INVASIVE AFFAIRS is a collection of three standalone audio dramas addressing themes of ecology, invasion, and infidelity.
Inspired by films like Annihilation, The Ruins, and Little Joe, the trilogy explores that bargains we make with others (and ourselves) for survival – set against the tapestry of ruinous invasive plants and gripping human drama.
WHERE YOU'VE HEARD OUR TALENT
All levels of experience are welcome! We are looking for voice talent from global backgrounds, and the steps to audition are as follows:
- Select an episode below, review the character samples.
- Record your samples and name the file (.wav or .mp3) after the associated character. One clip per audition (as many takes as you wish).
- Submit your audition (or appropriate demo reel) via email to email@example.com with the subject line “INVASIVE AFFAIRS AUDITION”.
Audition deadline: August 10, 2023
This is an unpaid casting call with no profit earned by any party. All voice talent, sound design, writing, and direction are carried out by volunteers, with the express purposes of visibility and entry into annual national awards.
The ‘Santiago Jaguar Sanctuary’ is, in reality, little more than a filthy roadside zoo. Despite the limited space and resources, day-attendant Diego does his best to make the confined animals comfortable. When illegal loggers begin to disrupt the neighbouring jungles, Diego discovers something primordial, and pledges himself to protect the big cats at all costs…
Diego [25-35yr Adult Male, Hispanic/Latinx]
Diego is the caretaker of the ‘Santiago Jaguar Sanctuary’. A simple man, he is somewhat of a quiet recluse. Having lost his daughter years ago, he’s become somewhat shut-in. As a way to cope, he’s developed into an empathetic caretaker for the jaguar Electra for whom he speaks with daily and has formed a familial bond. When logging operations disrupt the nearby forest, Diego must overcome his lack of courage and protect the sanctuary…
I keep the pens dry with blue tarps. The man would not buy them, so I did with what little he pays me. It gives the girls something to enjoy. Big cats like blue hues, blue-violet hues too. Yellow-green, sort of. Red-orange, not really. Bright colours are not the best stimulation for bit cats. They need toys. Toys for their predator instincts. Toys for brilliant minds.
I dream that the girls are free, stalking the rainforest with me. They talk to the forest, and to me. I am the one that can understand them. They speak to the rocks, and the water, to plants that can feel. To decaying trees that can think and move.
A sanctuary is a permanent home where you keep animals that cannot be released back to nature. A rescue center is a temporary home for sick, injured, or orphaned animals. We’re neither. We’re a truck stop. A roadside zoo.
Lewis [30yr+ Male or Female, Any Ethnicity]
An old acquaintance of Diego’s and lifelong grifter, Lewis now works as a logger and clearcutting supervisor in South America. Reunited with Diego by a chance encounter as his contract brings him to the area near the ‘Santiago Jaguar Sanctuary’, Lewis is pushed to Diego for an uncomfortable alliance.
Don’t be sensitive. You’re on a different level from the rest. You need to be dominant, right? I have your best interests at heart. Go talk to her, just like we discussed. Go.
It’s natural to feel that way in the beginning. Trust me, I know what’s best for you, even when you doubt yourself.
|You need to rise above your doubts, my boy. Women respect masculinity. You whispering over there, it makes you look insecure. You understand? You need to trust me. When have I steered you wrong?
Vernon [50yr+ Male, American – Southern]
The American (implied to be Southern) owner of the ‘Santiago Jaguar Sanctuary’. An ex-pat who had enough money to start up a roadside zoo, he’s frustrated by the loggers who are displacing tourists to the region (and cutting into his bottom-line). Unlike Diego, who respects the Jaguars as symbols of South America, he sees the big cats as money-making tools.
Lazy animals. Pay to feed them all day. Can’t feed them, if nobody is coming. Course they’re lazy. Women. All they do is eat, sleep, and burn through your money. Anyone ever tell you that?
Meat?! Fuck. Give them sawdust or something. They’re animals, they’ll can eat anything.
Foreigners mistake sanctuaries and rescue centers all the time. Like they know the difference. You know the difference, right? A sanctuary is a permanent home where you keep animals that cannot be released back to nature. A rescue center is a temporary home for sick, injured, or orphaned animals. We are a rescue center. Now I know it may not look like much, but there aren’t many places out here where a Jaguar could be taken in. Which is why we appreciate your patronage.
Meriza has no love for her brother’s manipulative fiancé. The bride-to-be has sowed seeds of doubt, and the once close-knit family has been broken apart piece by piece. Meriza fears that she’ll soon lose her brother forever – that is, until a strange chromatic flower at a marketplace offers her a chance to rescue him…
Meriza [25-35yr Female, Hispanic/Latinx]
Meriza has seen the negative impact of Belladonna on her brother Santino. Not only has her brother begun drifting away because of the woman’s guile, but he’s shown himself so enamoured with Belladonna that he’s given up on his dreams. A brilliant, impatient, and cunning young woman, Meriza has a deep love for her brother and will do anything to rescue him from his toxic fiancé.
I spend the rest of the afternoon in the café, wasting time and working myself up to the unpleasant task of finding a peace offering for Belladonna.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee envelops the air, mingling with the laughter and conversations of the happy couples around me. As I watch them come and go, my thoughts rest squarely to the impending tragedy awaiting my dear brother.
|Its petals shift, transforming from a deep blue to a mesmerising shade of purple as I bend down to get a closer look. I reach out to touch one of the velvety petals, and a shiver runs down my spine. There’s something unnatural about it. Some presence that sets it apart from the mundane. It’s…eerie.
Santino [20-30yr Male, Hispanic/Latinx]
A kind-hearted brother to Meriza, blind love has consumed Santino. Committed to his fiancé Belladonna, he doesn’t see the correlation between making the young woman happy, and the pain it’s inflicting on his family. He stays optimistic, and continues ties with his sister, but he is being whittled down by Belladonna’s manipulations.
Mae, she likes things. She loves coffee. Café Britt. Dota. Volio. Any coffee from Tres Ríos, really.
|Ay! Be nice. Alright? Don’t say anything about her that you wouldn’t say to her face.
I’ll see you tomorrow night. Thank you so much, sister. Te quiero un montón.
Belladonna [18-25yr Female, Hispanic/Latinx]
As effervescent as she is volatile, Belladonna is a young woman born of wealth and privilege. When she gains the affection of Santino, she is astounded by his kind heart and ‘puppy dog loyalty’. Abusing this affection, she continues to take advantage of him and isolate him so she can be the sole focus of his interests.
Meriza. Thank you for being such a wonderful older sister to Santino. You made him the man he is, all for me.
What a disgusting little pig-faced woman. I hope my an Santino’s children borrow genes from my side of the family.
Wedding day! It’s the wedding day, Santino! Aren’t you excited to be spending the rest of your life with me?
A bad relationship can slowly erode the trust and happiness we build. When his estranged ex-wife Amelia is found near-dead in South America, conflicted botanist Cooper travels to repatriate her. Scarred by their toxic relationship, he soon discovers parallels between an encroaching ecological horror and the trials of his personal life, all while Amelia’s skin has taken on a strange green shade…
Cooper [30yr-40yr Male, Any Ethnicity]
A botanist from Canada. Cooper was married to Amelia for 12 years before one day she up and disappeared. He’s an incredibly intelligent man, often throwing out large words not to make himself seem smart, but because his mind works effortlessly. Being so locked in his head, however, has been a contributing factor to him being an inattentive husband at times…
[Lecturing] The most critical threat to ecosystems in our day and age are invasive species. They’re generalists, meaning they can survive in a variety of habitats. They’re the sinister intruders from distant shores that plague the delicate balance of our ecosystems. They emerge like shadows, stealthily infiltrating our native habitats, They cheat the domestic system. They out-compete native plant and animal species. They take, and take, and out-compete the dominant species in the region until the habitat is barren.
Don’t play the victim here. You realize the mess you left? You’re an adult, and you just pissed right off, left everything. You could’ve died down there!
|Her words strike a chord deep within me, unraveling layers of self-deception. I wish I hadn’t. As I think it, the green hue that colours her skin becomes a reflection of my own shortcomings. The room feels like a pressure cooker, its walls threatening to collapse under the weight of our frustration. There’s too much air in here.
Amelia (30-40yr Female, Any Ethnicity]
An outdoorsy woman with a love for camping, Amelia and Cooper had a shared love of nature. Over time, however, Cooper’s work commitments began to overshadow their relationship and Amelia felt neglected. Abandoning their relationship, she travelled to South America where a hiking journey goes awry and she’s saved by a strange green plant…
So I came here with my merino wool t-shirt, which is great because it’s wicking AND odor-resistant. Kind of expensive, but well worth it. What do you think? How does it look on me?
I have lived so long
On the cold hills alone . . .
I loved the rock
And the lean pine trees,
Hated the life in the turfy meadow, Hated the heavy, sensuous bees.
I have lived so long
|[While laying in hospital bed] Countless conferences. Leaving me to fend for myself. “Good husband. Good listener”. Talented at hearing his own voice.
Jamie [30yr-40yr Female or Male, Any Ethnicity]
Cooper’s best friend and a fellow botanist. Friends from university, Jamie is a moral compass for Cooper, expressing that he needs to take care of himself before he can take care of others. This plays into Cooper’s worse instincts, and is something he rallies against.
Hey, the woman did a number on you, but that doesn’t mean you need to ride in on a white horse. You turn around, you get back to work and talk about Pythons in the Everglades, Lamprey in the Great Lakes, or Japanese knotweed or whatever exotic monster you want. You turn your worst day into something prehistoric, and after a while, you’ll find that you moved on. She can take care of herself.
Huesos. Oh yeah, that’s a needle in a stack of needles. Looks like it’s all jungle. How much is a flight?
Amelia? You look, uh… Well hey, welcome back. Can’t say we didn’t talk about you while you were gone. Glad you’re back.
Alejandra [30yr-40yr Female, Hispanic/Latinx]
A brilliant veterinarian from the town of Huesos, Alejandra finds Amelia after the backpacker’s near-death experience. Contacting the embassy to get help for her, Amelia travels between the town and other farmers to keep their livestock in good health. Alejandra has studied multiple South American universities and has a ‘no-nonsense’ attitude towards Cooper’s ignorance and arrogance between species, and the spectre of racial biases.
This part of the country, not a lot out here. Logging companies have started to come through. They’re banned from clear cutting deep in the rainforest, so they’ve come here. Soil has lost its richness. Farmers are having a tough time. Soon, people here won’t be able to afford food on the table.
Worst relationship? I left. Few years later I heard that he’d died. Something stupid like falling down three or four stairs. Sudden. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
|Huesos Hospetal Clinica Veterinaria. This isn’t a hospital. This is my clinic.
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