Writing Begats Performing And Vice Versa

Hey everyone, Flobito here!

As you may know, I moonlight as an author. If you didn’t know that, I would be completely surprised. I mean, I’ve been at this blog thing for over a year and I always shoehorn in the fact that I’m a writer. I hardly talk about anything else. In fact, before I continue let me get my plug out of the way.

High Desert Run
Get the debut novel from Yours Truly

Anyway, when I’m writing I “perform” the story in my head. I imagine how would my characters act to certain situations if they were real people. This is because they “are” real people to an extent.

This weekend, the tables got turned a bit for me.  Being tapped to perform (I won’t say “star” because it’s a team effort) in my first radio drama, I was tasked with the same job I imagined actors would have to be going through if they had to perform one of my stories. It was just me and a script full of words. My goal was to turn the words into a living, breathing character.

With a great face for radio!

The radio play, called “Supporters” and based on the soccer supporter culture, is something that I can personally identify with. I am a member of a professional soccer supporters group, so researching the subculture wasn’t terribly difficult. With that said, the entire thing wasn’t a walk in the park either. You see, I have a slight speech impediment called “cluttering.” That is to say in certain situations and with certain words I can go into a bit of a fit that usually gets confused for stuttering. This was in the back of my mind in addition to the regular stresses of making sure I hit the right emotional notes for my character as well as knowing my lines well enough where I didn’t sound like a robot when reading them.

And if you read my earlier blog when I talked about my time on radio, it’s something I deal with  all the time. My “radio voice” is distinctly different than my speaking voice in a concentrated attempt to avoid such pitfalls.

Since I did not write or direct the recording of “Supporters”, I had a bit more freedom to just be talent. The fun part for me (as a guy who loves puzzles) was finding out why my character would say they things he would say when he said them. After a while, I was able to put my character on like a “skin” and perform. Whether my performance was good is up to the director and the eventual audience, but I would say it was fun to “go into the booth” for the attempt.

When the recording was over, I was excited. Not only for the work I put in on “Supporters” that day but even for some of my own stuff. Acting things out reminded me what motivations make sense (and what doesn’t) for my own future projects. I recommend to any and all aspiring writers out there: Find out a way to perform your work. Even if it’s just a couple of friends table reading your manuscript over drinks, a lot more things become clearer if you just perform your stories out loud.

Unless you’re writing the sequel to Fifty Shades of Gray. Keep that to yourself 😉


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