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The Gray Area

The Gray Area is an audio drama anthology series, with very subtle and ever growing changes in the stories. It features talking animals, mysteriously enthusiastic receptionists, deranged scientists, a genius writer, strange portals that open into other universes, impostor gods, formidable business tycoons, alien invaders, and many, many demons.

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1. Hello

A man wakes up in his apartment with a hazy memory of the night before. He's greeted in bed by a mysterious woman who keeps saying, “Hello.” But she seems to know far more about his life than he ever could have told her in one night. And as the rats gnaw mercilessly from within the walls, she has a few bold and shocking answers as to why he's so afraid. (Running time: 22 minutes) Written and directed by Edward Champion CAST: He: Tim Torre She: Emily Carding Gordon: Michael Saldate Edited by Edward Champion The Gray Area Theme by Alex Khaskin (licensed through NeoSounds) Foley Sources: Edward Champion and erpe (CC license, slight changes). Cover Image: Jason Lander (CC) Special thanks to Sacha Arnold, Austin Beach, Jason Boog, Christopher Byrd, Chris Fletcher, Claudia Berenice Garza, Sarah Golding, Jen Halbert, Gabriella Jiminez, Pete Lutz, John Osborne, Rina Patel, Paul Sating, Marc Stein, Georgette Thompson, and many others I may have inadvertently forgotten for their invaluable help, feedback, kindness, inspiration, and support during the production of this emotionally revealing episode.

21mins

18 Apr 2017

Rank #1

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The First Season (Holiday Travel Remix)

We've released a nearly three hour remix of the first season that contains the entire ten episodes, including some new material, new cues, new sound design, and a few other modest bells and whistles. Consider this the "movie" version of the first season designed for listeners who may be stuck in an airport or those who haven't yet taken the full plunge. Happy holidays!

2hr 39mins

20 Nov 2017

Rank #2

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2. Brand Awareness

Joanna loves Eclipse Ale. It's the best beer in the world. She has boxes of Eclipse memorabilia. She regularly wears Eclipse baseball caps. But on one rainy night, Joanna discovers that this happy relationship (along with the relationship with her boyfriend) is not what it seems. Why can't she remember what her boyfriend gave her on their second anniversary? And why doesn't anybody know about Eclipse Ale? (Running time: 28 minutes) Written and directed by Edward Champion CAST: Joanna: Eileen Hanley Greg: Charlie Harrington DJ: Peter Coleman Sam: Marc Eliot Stein Ignacio: Kilgore Lehrer Receptionist: Zachary Michael Leslie Stevens: Lauren Shippen Bar Background: Hans Detlef Sierck, Jan Jensen, Sam Lowry Edited by Edward Champion Foley Sources: Edward Champion, PlooQ (CC), lebcraftlp (CC), Sandermotions (CC), Leandros Ntounis (CC), LG (CC), magnus589 ()CC), GowlerMusic (CC) Theme Song: Pachyderm, "Never Knew Me at All" (licensed through CC, found at Free Music Archive) Music: Milton Arias, "Gracias," Valery & The Greedies, "She-Wolf," Jahzaar, "Scenes from the Zoo," Ben Sound, and Kevin MacLeod, "Carpe Diem," Ben Sound, "Funky Element" (all licensed through CC, found at Free Music Archive, Ben Sound, and Incompetech) Art: Claudio Sepúlveda Geoffroy (CC) Special thanks to Sacha Arnold, Austin Beach, Matthew Boudreau, Jason Boog, Christopher Byrd, Kate C., Christian Caminiti, Claudia Berenice Garza, Pam Getchell, Jon Grilz, Jen Halbert, Gabriella Jiminez, Pete Lutz, Philip Merritt, Pacific Obadiah, John Osborne, Rina Patel, Michael Saldate, Raia Savage, Alex Schawrtzberg, That Podcast Girl, Georgette Thompson, Jack Ward, and many others I may have inadvertently forgotten for their invaluable help, feedback, kindness, inspiration, and support during the production of this episode. Please be sure to also listen to Philip Merritt's Lost in Williamsburg, which gave me a major editing idea that completely altered the bar scene, Jon Grilz's Creepy, and Pacific Obadiah's Lake Clarity.

27mins

16 May 2017

Rank #3

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1.5. Dissociation

Greg Sutton, a fidgety young man who is a little too fixated on selling himself, sees his psychiatrist for the first time in months, hoping to find answers about his lost childhood and how to get back the woman he loves. But his own quick fix solution to his problems is not quite what the psychiatrist had in mind. (Running time: 6 minutes) Written and directed by Edward Champion CAST: Greg: Charlie Harrington Emma: Colette Thomas Edited by Edward Champion Foley: Edward Champion Art: id-iom (CC) Special thanks to Sacha Arnold, Austin Beach, Jason Boog, Christopher Byrd, Claudia Berenice Garza, Jen Halbert, Gabriella Jiminez, Pete Lutz, John Osborne, Rina Patel, Michael Saldate, Paul Sating, Marc Stein, Georgette Thompson, Jack Ward, and many others I may have inadvertently forgotten for their invaluable help, feedback, kindness, inspiration, and support during the production of this episode.

4mins

2 May 2017

Rank #4

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3. Fuel to the Fire

An artisanal mustard retailer from Astoria finds herself in a strange realm with the ability to set things on fire. Meanwhile, Ed Champion continues his investigation into Miss Gaskell's disappearance, meeting a woman in mourning who may hold the answer to his own strange curse. (Running time: 19 minutes) Written and directed by Edward Champion CAST: Maya: Noelle Lake Fire: Samantha Cooper The Knight in Several Universes: Austin Beach The Disgraced Villager: Pete Lutz The Vengeful Field Hand: Sarah Golding Villagers: John Xavier Miller III, Michael Charles Foote, Hans Detle Sierck, Tao Yang, Jim Kampfil, Tim Torre, and Kilgore Lehrer Ed Champion/Johnny: Edward Champion Edited by Edward Champion Foley Sources: Edward Champion, the_toilet_guy (CC), Snapper4298 (CC), CGEffex (CC), soundmary (CC), Dynamicell (CC), Huggy13ear ()CC), YleArkisto (CC) Music: "The Long March Home" by Tim Juliano (licensed through NeoSounds) and "Local Forecast - Elevator Music" by Kevin MacLeod (CC.) Art: Kyle Nishloka (CC) Special thanks to Sacha Arnold, Matthew Boudreau, Jason Boog, Richard Brooks, Christopher Byrd, Claudia Berenice Garza, Jen Elyse Feldman, Pam Getchell, Jen Halbert, Gabriella Jiminez, John Osborne, Rina Patel, Scott Phillips, Michael Saldate, Marc Anthony Stein, Fiona Thraille, That Podcast Girl, Georgette Thompson, Jack Ward, and many others I may have inadvertently forgotten for their invaluable help, feedback, kindness, inspiration, and support during the production of this episode.

19mins

6 Jun 2017

Rank #5

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5. Compassion Fatigue

Emma is a top-notch psychiatrist who can change the lives of the most difficult patients imaginable. But there's a great personal cost to her formidable talents that she's not telling anyone about, an internal torment eating away at her inner life that she's hiding from her patients and her professional peers and that a quiet survivor of an abusive relationship may just have the answer for. (Running time: 25 minutes) (This story contains intense and emotionally disturbing scenes that may unsettle some listeners. Listener discretion is advised.) Written and directed by Edward Champion CAST: Emma: Colette Thomas Jenna: Devony DiMattia Jack: Jack Womack Gordon: Michael Saldate Receptionist: Zachary Michael Subway Preacher: Albert Hastler Music by Thomas Ragsdale Houston Person, "As Time Goes By" (courtesy of Free Music Archive, CC) Sound Design and Editing by Edward Champion Foley Sources: Edward Champion and nofeedbak (CC). Subway Sounds Recorded on Location in Brooklyn, New York Special thanks to Sacha Arnold, Austin Beach, Christopher Byrd, Claudia Berenice Garza, Pam Getchell, Jen Halbert, Gabriella Jiminez, Argyria Kehagias, Pete Lutz, Lauren Nelson, John Osborne, Rina Patel, Marc Anthony Stein, That Podcast Girl, Tim Torre, Georgette Thompson, Jack Ward, and many others I may have inadvertently forgotten for their invaluable help, feedback, kindness, inspiration, and support during the production of this episode. I would also like to thank the psychiatrists and compassion fatigue experts who I spoke with on conditions of anonymity for their considerable assistance with this story. Thanks for listening!

25mins

1 Aug 2017

Rank #6

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6. Buddies for Hire

In our season finale, a once celebrated and now fading actor Jack Penderton desperately needs a job. His agent, Jill Swanson, lands him a strange gig involving a lonely scrapbook-loving eccentric, an unusual approach to free trade, a sinister salesman who moves uncommonly fast, America's Next Top Model, and an odd scam that causes Jack to reconsider his long abandoned principles about friendship, loyalty, and connection. (Running time: 25 minutes) Written and directed by Edward Champion CAST: Jack: Gore Abrams Jill Swanson: Ingeborg Reidmaier Venall: Adriaano La Rocca Harold: Carl Zurhorst Gordon: Michael Smith The Receptionist: Zachary Michael Sound Design and Editing by Edward Champion Image: Firat Sola (CC) Thanks for listening!

25mins

3 Oct 2017

Rank #7

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4. Loopholes

As a thriving empire faces war with ferocious barbarians, a mischievous scholar named Minerva hopes to bring law and civilization to a great realm populated by talking birds, giant rats, gregarious knights, elemental gods, and menacing malasanders. An unanticipated dispute among the knights gives Minerva an opportunity to uphold the doctrine of moral principles, but Minerva finds herself testing her loyalty to her aide-de-camp while helping others to learn what honor, empathy, and identity really mean. (Running time: 32 minutes) Written and directed by Edward Champion CAST: Minerva: Rori Nogee Eris: Gerrard Lobo Henrietta: Monica Ammerman Fire: Samantha Cooper Watson: Christopher Akpobiyeri Boleyn: Rachel Baird The Magister: Sarah Golding Talking Birds: Alan Barrows Knights: Michael Charles Foote, Jim Kampfil, Matt Leong, Pete Lutz, Tanja Milojevic, John Xavier Miller III, Julia Morizawa, Hans Detlef Sierck, Fiona Thraille, Richard H. Thorndyke, Jack Ward, Tao Yang. Sound Design and Editing by Edward Champion Foley Sources: Edward Champion, jobro (CC), _def (CC), Taira Komori (CC), avakas (CC), Martin-Eero Kõressaar (CC), the_toilet_guy (CC), the_toilet_guy (CC), Shanay Groen (CC), jason130178 (CC), baryy (CC), huggy13ear (CC), HDM2013 (CC). Music: "The Long March Home" by Tim Juliano (licensed through NeoSounds) Art: Rushen (CC) Special thanks to Sacha Arnold, Austin Beach, Matthew Boudreau, Jason Boog, Christopher Byrd, Jen Elyse Feldman, Claudia Berenice Garza, Pam Getchell, Jen Halbert, Gabriella Jiminez, Argyria Kehagias, John Osborne, Tom Parsons, Rina Patel, Michael Saldate, Marc Anthony Stein, Marjorie Stein, That Podcast Girl, Georgette Thompson, Neil Varma, Jo Anna Van Thuyne, and many others I may have inadvertently forgotten for their invaluable help, feedback, kindness, inspiration, and support during the production of this episode. We are especially indebted to Robert Cudmore, Matthew McLean, and Steve Schneider, whose collective insight, inspiration, unfathomable generosity, and encouragement were vital during the development of this highly ambitious story. Please be sure to also listen to A Scottish Podcast, which is run by many of the fine people who made this program possible, Lost in Williamsburg, whose work with overlapping dialogue has served as partial editing inspiration, and Tom Parson's forthcoming Organism. We also recently launched Inside the Gray Area, a behind-the-scenes podcast available for Patreon subscribers who contribute at the $5/month level. Become a Patreon member and enjoy access to this, along with our annotated scripts, which contain many key references that will help unravel the bigger story. Thanks for listening!

31mins

3 Jul 2017

Rank #8

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5.5. Hatch

Four men stand at the beginning of an important interdimensional journey. But while their personalities are different and the portals seem attracted to their identities, their voices are the same. What is their connection? And why is the journey so important? (Running time: 4 minutes) Written and directed by Edward Champion CAST: The Receptionist: Zachary Michael Sound Design and Editing by Edward Champion Image: Chris Bradford Thanks for listening!

4mins

5 Sep 2017

Rank #9

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4.5. The Waiting Room

Virginia Gaskell finds herself on the other side of the portal that lured her in, greeted by a very exuberant (and strangely familiar) receptionist, some squawking avians that aren't quite okay with her love of chicken fajitas, and further mysteries about how the universes rupture into each other. (Running time: 7 minutes) Written and directed by Edward Champion CAST: Virginia Gaskell: Chris Smith Receptionist: Zachary Michael Demon: Pete Lutz Ed Champion: Edward Champion Bird People: Fiona Thraille, Benjamin Macon Fort Sound Design and Editing by Edward Champion Foley Sources: Edward Champion Special thanks to Sacha Arnold, Austin Beach, Matthew Boudreau, Jason Boog, Christopher Byrd, Jen Elyse Feldman, Claudia Berenice Garza, Pam Getchell, Jen Halbert, Gabriella Jiminez, John Osborne, Tom Parsons, Michael Saldate, Marc Anthony Stein, Georgette Thompson, and many others I may have inadvertently forgotten for their invaluable help, feedback, kindness, inspiration, and support during the production of this episode. Thanks for listening!

6mins

18 Jul 2017

Rank #10