Monday, December 16, 2013

INTERVIEW: Lauralee Bell of The Young and the Restless on the Making of - A Dramatic New Series About Texting and Driving

"If I Save One Life It Will All Be Worth It" - Lauralee Bell Martin
                                                                                                                                                                                                 By Suzee
                  Download an E-CardMy son just turned 17 and got his license on his birthday. Here in NJ, the anxious kids get their permits as soon after they turn 16 when their parents realize the inevitable has approached, they shortly thereafter learn how to drive, they log in the required hours with a certified instructor, and the piece de resistance is being able to schedule their lesson for first thing in the morning the day of their birthday. That day the kids don’t care how early they have to wake up to get to the DMV. Then they proudly drive to school that day. So on this date of my son’s 17th birthday, he took the car to school after his successful driving test in the wee hours of the morning. 
Riley's first day with her new car

School lets out at 2:19 and he should have been home by 2:40 the latest. Time passed and I kept looking at the time. It was 3:00. I called him on his cell and he did not answer. That made my nervous but then again I always tell my kids (my older son already drives) not to pick up a phone while they driving, even on Bluetooth. I tell them to pull over safely and answer if they think it’s important.

A few minutes later after convincing myself he was alright, he walked through the door. I ran to the door and gave him a big hug, then delivered the warning. “First thing you do is tell me where you are going and when you will be home!” He answered, “Tommy (his BFF) wanted to go cruising so we cruised around for a few minutes.”  I replied, “That is fine but next time you have to tell me”.
In another household across the country, the same scenario played out in Riley’s house in California when she got her license on birthday (where the driving age is 16). Riley got a car for her birthday, and after the celebration, she took it out for a ride. This was every teen’s dream, freedom.

Riley was having a great week. Besides getting the freedom she yearned for, she was having some good luck with a boy she liked, Robbie. It was possible that he could become her boyfriend. So as she was out enjoying her first ride alone, Robbie was on her mind. Then, Robbie was on the phone. She knew this, because, like every teenager, the cell phone was in full view as she drove. She saw who the text was from. She knew she shouldn’t answer it. Her brain was telling her it could wait, but that teenage heart and that must-reply-instantaneously belief of the teen won out and she texted back.

Then the screen went blank. And her world was never the same.

What is by Lauralee Bell?

A Short Series of Videos on the Dangers of Texting and Driving Sure to Entertain and Educate

Lauralee Bell, award-winning actress, writer and producer, best known for her role as Christina Blair on The Young and The Restless has turned a tragic event in her life and a realization of  21st century life into a message for hope and change.

The site,, contains a series of 6 videos that depict a fatal event in the life of a teenage girl full of hopes and promises.

Laurlee Bell plays the mother. Cassidy Ann Shaffer (Kimmy from Disney’s Austin and Ally) plays the daughter Riley, who makes the fatal mistake of responding to a text from the boy of her dreams the first day she gets her license.

Also in the cast is: Brayden Shaffer (the brother), Peter Weber (the handsome beau), James Liebman (dad),  Howard Dell ( the doctor)  Sabrina Bell (friend) and Haley Ogas (friend).

Michael Strahan is 2014 Honoree for St. Jude's Legends for Charity Dinner

Archie Manning - 2013 Honoree
Michael Strahan
A great event for a great cause. To be held at the Grand Hyatt on January 30, 2014 proceeds go to help St. Jude's Hospital. Michael Strahan will be honored, so expect a room full of sports figures as well as soap and other celebrities. For tickets go to Tickets are $500 each. 

Gotham The Series Now Available on Vimeo on Demand

Martha Byrne's award-winning series about a couple re-uniting after many years, shot in NJ and New York is now available on demand.