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Post Posted:: March 4th, 2016, 12:41 pm 

Joined: April 13th, 2012, 2:29 pm
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Location: Narnia! No wait...That's not PD...
SweetPea wrote:
... I also don't think some BC's know the play well enough to provide descriptions. (I'm talking about plays now, with DR's the BC knows everything about the book from turning it into a script :lol:). ...


Personal opinion time - I don't believe it is proper, with the amount of time an effort that goes into BCing plays, to BC one that you haven't read, that you personally can't understand or that you have not researched well enough. I personally believe that, in order to BC a dramatic project, it should have been prepared at least a month before launch so that you have time to get to know it. If a BC isn't passionate about a play, how can one expect anyone else to be?! :shock:

I also believe that, thinking back, this is a non-issue. Dramatic people come and go. The projects ebb and flow. I think the issue is that people are easily excited/too impatient. Dramatic projects in the past took on average 5 months to fill up a play and around a year to a year and a half for a small (5 hour?) dramatic reading. There's always been more roles than people to fill them, but eventually as people come and go they get filled. It just requires people to stop rushing and start appreciating that it will take a long time!

As for friendliness, I disagree wholeheartedly. I have tried my very best to welcome as many people to the dramatic forum as possible. I PM people after their first role if it's on one of my projects to see how they're getting on at Librivox and to explain how things work. I have linked all of my newbie friendly wiki articles. People stay or people don't. We do not have any fewer or any more very active members of the forum than we have ever had. We are welcoming. That isn't a problem. The problem is that people lack the patience to wait for enough people to fill their projects.

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Post Posted:: March 4th, 2016, 1:42 pm 

Joined: July 5th, 2014, 1:57 pm
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I half agree about the genres/authors having something to do with less men reading. Mary Louise and What Katy Did are good examples. On the other hand, my Ben Hur project is not a girly book at all ;) and there's still two very major male parts and several not-quite-so-major male parts open. (The Spanish Brothers also has three major male parts, although it is by a woman.) I do like it when people come and take all the little roles--but it's kind of weird when all the little parts are taken and the big ones are left! :D

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Post Posted:: March 4th, 2016, 1:47 pm 

Joined: April 22nd, 2012, 1:56 pm
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catrose wrote:
Personal opinion time - I don't believe it is proper, with the amount of time an effort that goes into BCing plays, to BC one that you haven't read, that you personally can't understand or that you have not researched well enough. I personally believe that, in order to BC a dramatic project, it should have been prepared at least a month before launch so that you have time to get to know it. If a BC isn't passionate about a play, how can one expect anyone else to be?! :shock:
I think I mostly agree with you here. The first play I BC'ed I hadn't read (I knew the story, just not the play adaptation), and I wished I had because it would have saved a lot of figuring things out during the project - there were a couple characters that I hadn't known existed, and some other characters who turned out to be someone else in disguise and I had to decide whether they should be read by different people or not, and some other things that should have been worked out beforehand. I read all the plays I BC now :lol:

catrose wrote:
As for friendliness, I disagree wholeheartedly. I have tried my very best to welcome as many people to the dramatic forum as possible. I PM people after their first role if it's on one of my projects to see how they're getting on at Librivox and to explain how things work. I have linked all of my newbie friendly wiki articles. People stay or people don't. We do not have any fewer or any more very active members of the forum than we have ever had. We are welcoming. That isn't a problem. The problem is that people lack the patience to wait for enough people to fill their projects.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. I was referring to how easy the MW's are to navigate. :) I agree that for the most part everyone is super helpful and friendly :D

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Post Posted:: March 17th, 2016, 8:14 pm 

Joined: March 26th, 2009, 6:48 am
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Location: "Dwelling in Beula Land"
Hi, Adelle,

For me, personally, I have never signed up for a dramatic reading because, simply put, it looks hard--much more so than what it probably is. Not so much the reading, even for a larger role, as the process. The instructions for intro and outro, uploading, etc. simply seem more complicated, and I'm afraid I've been guilty of laziness of late and so have not taken time to really sit down and put my heart into it. It appears outwardly more challenging than reading for a straightforward group project or for a solo. I mention this because other new volunteers may be feeling the same way, and with some of your more experienced DR volunteers gone, the newer readers don't feel up to what appears complex and therefore parts are no longer being filled as quickly. In my experience, this has been an incredibly patient, friendly community; you and others have helped me gently to correct mistakes and improve my recording. However, you and others might generate more interest in dramatic readings if there were a forum, post, etc. in which any BC/MC of a dramatic work specifically encouraged us new readers to ask for help and guidance. Or a link to a video tutorial, a sample recording so we could see what our finished parts should sound like--including intro and outro, appropriate pauses, etc. Basically, I would want guidelines as specific as those I've found for uploading the voice test files. I'm not saying that something like that doesn't already exist, but I haven't found it thus far, so it might be worth linking to up front if someone has already come up with newby-focused guidelines.

Another thing--and, again, this is simply a personal preference of mine: Even for gender-neutral casting, I know I would tend to seek out gender-specific roles. It's just something I feel more comfortable doing. I'm looking for a female servant, or a woman teacher, etc., and if I don't see a specifically-female part, I see myself deciding not to read for that specific dramatic work. Then--and this is simply my perfectionism shining through--I'm often paranoid about which part would be best for my voice, articulation style, etc. Case in point: Should we ever do a dramatic reading of Uncle Tom's Cabin, I would be more likely to request the part of Miss Ophelia than, say, Mrs. Shelby, even though I find Mrs. Shelby a far more sympathetic character. Perhaps others feel the same about gender casting, voice and style, etc.? In the past, I've seen BCs suggest specific roles to interested readers; perhaps if you're hoping to encourage more interest, you could set this forth as an option--offering help to those who would like a role but don't know which one might be most suitable.

Just my two very lengthy cents' worth. One of these days when I'm feeling braver, perhaps I might sign up for a part in a DR after all!

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Post Posted:: March 18th, 2016, 7:46 am 

Joined: April 13th, 2012, 2:29 pm
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Location: Narnia! No wait...That's not PD...
Hi Bethesda, I'm sorry that you feel this way.

Back in 2014, I thought there was an issue with people understanding how Dramatic Works worked, so I made a wiki article on it, here: http://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Dramatic_Readings_and_Plays

I feel that it gives a clear step by step guide to claiming and recording your first dramatic role. But if it does, please tell me and I can make it clearer! Its purpose was to sort of "de-mystify" the whole process and make it more accessible.

The video tutorial idea is very good. If my wiki isn't clear enough, I'd happily make/attempt to make a tutorial video on how to "maneuver" the dramatic forum, from claiming roles to finding the text to recording and file names to getting PL OK, if that would help :)

Yes, I find that a lot of people like to claim characters that they relate to. The thing with gender neutral casting is we don't tell people they have to do that, we give people the option. I personally, although I love a character who is my age/gender/nationality, enjoy a challenge! My first role in a play here was David, King of Scotland in Edward III, although I am not old enough, not masculine enough and certainly not Scottish enough ;) The fact that we have the choice to is one of the reasons I enjoy being here as opposed to a drama group or alternative audio-drama websites that exist on matching people to characters.

And there is an option to ask the BC what character they think would be suitable for you! :) In fact, any BC would be flattered if you did. We are all really passionate about all of our dramatic projects, mainly because they take so much longer than a "normal" Librivox project that it's impossible not to get attached! :lol: But any excuse for me to have a discussion about one of my dramas, I'll snatch. I enjoy discussing characters with people and their motivations and helping people choose a character they're comfortable with. All dramatic BCs do! And, though if you choose like I did to play an elderly king when you're a child, I won't tell you not to (in fact, I encourage pushing the boat out!) a simple "are there any roles that would suit my voice?" and a link to your catalog page or a description of your voice is all we need to set you up with a character we'd think you'd enjoy :)

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Post Posted:: March 18th, 2016, 8:31 am 

Joined: September 12th, 2012, 3:30 am
Posts: 198
Location: Osaka, Japan
I've just put some of my settings of songs from several Shakespeare plays into the Public Domain, so they should now be usable in LV productions:
https://archive.org/details/ShakespeareScores

For the near-term future (next few months) I likely will not have time to push and take part in productions of any of the related plays, but when time permits later on, I would very much like to. In the meantime, if anybody else would care to run with these, please feel free!!

Dan

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Last edited by dvimont on March 24th, 2016, 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Posted:: March 18th, 2016, 9:32 am 

Joined: July 5th, 2014, 1:57 pm
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Hi Bethesda,
Thanks for your input! :) I hope someday you'll come do a part (or more!) on the DR forum. I'd be happy to help with anything you want! Like Charlotte said, everyone on the DR forum would love for anyone to claim a role on their DR, and they could probably give suggestions for parts. I do think, though, it might be helpful to have a spot where anyone can ask for help navigating the DR forum. I don't know if there should be something in the Help Wanted thread or if that's a good idea or not. :D

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Post Posted:: March 18th, 2016, 2:15 pm 

Joined: April 13th, 2012, 2:29 pm
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Location: Narnia! No wait...That's not PD...
AdeledePignerolles wrote:
.... I don't know if there should be something in the Help Wanted thread or if that's a good idea or not. :D


Could an Admin add a link to the wikipedia article onto E's first post of the Good Practice thread? I think that'd solve this problem a little bit :)

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Post Posted:: March 18th, 2016, 5:54 pm 

Joined: March 26th, 2009, 6:48 am
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Location: "Dwelling in Beula Land"
Hi, Cat and Adelle,

Thank you so much for directing me to wikis, etc., where I might find the sort of information I'm looking for! I really didn't realize that these existed, so I'm excited to see them and will be looking at them over the next few days. So, that problem's solved... And as for requesting assistance/feedback on which parts might be suited to a volunteer's voice, I didn't realize that that was such a wide-spread or accepted practice. Now that I know these things, I'll certainly be more likely to investigate DRs more thoroughly in the future. I'm signed up for a few grou[ sections, a solo, etc., at the moment, and am going through some difficulties involving a shoulder injury, but if parts are still open when I've straightened all of that out, your guidance here has made me more confident and certainly more open to the possibility.

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Post Posted:: March 27th, 2016, 9:53 pm 

Joined: October 23rd, 2015, 9:07 pm
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The dramatic forum is not so easy to navigate. I've spent a lot of time browsing & reading here to find a first small part. It's not time efficient.

I wish the parts were clearly marked as female/male, even when it's obvious. This would just help you to scan the MW when your eyes are tired. And I wish the DRs had a separate section from the plays. Again, to make it easier to find what you're interested in.

I like the way RobBoard has laid out the first post here with a list of each character, gender, number of lines and brief bio and action. Thoughtful! This makes it easier for noobs like me to find the minor roles:
viewtopic.php?p=1184894#p1184894

I don't personally like dramatic readings but I'd love to do some plays wehn I get some time and quiet space sorted out.

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Post Posted:: March 28th, 2016, 5:31 am 
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Note that for many works, the casting is gender neutral.

We don't provide people with that much info on books either other than the summary. Usually there is a Wikipedia link to a book or play that can give more insight into what is going on if you are curious.

Thanks, Todd

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Post Posted:: May 14th, 2016, 5:48 am 

Joined: November 24th, 2005, 3:54 am
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I've done a few more pieces for dramatic readings and plays since I was last in this thread. I was a little more objective about reading them since this discussion.

As well as the points that have come up above, for me at least, my relatively low enthusiasm is something to do with the dilution/diffusion of responsibility for the finished work ... in a solo, I'm the READER; even in a group reading, that chapter is Mine, but in a DR or play, I'm just a thread in the whole carpet. It's as if LibriVox itself is the reader, so the reading is less personal.

Peter

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Post Posted:: May 14th, 2016, 9:48 am 

Joined: July 15th, 2015, 6:42 am
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Location: California, USA
Because I can't act my way out of a paper bag.
Pam

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Post Posted:: May 14th, 2016, 1:01 pm 

Joined: November 24th, 2005, 3:54 am
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Pam,

That might just be to do with your confidence, your willingness to believe that other people like your voice. I've got the advantage of having, long ago, sung in folk clubs (casually, not professionally), so I know that at least some of the audience liked (or, at least, tolerated) my voice. ... and so when I read for LV, whatever it sounds like inside my head, I know ... or think I know ... that someone's going to like what they hear.

After all, in ordinary conversation your feelings come over perfectly well in your tone, emphasis and speed of speaking.

If you read some poetry for LibriVox, it might help you believe in your voice; you can choose a piece short enough that you can play around with your voice when you are recording it.

Also, I find, when I'm listening to the radio, that I'll often try to imitate the speaker's voice (it's more like a caricature than an imitation when I hear a voice or person I don't like). So some bit of me likes to play with different voices. I just wish I was better at remembering and imitating different dialects.

Peter

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Post Posted:: May 15th, 2016, 6:12 am 

Joined: July 15th, 2015, 6:42 am
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Thanks, Peter!

Acting is a tricky thing. One of the most magical things is when a person has an ear for dialect and vocal inflections. Not a necessity of course, but what a wonderful thing it is when people can put that into their acting. I don't have that ear, though I use my foreign language studies to read non-fiction here at Librivox, which is my thing.

As for acting, I'm from L.A. My mother had an interest in theater arts so she put me in an improv class as part of my general education. I got really close to great acting (teen-aged Richard Dreyfus) on stage one on one in an improv and I knew I was an outsider in this world. (I just went along with the class to humor my mother anyway).

So, hats off to you actors--you know who you are! As for me, I prefer to appreciate you as a member of the audience.

Pam

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