Jason Tatom on being the RADIO HOUR newbie

Jason Tatom

Jason Tatom has previously appeared in Plan-B’s EXPOSED and LADY MACBETH, as well as several SLAMs and the Script-In-Hand Series reading of 8.

Hi everybody. I’m Jason, and I’m the new guy. I’ve been lucky enough to work for Plan-B many times, but when it comes to RADIO HOUR, I’m definitely a newbie. I’ve been a fan of RADIO HOUR for a few years now, and always thought how great it would be to get to be a part of these projects one day. Then they stopped. For a little while anyway. One day (during the adrenaline filled 24 hours of this year’s SLAM, come to think of it) I decided to just ask Jerry if I could be a part of any future RADIO HOURs, and was thrilled to find out that the series was coming back. Now, here I am, The new guy. I gotta tell ya, that first read through was a little intimidating. These people have been doing this for some time now, and I just wanted to fit in. Well, maybe “fitting in” was a little optimistic, I was personally trying to not suck. Yeah, not sucking is an alright starting point, I can definitely build on that.

I was introduced to radio shows as a young teen. You should understand that I was a pretty awkward young man. Chubby, thick glasses, deathly shy, and not the least bit athletically inclined, so I ended up spending a lot of time by myself listening to the radio. We had a HUGE console radio in our front room. You know, the kind with the 8-track player, the turntable and a radio with the push buttons that allowed you to instantly get to your favorite stations. It must have been 5 feet long, at least. Then, one day, I came across something new. Some people were acting out a story, but on the radio. Huh. It wasn’t until later that I found out it was a recording from Orson Welles’s Mercury Theatre group. That was it. I was hooked. I devoured everything I could find. I soon had audio tape recordings of War of the Worlds, The Shadow, Gracie & Allen, Jack Benny, The Bickersons . . . Everything.

I loved being able to turn off the lights and get lost in a story. Unlike visual mediums, I was in charge of what the locations looked like, what the characters looked like, all of it. It was all in my head. And in the days before iPads, smartphones, and laptop computers, you could load up your new fangled Walkman and take the stories with you. It was great. Next time an older relative starts a story with the phrase, “In my day,” don’t be too quick to tune them out. Sometimes the old ways were really the best. So please, buy your tickets, and spend a brisk holiday evening with us. I promise, you’ll have a great time.

Matthew Ivan Bennett’s RADIO HOUR EPISODE 7: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE, featuring Bill Allred, Doug Fabrizio, Jay Perry & Jason Tatom and directed by Cheryl Cluff, opens Plan-B’s 2012/13 season on December 18 – click here for details and subscription information!

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