Jay Perry on performing in RADIO HOUR



Jay Perry is the only actor to have performed in all 8 episodes of Plan-B’s RADIO HOUR.

If there was ever was gift from theatre gods I never saw coming it was a near-decade of radio drama. It’s hard to believe this is the 8th RADIO HOUR and that I’ve been able to be a part of each of these wonderful productions.

I remember the first one, RADIO POE, and how nervous I was to go on the air live that day – that’s when we performed it in KUER’s RadioWest studio without an audience. I remember how cool Tony Larimer seemed to be and how calmly and adeptly he voiced his role. Carl Nelson were amazing as well and it was such a pleasure to sit accross from Doug Fabrizio and the incredible view from his studio at KUER for the very first time. Still, I was a wreck; To play a complete character and try to get every moment perfect, live. Aaaagh! Well, the nerves still come, but the process and the performace of live radio has since become my favorite acting genre. And of course, the best part of it all has been the people I’ve had the good fortune to share it with.

In every incarnation of RADIO HOUR, the amazing foley artists have created such real, visceral worlds in my mind that I’ve been able to see, feel and nearly touch them. What a joy it’s been to live characters in such detailed imaginary places!  Worlds that are still emblazoned in my memory . . . I’ll never forget the dark London streets of SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE or the cruching celery bones in FRANKENSTEIN and I’ll always see those places filled with characters from the minds of some of the most immensely talented actors I’ve had the honor to work with. To get to live and be a voice in those worlds has made me a different human being.

And there, for me, is the allure of radio drama. Great people creating worlds in a divine medium where your imagination can run wild and everything you hear can become as real as if it were happening right in front of your eyes. There are no costumes, no set, no physical constraints, just what’s between you and the mic and the magic of the wireless. And the coolest part is that each listener gets to see the world in their own imagining, their own FAIRYANA. Of course, if you want the full experience, attend the broadcast and be a part of the studio audience. Just don’t be afraid to close your eyes.

From the lighthearted to the terrifying to the absurd, a near-decade of the genre has taught me a lot and it has really gone by quickly. I’ve found a passion for this kind of storytelling and it has helped me find my voice. Without question, though, it’s been the immensely talented people I’ve been honored to share RADIO HOUR with that’s been the true gift, and I can’t thank Plan-B enough for that.

Plan-B Theatre’s #SeasonOfEric continues with Eric Samuelsen’s RADIO HOUR EPISODE 8: FAIRYANA – featuring Dave Evanoff, Michael Johnson, Jay Perry, Eric Robinette, Teresa Sanderson and Jason Tatom, directed by Cheryl Cluff – on Tuesday, December 3 at 7pm in the Jeanne Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner.  Also broadcast live on KUER’s RadioWest – you are literally the live studio audience.  Click here for tickets and more info.

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