"People Think I'm Untouchable!"

As Genie Francis grew up in front of millions of General Hospital fans, she not only transformed physically from an awkward girl into a beautiful young woman, but also had an opportunity to mature in a way not available to most young girls. As her time allows, she attends college nights, but this has also caused a problem.

“So many people think I’m untouchable,” begins Genie, who is often called “Laura,” her TV character’s name, by students. “It’s like a friend said once, ‘You’re like a princess in an ivory tower.’ It’s true, because people see this person on television, and suddenly you’re on a pedestal. But I don’t want to be up there. It make me very unapproachable, especially with guys. If they know me from the show, they know me as ‘Laura,’ and that just doesn’t work out.

“The boys at school are a little bit afraid of me. They don’t ask me to go out because I guess they feel that they cannot really compete with what I do. Whether I like it or not, there is a real gap between me and more 18-year-old guys. It’s uncomfortable for both of us.

“Ironically, the girls feel the gap also. I even feel a bit older sometimes, or maybe more independent than a girl my own age. A girl my age is supported by her family. She really doesn’t have to worry about much more than simply going to school and school activities, concerts and the like. I have a great deal of responsibility in my life. And that means you grow up a lot faster, because you have to buckle down and give up your play time. I know that I have to go to bed early and that I have to study my lines. I just can’t say the heck with it and run out to have a terrific time!”

Although there are drawbacks in being a celebrity among students, Genie closes by saying, “I don’t mind sharing my ‘other’ life with them, but I don’t want to stand alone among my fellow students.”