Flying Without A Net

By Kelli M. Larson

CBS Soaps In Depth, October 25, 2010 

 Mary Beth Evans (Sierra) is turning the page on her daytime career

AS THE WORLD TURNS may have wrapped up production last June, but that’s hardly meant the end of Mary Beth Evans’ career in a serial drama.  This year alone, the former Sierra has appeared on three different soaps!

Although she’d also left her role as DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ beleaguered Kayla in early 2009, Evans returned earlier this summer for a handful of episodes surrounding Alice Horton’s funeral and more recently to help her daughter through a trying time.  “I’ve realized, especially at DAYS, that this is a really wonderful extended family that we all have,” she reflects.  “These are some of the longest relationships that I’ve had in my life.  Some of them have known me for 25 years!”

Not only does she have the ability to recur on DAYS, but Evans is also thrilled she was able to reprise her role of wealthy Sierra for the final months of ATWT.  “Daytime [was] sort of a false sense of security…[but] it’s not that anymore,” she notes.  “[Still], I think everybody [from ATWT] is kind of fired up.  I know several people are moving out to Los Angeles….they’re just trying to reinvent themselves. I’ve written a thousand blogs and articles about reinvention (see www.hybridmom.com) —  I think that’s a huge deal for all of us.

RISKY BUSINESS

At this stage in her career, Evans thought she’d seen and done it all.  But fate had other plans, and she’s embracing the change! “In my younger years, I wouldn’t have gone without contracts, but I don’t care anymore.  It’s kind of fun to be able to do all different things,” she offers.  “I even did some episodics [MONK, NIP/TUCK] last year.”

Now, the actress is forging new frontiers as one of the newest stars of the Internet.  She’s playing socialite/single mom Sara Garrett on the new Web series, THE BAY (visit www.thebaytheseries.com).  “She’s had an interesting life with a lot of skeletons in her closet.  One son was from a rape, and another was from when she had amnesia and was on an island with some Latin lover,” Evans laughs.  “Her father was absentee, and I think he was an alcoholic, and her mother lived in Europe.  So she has very complicated relationships with everybody!”

It’s been a long time since she’s played ingénues like RITUALS’ Koty Lane in 1984, but Evans is glad that scribes like THE BAY’s Gregori J. Martin see the value of writing for people of all ages.  “The thing that’s cool about daytime is that older women are still viable as lovers and love interests,” she observes.  “I told Gregori [that] I don’t mind being the older woman in this and letting it all hang out about age.  I think that’s actually kind of interesting.”