Origin Story

The SSAT Origin Story

Welcome to Seriously Strange Audio Theater. Wait! What? Where in the heck did this come from??? No, I’m serious about the question, and if you’re reading this, I’ll tell you: your guess is as good as mine as to how this audio drama adventure began.

Since the beginning of this ride, I’ve been looking behind me wondering where this train came from. In retrospect, I see the tracks were decades-long and the journey inevitable as I neared the f* it age. I won’t share what that age is, but it is the stage where hopes and dreams jump off the shelves and start singing a cacophony of “I am Henry the eighth I am,” a la Patrick Swayze to Whoopi Goldberg’s character in Ghost. Heck, if you’re on this site, you likely know the reference!

Randy, my audio drama partner in crime and co-producer, will tell you that the Meetup group where I sounded the klaxon to actors and writers interested in audio drama was the beginning. Notwithstanding the first time I leaned into the mic and fell in love with audio acting, the impetus for SSAT started exactly at a small theater in Sacramento at the juncture of 19th and P St.

Yes, I can definitively say that this all started at the Thistle Dew Dessert Theater under the hilarious tutelage of its owner, award-winning playwright Thomas M. Kelly. Twice a week, Tom kept the door to the theater open as an invitation for the curious passerby, for the newbie voice actors like me looking to practice my trade, and to charge his primary mode of transportation, an electric golf cart! Newbie and seasoned stage and film actors alike came to play, laugh, and create new worlds from among Tom’s pick of plays. It was spectacular, nutty, and, most of all, empowering.

Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre
The Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre in Sacramento. (image credit: Sacramento Press.)

And then, Tom passed away. Anybody who ever sat at the table on the stage where Tom held court would attest to the fact that losing him left a crater, an empty space where nothing could replace what once was. He was an outlier who looked for the perfection your heart required and demanded your best using the tool of his good opinion of you! He made you do your due. I’ll let you think on that. I find it fascinating how even after his earthly departure he continues to inspire and push push push! I can still hear him saying, “You can do it.” It was that faith in me that made it absolutely intolerable for me not to continue on this incredible path.

When I created a meetup group, the progenitor to this reckless sanity, I never could have imagined the serendipities that would spark from a simple call out to the Roseville community. Cuz, Ping! Randy Parker appeared, a radio drama aficionado and fellow geek.

What luck! I swear I can still hear the beam-in chime from the USS-YESSS!!!! Randy, aside from being our main writer, is by far the forming norming and brainstorming catalyst to SSAT, without whom this glorious experience (website included) would be impossible. Thank you, Randy! You are Yoda! Create this, we can.

Also, thank you to my voice actor brothers and sisters! I can’t imagine this SSAT universe without you quirky kids who voice and enhance it. Allan, Evan, Rebecca, BillyJean, and Nathan, thank you for hopping aboard this moving train. I am astounded by your talent!

For our listeners, I thank you for your curiosity and gently insist that you are seriously strange for being here! Please send us a message if you are so inclined to give kudos or simply want to offer a suggestion about how we can make your visit here a stellar experience.

Much Love and Strangenuity,

Sharon


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