For Newbies, Pen Pals and Old Hats

Hi, everyone!

I’m still here. I’m rusty at creating a radio drama episode but, like with any form of creative expression, the knack should return with practice.

I maintained Facebook abstinence for the full two-week stretch from the new pen pals and people I’m mailing CDs to. I love it! This is what I wanted and it’s the world that I know. My postman is also very happy with me. He says, “You tell them that I’m happy with what you’re doing and I look forward to getting a hug from you when I see you. You tell them that.”

There. Told. 🙂

The repeating cold/flu is still floating around. Clover and I got Version 2.0, Jonah didn’t, and my sweetheart is now on Version 3.0. I received tons of wonderful goodies for my birthday but I have to wait to have him to myself again.

So for my pen pals now getting the CDs of The Pit? Bless your hearts that you didn’t let the dead-weight of social media keep you from what you loved. And it’s fascinating to find out what you’ve been up to in the years we didn’t know each other as I struggled in the vicious Red Queen’s Race of anti-social networks. You also know it takes time to build something, so my own accomplishments might seem fantastic but not impossible to you.

And with my downgrading back to human? Other humans are doing it too. I hear from people more by email and private messages away from the social networks. Sadly some of these folks are still playing the “avoid-the-podcast-topic-game”, but not everyone. Some finally realized playing that game is dysfunctional and annoys me enough to get cranky on the podcasts! Good! I’d rather have fun on those shows, not feel the need to display rank bitterness. (Spraying metaphoric Lysol on my woes ends up making them worse. It messes up the voice-acting for the radio-drama too, just from the stress.)

In any case I’m very pleased to be spending my time getting rid of my horde of stationery. Like most forms of collecting things, too much comes when life is empty or there is a void one feels the need to fill. Now I’m releasing all the fun goodies I saved, and as I send them along? I keep finding new areas in which I’ve hoarded more! But it makes way for further space as I go. This is a good thing.

The pen pals who are interested are eager for more but in the manner they know better: The human paced postal system. However there are some trying to get links to work in a somewhat desperate sense. I always know when they do get the links to work because I tend to never hear from them again. I see the statistical growth, but the silence is a recurring problem and one I doubt I’ll ever really get used to.

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Is a Jonathan Frid character hanging out with a Tim Curry character just too sexy? Maybe!

With the lack of information I used to have, but now am being provided with, I’m discovering an important point we all forgot about. The poor and suffering are the most appreciative of good entertainment. They were often the people I was seeking, too. Still am. It’s the especially wealthy and comfortable that have been the worst problem. They’re watching a soap-opera because, for the most part, they have few troubles, desire drama and don’t empathise much with people outside of themselves. They can download the podcast easily and get angry at me for struggling and suffering. They’re greedy and want the silver-spoon version of The Pit. Catering to people like that is detrimental. Rewarding rudeness is nothing short of despicable.

Not all rich people are this way, though. There have been many well-to-do types of privilege. I am currently thinking of a fictional one though, and one fictional character many proclaim as empty-headed and bubbly:

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Josette du Pres

She is a rare wealthy character on Dark Shadows who cares about classes below hers. Her concern and desire for comradeship with Angelique is unusual for someone of her own designation in 1795. We see something quite similar with that of Barnabas Collins and Ben Stokes, too. And when we think about Barnabas and Josette both being as such? That is certainly a match made in Heaven. ❤

Barnabas and Josette

We require wealthy people that empathise with those who suffer to make the difference, as we also need the suffering to appreciate each other. To me that’s what our stories show us.

Social media turned that story-telling, which changed our lives for the better, into mindless nostalgia of photos to thumb-up. It preys on the obsessive-compulsive-disorder which resounds in us to click happy-buttons and lose the heart of who we are. The happy-buttons, rewards of hearts and stars, regress us into kindergarteners. Kindergartners are easy to manipulate.

I didn’t know this was happening for so long because I had barely touched the social media. I was very involved in vision-therapy, librivox audio books, and creating The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows while watching and taking notes of all the shows that blend into it. I knew something of the smartphone phenomenon but we all joked about that long ago. The Blackberry phone came out with its whistles and bells and what did we call it?

The Crackberry.

A lady at church told me it was once a faux-pas to like-click posts on Facebook. She also recalls a friend asking her, “What’s with all these bumper stickers? I’m seeing them everywhere. All these images with quotations. What a waste!”

As it turns out there are others like me who didn’t see this happening either. We still used the internet to educate ourselves and keep in touch with loved ones. We had to hear less and less from those loved ones to begin recognizing we’d suddenly been left in the lurch. That led to many walks of life without similar interests reaching out to at least support each other in that one obvious fact. We were alone, very alone. A guy on a Gothic forum told me, “Some of the most artistic and rebellious people I have ever known have been siphoned by this conformity.” No kidding! I’ve seen it too.

In any event, those of similar interests are finding each other again, however slowly and I am very grateful. Several pen pals don’t fear discussing The Pit episodes. They enjoy it. They didn’t know it even existed. Now they look forward to more and express:

“Please keep up with this – you will be glad you followed your muse when she called you. But please don’t burn out on it—it would change the tone. You have such a happy enjoyable tone of joy with it. Yeah, that’s it—it’s JOYFUL! Ride this mule, baby!”

Now that’s more like it! And it’s what I like to do for others.

So for all the newbies:

I bid you welcome to The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows!

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And for the old-hats? I welcomed you a long time ago, and I still do. But we must keep something in mind. We have flaws. That is human. You’ve felt guilty and uncertain because you fed into the bystander-effect, got caught up in only paying attention to the drama, lost the ability to talk about what you enjoyed. Is this all your fault? I don’t think so. But you still feel guilty and uncertain about me and the fact you played the “avoid-the-podcast-topic-game”. You really should stop playing that game. It’s not a fun game and no one wins it. (I prefer Kill Doctor Lucky and Tabloid Teasers, myself.)

But… what if you admitted to your flaws? What if you felt sorry and explained? In what light would you be seen if you owned up to a mistake or even several? Who would you be very akin to if you exhibited some remorse or apologetic forms of expression?

That would show you to be similar to one of our most beloved characters in the world:

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Barnabas Collins. ❤

Episode 15, Splicing in Character Hosts and Sound Effects

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Look a little awkward? It is.

For the last couple of days I’ve had my nerves rattled from it basically being known I am no longer allowed to vent my frustrations about this on my own timeline. Apparently this sparks in others the need to come up with some philosophical advice that covers up their own guilt, or their laziness, or lack of attentiveness. I’ve seen it many times before and I’m not buying it. Okay, let’s say I posted that on a group page. I can see the conversation going down that road. However, this was on my wall, my personal news, and so what was the result of this attempt to make me feel better that really was a method of making everyone else feel better? It’s succeeded in pissing me off for over two days now. As a result, the work has gone much slower. (Thanks.)

I was explaining to my husband a plant has more wisdom. If a plant requires more sunlight? It bends toward it. When it senses water in one direction? It reaches it’s roots there. When I’m looking for my nutrients to reach this suffocating Muse? Humans don’t produce that. They produce cross-references. A good gardener knows that if you don’t maintain the nourishment? It’s your own damn fault if the garden dies. But now that we’re flippin’ around so many distractions, we’d rather argue about where that sunlight and water is. Doing that? Not one measly tomato is going to grow for you. I can tell ya that easily.


I remember I did a podcast intro where I said doing this series, The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, had been in a cheaper by the dozen method where I did one part over and over, and then the next, and then the next. Today and yesterday I’m noticing it’s better if I go through each scene and add the bits. I’m adding in Milligan & Hecubus’ new performances, but as I’m finding where to put them, I’m raising the pitch on Angelique’s voice and I’m adding in sound effects just so they’re there and I don’t have to hunt for them later. Some will need augmentation or overlapping with lines, and other lines need to be raised in volume, but so far it’s easier to go through Episode 15 this way.

Hmm, then again, now I’m going passed the Victoria, Morticia and Grandmama lines, although I did supply the bubbling cauldron sound effects. I’m fairly happy with what I’ve got for Morticia and Grandmama. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been viewing the first episodes of The Addams Family again, but it feels like Carolyn Jones wasn’t as deep as I thought, so what I have is likely just as well until I can study for new radio episodes in the future. We need that family.

Then there is a scene of Maggie and Barnabas looking out the window, the Willie & Sarah scene and then Hecubus says:

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“And back in Josette’s aquamarine room of many ornate fixtures.”

I think I like the old performance of this more. It’s so cheerful!

Aw, crap… [laughing] This line for Sir Simon Milligan still gets me. Heaven knows *I* have endured the stink-eye from letting Barnabas and Maggie unite in this… I think it’s just the way Milligan manages to announce it when there is a gathering of the clan at the main house of Collinwood:

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“One would expect a number of stink-eyes and suspiciously raised brows at the affection our love-bats are obviously NOT hiding from each other or anyone else.”

All right, now I’m just focusing on our two radio-show hosts. There is too much in between I can see that needs to be altered. Maggie’s lines likely have to be re-performed. Ohhh, her chortling voice! How to reproduce that… Well, I can watch or listen to some Josette Dupres as well and see if I can shoot for a cross-blend now since that’s what’s going on. I’ve wondered how KLS might have performed that given the chance. I guess Bella Heathcote was the only one who got an opportunity to experience that blend. Remember, she does say at the beginning of the film:

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My work began years before this… Imagine my shock in the theater!

It reminds me that people treat me like a single person when I’m doing the work of an entire production crew. Not cute, people. Not cute. And the very opposite of helpful, too. As Warren told me, “It’s not like you didn’t explain what you needed. YOU DID!” He’s correct. I did, and I do, repeatedly. :/

Another dear friend on the grassroots list told me, “That entire discussion you sent me made me completely indignant. These are people you sent CDs to? And you also spend a great deal of your time empathizing with their everyday woes and concerns. You don’t deserve that.” Aye, that’s just it. They’re feeling bad about not keeping up and want to blanket it with something.

Guilt exists for a purpose; it’s to make us change our ways. Sadly some people just wallow in it, try to deflect it with various excuses, but those of better judgement? They either change or they stop feeling guilty. Which is what my husband expressed in one of our workshops. That advice has certainly saved me from a world of misery. It’s likely why I have been better at focusing on creative pursuits. But we’re human, we need others to talk to. Not a great deal of that going around between the internet clutter, I must say.

Now I’m seeing some lines I did twice that are doubled up on the old file as well. Most of the demo was performed in December of 2013, possibly November. I remember I lost my voice for a while at the end of that year. Having re-performed the lines this last week it’s good to use those rather than guess which of the previous performances were better. So the scenes are switching and the hosts lines are being spliced in. There is another scene between Willie & Wadsworth here, then there is one with Barnabas Collins finally meeting with the ghost of Caleb Collins at the seaview property. Time period jokes abound here…

Oh, yes, and now that there is another vampire in town, the dogs are howling again, which is going to freak poor Willie Loomis out. Went through all the howling I had to discern what to place in there to format later. Sad to consider all of this hard work will only be enjoyed by a precious few, but then I think I’ve done enough. I’ve served my time only to get numbers, silence, control freaks and haters who speak up more than the people who enjoy it. I was detailing that with a church group, “We seem to be stuck to only detail what we dislike and we go on about that at length. Not so much what we enjoy unless we’re not thinking about it, really. I’d like that to change.”

As for this scene with Caleb and Barnabas, it’s nice to hear a bit of it again. I think after I finish this audio draft I’ll put it on my player. Maybe that will help motivate me more. As Caleb and Barnabas discuss Maggie…


CALEB: She would be the one to help change this place. You’d be sated at last, and she cares about people far more, with a genuine affection. Like Tom, she’s not just a pretty face either. It’s sad how beauty attracts on the outside so much, when there is so much more to it. Pesky, that is.

BARNABAS: But lovely if that combination can be found and admired all at once. ❤


And now to splice in the final Hecubus line, a sadness creeping in. I possibly need to do that over, but I’d say it’s time to save the file, switch it for listening, 57 minutes and all the extras… Not nearly done, but getting there. Could have done more a lot sooner if I had the fun commentary, but ah well. Just have to plug away and await an online change in people… that likely will never occur.

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Peace.

The Shame of Barnabas Collins…

I have two scholastic Josette=Kitty=Maggie helpers who have been pressed upon with so much stress and obligation that it’s lead me to find other people as sources of comfort. This isn’t such a good idea but some interesting discussions came out of it.

As some of you know I’ve been working over a month to finish Episode 12 of The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. Not only is it detailing many distinct vocal impressions and inflections, as well as editing just for the bland version without music or sound effects, there is a very difficult session of hypnosis for Maggie Evans in which she sees her lives and understands her flashes of insight into who and what Barnabas Colllins means to her.

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This is not a happy girl. I think that’s why Hansel Bachmeier is a fitting additive because it may allow her to go completely into realms of utter kick-ass in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows on the chance anyone else messes with her during the series. (Hansel’s favourite curse word thus far when he talks to me is “Stier-shiste.” Nice, Mr. Bachmeier, nice.)

The pain of this episode looms before us in its darkness, as well as the loneliness I’ve felt in my two best helpers having so much trouble that I don’t hear from them. I need to know more about this woman, if not for her, but for the knowledge that we can share this experience of unraveling what, I’ve had to deduce, was where the series wanted to lead. But control of the story was removed from it’s creator, Dan Curtis, moving to what may have been preferred by the family of Hall. And I only suggest this because I listen to the characters and adhere the best that I can to the original story line, trying to solve problems rather than causing them.

I cannot use source material beyond the television show. I felt bad enough doing that for that tiny joke from a Marilyn Ross novel and made a very defined asterisk on that point. That “mod & way out” line was simply a great thing Carolyn Stoddard could likely have said. She is the most with-it hipster-lass of them all. If I used source material from Big Finish audio dramas that would conflict with what I’ve channeled in Caleb Collins who I believe is very accurate to the program in terms of a helper at any rate. I want this based on the television program alone as much as possible.

I also do this because I feel much of that newer material is based on the popularity of what the fans wanted rather than the content of what I see was originally being aimed for.

What continues to daunt me is how fragmented any other Josette=Maggie fan is I can find. They were pummeled for more years into a type of quietude. My more youthful lasses have this understanding so fresh in their minds they’ve taken notes and analyzed the whole relationship. But my sweetnesses are currently in danger and they are in trouble and I miss them terribly. I also pray for their safety.

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But what is the shame of Barnabas Collins? Ah… I’ve had to explain this again and again to those who do not understand it. Barnabas is ashamed for having a single one-night-stand with a powerful woman who wreaked havoc on his entire family as a result. Ooo, he slept around ONCE! Yes it was the wrong dame… but BIG WHOOP! Why does everyone case on him?

Is it anything like THIS guy who bloody owns his slutty behaviour?

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Quentin Collins

Or THIS guy who has spread his seed far and wide across the entire galaxy?

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Captain James T. Kirk

So why are so many fans so damned hard on Barnabas Collins?

Because he admits to being in the wrong at times. His sensitive nature exists under his putrescent misdeeds and errors. He kidnapped Maggie Evans not for lustful needs. It was because he missed someone. And he missed her desperately. And he could not remember what had happened after over a century of being locked in a coffin. He mainly just felt it. I’d love to see someone else endure that agony better.

He wants to make his lost lady happy and live with her forever, as Dracula does, a specific lady with the same qualities. This is, of course, jagged and twisted and wrong to do in this manner, but the best part is in Maggie Evans saying, “I’m not her! I can’t be her!”

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No… of course she can’t. But like anyone who can’t wrap their minds beyond a single genre of entertainment: drama, comedy, romance, family, horror, etc… Is there not a way to engage in a mixture, which is what life is?

And this is his mistake: forcing, not asking, not requesting. And later he understands this and feels that guilt. The complexity is stronger with Barnabas Collins, and when people see that guilt the bully in them ignites. They won’t touch someone who says, “Yeah, I screw with people’s heads. I get-off on it.” Those types are too hot to handle.

However, a man who confesses to being in the wrong?

Oh… those bullies feed on that. And it’s much easier to kick down a complex fictional character who also happens to be an icon. And they ALL truly believe THEY know what’s best for him. That mommy-knows-best attitude. No asking the gentleman… just tell him.

But bullies do cast these same fires on real people. They do.

My family, my friends, my peers, the social organizations and institutions of schools and “guiding” adults: They did this to me most of my life, which is almost 4 decades long now.

I see what’s happening with Barnabas Collins.

It happened to me.

Now… even with the lack of support a comedienne generally requires from her audience, coupled with the bullied history…

Can you see why I have been so pissed?

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And don’t even get me started on Willie Loomis…

😉