Monthly Archives: February 2013

Meet “The Radio Kids”!

TheRadioKidsIt’s 1940 and The Radio Kids of Station KTIQ (the smart place to be!) are ready to bring you a number of fun and funny radio plays! The plays are “slightly musical” in that the kids always sing their own radio jingle and sometimes sing jingles for their “sponsors” and occasionally a short song.

FFP’s newest script is ready to go live on the catalog, featuring The Radio Kids in something they really love to do — a mystery! It’s called The Mystery of the Clump in the Night! Stay tuned for more on that, soon!

Another play called A Day with the Bickersons will be ready for our catalog very soon — right after we finish getting all of the A Shakespearean Tale! materials ready to upload.

Doing a radio play is a great challenge for any actor, but especially for young actors. It’s not the same as memorizing lines and moving around the stage as they normally do. The actors actually have to act as they read, holding their script, turning the pages, and delivering their lines into the stand-up microphone while staying in character. They are acting for a “pretend audience” in front of a real audience — so they have to think on several levels. It requires a lot of directed energy.

You’ll find that some great little actors (and maybe some big ones) have serious problems reading from and following a script “on the spot.” They will take some extra attention. Many have learned to compensate with their memories, but they still need to learn to follow each page in some fashion. Figure out who these actors are right away and don’t let them get lost or discouraged. Support them from the onset and they will usually find a way to get the job done.

Radio plays are great fun, and also excellent opportunities to create some interesting and entertaining ways to enhance cultural and historical literacy for both the actors and the audience!

Recording Sam Shade Songs

We finally have all the Sam Shade songs “in the can”!

It has taken longer than we thought, and our battle to conquer our innovative delivery system (innovative for this industry!) has finally been won (we’re pretty sure). We have vocal tracks (for rehearsal, the “here’s how it goes” tracks) and instrumental accompaniment tracks for those who just aren’t able to muster their own musicians.

Recording with Doug is fun!

Recording with Doug is fun!

Here you see our wonderful sound engineer, Doug Raney, clowning  a bit with Zach and “the girls.” From left to right, you see Shannon furthest from the camera, then Aly and Sable. This particular session featured Zach as Sam Shade with Aly in her role as Sylvia Songbird, together singing “the blues” in their version of It Looks Like Christmas. Later, the girls recorded the full version of It Looks Like Christmas, in the roles of Thelma Typefast, Kitty Kindly, and Sallie Socialite.

Abby adds a track and Doug clowns!

Abby adds a track and Doug clowns!

Zach took on the role of gangster Bugsy Bigtime and helped the girls record the swinging Out on the Town Tonight. Next came the girls doing an entertaining job on Broadway Wannabes. Then the girls “lamented” the bluesy, jazzy That Man of Mine.

Our younger “Down Yonder Gang” managed to lay down We’re Orphans in one take! Then they made remarkably quick work of  Jesus is Christmas.

The grand finale is the upbeat The True Meaning of Christmas which brought all 7 girls together. With me on guitar and Susan Merritt on keyboard, poor Doug was outnumbered 9 to 1 in his little studio! But he just grinned and held up very well!

Vic the Stick makes it all swing!

Vic the Stick makes it all swing!

“Vic the Stick” Cleaver put the finishing touches on the recordings with a cool combo of his regular trap set and his electronic drums. Now we’re really bluesy and really swingin’!

Our good friend Victor Cleaver is a popular instructor of piano, guitar, drums, and percussion in the Denton, Texas, area. Find him at vcleaver (at) (use the “at” sign).

Doug Raney is a really cool guitar teacher, songwriter, and performer in the Denton area. Find him at

Now, to finally finish prepping the materials and get all three Sam Shades up and running!