Substance and Choice

Howdy folks! (Or should I say, “Greetings, programs!”?)

 

I am currently working on Episode 19 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, “Happy Hour In Hell”. Some of this is slightly altered from what I might have done if I hadn’t found a wonderful audience member who had certain preferences and needs. Hence the desire for feedback of what is enjoyed and what might be creeping someone out. She’s never argued with me about the content of the show, but has mentioned one or two elements making her feel, “not good”. It’s more about her than me and that’s fine. Having good friends in this endeavour sheds light on it and helps greatly.

 

And that leads me to having enough breathing space and a reprieve from the panic to be able to look at the whole of the situation and be concerned for the bystanders. I can’t imagine there is no feeling of personal shock in being swayed to use toxic technology which promised to strengthen our friendships that then managed to derail or obliterate those friendships. And the encouragement to criticize certainly didn’t help!

 

There are any number of reasons we have storytelling in our lives; processing the days events, managing a way to make sense of tragic situations, learning historical data, but a big one I feel we’ve almost entirely lost is the luxury of it. Storytelling was something to do when a hard day of work was finished. Leisure. It was a prize to be earned through patience, something to look forward to. What with all the criticizing happening to so much of it now? One would think we were going from one misery job to another!

 

I’m very aware I have a choice in my entertainment. I learned this distinctly upon going to the theater to see “Alien3” on the first day it was released. I believe I was among many viewers who wanted to walk out of the theater from the beginning when we discovered they’d automatically killed off some of our favourite characters from the previous movie. Years later some of us were very willing to the idea of another instalment in which Ripley awoke from a terrible dream! (I believe a few of us still are.) And so when “Terminator 3” was released I checked the cast, the content, got an idea of the whole purpose in why it was being made and… didn’t see it. I do not feel as if I have missed out whatsoever. (I’ve been curious about the one with Christian Bale, though.)

 

I love the works of L. M. Montgomery, but do I brave a venture in viewing “Anne With An E”? Nope! It contains very little of the original work. If I’m not getting what I enjoy out of an option I disregard the option.

 

This is why I said I didn’t “read” much of the fanfiction for Dark Shadows, I definitely combed it for five years, though. Nothing much like the original show. And definitely not the relief-series I was looking for.

 

Some of the work was good, some was dreadful, but most of it seemed to contain a feeling of hopelessness and somehow wanting to belong in that. I could get that feeling easily from the works of Charles Dickens if I wanted something as such. If I noticed a non-canon pairing like Julia/Barnabas, I regarded it with a “Huh? Hmm… okay, moving on.” I chose for myself.

 

I don’t usually see this kind of decision making in others, I’m afraid. Sure, I came up with a fun title, “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows”, but people sure didn’t see that! They saw, “Dark Shadows” and that was it! It’s as a friend described to me, that with other shows and films you have hungry fans, of course, but with Dark Shadows? It’s like a bunch of starving people scrambling for table scraps. Still, I was hunting down people who wanted the canon-pairings, Barnabas and Josette being the big one because, well, it is the main romance of the whole thing. I sure didn’t expect to find hostile demands to switch romances! Sheesh!

 

A lot of folks didn’t seem to understand they had a choice at all. Anything Dark Shadows was a must have and Lordie! Dissatisfaction with it was another must, apparently.

 

(It’s sure hard to tell who the heck someone is, or could be, when they’re so damn busy attempting to be like “everyone else”.)

 

Still, the kind people I have managed to find definitely know the value of friendship and quite a few have happy relationships and wedded bliss. I wasn’t sure so many were out there because I was so used to conflict going from the screen to people emulating it in their idea it was what they were “supposed” to do via the exposure. I was more sure it was there in 2010 when the internet improved. People sought what they desired and often found it, cheered talented kids on youtube, made incredible singing recordings together from all over the world. The harmony was happening.

 

Then the dissatisfaction seemed to creep in. Was it from miserable people spreading it around? Smartphones making people stupid? Social media going from useful to addictive? All of the above? The main thing I know is we’ve all been soaking in it and likely need, as Roger says in “Parapsychology”, a month of showers to get over it.

 


 

Back in 2013 when I had fifteen scripts (some rough drafts) and was getting the podcast started, one of my co-workers heard my concern over lack of feedback. She told me, “So many people don’t know how to do constructive-criticism,” and emphasised the word constructive. I think that emphasis was all that was needed. Being constructive is what so many people don’t know how to do, really. Being given a world in which thoughtless narcissism and bashing entertainment is encouraged, why would they?

 

I have a new friend who was saying the same thing about “constructive-criticism”, so I told her I consider the entire idea a hoax now. It’s this fun little catchword to make bashing sound intellectual. Forget it. Now I’m looking for fun-chat, no fancy word needed.

 


 

A few young-adults have told me my “Walls of Text” are “intimidating”. Dear God, shall I offer a sedative before introducing one to a library? Walls of text are pretty much what you get upon opening most books. Not only that but I grew up as someone starving for books and the right books that would keep my attention. Electronics and television flooded my upbringing to degrees I would flee to other places just to have peace and quiet.

 

The current use of the word “intimidating” is worrisome to me. My memory of learning the word was revealing weakness. One is timid. I suppose that makes sense when they are very sheltered. By protecting and over protecting our young we’ve managed to make them helpless. Yes. That old Life, playing tricks on us again, eh?

 

And it’s scary; I spent about twenty to thirty years getting harped on and harassed for being “stupid”. Looks like I’m currently spending many years getting harped on and harassed for being “smart”! The only gratifying thing in this is that many of the people who picked on me for being “too stupid” over the years have now sold their values to toxic technology and gone far dimmer. Being smart isn’t as important to them as once upon a time. (I also got picked on for having trendy interests. Ah, yes. Even going against the status-quo meant something to them too, long ago.)

 


 

Anyway, for anyone checking in to the web-log here, the “Alma Matters (August 2018)” podcast is out and doing good, as well as Episode 17 in The Pit, “A Bio-Exorcist Comes To Collinwood”. (You bet that one does splendidly for stats, no doubt about it!) ^_^

 

I got a chance to do a decent entry, “On The Subject of Victoria Winters” in July that should be helpful to readers for her character variation throughout all Dark Shadows productions.

 

Also if Librivox helpers are checking here I am having some technical troubles with editing a chapter, but it’s coming.

 

So far? ALL the character voices are performed for Episode 19, “Happy Hour In Hell”. Milligan and Hecubus are performed together but every other character is performed separately. They aren’t edited at all yet, but the performing is completed.

 

Grassroots Pit helpers are going through Episode 18, “Braving The Waters”. (Sharing with the honours system online was unreliable for discussion, so I managed a grassroots system now prior to releasing an episode.) Maybe I should call them my “Pit Crew”. 🙂

 

And for people feeling bad? Well, The Bystander Effect has been hurting a lot more people than me these days. For the tech-addicted, I’m fairly sure a ton of my old friends who lost touch are feeling much worse. (And I didn’t lose them because of my show, I lost them due to social media addiction. This is a common problem in friendship now.) I’m grateful for the few who returned and for my new companions, very grateful indeed.

 

Another good idea to keep in mind: When you enjoy your entertainment, enjoy it. I know that “little critic” in your mind likes to jump in and give you a frown when you finish the show. See if you can turn him off. He’s often a glitch in your psyche you’ve been trained to appease for the sake of being exploited by that kind of behaviour.

 

Like finding a shell on the beach to admire: Just admire it. Don’t compare it to other shells for being “better” or “worse”. Simply admiring it might make your day that much brighter than it already is. ❤

Advertisements

Back On The Road (June 2018)

June 2018c

 

 

Wadsworth once expressed, “Very well. I know who did it. And furthermore I’m going to tell you how it was all done.” That will be how this podcast attempts to wrap up so many of the problems many of us are enduring via social media and bash culture.

First I start with more celebratory tales of continual audio drama creation. 18 “Braving The Waters” completion, the rough draft fun with 19 “Happy Hour In Hell”, as well as potential scenes for episode 20. More “Bewitched” characters coming into this show as well as more Gomez Addams. The importance of the grassroots team and how it works.

Welcoming new listeners and pen pals for being incredibly helpful. One particular social media platform showing its time-wasting aspects. (One platform I will not name. Sorry if this is confusing but I don’t want to advertise it by saying which one.) Discussing how wonderful and important pen pals are.

More about the Barnabas/Maggie fans and their large recent growth. Offers of creating better online spaces for us. The huge mess of trying to use a social network to inquire if a podcast for the marriage novel would be of interest. How discussion for the novel is necessary and fun, as well as a recent review.

Focusing on chat for Season Two in The Pit. A few theories in the trouble for talking about episodes since the beginning. (Avoiding the topic? I might have figured out why it happened.) Explanation of how bash-culture grew from proliferation of very advanced technology being made too easy. (Saramonster, MST3K, and DS Annotations lovers? This is for you!) Apologies to overseas listeners for Yankees obsession with scandal, I hope this helps!

Plans for continuing forward, enjoying life, and working through all of this together. Peace.


 

podomatic link here

podbay link here

archive dot org link here

Also available on iTunes

How To Get Back On Track…

Before I get started I just want to address that there are a lot of podcast updates and plenty of entries on this web-log you might be interested in. If you want to search for specific items you can use the search engine here on the upper-left, just below the logo for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and above where it says, “Links To Episodes & Chapters”. Just type in the box what topics interest you.

I am explaining this because, as I’ve analyzed the devastation of social media on the human psyche, I am noticing that a major problem with us is we aren’t using our voluntary ability to seek out what we are looking for on our own. We’ve been programmed by social media algorithms as well as those algorithms which alter what you get first in a basic online search engine. Like spandex, this blend of programming tries to make your journey online “form-fitting” to your preferences. Unfortunately that means you will have less choice in the long-run and may have found yourself being led about by the nose until you feel your freedom-of-choice is seriously lacking. (Has anyone out there forgotten how to clean their room? Me too.)

Still, search engines are the best way to get started and remember that you are in charge of making your own choices. Many suffered and fought for the right to vote and freedom of choice. Don’t get too complacent with that right or it will be taken away, believe you me. You’ll either find yourself beholden to what’s thrown at you or you’ll have no sense of direction due to being oblivious to this format. A lot of algorithms promoting a person’s perceived interests very much weakens our ability to voluntarily look for and choose what we want to do or discover.

I’ve studied the social media phenomenon and psychologists report all this will eventually self-correct. My concern is we all are feeling embarrassed having gotten addicted to it. People often don’t like to admit to “being had”. However, we are all in this silent-crisis together so I’m happy to chuckle at myself and downgrade back to “being human”.

Thankfully my previous mental and emotional dilemmas were relieved by what some call “fluff” or “slice of life” storytelling. 🙂 There is some contradiction of what that means in literature as compared to theatrical works. In theatrical parlance, the term “slice of life” refers to a naturalistic representation of real life, sometimes used as an adjective, as in “a play with ‘slice of life’ dialogue”. I prefer looking at it that way even though much of what I’ve taken comes from the literature format. For those who have a high level of stress throughout most of their life these tales, books and films promote a sense of how one may live from season to season in good health. Tragedies will come, but they are rarely earth-shattering. Hence, I may remark, if one needs excessive tension or stories containing massive amounts of abuse, “They must have a very comfortable life to require that much drama and excitement.” (With Dark Shadows I would fast-forward through certain lagging scenes with the words, “The suspense is boring me.”)

If one has listened to my librivox material it will be noticed my preferred reading material is “slice of life” or “fluff”. I have also repeatedly read almost every fictional work by L.M. Montgomery, then I found the Fairacre series by Miss Read. The protagonist is an excellent example of a lady who is proud and satisfied with being a spinster regardless of how many nosy neighbours feel she should be otherwise. (Yes, I figuratively shout from rooftops about being a happily married woman thanks to Barnabas Collins and Maggie “Josette” Evans, but I maintain those without any romantic-paring inclinations may feel absolutely free to be themselves too!) With my readings of Vladimir Nabokov I find the same steady but intricate components that one would have in this genre even if some of it is intense or dark, but with all of these authors the depth of vocabulary is especially stimulating for description and comprehension.

I was about to enter the worlds of Beverley Nicols and D.E. Stevenson but I fell into The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and here we are. Still, I mention these authors and creations for the sake that my own previous anxieties and struggles were lifted by what I learned imbibing them. Having lived in a form of hyperspace for so long I now have to downgrade to a human pace again and re-learn how to function in it. I deduce many other people could benefit from doing the same.

Much in the way of “stuff” needs to be sorted and thrown away, and a great deal already has been. I got a good start when Melissa entered my life. (Thank you!) More telephone calls or voice calls help this. Technical troubles still loom but finding ways to take care of them will be at a human pace, plenty of time to reflect on the everyday while one is standing in line or sitting in waiting rooms for tech support. If I’m bored there I can read some Victorian non-fiction to pass the time. (I still plan to get to Dark Shadows 1897, right?)

Correspondence? OH, YES! A precious few people still write letters and email. I like to watch the shows and take notes on them while I respond to those letters. In fact you might enjoy my reflections of what’s happening on Bewitched, Dark Shadows, The Munsters or The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and have some of your own to send in return. Good fun. (The Addams Family is heavy note-taking, I’m afraid. That clan has way too many details I need to analyze.)

Exercise? Yes. In fact I keep telling myself I can listen to Pit episodes in order to build new ones while doing said exercise. Fitness routines need space and I’m still working on creating more space. Boy, I miss my fitness routines! Nutrition needs to be seen to; Getting back to a better diet, more leafy greens and fewer carbohydrates especially.

_____________________________________

For The Pit? Well, that’s what this web-log is supposed to be about rather than me grousing at you all of the time. Endora and Captain Gregg will be an interesting dilemma but I have my ideas. It will be better when I reach that part and they let me know what they would say after studying them again. Sam Evans is still around so his reactions to all that’s going on are wonderful. Willie Loomis is calming down some, but we know how his sense of panic and explosive responses can maintain while our trusty butler, Wadsworth, provides the guidance he and others need. I’m sure Willie’s bonding time with Sarah continues as well as Sarah’s playtime with David.

Barnabas is sittin’ pretty with the odd return of Josette as Maggie Evans. They aren’t married yet in The Pit but that doesn’t mean they’re going to keep their hands off of each other. Plus Barnabas is ever the affectionate soul to friends, family and his lover alike. I used to tease him more but getting into his persona expresses the richness in romance and tenderness for that one-true-love and in doing so opens one’s heart to the complexity of love and our need to attain that which is thought to be unattainable.

With Maggie Evans there is a duality to work through. How much is her journey? How much is her as Josette once more?  The core of a person has variables. Memories unlocked provide her with answers she was striving to find, and as she remembers each detail slowly she has to decide what of her lover’s future she is allowed to reveal and what to keep secret from Barnabas so he can prove himself enough to ensure her trust again as a partner in wedlock someday. Still, she knows, there are plenty of bases that can be covered before one reaches home plate.  😉

Victoria Winters is coming into an understanding of her own powers as well as the past she couldn’t find and how it links with Collinwood. Morticia and Grandmama know Victoria has those answers within herself and wish to offer a way for Victoria to uncover them. Meanwhile I believe Peter Bradford is learning about Gomez Addams’ fixation with toy trains. I’m sure both guests are getting used to the hearty meals on Cemetery Lane. (Actual hearts likely included, of course.)

Lily Munster (passport alias Lily Drake) is looking more like Yvonne DeCarlo as Cousin Elizabeth Stoddard smiles with approval, but still there is all that pesky luggage to store and seasickness cures to consider before the wonders of their Atlantic voyage allows them more to unveil on their journey.

One thing I’m feeling strange about is where Roger Collins will be put in all of this. I really love that area of Dark Shadows in which Elizabeth and Barnabas are holding down the fort. How this will turn out with Elizabeth gone and Roger remaining is anyone’s guess! (Wait… I’m getting ideas… uh-oh…)

Tony Peterson and Carolyn Stoddard? I’m all for more of them. There is another date coming, another sunrise, another chance to go for walks, make out, and complain about paperwork and law-crap. Very possibly more Schooner Bay and Carolyn Muir in the works. Maybe Martha, too! That would be hip. (Please don’t ask for Claymore. He scares me. Ha ha.)

Dr. Hoffman and Professor Stokes? I need to watch more Dark Shadows because I know they have a chemistry I can tap into, plus they’ve worked well as a team. But Julia is likely feeling overwhelmed with her new suitor and Eliot has to pace himself before he woos her without feeling a little awkward, of course.

I have to find a way to bring Amy and Chris Jennings into the picture. Amy will be fascinating as I have to get to know her again and discover if there is any need for her to be aware of Sarah Collins ghost, or would Sarah want to shy away? It’s a good question. As for Chris, I believe our Mr. Wells will be pleased as punch he has a guest at The Inn who wants to be secluded for his own noisy activity! After Nicholas Blair in room # 13? I have a feeling Mr. Wells shan’t be arsed to investigate Chris Jennings room! He was warned and has had enough stress dealing with whatever demonic noises come out of Blair’s quarters.

Bill Malloy… how does he enter the picture, how does his ghost feel about Elizabeth Stoddard out in the open? How far has he come and how much farther will he go now that his hometown residents are regaining good sense, easy-going humour, and more acceptances of their spooks which would include himself?

Angelique Bouchard is a tough case. Somewhere in the Dark Shadows series she is missing until her return in 1897. In The Pit I see her returning with an encounter of Endora and Samantha somehow in tow, whether they decide to confront her in 1897 or more modern day. Diablos is a presence neither Endora, Samantha or even Serena nor Uncle Arthur have any use for. What they might think of Nicholas Blair is another story.

Sir Simon Milligan and Manservant Hecubus continue to vie for Angelique’s affections, but in the meantime the two of them are likely getting “Girl-Drink Drunk”.

__________________________________

As for Daryl Wor, I will try to take my own advice. Live day to day, chat with friends verbally, go out into the fresh air and accomplish routine tasks, throw out unneeded items to thrift stores, recycling or garbage piles. Eat well, write letters, mind the nutrients, create more episodes via the original shows and the guidance of their characters in this new journey we’re on. There is nothing I can do about the lost friendships but to mourn them in confusion and keep going. The social landscape has changed irrevocably. Presume those people will never come back. (It’s hard for an optimist to be pleasantly surprised.)

Remove oneself from the hyperspace of social media.

Downgrade to “being human” again.

Building Further Episodes (17, 18, etc.)

All right! I found where Chris Jennings shows up! DS Episode 627. You can imagine my delight at seeing the latest change in Collinsport I’ve been looking forward to reaching for three years. Ah… Donnie.

627-donnie-with-hearts

Blending him in will be a treat and perhaps he’ll encounter Maggie first in The Pit. If this becomes the case there won’t be as much worry about her misunderstanding anything or jumping to the conclusion that Chris is Tom risen from the grave. With various lifetimes in tow Maggie Evans is coming into discovery of her identity.

Something she tends to get wistful about on Dark Shadows is being uncertain of who she is. In The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows this is being addressed and she still has her father to counsel with on that score since Sam Evans is not dead and he is also a reincarnation of Andre du Pres for this radio drama. Spooky is always in the air, but healing continues for our beloved characters.

However I have a very unique experience in (re)watching Dark Shadows now. If I’ve altered it or fixed something? I get to z-o-o-m through a scene. There are things that are essential to The Pit going on in Dark Shadows via these 620’s and 630’s episodes, like Victoria’s wedding. In The Pit that wedding happened ages ago, but whatever there is in uplifting material? Sure! That can have happened before. One thing Victoria says in her wedding gown to Elizabeth strikes a cord, “Collinwood will always mean home to me.” ❤ Absolutely,  girl!

And Victoria’s potential in these Dark Shadows episodes pleases me a great deal. Stand-In actress or no, Victoria  remains determined in her belief Maggie should never marry Nicholas Blair and even goes so far as to confront him that she’ll stop it from happening. “Go, Victoria!” I cheer.

Having discussed these episodes over the phone with friends this week, we’re all in some agreement that how long the Adam & Eve story line stretched out and what random things thrown into it weren’t too much to any of our likings. However, I had one little joy in Vampire Angelique going down for a tattle on Nicholas Blair to Diablos.

diablos-cafe

Diablos Cafe. Choose your beverage quickly, Angelique. For it may be your last!

Truly. I watch this and I’m thinking, again, he looks like he’s running a café and you must order NOW! Diablos might refuse to discuss the situation until a latte with blackened froth is shared between them. The other idea I have, considering the wrought iron design in the background is that perhaps this is Diablos’ Café and Chinese Restaurant. In fact, I think I might have gone to this place once in a seaside town. Perhaps even Milligan and Hecubus will get a kick out of this one. Who has the better digs? Them or Diablos?

In any case, we are now in…*drumroll*… Autumn of 1968. And that means there are two other shows I need to follow closely: The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and Bewitched. Did I mess up anything in their time lines?

So far, no! Hurrah! Yes, there is mention to The Ghost & Mrs. Muir episode 11 “Captain Gregg’s Whiz-Bang”. It was released near the end of 1968 so it works out fine. Captain Gregg inserts racy material into a new story they wrote together for a magazine. This gets Mrs. Muir into trouble as it alters her reputation in the eyes of lonely men everywhere and Mrs. Muir expresses in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, Episode 10:

capt-greggs-whiz-bang-sword

“I’m still trying to shuck off that odd publicity I got when you took that little liberty of yours in re-writing one of my stories.”

So working in a manner of semi-vague time placement with where in a season of the year we are per program? I’m doing pretty well. Until I reach parts of Dark Shadows that happen in 1969, I’m alright adding back-history from The Ghost & Mrs. Muir via their episodes 1-14.

Bewitched is another story entirely. They’ve been on since 1964. In the Fall of 1968 Bewitched is having its fifth season. My catch up with The Stephens and Endora is a ton of study and I’m very thankful that the stories are so bright and upbeat.

5x01-samantha-s-wedding-present-bewitched-24516777-500-375

So for Bewitched I need to verse myself through the first four seasons and can use their back-history up into the thirteenth episode of its fifth season, which is called “Instant Courtesy.” By this time Darrin and Samantha’s daughter, Tabitha, is already born but not Adam Stephens yet. Serena and Uncle Arthur are in the show on occasion so this adds to whatever I need to pick up and store in the general air of The Stephens home.

I’m hoping to get Captain Gregg, Sam Evans and possibly Maggie out there by Episode 18 in The Pit. (We’ll have to coax Captain Gregg to go, I’m sure. I can already tell he is not looking forward to it.)

vanessa-13

 

 

Happy Michaelmas! (Still Healing And Relearning “The Old Magic”)

Archangel Micheal

Michaelmas, a day of harvest and looking over ones previous year to give tribute to accomplishments, dragons befriended and demons conquered. At least that’s what we do. My demon conquered? Maybe not being so hung up on cooking this bird precisely on Michaelmas (September 29th). The other was actually getting the darn goose. I’m really wiped out from the journey. Walking, bus, more walking, fun market, good luncheon. (I called it elevenses as it was in the hour of 11 A.M.) Then the goose was found. PRICEY! FROZEN! HEAVY! I brought a backpack Tito loaned us.

Another bus. More walking, picked up a book Auntie suggested from the library, “How to Talk To Anyone”. I used to know this stuff but I’m healing from the devastation of the last three years and I need some help to cope with adjusting to contentment. The drama and the social networks ruining our social skills, mine included, has led me to feel that a sense of panic is the usual, and that is horrible!

Also stopped by the post office. One letter! Oooo! Thank you, friend in Utah! Also more stamps for new pen pals getting CDs of The Pit. One lady is super great. Very enthusiastic. Sounds too good to be true. At the end of Episode One, listening to “Shake, Rattle & Roll” she said she envisioned The Ghostbusters rattling down the road and Slimer coming toward the viewers seeing it on screen! I loved that. I let her know these old episodes have been slightly revised for the CD versions with separate tracks. (Example: Episode Three on CD has the Twin Peaks theme at the end rather than me making something up to say what music would be there.) I joked to Helena, “Yes, The Pit… Special Edition, or whatever.”

The trip home with the ten and a half pound goose to carry was pretty ludicrous. My shoulders and back have done their time today. Now it’s thawing in the sink. The tentative plan is to cook the neck and giblets I often and shamefully neglect if they are thawed enough. I’m sure I tried a soup before. I’m hoping to get some help on that score.

I was just grateful this morning that I turned off the computer before going to bed. GOOD! That’s what I want to do. I don’t want to be hooked up to this stuff 24-7! No, no, no. That’s the problem. 1990’s internet was less stressful because it was just computers, and you had to boot them up and turn them off. Hibernating them constantly wasn’t often in the realm of probability. So if anyone caught my semi-random Doctor Who & Barnabas youtube conversation-video, I hope it was enjoyable because I’m dying to get creative again! That was me scratching an itch. I found some dialogue I’d written with them a year or two ago, somewhat existential stuff. I couldn’t find that draft for ages and then I did. So I made another video. (The Dov’e L’amore was one I’d meant to do for years, though.)

I probably should have worked on Margaret Josette Dupres because we had a lovely evening and the couple were giving me some wonderful views in all that candle-light and romance at The Old House. Hopefully the images will bug me until they get on paper.

I’m still awaiting grassroots commentary on Episode #16 in The Pit as it’s pretty much done but until I have the back-up in comments it’s not healthy for me, psychologically, to release it. Which means I need to work on Episode 17. This is troubling because? I have no script!!! Arg!

original

Came all this way and I don’t a have a script for Episode 17! I have bits, I have a list, but now I’m trying to figure out the motions of what I did three years ago to get so speedy. Helena supporting my efforts was a big catapult. One pen pal saying she’d pay for them all on CD if she could was another major boost. The demos on walks to work did even more. So that last bit is what’s missing. I’m not listening to demos anymore. I’m listening to bona-fide paragons of radio drama. But demos are important. I just don’t have one now! Not for 17.

I feel like Episode 17 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In the 1970’s the Trek folks talked about not having a script and Harlan Ellison mentioned, “Maybe they’ll all get up and whistle. Who knows?” Then DeForest Kelley piped in that he’d heard from Gene Roddenberry that they had a starting date but no script, “But what the Hell?” he laughed, relaying the information,  “A lot of people have a script that don’t have a starting date!”

Me? I’ve got neither. The freedom of not getting paid means it happens when it happens. But, if any of you are hungry for more in this radio drama? All I can say is: ME TOO! I’m sure The Old Magic is there I just have to coax it out. No pushing. Spoils the creativity. (You’ve heard that already with my Barnabas voice going downhill around Episodes 11 & 12.)

Roger at his desk

I definitely have Roger Collins lines! So no worries there. And the joy of performing Roger Collins is for some reason I get him better when I’m sober. I’m continually stunned by that fact. I get the lush better accomplished without booze? Okay! (Is performing Quentin Collins going to be the same way???)

Still, getting The Old Magic back means living again. Not starving for discussion and losing sleep that the world went to pot. I have residual effects of that panic which eke out more often than I like. A lady at church assured me that, yes, people hardly talk to each other like they used to these days, and yes, we all have addictions. “Me? I’m addicted to meditation,” she confessed. Then she explained all the ways she added more meditation time into her routine. “But at least it’s a healthy addiction.”

I was super stressed out earlier this week and gave it a try. Attempting to watch the thoughts passing by without being a participant was almost impossible, but wow. There were a lot of thoughts! More than I expected. Then I started nodding off. That’s when I reasoned I need to meditate at bedtime. That way I can get to sleep easier and get some meditation accomplished.

So that’s the deal right now: Healing from the last three years, living again, allowing the new scenes for the show to come as naturally as they once did, maintaining correspondence in email and paper mail to regulate social skills, re-learning social skills, relaxation techniques, and keeping in touch with Doctor Julia Hoffman, as well as Sidney Freedman to help analyse all situations. A visit to Miss Read in Fairacre would also be very nice, maybe even Anne Shirley Blythe here and there.

Happy Michaelmas, everyone! ❤

 

Is The Nightmare Over Yet?

Not sure…

However, scroll down this blog for the latest interview with Osheen Nevoy if you want the new podcast. Very good and worth time for Dark Shadows fans.

Right now I’m going over the four performances I’ve done in the last two years for Dr. “Hawkeye” Pierce. Splicing them together has been grueling and continues to be, just to try and get a single scene as close to the best I can get.

Going forward in this scary life, that I have often related to be a “Science-Fiction Nightmare Made Real” as Jonah and others agree with me, the friends have finally come. And, like my adopted children, I love every single one of you and I have no desire to ever give any of you up.

Each one of you managed to approach me or reciprocate my approach to you individually. If I can manage more than the amount of characters I adore who are in this collage, I believe my heart is just as full to encompass my feelings for you.

logo-collage-five

You matter.

 Human beings rely on each other. Human babies, in all of their helplessness, undoubtedly prove that.  (It’s one of the many, many, many reasons my husband and I decided, responsibly, never to procreate. We don’t drive. How are we going to take care of our children if we aren’t capable of driving?)

I want to assure all of my new friends that I care about you deeply beyond this project. When I listen to my thank you to Lisa in my latest podcast it drives home the point of exactly why I did all of this: I had no one to share it with. The answer? Go online. Unfortunately, by this time, going online meant becoming a narcissist. HUH? I ADORE these characters and knew with their varied communities they could help each other. I wanted to celebrate the characters, not me.

I worked hard to get all the correct and expensive equipment that I felt most people were also obtaining. Whoops. No, they were downgrading themselves to going online with only a smartphone or an iPad and that was that. I had no idea. So in my Intro To Episode 12 ? I wondered, as Ripley wondered in the film Aliens:

did IQs just drop sharply while I was away ALIENS

Sadly, the answer is… yes. Yes they did. And these people did it of their own volition. They allowed themselves to believe it was “every man for himself” and the internet was just a place to get porn or some other low-level entertainment, or to come to the internet to feel they finally had a say in how upset they were about their own lives by getting familiar with strangers and attacking them.

Is this the kind of thing most of us want to deal with when we fire up our machines and go online? I doubt it.

Long ago I was in a creative home movie. The camera faded out of black and there we all were eating dinner. My uncle turned to the camera and said:

“Oh, hi. You know, it’s nice when the family gets together on Sunday for dinner… and… enjoys their company with each other. And in this country? It’s one of the many rights that we have…”

Good so far, then he turns to my mum and says, “Oh, by the way, mother, will you pass me the gun?”

She nods, passes him the prop-gun, that just happens to be laying on our dinner table, and he says, “Thank you.”

Next my uncle looks down on it and turns to the camera, saying, “But you know? There is another right we enjoy in this country: It’s called THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY! And I don’t know why you’re coming into my home– I don’t even KNOW YOU! It really pisses me off, man!”

Then he pulls the trigger of the prop-gun and shoots the camera.

It was funny at the time, but I think I am finding a whole new meaning in that skit we did when I was less than ten years old. 😉 We got hoodwinked into believing we had to post it all online.

No. We don’t.

That’s why I am letting you know now that what many of you have been doing by emailing each other, calling each other on the telephone and writing paper letters to each other is time much better spent. The block function on a lot of websites is very important. It means you refuse to deal with someone you would rather not hear about for whatever reason. You have preferred ways of spending your time. I have even encouraged people who dislike me and what I am doing to block me. I don’t want to deal with them. If they don’t want to see what I’m doing? Great! I said in the beginning and I still say, “25 people are all I was looking for.”

Community is what I want, what my series is about, and what I feel many of you want. We’re getting close. Don’t let complaining people deter you from your goals. Also: never believe that if you hear about me discussing another beloved friend that you don’t matter. You DO matter. I talk about you with them, too! Why? Because I care about all of you. It’s the natural course of discussion. You don’t sit there worshiping the friend you’re speaking with. You shoot the breeze, and the breeze happens to encompass all the other friends you have; Easy peasy.

Facebook was originally created for college students to: 1) shoot the breeze together and 2) help each other study. I have severe doubts it will ever be remotely close to that kind of human expression ever again. This is why new versions of it don’t work either. However, it’s still usable for little things, all the while the previous forms of communication are still extremely important: letter writing, phone calls, emails, text messages, as long as it’s all personal and personable. The nightmare can be over, it can be, but not for everyone, only to those of us who stick to our guns and make sure we mainly pay attention to what is important to us. I am part of that importance but I recognize I’m not the main importance.

The loss is upon us. I was on the phone with Jonah again last night and he agreed that he’s suffered friendship losses, and that the creative source is what he needs to focus on and our understanding of maintaining that focus is the most important consideration. The new “flood” has come, many have drowned, they may never come back, but we have each other. Perhaps this was all a Providential test to see which of us is, internally, the strongest. I let him know I had this same discussion with a cashier the last time my husband and I went music shopping. The cashier also confessed to major friendship loss via social networks. The cycle is never ending in this discussion.

As for me? I want to keep going. I’ve got the next scene of Episode 16 with Hawkeye to complete, come Hell or High-water. When I get past that I’m hoping all the editing runs for more scenes go much faster and more smoothly than this one has for years.

Dear dad who the hell is Julia Hoffman.gif

I was often so lost in the confusion of why no one was speaking with me until Melissa came along and posted her commentary to the first episode in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows.

Melissas first Pit review.jpg

I reached out and asked Melissa, “How did you do that?”

She said, casually, “There was a comment box. I expressed what I enjoyed, naturally.”

And that’s when I knew I had every right to be completely baffled by the behaviour of discussion-avoidance all of these years. Melissa did the discussion automatically and expressed, “It’s natural.” I always knew it was, it always was to me about entertainment, but I was argued with about that for three years. (Might you have been one of the many people arguing with me about that? I’ve told you to stop feeling guilty about it. Do I have to tell you again?)

Is the Nightmare over yet? Only if we allow ourselves to withdraw from it. Other forms of communication are not only possible, they’ve been with us much longer. Paper letters, email, phone calls. Social networks are secondary. Maybe a lot of great things happened due to them, but when one starts relying on them solely? You’re lost.

I’ve always looked at podcasting the same as broadcasting except with a Tivo function: you can rewind and replay it whenever you like. Once upon a time it was only magnetic strips in cassette cartridges we recorded that allowed that. It’s not that way anymore.

So what is there to choose? Really communicating on a one-to-one basis, or scrolling through a newsfeed and like-clicking your life away?

I know which way I’m choosing. 🙂

How to Nurture The Talent, A Conversation With Our Auntie

This isn’t the Aunt who had her own radio show, by the way. This is another Auntie. As this conversation goes we delve back and forth between personal news and the bigger issues, one of which is the drought along the West Coast, water-rationing, and my project difficulties, of course. Looks like conversation on my work isn’t the only shortage around. :/


DARYL: But water is obviously (laughing) quite important in most of our lives!

AUNT: Yes it is!

DARYL: So rationing is a strange phenomenon some people can’t get their heads around.

AUNT: Ah, yes. Hmm… well I have to tell you I haven’t listened to your episodes in a while but I mean to. With my set up now I can’t play it loud enough to hear it very well. Where I live there is a lot of noise between the people we share our walls and the folks living on the upper story. [She describes the building she lives in that houses four units.]

DARYL: Do you have headphones?

AUNT: Oh, yeah, but I need batteries for this player. (laughs) I don’t like headphones but I can use them, I just have to get batteries for that. Anyway, I DO think you’re very talented and it’s wonderful, you know. Your mother-in-law and I are going to listen to it together when she visits. We’re planning on that.

DARYL: Oh, good! I was wondering if I should send you more. I only have thirteen episodes uploaded online. I’m working on episode fifteen. I already have fourteen finished but that one isn’t uploaded online because I can’t deal with the lack of discussion on the others.

AUNT: Ah, so you’re waiting for more discussion to come. Okay, I’ll try to do better.

DARYL: Great! I was really surprised because I figured you were a shoe-in as you enjoyed my librivox work so much. I thought, “I gotta get the chat from her!” and then I thought, “Okay, now what’s happening?” This work is over three years old now.

AUNT: I know. I wrote you something before Christmas about the first two.

DARYL: Yes. I actually shared a bit of what you wrote to me and mostly what I got out of that was people remembering Postum! (sad laughter)

AUNT: Ah, well it was part of Americana at the time, just like we used to have Log Cabin syrup and it came in a metal log cabin can. Too bad we didn’t save some of them, right? Ha-ha… That was different, too. Even though my mother used to make syrup with brown sugar and water, she’d make her own syrup sometimes when we didn’t have any. Anyway, I’ve been hearing about the drought on The West Coast. It’s scary when you think about it.

DARYL: It really is, and people just kinda toss it off.

AUNT: Plus out there supplies so much of the food all over the country as well as a few other countries, too.

DARYL: Yes, there was that bit about the rice farmers out there getting paid not to grow it so they could use their water supply. I just thought, “I would rather have water than rice.” (laughing)

AUNT: We take it for granted and waste water. We shouldn’t take it for granted but we do. You know, we turn on the water to brush our teeth and sometimes we just let it run… Or we run the water to get it hot for bathing.

DARYL: That’s true. What I’ve learned to do both in public restrooms and at home, most of the soap is liquid soap anyway. I don’t even turn on the water. I take the liquid soap, rub it on my hands and then wash it off. So I’ll rub that in and then turn on the water to wash it off. And I have all kinds of techniques I’ve learned over the years to conserve.

AUNT: That’s good. I remember my mom and my brother would save the water and use it outside on the plants.

DARYL: Yeah! I remember my husband told me how he grew up with a bucket in the bathtub so he’d run the water to get it hot, fill up the bucket and place it outside the tub and then take his shower. I said, “Man! That’s really workin’ hard! That’s amazing!”

AUNT: It’s a good idea. That way you can water your garden or else everything will die in it if there isn’t enough water to go around.

DARYL: And you don’t waste it since you’re trying to get the water warm anyway. So you fill that up to get the water warm and then take you take your shower.

AUNT: My father always worried that the septic tank would over flow. Of course, now we have sewers. That was always such a terrible worry all those years. We’d worry about that if we used too much water. My husband worried about it, too. If you don’t have sewers and your own septic you tend to worry about things like that. Back in our old place we had a septic tank and leaching fields. Sometimes he’d say, “Don’t use the water” and we’d have to lay-off for a while. So when we moved he said, “When we get a house it has to have a sewage system. We can’t have a septic tank. It’s too nerve-wracking.”

DARYL: I’ll bet!

AUNT: So, what do you guys watch on TV now? I know you’re all into this Dark Shadows. I’d like to see more of it. I think it would enhance my experience with what you’re doing.

DARYL: Well I could probably send you some DVDs of a nice 101 set that I like. But, for the most part, watchin’ a soap opera? Even if it’s supernatural and different? Being exposed to it can really get ya aggravated and snotty. That’s what I’ve noticed with a majority of the fans I’ve had to interact with. They just… they hate the protagonist, most of these people, they absolutely hate the protagonist, for whatever reason. They treat him like he’s just a regular old man chasing after young women. And I’m thinking, “He’s a vampire! Dracula did the same thing!” (laughing)

AUNT: A-ha.

DARYL: However, my husband watches quite a bit of TV. But since I’m stuck in this thing I can’t watch any new shows or movies anymore. I can only watch the film “Clue”, Dark Shadows, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Addams Family, The Munsters, everything that I’m involving in it, that’s all that I can focus on.

AUNT: Oh, wow!

DARYL: Because my Muse has throttled me. I try to do something else and I can’t do it. So, that’s why I’m desperate. My Muse is a very harsh mistress.

AUNT: I wish we had some way to contact you with someone who is in the business. You know, you have such a talent. You should be working for some of them doing this kind of creative stuff.

DARYL: I agree! But it’s like I told my neighbour, she was taking me back from the market today, and I said, “I know the answers to all my problems, the difficulty is I don’t actually own the solutions. This is like if I needed a supplement for magnesium or potassium and I couldn’t find it at any stores.” That’s what’s happening. There’s no way I can obtain the solutions.

AUNT: Yes, yes, yes, you don’t have access.

DARYL: And as with a lot of people they tell themselves, “Well I’m depressed therefore my problem of depression is solved.” No it’s not. You know what the problem is, you haven’t solved it yet. You know, that’s the terrible thing about right now. So many people say, “Well I have this diagnosis so I’m going to let that be the excuse for everything wrong that I do rather than solving it.”

AUNT: (laughing) Mmm-hmm!

DARYL: It’s awful! (sad laughter, and sighs) Yeah, I’ve been makin’ a lot of people angry since they’re used to so much bickering anyway. So I went looking for other people, and other people are a little better but I’m still not getting the chat on the work. And a lot of that is due to the internet leaning people into a lot of like-clicks and sharing memes, which are basically greeting-card photo-files. People don’t talk that much anymore. I had to let my audience know, “Hey, I need X,Y, & Z to keep sharing it. Otherwise I’m going to keep making it on my own. I spent my life-savings and am doing the hardest work of my life and I need more than numbers. I have to find the right people to share it with who can talk to me about what they’re picking up on with this show I’m creating.” I have hundreds, even thousands of listeners right now.

AUNT: (surprise) Do you really?

DARYL: Yes, I do. I got it to multiple different websites and I get downloads every single day.

AUNT: Goodness!!

DARYL: So, you figure all they’d have to do is say they liked or laughed at A, B, C, or X, Y, and Z, this and this and this, just a little summary of what they enjoyed per episode and they’re not doin’ it. It’s crazy. And I’ve said, Hey, if it’s being scared of fandom politics with some of these soap opera fans? It’s like William Shatner said on Saturday Night Live,

just a tv show william shatner

“It’s just a TV show, dammit! It’s just a TV show!”

Nobody’s gonna come and get’cha. Ya gotta nurture the talent. I can’t get paid. In fact I’ve paid my life-savings to create this to make it easy for people to get. I’ve sent people CDs and I have one radio station airing it, I might get another one soon.

AUNT: Well that sounds good!

DARYL: It sounds good, but, yeah, if people aren’t talkin’ there’s somethin’ wrong. It’s because the internet’s made a lot of them these robotic Eloi, like in “The Time Machine” from the 1960s where Weena’s drowning, and the rest of the Eloi, all her friends, are just staring at her drown, they’re not helping her at all? It’s like that.

others look on as Weena drowns

They’re just watchin’ her drown and going, “Well, this is amusing.” And then George is like, “Why doesn’t somebody help her?!” And he gets his jacket off and rushes in!

AUNT: (knowing laugh) Yeah.

DARYL: That’s what’s happened. Everybody just shares files and they stare at the horror and they like-click it and that’s it! I’m like, “You guys? (laughing) Ya gotta wake up.” These machines were not created so you could just be a robot. It’s so you can communicate.

AUNT: Well maybe that’s why it’s so successful. People want to do that and are lazy, generally.

DARYL: YEAH! They forgot how to talk. Like in the 1990’s a lot of people were talking because most of it was text and now people are all dazzled with, “Ohhhh, look at the pretty pictures!” And I’m like, “I’m so tired of the pretty pictures.” (laughing) We gotta be better than this. Plus, this is what kills me, the influence of human empathy and intelligence created all of these wonderful inventions and now it’s being given to a lot of docile primates.

AUNT: Ah! (laughing)

DARYL: A bunch of people who can’t appreciate it, some are spoiled or whatever and just go, “Oooo, the pretty pictures!” and they’re all dazzled and I’m saying, “We got this technology because people were smart and communicative and that’s why we have all this and now we’ve all regressed into a kind of lemur.” It drives me nuts!

AUNT: Right. Well, it’s true, though. Yeah… Very true. It’s a shame, huh?

DARYL: And that’s what I want to change with this thing. I notice some of the people who can talk to me? They can’t comment so well because they’re still fragmented by the technology. They like Star Trek, they like Kirk and Spock Star Trek, they like Picard and Data The Next Generation Star Trek, that kind of thing? And those were very uplifting “let’s make ourselves better” programs. The new Star Trek movies aren’t really like that. It’s more about conflict. I said, “You know what this is? It’s the new Star Trek. It’s showing how to make things better.”

star trek old

TNG_header

AUNT: Oh, okay!

DARYL: Even though there is no Star Trek in my program, the essence is the same, let’s improve our lives.

AUNT: That’s good, yes!

DARYL: And because it melds so many shows it’s like the same thing, where The Enterprise is going to multiple different worlds and there are all these different species. I’ve got the soap-opera but I’ve also got The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and The Addams Family, etc. They’re all meeting! So it is like Star Trek because it’s all these different cultures and universes melding!

AUNT: Yes, yes. That’s fun. That’s right!

DARYL: (laughing) So, I told two people who are giving out these postcards that I had made, I said, “Hit the Star Trek conventions! Please, hit the Star Trek conventions! That’s the people who are going to understand this!”  Yes, the new Star Trek isn’t really Star Trek, my project is the new Star Trek. And that’s another reason it’s been so hard to get people active with it because most of the people who do fanwork with just the soap-opera, they’re more about conflict than morality plays and that’s what I’m doing is a morality play.

AUNT: (cheerful) Okay!

DARYL: Anyway, I just thought I’d call you to find out if I could send you some more CDs because I don’t have enough to occupy myself and focus on. I did the voice-acting today for one character for my fifteenth episode just to keep going because I can’t do anything else. But I have managed to get started on the cleaning. But I wanted to see how you were doing and to make more disks for you.

AUNT: Oh, sure that would be great. I gotta get busy and work on the others. I listen more than once, you know.

DARYL: Yeah, I actually listened to them for over a year, the old copies, and that’s when I knew I had something good. I listened to them repeatedly, and the lines were so good like in the film Clue and on the other shows. I realized, “I’ve got gold.” I have to find a way to nurture the talent, but a lot of people online, they just like-click it and that’s not good enough. (laughing) I gotta find out what was enjoyed.

AUNT: Mmm-hmmm.

DARYL: And it drives me crazy because people will talk about entertainment they enjoyed to a third-party. If the person who created it asked them, “Hey, will you tell me what you liked?” they’re not as willing to do that unless they’re super-famous. What usually happens is, “Hey, I like this so much, I want to tell a friend about it!” and I’m asking, “Hey, whatever you’re telling a friend about what you enjoyed about this, tell me. That’s what I want to know.”

AUNT: Yes.

DARYL:  I don’t want a lot of praise. For me it’s a journey. These aren’t any of my characters minus a precious two I added. I just want to know that third-party chat. That’s what’s driving me crazy. Other people are talking, but they’re not talking to me.

AUNT: Yes, I can understand your plight, yes.

DARYL: And I figured you would, ‘cause you’re really sharp! (laughing)

AUNT: (giggling) Well, I don’t know if I am or not, but with this I’m gonna try.


Then we discussed the wedding my husband and I had and how much she loved how we went about it, as well as visiting the tea shop we’d had our reception at and enjoying their sandwich plates and so forth. I mentioned how we visited a gift shop nearby that had a player piano recently. (This is major as we rarely get out to enjoy things.) It played the “University of Maine, Stein Song” I knew from Rudy Vallee and managed to sing most if it in my best impression of him. A few boys were totally amused and one smiled, “Good singing!”

Thank you!

So, until next time my gentle readers who have to deal with my drunken angst…

Peace.