Interview with New Fan: Melissa (podcast)

new fan212c

 

(Autumn 2018/Spring 2016)

This podcast focuses on a new fan to Dark Shadows and why it makes sense that would-be good fans to this 1960’s television show don’t speak up. Melissa discusses her enjoyment of my fanwork, Dark Shadows and Jonathan Frid as well as Barnabas Collins. Our continual friendship flows through this podcast which is much attributed to Lisa Weyenberg connecting us. (Love you, Lisa!!!)

 

The interview displays what a new fan must contend with: Hate for Barnabas Collins, bizarre worship for Julia Hoffman. which has nothing to do with her strengths, feeling embraced on fan groups *at first* and then feeling like one must “stop talking”. Why Barnabas Collins is “the family guardian” and why Jonathan Frid is a class-act.

 

Melissa’s personal experiences with previous entertainers, such as David Warner and Sharon Lentz, and Melissa being able to talk to both of these wonderful people. Fun time with Melissa and I watching “Dark Shadows” as well as dealing with the new technology ruining all of our lives, and why. How social media destroys our relationships. Our watching an episode of “Dark Shadows” together, finally, and how fun it was.

 

Wrapping up with how Melissa ended-up unknowingly buying a bootleg copy of “Dark Shadows” and how she dealt with that after purchasing a true copy of the coffin box. Also providing a comparison of our making fun of Victoria Winters always saying “I don’t understand” into many fans becoming that very cliché.

 

At the end, I share a celebration of Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, which is a show that is also provided by MPI Home Video. And a loving quotation for Melissa via all this.


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“I will not make any deals with you. I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!”

– The Prisoner

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The Tandem Is Back! (Halloween 2018)

Tandem is Back 2018c

 

Enthusiastic history and future of this show. Why the Q & A works so well. Thanks to pen pals and encouragement to folks who want to get in touch. How the like-button is very harmful. Advice as to how to get your own tandem and skills to return.

 
Variables in the growth of The Pit series, including how Helena Clara Bouchet and I became friends.

 
Silly gossip versus good gossip. How old and new episodes are built. Reaching 21 due to what’s happening in 20, a scene with Maggie Evans and Carolyn Stoddard. Working with memory and reincarnation.

 
How small things can cause major problems such as The Northeast Blackout of 1965.

 
Finding the right people, much appreciation and fun stories.

 
A little discussion about the novel in terms of embracing the darkness.

 


 

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Background music for this podcast:

“Distant Thunder” by Fata Morgana (1995)

“Night in a Graveyard” – Haunted House Music Co. (1985)

“The Lodge” by Agalloch (2002)

“Distant Voices” by View (1993)

 


 

and?

Happy Halloween!

The Home of Caleb Collins (Or Is It?)

I have been going through various files to organize and make room to get new demos completed for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows audio drama. We’re on Episode 18 for Pit Crew pre-release, 19 for production, and 20 for rough draft script and demo in the works.

Meanwhile I was going through a delightful message that I sent to a friend at the beginning of 2016. It delves a bit into my re-watching of Dark Shadows, episode 294 and thereabouts. This included discovering I wasn’t far from adequate in getting the details right about The House of Caleb Collins that Victoria Winters fell in love with. Most of the message I wrote is as follows.


 

O…M…G… Remember how I was so worried about making a mistake with Caleb’s house, a.k.a. The Seaview property, or House by The Sea, not to be confused with House by The Ocean that amounts to the same thing so what the hell?

I’ve been re-watching the episodes in which Victoria Winters is glowing with ecstasy over this house. She describes it with poetic reverie, her face is alight with adoration, as she relates to the home’s majesty, well-kept condition, it’s beauty and relationship to the ocean, it’s glorious views from each window. Even Burke and Barnabas agree that it’s grand. And then? Well, view the photo I’ve attached.

 

294 After Victoria's glowing description of Seaview, it's majesty and enormity... I ain't buying this as Caleb's house!

As far as I am concerned the writers of the program and the stock footage people were not apprised of each other.

 

You may imagine I am much less worried about the discrepancy between House by The Sea and House by The Ocean. Perhaps they aren’t precisely one and the same, but they sure as hell aren’t completely different. I think I will boil this down to continuity flaws and grey areas, a bit like a shelf made of sawdust and glue being deemed as “fine craftsmanship”.


 

It put my mind to rest once again as I found this today. Of course I didn’t create a log entry about it in 2016 as I was still fighting off the addiction to social networks, as much as I thought I’d already conquered that earlier, but I was still on the right track as far as that topic went, too.

As some of my audience might know, I have conversations with my adopted characters.

These conversations are in my imagination and are only “real” in as much as anticipating creative endeavours to come to life.

When I showed Caleb Collins this image of his house I related that it didn’t match Victoria’s description of it.

 

NOT my beautiful house

 

His response was: “It matches my mood!”

 

And? Perhaps this is the great possibility in how I fleshed out the ghostly form of Caleb Collins. Something was accurate in the image of what looks to be a crumbly barn more than an elegant home: The mood of the occupant haunting the house.

 

Just wanted to show off a bit of a spooky house that is mainly only dilapidated in visual stock-footage appearance rather than story-description looks.

 

Hey, it’s October, and as far as I’m concerned this house is haunted. Cheers. ^_^

Non-Crackly Spoilercast (October 2018)

2018 October Non-Crackly

 

After a few words of wisdom via Osheen Nevoy, a bit of personal news which includes Michaelmas and how we celebrate September 29th each year. Updates about upcoming episodes in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows: 18, 19, and some discussion about the rough draft completion of episode 20.

 
Understanding The Addams Family, Barnabas and Maggie growing as a couple, comparisons between characters in fun spooky and drama spooky, how Chris Jennings will be handled, working with Captain Gregg, needing help with Amy, David and upcoming ghosts, how I’m keeping Tony Peterson in the show.

 
Thoughts and theories about Josette duPres’ character as a reincarnation. It’s still a mystery overall but *what* a mystery! ^_^ (Touching on a few other stories entailing reincarnation.)

 
Focusing on the Tom Baker era of Doctor Who, how we’ve been enjoying that, how far we’ve gotten re-watching it, as well as factors in the culmination of my ideas to include The Doctor back in 2013.

 
Current considerations of how older fans of Dark Shadows might react badly to Halloween and the possibilities of why; essentially another generation gap between younger fans and elder fans. (Fellow Goths: If you don’t understand your parents? This just might help a little bit.)

 

 


 

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Crackly Spoilercast (September 2018)

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If you listen to old vinyl records this probably won’t bother you. I cleaned it up the best that I could, so this is a good example of my technical problems! Basic updates with how I’m looking at the social media concerns versus the human requirements included.

 
Touching on +The Reluctant Vampire+ component with Barnabas and going further with that topic. More discussion of what’s coming up in Pit Episode 19 “Happy Hour In Hell” as well as how it correlates with the original series, so there are some parallels between the original DS and The Pit to keep in mind. Plenty of keeping up with the other shows, including The Kids In The Hall, and Bewitched. Delving into Angelique’s troubles and how they work.

 
Relating where Endora is going with her understanding of Angelique. Bringing in The Jennings, Bill Malloy and Elizabeth Stoddard, more Carolyn and Carolyn (Stoddard and Muir). Mixing up components between The Ghost and Mrs. Muir with Dark Shadows between various characters as well as Captain Gregg and Sarah for episode 20 in The Pit. Plenty of jumping through hoops between characters. (Y’all know how fast my brain works by this time, right?)

 
The toxicity of discussion via social media versus the correspondence skills with pen friends and how many people, who were also looking for pen pals, were suffering from what has been happening this decade. How so much ties in with The Beatnik movement against “planned obsolescence” along with the mid 20th century changes happening after World War II. Canon pairings and non-canon pairings preferences in fanwork including a new discovery for Jo March in “Little Women” from an old friend.

 


 

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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. ❤

Alma Matters (August 2018)

2018 August Alma2c

 

Personal updates which include working on future Pit episodes.
Why good manners are necessary and criticizing is bad for morale. Concerns about reliance on the internet, particularly those raised on it.

Reasons why The Reluctant Vampire is an important reflection of humanity, now more than ever.

How being exposed to the negative is contagious and why humans require more care.

Pep talk for pen pals who kept in touch, also for pen pals and listeners who became “elusive”.

Bewitched, Ghost and Mrs. Muir viewing; “To Twitch or Not To Twitch”, and “Monkey Puzzle Tree” episodes.

Plans for other podcasts as well as new Pit episodes, along with how we’re keeping The Addams Family into the fold.

Requests for help with “Margaret Josette duPres” podcast(s).

Why being honest with yourself is the best policy.

Theme song for this podcast: “Alma Matters” by Morrissey, as his wordplay on “Alma Mater” equates to “nurturing mother of studies”. Aye! She definitely matters over so much worry about popularity and competition. We currently have the world that we have due to our yearning to understand.


 

You see to someone, somewhere, oh yeah
Alma matters
In mind, body and soul
In part, and in whole
Because to someone, somewhere, oh yeah
Alma matters
In mind, body and soul
In part, and in whole

 


 

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