Sunday, March 3, 2013

Radio Dramas

I don't like watching TV. Not primarily for moral or intellectual reasons - though I do believe most TV is trashy and insults my intelligence, I also acknowledge that you can find some good stuff on there too - but I was born with a 40% hearing loss. Growing up in a loud family that loved having the TV loud, this wasn't always a problem. But after years of living with a hearing impairment, I've come to know that what sounds normal to me is loud to others, so out of respect for other people, I don't watch TV.

Though I don't do it often, I have become somewhat of an expert at watching TV with the sound off. I used to wander into my friend's bedroom while she was watching TV with the sound off and wait for a commercial so I could talk to day I discovered the sound was not actually off. Once, I wandered in on another friend who put the tv on mute to talk to me and after a while we just quietly watched the tv and I started telling him what was going on and he said, "You've seen this before?!" ummm......nope.
And very recently, after watching Les Miserables at the movie theater, I realized that 90% of the time I have no clue what is going on. But for some really weird reason I enjoy movies anyway! I think I use the visuals in movies for day dreaming/fantasy fuel. I am very grateful for the International Movie Database, because I can go and read all the discussions about the movie afterwards and then I know what's going on...basically, movies and TV are a guessing game for me. Sometimes guessing games are fun :-)

Anyway, now that you know all that about me, you are probably going to find what I'm about to say to be very strange. I am addicted to Radio Dramas.
I should first start by paying homage to...Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey. For several reasons, there will always be a special place in my heart for Whit and the gang. My mother bought me a few albums when I was about 7 or 8, and I think they had a huge influence on my spiritual life. Possibly one of the only good influences I had. Also, since I was hard of hearing, I listened with head phones. I think it was a form of "hearing therapy" for me. Now, I can sit in the audiologist's sound booth and listen to words spoken out of context and get 98-100% of them right (This is not to be confused with having excellent hearing, as I'm not actually hearing the words, but merely "figuring them out") Unfortunately, this doesn't work so well in crowded and uncontrolled environments.

I think Radio Drama works for me because the sound quality has to be excellent, since there's no visuals to pick up the slack, and there are also no visuals to distract from the sound. It also
gives me the opportunity to exercise what hearing I do posses, in a non-threatening environment. I think it's helped me cope with my hearing loss in many ways, including how to listen more efficiently and I am trying to encourage my sister-in-law to do this for my niece who has speech problems due to hearing loss.

About two years ago I became the knitting addict that you all know and love today. I won't go in to how bad my addiction is, but you can only listen to music for so long while knitting before you want to rip your ears off. So I went and found adventures in Odyssey and downloaded their latest album. After that, I was addicted. Focus on the family also has "grown up" audio dramas with dramatized classics like the Hiding Place, Oliver Twist, etc. They also had a radio drama called the Father Gilbert Mysteries, about a detective-turned-Anglican priest who is always solving mysteries of the spiritual nature. These are occassionally played on their website for free, or available to purchase on CD or download...I've dowloaded about 6 of the Father Gilbert mysteries, and sadly there are only a few others left, only available on CD. I don't think they're making them anymore, which is sad because I have a crush on Father Gilbert.

Further research has led me to some pretty good radio drama podcasts, which I will link to below:

Adventures in Odyssey

Focus on the Family's Radio Theater

The above radio dramas are all available to purchase at CBD

Chatterbox Theater (Most of these are horror, but excellent acting)

Icebox Radio (bad acting, but totally lovable characters and stories)

19 Nocturne Blvd. (I haven't listened to them in a while, their sound quality is lacking a bit much for me, and at some point they started playing piano music in the background which made it impossible for me to understand what was going on. But the stories are great, and others might enjoy them)

The Mask of Inanna (a very bizarre series, about one hour each. It was very addicting, but I stopped listening after the 4th one because I had to wait for the next one to come out, and I waited too long and forgot what was going on....I would like to start the series all over again.

And if you're really into radio theater, there's a great site, run by a guy in Portland Maine, Fred Greenhalgh at Radio Drama Revival a great resource for finding all kinds of radio's been a semi-serious dream of mine to submit a script to them for a radio drama...but it's been sitting, half done, in my computer for, ummm....two years. I'll keep you all posted on that ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment