As 2012 draws to a close and 2013 opens the door to new beginnings, I wanted to take a few moments to shine the light on an audio project I’ve been pondering for several months. Auditions start today and will go until February 1, 2013. They are to be sent to allen (at) astralaudio (dot) net with “Character Name audition – Your Name” in the subject. File type, file name etc will be specified below along with all the other details repeated for good measure.
Update Jan 27: New deadline is Feb 10 which is a Sunday. Roles will be announced on the 17th. Good luck!
There is a story to tell, a difficult one. there will be pain. There will be loss. There will be small victories along the way. It won’t be easy. And yet, it is a story I want to tell; the journey of people facing conflicts both internal and external. It draws upon historical, personal, and other influences; all wrapped up in a science fiction, fantasy, horror mixture.
The first test is to lay out the starting place. All stories need a beginning. I want to hit the ground running by making a podcast novella of sorts. Think of it as a chance for listeners to be introduced to the world and provide feedback. If all goes as planned, I would release the end result in May of 2013 after a couple months of build up. This would be around the same time as when I launched the Astral Audio Experience Episode 5 event in 2008. If the feedback is generally positive, we will move forward and continue the story in more novellas and short stories.
Plot Synopsis: Whispers speak of a tournament held ever so often between the best fighters from each of the eleven territories controled by The Hoard. They fight for glory, for honor, and the chance to be immortalized as one of The Hoards elite generals. The Bloodletting is the story of several of the people affected by the tournament and serves as the introduction to a larger world of deception, violence, great loss, and grand victories.
All auditions should be sent to allen (at) astralaudio (dot) net with “character name audition – Your Name” in the subject. Files should be best quality possible and named “CharacterName_YourName” etc. Multiple takes per line is encouraged. (If auditioning for multiple roles, please send separate emails for each character since this will make the process easier on my part.) Deadline for auditions is February 10, 2013. Roles will be announced February 17, 2013.
(Daughter of Lord Malcom Stardressed and Lady Adrienne Stardressed. An bubbly eleven-year-old who ends up being kidnapped by the Hoard.) Due to the sensitive nature of this role, I am asking for an adult for this part; someone that can play eleven convincingly.
Line 1: “Butterflies! So many butterflies!” … “They are so beautiful. Oh my goodness! Daddy, how did you know?”
Line 2: “Help me Daddy. They have taken me away. I want to go home. They are hurting me. Why are they doing this? Help me, Daddy. Please?”
Lord Malcom Stardressed:
(A disciplined man of his late thirties. Lover of nature, the arts, and his family. Lord of a small province who has struck a deal with the Hoard for their protection.)
Line 1: “Well, it’s about time Morning Dew. I was beginning to wonder if you were going to sleep the day away. Your mother already has tea served. Come sit while I plate up the breakfast cakes.”
Line 2: “Indeed darling. Preparation coupled with opportunity can make for a lucky outcome. I knew that the migration was nearly upon us. And I was right. Aren’t they spectacular Dawn? See what happens when you are both patient and observant?”
Lady Adrienne Stardressed:
(Wife of Lord Malcom and mother of Dawn. She is in her late twenties. Motherly and stern with a touch of whimsy.)
Line 1: Just the way you like it dewdrop; a touch of honey and a smidge of milk.” … “Hush child. Precious treasures come to those who are not only watchful but patient dear one.”
Line 2: “Quite right. Your father brought me to this spot several years ago while we were still courting.” … “It’s why I had the table put here in the first place. Relaxing and magical at the same time.”
(Man of his mid twenties who enters the tournament. Secretly sent by Malcom Stardressed to find out the whereabouts of his daughter ten years after her disappearance. And if found alive, charged by oath to protect her and to bring her home.)
Line 1: I’m due for a meditative journey; a nice break from all the training and combat. It has been a rewarding and an exhausting experience to be sure. I need time to let it all sink in.”
Line 2: “Regarding the place I want, I will use part of the time to mull over the finer details. I assume it will take me several weeks but when I’m ready, I’ll send word. I apologize for changing the plans as far as the builders though. But I have a sufficient number to replace them; finishing the place in half the time if we’re lucky and if the weather holds.”
Inner Circle Leader:
(Man of his late fifties with a commanding voice who acts as the announcer during the tournament.)
Line 1: [slow and steady build up before the final sentence] “Fight for glory, fight for honor, fight for everlasting life in the sacred, sanguine, sacrifice. Let The Bloodletting begin!”
Line 2: By the blood shed this day, so be it. He has earned high praise for his deeds and hence forth, shall be counted as one of The Hoard’s elite by virtue of his skills throughout the tournament.”
(Attendant of the Stardressed family. Woman in her mid fifties or so.)
Line 1: “Rise and shine little lady. You’ve got places to be and faces to greet.”
Line 2: “Come now child. Your mum and dad are waitin’ on ya. No sense in being fussy with me this mornin’.”
(Narrates during the prologue of the novella.)
Line 1: “The day was bright and full of bird song everywhere she went. The ground felt soft beneath her bare feet as she jogged through the trees on the carpet of pine needles. She felt as though she could jump up into the air and fly. She felt happy, alive, and at peace. All was right with the world as she spied the all too familiar picnic table in the clearing just ahead of her.”
Line 2: “As the minutes seemed to stroll on by, unbidden tears blurred her vision. How many were there? She couldn’t tell. She was too scared to cry out or to struggle. But she had to fight. This was wrong; she knew it somewhere on some primal level that what they were doing violated the balance of good and evil; a permanent stain on her moral character she could never wash away on her own. They were just too big. How they had taken her from her room was a mystery. One minute she was asleep in her soft comfortable bed and the next, she was on the hard-packed ground minus her silk nightgown somewhere in the open. She just felt tired, cold, and utterly helpless. She felt like she was going to die. And what was worse, her father, (Lord Malcom Stardressed), wasn’t able to save her.”
(Narrates during the main chapters of the novella. Must be well versed in conveying action sequences.)
Line 1: “People from all across the territories were present to watch the last two fighters go through the brutal exercise of skill and strength. It was a motley mix of young and old, rich and poor united by the goal of celebrating the fighting spirit that dwelt within the combatants. They had watched each of the other matches with great interest ever since the tournament began just before sunrise. They were emotionally, (and in some cases financially), invested in the final outcome of the tournament. Wagers were far from uncommon. Bets were made regarding the number of unopposed strikes, how long a particular fighter would last, what kind of injuries would occur and by whom, where fighters were from, and so on. Minor clashes would break out occasionally in between matches but would die down once the fighters would resume combat. That was the natural order of things.”
Line 2: “Blade came into contact with blade as the warriors exchanged thrusts; the handles joined in as part of the deadly dance. The sounds of metal coming into contact with metal sliced through the general noise of the crowd. The match now seemed to be increasing in tempo and rhythm as each combatant sought to make the other suffer damage. Light from the ring of flames flashed brightly on the armor and weapons as the movements quickened, creating a strobe effect which entranced the ravenous audience. Aside from the cloaked warrior scoring the first two wounds moments earlier, both combatants appeared to be pretty equal with neither gaining the upper hand. Their skills with their particular tools of the trade were a thing of beauty to watch as they moved all over the arena. Only the most astute observers were aware that the cloaked warrior was playing offense while the Hoard native was still on the defensive.”