Episode One: Parapsychology (How to review The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows)

Good Lord, I am now creating comprehension questions for my series. It’s like I’m an underpaid teacher all over again. Well considering I’ve paid through the nose to create this bloody thing, the least I can get is commentary to the episodes in order to keep going, otherwise we’re going Grassroots with the series and I will send the new episodes to the people who have commented the most.

But what of Daryl’s teaching practices? Public school system? Yep, I was in it and I knew it sucked. Then I became a teacher and saw… yes, it still sucks. And wow, look at all the administrative politics involved too!

We had a different classroom, one where we didn’t know which students had already read what. The text books were as boring and crappy as I remembered when I was going to school. So as a teacher? What did I do? I changed it.

James Burke and Schwepps

As James Burke explains in the last episode of Connections, “I’m not saying give everyone a computer and tell them ‘Help yourself’. Where would you even start? Ask yourself if there is anything in your life that you want changed. That’s where you start.” 

As a teacher I brought in material I knew high school kids would enjoy and also worked in themes: Marxism (as in Groucho, etc. Not Karl), Morbidity, which stretched to articles in the zine Morbid Curiosity as well as other bits by L.M. Montgomery that I could find. I went into Pirates, which I’d studied heavily, and we enjoyed The Buccaneer with Yul Brynner as Jean Lafitte. We studied The Beat Generation and what the Beatnik movement did. I typed up and brought in my Aunt’s own program as I knew her writing was spot on. The result?

“Daryl is different. She gives stories to her classroom I actually want to read!”


So perhaps this is necessary for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. In order to understand how to comment on the material? I suppose comprehension questions are in order. If I get nothing but numbers again I doubt I’ll keep doing this, well, unless Helena enjoys going over the material once more and answering the questions.

So this might take two windows to do, but I have a feeling a number of you out there do have that capability. So let us start with episode one. Read the scenes (or listen) and answer the questions with your own personal reflections in the review or comment boxes. Here we go:


Text of Episode One

The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, Episode One: Parapsychology

  • How did you enjoy Wadsworth and Roger’s entrance to The Old House? Some amusing bits happen there.
  • As Barnabas enters Collinwood did you enjoy the joke Victoria made about Roger? How about the kitchen? Did it slowly dawn on you who was creating the mess?
  • Barnabas returns home to find Wadsworth in Josette’s room. Any startling discoveries there? Fun bits?
  • Carolyn, Burke and the parapsychologists from “Poltergeist”. Out of place in time but still, any amusement for this part? Also we see who has been causing the trouble in the kitchen. Can I get an “Ah-hahaha!” for that? 🙂
  • Barnabas meets Maggie again at the coffee shop, likely wondering how he got up the courage to go. (This is post-kidnapped Maggie, after all.) Any fun stuff there? (By the way, I made up Mildred Mayhem.) Considering Wadsworth was played by Tim Curry there are little Rocky Horror jokes laced throughout my show.
  • The ride home with Wadsworth, goofy stuff occurs, of course but the moral of what Wadsworth expresses in Maggie’s looks? How did that strike you?
  • Ah, and then finding Roger outside the house to explain all that’s been going on. Well, here comes Wadsworth again with an explanation to ease their minds. And of course the outro song. How was that for enjoyment?

And here is the link for the audio:

Episode One: Parapsychology


Again, if this works, I’ll keep posting more comprehension questions. Don’t worry. I’m not your usual teacher. Frankly, I’m fed up with public education and think we all should be getting something much better considering all the problems and money that goes into it.

Peace.

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Things I’m Grateful For…

snake pit we never close

Yes, this is a bored and waiting Dr. “Hawkeye” Pierce wondering when his damn turn is coming up. I channeled him a little too early for a while, and as a result I began smelling each bite of my food. It was a bit disturbing.

Funny portion I found when I made a tired post on facebook, I was looking through what photo to use to show that and then I found this:

Dear dad who the hell is Julia Hoffman

It cracked me and a few people up because I’d labeled it: “Dear Dad, Who the hell is Julia Hoffman?”


Man, I had no idea what I was getting into when I started all this via crappy equipment back in 2011. As for me it’s seems my whole life has been built to do all of this. I wanted a good education but mainly what I got was pop culture entertainment. Trying to get a good education resulted in learning how whacked-out humans can truly be. They say one thing and then go around doing the opposite. That’s why I like when someone puts up news of good deeds, even when it comes from non-human beings. Then all the comedy and humour I’ve imbibed, as well as the techniques for improving memory. Historical research from both curiousity and from trying to get my original material accurate. Money has always been a major problem, but when I got a little? I stopped buying cheap trinkets and got a ton of dictionaries, lexicons, thesaurus’, synonym/antonym books, and just studied on my own. Could barely afford college so I didn’t attend enough there.

Then someone suggested Vladimir Nabokov. Whoah! This man can WRITE! And English wasn’t his first language? Well this guy is speaking MY language! Wow! I was starting with Transparent Things, if memory serves, and he began a discourse on how when one focuses on a material object the history of that object links in. “Transparent things, through which the past shines!” Yes! Like James Burke’s series, “Connections”! Associative memory! Exactly.

And associative memory is how comedy works. How did Robin Williams accomplish such speed? One thing led to another, and then another and another. He kept going. And this is likely why improvisation was one of his favourite activities. The exploration of the human mind, where might this story go if I become a character or set of characters and let them take over? And as many of us know, it goes far!

Many a character had been taken into my psyche and in depth, as well as original characters I formulated, both to discover them and to discover my own identity. Then I come into Dark Shadows. Wow! These people gots problems! But why? What’s so bad about spooky? Oh! Okay, they aren’t getting the nice spooky. Hmm, what about all those other shows in the 1960s that did get the nice spooky?

Blending them together as accurately as possible? This is why The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows is so damn funny. Put all those fun spooks together with spooky people who are hurting? It’s HEALING TIME! Woo-woo! And then… are they meeting for the first time? No. Doing the research and I find, these people could essentially know each other already. Pasts are left open on many shows to allow that flexibility.

As in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

SPOCK: It’s true. I do not have a brother… I have a half-brother.

Sybok

Sybok, Jedi Santa Claus of Vulcan

Come on, THAT must have made ya laugh!

Anyway, as we look over the wild list of characters in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, we find these characters being re-acquainted:

Wadsworth and Willie Loomis

Sophia Petrillo and Mrs. Johnson

Elizabeth Stoddard and Lily Munster

Dr. “Hawkeye” Pierce and Dr. Julia Hoffman

Sam Evans/Andre Dupres and Captain Daniel Gregg

As for Endora and Angelique? Of course they know each other!

Then the poor residents of Collinsport have been hooked into being stressed-out so long they’re almost addicted to it. These old acquaintances help them to remember things they’d forgotten, one of those things being how to laugh and enjoy life. (Sound like any DS fans out there?) And again, becoming a comedienne, as  I was hoisted into the massive gaggle of Dark Shadows fans with something different and all the baggage so many have been carting around for so long, using humour is likely how one could get poor Barnabas and Josette to each other in the 1960s.

laughter

Tragedy never seemed to work.


So the list of things to be grateful for:

  • An accidentally healed marriage! (HELL YEAH!)
  • Some bare knowledge that people have been laughing their heads off at my audio work.
  • A re-kindled love for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.
  • New material from Sir Simon Milligan & Manservant Hecubus. (They deserved a new job together. 🙂 )
  • Finding people who love Thayer David.
  • Seeing Sharon Lentz’s new kitten. (DAMN, that lil’ one is cute!)
  • Finding people who actually love Barnabas Collins and see the depth of his character.
  • Devoted people who don’t believe the hype.
  • New friends who tell you their news and don’t just post memes.
  • Reaching Dark Shadows fans who don’t touch DS fan pages because they know better.
  • Bringing forth new creativity in those who have shown me kindness.
  • Pen pals who still care after all of this time wanting other news. (They now understand there really is no other news.)
  • Long talks on skype with new buddies who have the same passions.
  • Winning “Dark Shadows Memories” from an Angelique/Barnabas fan who likes Monty Python and is awesome.
  • Getting in touch with the Goth crowds again. Damn it, I’m HOME!

But the best thing of all? Many fans of Josette/Barnabas or Maggie/Barnabas, as well as those who puzzled out the reincarnation for so long. They all thought they were alone. Now? They’re meeting and sharing that love for them together. They love the marriage novel. They love seeing the two happy at last. They even love seeing the parallel between Barnabas/Josette & Gomez/Morticia. You know it’s there just from the reciprocation and how strong it is, as well as how spooky.

 10175057_619242404826668_3710753333125894799_ngomez-and-morticia-love

As well as other folks who said, “Well, yeah, Barnabas/Josette was a big duh to me, too.”

The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows reaches people who normally “avoid anything smelling even remotely like fan fiction”. It’s read to them, it mixes up the things they like, it gives them the characters in recognizable patterns as well as having them let their hair down. It incorporates other shows and movies they love. (Really, who didn’t want more Wadsworth?)  It questions who we are which is a Western Civilization staple that has been extremely neglected for the last decade. And unlike certain other pairings preferences we show our virtue by saying to others, “Don’t like it? There’s plenty of what you want elsewhere. Go and have it.” But what do they do? They troll. They expound insecurities. They have fits. It almost gives one a warm glow.

I got my last troll review about a fortnight to a month ago. I threw back my head and laughed. It was honestly, truly hilarious.

So in all of these things, we have to thank someone for making the internet better, even when we’re ticked-off at malfunctions and mechanical flaws. Someone was trying to bring us all together. Now the problem is getting us to chat more about what we like, solving problems, and bringing some kind of halt to so much clutter. I’d be very grateful for that.

The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows Radio Drama & Podcast

Peace.