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Guiding Light Update Wednesday 2/14/07

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Written By James

(CBS Rehearsal Studio): Shows behind the scene images of the cast and GL Executive Producer. She presents the cast with the challenge of going to the Gulf Coast to help displaced residents of Hurricane Katrina.

The cast members shared some of their limitations of skills as well as desire and inhibitions about this challenging mission.

Entering Biloxi, Mississippi by bus, the cast was immediately touched by initial sights of dilapidated buildings and sparse signs of life. To them it seemed the storm had just occurred.

The case manager for “Hands-On” (self-help organization) briefed the cast on selected displacements. Various actors repeated their disbelief at the lack of progress in rebuilding.

They are split up into teams and given instructions on what’s needed for homes with varying degrees of needed repairs. Some of the victims are on hand to express their experiences during the storm. Their stories profoundly touched the cast’s emotions, some with transfixed stares and others were teary-eyed.

They soon go to work, some of them admitting they are very new to construction but willing to learn. After the first they, they look very tired and will sleep in a gym. They have light-hearted moments with each other along the way. Before dawn they’re up for breakfast, cooking for about 500 people. Afterward they travel to some local schools and seem to have some of the best times reading to the kids and frolicking with them in the gym. (Very nice touch to this mission).

Their real life personalities soon began to unfold though as Kim Zimmer goes into one of the porta-pottys and learn someone did a #2 and did not flush. This was obviously a major pet peeve for her. Some of the cast members delighted in goading her about it. We also get to know a few other actors of Guiding Light including Elizabeth Keifer (Beth) who learns to use a nail gun; Marcy Rylan, (Lizzie) though being sick prior to, quickly takes to painting the interior of a house. They have friendly team competitions with Bradley Cole (Jeffrey) hamming it up for his team which he claims did most of the insulation and drywall. Jordan Clarke, (Billy) very experienced in construction, led another team installing countertops and cabinets.

When they finish their projects, the families are brought back to their respective homes. As they see their homes and reunite with the actors, tears flow all around with a great sense of pride and gratefulness at what’s been accomplished.

In conclusion of this episode, Robert Newman (Joshua) addressed the entire cast on hand as well as volunteers. He reflected on the poem that was read during the GL radio show it with the opening credits. The cast gave thanks to the producer for presenting them with this challenge to help make a positive change in other people’s lives. This guiding light will go on with them and hopefully inspire others to pick it up and carry it forward to help others in similar need.

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