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We posed some thought provoking questions to the author of our Halloween production – Earbud Theater: Live


Part One of interview with Nicholas Thurkettle

How did you become involved with Earbud Theater?

I wrote a screenplay called Habitat which I felt very strongly about, but was in this awkward place where it was too long for a short film and too short for a feature, and I wasn’t sure which direction to push it in. A friend of mine named Branon Coluccio, who is usually one of the first people to read any script I write because he’s insanely supportive of my career and smart about providing useful advice, gave it a look and told me he thought it had potential as an audio drama. He was helping Casey Wolfe try and expand the talent pool of Earbud Theater and he invited me to make Habitat with them. I immediately fell in love with every part of the experience and have been part of the Earbud family ever since.

What was your first introduction to Radio Plays?

My parents regularly listened to A Prairie Home Companion growing up, which isn’t strictly radio drama but gets you very familiar with engaging an audience with audio. And I loved vintage comedy records like the ones made by Stan Freberg, or Spike Jones and his City Slickers in the 40’s and 50’s; they had this air of absolute mayhem and insanity that belied an incredible amount of discipline and sophistication operating underneath them that really activated my brain.

What is your biggest challenge in writing for radio?

To this day the biggest challenge for me is always to find an idea that’s best communicated by the medium itself. Audio drama stimulates the imagination in a very particular way, and so the story, and ideally even its theme and elements of its plot, should utilize those qualities. To this day I think The Sounds Below – which people will hear re-created at Earbud Live – has struck the best balance of being a story that is most effectively told in sound.

What is your proudest moment with Earbud Theater?

I think it’s going to be when we take the stage on Halloween! But I think up until now it was when I was in the director’s chair while we recorded The Sounds Below, listening to the actors creating these moments of intense terror out of thin air. I was getting so many chills, even though I wrote the stuff they were saying! That’s one of my favorite things about writing; knowing you’ve created a space for another artist to do something brilliant within.

When did you decide to become a writer?

This is a funny question to me, because I often feel like I never really decided to do it; I just realized one day that it was what I was already doing. I’ve always had a lot of creative interests, whether it was acting or playing music or making movies; but I think it was during college when I started to realize that writing was the thing that reached closest to my core; that it was beyond a professional ambition, it was just an inseparable part of my life and identity.

Why do you write?

I think storytelling is one of the most powerful human activities. It can bring us together, it can change us. When people do good or do evil and you ask why, I really think hidden in the answer will be the stories they were told and the stories they believed. Writing is the best attempt I have at making sense of life and giving something to people they’ll be glad to have.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I’ve been starting things forever. I started a sci-fi novel in seventh grade. Then I started a different one in eighth grade. Then yet a different one in ninth grade. I didn’t become a writer until I started finishing things.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I have to do an awful lot of cramming it into spare minutes between my other work. My favorite method is a good 60-90 minute session at a café. If I could handle more caffeine I’d go to three cafés a day.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I sometimes do some outlining or brainstorming longhand on a legal pad, but I’m pretty loyal to my laptop.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://www.nicholasthurkettle.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NThurkettle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NThurkettle

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/nicholasthurkettle

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/nthurkettle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360544.Nicholas_Thurkettle

Information about the upcoming Halloween production of EARBUD THEATER: LIVE


Laguna Hills, CA – Laguna Hills Community Center

This October 30th at 7pm, and October 31st at 4pm & 7pm, On The Edge Theatre Productions and Earbud Theater   join together at the Laguna Hills Community Center to present a Halloween event unlike any other….

EARBUD THEATER: LIVE is a radio play performance of two unique stories. THE SOUNDS BELOW, a chilling tale about a man in a strange little shop down a lost night street who attempts to make a bargain with his fears, with soul-shattering results. The second show is a world premiere script entitled BONEY MCGEE, debuting exclusively in Laguna Hills, where it will be recorded for later release, with the audience members’ reactions becoming part of the show! So dim the lights, turn up the volume. Let Earbud tell you a story. And if you find yourself wondering, or worrying, or just staring at our strange world from newly un-scaled eyes, just remember – it’s all in your head…

 Tickets are $15 general admission, 12 and under are free with paying adult, and available by registering online at www.ci.laguna-hills.ca.us, or purchasing them, cash only, at the door on show days.  Seat reservations may be made by contacting OTE at (949) 458-2243 or by email to ajculver@otetheatre.com. The Laguna Hills Community Center is located at 25555 Alicia Parkway in Laguna Hills, CA.  For further information on this program and other exciting classes offered by the Laguna Hills Community Center, please call 949-707-2680.