
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How big of a deal is the BB?
The world’s most-watched soap opera is aired in over 100 countries to an audience of an estimated 35 million.
To watch every single episode that has aired since 1987 would be the ultimate binge-watch. I would suggest to find a comfortable couch and get the TV snacks ready as it would take roughly eight hours a day over a 510-day period to be brought up to speed with who family matriarch Brooke Logan is currently married to, who is having the next heir and what character has just been brought back from the dead.
I may have only watched a portion of what has gone down in the world of the BB, but it has left a lasting impact.
Lights, camera, action
My nerves kicked in upon entering CBS Studios in Los Angeles. This visit was part of my job; however, it left me feeling giddy like a schoolgirl as I was about to enter the set of my long-time favourite TV show. Life had just gone past absurd.
I was taken to Stage 31 by the show’s publicist where they have filmed the show from the very beginning. If it is not just its three-decade-plus run that’s remarkable, it’s also taking a peek behind the scenes that is impressive.
The makeup studio is something that many of us women just crave for – ample room, bench space, perfect lighting and never-ending cosmetics. Over the show’s run, over 1537 cans of hairspray and 456 tubes of lipstick have been used to doll up the actors for their onscreen pouts.
Next up, I entered a fashion cave – the show’s wardrobe department. Since 1987, the show has hosted 97 weddings with many of the dresses still neatly hanging in the studio apartment-sized wardrobe. I joked with the show’s wardrobe department that maybe they could kind enough to lend me a gown once I eventually decide to walk, (or in true soap opera style, zip line, horse ride, gondola trip, or motorcycle) my way down the aisle. (Surely it wouldn’t be missed after accumulating all that wardrobe dust?) I was met with a laugh, but little did they know how serious I was.
The Holy Grail of visiting Stage 31 was stepping foot onto the actual set. The fictional world of intertwining romance, fashion and over the top drama was not so fictional anymore. The houses, the offices that I was invited to peep into five days a week from my TV set was right there in front of me. What surprised me is how small the extravagant sets are. (Those camera people really know how to work their angles.)
I was in luck also with my visit as I got to see the Logan sisters – Brooke, Katie and Donna – (Katherine Kelly Lang, Heather Tom and Jennifer Gareis respectively) film their lines in the too-opulent-for-the-real-world Forrester Creations CEO office.
The show starts shooting at 10 am until late afternoon, if not, into the night and how they mesmerise their lines that quickly is something of soap opera mystery. As they spoke their lines, my mouth was open in a silent wow. Seeing your favourite TV show filmed is really something else.
Many say that sometimes it may kill the magic to meet your favourite star as you may be disappointed. I beg to differ. Being on the set of the BB just made me appreciate the world’s most-watched daytime soap opera so much more. I was just glad to be part of its realm – if only for a day.
Follow Julia D’Orazio on Instagram @theroamingflamingo.