Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to blogging -- My involvement in The Book of Voices project

I've been completely wiped since my vacation in Maine, trying to keep up with the flood tide of work that had been piling up while I was gone. I did promise my loyal readers (however many of you actually exist out there) more updates about what I've been up to, though, so here's a project that's just getting off the ground that I'm pretty excited about.

Meet Joseph Zitt, scholar, geek, leader in the Occupy Cleveland community and all around cool Cleveland citizen. One of Joe's interests is also one of mine: This beautiful, complex, frustrating compendium of law, philosophy, history and poetry we call the Holy Bible and the history and context as it's been viewed through the ages.

One of his many awesome projects has been tackling the process of writing what ended up being a pretty long novel in the form of serialized microfictions, The Book of Voices. You can read an early version of the book on a Wordpress blog here. It's essentially theological fanfiction, a Midrash for the modern age -- giving voice to the unheard characters in the background of familiar Hebrew School/Sunday School stories, exploring holy text with an eye for the postmodern and subversive while always remaining respectful to the weight of the subject matter.

It's really fun stuff, in other words, and I was a fan of it as soon as I heard about it. Of course, my own voice being cast in the pilot episodes to turn it into an audiobook series didn't hurt.

You can listen to me playing the roles of Adam, the First Man, and his suspiciously similar-sounding great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson Japheth, youngest son of Noah and patriarch of the nations, here:


These are rough "pilot" pieces, as Joseph notes, intended to serve as a prototype with which to start putting together a more professionally made series of podcasts, but I still really like how they turned out and think they provide a great sense of what the book is like and what my vocal range is like.

And yes, in both the pieces I'm in I play a distraught mortal man commiserating in the wake of a great disaster with an angel played by the inestimable Robert Branch. I think it's a dynamic that suits my "earthy" quality as an actor, especially alongside Rob's natural ethereality.

Do leave me a note if you're in the Cleveland area and want to know more about/be more involved in this evolving project.

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