IT’S NOT EASY BEING A GROWN-UP
Daytime TV-Joan Loughlin 1983
Marg Helkenberger (sic) went right from college to soap opera stardom…Now if she could only learn to balance her checkbook.
Marg Helkenberger (sic) was thrilled when she was whisked off her college campus to play Siobhan on Ryan’s Hope, but she wasn’t entirely prepared for all the trappings of stardom.
“I feel like I’m laden with responsibility,” explains Marg. “I went from being a code/waitress to someone with a legit job. It’s the first time I’ve been so far from my parents and forced to make so many decisions. I ask so many people for advice that my head spins.”
Laughs Marg, “I don’t even like to go to the bank. Being an adult is very hard for me and I’m not ashamed to admit it.”
Marg’s whirlwind success came so quickly, she didn’t even have time to get nervous. She was studying drama at Northwestern University in Chicago, with plans to do some local theater when she graduated. But those plans changed when an ABC casting director spotted her in a college production of The Taming of the Shrew and called her up to audition for the role of Siobhan. “I thought they did that for everyone,” says Marg. She won the part, finished up her last semester at college, and went from student to soap star in one easy step.
“I’m lucky because I didn’t have to deal with all the rejection that most actresses suffer through when they come to New York,” says Marg. She may have escaped the rejection, but she still managed to work at some of those off-beat temp jobs when she was putting herself through college. She waitressed, was a weather girl on a local station, and spent her summers working in a meat packing plant in her native Nebraska.
“Working at the meat packing plant was quite an experience, too,” continues Marg. “It was hard work, standing on an assembly line cutting up meat for eight hours a day. I still have big muscles on my arms.”
Now Marg’s busy flexing her acting muscles, and unlike many actresses, isn’t worried about what the future will hold. “I like the unstructured aspect of show biz,” she says. “I’ve never had anxiety trips about my future.” In college, Marg admits she didn’t like to plan and was always living for the moment, but now she’d rather be more disciplined.
“Being disorganized wasn’t very healthy,” Marg explains. “This job forces me to be responsible, which is great. The show’s a good influence because it carriers over to my personal life. I guess it’s all part of growing up.”
contributor ~ Sabrina Hernandez
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