Have you unconsciously surrendered the fate of your manuscript/television pitch/screen play to the whimsical tastes of industry executives? Do you think your project can’t go forward without the financial blessings of others? Entertainment Aristocrats can certainly boost our careers, but I’m not sure they can break them. In all likelihood, our destiny lies in our own hands. It took several years worth of groveling at the heels of those in the publishing industry for me to comprehend this.
Many of us hold our own dreams hostage by assuming things have to play out in a specific manner. In my case, I wrongly believed the only way to turn my manuscript into an audio book was to first have it published in hard back. Under this scenario, I would have had to sell a barn full of books before anyone would ever consider producing it in audio form. This is where mental flexibility can come in handy. Would your wacky idea for a TV show actually make a good comic strip? Perhaps your short film could be converted into a play. There’s no harm in test driving a few different forms of media.
Who knows, maybe you can expand your original offering and make your project even more profitable.
Can’t find someone to buy the rights to your movie? Find the courage to make it anyway, even if you have to shoot it with an old camcorder and dress up your dog as an extra. Life is short. Don’t miss the chance to live your art. Outcomes are over-rated anyway. The biggest thrills come from fully experiencing the projects we’re passionate about. Completing something we’ve been working on for a long time can be anti climactic, so the trick is to enjoy the process. Whatever you do, try not to get attached to the outcome.
Once I understood I had control over my own dreams, I formed an LLC called Straight to Audio Productions and produced my first audio book. I recorded and edited an 8.5 hour project using nothing but a mic, a mixer and a laptop. Miraculously, I was able to get my dog and pony show listed for sale as an mp3 download on Audible.com. After that, I built an actual studio and went to work recording WHEN RADIO AND POLYGAMY COLLIDE. . . Jitters-A Quirky Little Audio Book.
Thanks to technology like podcasting, e-books, and internet radio stations, it’s now possible for indie studios such as mine to get their work out in the public domain. Better still, with the huge array of freebies like YouTube and blogs, even low-rent operations can wage an effective publicity campaign.
When you run out of ideas, wing it. I’ve never met anyone who works in the audio book industry, so in my business I make everything up as I go. Sure, I’ve taken a few wrong turns, but it’s definitely been an interesting journey. This lack of an industry blueprint has left me free to dabble with different ways to tell a story. Unlike most audio books which have one person doing the voices for all the characters, Jitters-A Quirky Little Audio Book features a full cast of actors who tell their stories directly to the listener. I’ve also taken the liberty of experimenting with different forms of narration. Since the lead character in Jitters is a radio shock jock, I thought it would be cool to narrate the story through a series of newscasts. Like it or hate it, I probably couldn’t float this idea to any audio book traditionalists. It might seem risky, but there are advantages to “going rogue.” For one thing, you don’t have to follow any rules. Don’t be afraid to explore the unknown. Some of the best stuff comes from impromptu moments.
Even though you’ve probably spent years visualizing your project, how much time have you devoted to thinking about the specific things you want to achieve? Perhaps you have a vague fantasy involving lots of money and hotties by the hundreds. These things are definitely desirable, but chances are there’s more to it than that. The act of creation ignites something within us, even if we can’t put our finger on it. There’s a lot to be said for fully experiencing the moment we are in. I’m sure we would all love to spend a few days in the Gucci shoes of the industry elite, but let’s not assume this group has it better than we do. Along with the perks comes more pressure. Rather than focusing on what our project lacks, perhaps our energy would best be spent being grateful for what we already have. Besides, there’s no telling where our projects will end up – not knowing is half the fun!
Adele Park spent more than 20 years of her career working in television and radio as a reporter, news anchor and on-air personality. During that time, Park earned several top journalism awards from The Associated Press, Colorado Broadcasters Association and Utah Broadcasters Association. Park has also worked in the print media; her articles and photos have been published in a variety of magazines. In 2008, Park formed Straight to Audio Productions L.L.C. and opened a recording studio in St. George, Utah.