Month: September 2019

Why Podcasting is Perfect for Lazy Actors

So people ask me “What in tarnation is this podcasting stuff, Polo?” Only they don’t usually say “what in tarnation,” I’m just substituting that for a less polite expression. Plus I like that when I first wrote “tarnation,” autocorrect autocorrected it to “Tarantino,” which I think is funny. In fact, I may just start saying “what in Tarantino…?” instead of “what in tarnation…?” from here on out. But I digress, as I usually do — have I ever told y’all that I have A.D.D.? No surprise there, it’s just like most every other artist you know, right? I actually have a “short attention span theater” line of products for actors at <shameless plug> cafepress.com/ctgr <end shameless plug>, featuring fragments of lyrics and lines from famous shows that all cut off in mid-sentence with “— LOOK, A CHICKEN!” They’re pretty popular, actors being what they are. But I digress, again.

So, what in Tarantino is this podcasting business, anyway? I’m glad you asked, even though you didn’t, really. Most podcasts these days are like TV talk shows, only without pictures, i.e., TV for ugly people. But there are other types of podcasts, too, including scripted podcasts, which are more like the modern-day equivalent of old-time radio — these feature actors acting out a script with sound effects and shit. That’s the kind I’m interested in, and it’s the kind I’m writing.

The majority of scripted podcasts tend to be in the sci-fi and horror genres — not surprising, given that to podcast, you need audio equipment, some technical know-how, and the internet, so the medium is tailor-made for adolescent males and older guys who should’ve given up video games by now but haven’t (technical term: adultescents). There are also audio dramas, really interesting documentaries (Serial is one of the best), as well as a few scripted true-crime podcasts, especially the ones from a group called Wondery. The true-crime podcasts are definitely more female-focused — as a long-time devotee of the serial-killers-stalking-women channel, a.k.a. Investigation Discovery, those are the ones that really got me listening to podcasts.

What is really scarce in the podcasting world are scripted comedy podcasts. There are some — Alba Salex and a series by Audioblivious Productions are good — but they’re rare. I like to tell myself that’s probably because it’s really hard to write and produce a scripted comedy podcast, NOT because nobody wants to listen to scripted comedy podcasts. And I’m gonna keep telling myself that.

So where do you find podcasts? On the internet, natch. Your phone probably has a podcasting app that will let you find podcasts to listen to. If it doesn’t, check out your respective store — iTunes and whatever the hell Google calls its Android thingie — and look for it. I’m not gonna tell you how to do that, we’re all grown-ups here. You can also listen to podcasts on Amazon Echo devices. And yeah, probably Google Home, too (can you tell this early adopter has a bias against johnny-come-lately Google devices?). Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher, and apps and sites that let you download or stream music are also good places to find podcasts. If you have a long commute or are getting ready to take a big honkin’ car trip, download a podcast or two — plus if your car radio and phone can talk to each other via USB or Bluetooth, everybody in the car can listen in. A good podcast can really make the time fly!

Well, this started out to be a post about why podcasting is the perfect medium for lazy actors who hate to learn lines, or for people who aren’t actors but whose friends keep telling them they need to be on stage, or for people who’ve been doing theater for a hundred years but don’t do it anymore because they no longer have the energy or the memorizing ability they had at one time, but I kinda blew that, didn’t I? So I’ll just cover all that by saying that podcasting allows you to perform with your script in your hand, and if you blow a line, we just re-record it. Which means you have no excuse for not auditioning for Muckey Landing, my scripted comedy love letter to lower, slower Delaware. Bookmark MuckeyLanding.com for audition info and Muckey Landing news, please follow us here and on Facebook, and share this post on your own FB timeline and tag anyone you think needs to know about it.

Maybe next time, I’ll give you some episode titles and plot run-downs of the episodes that I’ve already written. If the A.D.D doesn’t kick in.

Posted by Chris Polo - Muckey Landing Writer/Creator/Director in podcast

Filling Up…

We’ve only got 15 audition slots left! Woot! So, to all you peeps who have been hangin’ back, thinking no rush, October’s a long way off, you’ve got all the time in the world to get in on this… uh, no, ya don’t. And if you’re just not sure about this whole “podcasting” thing, watch for my post coming later this week – or this weekend — or… sometime — talkin’ all about how podcasting is the PERFECT medium for lazy actors who hate to learn lines.

Posted by Chris Polo - Muckey Landing Writer/Creator/Director in podcast, 0 comments

Muckey Landing In-Person Audition How-To and Whatnot

Muckey Landing - a  sort of a podcast

So I wanted to give this post a really funny title to enhance my street cred as a writer of awesomely comedic stuff, thereby enticing hoards of actors to fall all over themselves to audition for my podcast, but I’m experiencing a case of comedy brain blow-out this morning, and I ain’t got nothin’. Before anybody like Bruce says it — no, I wasn’t out drinking at Roma’s Sul Tempo last night. And he would know, because he’s got every bar in Dover wired to his butt and somehow ALWAYS MANAGES TO SHOW UP every time Mike and I go there. Just sayin’.

So, you wanna attend an in-person audition and get picked to be a big-timey voice actor on Muckey Landing – a sort of a podcast, huh? Well, here’s more of the low-down on how you can do that. First off, I assume you’ve already read my previous blog post on how to request an audition slot. If you haven’t, go read it now. I’ll wait.

After you’ve emailed me and I’ve finally gotten off my lazy ass and sent you an email to tell you when to show up at the Kent County Theatre Guild in Dover (hereinafter referred to as “the Guild”) for this here audition thingy, you have two choices on how to prepare. You can either spend your time obsessively going over all the available monologues, selecting and discarding the three you want to audition with over and over again while trying them out with different voices in the bathroom because the echo in there makes it sound like you’re on the radio, or you can skim through a couple of monologues five minutes before you stroll out the door and hope for the best. We prefer the former.

Once you arrive at “the Guild” at the scheduled time, you’ll find a few other people there — me, Mike, and Bruce for sure, and also other folks who are also there to audition. Try not to hate on the other auditioners, they’ve got as much right to be there as you do. And besides, if you get cast, they might, too, and then you’re going to have to pretend like you didn’t hate them after all and become one big happy family, like we’re required to do in the performing arts.

After everybody’s arrived, I’ll give you auditioning people a little speech wherein I’ll introduce those of us involved in the production of this little show, how Muckey Landing came to be, what we’re doing with it, and how we’re going to conduct these auditions. I like to hear myself talk, so at some point, Mike will tell me to shut the hell up and get on with it.

We’ll bring you up on stage one at time to audition while the other auditioners remain out in the lobby being very, very quiet because recording is in progress. (Note to other auditioners: Don’t make me come out there.) You’ll have a music stand to place your audition pieces on if you want it, and you’ll be speaking into a mic on a floor stand that we’ll adjust just for you because you’re special. We’ll do a sound check with you, and then record your audition pieces. Keep your chins up while you’re reading (literally — you’ll sound better if you’re not swallowing your sound looking down at a piece of paper), and try to knock our socks off. Really, we like being sockless.

Once you’ve done your readings, we may capriciously decide to have you read with Mike and Bruce, depending on what mood we’re in. (Bruce, this means you do have to actually show up for this, so plan on doing your laundry on Sunday instead.) Don’t read anything into it if we ask you to do this — it may be because I need to keep the two of them occupied because they’re getting mouthy and starting to get into trouble. Once you’ve left your soul on the stage and we’ve sucked every bit of acting ability right out of you, you’re free to leave “the Guild” and get on with your life.

Sometime after we’ve recorded everybody’s live auditions on October 12 and 19, we’ll throw the live audition recordings in with the online digital auditions we’ve received and listen to them all over again, because we’re that serious and meticulous and also gluttons for punishment. We’ll contact everyone after we’ve done that and made some decisions.

Some of you may be invited in to read and record because we have a part already written that you’re perfect for. Some of you we’ll keep in our back pockets (insert fart joke here) for future reference because we haven’t written anything you’re right for yet, but we might in the future. One or two of you may just be goddam awful, but we’ll keep you, too, just maybe in a side drawer or down in the basement somewhere. You never know, plus we’re certainly not gonna burn any bridges at this point.

So that’s the story for now. Keep an eye out for what we’re doing by checking in here at MuckeyLanding.com and following our Facebook page. So I don’t feel like I’m shouting into the void here — it’s a lonely experience, writing and blogging — feel free to leave any comments, questions, catcalls or deep thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you folks!

Posted by Chris Polo - Muckey Landing Writer/Creator/Director in auditions, podcast, 0 comments
Live Auditions Scheduled for Muckey Landing

Live Auditions Scheduled for Muckey Landing

We’re pleased to announce that in-person auditions for Muckey Landing – a sort of a podcast have been scheduled for Saturday, October 12 and Saturday, October 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Kent County Theatre Guild, 140 E. Roosevelt Avenue in Dover.To request an audition slot, please:

 

  • Send an email to MuckeyLanding@gmail.com with the subject line “Audition Request – [Your Name]”
  • Let us know whether you would like to audition on October 12 or October 19.
  • Because you are auditioning for a podcast, your audition will be recorded — please don’t request an audition if you’re terrified of microphones!
  • You HAVE to email us if you want to audition — we’re too disorganized to schedule auditions based on Facebook comments, and showing up without an appointment will just make us hate you for throwing our day all out of whack.

We’ll get back to you with a confirmation of your audition day (hopefully the one you want) and time (either 1, 2 or 3 p.m.). We’ll try to accommodate everyone, but we’re not making any guarantees — we’ve had a LOT of interest!

We know auditions can be kinda scary, but really, we’re very laid-back people and not scary at all, mostly. If you’ve always wanted to do something like this but hesitated because you didn’t know if you have what it takes, this is your big chance — so take a flyer, send us that email, and JUST DO IT!

Remember, big things are coming — to keep up with all the news from Muckey Landing, follow us on our website at MuckeyLanding.com and on Facebook. Spread the word, and break a leg, everyone!

 

Posted by Chris Polo - Muckey Landing Writer/Creator/Director in podcast, 0 comments