Audio Drama: “Pattern Language: Mirrors of the Soul”

We recently released the fourth part of our four-part Season 2 finale, “Pattern Language.” This is the sixth of six new episodes that we released biweekly this summer, representing “Phase III” of the second season. The second season of The Gray Area is now complete! We also have a live show coming up on October 16, 2021. Live show details here. You can follow the overarching story through this episode guide.

Here are a number of useful links: (The Gray Area website) (the iTunes feed) (the Libsyn RSS feed) (the Podchaser feed)

Here’s the synopsis:

Our intrepid heroes visit the New York Public Library to meet up with visiting literary scholar Merrill Malone, an eccentric and the foremost expert on Virginia Gaskell’s life and work, to get, once and for all, all the answers about the portals. What they don’t realize is that shocking personal revelations and the very ground beneath their feet will alter forever within the library’s seemingly pristine walls. (Running time: 55 minutes, 43 seconds.)

Written, produced, and directed by Edward Champion.

CAST:

Chelsea: Katrina Clairvoyant
Emily McCorkle: Belgys Felix
Professor Malone: Robert Garson
Jenna: Devony DiMattia
Miss Gaskell: Chris Smith
Maya: Tanja Milojevic
Ed Champion: Edward Champion
The Executive: Rachel Matusewicz
Audrey: Amanda Rios
Romero: David Ault
Joe: David Sinkus
The Guard: Graham Rowat
and Zack Glassman as The Receptionist

Incidental music licensed through Neosounds and MusicFox.
Additional music composed by Edward Champion

Sound design, editing, engineering, and mastering by a bald man in Brooklyn who clearly has some corporate identity issues to work out.

Thank you for listening!

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos and videos pertaining to this episode that we made during the more than two years of production we put into the second season.

Behind the Scenes:

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This morning, I recorded with the incredible @theblondebraveheart, who you may remember as Jenna in "Compassion Fatigue." I'll say nothing about what happens, but, as you can see, we do revisit an incident involving an Elizabeth Hardwick book. Fortunately, I had all of Hardwick's volumes on my bookshelves to help zero in on the motivation. I can't say enough great things about Devony's talent and commitment. It was @tim_torre who sent her my way in the first season and I will be forever indebted to him not only his performance in "Hello" but for this terrific referral, which was a tremendous act of generosity for this production. Devony and I carried on as if two weeks had passed rather than two years. I also cast her as another character because she had expressed interest in playing someone of that type. But as Jenna, Devony came prepared and energetic: someone who I can totally trust to give me just as many ideas as I suggest to her. She was such a joy to work with that I really couldn't settle for a performance that didn't contain a few nuances here and there, even on lines that most other people would be happy with. We conjured up a quick backstory entirely based on Devony's instincts as a performer and where she wanted to take the character. And it all happened far faster than either of us expected. One other fun detail: Devony is the third actor in a row who has showed up wearing power boots. Apparently, the women I conjure up are so punk rock that this sartorial detail, arrived at independently by all three, has become a subconscious style choice. And it is one that I consider a great compliment! Anyway, the turn that Jenna takes in the second season will surprise you, if only because Devony very much surprised me! Thank you so much, Devony! #audiodrama #acting #character #surprise #fun #elizabethhardwick #boots #punkrock

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1:30 am. Nolita. I was restless. I HAD to get this out of me. So I holed up in a bar and whaddya know? I finished a 150 page draft of the season finale. It will definitely need a rewrite, but you're NOT going to see this crazy ending coming! Certainly it surprised the hell out of me. Thus ends the very labor-intensive and time-consuming "creating stories out of nothing" stage of Season 2. I'm a little delirious right now, but quite happy to begin the revisions over the weekend! Once I get this script in shape, we record the rest. And I can finally devote myself full-time to editing and releasing. Many thanks to my incredible cast for their faith and patience! This is going to be fun and weird! #writing #audiodrama #latenight #creative #script #nolita #fun #weird

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This morning, I had a super fun recording session with @devonydimattia, who is always a joy to work with! In this scene, her character (Jenna from "Compassion Fatigue") is dealing with an eccentric professor. Two pages in, Devony had the character down. Five pages in, we were coming up with so many layers that I really felt we had exceeded what was there on the page. Also, the funniest part of today was that I actually got a better performance out of Devony when I read the lines in the voice of Ricardo Montalban from STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, proving that impersonating Khan is strangely useful in the production of audio drama. Thank you so much, Devony, for once again being so marvelous! #audiodrama #character #acting #act #recording #startrek #khan #professor #library #character #voiceover #performance

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I had a very fun time this afternoon recording some season finale stuff with @katrinaclairvoyant and @devonydimattia! These two are always a blast to work with! What's great about these dual actor sessions is the way you discover details about characters by the way they bounce off each other. For today, I definitely needed that social energy. Because there are a lot of people in this scene! In this case, both Devony and Katrina found opportunities to inject some unexpected humor into these characters. I also noticed that both characters started mimicking their respective tics, almost sizing each other up, but said little (although I did laugh a lot), letting the two figure it out on their own and planting little seeds for why they might be feeling a certain way. You always want to guide actors gently, giving them just enough to imagine so that they can always surprise you. And these two certainly did! #acting #audiodrama #voiceover #collective #recording #drama #theatre #character #roles #humor #dimension #guide #seeds #imagination

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I had a blast this morning with the incredible @robgarson, who came seemingly out of nowhere and perfectly encapsulated the role of an eccentric professor who has big clues about the Virginia Gaskell mystery. In addition to being a very smart and hilariously energetic man, Rob is also a fine mimic of many UK dialects. He was incredibly easy and very fun to work with and this was one of those sessions where we both fed each other little nuances about the character, who I wanted to be somewhat stylized but nevertheless real. This is actually the other side of the scene clip I put up with @devonydimattia a few weeks ago. And this very goofy scene is truly going to be a lot of fun when I stitch this all together. Thank you so much Rob! #audiodrama #acting #recording #voiceover #character #british #professor #actors #session #fun #mimic #drama #background

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