November 23, 2013, by Eve
I’m on Air: The Making of a Radio Play
Not many people know it but I am a certified voice actor – I didn’t even know it myself until the head of URN radio drama asked me to be in a rather amusing radio play called ‘Society Rules’. The first episode, ‘Let Them Eat Cake’, was broadcast last Saturday – I was broadcast last Saturday! As a matter of fact I missed myself but, due to the power of modern technology, I can listen again on the URN website and so can you.
Now many people have asked me – well, a couple – one or two – fine – I have often asked myself: what goes into making a student radio play? So I will take this moment to tell you exactly what does go in:
1 tip-top talented writer/director
5 seasoned actors (pepped with experience in the New Theatre and Improv)
1 bemused add-on (that’s me)
1 URN recording studio (best when booked)
4 satisfyingly squishy microphones
1 computer screen tracking spiky sound waves and gamma waves and energy waves
1 and a half boxes of biscuits and scrummy chocolate cornflash thingies
ONE: Read through script. It was very funny listening to all the other actors, I got so engaged in their performances I kept forgetting I was part of the play as well. ‘What do you think, Mel?’ I’d looked around to see what exactly Mel thought, crewing placidly on the chocolate cornflashies, only to realise everyone was looking at me.
TWO: Get to know your mic. I was a bit wearing of mine at first. It was like an enormous squidgy nose pointing threateningly into my nose as if threatening it to take the first sniff. It was rather like encountering a hippogriff: bow, give your respect to the beast, then you can stroke it. In fact I ended up enjoying the squishy texture of my mic so much I ended up nuzzling into it when the others weren’t looking.
THREE: Get your line right first time. We brushed through some of the scenes quite quickly, with only two or three repetitions. Then it came to my scenes. It’s amazing how many different ways there are to say a line. It’s also funny to note how words become meaningless the more you say them.
to-tally weir-d tot-ally we-ird to-ta-lly w-e-ir-d totally weird totally weird totalwird totalwerd totlwerd totlweed toalward!!
Yes, I had to repeat my lines a lot. I was defiantly the Neville in a class of Hermiones (oh dear, far too many Harry Potter references in this blog).
FOUR: Putting it all together and mix. Not everyone was present at every recording which made it – pardon my repetition – totally weird to hear the final recording and your conversation with someone who you never met is so smooth and natural.
FIVE: Promote the play to family and friend – either by a quick share on facebook or a long rambling student blog.
So, here it is – for your ear’s pleasure – ‘Society Rules’: a comic radio play about a society. And it rules!
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