Want to Write AD? Listen to OTR

The incredible Craig Robotham is hard at work doing great analysis of audio drama. One of his latest articles is How I Learned to Stop Hating, and Love (Limited) Narration. For all the hatred of OTR– and the hatred is extremely ill-founded and frustrating to me- if you despise old time radio it’s usually for one of the following reasons: 1. …

Storyshowing

Mouths gape in awe as my students struggle to believe me. I explain again, that I don’t keep music on my phone. This doesn’t mean, I don’t use audio. I listen to spoken word- podcasts and audio drama. Recently, I’ve discovered the “speed up” feature on my podcast app and I devour my audio efficiently. What a joy! I remember …

Audio Drama has a Diversity Problem

It is safe to say, I’m an audio drama addict (apologies to Dani Cutler who first coined the term). I’ve been listening to radio plays and audio plays and audio books and experimental audio storytelling since I was very young. From my earliest memories, I remember my parents gave me records of Old Time Radio heroes. I grew up listening …

Don’t Phone it In Anymore

The most frustrating part modern day teaching is seeing five or six hands shoot up automatically. “I don’t get it,” is the usual complaint. “What don’t you get?” “The whole thing. I don’t understand.” “Did you read it?” “No…” “Well, once you’ve read it. Think about it. Come up with some options, and if you’re still struggling with the problem …

Dude… Your Audio Drama Lost Me

Why? What happened? What is this? These are three questions that almost always turn me off of listening to a full episode of audio drama. You can play with these questions, but beware that your audience will get frustrated or bored and turn off. If your listeners are tuning out, here could be some of the reasons: 1. Where are …

Virtue and Vice in Polarization

In a previous post I spoke about Polarising Your Cast. I hope to provide some updated ideas as to use other concepts that can provide polarization for larger groups than just the head, heart, and guts. Consider for example the classical Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues. The benefit is you can focus on a collision of Virtues versus Vice …

Hidden Exposition

The Story Toolkit Podcast spoke about “invisible” or “hidden” exposition in one of its recent episodes. Hiding your exposition in radio drama is tricky business. Teleplays and film scripts have the ability to point to visual cues; audio does not. Currently, the podcast listening audience seems to be in love with overly wrought exposition. This is the nature of the podcast …

Transitions Key in Audio Drama

Once again The Story Toolkit Podcast got me thinking. This time it was about Stranger Things (episode 23). Bassim El-Wakil and Luke Lyon-Wall in the second half of the podcast episode talk about how transitions are not just clever endings of scenes, but are key to keeping the thread of the story coherent. Isn’t that even MORE important in audio drama? …

Trap Doors and Audio Wars

Last December, the Story Toolkit Podcast spoke lovingly about the incredible work of J. Michael Straczynski‘s Babylon 5 and the art of Long Form storytelling. For my money, Babylon 5 remains as one of the pinnacles of how a single writer can tell a novel over the medium of television. The show may be growing a little dated in many respects, but one …

Open a Window

It’s time to retire some old plays, and revamp others. For various reasons, many of my original productions are gone like the wind… That may sound initially sad, but I was surprised when I announced the removal of nearly half of EVP’s old shows, the flood of messages on Facebook and through emails of support. What shocked me even more was …