Why don’t more people read in the dramatic forum?

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AdeledePignerolles
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Post by AdeledePignerolles » February 18th, 2016, 12:52 pm

I’ve been noticing that there aren’t very many people around the dramatic works forum anymore, and I’m curious to know why. Many of the people that used to do a lot of plays aren’t around any more, but why aren’t more people filling their places? There’s several DRs open right now that are waiting for people to take the main parts (my two, Ben Hur and The Spanish Brothers, included). A lot of large parts used to be precasted and so only small parts were available, but now there’s large parts available. So if you don’t mind saying, why don’t you do dramatic works?

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Post by RuthieG » February 18th, 2016, 1:08 pm

Perhaps (and this is only a suggestion) it is because the main parts used often to be pre-cast that people just don't look any more.

From a personal point of view, I don't find recording bits and pieces very satisfying, which is why I rarely contribute to dramatic works. That, and the fact that my roles always seemed to be grumpy old ladies :lol:.

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Post by philchenevert » February 18th, 2016, 1:12 pm

A good question Adele. I think it's just another case of personal preferences and inclinations. I haven't done DRs in years but I will do plays sometimes. For me I found DRs unrewarding for some reason, perhaps the lengthy delays waiting for others to finish up and then for the editing. Plus I have found that I don't like listening to DR's nearly as much as solos of the same book. The sometimes uneven editing, different voices, volumes, tempo and things like that just distract me. Again, this is not about your projects and it is just a personal feeling. I like vanilla ice cream.

You are right that at one time there was huge enthusiasm for DRs; perhaps this is just a natural dip in participation that will just as naturally pick up again. Things do go in cycles. Image

EDIT: (after reading Ruth's post) and I seem to get the role of silly and arthritic old men. Whch is type casting, I know. i know. :roll:
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Post by smike » February 18th, 2016, 1:27 pm

I agree with Phil: I'm not listening to dramatic readings for the very same reasons he mentioned. I once read a part in a DR, and when I listened to the finished piece, I thought that my part sounded just totally awful and spoiled the whole thing, so that's another reason why I don't take part in DRs.
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Post by chocoholic » February 18th, 2016, 1:47 pm

A lot of people have no desire to act, so they're not drawn to the DW forum to begin with. And some people prefer to record nonfiction because there's no dialogue (obviously for other reasons too, but if you don't like to read dialogue you're hardly going to jump at assignments that are nothing but dialogue!). So I think it boils down to personal preference, normal ebb and flow of volunteers, and possibly the mix of available projects (interesting roles available but not so many open projects that there aren't enough readers to go around).

Speaking for myself, I hardly have time to record anything at all nowadays, so sometimes I do take a small role in a DW because it's short and I can finish it quickly. Sometimes I take them because I want to help finish a project. But I am one of those with no interest in acting, and like Ruth I'd rather record a chapter of a book than little bits here and there, so I don't hang out in DW very often.
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Post by catrose » February 18th, 2016, 3:38 pm

RuthieG wrote:Perhaps (and this is only a suggestion) it is because the main parts used often to be pre-cast that people just don't look any more.
I feel as if I hold the opposite opinion of you Ruth. Although I do freely admit that I am not a fan of Dramatic Readings full stop, I think the reason some of these books are lacking main characters is because they're both lesser known and recording a large part is a lot of work (especially if like me, you enjoy taking lots of bitty roles - if I was any good at narration, I'd read solos :lol: )

I understand both the fall backs and pros of pre-casting. There are issues with diversity - the same small group of people were getting leads and there was no diversity in this. However, said people were reliable and experienced in audiodrama - if, for example, a newbie or someone with few recordings were to take a huge role, (for example Jane in Jane Eyre, which if I remember rightly speaks a great deal, appears in every chapter and I think Elizabeth Barr's recordings came to around 4 hours of the 18+ finished hours) it would be similar to a newbie starting a solo project - there is a chance that they won't return after a week or a month and orphaned roles, especially after vocal people in the dramatic community have already got roles in a book, aren't desirable. This is why Elizabeth Klett used to recommend getting at least the narrator and any narrating characters of a DR precast (preferably yourself!)

It really doesn't help that there are dramatic readings of both incredibly large books and little known. When they're books like the Jane Austens, with only 20 characters and very well known, things fill easily.

All this being said, we have lost a great deal of our dramatic people, especially with the loss of our two MCs who pretty much only focused on drama. But things come and go and the drama comes and goes and it's all about being patient and sticking it out.


ETA: It also doesn't help the amount of DRs that are gender specific. If you're casting gender specific, you might as well be precasting because there are a lack of men on the dramatic forum, and most of those who are there aren't big fans of dramatic reading.
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Post by annise » February 18th, 2016, 3:52 pm

I suppose you are mainly getting admin answers at the moment becuase we have thought hard about the subject before we introduced the somewhat unpopular 2 DR limit per BC :( but the point is - supply had exceded demand.
I've run series of group projects that have been popular but eventually trail off - I had a loyal band of Trollope readers, I've had a group of history readers. With both of them the last one took a long time.
It's a hobby for people .
Anything else I say would just be personal preference - I'm a plain vanilla don't you dare get between me and the author type. But I love the fact that at LV we have books I feel would be better remaining buried in the dusty past. It's not my library after all . And I will continue to MC any PD project - not only ones I "approve of" . But I don't feel I have to read for them.

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Post by RuthieG » February 18th, 2016, 3:56 pm

I'd add that I cannot understand why anyone would volunteer to read the narrator in a DR. In my mind, it's all the hard work of a solo, and none of the fun. Perhaps folk who do undertake narrator parts would let me in on the secret ;).

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Post by catrose » February 18th, 2016, 4:06 pm

You see, I don't have any of these issues with when I'm BCing plays. In fact, almost the contrary! In my Broken Heart (*hint hint check it out*) over 70% of the roles were claimed in the first week (with some gentle PMing of the "Librivox Players" or the "Usual Suspects" to tell them what it's about and introduce the characters, as it is a lesser known play)

As far as my (entirely personal!) opinions are, dramatic reading, however fun to BC they are, detract from the plays which I should think should be priority was dramatic readings already have versions catalogued, whereas if I wanted to see a Renaissance Drama (like the Broken Heart) I would need a time machine to 2009 (its last RSC production) and an awful lot of cash to get tickets!
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Post by catrose » February 18th, 2016, 4:23 pm

I also don't think it helps that a version of the dramatic forum but for professional narrators and paid Audible work has been set up. When I was looking to see where all my old LV friends had gone, I found most of them there doing similar stuff to here but where everything is pre-cast and where there is the (as yet distant) chance of getting paid for it! But even over there, dramatic readings are not as popular as plays.
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AdeledePignerolles
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Post by AdeledePignerolles » February 18th, 2016, 4:32 pm

Off topic: Is there really a place like that? I've looked for somewhere to do paid voice work but haven't really found much.
On topic: I like narrating (if there's not another part that I like better) because I try to make the narrator interesting to listen to even without other parts in. It makes me try harder to use inflection etc. I believe part of my problem at least is that I'd be willing to precast if anyone showed interest--but they don't. Because I'm still fairly new, I don't have a list of readers who have been on other projects to offer roles to. If I did I'd have it done already. So if anyone knows of someone who wants large roles in DRs let me know! :)
Thanks for everyone's opinions! If anyone wants to come do DRs I'd love to have you on my projects--you can pick from a large variety of roles :)

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Post by catrose » February 18th, 2016, 4:42 pm

Off topic answer: I've PMed you Adele (well, I'm about to)
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Post by SonOfTheExiles » February 18th, 2016, 9:47 pm

I like the idea of DRs. I scan the new DR listings, imagine myself doing one of the parts ... and then burst out laughing at the thought of an Australian-accented Don Quixote or Shakespearean character.

I guess then that the three stages of coping with Dramatic Inadequacy are:
1). Scrutinise
2). Fantasise
3). Satirise

Seriously, if Librivox ever does "For The Term of His Natural Life", or some other play requiring an Australian accent, by all means, but until then, as far as Shakespeare is concerned, I figure I'm bard.

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Post by annise » February 18th, 2016, 10:17 pm

Have you considered you might sound more like an Elizabethan than most of the other readers ? And if you said firmly you did , who could prove you were wrong ?

And in true Elizabethan tradition you could play Juliet

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Post by SonOfTheExiles » February 18th, 2016, 10:28 pm

"And in true Elizabethan tradition you could play Juliet"

I don't think I can get my voice that high.

Anne, why are you rummaging through the cutlery drawer?


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