Sunday, February 7, 2010


It's my birthday this weekend and in case you didn't already know it, I am a huge DARK SHADOWS fan. No, not a fan. Make that fanatic. Yes, I own more DS memorabilia than you probably even knew existed. And proudly so.

It was a desire to write for Dark Shadows and TWIN PEAKS that brought me to Hollywood in the early 90s. Sadly, by the time I got here both shows had been canceled. Even more disappointing was that the 1991 revival of DS was just coming into its own when it got the can. Bummer, eh?

But while I'll probably never get the chance to write a TP story, I've been lucky enough to fulfill my dream and write not just one, but several Dark Shadows stories for BIG FINISH Productions. (And if you still haven't picked up THE WICKED AND THE DEAD, shame on you! Go to the link below ASAP and do the right thing. It's available now from

Anwyay... this weekend I got to watch David Selby (Quentin), Lara Parker (Angelique), and Andrew Collins (Barnabas Collins) records parts for my latest DS audio dramas. And while I can't go into the details of the stories at this time, I can say it was just delightful. Just how delightful?

You should see David Selby in action. The man doesn't care if cameras aren't rolling and that he's just recording for an "audio-only" medium. He just GOES for it and acts his damn ass off! It's just awesome to see his dedication and love for the craft come through.

Not to be outdone, Lara Parker was the one who kept the other actors honest. She'd ask the tough questions about character motivation, always digging deeper to find the truth in even the simplest or sometimes confusing (yup... my bad!!!) line. Actors like her are a gift to writers. Why? Because they make us better through their talent and unwillingness to settle for anything less than the best story possible.

Translation: They keep writers from getting lazy!

Now I hadn't met Andrew Collins before, but I already loved his voice. And WOW... seeing him in action was incredible. I dare say the guy can do anything with his voice, as evidenced by the way he was so easily able to match wits and intensity with David and Lara (and sometimes even surpass them!). And he made it look sooooo easy! Plus, he's a world-class person (as are David and Lara).

But while it's great to hear your hard work come to life, perhaps the best part of the day was listening to the stories they all had about their careers. David told us all an incredible moving story about visiting DS creator Dan Curtis at UCLA medical center during his final days. Lara talked about how she participated in an actors' protest against Vietnam during her DS days. And Andrew talked about how he came to the DS world by doing voice work for my other favorite show, DOCTOR WHO.

All in all, it was a fantastic afternoon and the perfect birthday present. Hmmmm. Next year's going to be hard to top...


Mark Rainey said...

Very cool! Nice to glimpse what's happening "inside." My upcoming script, DS: Blood Dance, is about to go into production. Thanks for the post.

bassrocker said...

BTW: I absolutely LOVE your dramatic readings! I couldn't believe you actually made a Leviathan connection in "Curse of the Pharaoh." Glad to know I'm not the only Jeb Hawkes fan out there. Can't wait to hear "Blood Dance."