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Image by Rick Rothenberg
Concrete Wall
  • Writer's pictureNatalie Brianne

Almost Home

We’ve made it. We’re finally in 2021, the milestone that we have been striving towards for months.

Does it feel any different than 2020? There’s still the fear, loneliness and existential dread looming overhead. We still live in a time of masks, uncertainty, social distancing, and solitude.

Sometimes it just feels like it is never going to end. And there’s a part of me that wants everything to go back to the way it was. Yet, the part that is content with where I’m currently at seems to be greater now. We can’t go back. We can only go forward.

If you’ve felt anything like this, you are not alone. In fact, there are enough individuals feeling this anxiety and loneliness that a three-part radio play has been created. It’s called “Almost Home” and it follows the path of Rover, “a solitary space explorer-as she records her findings and musings in a series of personal audio logs. As Rover and her AI companion wander from planet to planet, marvelous discoveries lead to new revelations about the past generations, as well as the future of her personal mission.”

I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with this radio play, as both a voice actor and artist. Above is the image for the first episode, hopeful but melancholy.

As I read through the script and did the table reads, I felt like this production was incredibly timely and filled a growing need. And, I was absolutely thrilled to be trying something new. While I’ve been semi-involved in voice acting in the past and I have my own sound booth, this is the first time that my voice has been connected with a major project. The project was part of “Banner Media Studios,” an up and coming animation, audio, and production studio. We’re a small group of young adults who want to make the world a better place and create amazing, clean, and meaningful content. This is their debut production.

Partway through recording, it became clear that we needed some cover art for the episodes. I offered to take on that responsibility. Since it was in three parts, they wanted three covers. Each color represents the main emotion in each episode. I had never done anything quite like this, with such detailed backgrounds and complex lighting. I learned a lot while completing each piece.

Even though I had been majorly involved in the project and had read over the script multiple times, I was still amazed at the end product. When I was recording the script, I thought I understood the depth and emotion of the piece. But once everything was put together—voice, music, sound mastering—it became something else entirely. I found that some of the words I had said had meaning for me and my exact circumstances dealing with isolation and anxiety during COVID. I don’t know how I missed it, but it felt like this story, despite being fictional, was showing me a part of me that I hadn’t even noticed before.

I highly recommend this work of art for anyone, at any age, who wants to feel connected in this time of uncertainty. All together, the three episodes are about an hour and a half long. The link is below. Give it a listen.

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