Production Journal: "Selfish Express"
We’re flattered when listeners tell us how “natural” or “off-the-cuff” we sound. Dozens of men and women on our crew toil for weeks to achieve the ralaxed, conversational tone that characterizes our show. If they’ve done their jobs well, even the close listener should be fooled into thinking we don’t do any preparation at all.
But with so many moving parts, things don’t always go smoothly. Here’s a peek at the production journal for our most recent episode, “Selfish Express”:
Oct 7: With just a month before we’re set to record, Adam spills Jamba Juice on the only copy of the script, rendering it illegible. Back to square one.
Oct 12: Speech experts, whom we hire to remove any trace of regionalism or accent, infuriated Merlin by asking him not to sound so “San Francisco.” As revenge, he’s been speaking nothing but fake Spanish. In an Irish brogue. For two weeks.
Oct 17: Acoustic modelers survey the recording studio. They recommend the building’s foundation be repoured to correct for the room’s weak sonic profile. Two days lost.
Oct 20: Coulton and Hodgman are busy on other projects and cannot attend every rehearsal. The child actors we’ve hired as their stand-ins are pretty darned funny. Conundrum: go with the kids instead?
Oct 27: Scott loses his voice at a NASCAR rally. Our insurance company refuses to cover the medical bills, claiming erotic massage is not a valid course of treatment.
Oct 29: The Bolivian tin mine, whose output finances our show in lieu of sponsorships, is nationalized. Cash reserves: low.
Nov 3: Coulton is refusing to learn Aramaic. Now we have to totally rewrite Act III.
Nov 8: Dress rehearsal. We’re forced to abandon the costumes after our designer forgets to FedEx the novelty-sized pince-nez.
Photos #3 & #4 by Ryan Carver. See larger versions of #1 & #2 here.