It is often with deep sadness I muse over how celebratory we could be in this love but choose to reflect on where our own opinions rest in Dark Shadows. The bizarre snippets of ideas and what I’ve heard about in the fanwork brings me to wonder how adept its fans are in understanding the characters or understanding themselves. As one philosopher told me through long ago echoes from a stage I never saw, “I believe that if we are honest with ourselves, the most fascinating problem in the world is ‘Who Am I?’ What do you mean, what do you feel… when you say the word ‘I’? ‘I, myself’? I don’t think there can be any more fascinating preoccupation than that… because it’s so mysterious. It’s so elusive.”
As I spent time in cases of identity I not only explored myself but explored other people. When folks address a factor of not handing out all my personal details nor a “real name”… well. I’ve worn a plethora of names and identities since I was extremely young, just searching out what identity was, what could be done with it, and as such it makes sense as a creator of not only fanfiction but regular fiction from an early time. As I explored that, I found it easier to understand who other people were. Also, the name Daryl Wor was one of the very first ones I chose for myself with the help of The Muse. But what was the first one? “Shadow”. 😉
So now when I hear myself addressed as “Daryl” many of you have no idea how you’ve addressed me in who I truly am from a young age. I had writers block, anhedonia and frigidity for 8 years. Suddenly in this project I came back to who I was. People say Daryl and suddenly I am me again, I’m myself again. Beyond which I’ve changed my name various times so when you call me “Daryl”? There is no greater truth to me than that. Particularly because my voice and identity is so very androgynous. What better name to use than an androgynous one?
As for the work. Episode 13 is out now and I’m still hearing bits and fragments of invalidation that it’s audio, expensive, time consuming, acting, etc. I suppose the reason this is is partially due to having the side project of “Margaret Josette Dupres” which is only text. However, the audio is so much harder and so far I’ve been greatly left out in the cold from those who enjoy it. I have no stage, I have no frame of reference to my audiences responses. There is little fuel to continue, but continue I must. (And I also have haters and trolls which maximize this stress.)
On top of which the radio drama incorporates so many characters, all of whom I have to perform. For the last few days I’ve gone over repeated performances of lines from Wadsworth, Willie, Roger, Liz, Barnabas, Sam, Dr. Hoffman and Professor Stokes. It’s such an intense struggle to do this because there are parts I need to amplify for sound quality as well as deepen pitches for male voices, or picking out two or three performed lines, find the inflections between those and splicing them together. As like most entertainment, the story moves and the understanding of how difficult it was to put together likely doesn’t find you unless you’ve done such work yourself.
And as many of us know in Dark Shadows fanwork, text is mostly what it is. For some reason ones ears are interpreting this as the same thing because that is what one is used to. How I can alter anyone’s understanding of the difference? I don’t know.
What I do know is as I have worked repeatedly with Willie’s performances. What he and Barnabas face together in my next episode brings me to tears again and again as I go over the audio work. It’s that profound to me. The man is falling to pieces and so am I. He doesn’t understand how everything changed. As we remember from Dark Shadows and his return from Wyndcliff? He wasn’t unaware of what had happened. He was covering up what he knew to hopefully return in all innocence and wield a shotgun at Joe Haskell getting in his way of Maggie Evans, as well as the crap with Adam that I skipped in my series.
So what kind of Willie Loomis do we have now? One that is forced to recognized not only his past in Collinsport but his past from somewhere else:
Mr. Loomis is so shocked to see someone from even longer ago, 1954 to be exact, he ain’t gonna play naive! (I’m discerning he was about 14 years old when Wadsworth hired him but I’m leaving it open-ended until more research and discussion can be obtained.) Dear God! It’s that guy who hired me to chop wood for the fireplaces, hide outside and keep my mouth shut about everything? I have no way of covering up what I know at this point. I am in far too much disbelief! And now he’s telling me everything at Collinwood isn’t how I remembered it anymore? This butler? I can never fathom how he knows as much as he does about people, but all I do know is: he damn well does. I better watch out, is all.
So the complexity of this project continues regardless of how “sleeper” it’s function might be. Remember, if you will, how the film Clue itself was so entertaining it likely went over the heads of most in North America. Such seems to be the case with The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. How I can speed up the process of discussion about the jokes with people? I don’t know. I keep trying out the people who enjoy that movie and now the people who enjoy Elvira, Mistress of The Dark. Somewhere in this crazy train of spooky love have got to be some people who remember how to speak out and say what the hell they’re laughing at or enjoying.
As for what I’ve seen in the Dark Shadows crowd? It’s mostly the spiteful who reign vocally supreme. But many creators of all of these shows, fanwork in some cases, and otherwise, keep hoping for the best.
Still, if you keep hoping for the best from someone else? Well, it’s like the philosopher asks as stated earlier in this article,
“Who am I?”
All I have to ask is, “Why not you?”
Peace, clarity, and reflection,