Radio Days or When I Was a DJ or Finding Voices

Claudius was hereI used to have nightmares because of Latin class.

I took Latin when I was in school for three years, between 7th and 9th grade. I was drawn to the classes, not because of it being a gateway to other languages, but more because of its literary history.  See, by this point, I was reading everything I could get my hands on, and usually my focus was on the classics, not what typical junior high kids were devouring. “No, thank you. You can keep your Stephen King, I’m re-reading Hemingway this week.”

Latin was a tie to great mythology, it was a connection to those random quotes in a novel that I had no idea what was being said. In a literary sense, it felt like the opportunity to dig around the base of a tree and see the root underneath.

The teacher of the classes was Mr. Black, and looking back over those three years with him I still can’t put my finger really on his personality. He could go up and down pretty quickly, did he like to teach or hate it? Did he even like us or hate us? Now I almost wonder if he was bipolar, and that could explain the oddness of the experience. (He would also show us I, Claudius in class, if you can believe it. He would run up with a big piece of paper to cover up the screen whenever the “naughty bits” would come on; of course, most of the time he didn’t get to the TV in time.  Yes, he taught kids like me all about the history of Caligula.)

Mr. Black would have the students recite and speak Latin in class, and while I was basically average in reading Latin on the page, I couldn’t do it aloud. It was too much for my tongue. It is those moments that used to haunt me, standing up, hands sweaty, all of the eyes on me as I tried to recite a passage perfectly. The other students would sometimes hide their laughter, many times they didn’t. And there was Mr. Black in the front shaking his head, frowning, with almost a mocking smirk hiding behind his eyes. Continue reading

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Notes From THE HONEYMOON, What Would Have Been the Last Part of The Dante 3

While creating the scripts for Time Out Of Mind, the proposed sequel to The Dante Experience, I began to take notes and scribble ideas for the third and final part, which had the working title of The Honeymoon.

I always knew I wanted the series to be a trilogy. Where I saw the first part being the afterlife and the second being time, I wanted the third to be a little more personal, and less large scale.  For some reason I became fascinated by the idea of putting as many of my characters as I could on a boat in the middle of the ocean… and seeing what happens.

After sending Time Out Of Mind to Mind’s Ear and realizing it was not going to happen, my notes and scenes for The Honeymoon became… well… history. Continue reading

Episode Ten: Time Out Of Mind

Episode 10 of

Time Out Of Mind,

The sequel to

The Dante Experience

“Gettysburg”

OPENING CREDITS

Scene 1

SOUND: Of Heaven

MICHAEL: Hazzah, your stellarness! I have good news for you. The communication link has been set up and I can get our team to fight the dragons!

REPAIR ANGEL: I said, I would fix it… All you had to do was wait.

MICHAEL: Not now! I’m talking to the big guy…Anyway, your infiniteness, I’m about to make contact with our team. Jenkins, can you hear me? Hello?

Scene 2

SOUND: Of Beach.

MICHAEL: Jenkins.

JENKINS: Oh, great, it’s Angel Michael.

ALL: (Sigh) Continue reading

Episode Five: Time Out Of Mind

Episode 5 of

Time Out Of Mind,

the sequel to

The Dante Experience

“A Night at the Theater”

OPENING CREDITS

Scene 1

SOUND: Of Heaven.

MICHAEL: Hello, your holiness, I have returned. I’m sorry about all that and my date. I’m so red. I mean, if angels could blush I would be red, not red like a devil or anything. Red just doesn’t work for me. Tried dressing up as a devil once for Halloween. I had this little tail and pitchfork and I was poking people with it and you probably don’t want to hear about that. Anyway, I brought some paradise cleaner that should help the mess and… Ok, I’ll just put it here.

SOUND: Putting cleaning supplies down.

MICHAEL: Ok, let me boot up my computer and the surveillance equipment and the video players and see what I have missed. Let’s see… Well, at least some good news since we know that one of the dragons is in Camelot. Of course, you can’t help but wonder what the other dragons have gone and what they are planning and… Do you wonder things like that? I mean… Nevermind. So the group is in the right spot. The group, now including Benjamin Franklin, are in the court of King Arthur. Our team of General Joseph, Jenkins and Dante are… Hmmm… Oh, here they are.

SOUND: Computer Beep.

MICHAEL: They have escaped France after having their heads chopped off and have been transported by the Angel Transportation League to a small village near Camelot. Continue reading

Episode Four: Time Out Of Mind

Episode 4 of

Time Out Of Mind,

the sequel to

The Dante Experience

“Michael Has a Date”

OPENING CREDITS

Scene 1

SOUND: Of Heaven

MICHAEL: (Flying in) Hello, hello. Sir. I received your page. What’s going on is something wrong? What is that you have there?

SOUND: Paper rustling.

MICHAEL: For me? Ok, let me just read this note and… Ok, you really didn’t need the swear words! All you had to do was ask? I’ll tell you what is going on? No problem. I’ll just boot up the system here and as I do, I will tell you…

SOUND: Computer booting up.

MICHAEL: Ok, there we go… In the year 3020, genetic engineers on earth have developed the capability to create dragons. And these creatures, as I’ve been told by those damn future watchers, were used to for sport at amusement parks. See, mankind has always had a fascination with dragons- from bad movies to bad… well, frankly a lot of bad things, probably one of the reasons that the dragons are upset right there. Anyway, these futuristic dragons would be created, raised for a week then killed for sport by a knight… Now where the problem took place is that they kept recreating the same dragons! You see what I am getting at?… No? Ok, well, these dragons hate being brought to life and being killed over and over again, so one of the smart ones, Smaug is his name, decided to seek revenge. So him and his fellow dragons broke out of the lab early and stole a time traveling device in the hope of destroying mankind in the past where he doesn’t have the tools to fight back… Of course what they don’t realize is if they destroy man in the past, they will be erased from existence…

SOUND: Of computer beeping.

MICHAEL: And if they go back too far, maybe wipe all of us out of existence… Not you, of course, but for us it is sticky situation.  Right now, the only people that can save the day are the group from the Dante Experience since they were given the weapon from the knight. And, as luck would have it, they have already killed one of the five in revolutionary Paris and…

KELLII: (chewing gum) What is this place? What is that smell? It smells like incense. Continue reading

Episode One: Time Out Of Mind

Episode 1 of

Time Out Of Mind,

the sequel to

The Dante Experience

“A Whole New Mess”

OPENING CREDITS

Scene 1

SOUND: Of God’s throne room.

MICHAEL: Good morning your holy sir. It’s me, Angel Michael X34267-1. I know, I know you banned me from your throne room after the, ahh, incident last year. I don’t know how I can be blamed for the Dante Experience but… You’re making that face again. You’re making that face and so I know you are not happy and…

SOUND: Lighting!

MICHAEL: Whoa, Whoa! Come on! Let’s be reasonable here. Do you seriously think I would bother the big Guy if I didn’t have a reason? I’m not stupid…. Ok, I’m stupid. I agree with you there. But this is important. And there is a reason why I was chosen to discuss the situation with you.

MOVING ANGEL: Where do you want this stuff?

MICHAEL: Oh, great the computer supplies are here. Just set them up here.

MOVING ANGEL: Wow, is that who I think it is?

MICHAEL: Yeah, it is… Don’t stare, he doesn’t like it. Continue reading

Episode 6 of The Dante Experience

It is friday and Hell is calling you for episode 6 of The Dante Experience. Take the call, this is one of my favorite episodes in the series. Here is the link:

You can find links to the previous episodes (as well as read about the writing of the series) via the links on the Dante 3 page (top of the page, right up there^). And remember, you can find the series on amazon (here) or by contacting the production company that made it, Mind’s Ear Audio Productions.

Here is the next chapter in the writing of the series:

Moving Right Along

Frankly, I moved on.

While others may have left the Midwest Radio Theater Workshop that year inspired to make their own radio dramas, I left feeling like I had just finished a funeral and everyone else didn’t know the host was a corpse. The fact that a few years later the MRTW disbanded because of internal conflict didn’t surprise me. There was definitely a power struggle among their different heads, and each seemed to have their own vision of what radio drama can be used for. Continue reading