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.

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“Correcting” Classics

I spend part of my time narrating for a group that produces audiobooks from Public Domain novels and short stories. Being that they’re in the public domain, they aren’t recent stories. The author isn’t even alive. Despite all that, it should seem like narrating them shouldn’t be any different than narrating a recent novel by a living author, right?

Or maybe I’m just influenced by my museum and anthropology background.

Recently, another narrator in the group admitted she changes books that aren’t politically correct because they offend her, and asked how others in the group handle the same issue. Most of the narrators who responded hadn’t thought about it before. Some thought they should follow her lead. Some weren’t so all right with it. (Keep in mind: Narrators can’t change a contemporary author’s novel while narrating it. Otherwise, that’s an error that has to be fixed. It makes narrating books with substandard proofreading interesting.)

I didn’t respond. I knew I wouldn’t respond kindly. But the more I thought about what she was doing, the more I actually wanted to put distance between her and me. If she wants to sanitize a novel that reflects its time period, what else would she be willing to sanitize to make a pretty story? It’s something historians wrestle with, because you want to preserve but at the same time you want that information to be accessible to the people who will be studying it.

My inner anthropologist/museum professional rages at the thought of making a older story “politically correct” because it robs us of an opportunity to experience a point of view relevant to the time of the author’s life. My inner narrator wonders why she didn’t just say, “I’m sorry. I can’t do this book.”, which is (I’ve been told. I’ve never done it.) completely acceptable when you’re bothered by a story’s content, and move on to the next one. (Because honestly, how believable is the narration going to be when you don’t like the story?)

I can only hope that she in time recognizes these little bits of history for what they are, and stop putting her contemporary sensibilities ahead of serving the preservation of that history, regardless of how unlikable it may be.