Super Soap Weekend is an annual event that many fans of the ABC Soap Operas mark on their calendars as soon as the previous year’s event closes (or as soon as Disney actually releases the dates for the event) but it’s not just the soap fans that love coming to the event over and over again, it’s also the soap stars. Kassie DePaiva, who is better known on the ABC Soap Opera “One Life to Live” as Blair Cramer Manning, is a Super Soap Weekend veteran and has been going for years to the event, “I think I’ve been coming 12 years. I didn’t come the second year, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met Mickey, Minnie and all of the Disney characters”.
For Kassie, it’s not just a slow couple of relaxing days at Walt Disney World, “it is a big, big work trip for me because I don’t get to experience park like everyone else does.” Kassie is working from 9am when the park opens through the day and participates in the annual “Street Jam” event where she sings along with other Soap stars until the park closes and then has to rehearse for the Street Jams until after the parks have closed so it’s not uncommon for Kassie to be up until 1am or so rehearsing on the Friday night before the event begins in preparation for the coming weekend’s events. Kassie does bring her son and husband with her from time to time, “My husband takes him around [her son] while I really do work.”
Ask any Super Soap Weekend fan the top couple of events at Super Soap Weekend and many will answer back that the Street Jam is a favorite and certainly not one to miss. Kassie confirmed that she will be singing again this year in the event, although she isn’t sure if she’ll be singing with her on-screen daughter, Starr (played by Kristen Alderson), a possibility that many Super Soap fans would love to see.
Besides portraying her character of Blair on “One Life To Live”, Kassie is a talented country music star and has a CD out, “I Want To Love You” and will be coming down a day early to Super Soap Weekend where she’ll be signing copies of her CD and performing songs once an hour from the Writer’s Stop store inside the Studios (near the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater), “I’m going to sign my new CD ‘I Want To Love You’ and do a meet-n-greet but I’m also going to perform on top of the hour and then will sign some autographs.” Kassie has recognized the power of her fans and how much they’re fueled sales of her new CD, “it’s an opportunity to meet me, hear me sing in person and realize I’m not the bad person I play.”
When you talk about Super Soap Weekend, you must talk about the fans that attend. The fans are passionate about the Soaps and it’s an event full of fans that arrive as early as 3am last year to get an opportunity to meet and greet the celebrities they love to watch week in and week out. Kassie loves being able to meet the fans at the event, “The fans are extremely special. It’s a FANtastic event. And on top of that, you’re at the magic of Disney World and you get to see your favorite fans.” Kassie relishes in meeting with her fans year after year and has a real connection with them, “It’s a love fest; the fans really do love you and you can’t help but love them back. It’s really great.” For the fans, it’s an opportunity to talk to Kassie and sometimes they’ll ask about Kassie and other times, they’re interested in talking to/about her character Blair, “I’ve always enjoyed 1-on-1 with fans and I think soap fans are the greatest and most loyal fans ever.” And Kassie doesn’t just say it; she means it, “They only give out [FASTPASS’s] to 70 people per hour to go through the autograph line but I always stick around and sign everybody’s until the time is up. I do it for as long as I possibly can.”
The event means more to Kassie than just another convention as Kassie shared a fantastic story regarding the fans that come to Super Soap Weekend and how they made her feel special, “One of the sweetest things was the year I was nominated for an Emmy and did not get it. There was a statue of Mickey Mouse with his hands out and it was really, really sweet that they gave me their own special award from a fan, saying that I deserved it. I’d rather take a Mickey than an Emmy because it came from a fan and it matters to me.”
For this year’s event, Kassie is eagerly awaiting to return to Super Soap Weekend and to see her fans again, “It’s just meeting the new fans and turning them onto my music and hearing their opinions are about Todd and Blair. Now, I keep thinking any minute they’re going to get tired of this coupling but they don’t! I think that’s been the success of Todd and Blair in the past. We do keep them entertained and they never know what’s going to happen next. It’s all fun and it’s all positive and I’m really looking forward to seeing everybody down there.”