February 27, 2008

Podcast Drama: Saving Our Imaginations

(yeah, I know it's not Monday. It FEELS like Monday.)

A little while ago, I Twittered an article about the fall of radio, in which the writer said "Podccasting is the new radio." And I've been reading a lot of stuff about what radio can do to survive, should it survive, etc. So when I got the link to this article, I was REALLY curious.

I love this quote:

Every time we add a dimension to our performances and recordings, we not only add to the creator’s workload, we also — in an important sense — limit the audience’s experience.

THAT is what I like about radio -- I can use my imagination. It is, as they tell me, the "theater of the mind."

It started with books -- then we added the audio for radio, and people no longer had to imagine the voices and sounds. Then we added visuals, so we didn't have to imagine what the scene and characters looked like. It's hard to go backward -- I think that's a big part of why people don't read as much now; they don't have the imagination for it.

So podcast dramas like Pendant Audio, Decoder Ring Theatre, and others, are helping us recover our imagination.

Our imaginations need stretching. So you OWE it to yourself to listen to a podio-drama or two. Decoder Ring updates every other week, so there's a new show due on Saturday. Pendant has a bunch of different shows, so if you subscribe to all of them you should have at least one a week. They do some fan shows (DC superheroes like Batman, Superman, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman), but I really enjoy the original stuff. I just started listening to the Texas Radio Theater, and recommend them as well. Their shows are all original, though some are tributes to old-time radio programs (like Flash Gordon and Sherlock Holmes).

There's plenty out there. Go expand your mind, and use your imagination!

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 10:18 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 A hearty AMEN to that! I'm continually impressed at the level of professionalism that these people--as a labor of love, mind you--bring to their work. And, for that matter, what even the fan-inspired works contribute to their exemplars. For example, Darker Projects does a "Star Trek" project that takes place during the "next generation" but has all of the zip of the first. We also have storytellers who bridge the gap between prose and theater with their productions. One who immediately comes to mind is the gifted Christiana Ellis, whose "Nina Kimberly the Merciless" is officially a novel but often jumps the gap into theater. See (or rather, hear) her hilarious miniseries "Space Casey" for full-blown dramatics. Such is the amazing geometry of the mind--that these things take place within the cranium, yet their dimensions expand far beyond the widest screens of television or cinema.

Posted by: Michael Spence at February 27, 2008 12:09 PM (KXAxO)

2 I'm glad you mentioned Darker Projects -- I just finished listening to the latest episode of Falcon Banner. Outstanding voice work.

Posted by: Warren at February 27, 2008 04:27 PM (6ZwcZ)

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