I love radio plays, ever since I first listened to “War of the Worlds” as a retro gas, and was caught totally unprepared by how brilliant it was. My first chance to work on one was as a voice actor on the Clydestown project by my dudes Ryan Bradford and Jay Wertzler. Spending a summer collaborating with audiophile Margaret Noble was the last straw. Ever since then, the form has been on my mind, inspiring more than one failed attempt.
This one I like though, an adaptation of a story I contributed to the 2012 horror anthology, Black Candies: Post-Apocalyptia. The idea came from the years I had an office in San Diego’s East Village, known colloquially as, “The Bottoms,” by the police, social workers, and hordes of homeless who frequent it after being driven from the recently renovated Gas Lamp quarter of downtown. The idea was, you couldn’t sink any lower once you hit The Bottoms.
But even while homelessness in the wake of The Great Recession was soaring, with tent cities springing up for weeks at a time around empty lots or abandoned buildings before the SDPD moved them along to another spot, the days of The Bottoms were numbered. Downtown had become monied, and all around and above the soup kitchen lines, the tent encampments, and the shelters, the skeletons of new luxury condos were rising. Where the city would drive the homeless off to next, nobody knew, and the developers, so quick to tell you about their benevolent intentions in reclaiming that forgotten corner of the city, were uniformly mum on the subject.
Put all that against the backdrop of a culture increasingly obsessed with its own termination in the face of Global Warming and the Mayan Calendar hysteria and blammo: I got a story out of it. Small consolation in the social scheme of things, but so it goes.
I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did making it. My buddy Brian Simpson kills it in the narration.