Pit Update: August 2017 & Retrospective

2017 August F

 

Study encouragement for The Addams Family, lining things up for Pit Episode 18 in script, wonderful results from pen pals and confusing results from online bystanders. Suggestion of postage stamps if one desires to send a gift. The repercussions of our implicit trust in “Mommy Internet”.

 
Retrospective via Milligan and Hecubus, Sam and Barnabas, gift of lingerie joke for Helena, Dr. Hoffman and Prof. Stokes romance, Clue-like scene in Hoffman’s office, Barnabas and Maggie’s romance.

 
Deep consideration of Willie Loomis’ character overall and his personal challenges between Dark Shadows and The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows.

 
The reasons for variations of Dark Shadows soundtracks in the confrontation scene between Willie and Barnabas, the challenge of the scene and the shock in how it came into being.

 
My favourite scene, thus far, in the whole series: Roger and Elizabeth opening the mail and discussing their supernatural relations in a down-to-earth fashion.

 
All the key points of importance in the final scene of Episode 14 with Wadsworth and Willie, reflections of Dark Shadows, modern life, storytelling, and our interconnection to each other.

 
Where to go from here: pride in new pen friends, encouragement to youth, invitation for more personal contact, and the reflection of Willie Loomis’ heroism reaching to his refusal to remain a bystander.

Theme for this podcast: “Paranya” by Silenzium (2011)

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Downloadable from iTunes, as always…

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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! ❤

 

Working on Episode 16 And A Ton of Other Stuff

Well, it’s been almost twenty days since I put together a blog post. That latest one about renewed fans and new fans seemed to help a lot of people. And really, it’s sad that we’ve boiled down so many troubles to the basic sibling-rivalry, but I’m often pleased when I finally figure out a problem. Sheesh! I was just writing to my cousin, “Man! This ain’t no Starfleet. DAYUM!”

Then my newest buddy and I were discussing some of the crappier writings out there just dissing on these characters. We’re just flabbergasted to the point it becomes hilarious. It’s like, “Do they enjoy this show, Dark Shadows? Dare we ask, do they watch this show? Why are they so damned confused by the characters all of the time? Probably need a good year doing something else, or paying attention to other things. All the conformity going on, you’d think they’d enjoy Donna Reed or Ozzie & Harriet much, much more! It’s a lot easier to digest.”

I can’t be the only person out there having this experience wherein people write to me and ask, “Um, what’s wrong with everyone who is into Dark Shadows? I went looking for stuff about the program and accidentally came across this mean stuff, and this fanfiction that was poorly written and didn’t contain the real characters at all.” Yeah, I gotta say… there’s a lot of embittered nostalgia going on with it. No wonder so many Ghost & Mrs. Muir fans are so quiet. I can merely deduce that they hear The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and think, “Blast! This is good but those DS fans are so crazy! Thank God she’s got The Addams Family in there. They’ll have a gas.”

Then even nice fans of Dark Shadows are all tripped-out and scared, as if to say, “I’ll tune in, but you’re on your own. Good luck! ” Thanks a lot, people. Someone else told me, “This has got to be the most dysfunctional fandom I’ve ever encountered.”

To top it off? Watching Dark Shadows? It’s very soothing! It’s as if watching the show is the therapy you need for all the fandom bickering going on.

281 I couldn't let her go through that death again.

You go back and just get lost in Roger Collins having fun with how frightful the costume party séance was and all the enjoyably witty dialogue he has with everyone else, Elizabeth coming down on her brother for being so delighted by the whole thing, and even Victoria, who got possessed by Josette’s ghost, agrees that the party was a success. (DS 281)

Next Barnabas brings over a book for Victoria and Burke Devlin is having a cow over her obsession with the past or whatever, and Carolyn is kind of agreeing but doesn’t feel it’s exactly her place to say. Then Barnabas shows up to ask if she got the darn book, and Anthony George flubs his line, “Hickory—history kick.” We never find out what the hell book it is! (Which ticks me off, of course, as I’m the old-book person.) And then you just kind of decide all the fandom bickering is much like the stupid hullabaloo Burke is having over Victoria’s interest. This was why I didn’t see Burke winning Victoria, really. What did he want? June Cleaver? (He’d probably be unhappy with June too for speaking Jive on “Airplane.”)

As for myself, the pen pal world is actually thriving more than I thought. I knew of three sources in the zine world and now I’m finding more. That’s the deal. You gotta do the paper thing to get the paper thing, and this is likely why the pen pal zines help each other out by advertising each other in their own zine. Try going online these days for pen pals and it’s mostly an exciting novelty that fizzles from a would-be pen pal’s mind after the first exchange, likely brought on by several re-surges back to the five-second attention-span addictions. (I also found another age variable in this technological mess, but I’ll mention that later, or if somebody asks.)

And yep! If you still don’t believe in the powerful love of Barnabas & Josette? Guess whose marriage is still getting the perks from it?

more b and w

And it’s not like I don’t want other people to enjoy a relationship like this. I’m making a relief series for a soap opera. Come on! I obviously like to help people. That’s why I keep telling so many to really, really watch “What To Do On A Date”! It might be corny, but it really does make a good point. Plus with how messed up everyone is we all might need stuff as simplistic as Coronet Instructional Films. They were heckled on MST3K for that reason, but if so many people have regressed, the messages are likely useful once again.

So I’ve been watching the shows I’m incorporating. Getting some good inspiration for Margaret Josette Dupres, as well as appreciating the comments as so many are in it for the couple and are seeing the characters as they are, and able to picture them from their style of speaking. (This goes for The Pit of Ultimate… as well. Just two more Q & A’s done for Episode 14 and we can shimmy ahead.) Oh, and doing some bitty snipping for the audio of Episode 16. It’s not often, but the boys get me through some of it. If the lines they give me weren’t so darned hilarious it would be tough to sit there and work on.

Jonah (who we’ve mentioned on the podcast) called the other night, quite excited. A few others have been in touch too so it does look a bit like the break-away from zombie-mode is beginning. *knock on wood* A generous donation arrived which made me almost faint. (Thank you!) Glad I was sitting down.

Church is still bringing in needed morals for me and others. You can imagine what they say about all the haters I’ve had to put up with. I’m mainly grateful to be sane enough that I can have face-to-face discussions about all of this. I think about all the haters who are so angry at me, and how if they brought up why in conversation with someone in a church setting, they probably wouldn’t get much support; “You’re angry with who? About what? Wait, you like this show that I’ve never heard of, and you hate the characters on it? And this lady is making a new version of the show where things are being solved and getting better and… what? Okay, hold on, hold on. Um… well, why don’t you stop paying attention to her? … Hey, um, I have to… use the restroom… that’s it, yeah… I’ll get back to you, honey.”

_________________________________________________

For Episode 16 I’m considering giving my Hawkeye attempt just one more try. He is just so hard to sound out. The lines are great for him, but my impression leaves much to be desired. Then again, we are talking about Alan Alda who has one of the oddest voices you can think of. (Yes, the hardest voice to do is no longer Barnabas Collins!)

There is a spooky scene that I’m really having trouble deciding music for. The brooding sounds I’m imagining in my mind are closer to experimental music than anything simply Gothic. It’s also odd because the theme I’d usually complete an episode with is going to be in the middle rather than the end, so it kind of winds up being similar to certain Monty Python episodes in that regard. The actual episode will finish with a sound effect and Hecubus giggling.

Maggie will finally meet the ghost of Caleb in Episode 16, and the great thing about that is with her various reincarnations surfacing she shan’t be scared of him at all. She’s got some one-ups on the guy and he digs that. I’d like to start the writing for Episode 17, but 16 truly needs to be more or less finished before I can access the next steps. (My only bummer is it doesn’t look like Wadsworth, nor Willie, is going to fit in episode 17, but then again I’m trying to make the episodes shorter for time. It’s awkward having them the length of a Downton Abbey episode.)

What I would love is if I could find out more about the original writers rigmarole. They must have had a balancing act put together to make up for how continual the process was. I’ve got gobs of books about the show but I’m not sure where to look for that precisely.

That’s about it. Hope some people are reading this and digesting the information enough to square away some lifestyle choices. As Ferris Bueller is quoted to say, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ❤

Episode 2: Chamber Pots & Coffee Cups, Q &A

Yep! We are continuing on with the comprehension questions. Now if I only wanted to test your comprehension skills I would have done like I did at the high-school: give you inquiries with multiple choices to circle. Please forgive me if I would appreciate your thoughts on these episodes. For many a fic-writer I have unfortunately learned it is, “my story, my glory”.

Oh? Then? Write your own original material and be done with it if that is how you feel? I certainly have about my own original material, but even then? Why bother sharing it if there is to be no discussion whatsoever?

cheese shop

“Well, I’m sorry… but I’m going to have to shoot you.”

As Cleese expresses when he shoots Palin’s character in the audio version of Monty Python’s Cheese Shop sketch: “What a senseless waste of human life!”


And now? Onto the questions for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, episode 2: Chamber Pots & Coffee Cups:

Episode 2

The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, Episode Two: Chamber Pots & Coffee Cups

(Just if you would like to have some practice, you know. Complete sentences, please.)


1) Milligan & Hecubus explain everything that happens in Dark Shadows as we skip along, so this episode, as with #3, are a weave-in to the original show. Did you find all the catch-up material adequate?


2) Then we relive Victoria’s return from 1795, with the household cracking more jokes. And suddenly Julia Hoffman IS a doctor! (Rather than a historian.) Thoughts on that?


3) Ah yes, the chamber pot issue. Later Victoria recalls seeing George from “The Time Machine” as she came back. Hopefully that music cue was familiar. How’d ya dig it?


4) Oh dear, Wadsworth and Dr. Hoffman aren’t getting along. She likely sees him as competition to healing Barnabas’ troubles. (And considering Dr. Lang, I don’t blame her!) How did you enjoy this scene? (Especially with Peter Bradford’s cameo? LOL)


5) Now the coffee cups part. Maggie & Sam? They seem to be somewhat aloof as to caffeine and what it does. How did you enjoy this scene?


6) Ah, and now we blend the darkness back in as Barnabas reaches his “staring window”. Wadsworth pointing out changes Barnabas could make to how he treats people. What did you pick up there?


7) Carolyn and Julia, now we’re getting some healing done. Pretty good scene with some humour. How did you take to it?


8) Sam and Maggie reach The Old House. There is actually some geographical teaching involved in this scene. Can you tell where? Also we have Wadsworth giving Maggie Evans the earrings now (rather than Willie doing it.)


9) Last but not least, yes… Roger answers the phone and Miss Cleo is on it. Enjoyment on that? Also the Annette Hanshaw song. I felt it was pretty obvious by this point who Barnabas was shooting for.


And here is where it is best to relay your responses (in complete sentences, por favor).

Episode 2 in text…

But honestly? After all of this time? I have actually held this product in my hands…

miss cleo tarot deck

If you cannot at least review with, “WTF?! MISS CLEO?” Something is seriously wrong. 😛

Peace.

Episode 15, Editing… One Step At A Time

Might as well make another blog entry about how time consuming this creation is for people who probably listen with total aloofness. (I can only speculate on this since barely anyone will talk to me about it.) Why am I so cranky? Well I tend to only get to talk to people who let me down or say cruel things. When I get the rare feedback I’m often told I’ve been doing “professional” work as far as sound-quality, acting, writing, etc. But I’m not getting paid. So for me to mostly deal with invalidation while doing what is often quoted as professional work? Yep! You’re going to get someone who is major peeved most of the time.

My husband left off at episode 11 part two a number of weeks ago so this last weekend we listened to Episode 12, “Dark Therapy” together. He kept pinching bits and fragments of refuse off of the carpet to put into the garbage with a nit-picky nervousness. I just thought, “Hell… if this is what people do when they listen to the audio? Get out a note book and stare at it while you listen, and then write down some comments to send me. Better than getting all antsy.” I thought of this especially when he got up during the episode to peruse the kitchen and then calling out heckles at Tom Jennings. Dude! Save the heckles for Tom Jennings to put in the comment boxes!

DONNIE

Moving around all of that crap in Caleb’s House? Tom Jennings would enjoy receiving your heckles.

So today and yesterday, between fits of temper, I managed to enjoy the hilarious antics of Nicholas Blair and Vampire Angelique playing gin-rummy. I said we wanted to find a redemption for her we could digest, yes? Well, it’s slow going but right now she’s whipping Blair’s butt at gin-rummy and has just won seven games of it in a row. She’s also trying to remember who the hell was talking to her (,it was the ghost of Jeremiah,) when she was dead and what the point of it was. Good Girl!

If this didn’t bust me up so much it would be much harder to edit and get done. I remember doing a performance of this scene for my husband and we pretty much “wet-’em”. Then I’m splicing in lines for Barnabas which are at a higher pitch in performance to try and get Jonathan Frid’s voice more accurate. I really like this change. The Roger lines I’m cringing to pick. Yes, Louis Edmonds would more likely inflect this word in this manner but it’s sooooo hard to let go of the old demo version!

“Cassandra? Really? Seriously? BLONDE?

It was quite husky in the demo which is funnier but not how Roger would say it, so I had to accept the alteration.

I also re-performed Lily Munster’s lines to make them less high-pitched and more accurate to Yvonne DeCarlo’s performance of her. It seems the most difficult thing to decide on when multiple female characters are in the same scene and making sure they’re different enough. I am a woman. My voice is a variance of androgyny, and it really is the female voices that are harder for me. But I hopefully did well on this scene between Lily Dracula Munster and Vampire Angelique.

clean

Lily thought she sensed a kindred vampire around… nope. Vampire Angelique is a bit different, so she’s having a little “chat” with her. 😉

Thank God! The sound effects for this scene are already placed in there from earlier. Oh goodie! Now time to splice in some Roger lines. I remember asking Osheen if she knew enough about Roger and Elizabeth’s parents to get this scene authentic. Osheen expressed her knowledge of their parents and said this scene would work for authenticity. Yay! So here is what Roger Collins deduces about their cousin Lily…

roger

“Hmmnnn… Mother really should have told us more about her side of the family… but then… she did always say that it was complicated. And if it’s more complicated than our lives have been, I don’t blame her for not trying to explain it.”


Not sure if I’ll keep going today. Wish I had some correspondence to attend to, but that’s the update for Episode 15, “A Blundering Succubus”.

Peace.

THEE ultimate dark shadow…

I assure you… you just never knew. This is the darkest shadow of all…

constable carter I forget to tell em no mustard

Okay, I am officially getting weirded out by Constable Carter. He seems to go on for DAYS about the miserable offense of the deli putting mustard on his ham sandwich. Roger has some troubles, and granted the darn bleeder valve/Burke storyline goes on rather too long as it is, so maybe they wanted to break the monotony with Constable Carter’s mustard issues. Carter says, “I told them not to put mustard on it.” Lots of dialogue ensues, he looks at it again and says, “I just can’t stand mustard on ham.” Then some dude calls and he mentions his “stale sandwich”.

More Roger stuff and as he’s leaving Constable Carter AGAIN mutters, “Mustard”. Good Night, Irene! >_<

carter you know I never liked mustard on ham

No wonder the damn show made it to the sci-fi channel. This whole scenario sounds like something out of X Minus One.

One More Try…

Vic and Mor 1

I just don’t understand. Usually when someone makes a person laugh that person tells them what was laughed at, or when they are touched they express that. I want to give more, I want to do more, and I want to get through it.

If anyone tried to post comments on podomatic that didn’t go through please let me know. The only comments that I didn’t let through were double postings of the same comments.  (Helena and I are discussing email traffic so I can post her comments when she can’t get in.)

I’ve worked so hard, I’ve spent so much, I’ve given so much and I just want to go on. I remember a day last year when two writers were so excited to be posting their new chapters… I was happy for them.  They were looking forward to what their audience might say. Then I went to my kitchen to eat my lunch..  and I couldn’t.  I was in tears. “This isn’t fun for me anymore. This is a slow death because people can’t talk to me about what they enjoyed.” And I just kept crying.

I don’t understand. Most of the people enjoying this are writers and artists. Why is it so hard to type up a synopsis of what was enjoyed then copy and paste it into a review box? Of all that I’ve done, of all that I want to do, how is it people have become so inhuman?

In any case, here is the text link to it. Episodes unfold in various buttons and drop down menus. I doubt this will do anything but as many have said, “I have to try.”

Episodes One – Thirteen