TED@UPS Video Intro: Kate Adams

Kate Adams, who worked on soaps for eight years, maps the ways that daytime dramas are an unlikely (but compelling) oracle to help us overcome our own everyday dramas.


I’ve wanted to be a storyteller for as long as I can remember.

Growing up, that meant writing poems, short stories, or even screenplays for my Barbies. And it also meant hours spent at the foot of my bed, performing the score of Les Miserables for my stuffed animals. They dug it, of course.

Hear Kate talk about how soap operas can help us craft our own life’s story.

After college I was a television news producer.

I was still a storyteller, but that life wasn’t really for me. So I left news and spent the next decade in entertainment. I loved the idea of entering another world and bringing an audience with me.

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Soaps actually taught me everything I needed to figure out the next part of my journey.

Nine of those 10 years were spent in casting, first at Warner Bros. Television Studios and then at the soap opera As the World Turns.

We shot the soap in the middle of Brooklyn, and it inspired an overwhelming sense of fun and family that came from being cooped up with nowhere to go.

It was like being in a full station wagon on a cross-country road trip.

But when CBS canceled As the World Turns, the trip ended, and I wasn’t sure what came next.

Then I realized all the years spent watching soaps actually taught me everything I needed to figure out the next part of my journey.

And I want to share those big soap-opera lessons with you.

So, for my TED@UPS talk, I’ll let you in on my ideas about soap operas and how they can help all of us craft our own stories.

When you watch or listen, I hope you feel a sense of surprise.

I hope you laugh.

And I hope the next time you feel like life’s stacking a bunch of monumental obstacles from here till oblivion, you think, I can do that. I have the power to be as audacious as any soap opera character.

Kate Adams, Managing Editor of UPS.com, Digital Storyteller

Kate-Adams-TED-shotKate earned a BA in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She was the assistant casting director at the Emmy-winning “As the World Turns” for eight years.

She joined UPS in 2011 and is now a managing editor of UPS.com.

Click here to learn more about TED@UPS 2016.

TED@UPS If there’s one thing every UPSer has in common, it’s that we have an irresistible desire to figure it out and get it done. And that leads to some amazing ideas. TED@UPS explores both the destination and the journey of ideas – big and small – that inspire us, challenge how we think or feel and even change the world.

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Reprinted with permission of Longitudes, the UPS blog devoted to the trends shaping the global economy.


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  4. Andre Hernandez

    Hello Kate,
    I am not a soap fan but my mom was. I remember the General Hospital, Luke and Laura drama unfold in my house though my mother. She loved that soap. She was also one of the strongest people I knew and taught me life lessons that I believe she learned watching soaps. We were taken from her as kids by the state. I remember the last time I saw her. She still, in her moment of weakness tried to show us strength. I later married my beautiful wife Jen. Had two amazing and beautiful daughters. I became a soldier in the Army and recently got out after 12 years of service. I am now 45 and starting over in the San Marcos, Ca. hub as a part time Security Supervisor. It feels like the life in the military stopped and we as a family have to start over and re-invent ourselves. All this to say thank you for your Ted Talk. Hard to imagine that all these years later I would be starting over my life and that someone from a Soap world would give inspiration to an, I thought, tough man. (EGO CHECK). So the giant circle of life comes back around and something that growing up used to annoy me, SOAPs, is used to give me hope.
    Thank you Kate. Like the Phoenix I will be resurrected and show my wife and daughters that It is never over as long as there is breath in your lungs.
    UPS Security Supervisor
    San Marcos, Ca.

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