mad in pursuit learning history: RADIO AMBITIONS

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"Kitty's" Journey

During the summer of 2003, my heart was set a-fluttering when Transom accepted my Dangling Woman production as part of their "Three About Me" feature. Having my first radio production accepted for webcast and broadcast expanded my ambitions from short films to radio.

In January, I retired from my career of 28 years to follow my baby-boomer bliss. Transom led me to PRX and my imagination went full-throttle. I decided to get to work on a piece that would make use of the stack of home-made 78s that my mother's family made during the 1940s and that I had laboriously digitized and catalogued.

2.15.04 My journal records that "Kitty Curran's War" was finished and ready for comment. You can hear the original production there.

2.17.04 My journal records that my wax wings had caught fire and I was falling back to reality. A bad review gave me the choice: be a big cry-baby or be a fighter. Somewhere along the line I had joined AIR (Association of Independents in Radio) and noticed their mentoring program -- 4 hours of guidance from someone with experience. This was for me. I would use "Kitty Curran's War" as a project in need of specific guidance.

2.20.04 AIR Executive Director Dolores Brandon put me in touch with Steve Rowland, who (after an encouraging conversation) set me up with Paul Messing at the University of Indiana.

2.24.04 First phone session with Paul Messing. The goals that emerged are a combination of his advice/observations and my own desire to clarify what story -- and whose story -- I am telling.

Voice: good voice can be improved through better control of volume and pacing. Too much restraint can depress the tone.

Narration/songs balance: try using the old recordings to embellish the story, rather than trying to fit a story to the old recordings. The clips are a little long and not always intelligible. Is drunkenness in the face of boys dying really the story I want to tell?

My family: It's okay to go ahead and admit that this is my family. It may strengthen the story. I am not an objective documentarian here.

Whose story?: In such a short piece, deciding whose story I'm telling might help with the focus.

3.2.04 I've been laboring over my story. Here is a Progress Report.

3.8.04 Progress Report

3.30.04 Progress Report

4.12.04 I posted what is now called "Kitty Keeps on Singing" as a new PRX production, but it wasn't quite the end of my learning. Another mixed review sent me flying into despair, wax wings aflame once more. I'm such a sissy. My last lesson -- on room tone -- got recorded in my journal.

4.16.04 Revised piece. Revised review. Standing by for glory.

Final Version (mp2 format)

Sources for "Kitty Curran's War" and "Kitty Keeps on Singing":

Content catalog for homemade 78s.

Bits catalog. Little snatches of conversation, laughs, wisecracks, etc.

Radio Ambitions

Current radio productions

Updated: 12/03/2005

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Cosmopolitan Productions | Cosmo Resource Page | Mad in Pursuit  | Contact