I love drama. Not necessarily the drama that seems to be ever present in my life, but drama in the sense of a production, be that book, movie, radio drama, audio book, etc. What’s more, I love to perform. That probably comes as no shock to anyone reading this, either. It is true, though. There is something so thrilling about developing a character- often one very different from yourself- and tying the hearts and emotions of the audience to that character through your presentation.
See, an actor can take a flat, villainous character, and add layers to their villainy. They can give them subtle nuances that indicate a tragic past, cruel upbringing- or they can present the character’s motivation as being derivative of the pain they themselves have felt in the past and now feel like they must inflict on others.
This is the beauty of bringing a character to life, literally. You have the ability to influence people through your portrayal. Which brings me back to the beginning of what I said. This is why I love productions.
I’ve had the great privilege over the years to be a part of different acting pieces in the past, most specifically in the form of skits, Christmas pageants, and Easter productions. However, I have always wanted to do something more substantial and challenging. So, I decided to audition for an audio book (I do love me some audio books!). To be more specific, I decided to audition for the soon to be released Peter's Angel (novel’s release date is September 15th, 2012).
Now, why did I choose to audition for this book? Well, in 2011 I interviewed the Author, Aubrey Hansen, on the Holy World’s Podcast (of which I am the primary host) concerning her début novella, Red Rain. While Red Rain wasn’t my typical reading preference, I did think it was well done and Aubrey would be an author to watch.
Then Peter’s Angel was drafted.
I was elated. Aubrey Hansen has exceeded my expectations with Peter’s Angel, her first novel. Not only is it my preferred length (120,000k – give or take), as well as being the first book in a trilogy (Peter’s Angel, Peter’s Ally, and Peter’s Ransom), but it is also Historical Fiction! *waves her history nut flag * If that weren’t enough, I can guarantee the accuracy of the history tidbits in the piece (very important to me that historical fiction pieces get it right!).
So, back to the original story I was telling. I sent in for the casting list, and chose to audition for the part of Mariah, the primary female character in the trilogy (technically she is a deuteragonist, though, because she’s not the main character). So I received my audition scripts (character rundowns, sample chapter of the book, and actual audition scene), recorded and rerecorded my audition, and sent in the 22 minute MP3 file when I decided I needed to just send it in already! And then I waited. And you know what happened? The final casting list for the Peter’s Angel audio book was released:
David J. Hartung…Mark
Caleb Head…General Narrator
J. Grace Pennington...Audio Editor
I GOT THE PART!!!!
Yes, the cast for the Peter’s Angel audio book includes me, and I am signed on for the entire trilogy! Which was then a very scary thought, because my one little audition scene was 22 minutes long. Oh, and did I mention that Mariah has a British accent? Yes, I did know about it before sending in my audition, so I was obviously convincing enough that I got the part, but I’m going to need to really work on that accent! Daddy says I should just go around all day talking in it (my Daddy was my biggest fan when he heard it, and was shocked I could talk that way for that long in the first place).
The audio book will be a multi-narrator production, each POV (point of view, for you non authorly types) character being voiced by the actor/actress representing them. Peter’s Angel employs six recurring narrators, along with the occasional scene from a miscellaneous secondary character. The changing POVs are essential to the flow and style of Aubrey’s novel, thus the multiple-narrator format will complement that by giving each character a unique voice.
I really cannot express how excited I am about this project. I honestly cannot give you guys a time line of when the audio book will be released (though, as I said before, the book releases on the 15th of next month!). I know it will take us (the voice actors) a significant chunk of time to do the initial recordings, then add in author and production feedback on changes we need to possibly make in our presentation (I’m not deluding myself that I’ll get it right the first time, though I will try my hardest to!), and you’ve already got a good chunk of time. Then you figure that editing has to be a pretty big undertaking- also there is sound effects, music scoring- I think you guys get the idea. I don’t envy the production team at all.
However, I am obviously going to plug the piece and ask you guys to tell everyone you know! I really do believe in this project, which is why I decided this was the piece I was going to audition for, and I was blessed beyond belief to be chosen for the part of Mariah.
I’ll be sure to update you guys on the audio book as things progress!