The Strange Flower
Soap Opera Digest, December 1978
by Geri Jefferson
Article Provided By Wanda
"Sometimes I feel like a strange flower," she said and I marveled at how accurate her perception was of herself. For she is, indeed, a strange flower, a rare treat...and perhaps a little of a china doll in disguise....
At first glance, with her waist-length hair in a carelessly upswept bun, Sarah looks the picture of an elegant grand duchess, or a beneficent Queen. She seems the picture of staid propriety and decorum. She hardly seems the brash Siobhan Ryan on Ryan's Hope. But when she begins to speak, another side emerges. The outspoken, down-to-earth, to-the-jugular Sarah Felder appears on the scene. And all of a sudden the character of Siobhan Ryan fits its portrayer to a 't' and vice versa. As warm and caring as Siobhan is, so too, is Sarah. And as inquisitive and independent as Siobhan, so is Sarah.
Their childhoods are also startlingly similar. Ryan's Hope's Siobhan may not be the family black sheep, but she certainly isn't part of the Ryan clan, in that she does not blindly follow the edicts of Mama and Papa Ryan. Neither did Sarah with her parents. As a child, she was always questioning, always searching, always seeking additional answers to already answered questions; never willing to take the easy way out by unfailingly believing all that was told to her.
Perhaps that quality in a child can be difficult for parents to adjust to, but that quality in an adult person, a mature woman is rare and refreshing. Quite frankly, it's a quality similar to the attributes of an autumn wind. It's a character trait that exudes strength without being too strong; power without being overpowering and womanhood in all its fineness.
Sarah grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and with no particular desire to act. She took piano lessons for many years and during her stay at Bennington Collge in Vermont (she left Minnestota after completing high school) took up voice lessons. She held a drama/music major, and sang in local cabarets. After a few stints though, Sarah decided singing was not quite her driving passion at the moment and put an end to it. While in Vermont Sarah had her first acting role; Joan of Arc, in a community theatre.
After college, she came to New York City and attended the Julliard School of Music, where she had an opportunity to perform in many roles, although most of them were in the classical genre.
Ryan's Hope is Sarah's first daytime television role and she is having a grand time. She recognizes how fortunate she is, in that the Ryan's Hope creators, Paul Avila Mayer and Claire Labine, afford her a great deal of latitude in the interpretation of her role.
Yes, Sarah Felder is indeed the personification of a strange flower - she is new to daytime and an extraordinary creature. And she is as a flower....with all its innocence and beauty and power.
Back to Ryan's Bar Online