3 days into Pam Stucky's "Letters from Wishing Rock: A Novel with Recipes" and 3 days recording with our new booth. Big fun! But there is a learning curve. Most of it involves Tiffany adjusting her mic placement and techniques within a far more isolated environment.
The booth isn't the only new thing on this production. The Wishing Rock trilogy is told through a series of texts and emails exchanged between the characters. Instead of doing a straight read as we have done in the past, we have decided on a different approach. In a straight read, Tiffany often has to jump in and out of character multiple times in quick succession, primarily during dialogue. It's Narrator, character 1, narrator, character 2, narrator, character 1 again, narrator, character 3 swoops in from another chapter and interjects, character 2 is not amused at the interruption, character 1 tries to finish the story, the narrator gets miffed at being left out of the... well narrative for too long and starts to indulge in a little extraneous exposition. Character 2 breaks the 3rd wall and talks directly to the reader thus alienating the narrator even further...you know... a typical audiobook. But this time, Tiffany is focusing on a single character at a time within each chapter.
Our main character in "Letters" is Ruby. So for our first pass, Tiffany became Ruby... (in fact, she made me call her Ruby for days on end... really freaked out the kids... true story!) and she went through and read all of Ruby's letters and texts. The next pass she did Ruby's friend Erin. I wasn't sure if I should refer to her as Erin at those moments, but her parts were brief and thus it never became an issue. Then there was Ruby's Grandmother, and her Dad, and then Millie and of course Ed. Tiffany is currently in therapy for a multiple personality disorder and making wonderful progress. But by recording all the characters parts individually, this allows Tiffany to stay in character and not give her self whiplash from jumping in and out of various mindsets. Again these are all a series of texts and letters written from the characters point of view.
Then it is up to me to put it all together and make it flow. While it may seem unorthodox, this allows her to maintain a consistency of character. Hopefully we can post some sound clips as we go forward on this. It'll be interesting even for me to hear how this comes together. I am hearing parts of the story out of sequence, and wondering "Okay, what happened. Ugh! When do we record Pip's parts? And what is up with all these bagpipes?" I can only imagine it's very similar to making a movie. Things are shot out of sequence and then turned over to the editor to put it all together into a coherent story. And while this process may not work with most stories, this feels right for Wishing Rock. It's a unique and quirky series, and that is what attracted Tiffany to it in the first place.