Working Against My Own Sensibilities

I’m not a fan of horror. Really, I’m not a fan of gore. It’s amazing how many things I’ve walked out on because the gore level got to be too much for me.

There’s a funny story from my college days about the great debate over whether or not I could handle Independence Day. My friends (who were pretty good at sorting out what I could and couldn’t handle) literally debated for days over whether or not I should be warned away from it before they finally decided I could handle it. It was over a year before I finally saw it, and could’t for the life of me figure out what the problem was until I got to the alien dissection. If you’re familiar with the movie, you know that’s not a terribly gory scene, and yet I walk out on it every single time I watch the movie because I can’t handle it.

Even stranger, two of my favorite manga/anime are Descendants of Darkness and  Death Note. There’s absolutely no question both are gruesome, and yet I sit and listen to them with some regularity. I’d love to say that’s probably how I survive the gore in both stories, but I made it all the way through both manga (such as Descendants of Darkness is). So… Yeah… I can’t explain it.

I point this out because I’m in the process of announcing my newest audio drama project and trying to find the right wording to warn people about what they’re walking into. Despite having done other audio dramas with similar concerns regarding gore, this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to warn people. And I’m having to think about it in terms of, “How would I want to be warned that I might not be able to sit all the way through this?”

A project I willingly auditioned for and worked on…and I’m trying to write my own trigger warning.

Because it’s compelling audio fare, horror is a popular genre for audio dramas. It makes sense from a purely academic standpoint. The tension. The ability to cheese it up or dial it back as necessary for the show. There’s just so much you can do to really create the right mood and pacing. But it also means that if I want to continue working in audio dramas (which I enjoy), I have to suck up a bit of my inherent unwillingness to set foot near horror and gore and just try to not involve my very vivid imagination in what I’m doing. (I fail at that regularly…)

It’s an interesting push-and-pull. One that I have the hang of on the voice acting side, even as I fight to not run out of the room. And when it’s clear from the audition notes that the show is probably going to be way too much for me, I usually avoid the audition altogether, just to make my life easier.

But it’s funny to think about in the grand scheme of things.

Find Five Friday: Audio Edition

If you’re seeing this the day it posts, Happy Halloween! If you aren’t, Happy Halloween anyway. I’ve lived in haunted houses off and on throughout my life, and I can tell you there is never a wrong day for being completely spooked by things that aren’t there.

You’re probably expecting a Halloween-themed Find Five Friday, and I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you…mainly because I just haven’t had a whole lot of Halloween fun this week. But I did go to the trouble of putting on a costume for the day. Well…a costume T-shirt anyway. (There are only so many times during the year I get to wear my Rogue costume T-shirt and not feel terribly self-conscious about it.) Hopefully, you’re doing a better job of getting into the spirit.

Anyway…onto my Five.

#1 – First up on the list, a pair of audio dramas! I realized a couple of weeks ago that I was going to have two audio dramas come out this week, and was just praying they wouldn’t come out one right on top of the other. They didn’t! Monday saw the release of the Misfits Audio Halloween special “Devil’s Night“, which is a bit creepy. It’s always nice to get to work for Misfits. They were the first audio drama group to take chance on me, and they’ve taken pretty good care of me in the nearly two years I’ve worked with them.

#2 – Wednesday saw the release of the newest Seminar episode from Pendant Productions (another audio drama group that has been very kind to me as I learn the audio drama scene). It’s important to note that we don’t get a whole lot of information when we receive audition notices (nothing unusual about that, really), and so I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into when I was selecting roles to audition for in this episode. The story I’m in, “Reimagined Moments in Radio”, is a comedy. I’m…not good at comedy, to say the least. If I’m funny, it’s often by accident. I have this problem where I’m absolutely horrible at telling jokes because I start thinking about the punchline mid-joke and start laughing. So imagine my horror as I read the script and discovered my character delivering the punch line. I muddled through the recording, and hopefully I didn’t muck it up too badly. But that was a nerve-wracking afternoon.

#3 – Yesterday marked the seventy-sixth anniversary of War of the Worlds (which is in the Public Domain). Audio dramatists have been trying to organize an audio drama appreciation day, at a national or global level (they really aren’t picky), to both commemorate the anniversary of this panic-inducing radio broadcast and celebrate the resurgence of radio drama (known more frequently on the internet as audio drama because…well…this isn’t radio). I suspect they’ll accomplish this; there are enough voices talking that if they can get talking in the same spaces, they’ll pull this off.

#4 – While we’re on the topic of space invaders…sort of…if you consider humans invaders…NASA has released some dope beats to SoundCloud. What? You don’t like space sounds? I love them! (I’ll just assume that laughter isn’t at me or my gnarly use of the English language.) These are free to use, but make sure you follow their media guidelines.

#5 – Last but not least… Geek & Sundry has been releasing Halloween videos all week, and this one was kind  of cool…mainly because I had a good time watching decktonic announce this on Twitter. (It wasn’t until Day responded to him that I realized he had done this music video for Geek & Sundry). So, it was this cool little collision of worlds, and it’s just fun to watch and listen to.

There you go. If you made it all the way through, what is wrong with you? These aren’t even that interesting. I’ll try to do better in the future, but I make no promises.