Foreword by Alice Hirson

Actress | Edge of Night, Another World, One Life to Live, and primetime credits including Dallas and Ellen

I remember the moment well. I was concluding a short hiatus in my acting career to raise two beautiful children when I accepted the role of the villain, Stephanie Martin, on the hit soap opera, Edge of Night. I was thrilled to be back in the saddle of acting following my time away, until I discovered that the show was to be broadcast live. As in, totally live.

Although such a thing doesn’t exist today, in those days there were soap operas that went out live to the airwaves. Actors were to learn 20 pages of dialogue at home in the evenings and come onto set in the morning ready to go with very limited rehearsals and absolutely no net to catch you when you fall.

Finding out Edge of Night was to be broadcast live made my heart sink. I channeled all of my energy into one anxious phone call with my agent demanding, “Get me out of this!” only to discover that the contract was signed. I was stuck.

Walking onto the Edge of Night set the first time, there wasn’t a relaxed muscle in my body. I’ll never forget the sweet smile of the First Assistant Director, Howie, who could see the nervousness on my face. Between takes he gave me a small wooden heart that he had made himself. And that just might have changed everything for me. I could do this!

The years that followed were some of the fondest of my life. The cast and crew were so incredibly sweet and talented that over time, not only was the experience not scary, it was fun and got easier every day. I loved what I was doing and made some of the best friends of my life!

When my dear friend Jack Stahlmann approached me about his book, I was excited about the idea of the parallels between a soap opera set and the workplace. You yourself may be facing a new job, a new company or a new role – and the road ahead my look daunting. I know that feeling all too well. But believe me, if you’re in the right role and you’re able to surround yourself with the right team, it just might be the adventure of a lifetime.

In the pages ahead, the authors carefully and creatively weave in lessons that you can take with you, ranging from role fit to management skills to teamwork. And what’s more, this is the rare business book for employees and managers alike, due to its creative concept.

The book is the same story told from two different perspectives. The side you’re reading now is from Jack’s point of view, where you will see through the lens of a company employee who shows up to his same-old-same-old marketing job only to discover that his office has transformed into a soap set. Flip the book over and you get a chance to read the same adventure from the perspective of management, as written by Mark Luis Foster.

By providing two different perspectives, you will gain insight not only on how you can improve your workplace performance, but also how to get a deeper appreciation for the challenges of your co-workers by walking a mile in their shoes. I hope you enjoy the ride. Without further ado… Action! 

Days of Our Work Lives

Copyright 2020

By Mark Luis Foster and Jack Stahlmann