Audio Drama. Radio Plays. Fiction Podcasts. However you say it, it all amounts to the same thing...stories for your ear holes. There are two wonderful things about this medium in this non-expert's opinion. First, it's cheap (relatively speaking). Making a web series on the scale of starship battles or raging orcish hordes is next to impossible. Doing that for radio just means layering on more sounds or occasionally going to a convention and having people run around and yell.
And two...it's still a developing market. There are so many stories that have been told in movies, TV, books, and comics that can still work in audio drama. What's more, there are whole swaths of time when people will WANT to listen to your work and CAN'T do most of those other things...namely during their commutes.
So anyway...the point of this was not to go on about my feelings on this medium I occasionally write in, but to pimp out my friends to you, the five people who will visit this blog.
If you're looking for something new to add to your iPod playlist, don't worry, Radio Drama Revival has already done the work for you. Now hosted by former Our Fair City writer/producer/actor/cook/jealousy-inducing overachiever David Rheinstrom, every episode showcases a different production, complete with interviews. With his enthusiasm, love of the medium, and good taste, David will find you something you will love. I guarantee it. (Note: Not an actual guarantee.
Here is an episode he did about Wolf 359.
Following the crew of the USS Hephaestus Station as it circles the red dwarf Wolf 359. Doug Eiffel's logs detailing his many attempts to avoid work during the tedium that is a five hundred day mission are hilarious up until the point where it becomes dramatic AND hilarious. Featuring the officious Lt. Minkowski (pronounced Min-koff-ski), the "mad" scientist Dr. Hilbert, HERA the station A.I. and arguably Doug's best friend, and...others. Also a plant monster! Come on, you can't say no to a plant monster.
Another uproariously funny (trying not to use hilarious twice) podcast. Dr. Francis "Oppenheimer" Valdini has accidentally blown a whole in the multiverse using the Hadron Collider and its up to Mike, the kidnapped I.T. guy from a now erased universe, to help fix it. With occasional visits from a character called Commander Funk, how can you not love it.
In the mood for something a little more serious and seriously spooky? These Pacific Northwest Stories dramas are the best out there right now. Taking from the Serial/NPR style and applying them to tales of ghosts (Black Tapes) and a weird...uh...extradimensional location (TANIS?), these are two of the most popular audio drama offerings today. And they only OCCASIONALLY make you want to sleep with the light on.
Yes, I write for it. Yes, I'm including it here. Shut up, I can do what I want!
I live variety show performed here in Chicago every three months or so, the Whiskey Radio Hour is not only fun to watch, but also an OPPORTUNITY. Each episode is comprised of about five scripts submitted by writers including yours truly. So if you want to cut your teeth on radio plays and see them performed in a friendly, slightly tipsy environment, head over to their website and SUBMIT!
WildClaw Theatre's flagship production is a night of staged horror radio plays. Again, this isn't just a fun and exciting show to go see (pretty much the best foley you'll ever witness on stage), but an opportunity for writers (also actors and directors.) Who knows, the judges may even award you the highest possible honor: the coveted Bloody Axe Award! Head over to WildClaw's website for more information. Or don't. I don't actually need more competition for this one.
So that's enough homework for now. Go check all that out and when you're done come back and I'll have some more assignments for you.