Tales from Zarahemla

S01E01: They Solve Everything With Food

August 20, 2020 Richard Bugg / Clarence Gilyard Season 1 Episode 1
S01E01: They Solve Everything With Food
Tales from Zarahemla
More Info
Tales from Zarahemla
S01E01: They Solve Everything With Food
Aug 20, 2020 Season 1 Episode 1
Richard Bugg / Clarence Gilyard

Television and Film Star, Clarence Gilyard joins host Richard Bugg to introduce the pilot story.  
Story 1 introduces us to a few of the delightful residents of Zarahemla, their secrets, and their efforts to fit in and understand one another:  Ivan is trying to sneak in a hunting trip; Rosa is worried about feeding her kids; Bilby is out wandering.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Television and Film Star, Clarence Gilyard joins host Richard Bugg to introduce the pilot story.  
Story 1 introduces us to a few of the delightful residents of Zarahemla, their secrets, and their efforts to fit in and understand one another:  Ivan is trying to sneak in a hunting trip; Rosa is worried about feeding her kids; Bilby is out wandering.

Transcript of Podcast
Tales from Zarahemla – Season 1: Episode 1
Host: Richard Bugg with Guest Star: Clarence Gilyard

(MUSIC: Intro theme music)

RICHARD: I'm Richard Bugg and this is Season 1, Episode 1 of Tales from Zarahemla. I have in studio with me my good, good friend, Clarence Gilyard.  You'll know Clarence from such television shows is Walker—Texas Ranger, Matlock, he played that wonderful comic, but menacing role in Die Hard, and many other films and television shows.  Clarence and I have worked together for many years now, producing theater and just enjoying ourselves in the art of storytelling.  Welcome, Clarence.  How are you today?

CLARENCE:  Thank you, and you know, if you want to see me with hair, you can see me in Top Gun.

RICHARD: That’s right.  Top Gun is another great one.

CLARENCE:  And in an un-65-year-old body.  I don’t know how that’s going to go with your fans.  Yeah, oh my gosh, thanks Rick. It's great to be in Cedar City because my family is in Las Vegas.  I mean we live in Las Vegas. We're here—up here and, boy, it's so nice up here

RICHARD: It is, it’s…

CLARENCE: …it’s so nice up here.  Somebody said that there is a hint of Fall in the air.

RICHARD:  Oh, yeah…

CLARENCE: Are you selling that? 

RICHARD:  It has been getting cool at night…

CLARENCE: That is disgusting!

RICHARD: …and, it’s really quite wonderful.

CLARENCE:  So, we’re coming back in two weeks.


CLARENCE:  So, if you can introduce me as somebody else, I’ll do the show again next episode. 

RICHARD:  Oh, you bet.   


RICHARD:  Well, listen, let's talk a little as a way of introduction to today's story—a little about—maybe how the stories came about and the importance of storytelling—whatever we want to chat about. And just for our listener—the format today is: we’ll do this sort of introduction chat and then following the reading of the story we’ll talk again for a moment or two, okay?


RICHARD:  So, I wrote the first story many years ago—it was probably 20 years ago now—as sort of a project for my students. We were putting on a radio show, so they could learn about old time radio. And I'd listened to Garrison Keillor's stories, of the Lake Wobegon stories, for many years, and so I was inspired by that, and I created a fictional town in southern Utah and these stories let us get to know the people living in that town and all their struggles and joys and experiences of life. And it kind of laid dormant for a long time but then one year as we were doing the Neil Simon Festival, which is our Summer Festival here in Cedar City, I decided why not do this as a sort of an extra bonus for our patrons. and we started doing that. and I would write a new story each week…


RICHARD:  Which was a challenge. And, so, we have a few of them in the can and I plan to write more as this podcast continues. So, Clarence, tell me how you were introduced to the stories and whatever you want to talk about.

CLARENCE: Well, you told me you wouldn't send me a check for my weekly work at this Festival if I didn't come on Sunday… no… no, you would…actually you… my recollection is that you read them to us—you read them to my family, incrementally.  And so, we gave you that wonderful response—because they really do appeal to my family. You know the raconteur‑the fatherly raconteur sitting down and I think we were finishing a meal and we were just listening to you read and it seemed like it was in my DNA and the boys, and Elena, were right there. And so there's a niche for this without a doubt. There's definitely a niche for someone who just wants to share and articulate the written word — you know, the short story form. I think it's spiritual, to be honest with you. The connectivity of the artist who writes with the imagination of the person listening on the radio is the foundation—a hardcore foundation—to the advent of television which is, you know, where it is now, today – you know? And so that we don't really get the opportunity to hear a writer read her or his work and then let our imagination drop itself around it.

RICHARD: Thank you, yeah. I have shared my ever developing philosophy with my students, (I teach at the University here,) about storytelling and the absolute importance of it. In fact, there's a saying that the three most important things in life are the three S's: Shelter, Sustenance, and Storytelling. 

CLARENCE:  Yeah…yeah.

RICHARD:  And to put storytelling on a par with those other two is quite a statement, and I think it's so vital because…it’s what we do as humans; it’s how we communicate; it’s how we define ourselves; it’s how we give ourselves purpose; it’s how we come to understand ourselves; but most importantly, the art—the true art of storytelling is that we take our listener or viewer on a cathartic journey…


 RICHARD:  …and that catharsis is what teaches empathy.

CLARENCE:  Uh-huh.

RICHARD:  Because we can’t have all experiences in our own life—we we have to live vicariously through some of those things…


RICHARD:  …and gaining that empathic understanding is what brings peace to the world. And I fear that a lot of our storytelling now iS getting away from that. I see movies and television shows that don't take us on a cathartic Journey; they do something else.

CLARENCE:  Yeah, they respond to the dollar.

RICHARD:  Right.

CLARENCE:  They have to fit into a mold or a paradigm for the writer of the 21st century to feel like they're validated.

RICHARD:  Yeah.  So I get turned off by shows where the plot moves so fast or so slickly that you don't have a cathartic journey, and if we don't have that we won't understand each other.

CLARENCE:  Right, right.

RICHARD:  You can see what's happening in our nation right now. In the name of tolerance we are completely intolerant of each other and we are dividing ourselves, and there's no empathy. So, I don't mean to go off on a rant about that…

CLARENCE:  It is your show.

RICHARD:  …but I think it is important.

CLARENCE:  And it is your show.

RICHARD:  That’s right, it’s my show.  I can say what I want.

CLARENCE:  Yeah, but that’s a loving thing to say, you know. We don't listen to each other. I have to remind myself. I have to remind myself to listen, to listen. I have to remind myself, cuz we don't listen. And we certainly don't hear, because tto hear is really to take someone into your heart. Whatever it is. You know, at the bank line, right? At The Grind over here, in rehearsal, listening here.

RICHARD:  Well, I've thoroughly enjoyed sharing some of my stories with your family because your family — you've taught your children to listen and they really do…


RICHARD:  They do listen—their young and yet they hear all the nuances in these stories and laugh and enjoy themselves and that's very gratifying.

CLARENCE:  And it’s a journey—it’s an imperfect journey to listening and hearing, you know what I mean, but at their age, you know the 17, the 13, and the 10-year-old, you get that they listen. They’re very, very aware.


CLARENCE:  Right?  And, so, if we can get some kind of feedback then that will stimulate you as a writer, right? And, definitely, it stimulates them, and it stimulates us as parents, you know, where we are, where they really are, not where we want them to be. Listening is peripatetic exercising walking along with the person who's speaking, right?

RICHARD:  Right.

CLARENCE:  And who wants to walk along with somebody when: “I've got so many things to do, Rick.” “My day’s so busy, I don’t know if I can fit you in, Rick.” Even when we're right here and I just bump into you at Lynn's, right? I just want the news, but I'm not really listening.

RICHARD:  Let me share one more memory of my family before we jump into today's story. I grew up in a large family—there were eight children, and my father was an insurance salesman, but he had a gift for interpreting stories and creating characters. I think that's where I gained my love for theatre. And for several years, as I was growing up, my parents invited the young single adults in our neighborhood over to our home and my mom would pop up big bowls of popcorn and we’d have jugs of A&W Root Beer, and everyone would sit around and they woul listen to my father, on Sunday evenings, read stories—sometimes short stories—sometimes whole novels in installments. And what a legacy for me that was, just listening to those characters come to life. And, boy, we don't get that much in today's society and that's, I think, my drive for setting up this podcast and sharing these stories as I hope other people will have the same experience I did growing up.

CLARENCE:  Yeah, I’m excited to see who your guests are gonna be done the line. You know the diversity of your guests, I think, will tell the tale, and people will start to embrace the podcast about the universality of our disposition to storytelling. You know, we are disposed – even though, you know, the kids will come kicking and screaming…


CLARENCE: …to be, you know, to be sitting around radio, but once it happens—you know, once we say, “I’m sorry, but this is what your gonna do. We're all going to sit, and have some root beer,” or whatever, “and that’s all…that’s all…that’s all we’re going to do.” 

RICHARD:  Well, why don't we go right to it. 


RICHARD:  I’m going to now do the first story of Tales of Zarahemla. So, here we go.

(MUSIC: Intro theme)


And now the news from Zarahemla — a small town in Southern Utah.

Ivan Young cringed at the squeak and crunch of the half inch of snow under his boots.  It was four a.m. on Sunday morning and Ivan was giving in to the fantasy that had been tickling his mind all the nightlong.  His wife would be hurt he knew, and of course he would have to face his bishop eventually.  His bishop, Todd Jenkins, who in high school had been the weakest of them all when it came to this sort of thing, would now sit as judge and counselor.  But he couldn’t stop himself.  

As Scoutmaster and counselor to the Young Men, he had at every opportunity begged the boys to set righteous priorities for their lives — to make decisions about their actions in advance, so that when temptation came, the decision would already be behind them and they could easily stay on the straight and narrow.  Yet, on this crisp morning, the heat of passion helped him to forget all of that, and, crunching snow be damned, he was going through with it.  

(SFX: Crunching footfalls in snow)

The bright moonlight filled the cab of his pick-up and there she lay, covered to the neck with blankets, more beautiful than even his restless dreams had remembered.  A ProLine Stalker 35” hunting bow.  His recurring dream and fantasy had shown that arrow smoothly bagging a three point buck.  

Three years it had been since he brought home venison that he could claim as his own.  Sure, Todd had always shared, saying that his family would never be able to eat it all.  But, this was Ivan Young’s year to get a deer.  Hunting season was almost over, and nothing, nor conscience nor duty, was going to stop him.  

Besides, he’d had a tickle in his throat all night.  He wasn’t sure that he should expose himself to anyone at church this morning and some good clean mountain air might be just the thing to nip this cold, or whatever it was, in the bud.

(SFX: Squeaky screen door opening) 

Suddenly Ivan heard the ungreased cry of a screen door across the street and down two houses.  It was Todd’s house.  Ivan flattened himself beside his truck, face first in the snow.  What would the bishop be doing out at this time of morning?  Bishop’s Council meeting wasn’t for another three hours.  

He had worked it all out.  He knew that at about five after seven, Blaine Packer, the executive secretary, would call Ivan to remind him about the meeting and ask how soon he could get there.  Not wanting his wife to have to cover for him, he had switched her phone to silent, and set it on the kitchen counter, instead of it’s normal place on the bedstand next to her.  His own phone was on vibrate, and he just wouldn’t answer if it was brother Packer calling.  He would have to face the music later; but with a cleaned and gutted buck in tow he figured he could handle anything.  

Had Todd seen him?  If so, he felt like a complete fool, because with this moonlight he was in full view of the Bishop’s porch, and Todd must be wondering why he was putting his face on ice?  But still he didn’t move.  Could it be Rachel, Todd’s wife?  What would she be thinking?  And of course she wouldn’t keep it to herself.  Every smile and giggle on the face of the relief society women for the next two months would leave him wondering.  He kept his face in the snow, not daring to breathe as he strained to hear or sense what was going on.  Finally he heard a pitter-patter and soft squeaks coming toward him and looked up to see Betty, Todd’s dog, panting over him with a perplexed cock to her head.  

(SFX: Dog panting)

She licked his face, and when he returned her look with a little half smile, she continued her way down the street, sniffing for a place to relieve herself and mark her territory.  

No one had seen him; or at least he hoped.  He had a brief thought that this may have been a sign from God — or at least a warning, a chance to cool his head and rethink this, but the exhilaration of it all only heightened his senses and the ProLine Stalker hunting bow sang to him louder than ever.  

The groan and loud metal pop of the driver side door was more than he could face now, so he walked around to the passenger door where the window mechanism had been broken for months, with the window stuck in the down position.  Whenever he took the truck, he would simply drive with the heat on high, giving himself frozen ears and sizzling feet.  He crawled through, cursing himself for never starting that exercise regimen that he kept promising.  Orange jacket and hat were already planted behind his seat.  He shifted into neutral and waited.  

His plan was to simply coast out of the driveway and down the street before having to start the rather noisy engine, but he hadn’t remembered in his plan that he wouldn’t have an open door to stick his foot out and start himself rolling.  He hoped the slope of the driveway would be enough, but the crisp snow seemed to be holding him in place.  God wasn’t going to let this be easy for him.  He began shifting his weight forward and back to try and get the truck to rock and start it’s decent.  He had banged his head twice on the gun rack behind him when the pickup finally began to roll.  Ivan got so excited that he inadvertently pounded the horn with his fist.  

(SFX: Ford truck horn)

The sound so startled him that he immediately stepped on the brake so that he could listen for any signs of life from his house or anyone else’s.  A couple of distant barks were all that he could hear.  He cursed himself for his stupidity and prepared himself to start the rocking process again, but this time when he let his foot off the brake the truck began to roll of its own accord.  He backed up the slope of the street and then began to roll forward, picking up speed and committed to his day of sin.

(MUSIC: Musical interlude)

(SFX: Pickup truck passing by)

Mrs. Rosara Little (Rosa to her friends) heard the putter of Ivan’s truck as he passed by her doublewide trailer.  She wondered what Ivan was doing up this time of morning.  Then, again, she wondered what she was doing up this time of morning.  She just couldn’t sleep. Bishop Jenkins had called her last night and asked if he could meet with her today.  Between her work schedule at the truck stop diner and the Bishop’s meeting schedule, the only time that would work was 6:45 am.  Still she had intended to sleep until about 5:15, but she was just too worried and nervous to rest.  What could the Bishop possibly want to talk about?  What if he wanted to call her to a position in the ward?  Rosa had a dark secret which she was sure would have to come out today.

Rosa had moved to Zarahemla 10 months earlier.  Her husband had been a construction worker in Grand Junction.  Thirteen months ago he had been killed in an accident.  It was something about a crane bucket swinging away and then swinging back and knocking him off a grain elevator and then Tom was dead.  Rosa was left alone with two small girls and an insurance payment.  She had no family except a sister that never spoke to her.  Tom had been an only child and his parents were both gone.  Rosa just wanted to get away, so she asked her 6-year old what her favorite letter of the alphabet was.  Little Yolinda immediately shouted out “Z”.  So the choice was made.  Rosa opened up the Atlas and started looking for towns that began with Z.  Zarahemla practically jumped off the page.  

She liked the idea of a small town; she would use the insurance money to open a dress shop and start a new life.  And when she arrived the people were so nice.  She had never had so many people treating her as a friend.  Neighbors were picking her up for ward parties (which seemed to take place about every week) and for church.  She was often invited to quilting bees and relief society luncheons.  Her kids were immediately swept up into primary activities, and they seemed to like it.  It’s just that it all happened so fast that Rosa had never found the right opportunity to tell anyone that she wasn’t Mormon.  They all just seemed to assume that anyone wanting to move to Zarahemla must be LDS.  

Rosa loved her new friends and her new life, but she also loved her saints and the Virgin Mary which had given her great comfort all her life.  And today Bishop Jenkins was going to call her to some position in the ward and she was going to have to confess to him her secret.  Her hand was shaking as she poured herself a cup of coffee — something else that she had kept secret.  Her coffeemaker was hidden behind her flour on a bottom shelf.

But confessing to a bishop of a different religion was not all that had Rosa awake.  Soon after opening her dress shop, Rosa realized that most of the women in this town knew how to sew and often made their own clothes.  While many of them, as a gesture of friendship, would patronize her shop early on, the numbers just couldn’t sustain her business.  Two months ago she had had to close up shop.  She found a job at the diner but the business failure had left her more destitute than she could bring herself to admit to her friends.  Her first paycheck from the diner would come in three days and even then would be small.  She had been praying fervently to the Virgin to help her find a way to get through.  Her cupboards were literally bare; how would she feed her kids until that check came in.  Tips would help, but customers had been sparse this week.  She didn’t know where else to turn.

(MUSIC: Musical interlude)

 Ivan’s ‘still small voice’ was shoutin’ at him somethin’ awful.  He tried turning on the radio to drown out the voice of guilt, but every station he tuned to had some preacher spoutin’ about the evidences of our faith.  He finally found one with music but it turned out to be the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing True to the Faith that our Fathers have Cherished.  

(MUSIC: Tabernacle Choir recording)

He quickly shut the thing off and tried singing something secular, but nothing came to mind.

Suddenly Ivan’s headlights caught sight of someone walking down the middle of the road.  Ivan slowed and saw that it was Bilby Farnsworth.  Bilby must have wandered off again.  

 Bilby and his wife Joy ran the local grocery.  Bilby had always had the business mind in the family.  He loved living in a small town but he had studied statistics in college and so in addition to keeping the books for the store he was constantly testing himself with analysis brain teasers.  He always had to keep his mind challenged.  Until one day, quite innocently, he stumbled across what seemed to be a way to beat the odds at the blackjack table — not changing the odds exactly, but defeating them through the laws of probability.  Not wanting anyone to think him a gambler, he sneaked off one weekend to Mesquite and came home with $30,000 dollars.  Try as he might to keep it secret the word got out, and a mob of his friends, his wife as their leader, tried to get him to not only go play again, but to reveal his secret so that they could try their hand at it.  But Bilby felt that it had been a gift from the Lord, that he shouldn’t be greedy, and he used the money to expand his store and the services that he could offer to the community, but swore he would never gamble again.  

Shortly after that, Bilby had a stroke.  With much of his memory inaccessible, Bilby became quite childlike.  That was three years ago.  Since that day, Joy Farnsworth has had to manage the store, and curses Bilby every day for not revealing his secret.  Bilby often makes deliveries now, but on occasion he will forget where he is, or when he is, or sometimes even who he is and wander for miles before someone finds him and gets him back home.

Well, there he was, in the middle of the road.  Ivan couldn’t just leave him there, so he got him into the passenger seat of his truck, let him wear his hunting cap, and drove Bilby back home.

(MUSIC: Musical interlude)

Joy had been up late starting to put together a large food order for the city’s anniversary celebration on Monday.  It included foodstuffs for the whole day — breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the town hall with a group Family Night celebration planned to close out the day.  Everything needed was there, and even some of the meats had arrived and were packed in dry ice.

(SFX: Door bell)

The doorbell rang for the third time as Joy pulled herself out of sleep.  She swung the door open and there was Ivan Young, with a sheepish look on his face.

He explained that he just happened to be out for a drive when he ran across Bilby out wandering.  He thought he better get him back home.  He also informed her that apparently Bilby had left the delivery van parked near the highway in need of gasoline.

Joy didn’t say much, but gave Bilby her best consternated look.  Then she noticed that six or seven of the boxes that she had prepared last night were missing.  Bilby had been making deliveries in the middle of the night, but where to was anyone’s guess, because Bilby’s mind was onto other things – like finding his tools so he could build a tree house for their long grown son.  Joy said no more – just shook her head in martyrdom and shut the door.

Ivan knew now that God wasn’t going to let him go hunting today, so he headed home hoping to slip back in bed unnoticed, but wondering what to say if his wife were awake.

(MUSIC: Musical interlude)

Six-thirty came and Rosa knew it was time to face the inevitable.  With no babysitter until later that morning, Rosa had wakened and dressed the children and began herding them out the door, when the three of them found themselves confronted with several boxes of groceries.  Rosa whispered in earnest the holy name of the Virgin.  She pulled the boxes into the house, and in a daze continued herding her children out the door.  

Timidly knocking on the Bishop’s office door, Rosa was still reminding her children to sit still and wait for her, and not to run around because this was a house of God.  The door opened quickly and there was Bishop Jenkins, a broad and genuine smile on his face.  The Bishop was so glad she had come, and called her Sister Little.  Rosa had become accustomed to people calling her sister.  At first it had confused her, and she’d had visions of herself dressed in robes and a habit like the sisters of her Catholic school days.  But after a time she starting liking the title.  This morning, however, it made her uncomfortable again, knowing that it would make her confession only more difficult.  She sat and looked at the Bishop across his desk.

The Bishop was just starting to explain why he had asked her in when Rosa blurted it all out.  She found herself shaking, but she had to get this over with.  She confessed her non-membership.  She confessed to her love of Catholicism.  She confessed to her deceit and to her defilement of the church because of her lies. Then she waited for God’s punishment.  She dared to look up at him, her lips quivering.  Bishop Jenkins was still smiling.  Hadn’t he heard what she said.

He then explained that he had known all along and that he only called her in today to see how he might help her with her financial situation.  Her neighbors were concerned about her and wanted at the very least to start bringing over meals until she could get on her feet again.  These Mormons, she thought, solve everything with food.  

Then Rosa began to cry — tears of relief; tears of joy; tears of friendship; tears of gratitude; tears of honor to God and the Sainted Maria.  She knew everything was going to be all right and she told the bishop so.

And that’s the news from Zarahemla, where love and laughter are served at every meal, where safe sex means slipping on a wedding ring, and where everyone is a best friend.

(MUSIC: End music)

CLARENCE:  Can I just say something right off the bat?

RICHARD:  You bet.

CLARENCE:  You wrote this twenty years ago?

RICHARD:  Close to it…maybe…somewhere around there.

 CLARENCE:  That’s fascinating.  You see, that’s the power of the artist and the writer. This story is part of my life now. Right? I mean, you’re LDS, I’m Catholic, I'm listening to it and my… what?— about 15 years coming up here now, because I'm at UNLV— and our relationship is very spiritual. Right? It’s very Christ-centric, right? And the… Rosie right… what's her name?


CLARENCE:  Rose. It just amused me immediately, and my experiences here, you know, in the virtual Zarahemla—here in Cedar City—spoke to me when I read it, when I heard it, and then when I was revisiting it.  It’s fun, it’s fun.

RICHARD: I did the update it just slightly. In the original story he had left his phone off the hook downstairs.

CLARENCE:  That’s very good.

RICHARD:  People don’t have house phones anymore, so I had to change it to a cell phone. 

CLARENCE:  But that allows the central character to be so very active in our minds, and he's married, and he loves his wife, and he knows that she, you know, she's got a rhythm. This is all, this is all… I'm sort of formation… you know when you tell a story about… when I tell a story about my growing up, I'm forming my kids in the tradition of my family, in the culture of our community, right? When they play video games all day long, nothing gets in a massaged in there about the human experience. I remember I was teaching at the Kayenta Arts Academy this summer and I was teaching young students, because we couldn't do theater this summer, and I asked them—it just came out of me—I said to one of them…one of the students… “Do you read to your sister—do you read to your little sister?”  You know what she said.

RIHARD:  Right.

CLARENCE:  “No, no.” “You don’t read to your little sister? You need to read… YOU need to read to YOUR LITTLE SISTER.”

RICHARD:  Right.

CLARENCE:  Right? “You need to pass it on… you need to enter into a relationship that has to do with art— between the generations.” 

RICHARD:  For me, it's one of the most romantic things too. When I was dating my wife, I started reading to her. I just read her books I liked, and she just adored it. No one has ever done that for her before. 

CLARENCE:  And I with Elena. I would eat her poetry.

RICHARD:  Right.

CLARENCE:  Right?  Because she’s Spanish and Mexican, I would read her Neruda.  Oh, yeah. See what I mean?

RICHARD:  It’s a clue out there guys.  It works.

CLARENCE:  Oh yeah, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.  Right?  Talk about melting the heart.  You know, disposing the heart of the woman that you think you’re going to be with for the rest of your life.  Read to her, and that's going to cause you to be a little uncomfortable, right?

RICHARD:  Yes.  Well, any other thoughts? 

CLARENCE:  Let me say that I love imagining the geography of the town, right? I love the geo…okay, so he lives here, and the Bishops like right there, and the ladies, I can imagine them getting together, it's just a… that's, that's what radio does, and it really is a good tool for actors on stage. 

RICHARD:  Oh yeah. 

CLARENCE:  For imagining.

RICHARD:  Oh, yeah.

CLARENCE: And to listen to the language, you know, the reader—whoever is reading—listen to their syntax in there… you know… because that's another thing, is that, when you and I know that when we’re teaching the young actor… they don’t know how to read the English language, so that they can find out how the character uses the language.  You rarely get an actor who’s going to take the script, before they get to rehearsal, and walk and read it aloud, before they get to you, and they need to do that.

RICHARD:  Yes, they do.  I'm just… I’ve always been fascinated by the power of the imagination when it comes to radio, or, you know, the vocal performance, because we expect to see you so much… Well, in film we expect to see everything, you know. Everything, the verisimilitude has to be there, and in theatre we’re willing to use our imagination a little bit more, and say that that one pillar represents Rome.  You know, we’ll do that. But, with vocal performance… I remember there was an old time radio show called Fibber McGee and Molly, and every episode they did the same joke—every episode, Fibber, the father would come home, and he would have some reason to go over to the closet, and as soon as he said he was going to get something out of the closet or open the closet, the audience would start to giggle — because they knew what was coming. And, you’d hear him open the door, and then you'd hear all of this stuff fall out of the closet on top of him. And it got a huge laugh, every episode. And in following years, they took it to television, and it did the same thing — he’d go to the closet, open it, and all this stuff would fall out, and it would get a  smattering of laughs, but it just wasn't as funny. 

CLARENCE:  As allowing the audience to anticipate, right, through the way you construct, you know, your story, and then to imagine.

RICHARD:  Yeah, our imagination does so much.

 CLARENCE:  …imagine what's coming out, because if you ask the student, “So, what's coming out of there?” They'll… each one of them will have a little movie of what's coming out of the closet—necessarily so, right? Otherwise, you can't do Hamlet every summer in a hundred theaters with a different Hamlet? 

RICHARD:  That’s right.

CLARENCE:  Right, because no one wants to see the exact same one. Yeah, it's fabulous. What else is really interesting about it? Your embrace of the female voice is commendable…right…it’s very commendable…it's necessarily so, right? Because there won’t be any… I think women will get it and necessarily, you need to have them—men and women—really relate to each other authentically, right? And that’s through the images you create and what they say. So that's great; yeah, just keep that up. 


CLARENCE:  How did we do? 

RICHARD:  Clarence, my friend, thank you so much for being a part of the launching of this.

CLARENCE:  Rick, absolutely.  Yeah, I will suggest other people. I just… I'm excited to get…for you to get people from all… you know… walks of life…that people would be interested in hearing, right? You know…respond to the world, the Zarahemla world.

RICHARD:  And if you ever want to come back and join us again you will always…

CLARENCE:  Yeah, I think I’ll come back after… did you right eight first?

RICHARD:  I’ve written eight, and I’ll continue writing…

CLARENCE:  I’ll come back on nine…

RICHARD:  You’ll come back on nine?  Okay, that’ll give me the impetus to…

CLARENCE:  Yeah, because I know all eight…but to come back on nine and we’ll see how we can get the podcast going. 

RICHARD:  Thank you so much and thank you for listening today to Tales from Zarahemla. please join us for our next episode and have a wonderful day, and tell your story whenever you can. Thanks so much.

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