Look for Linda Harris on the show Oct. 28th or 29th. She is one of over 25 residents of Skid Row in Los Angeles hired to be extras when the soap filmed on location. The episode will have reality mixed with the story. Linda and other residents are interviewed by Stephanie Forrester and answer the question “Why are you homeless?”.
I went to Skid Row to visit with Linda tonight. We discussed her experience filming. She has been following the story line for years and remembers when “Stephanie Forrester” first went to Skid Row and was happy to see her return.
“It’s like this woman was blind and now she sees, like in the gospel song“.
She said Stephanie was blinded by a stereotype of the people who live on the streets . Given the chance she would like to say “You don’t know me. Just because I am black and poor – you don’t know what I do. You can’t know what I feel. Don’t think I do drugs. You don’t know what I do! I can not afford to live in Beverly Hills. I can afford to live here“. This statement also happens to be what the character is told in the show.
Linda is an actor in the L.A. Poverty Department. Her favorite exercise is interviewing other residents of the area and asking them about their stories. Then they put on performances where they become the people they interviewed. It is a lesson in compassion as much as it is a way to hone her skills. She is hoping that the episodes airing Thursday and Friday will be a lesson in compassion for the audience.
What does Linda think it would take to end homelessness?
- “Mean it when you say you want to help. Don’t say you want to help me because you want to feel better or say ‘Look what I did.”
- “Show us what to do. Don’t tell us to ‘Go to that building, fill out some form’! come with us.”
- “Don’t punish people for being hard to help. We are not perfect people – are you perfect? We might want to drink, some of us are addicts, and none of us need to be treated like children”.
What she thinks of The Bold and the Beautiful discussing homelessness.
She thinks it is good that The Bold and the Beautiful is showing homelessness and that they are doing it right, with dignity with truth. Personally I think the Union Rescue Mission had much to do with the truth in how the story is presented and I have a growing respect for Brad Bell who writes and produces the show.
Look for Linda, the URM, Glady’s Park and watch as the character of Stephanie Forrester finds a new purpose in life by helping those in need. It’s a feeling I know many great people share.
Watch the show, look for my friend Linda and talk among yourselves.
In case you miss it – find out more www.boldandbeautiful.com/