Frankenstein Radio Drama Sidebar

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Frankenstein Radio Drama Sidebar

The theatre first brought me to radio. I won’t bore you with the details but I studied acting in college and, long story short, I chickened out. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to make a living pursuing my passion and it scared the hell out of me.

I admit it. Radio was my back-up plan. But it wasn’t far off. I figured a radio piece, certainly a public-radio piece, had a kind of stagecraft to it. The best radio stories always have inherent drama, and what’s a producer if not a director? Best of all I could always play the part of the narrator.

I hope it doesn’t diminish my role as a journalist to say part of the work I do is a performance. Jimmy Stewart once said the trick to movie acting was to "try not to make the acting show." It’s how I’ve always felt about the best radio producers-they write and read their copy in a way that sounds effortless. Though it wouldn’t be accurate to say my radio persona is an act, over the years I have settled into a role. I try to be natural and accessible and make my scripts sound conversational.

Being asked to play Dr. Frankenstein has been incredibly flattering, especially knowing I’m out of my league. But it has been a real challenge for me to try to inhabit a character other than a soft-spoken radio host with a halting interview technique. If I’m going to get this right I’ll have to rework everything: my accent, my inflection, the way I enunciate and project.

And none of that will work if I can’t come to know Dr. Frankenstein. Cheryl, the show’s director, told me I have to figure out the life’s journey of my character if I’m going to understand his obsession with creating life and the revulsion he ultimately feels toward his creation-the monster.

All of this reminds me of why I was drawn to theatre in the first place. Sir John Gielgud said acting is half shame, half glory. The shame, he said, comes when you exhibit yourself-the glory, when you forget yourself. The shame part I get. As for the glory, I’ll do my best. But I won’t quit my day job. At least not yet.

Doug Fabrizio, host of Radio West on KUER and Utah Now on KUED, acts in Plan-B’s Radio Hour for the fourth consecutive year.

The theatre first brought me to radio. I won’t bore you with the details but I studied acting in college and, long story short, I chickened out. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to make a living pursuing my passion and it scared the hell out of me.

I admit it. Radio was my back-up plan. But it wasn’t far off. I figured a radio piece, certainly a public-radio piece, had a kind of stagecraft to it. The best radio stories always have inherent drama, and what’s a producer if not a director? Best of all I could always play the part of the narrator.

I hope it doesn’t diminish my role as a journalist to say part of the work I do is a performance. Jimmy Stewart once said the trick to movie acting was to "try not to make the acting show." It’s how I’ve always felt about the best radio producers-they write and read their copy in a way that sounds effortless. Though it wouldn’t be accurate to say my radio persona is an act, over the years I have settled into a role. I try to be natural and accessible and make my scripts sound conversational.

Being asked to play Dr. Frankenstein has been incredibly flattering, especially knowing I’m out of my league. But it has been a real challenge for me to try to inhabit a character other than a soft-spoken radio host with a halting interview technique. If I’m going to get this right I’ll have to rework everything: my accent, my inflection, the way I enunciate and project.

And none of that will work if I can’t come to know Dr. Frankenstein. Cheryl, the show’s director, told me I have to figure out the life’s journey of my character if I’m going to understand his obsession with creating life and the revulsion he ultimately feels toward his creation-the monster.

All of this reminds me of why I was drawn to theatre in the first place. Sir John Gielgud said acting is half shame, half glory. The shame, he said, comes when you exhibit yourself-the glory, when you forget yourself. The shame part I get. As for the glory, I’ll do my best. But I won’t quit my day job. At least not yet.

Doug Fabrizio, host of Radio West on KUER and Utah Now on KUED, acts in Plan-B’s Radio Hour for the fourth consecutive year.

 
 
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