Convergence Con Report
Mark Time At Convergence 2013
The Mark Time Awards were presented at Convergence 2013 on July the Fourth. See an entry below for a list of the winners. And many thanks to the Geek Partnership Society for their continuing support of the Mark Time Awards and other events. But that wasn't the only remarkable thing that happened to audio theater at Convergence.
Attending the convention were several of the current Mark Time and Ogle Awards winners, including Jonathan Mitchell of The Truth, Jeffrey Gardner and Clayton Faits of Our Fair City, and Domien de Groot and Eline Hoskens of Audio-Epics in Belgium. And it gets better. Also around for the fun were several past Awards winners, such as Fred Greenhalgh of FinalRune, Scott Hickey of The Grist Mill, Matthew Beaudreau of Aural Stage, Jeffrey Adams of Icebox Radio, and Cayenne Chris Conroy of the Teknikal Diffikulties podcast. Oh, and Brian Price and Jerry Stearns of Great Northern Audio were there, as usual, to start it all off with the Mark Time Radio Show.
Sitting: Brian Price, Jerry Stearns, Richard Fish, Kris Markman.
Front row standing: Domien De Groot, Jonathan Mitchell.
Second row: Eline Hoskens, Peter van Riet, Jeffrey Adams, Scott Hickey.
Third Row: Jeffrey Gardner, Clayton Faits.
Back Row: Fred Greenhalgh, Cayenne Chris Conroy, Matthew Beaudreau.
Since there are so many of these audio type people attending Convergence lately, Fred, Matthew and Jeff Adams decided it was a good idea to hold a party… for the whole weekend. So they initiated the Mark Time Broadcast Central party room on the fourth floor. That was the official title, anyway. But throughout the weekend we all came to call it just Room 404. It seemed such an appropriate number.
Up in 404 they set up a makeshift recording studio, with microphones, sound deadening backdrops, sound effects inputs and recording devices. And they invited anyone dropping by to take the opportunity to see just how much fun it is to record your own audio drama. They handed everybody a script, assigned parts, put on the headphones, and gave them their cue. If you'd like to hear some of the results, Fred uploaded them to SoundCloud, and you can give a listen at: https://soundcloud.com/marktimebroadcast .
Besides the above mentioned audio people hanging around 404 you could find Monique Beaudreau, Matthew's wife (who designed the poster identifying the room as Broadcast Central), Dave Irwin, the sound effects artist for Icebox Radio, Peter van Riet, the composer for those marvelous Audio-Epics productions, Dr. Kris Markman, who often sits in with Great Northern to help present the Mark Time Radio Show, Chase Peterson, who is an inestimable MT Show production assistant, and Brian's daughter, Eleanor Price, who is Great Northern's most valuable critic, and has composed and performed the music for several Mark Time Radio Shows. It gets to be quite a gathering.
Fred posted a few photos from Convergence that you might find inspiring.
And that's the point. Convergence has become a place where audio theater producers and participants can meet, have fun, and make contacts that wouldn't happen otherwise. More than one collaborative production has come out of meetings at Convergence over the past few years. And more were talking about it this year.
The Mark Time Radio Show
As has been mentioned, we present the Mark Time Radio Show just before the Opening Ceremonies at Convergence. It's an original science fiction / fantasy comedy radio show from the Great Northern Audio Theatre. This one is loosely related to the convention's theme of British Invasion, and is titled The Sword in the Couch. (36 minutes) Picture a Victorian mansion as you would find on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. The lights are coming on in the third floor apartment, the one with the turret on the southwest corner. Urban fantasy in a TV sitcom.
War of the Worlds contest
Convergence Programming Head Craig Finseth came up with the idea to celebrate this year’s 75th Anniversary of the Orson Welles’ broadcast of the War of the Worlds by holding a contest and invited people to make a tribute show. With a maximum length of 15 minutes, and only a few other criteria, they wanted story options to be as open as possible. You can hear all the entries on the contest website at: http://waroftheworlds75.com/submission/. Look under Matt’s Sat Feed to hear them all.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
All in all I’d say it was a very successful convention for audio theater. Many panels on audio subjects such as productions styles, voice acting, podcasting, and writing for audio. How does that sound to you? Registration for Convergence 2014 - A Midsummer Night’s Dream - is still at its lowest cost. See more at http://www.convergence-con.org/. Who knows who might be there.