Well, hi. We’re back after a ridiculous break (explained on the main website, I can’t bear to repeat the reason here) and we deliver unto you our latest podplay, Carl. Written by the amazing Elizabeth Bartucci, Carl is epic, cosmic and will take your mind to the very edge of the universe (and maybe your heart too). We liked the writing so much we went into the computer Tron style (1982 Tron) and conducted a little interview with Ms. Bartucci. You can read that below, but first enjoy Carl, then read the interview, then listen to Carl again. (“Carl,” by the way, is very fun to say repeatedly)
Aaron – Jeff Cannata
Carl – Conrad Allan
Mike – Seamus O’Toole
Produced by Aaron Drown & Casey Wolfe
Directed by Casey Wolfe
Spot art: Michael J. Canales
Music by: Oh, a bunch of people. Jimmy Hendrix, Bobby Darin, Van Morrison, The Beatles, Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan… all of them rock stars.
EBT: Hi Liz! (Is it Liz or Elizabeth?)
EBT: Before we get started – what song do you have in your head right now?
LIZ: The Roots’ “How I Got Over” plays on a loop on my CD player and in my head to the dismay of my neighbors.
EBT: You’re much hipper than me. For some reason I have that Human League song about the guy and the former cocktail waitress. Real power struggle song and I imagine that relationship is just ripe with drama. Wouldn’t want to hang out with those two.
LIZ: Don’t You Want Me OOOOOoooo.
EBT: Yes, that’s the song! Oooo is right…Anyway. HI! So, we first met in a certain city on the west coast where good things used to happen, sometimes still do, but mostly don’t. You and your writing were one of those good things. I believe I’d read a script of yours called EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT (or am I getting that wrong?)
LIZ: Yes, and you left a message on my machine about how much you loved it. I saved it for a very long time – and it must have meant something to me, because I had to save the entire phone to keep the message.
EBT: Ha! That’s awesome! It was a very moving piece, sort of about post 9/11 but not overtly. I’m not doing it justice in the description but your voice is very unique and has a style of writing that sets the bar for other scripts I read. How long have you been at this?
LIZ: Thank you! Now I have to save this Mac Book Pro. I’ve been writing since a young girl, but I started writing screenplays after I graduated from the Actors Studio Masters Program and when I started working for Big Sky Edit. I like to tell people I was raised by Editors – which helped me write efficiently and with more pictures than words. Everything Is Going To Be Alright still opens doors for me.
EBT: Actually, I can see how that would make one a better writer. The piece you wrote for us is called Carl. It’s clever, funny and way out there – how did you come up with this idea?
LIZ: I’m a big fan of RadioLab. And I was listening to the podcast on a long train ride. I heard the one about Voyager and Ann Druyan and it moved me so much. Mainly, the love story about Carl and Ann. I guess people (on the train) thought I was listening to sad songs.
LIZ: Oh yes. The train ride and the disembodied voices physically helped me as well – got my body into the idea of traveling and movement. Longing. I’m easily ‘moved.’
EBT: Is this the first audio drama you’ve written?
LIZ: It is! Though, when I use to write plays, I’d stay in the back or the lobby of the theatre, and just ‘listen.’ So the experience is kind of the same – except I can’t make changes. That’s tough.
EBT: It’s kinda fun isn’t it? A bit more intimate. Different set of writing muscles.
LIZ: I want to cut. Which is a good sign – that means everyone else is doing their job. I think being a playwright for so long, makes you realize that language is sometimes the only vehicle you need. I listen to podcasts quite a bit. The Memory Palace, is beautiful, a guy with just the right words, a few musical interludes and some SFX. Is that what you wanted Earbud to be?
EBT: I wanted Earbud to be as creatively free as the film business wasn’t. Where a story could be as far out and esoteric as you wanted it to be. And by the way, you nailed this one. The dialogue is killer. I think I told you that when we were recording it one of the actors finished a line and then just let loose with, “This is fucking great – this is great writing.” Talking to himself. In fact it merits a couple of listens just to see how tight you made everything. It’s very layered.
LIZ: I very much miss writing for and with actors. Writing in repertory is very satisfying.
EBT: You mention Memory Palace, what other podcasts do you listen to?
LIZ: I like “Scriptnotes” which is “Car Talk” for screenwriters. “Here’s The Thing” w/Alec Baldwin [ed. note: is it just me or is Alec Baldwin doing ‘Blue Steel’ on the homepage?] and “WTF” w/Marc Maron – the hosts are kind of overwhelming but they bring out the best in their guests. The MOTH Radio Hour. My grandfather listened to talk radio on his transistor radio all day and all night long – I sort of understand why he did it. I just can’t get enough information! I remember laying in bed and listening to their radio and it was something like a detective show. I can remember the characters and the story – and I didn’t even SEE IT.
EBT: You know, as a kid my family would take these road trips and on occasion my Dad would find some radio show – I vividly remember catching a bit of THE NAKED JUNGLE which is about a plantation being attacked by killer ants. I too have those images still in my head. I’m glad the internet is kind of resurrecting this kind of thing. You should also check out SFFaudio – great stuff there.
LIZ: On my list! There’s another science one out there with Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
LIZ: Startalk! We are letting our Geek Flags fly. You told me you car pool with RadioLab?
EBT: Yes, in the human world I have to carpool a couple of brothers who would just get into these awful fistfights. One day I started playing RadioLab and they were mesmerized. Played it every day – no more fights. It was awesome.
LIZ: You must link RadioLab in this Interview. They have to know they are saving the world. One carpool at a time.
EBT: Will do! So, you’ve written a novel yes?
LIZ: I’d call it a novella. It’s been turned into a screenplay, that’s making the rounds. It’s called Secret Lives of the Unemployed.
EBT: Delicious rounds. What else is on your plate? Anything you want to mention or spill the beans on? We love beans here.
LIZ: The beans are, is that after listening to Carl, I decided to write a short feature based on this radio play. So, thank you! I also have a short feature Steve. Which is based on my play. I guess I will have to pick another man’s name to finish out this Guy Named Trilogy I seem to be writing.
EBT: RE: the third name, might I recommend “Balthazar?” Is Steve online?
LIZ: Steve is published in Smith & Kraus’ The Best 10 Minute Plays (Contemporary Playwrights Series). I think 2010 ed? The short screenplay, Steve as well as the feature Secret Lives of the Unemployed are in contention for a few things. We’ll see where it goes. I’m working with Lucy Stille at Paradigm, if anyone wants to take her or me out to lunch hahahahah.
EBT: Lunch with Liz, dammit!
LIZ: As a coincidence, Rumor has it that Voyager HAS in fact left the solar system.
EBT: Which you can read about right here. So, you know how James Lipton winds up his Inside the Actors Studio interviews with those questions? We don’t do that here because we’re not so skilled in the art of the interview.
LIZ: I forget the last question he asks.
EBT: Uh, like what’s your favorite sound, what’s your least favorite sound, do you think my beard makes me charming – yes, and the Pearly Gates one too…Shit – now I gotta know what DO you want God to say?
LIZ: Callous over guitar strings. The word “Like.” All beards are handsome. Mutton chops are killer. And I hope God says; “Look who’s here!” In that order.
LIZ: And then we have lunch.
EBT: Hopefully lunch with beans. Liz, thank you so much for writing Carl. We love it – everyone else will too.
LIZ: Thanks Casey. On one last note. I remember when I got the Disney Fellowship. nd it took forever for the Execs to make up their minds. I had 2 weeks to pack up in NY and get to LA. You were an Exec and a major part of that program. And one of the first things you said to me which made me sad then, but happy now, was: “I fought for you.”
EBT: No. THANK YOU! (I’ll still fight for you, just point me in the right direction)