Sandbox Radio Live!: Episode 5, “An Unexpected Twist”
recorded at West of Lenin on July 23, 2012
@2:35 “Markehim: Episode 5" by Paul Mullin
@16:58 “A Work of Art” adapted from the story by Anton Chekhov
@ 26:00 PSA - Little Bit Theraputic Riding Center by Elizabeth Heffron
@ 28:25 “Sound Thieves” by Emily Conbere
@ 42:09 “Au Fond Du Temple Saint” by Georges Bizet
@ 47:08 PSA - World Arts Access by Scot Augustson
@ 50:56 “Rally” a poem by Reginald André Jackson
@ 58:21 “Lactar” by Elizabeth Heffron
@ 1:12:12 “A Sousa Salsa” arranged by John Engerman
@ 1:15:38 “The Bleak End of the Woods” by Scot Augustson
@ 1:30:36 Finale/Credits
Every time the podcast of a Sandbox Radio Live! episode drops, I write a little blog about it. And every time I do, I say something like, “This episode is the best one yet.” And every time I say it, I believe it. But I fear that you’ll stop believing me if I keep saying so. So... what’s the solution?
Unsure, I press ahead.
Well, here’s one pretty objective way we get better. Each episode we try to fold a new writer or two into the mix. This time, with our episode “An Unexpected Twist” we presented a new play by relative newcomer-to-Seattle, Emily Conbere, and a poem by long-time local actor Reginald André Jackson. Speaking as someone who has written for Sandbox Radio since its inception, it’s a little unnerving when a newbie like Emily so masterfully makes her debut. Her “Sound Thieves” leverages all the peculiarities, good and bad, of crafting stories for the fecund darkness of the mind. (I know, because our July show was completely sold-out. So without a single spare seat for a freeloading playwright, I sat under the risers, my view of the stage totally blocked by audience legs. I swear this is the very best way to experience radio theatre: live but blind.) My favorite moment: Annette Toutonghi as Gloria, a mom trying to convince a shopkeeper who illicitly fences stolen sounds, to sell her some zoo noise to cheer up her son.
SHOPKEEPER: Individual zoo animals are twenty-five. A cacophony is fifty.
GLORIA: I only got twenty dollars.
SHOPKEEPER: Prices are prices.
GLORIA: And I’ve… I’ve got my dignity.
SHOPKEEPER: I don’t know what that means.
GLORIA: I’ll give you my … (much huskier voice) dignity.
SHOPKEEPER: Ah! You don’t say!
Other favorite moments include Leslie Law and Heather Curtis Mullin singing “Au Fond Du Temple Saint” by Georges Bizet, Jim Gall as the title role in Elizabeth Heffron’s “Lactar”, and of course, Scot Auguston, gift-wrapping the evening with the final offering, “The Bleak End of the Woods”, a stark noir detective story for forest animals. (See if you can spot my wife’s radio acting debut cameo as Charday the Squirrel’s mom.) As always, I listened with unbridled envy as Scot tossed off comic brilliance as easily as peeling bananas.
CHARDAY THE SQUIRREL: So, who’s missing?
JOE THE POSSOM: Clementine.
CHARDAY: Clementine? Let that old windbag stay missing.
CHARDAY: She’ll turn up like the bad penny she is.
JOE: I went to look for her and she wasn’t home.
CHARDAY: Wasn’t home?
JOE: Was not home.
CHARDAY: That doesn’t make sense. She’s a turtle. She’s always home.
So how do I convince you that while each episode is great in its own right, each one is better than the ones that precede it?
Aha! I know the solution! Go listen to the podcasts and decide for yourself.
PS: Advance reservations for our next episode, “Something Wicked this Way” become available tomorrow, September 14, at Brown Paper Tickets. Click here.
PPS: Per my tradition, I’m posting the transcript of Markheim: Episode 5 below the fold.
Markheim - Episode 5
by Paul Mullin
(Sounds of the Harborsteps fountain, water gently flowing.
MARKHEIM: What did you just throw in the fountain?
LIV: A penny.
LIV: For a wish.
MARKHEIM: A wish?
LIV: Yeah. You gotta wish for things.
MARKHEIM: You do?
LIV: Don’t you?
MARKHEIM: I— um don’t think I ever wished for anything, Liv.
LIV: Well, then you gotta try it, Mark. Here. I think I have another penny. Yeah. There. Toss it in and make a wish.
LIV: It can be anything. It doesn’t have to be important.
MARKHEIM: Uh... Okay. I wish I never—
LIV: You can’t wish something done undone.
MARKHEIM: You can’t?
MARKHEIM: Okay. Uh... then I wish I could figure out this clock—
LIV: You can’t say it out loud. It won’t come true.
(The murmuring fountain sounds begin to shift, growing louder and more intense until they blossom into a full blown rainstorm.)
DOM 1 (asshole cop, maybe Cockney?): Markheim.
DOM 2 (similar ilk): Markheim!
MARKHEIM: Who’s there?
DOM 2: What’s wrong with him?
DOM 3 (similar ilk with a twist): It’s almost like he’s sleeping?
DOM 2: What? Like the meat do?
DOM 3: Yeah.
DOM 2: Disgusting.
DOM 1: Right. Touch ‘im up.
DOM 2: Right.
(A harsh vicious buzzing like some sort of high-voltage existential shock. Markheim screams.)
DOM 1: On your feet, Markheim.
MARKHEIM: Feet? Fuck. What?
DOM 1: Markheim! You are in the presence of His Ascendency the Arch Angel Raguel.
MARKHEIM (still fuzzy): What the fuck?
DOM 1: Touch.
DOM 2: Right.
(Again the shock. Again Markheim screams.)
DOM 1: On your feet and show the Septarch of all Celestial Dominations the proper respect.
(Sounds of Markheim shuffling to his feet.)
MARKHEIM: Of course. Apologies, Sar Raguel. Blessings be upon you.
RAGUEL (officious, British accent): You may dispense with the formalities. There is simply no time. Our business is urgent. And this city’s... moisture is most repellent. You were visited by a Cherub several earth turns ago.
MARKHEIM: That’s right. I sent him back up to the Fix.
Uh... sorry. The C.O.G.
DOM 3: Well, ‘e didn’t make it back to the City of God, did ‘e?
RAGUEL: Seattle Powers say the cherub was assaulted and abducted by a choker demon. Or as you might say, the chub got smoked down to the Crisp.
MARKHEIM: Shit I--I left the Chub at the water. He wanted to watch it for a while before heading back.
DOM 1 Cherubs are strictly administrative, cloud-side only.
DOM 2: ‘e would have been ripe for the slaughter unprotected down ‘ere.
MARKHEIM: I couldn’t stay. Two angels together in the Show? Would’ve been a provocation.
RAGUEL: A provocation to whom?
MARKHEIM: Whom else? Sam.
RAGUEL: Why would you need fear The Satan? Are you not working under direct auspices of the Septarchy?
MARKHEIM: No. I’m done. Walking neutral.
MARKHEIM: Yeah. I cut a deal with Sam.
RAGUEL: Ah. So because you “cut a deal” with the Eternal Adversary of Holiness, you felt obliged to leave your celestial colleague utterly defenseless.
MARKHEIM: I warned him.
DOM 1: So you knew what would happen to him?
MARKHEIM: I knew what could happen to him. If he lingered.
DOM 3: ‘e’s working for Sam and set the Chub up.
MARKHEIM: I don’t work for Sam. Take my word for it. Angels can’t lie.
DOM 3: Fallen angels can.
MARKHEIM: Do I look fallen?
DOM 1: Touch.
DOM 2: Right.
(Again the shock. Again Markheim screams.)
RAGUEL: That’s enough.
What is so entertaining for you down here, Markheim?
MARKHEIM: Nothing. But I got some questions I’m looking to answer.
RAGUEL: What sort of questions?
MARKHEIM: The clockwork my mission fits. As far as I can tell it dead ends. That alone is... curious.
RAGUEL: Yes. Curious. Nevertheless, if you are “walking neutral”— and I take you at your word — then I worry for your safety
Samael never breaks his bond: it’s true. But he has a very nasty habit of making his deals much more unpleasant than his second parties expect.
MARKHEIM: I’ll take my chances.
RAGUEL: Well, I choose not to “take chances.” Therefore, I am leaving you these three Dominations for protection.
MARKHEIM: What?! If two angels in The Show are a provocation what do you think four will be? What’s your game?
RAGUEL: Keep him in sight at all times.
DOM 1: Yes, Sar Raguel.
RAGUEL: I wager Brother Samael will be less tempted to pester you with them around.
MARKHEIM: I can’t be responsible for three cloud-foggy Doms.
RAGUEL: Good-bye, Markheim. Heaven’s blessing be upon you.
MARKHEIM: And also with you, Sar Raguel.
Not a big fan of company. Even less of Dominations. Fierce but no street sense. Fix Cops.
Still, next morning I decided to make the most of my posse.
(Sounds of Westlake Park and the Occupy Seattle protests.)
PROTEST LEADER (shouting out): Who’s park?!
PROTESTORS (shouting response): Our park!
LEADER: Who’s city?!
PROTESTORS: Our city!
LEADER: Who’s world!?
PROTESTORS: Our world!
(The voices fade as Markheim crosses to the North side of the park.)
MARKHEIM: I want my dog back, Stank.
(Sounds of the dog whining for Markheim.)
STANK: Fuck you, Mark.
MARKHEIM: Liv gave me Black Francis to take care of.
STANK: And you killed her.
MARKHEIM: Liv’s in Oregon, Stank. Everybody who actually lives on the street knows it.
STANK: Fuck you. And who are these three ugly goons with you? More angels?
MARKHEIM: That’s right. They’re my crew. Follow me everywhere.
STANK: Three bitches ain’t gonna keep you safe, Markheim. No matter how ugly they are. Everbody’s gotta sleep.
MARKHEIM: Not angels. Where’s Didge?
STANK: Like you don’t know.
MARKHEIM: I don’t know.
STANK: In the hospital. He cut off his hand, asshole. Says it was your idea.
STANK: The EMT’s came quick enough to save it. Docs at Harborview sewed it back on.
MARKHEIM: Fuck. Did he say if it still burns?
STANK: You fucking kidding me? Why should I tell you shit?
MARKHEIM: Did he say or not?
STANK: He say it doesn’t bother him anymore.
MARKHEIM: Okay, tell him I’ll come see him soon.
STANK: You go anywhere near him, I’ll kill you.
MARKHEIM: Good luck with that, Stank.
STANK: Things can always get uglier, right, Markie?
MARKHEIM: Remembered that, did ya, Stank? Well, good. Start believing it.
VOICE: Well that was a bust: me hoping the kid was smart enough to be intimidated by my celestial shadows. Guess I’ll have to come up something else to get Liv’s dog back.,
I’m tired. Damned if the Show doesn’t wear me out.
(Something’s different, in the same way it was just before the Liv Dream.)
MARKHEIM: Flip! Kill the twist. Use the knife. Do it fast. This ain’t the movies. They don’t stay unconscious for hours. Slash the neck, all the way through both the windpipe and jugular. Then leave the knife in the heart for safe keeping. Do the right thing.
FLIP: The right thing?
MARKHEIM: The smart thing. The only thing. Do it. Now.
FLIP: Sam isn’t going to like this.
FLIP: Sam isn’t going to like it.
MARKHEIM: That’s not how this goes. Sam’s got nothing to do with it. This is Cloud Work.
FLIP: You think he’s gonna just sit on his bat wings while some Arch who replaced him in the Fix posts three Doms in the Show to wipe your ass?
MARKHEIM: What do you know about Archs and Doms? You’re just some Flip.
FLIP: A dead Flip.
MARKHEIM: Yeah. A dead Flip.
FLIP: Sam ain’t gonna like it. Doms in the Show. Sam’s gonna have something to say.
MARKHEIM: You’re saying I should get to him before he gets to me.
FLIP: I ain’t saying nothing. I’m dead, remember?
(Sounds of Markheim awaking, gasping, then panting in a cold sweat.)
(Sounds of the Harbor Steps, early morning.)
MARKHEIM: Something strange is going on, Smiley.... been having weird dreams.
MARKHEIM: Well, first off, angels don’t dream.
SMILEY: How do you see the future then?
SMILEY: Or talk to spirits of the dead?
MARKHEIM: Uh... We don’t.
MARKHEIM: ‘Cuz second off. Angels don’t sleep.
MARKHEIM: I think some shit is gonna go down if I don’t talk to Sam.
SMILEY: So go talk.
MARKHEIM: I can’t with these Doms I got guarding me.
SMILEY: I was gonna ask you about them. They Follow you everywhere?
SMILEY: And who’s Sam anyways?
MARKHEIM: You might know him better as “the Devil”.
SMILEY: Or Satan.
MARKHEIM: Yeah, but Satan’s not a name, it’s a title. When he was still one of the Septarchy he was called “Sar Samael Ha-Satan.” It was his job to prosecute. Ever read the Book of Job?
SMILEY: In the Bible?
SMILEY: Then shit no.
MARKHEIM (more to himself): So how does a lowly Markheim dial up the Devil?
SMILEY: You asking me?
MARKHEIM: Yeah, come to think of it. Where’s the lowest, foulest place in town?
SMILEY: Hard to pick.
MARKHEIM: Think nasty, hurtful.
SMILEY: Oh, the Metro dig.
SMILEY: They tortured a big nasty metal worm to chew its way through Seattle’s guts under Capitol Hill. Didn’t even think twice about what might be buried under there.
MARKHEIM: Sounds promising. Can you take me there?
MARKHEIM: It’s important, Smiley.
SMILEY: It’s always important with you, Markheim.
MARKHEIM: Just this last favor. Please.
SMILEY: Fine. Let’s go.
MARKHEIM: Well, wait a second.
SMILEY: What now?
MARKHEIM: How’m I s’posed to get past these Dom guards?
SMILEY: Jeez, Markheim. I gotta think of everything for ya? Come on. Just follow me into this Tully’s.
(End of episode.)
© 2012 Paul Mullin