A foley artist exists somewhere between an actor and a technician. Part of the world is of cue sheets and presetting props, and part of the world of having to have a costume and having to think about how to move about the stage. It was quite the jump for me to suddenly shift from being a theatre technician and designer to suddenly being more like an actor this was one of the many reason why RADIO HOUR: FRANKENSTEIN has been a totally new experience for me.
From the first meeting with sound designer Cory Thorell, I have been figuring out just what a foley artist is. Part of that is learning how to ‘play’ a chair and how to make a realistic wind sound. Part of it is being able to deal with doing 5 things in the time it takes you to normally do one them with out panicking. Part of it is being able to see (or in this case hear) past what you normally consider the world to be like.
While dealing with these challenges I have also had the pleasure of experiencing a side of theatre I had not experienced before. Instead of joining a cast for tech week and leaving when the show opened, with RADIO HOUR: FRANKENSTEIN I was at all the rehearsals and witnessed first hand the fun that is putting the basic building blocks of the show together – discussions about just how a character would sound to just when I was going to cut off an actor with a sound effect.
The next hurdle came with preview when the show was first performned in front of an audience. As someone that is used to hiding in the background of the theatre when an audience is in the building it was quite intimidating to be in front of one. After preview I thought that opening would be easier -after all I had done it! – that was not the case. Walking into the theatre at the start of the show was still nerve-wracking. Fortunately I didn’t have time to dwell on my nerves, for the show started and I had to starting making the noise in the form of some wind, a few splashes, and slam a wooden box closed to create the sound of a ship hatch closing. From there I enter into the world of foley barely come up for a breath during the show.
Working on RADIO HOUR: FRANKENSTEIN has been a completely new and pleasant experience for me.