Shanelle Workman
 
In A Flash.....
 
 

Oh the times how they are a CHANGIN’, seems to be the appropriate phrase currently being heard in the world of daytime.  With recent casting shake-ups, changes in the writing and production staffs at most shows, many soap fans are left scratching their heads in sheer bewilderment, wondering whether or not any of these changes will actually do any good for their favorite show. One show on the alphabet network has certainly seen its share of changes this year, both in front of and behind the cameras.

As One Life to Live fans tuned in each day, they quickly begin to see many new faces on their screens in the form of newly created characters with never explained before ties to many of Llanview’s established characters, as well as the return of many longtime fan favorites. Only this time these fan favorites had “new” faces and even sounded a little bit different.

During this time of change, one newcomer in particular is working her way into the hearts of many long time fans.  This past winter, One Lifers were introduced to a mysterious, homeless teen that had a knack for singing, was harboring a secret about her true identity and even developed a cough that she just could not shake!!

So just who was this teen, who called herself Flash and what was she doing in Llanview?? That seemed to be the question of the hour that filled most soap message boards and even the soap magazines each week. As fans waited with anticipation to solve the identity puzzle, they were given their first clue. Flash was somehow connected to CJ Roberts, the prodigal son of longtime One Life super couple, Cord and Tina Roberts, who left the show in the late ‘90’s. 

Once this clue had been given to the viewers, rumors quickly swirled that Flash was actually Sarah Roberts, the sister of CJ. Even though most fans figured out her identity early on, it would be a while before this revelation would be hit the screen. One person who was kept in the dark was actress Shanelle Workman, who plays the role of Flash/Sarah.  “ I did not know I was going to eventually be Sarah (Roberts) when I first went in to audition for the role of Flash,” explains Workman.   So I guess you can imagine just how SURPRISED this talented young lady was when she learned of her character’s true identity. “ I didn’t even know (I was Sarah) until I read it in the script, says Workman… that’s how good our writers are at keeping secrets,” she says laughing.

So does Shanelle regret not knowing that the character of Flash was actually going to be Sarah Roberts early on?? “ I kind of wish I had known that I was going to be Sarah from the beginning… I do think that they (the writers) knew all along that Flash was actually going to be Sarah.” Workman goes on to say “I assumed that CJ was my boyfriend and I was coming into Llanview to look for him, but they (the writers) ended up really liking my chemistry with Bruce (Hall, Joey) and I think they tried to play out that storyline, but they really wanted me to be Sarah.”

So know that Workman knows she is Sarah, is she familiar with her character’s history??  “I have dug a little into the past,” she says. “I knew who Cord and Tina were and whom they were related to,” she explains. “ My mom watched the show and I kind of remember their little story from years ago, but the one thing I do not know is why I (as Sarah) hate my mother Tina and that’s what I am playing now, but I don’t know why,” muses Workman. “But I will know why as soon as I get the script,” she says laughing. 

So know that Sarah Roberts is back in town, and rumors swirling that her brother CJ will eventually make his way to Llanview in the near future, will their parents be far behind?? “ I sure hope,” says Workman. The big question on every fans mind is who will play the role of Sarah’s mom Tina.  Workman told me whom she would like to see in this role.  “ I would love to see Andrea Evans come back in the role,” she explains.

Even though Flash has been around for such a short time, she has been paired in two sweet and innocent love stories, one with knight in shining armor Joey Buchanan and the other with fellow rocker Riley Colouson (played by Jay Wilkinson).  So what’s it like working with these two hot co-stars?? “ Those guys are awesome… I couldn’t ask to work with better actors, Workman says enthusiastically.  Even though she holds both actors in high regards, does she have a favorite???  “ I LOVE working with them both, but I would have to say that Jay is my favorite. He is such a seasoned actor and also a good friend of mine.”

As previously stated, Workman and Hall had amazing chemistry that exuded to the fans each time they were on screen. Even though the writers liked what they saw and even thought of making Flash not be Sarah, so that they could explore this relationship further, many longtime viewers voiced their opinions about the Flash and Joey pairing. “ I do think that the writers made a mistake with this relationship being that our characters are first cousins,” explains Workman.

She says, “Josh Griffith and Michael Malone are great and hugely talented, so I do think that they intended this relationship to be more of a friendship that turned into a love story kind of thing… I don’t think they intended for that kind of outrage, but it happened.” Workman continues, “ Joey and Flash can never be.”

This summer, Workman spent the days sizzling up the screen with Wilkinson as the relationship between Flash and Riley moved away from friendship and more into a love story.  “ The relationship between Flash and Riley is great, it’s a sweet romance and a real love romance,” she says. “ They will be a hot item and a hot couple for a while, or at least until someone comes in and ruins us,” she says with a laugh.

Of course no soap love story would be complete without its share of obstacles, and Riley and Flash will be no exception. Workman explains, “ We are going to have some problems with his (Riley’s) dad, because his father has a drinking problem.” Workman goes on to explain further “ that Riley’s father is going to pretend to like me because I am a Buchanan heiress, Asa’s great-granddaughter.”

So if anything should ever happen to this up and coming super couple does Workman have an idea of who she would like to see Flash paired with?? “ That’s hard to say, since she is 18 on the show” she says. “There is actually no one really in her age range… but I would like to see Flash paired with a Walker type character or even Rex or Christian.”

Not only is Workman an amazing actress, but she has also found her niche in the music field as well. So how does she feel about being able to sing on the show??? “ I love the fact that they have incorporated this into the show and are giving me the opportunity to do 2 things I love,” she happily says. So with her love of music will we see a CD hit store shelves soon? "We are talking about plans to release a CD, I don’t know where or when that might happen, but we are definitely talking about it.”

With so many new talent currently entering the music field the superstar Workman loves is none other than the artist himself Prince.  “ I would love to collaborate with Prince on something,” she says enthusiastically. “ I have worked with some people who have worked with him, but I have never personally worked with him, that would be a DREAM for me.”

With much of today’s music consistently crossing over into the different venues which category, does Shanelle see her music falling a particular one? “ At this point no, I have have written so many different elements to music, I really need to collaborate with someone else,” she says. “ I am a collaborative writer.. I don’t actually write music but rather I write lyrics.”

Daytime fans might also be surprised to know that this seasoned actress (who has been acting since she was 6 years old I must add) has a college degree. “ I do have a degree in accounting,” she says. “ I  had even decided to take a few years off from the acting profession and go to law school,” she continues. “  It was during this time that I auditioned for the role (Flash on OLTL) and I realized where my calling was.”

So just how did Workman realize that acting was her calling??? “ Every time I tried to leave the business (of acting) something else would happen that would make me realize I needed to stay,” she says with a laugh. She goes on to say, “ even though I would try and even say I was going to leave, I would always book something else in the acting business.”

One thing that Shanelle does talk about enthusiastically is her fans.  “ I get thousands of letters from fans and enjoy reading the letters I get.”  It was her correspondence with one fan; Brittney Siegers that lead to the development of "The Official Shanelle Workman Website". At the time of this interview, Workman was recovering from the One Life to Live fan event, where she did play the role of emcee for some of the activities.  “ It was fantastic,” she says, referring to the event.

Even though she is no stranger to acting, this is her first stint on daytime.  So how does she feel about it ?? “ I love it and I feel as if I work with the best cast,” she says.

 

I would like to thank Shanelle for taking time out of her busy schedule to conduct the interview with us here at SoapTown USA and for Brittney Sieger’s for assisting in helping us line this up.

 

September 14, 2003
Interviewed by: Amanda

 

 

 

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