I’m Just Sayin’!
Kim’s life as a Daytime Diva
New American Library
A division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
When I finished reading Kim Zimmer’s I’m Just Sayin’!, the actress’s story of portraying Reva Shayne of Springfield on the soap opera Guiding Light, I found the book left me much the same way Reva’s antics and Kim’s interviews often did. I felt entertained and satisfied, but temporarily exasperated.
It’s probably because a couple of traits Kim shares with Reva include a shoot-from-the-hip truthfulness that she hews to in this book, and a bawdy frankness a little more broad than my own.
I’m Just Sayin’! is the story of Kim Zimmer’s career, her experience with Guiding Light, and particularly her thoughts on its demise, with a look toward life after Guiding Light. There is no gossip, no dish, no sordid life secrets or detailed family life, just a frank discussion of what happened to her. The anecdotes involving others are overwhelmingly positive. In the few negative stories she tells, names are not named. The only exception is the end where Kim does a bit of finger-pointing over why the soap died. Yet even here she strives for fairness, to the point of brutal honesty about herself. (Fox Network could learn a lot from this!)
Kim’s book, which she wrote with writer Larua Morton, is in keeping with her overall body of work; it’s for the fans. As a long-time fan of Guiding Light (I joined the audience at the same time Kim joined the cast), I have the same personal investment in the show as any other fan. Maybe a little more, since I’m a writer with a great appreciation for the quality of the show’s scripts. (Guiding Light writing was the top of its craft for a long time.) When Guiding Light was canceled, all the fans wanted answers to Why?. We all wanted to understand what was going on. We ached for Springfield and the cast in New York simultaneously. How would they fare?
Kim sets us up by describing her experience acting on Guiding Light, and then goes on to tell us about the end. Many of my own suspicions were confirmed, and there was an affirmation of what I’d hoped: that these people had or would weather these devastating changes.
Unless actors are incredibly lucky, they eventually face the day when they have to find another career. As audiences continue to prefer youthful storylines and beautiful people, mature performers move to other pursuits, in or out of the industry. To be present for the wholesale destruction of your show and the genre as a whole, however, is a different thing altogether.
Kim Zimmer is a survivor, much like Reva Shayne. In fact, Kim shares more than a few traits with the character she played. We all do. Therein lies the Reva’s appeal, There’s a little bit of Reva Shayne in every woman, but we can?t always let her out. Guiding Light enabled us to safely revel in the aftermath of Reva’s passion, determination, vulnerabilities, and boldness. Thank you, Kim, for helping to bring her to life on the show, and for going a long way to providing closure for so many of Reva’s and Guiding Light’s fans through your book. We hope everyone associated with the show keeps following their light!