This blog is about engagement! We need you to write and publish articles about the series so that listeners can steer the development of the series!
New Posts coming soon!
|Posted on August 28, 2015 at 9:50 AM||comments (9749)|
What is the Truth Booth?
The Peckham Truth Booth is a project inspired by the Artist Adam James and delivered in association with MOCA London. The truth booth is an uncensored stage aiming to celebrate free artistic expression and encourage community engagement. A range of free events are organised from July to September in Peckham’s Copeland Park. From workshops to live performances and screenings, all these events are focused on topics exploring the truth in collaboration with the audience.
492 Korna Klub radio series
492 korna klub cast members were invited to perform live on Friday 25th September 2015 at 7:30 pm. The ensemble, that is performing live improvised scenes around the characters of the radio series and interacting live with listeners on a weekly basis, will transfer this engaging atmosphere to the upcoming performance in front of a live audience.
492 Korna Klub project is inspired by the Theatre of the Oppressed and actors use theatre techniques such as Forum Theatre to challenge the audience and facilitate the discussion around social and controversial issues that concern us all. Over 75 episodes have been aired with great success and growing participation examining issues such as domestic violence, gangs, divorce, parenting and homosexuality so far.
492 Korna Klub live performance
Under the guidance of director Tony Cealy, the cast will develop stories around topics suggested by the audience and will also invite spectators on stage to take the place of one of the characters that is facing a dilemma or problem and propose solutions to determine the end of the scene. The goal is to achieve a more positive outcome and identify the challenges around empowerment and social cohesion.
Members of the audience will only have the opportunity to witness an innovative project but will also be able to ask the characters questions. Becoming actors themselves, the spectators will freely express their point of view and make suggestions to solve the problems presented. Actors will encourage and provoke the audience in search of the truth, in a performance led by the audience and shaped by collective decisions and contradictory opinions. Each performance could last up to 20mins, longer depending on the involvement and interactions from the audience.
|Posted on April 10, 2015 at 3:15 PM||comments (80)|
Two hour special episode!
To celebrate one year on air, our director Tony Cealy and our talented cast prepared a special two-hour episode. The episode started at 4 PM with a live improvised performance as usual and afterwards, you the listeners called and shared your views with us. At 5 PM our actors improvised new scenes according to your feedback and suggestions. The goal of this show is to encourage community engagement. Everyone is welcome to give us a call, send us a text or leave us a comment on our website and social media! Sounds interesting? Want to know what happened? Visit our catch up page to listen to all previous episodes!
This behind the scenes video is a small sample of our work and how the show is produced! Enjoy!
What will happen next? Have your say! Tune in to Galaxy 102,5 FM every Friday at 5 PM and give us a call. We are interested in what you think!
Thank you for every call, every comment and for listening to every episode since day 1. Your support is our motivation! We are looking forward to our 2nd year!
Stay social! Connect with us on social media and be the first to know what's new!
|Posted on April 4, 2014 at 8:00 AM||comments (4084)|
How did you get involved in acting?
I think I fell into it by accident. I took an acting course for fun and I really enjoyed it. So I thought I’d like to continue with it and see where it takes me, so I just carried on. After I finished at Morley College, a group of people on my course set up a production company, so I did a few theatre plays with them including “Owners”, “A Night Under Canvas” and “The Random Acts of Strangers”. I‘ve also appeared in TV programmes for the BBC and E4 and participated in various radio shows, but I really enjoy theatre and I‘d like to do more of that in the future.
You have done theatre, TV shows and radio shows so which one do you prefer most?
I think I prefer radio. It’s quite versatile because it allows me to be any voice I want to be and no one can see what I really look like, so I can have more fun with it. But I really like theatre as well because it’s live, it’s happening right there and then and you’ve got to get it right first time. Whereas film and TV you can re-take a scene and do it over and over again. I still enjoy TV and film but I think I prefer theatre and radio more.
I assume that you have had many auditions so I’d like to ask what is the scariest part of an audition?
The scariest part I guess is not having any idea what they are going to ask you to do when you get there. Sometimes you are asked to do really crazy outrageous things that are quite outside your comfort zone. But it’s a challenge and you just have to get on with it. The thought of it beforehand though is quite scary.
Is there a particular experience that you would like to share? Something that you can remember?
There was one audition where I was going for the part of a teacher, so I went along and they said to me “OK you have a full class of pupils in front of you, here is your imaginary chalk, here is your imaginary blackboard, now take the class”. So then I suddenly had to become a teacher and decide what class I was taking and make really quick decisions right away. I think I decided on an astrology class in the end, I remember talking about the planets and the sun a lot, it felt as though I was standing up there for ages. I didn’t even get the part in the end, but it was all good experience.
Which characters are you playing?
I am playing Martha Williams the office manager of the 492 Korna Klub Community Centre. Martha deals with the administration; she is a great organiser and supports her boss Carl Proctor, the centre manager.
My other character is Eleesha Johnson, Winston’s ex girlfriend. Winston is one of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Henry who own the community centre. Eleesha and Winston have a child together, Robert, who is 20 years old and has served time in prison. But Eleesha doesn’t care too much for the Henrys, because they haven’t treated her well in the past.
Are these roles any different from what you have played before?
I like both of my characters and I’m still getting to know them. They are quite different from any characters that I’ve played before; both of them are multifaceted and have quite complex back-stories. Martha usually seems organised and calm on the outside, but she goes through periods of being quiet and withdrawn. Secretly she is under a lot of pressure at work and at home.
Eleesha is a mother of 6 and has had quite a tough life bringing up all of her children practically by herself. Others always unfairly judge her and because of that her attitude towards people has become very defensive.
Do you feel that you identify with the characters you play, especially Martha?
A little bit. Martha is a hard worker but quite a timid sort of person and she‘s got a lot of things going on in her private life which she doesn’t openly share with the rest of her colleagues. I suppose we all have stuff going on in our private lives that cross over into our working lives, so I can relate to her in that sense. However, I don’t think she’s having a good time at home with her husband and she never stands up for herself, whereas Eleesha defends herself whenever she needs to, so I can identify more with her character in that instance.
What is the most challenging part of this project?
There is a lot of improvisation involved in this project which helps with character development and that can sometimes be a challenge. Also, this production gives the listeners the opportunity to call into the radio station and ask the characters specific questions. So we’re placed in a ‘hot seat’ and have no idea what the listeners might ask and that in itself is challenging. So knowing our characters inside out will help us to give a true answer.
If you could star in a remake of a classic film who would you like to play and which film would you choose?
I think I‘d like to play the part of Kathy Bates in “Misery” because at first she seems to be such a nice, kind, ordinary fan of the protagonist, but then her character suddenly switches and she turns into a complete baddie. I think I’d quite like to play the part of a baddie. I don’t normally get to play a villain or a wrongdoer and I am not that type of person in real life, but I‘d quite like to spend time developing a character that people love to hate and play somebody completely different from who I am. I think that would be a lot of fun to do.
Since acting in a very competitive field, has anyone discourage you throughout the years?
Well it’s funny because when I tell friends what I’m doing, some of them say, “why don’t you go and get a proper job?” But they don’t mean anything bad by it they just don’t ‘get it’. The only person who has really tried to discourage me was a tutor I had on a short acting course. I think perhaps he had had a bad experience in his acting career and he tried to put us all off of taking the same path. He said “I am taking this class today but I don’t think it’s worth pursuing acting because it’s just a waste of time”. I think most people on the course were really surprised by what he said but I don’t think anyone really listened to him or were discouraged from following their acting dream.
Have you learned or gained something specifically from the roles you play in this project?
I think I’ve learned that because this is a radio drama it’s essential that every character I play sounds completely different from the next. This is very important for the listeners because they don’t have any visual references to rely on and can only build up an image of a character by the sound of that characters voice. I’ve gained lots of experience too. It’s been different from previous projects I’ve worked on, there are a lot of people involved and when we meet up and come together for rehearsals, everyone brings along food to share, stories to tell and jokes to crack. There is always lots of laughter and friendly banter and it feels as though we are all members of a welcoming community centre, just like The 492 Korna Klub.
|Posted on March 26, 2014 at 5:20 PM||comments (1697)|
How did your career in acting started?
I ‘ve always done it even as a child. I ‘ve dilly dallied in to it, I ‘ve never taken it up as my main profession. In fact my main profession is as a youth worker and that’s what paid all my bills and allowed me to get on with my life. I never made it as an actress but I always had it on the sideline as something that I ‘d like doing so I ‘ve always done extra work, little things, theatre so that’s how I got into it and stayed into it.
Was there someone or something specific that inspired you to become an actress?
I think it was just watching all those old musicals on TV with Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli. Every Thursday night they used to be these great grand musicals like “South Pacific” and all that sort of stuff. I just loved the colours, the clothes, the singing, the background, it’s brilliant and you just end up singing all the time. Then as you grown up you hone in on your specific style and then at school every time there was a school play I used to be one of the lead singers and that’s how I started enjoying theatre and drama.
Do you think that you could do something completely different as a career?
Well I am looking to go back in University to study law now. Because I think that is where my true vocation lies. Everyone I know have always said “you know, Paulanne if ever I was in trouble, I ‘d love for you to be on my side. You know how to argue a case, put your points across and get on with the job”. I think it would be helpful if we all knew our rights sometimes. I think I want to give up work so that I can do a two years degree in law and take it from there. So it’s another thing that I am going to do but also I am a mixologist in my spear time as well, so I do cocktails for private parties. I can come by your house and mix up your bar and liven up your party!
Can you say a few words about the characters you play?
My main role is Shirley Munroe the youth worker for the 492 Korna Klub. She is basically an established youth worker at the centre but she does not get on very well with the centre manager. It’s not that she hates him but she realises that they have different ways of dealing with things. At the present moment she is in a tricky situation in that her job basically is in his hands. Between him and the trustees, they are deciding whether she has or she doesn’t has a job. Something happened within the centre I cannot say too much, which could be the make or break of her career and it all depends on how she deals with that.
You mentioned that you work as a youth worker in real life, so can you relate to your character?
Yes in real life I work as a youth worker and I think that is how I can relate to Shirley Munroe. I know the in and out of how youth workers run in local authorities, some of the issues that come up with that, so I can understand what they are trying to build up in the community centre. It’s about what to put in place, where to get funding from, how to work with young people so I ‘ve already got that idea I am already a youth worker. That was not my original character though; I wanted to play Wendy Mckenzie. But that is my new role and it was not going to be needed at the beginning so I was asked to play Shirley and I was quite happy playing that role.
Could you tell us a little bit about this new character Wendy?
Wendy Mckenzie is actually the mother of Fiona whose father is Winston. Wendy had Fiona with Winston when they were young people, but she was one of the many girlfriends that Winston had. She does not live near the family and her only interaction with Winston now is through Fiona and I think she is at the point where she is over whatever happened between her and Winston. Her sole interest is Fiona. She does not have a good relationship with Winston or his family. I think that is the same with most of the other women he had. Perhaps the Henrys really don’t care too much for her so she doesn’t spend a lot of time with that family, she is there on occasions and in the best interests of Fiona.
Is there something specific that you have learned or gained from this project?
I think I am learning about team working in a large project like this. It’s a different way of working, you haven’t got all those expressions to do but somehow it has to come through in your voice. So it’s really about learning how to bring out those expressions so that if someone is listening they can somehow work out how you are feeling, who this person could be, what they might look like and it all has to come out through your voice. I think that is something I am learning and I will be learning for quite a while because that is new to me so that’s not so easy. Sometimes you are in the studio recording and you are moving around as if you are acting and really is not necessary but you got to get it through your voice how you sound so that’s a new experience.
Was there someone that told you that you could not make it in the acting business?
I ‘ve already been told I won’t make it. I mean years ago, I did try to pursue the acting career, I did go to all these auditions and out of a hundred you will probably lose 90% of those jobs. I can’t carry on like this, I need a job, I need money and I can’t stand the rejection so that’s how I moved off on to the youth work field of working. Because you need regular money and you need to get your life going and I think if I waited on an acting job, things would not have gone very far. I ‘ve got acting friends who still to this day can’t even afford their own home because they do not get that much working. I always thought it was a waste of time I wouldn’t pursue the professional career in acting I like doing the little extra work which is much easier to get.
If ideally you could play any part you want in any film which one would you choose?
I don’t know. I think I ‘d love to play a part in a musical or a big large production like the Wiz with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. It does not get a lot of air play but I think it’s one of the most amazing music film productions I ‘ve ever seen. I ‘d like to be in it just for the spectacularness of it.
If a young person asked you about what he or she should do or should not do to become an actor or actress what would you respond?
Always have a contingency plan, obviously an alternative career because you never know. For every successful actor there are about a thousand out there that don’t make it. But go for it, give it 100% and try, don’t go in it thinking you might not make it. I think anything you try to do, you try and give your full 100% and believe in yourself, have confidence that you will do something. I would say learn your craft learn, all the things that you need to do, don’t try to be sloppy about it and take advice from people.
Obviously you have a very broad understanding of the community and the real problems that people face, so do you feel that people from the community could really relate to the different characters?
Definitely there is always a real person like Shirley Munroe out there. There is always a Wendy Mckenzie, a Winston, a Dorothy, an Arthur. There are lots of them out there, so they will relate to the characters. What I am hoping is that now that the show is on air people will ring in and give advice about which way they ‘d like to see the characters going. I think the play can do with the input of the public about the direction that the characters should take and I think with that information it will make it much more relevant drama for the public.
|Posted on March 3, 2014 at 3:30 AM||comments (366)|
What inspired you to follow this career path? Where you involved in something similar as a student at school?
I never really saw myself doing an office based job, seating behind the desk. So I ‘ve always looked for other careers other than the norm. When I was at school, I was very much into how music sounded and the way that it could be manipulated and I guess that must have stuck with me because now I ‘ve become involved with K2K (Kilburn to Kensal) radio, studio managing and sound engineering for 492 Korna Klub project.
What tasks does your role as a sound engineer generally includes?
Generally speaking my work when I am not working for 492 korna klub includes co-hosting a couple of shows. I co-host the Tuesday night 8- 10 on K2K for the Shred Show which is a metal show and the Leo Fenn Serious Show on Tuesday nights which is a comedy show ironically and I studio manage that as well, making sure that everything is broadcasting OK. I also help out the show on Wednesdays which is a show with live recordings. It’s flavor of the week basically; whatever I am needed to I help out on, I generally do. It’s not only recordings, it’s maintaining radio stations and helping out my boss Max Graef with his work Radio Active.
Is there a presenter that you have as a role model?
Patrick Nicola from Shred because he is a friend of mine. Basically he is not only a fine presenter who manages to keep his cool and keep things on track, but he is also working hard during the show and he is constantly on twitter promoting the show. He is helping me out on issues concerning the technical aspect of the show as well and the fact that he has know-how of that, really helps. He is just an ideal person to work with because if anything goes wrong and I can’t work anything out, I know for a fact that we both will be able to figure something out.
Can you describe a typical day working for 492 Korna klub?
Typically, when we are recording voices we get a lot of actors in the studio, which is lots of diverse personalities and is good fun. We go through each of the scenes methodically one by one, a couple of takes on each. Once we ‘ve got all the takes we need ,we clean up the clips which we’ve got and then I take it over to Tony the director. Tony makes sure that he has the take that he wants and which take he wants and then afterwards I add the ambient effects and do various other engineering tasks and the clip is ready for radio space.
What do you find the most difficult part of this project?
I would not say that the project has been challenging. It has taken up a lot of my time because sound editing does take a lot of time but it terms of actual difficulty I think the main problem was making sure that all the actors could be here in one space to record all their scenes at one time. I think that this is one of the hardest fundamentals for any form of performing radio drama as it’s not like performing on stage where if you need to rehearse lines for a scene you just need to get together with the other actors over coffee and bring a script and then you just make sure that everyone can make it on the final performance night. With radio drama you don’t necessarily get the clip you want on the day that you record it and then actors might need to come back. But again that is purely the most difficult part of the project. Otherwise it’s just technical stuff that I do not find particularly difficult.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I think it ‘s the fact that I become not only very intimately aware of the actors, the voices, their different talents and how they feel about themselves on a personal level but also I become deeply involved with the story because I am looking at scenes and I am thinking what sort of atmosphere, am I meant to be giving off from this and how can I improve that message without adding anything obvious. Sometimes you need to make it subtle, sometimes you need to add an ambient effect, sometimes you need to change the pitch in the voice slightly to add something to a scene and I think that ‘s the most interesting part of the project. It just gives me unlimited creative license with the material I get to work with.
Is there something that you think you have learned from this experience that you feel has helped you in a personal or professional level?
This is one of the first radio drama projects I ‘ve done and it’s been an interesting experience seeing how everything fits together behind the scenes. Because normally the sort of work I do, involves me seating in a studio for a couple of hours and it’s done; it’s gone out live. This process had me looking more in depth at the actual material that I ‘ve recorded and taking a lot more care in my work to make sure that everything becomes perfect. I was talking to another member of the crew the producer Richmond Trew and he was saying that I was becoming a massive perfectionist and I don’t think before this project I was.
If you had the opportunity to work with someone from the music industry who would you choose?
If I have to pick I ‘d love to have the opportunity to work with Clean Bandit. They are a band which has recently come up the i-tunes charts. They are at the top at the moment and they actually operate out of South Kilburn Studios. So they are right next to me every day when I ‘m recording but I haven’t worked with them yet on any of their projects. They have a creative sound , a good atmosphere and they are really wonderful people as well, so if I had the opportunity I ‘d love to work with them.
The last question is where would you like to be professionally let’s say in 5 years since you are very young?
That’s an interesting question because I usually don’t think that far ahead. If I have to think about it, I ‘d like to be doing more of this sort of thing (like 492 korna klub project) full time. Hopefully generate a different array of projects not simply just recording. Maybe do my own producing as well, sound editing for other people and maybe even start my own little sound editing bureau. I don’t know I guess we ‘ll have to see.
|Posted on February 26, 2014 at 3:15 AM||comments (72)|
How did you get involved with producing and started your career?
I work in the performance industry as an actor and performer. My acting career started in the early eighties when I was invited to play a small part in a play called Apocalyptic Uprising. The director was someone I knew and maybe my story telling technique was admired. After that I did go to the Southbank to do a drama course. Music was always in the family, my senior brothers were doing music. It is more of a hobby for me basically but again in the eighties I bought a saxophone and enrolled in the Lewisham Academy of Music, doing jazz improvisation courses. In terms of production, I produced an Abstract Word single an LP CD. Abstract Word is a collective of artists, musicians, poets, rappers, dancers who work at Map Recording Studios. I have a production deal with them. I signed a publishing deal with Rodrigeuz Music in 1992 and so I ‘ve been basically producing music up until now. In terms of drama I do a lot of devising for various companies, much of what I do is to address social issues. I ‘ve also done a lot of work in criminal justice system devising workshops and theatre pieces that are designed to help break the offending behavior cycle. As far as drama goes I have directed sketches and a couple of plays but this is the first radio drama series I ‘ve been involved in and hopefully it’s not too much different from producing music, it’s just layers of sounds. My observations from being on film sets and being involved with professionals gives me enough experience to be able to do this. I ‘ve worked with Tony Cealy the director and creator of Noh Budget films in many occasions and when he invited me to do this I was very happy to help.
Can you summarise the tasks that your role as a producer includes?
Basically my understanding is for me, to bring the recorded text up to a radio standard with the required background sounds and the music to accompany it. Ideally I would like to put an original stamp on this production and use a degree of creativity to make it stand out different from other radio productions. Initially I have to produce up to a standard that would be comprehensible to a listening audience and again put some music in and around it to enhance the scenes and intervening issues that may or may not be in each episode and other creative sounds to help the listener enjoy.
How difficult do you find that you have to deal with every member of the cast and crew especially during recordings?
It is difficult indeed dealing with multiple personalities. In the arts, there can be a lot of superficiality and some people might think that they are more important than what they really are but this particular cast is very good and it ‘s a pleasure interacting with them. I believe that they recognise the difficulty of my role and actually lend themselves to the situation and been as helpful and cooperative as they can. Usually coordinating X amount of people with different time schedules can prove very tiring but I have a lot of experience with this; dealing with musicians and performers in general so it’s not an alien thing to me. I am not uncomfortable in the role. I think I am a people person and I think I can communicate well with most people. It’s my forte I believe so I don’t think it‘s been too much of a difficulty.
Could you tell me what is the worst and most stressful thing that has happened in this production so far?
One of the lead actors ,the leading female actress playing Dorothy, a beautiful sister called Claudette was taken seriously ill all of the sudden and it affected the cast and crew tremendously. I questioned whether it was right or wrong to carry on or if I had the will to want to carry on. Sister Claudette is still ill and so we have decided maybe we should dedicate this production to her. But at the time when she was taken ill, I was shocked and saddened and I really questioned whether the production should go on.
That’s very sad and shocking indeed but she looks like a very strong woman so I hope she will get over this soon.
Yes I ‘ve got feedback from her family that she is obviously a fighter and she is making progress which gives us a lot of hope for her. I am sure that she will pull through this. So in respect to her I believe we should do our best to honor her as a part of this production and in a way she is motivating us to do the best that we can.
What do you love most about your role in this project?
I love to see this project come from blank piece of paper to something that is been received by the public, which is part of the beauty of the arts. Something that’s in your head, can be put on a particular medium and be received by other people who hopefully will enjoy and understand what you are trying to say and do. Also Tony has assembled a nice and varied cast with a lot of talent and creativity. Some professionals in the field, some starting out and some have not done this sort of stuff before. For that reason, it’s been a pleasure to work in this project. I’ve met some very nice, skilled and professional people. It’s another experience that I am glad to have had. So basically I love the interaction with artists, I love creative people, I love all art forms, all artistic expression and I am comfortable and at ease in this environment and it’s where I need to be. If I didn’t had art in my life, I think I would be mad by now.
What do you think you have gained from this experience since you have not produced a radio drama before?
In plays I ‘ve produced on stage because it’s a visual thing, much of what has been said, can be done with body language but obviously with audio radio play you don’t have that advantage. So what I ‘ve learned is that you have to put a lot of emphasis, intonation in your voice and also background music as it can help create the tension and the feel of what you are trying to put across. So far I ‘ve learned a lot about radio production and I ‘ve listened to other radio productions so it’s been a massive learning curve for me in which I am still on. I am always happy to take on knowledge and further educate myself so I ‘m just happy to be here.
What are your hopes and dreams for this project?
My hope is to connect and interact with the community and for them to give feedback and contribute towards some of the storylines or some of the issues that individuals are facing. I can see this happening, the radio station Galaxy FM is a community station and has a good degree of interaction from the listeners. I do believe that the public has a lot to say about issues that we will bring to their attention via the radio play. So I do hope and do believe that it will be a success and we ‘ll grow. Tony has struck upon a good idea and I believe that this format will be copied by many others.
What is the best advice you could give to someone interested in becoming a producer?
Firstly, find out if it is really something that you like and love and also listen to a lot of other productions to get an understanding of the required standard. Also honestly ask yourself if you are up for the task. And if you are I would say go for it because you should always do something you love.
|Posted on February 17, 2014 at 2:05 PM||comments (292)|
What inspired you to create the 492 Korna Klub interactive radio drama series?
It is another way to use my experience as an arts practitioner. I have to find ways to use arts to socially engage people and get transformation going on. For example taking part in a project to reduce their anger, or to help with drugs and alcohol abuse. It’s an interesting project from the art practitioner’s point of view because there are ways that you can tackle social problems and I haven’t done this before, a radio drama that is ongoing and people can interact with the characters. Radio has a way of dealing with social problems that my community and other communities are dealing with today and it’s a really good vehicle for people to look at these problems.
How will the interactive part work and how the voices of people from the community will be heard?
Essentially the radio station that we will be broadcasting the series on is already known to a section of the community and they interact with the shows anyway. Whenever you listen to them you will hear the different presenters encouraging the listeners to call in and give their opinions about a subject. What we are doing is that, but in a dramatic sense because my background is drama and theatre, so I am aiming to dramatise and fictionalise what is really happening out in the real world. If the listeners can hear characters and situations that mirror their own life those people who already associate to Galaxy radio will automatically ring in on a different level than they have done already. With this radio series, the community will be able to listen to each others’ opinions, views and values about the problems that are really out there and it’s the different perspectives that I think it’s going to open up the listener to say “I ‘ve heard a lot of opinions and views about this and it’s made me look at the problem in a different way or I ‘ve actually realised with this show that there are many ways to find solutions or that there are many solutions to a problem as oppose to the one solution that I have thought of before”. Also a listener may realise how those different views are what make us a community and I am hoping that it will galvanise and get people to come together. So the next step for me, for this project is for those people who are interested in the topic to get together and make a plan of action and that plan of action has to come from the listeners and then carry out those plans of actions. That way the people are doing something about it as opposed to just listening and say for example “There is too much racism but hey what can I do”? Now that person is actually doing something, his or her social life is being broadened and his or her confidence is expanded and he or she is much more aware of the community as a whole as opposed to the one sided view.
What about the interactivity and dialogue between listeners and actors that will take place in future episodes?
So in the beginning of an interactive scene there will be a sense of a dilemma. For example Arthur (male leading character) could decide that he is going to go to Jamaica by himself without his wife but he needs his wife to come with him and in that scene she hasn’t given him an answer. The scene does not have an ending so what we are asking for, is the listeners to ring up and interact with Arthur and give him some advice or information. For example the listeners could either encourage Arthur to go or suggest that he should stay and have a discussion with his wife. The character then could respond that he has spoken to her and asked for a decision and encourage the caller to think through the solution he or she has just proposed. The actor should agree with the listener to some extent but also present further problematic situations to that solution for the listener to then think on a more holistic way as opposed to a narrower point of view because that is real life.
What about the process of building new characters that realistically represent the community through improvisation techniques?
The developing of new characters is really the emerging characters that are coming out of the series. In the series recorded so far characters are mentioning other characters that we haven’ t heard yet and so Judy the writer and me call them emerging characters that we want to develop through character development workshops. The process of that work is a sort of an organic way of working with the actor/performer, by them creating a character through physical dialogue. What I mean by that is when you create a character from a physical stance; how they might speak, their particular views on how they see the world. The other way that the characters are created is by having a blueprint of the character for example a name, age , profession and so we give that brief to the actor and then we do some improvisations to develop that blueprint and add more flesh into that.
What is the most challenging part of the project so far?
Overall I didn’t realise how much the project will consume me to make it come alive. I am glad that I am working with many people who are helping me but behind the scenes like any other project you always want people who are committed to the project. We have started the editing process and it’s a long process because we don’t have established a style and a format of how to edit, we are experimenting as it has not been done before. One of the other problems is perhaps we may have too many cast members. In my mind every actor should have at least 2 characters to perform. But the issue is when actors don’t turn up and we have to get other people to play those characters and then it becomes a problem for voice and continuity. Those are the challenges that I find creative and frustrating at the same time because you are sort of giving birth to something.
What is the most rewarding part?
Seeing it come to life. The process of getting together and working on the script and get the actors to read the script in the recording sessions and voice the characters on the page that’s been rewarding. Also hearing actors’ feedback about what they perceive it to be for them not just as performers but as something that they think it can relate to them as a vehicle to do something positive for the community. The whole project proves that what we are doing as a group of people is something that we all love and having everyone working with me, helping make it happen is overwhelming. New people are still coming and this is just the beginning.
What are your views and plans for the future and do you have any dreams about the project for the long term?
My visions for the short term is to see the play being broadcasted on Galaxy radio 102,5 FM. I want people to know that they can tune in and use it as a reference to what is actually happening in society. I suppose I am looking forward to seeing people interacting with the show and talking about problems and bringing people together. Long term ideally, I would like other people to take up this kind of project or make more community radio dramas using the ideology of Augusto Boal who created Forum Theatre as a way to get communities to get together and look at problems. Cause at the moment there is hardly any interactive community radio series out there. There are plays that are being written from the start to finish; radio plays that are great but there is no interactivity. Who knows Radio 4 may even create one based on our project in the future.