Casting Call,  News

Casting Call: Yesterday’s News

Summary: Living in the dilapidation and overcrowding of the hive slums, opportunities for KATYA TSALPAROV have been few and far between. Making it through the gruelling audition process to become a radio newsreader for The Vox, Katya has every reason to be happy – until she discovers truths and propaganda that conflict with the life she’s been born into.

Based on the short story by Daniel Summerbell. Script by Colyn DeGraaff & Daniel Summerbell. Yesterday’s News is standalone (1 episode) audio drama.
Original audio drama score composed by Robert Renato Hack.

Deadline to audition is November 15, 2020 at 11:59pm MST
Read “How to Apply’ carefully as the details have recently changed.

COLD OPEN STORIES produces self-contained short fan audio dramas set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe featuring various characters from different apocalyptic sectors of space. 

Each “episode” is meant to be digested on an average commute, averaging 30-45 minutes.

Please ensure that your microphone is capable of recording your performance without picking up overwhelming background noises or excessive peaking/clipping. 

Once cast, performers are expected to return their lines within 3 weeks. Roles may contain swearing and shouting in some capacity. If you cannot commit to the needs of a given role please do not audition.

New voice acting? Check out our Voice Acting Guides to get started and learn a little more about what we’re looking for.

Leads

KATYA TSALPAROV [Kat-Ya Sal-Pa-Rov] Young/Middle Age. Female. Factory worker, labouring in a monotonous job testing voice-recognition systems for the Imperial Fleet. Has always wanted to be a journalist, and has made it through a gruelling audition process to be a newsreader on probation with Vox News, the Vox (i.e. Radio) network of Hives Alef, Bet, Gimel and Dalet. This is her big shot: keeping this job is her ticket out of the slums of the lower Hive (and moving in with her partner, Pyotr). Failing probation is a one-way ticket to life back down in the rough lower corridors of the Hive where for every worker fired, there are six to take their place.

EDUARD DOMARIS: [Ed-Ward Do-Ma-Ris] Middle Age. Male. Suave, confident News Anchor. His voice is instantly familiar to teeming millions across the Hive, and he is confident interviewing the great and the good of the Imperial Administration. Not that he would ever ask them an awkward question, of course, but he is a subtle rather than sycophantic supporter of the regime.

HISTORITOR PISETS: [Hist-Or-It-Or Pea-Setz] Middle Age/Older. Calm, cold blooded, faintly menacing. Face of the Imperial Administration, at least as far as Katya is concerned. Pisets job, on the face of it, is to ensure that Katya sticks to her script and is not a security risk in the sensitive role of broadcasting to millions of Hive inhabitants. It emerges, however, that Piset’s role is more important than that: co-ordinating the subtle manipulations of millions to keep them in line. 

PYOTR IZMENJIK [P-Yot-R Iz-Men-Yik] Young/Middle Age. Male. Katya’s partner. A low-ranking soldier away with his regiment, his greatest desire is to leave the Planetary Defence corps, move in with Katya, and live on her salary from Vox News. Of course, to do that, she needs to keep the job. He thinks he is a social drinker, and finds it irritating when Katya or others won’t keep up with his drinking. Katya worries he is a borderline alcoholic.

Supporting

AEDILE MENDIAR: [Ay-Deal Men-Dee-Arr] Older. Male. Slimy politician being interviewed about his achievements. Of course, power in the imperium does not stem from popularity contests among hoi polloi, but appearing competent and in control is an important way to keep the populace in line. 

QUAESTOR TSADAMAR: [Kway-Store Sad-A-Marr] Older. Any. Cold, ambitious, competent politician who has thrown her predecessor to the inquisition while taking credit for his achievements.  

CROWDS – Citizens from the hive city including VARIOUS BEGGARS (x3) who are out of work factory employees, homeless and starving, VARIOUS FACTORY WORKERS (2 male 2 female), a TRANSIT ANNOUNCER, and TECHNICIAN.

Leads

KATYA TSALPAROV [Kat-Ya Sal-Pa-Rov. Young/Middle Age. Female.]

Our main story for 465: Aedile Sacha Mendiar announces an incentive scheme to tackle rising absenteeism on the production lines. The Aedile expressed confidence that decisive action now will avert a crisis. More details later, on this programme. 

I creep out of the studio, feeling sick to my stomach, and make my way home. I am still in a job, but for how long? Until they can line up a replacement from the thousands of other auditions? I’m keyed up, waiting for the blow to fall.

[2 versions – clear + hoarse voice] I will, darling. But there’s something odd going on. They made me re-record the last two broadcasts. At the time I was too flustered to think, but now I’m not sure it was my fault at all.

EDUARD DOMARIS: [Ed-Ward Do-Ma-Ris. Middle Age. Male.] 

Good evening and welcome to Vox Populi. It is coming up to 2200 hours local time, local date 465, The Vox News tonight is brought to you by Katya Tsalparov.

With competition for jobs at an all time high, why do employees need additional incentives to show up to work?

HISTORITOR PISETS: [Hist-Or-It-Or Pea-Setz. Middle Age/Older.]

It has come to my attention that you query the need to correct broadcasting errors. Continuing to do so is grounds for immediate termination. Is that clear?

Miss Tsalparov, you are employed, at least provisionally, as a professional voxcaster. As such, you are expected to read the broadcast in a consistent and repeatable manner. On examining your recent stretch of broadcasts, your voice sounded quite different between recordings. This failure on your part has precluded the successful correction of your broadcasts. You will therefore re-record all of your broadcasts to date. Any future alterations to your delivery will be treated as an act of deliberate sabotage. Is that quite clear?

PYOTR IZMENJIK [P-Yot-R Iz-Men-Yik]

Guardpost, first Malatian Regiment. Private Izmenjik reporting. How may I direct your call?

We can wait. And it will be worth waiting for. Just think, a place of our own, and in the Upper Hive to boot. I hate the thought of you living in that neighbourhood on your own. Would you like to listen to the broadcast again together? It’s on the Archive already.

Supporting

AEDILE MENDIAR: [Ay-Deal Men-Dee-Arr]

Well, Eduard, the thing your listeners must remember is that not everyone is as fully committed to the Imperial cause as they are. Subversion and sabotage is an ever-present danger….

QUAESTOR TSADAMAR: [Kway-Store Sad-A-Marr] 

It is true that the success of the programme has been widespread, across Hive Alef and beyond. Still, the primary credit must go to the essential front-line workers, who…

CROWDS

Re-board the transit. The factory is closed until further notice. Return to your habitations and await further instructions.

Spare a bit of gelt miss? A drink of water, maybe a bite to eat?

Katya? Remember me? We worked together last summer? Can you help me…?

Voice acting talent of all levels of experience are welcome to audition for COLD OPEN STORIES. Please note that you are expected to have a reasonable quality of audio and environment without noticeable background noise. If this is your first time auditioning, check out our Voice Acting Guides.

  • Step 1: Choose your character(s) and review heir dialogue samples
  • Step 2: Record each character in separate files (.mp3 or .wav)
  • Step 3: Attach all audition files in a single email (or google drive link) and send to coldopenstories.casting@gmail.com

Please include the following information in the body of your email so we can catalogue you for potential:

  • First & Last Name.
  • Characters your are auditioning for.
  • Availability / Turn-around times for recording (how quickly you can re-record with directors notes).
We review every submission and consider what roles might be a good fit. If you’re not accepted right away, don’t worry. We may have something in the future (we try to tailor our scripts to the strengths of our talent on hand).
 
Commitment: If you are chosen for the role, you will be given a sampler to make sure we’re on the right page for the character. Following this review, you will have 3 weeks to complete your script recordings. Following this stage, there will be an editing gap (typically 1-2 weeks) followed by requests for re-recording on lines or alternate takes.
 
Important: Applications submitted through social media will not be accepted. Auditions with a demo reel may be substituted in place of dialogue from the casting call. Please follow steps 2 & 3 of the audition process in this case.
 
The participation of the cast and crew behind Cold Open Stories is strictly voluntary. We’re not here to make money, and Cold Open Stories directs all parties interested in financially supporting our work to instead share our stories in their network and giving to one of our sponsored charities.
 
Participation is intended for people who are fans of Warhammer 40,000 and/or the performing arts. Name credits will be provided in the final episode releases, and a letter of reference can be provided for future work.