The Audio Dramatist's Lexicon copyright 1987 Yuri Rasovsky (used by permission) ACCOUSTIC. (sound recording) n. a sonic overtone; (music) adj. accoustical. ACCOUSTICAL. (music) Not electronic or prerecorded; produced mechanically, vocally or live. ACT. n., (drama) Originally, the major division of dramatic action within a play; on the contemporary stage, the major division of a play on opposite sides of intermission(s); in broadcasting, the major division of a tele- or audio play separated by breaks; v., to perform a role in a dramatic production; v., to make a living performing roles in dramatic production; to be an actor. ACTION, DRAMATIC. (drama) Gesture, action or dialogue that advances the plot of a dramatic work. ACTION, FALLING. (literature) Action following the climax, in which tension wanes and loose ends are tied up. ACTION, RISING. (literature) Action leading up to the climax, characterized by mounting tension. ACTOR. One who acts, variously called comedian, player, talent, tragedian; an often infuriating, ultimately likable, neurotic plagued by narcissistic disorders that compound a hopeless addiction to an impossible profession. ACTUALITY. (broadcasting, especially broadcast journalism) Unrehearsed or documentary sound, speech or music recorded in the field. ADR [Audio Direct Recording]. (film) The recording of accoustical sounds, especially foley effects, direct to film or video tape in post; hence ADR ROOM or ADR STUDIO, a studio designed for such work, a foley studio, and FOLEY MIXER, an engineer specializing in ADR and foley recording. AFFILIATE. (broadcasting) A station accepting programs or services under contract from, but not owned by, a national or regional network. See also independent, o & o. AFM. The American Federation of Musicians; the musicians' union. AFTRA. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; the talent union that has jurisdiction over radio and audio. AGENT, CASTING. A licensed professional who assists producers with casting. AGENT, LITERARY. A licensed professional who represents writers before publishers and producers. AGENT, TALENT. A licensed professional who helps actors get work. A theatrical agent specializes in dramatic television, film and theater; a commercial agent handles TV and radio commercials and voice-overs. AIR CHECK. (radio) A recording of a program made by the broadcaster during broadcast. ALLITERATION. (literature) The purposeful repitition of sounds, especially at the beginning of words. "The fickle finger of fate." AMBIENCE. (audio drama) A sound bed used in lieu of scenery to indicate environment or setting. Also called atmosphere. AMBIENCE TRACK. (broadcasting) A track devoted to atmospheres. ANALOGUE. (in sound recording) A method of recording sound information on magnetic tape or conventional disk; not as clean a method of recording as digital. ANTAGONIST. (literature) A character whose dramatic function is to oppose the protagonist; the bad guy. ANTICLIMAX. (literature) A minor climax or drop in dramatic tension, which, depending on how it's used, can enhance the climax, dilute it, and produce numerous wanted or unwanted effects. ARCHETYPE. (literature) The first, prototypical and quintessential expression of a theme, character type, style, genre, etc. ARIA. In opera, a solo number; hence, in drama, any long speech that suspends the flow of dramatic action, expecially a long, reflective soliloque. ARISTOTLE. Among his achievements, this Greek philosopher (384- 322 BC) was the first and most important dramatic theorist of the Western World. His Poetics, apparently written as lecture notes, describes Greek Tragedy and attempts to explain how it moves an audience. Aristotelian terms and principles, such as Hubris, Peripity, Catharsis, are still useful to critics and dramatists. ARTISTIC DISTANCE. (literature) A psychological distance between fictive events of a literary or dramatic work and the life experience of the audience, theoretically necessary before the work can be appreciated as art. If a work relates too personally to the audience, the audience will lose its aesthetic objectivity. ASIDE. A dramatic convention in which a character speaks his inner thoughts aloud to himself; or speaks in a stage whisper to another character or the audience, as if the other characters in the scene can't hear him/her. In radio, asides are often distinguished from regular speech by a change of sound quality, mike position, or filter, rather than by a stage whisper. ASSEMBLY. (audio drama) The first part of the editing process in which outtakes are removed from the masters and the remaining keepers are placed in broadcast order. ATMOSPHERE. (audio drama), The same as ambience; (literature) The prevailing mood (calm, mysterious, gay, etc.) of a play or other work of fiction. ATTACK. (theater) a) v., to begin a scene, line or action; b) n., the beginning of a scene, line or action; n., an approach or concept for the production of a drama, writing of a script, playing of a role, or reading of a line. AUDIO ART. A kind of performance art, which often includes dramatic as well as other elements, designed for sound recording or radio. AUDIO DRAMA. See Drama, Audio. AUTEUR. (cinema) A director of a dramatic production, who creates such a strong and pervasive artistic vision over a stage, optisonic or audio production, often contributing decisively to the script, that s/he is for all intents and purposes, the production's author, no matter how many other creative persons contribute to it. The term is rarely used in the theater, because a production most often needs to be fixed and definitive before it can be said to have an auteur. American radio drama auteurs include Norman Corwin, Arch Oboler, and Orson Welles, also a cinema auteur. AUTHOR. (law) In copyright law, the person entitled to hold a copyright, usually the "author" in the usual sense, but not always, as in a "work for hire" situation, in which the individual or organization commissioning a work may become the author for copyright purposes. AUTOMATIC GAIN CONTROL or AGC. (studio) A compressor or limiter. BACK. (audio drama) A script indication signalling that a sound or voice is in the background. Usually applied to outdoor sounds. See off mike. BACKGROUND MUSIC. See music, background. BACK TIME. (broadcasting) To determine the length of a program fragement, or to line up two production elements, such as selected lines and a musical bed, by timing them backwards from their end points. BAFFLE or SOUND BAFFLE. (sound production) n., A mobile partition used in studio to isolate or cushion sound; v., to isolate or cushion sound by using a portable partition. BATHOS. (literatrure) Excessive pathos, often unintentionally funny. BEAT. n., (drama) A stage direction indicating a brief pause the length of one stroke in the rhythm of the scene, signified by the expression BEAT or an ellipsis (. . .); The smallest unit of dramatic action; it is sometimes handy for preparation, rehearsal or taping purposes to divide scenes into beats. BED. (sound production) Sound or music playing continuously under speech, as a musical bed for announcements, or a sound bed (ambience) under a scene. BG. Background. BIAS. (sound recording) An ultrasonic tone that an analogue tape recorder inserts on the tape while recording, to prevent sound distortion. Different types and brands of tapes require different biases during recording. Distortion may result when one type of tape is used for recording on a machine biased for another type. BIBLE. (broadcasting) A treatment for a dramatic serial or soap showing the continuity over a number of episodes. BILLBOARD. (broadcasting) n., The opening announcements to a program; 2 v., To make or record these announcements. BILL. (show business) v. To advertise, publish, identify or announce the name of an artist or artists involved in a production. BILLING. (show business) n. The order and manner of publishing or announcing the names of the artists involved in a particular production; hence TOP BILLING, the artist mentioned most prominently. BINAURAL SOUND. (sound production) Enhanced stereo, whereby up, down, front and back can be distinguished as well as left and right using only two tracks of sound. BLOCK. v., (theater) To design the flow of movement and traffic patterns of objects (such as vehicles) and characters in a play, such as the placement of their entrances, exits and crosses; to teach the blocking to, or work it out with, the performers during rehearsal. BLOCKING. n., (theater) The orchestrated movement of a play. BOARD, MIXING. (sound production) An instrument or console that channels all sound input devices to all output devices, and that contains controls for volume control, EQ, pans, reverb, etc. Also called CONSOLE or BOARD. BOOK RATE. (studio parlance) The prices that a commercial sound studio publishes for its services. The book rate may have no relationship to real prices, except as a starting point for haggling. BOOTH. (studio) The control room of a studio. BOY also JUVENILE. (theater) The youtrhful male love interest in a play; an actor playing the role, or specializing in such roles. BREAK. (broadcasting) n., An interruption in the program for announcements such as commercials and station I.D.s; v., to interrupt a program in this way. BREAKDOWN/BREAKDOWNS. [The singular and plural are used interchangeably.] (television) n. Written project description used for casting purposes, of which the most important parts are thumbnail descriptions of the cast of characters. BREAK-UP. (sound production) A distortion of sound caused by overmodulation in which the sound becomes fuzzy or intermittent. BRIDGE. (audio drama) 1. n., Sound or, most commonly, music linking two scenes; 2. v., to employ a bridge. BUTT SPLICE. (sound production) In editing, to join cues tightly together. CADENCE. (voice training) Vocal patterns of pitch and rhythm. CADENCE, DESCENDING. (voice training) A monotonous vocal pattern in which the voice descends in pitch to the same musical note at the end of every phrase or sentence. CALIBRATION. (sound production) The adjustment of reading devices, especially on a recorder to conform to a determined standard or another device. CALIBRATION TONES (also TEST tones). See tones, calibration. CALL. n. (theater) The time and date at which one or more production personnel are scheduled to begin a casting, rehearsal, taping or posting session. "My call tomorrow is for 6 in the morning, but Tiffany doesn't have to show up 'til noon." CALL BACK or CALLBACK or CALL-BACK. (theater) A secondary or follow-up casting call, during which talent who have appeared at a previous call are called back to audition further. CALL SHEET. See Sheet, Call. CAMEO. (cinema) A secondary or tertiary role in a drmatic work, sometimes lasting no more than one scene, that is played by a name who normally accepts only major roles. CAN, IN THE. (studio slang) Finished, recorded. "The tracks are in the can." CANNED. (broadcast slang) Removed or recorded, not benefitting from the synergetic interaction of spectators and performers sharing the same space, said of performance media such as video, cinema and audio; prerecorded, as canned laughter. CANS. (studio slang) Earphones. CART. (sound production) A cartridge containing tape that can be instantly cued. CAST. (theater) n., The talent hired to play the characters in a dramatic production, or the characters themselves (cast of characters or dramatis personae); v., to choose and hire the talent for one or more dramatic productions. CASTING. (theater) n. The process of choosing talent for dramatic production. CASTING CALL. (theater) n. The session or group of sessions during which talent auditions for roles in dramatic production; the try-out(s). CATHARSIS. (Dramatic theory, from a Greek word meaning purgation) The affect narrative and musical art sometimes has on an audience of purging it of or purifying its emotions, especially the emotions of fear and pity. CATTLE CALL. (theater slang) A derisive name of the inital session or group of sessions during which talent auditions for dramatic production, so called because actors are herded in and out, and given only a few moments to try out. CHANNEL. (studio) The electronic horizontal division of recording tape for stereo or multitrack recording, synonymous with track. CHARACTER MAN/WOMAN. (theater) An actor or actress specializing in mature roles or roles that call for great skill with superficial detail, such as regional accents and physical quirks. CHORUS. (drama) A narrator, as in the Elizabethan theater; the group of singers and dancers of the ancient Greek theater who performed choral odes commenting on the action between scenes, and who, singly and as a group, interacted with the actors during the scenes; (theater) the singing and dancing ensemble of a musical theater production. CLIMAX. (literature) The highest point of tension in the dramatic action. CLIP. 1. (studio) To cut off the beginning or end of a syllable, sound or musical note, usually by accident, as in a bad edit or improper setting of a sound-processing device, such as a gate; (theater) to rush; to top. CLOSE-MIKE. v., (studio) To track each actor with his or her individual microphone, which requires close proximity of actor and mike. CLOSET DRAMA. See drama, closet. COLD. adj. and adv. (show business) Unrehearsed, as to lay down tracks cold, or without even seeing the script in advance, as in a cold reading. COLLOQUY. (drama) An extended passage of dialogue between two characters in a placy. COMMEDIA DEL'ARTE. (theater) A terrifically popular and seminal theatrical genre originating in Renaiscance Italy, typified by stereotyped characters played by actors wearing masks, improvisation, recurring gags, and physical humor; it profoundly influenced Molire, Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the early Marx Brothers, Burlesque and Vaudeville comedy, Punch and Judy Shows, mime, circus clowns, and contemporary improvisational comedy. COMEDIAN. (theater) A performer of any kind specializing in comedy; an actor specializing in comedy; (poetic or archaic) an actor, even one who performs serious plays. COMEDY. (drama) A play intended primarily to amuse; any play, especially a romantic one, with a happy ending, or employing comic structure. COMEDY, SITUATION. (drama) A type of comedy, usually domestic, in which characters are made to react absurdly to farcical situations. COMMERCIAL SOUND STUDIO. A sound studio that hires out its facilities, equipment and engineers to ad agencies, producers and others, but produces little, if anything of its own. COMPLICATION. (drama) A factor in the dramatic action that intensifies the conflict or a previous complication. COMPRESSION. (studio) A type of automatic gain control that reduces sounds above a preset ceiling and amplifies sounds below a preset floor. COMPRESSOR. (studio) A device for affecting compression. CONFLICT. (literature) A factor or person that opposes the protagonist and causes tension. CONSOLE. See mixing board. CONTACT SHEET. See Sheet, Contact. CONVENTION. (art) A stereotyped artifice that an audience agrees to accept, as, in drama, an aside, or, in audio drama, a three-legged horse, a musical bridge or, for that matter, background music. COPYRIGHT. (law) n., A legal protection of an artistic or literary intellectual property, such as a script or audio production, against unauthorized use; to legally protect an intellectual property, expecially by registering a published work with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. COPYRIGHT, COMMON LAW. (law) A legal protection of an unpublished intellectual property, created when an author (or producer) mails the property to him/herself and keeps the sealed mailing container, the cancellation date on which provides the protection. Once a fairly common practice common law copyrighting has diminished since the revamping of the U.S. copyright law in the 1980's. CORE. (studio) A hub around which tape or film is wound for storage, to save money by conserving reels. CRISIS. (drama) A minor or major point in the dramatic action in which the risk arising from conflict or complication requires a response from the protagonist. CROSS. (theater) v., To move across the stage or, in radio theater, across the stereo field; n., a movement thus made. CROSSFADE. (studio) n., The simultaneous reduction of one sound, set of sounds or scene and simultaneously raising of another; v., to make a crossfade. CUE. (theater) v., to give a beginning signal, as when the director points to the actor or the studio cue light goes on; hence, to deliver a line, effect or musical passage that signals another line, effect or musical passage; n., a beginning signal such as the above examples; the beginning or end of a sound, musical passage or line of dialogue. CUE IN. (broadcasting) The first line, sound or music of a program or tape. CUE, OPERATIVE. (theater) The operative cue is the word or phrase in a line that motivates another character to speak or perform an action, even though it is not the final word or phrase of the speech. CUE OUT. (broadcasting) The sound or line that ends the tape or program, and that cues the live station engineer or announcer to go on with whatever is next. CUE SHEET. See Sheet, Cue. CUE, SYSTEMS. (broadcasting) Same as cue out, usually consisting of the name and audio logo of the program's distributor. CURTAIN. (theater) The final punctuation mark of a major division in a dramatic work; in theater, a black out, fade out or lowering of the stage curtain; in audio drama, a fade out, musical passage, or ring out of a sound effect. CURTAIN LINE. (theater) The last line of an act or play, usually, in the former instance, giving the audience a sense of anticipation for the next act, or, in the latter, giving a sense of finality; so-called because, on stage, it is the line that cues the curtain to fall. CUT. (sound) a., To edit; b) n., an edit; v., to record, as "to cut a track;" (theater) v., (command) stop! DAT. (studio) Digital audio tape, a compact cartridge, like a miniature video tape cartridge, that records electronic information which it can transform into sound in the playback. A cleaner method of sound reproduction than conventional, or analogue methods. DEAD. (sound) adj., Lacking reverberation and overtones, said of an acoustical environment. DEAD ROOM. (studio) A studio with neutral acoustics used to record outdoor scenes. DECAY. (sound) The diminution of sound, especially residual or ambient sound, such as an echo; also ring out. DECIBEL or DB. (studio) A unit of sound volume. DELIVER. (theater) To speak a line effectively; (marketing) to get a product (in our case, a program) to consumers (audiences), which, in audio drama could be by commercial recording, broadcast, cable cast or live presentation. DELIVERY. (theater) the affective speaking of lines the employment of cadence, timbre, quality, volume, etc. to imbue lines with meaning, emotion, beauty and interest; (marketing) the method or system by which a program or product is put before audiences or consumers. DENOUEMENT. (drama, from the French: "end") Dramatic action following the climax that resolves the plot; the falling action. DEUS EX MACHINA. (drama, from the Greek: "God out of the Machine") An improbable or inorganic plot contrivance to resolve the various complications of the dramatic action, such as the cavalry coming to the rescue, an unexpected inheritance, or a sudden remission. DIALOGUE. (drama) The words uttered in a play; the lines given actors to speak. DICTION. (literature) The artistic choice and order of words; the vocabulary and syntax of a literary work; (voice training) the clear pronunciation and annunciation of consonants and vowels. DIGITAL. (studio) A method of turning sound information into computer or electronic information and then back again for taping and playing back; cleaner than analogue reproduction. DIRECTION. (theater) The guidance and instructions of the director, as in the phrase "to take direction," meaning to follow the director's orders, something actors are not equally capable of doing. DIRECTOR. (theater) In American theater, television, cinema and audio drama, the person who conducts performances and rehearsals and who supervises, defines and gives unity to the performances. DIRECTOR, CASTING. A person hired to take charge of casting details for a production, series or theater company. DISPLACE ACTION. (theater) To call attention to an unimportant production element at the expense of an important one; to upstage. DOCUDRAMA or DOCUMENTARY DRAMA. (broadcasting) A presentation combining elements of theater and documentary; either a dramatization of historical or current events that makes, or purports to make, extensive use of authentic elements, or a purely fictive work, the documentary elements of which contributes to a sense of realism and immediacy. DOPPLER EFFECT. (physics) An apparent pitch change that takes place as a sound approaches (getting higher) or recedes (getting lower) from a sound receiver. DRAMA. (as opposed to theater): The field of performance art concerned with the acting out of a story from a written script primarilly using speech and movement; especially as pertains to the substantive and literary aspects of such performance art; a type of play, serious in tone, but lacking the elevation and fatalism of tragedy. DRAMA, AUDIO. Drama for the ear, whether performed live before an audience or transmitted via radio, cable audio, cassettes, compact disks or other media; distinguished from play readings by its reliance on the electronic amplification, homogenization and manipulation of music, sound effects, and voices. DRAMA, CLOSET. A type of play written to be read rather than performed, or a narrative poem cast as a play but meant to be read, e.g., Milton's Samson Agonistes, Goethe's Faust, Ibsen's Peer Gynt. DRAMA, REMOTE. As coined in this book, dramatic performance employing technology to reach an audience physically removed from the performance space, and sometimes removed in time as well; the most far-reaching theatrical innovation of the Twentieth Century. DRAMATIC. Possessed of values appropriate to drama, considered exclusively of theatrical values. DRAMATIC ACTION. See action, dramatic. DRAMATIC LITERATURE. The body of written drama, especially that which possesses literary merit as well as, or more than, theatrical merit; drama considered as a branch of literature. DRAMATIST. A playwright, particularly one who writes with distinction on serious subjects. DRAMATIST, AUDIO (or AURAL. DRAMATIST) (author's coinage) A sonicauteur: one who writes, produces and directs audio drama professionally; a great unsung and persecuted benefactor of mankind. DROP OUT. (studio) A technical aberration in which sound arbitrarily disappears or drops out of a section or sections of exposed tape. DYNAMICS. (sound) Relative loudness; sonic volume. ECHO. (audio drama) A sonic overtone purposely introduced to establish a live outdoor environment; often used to mean reverb. ECHO CHAMBER. (studio) An acoustic environment that enhances reverberation. ENSEMBLE. (theater) n., the quality of a performance in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; that is, the rapport among and the combined performances of the cast have a personality and importance greater than that of the performers individually; a work benefitting from strong ensemble is often called an ENSEMBLE PIECE; adj., of such a quality; n., a) The cast of a production; b) the performers in a repertory company. EPIPHANY, EPIPHANAL MOMENT. (from the Greek: showing forth) In drama, especially in tragedy, the protagonist's sudden insight into his/her condition or circumstances, caused by his/her struggle with antagonistic forces, that leads him/her to take action that brings on the climax or reversal (called by Aristotle anagnorisis); a literary expression introduced by James Joyce to denote a gesture or action that sums up or reveals the essense of a fictional character to an audience. EPISODE. In broadcasting, a discreet program in a series or serial; in drama, a unified portion of a plot, an incident. EPISODIC. adj, (literature) Containing many totally or partially self-contained episodes; (drama) used pejoritively, containing too many scenes or episodes, and, hence, structurally weak or unwieldy; (broadcasting) n., a broadcast series of self-contained episodes, usually melodramas, featuring recurring lead characters and any number of transient secondary characters. EQ. (sound production) To "equalize," or electronically adjust, the pitch of recorded sound. EQUALIZATION: (sound production) The balance between the various frequencies of sound that affect pitch. EQUALIZER. (sound production) An electronic divice that adjusts EQ. EXPOSITION. (literature) Presentation of information essential to the understanding of the dramatic action, especially of events that occurred prior to the opening scene or off-stage. EXPRESSIONISM. (art) A stylized and highly personal form of theater in which reality is distorted by the passionate and distorted vision of the writer. FADE. (studio) v., To gradually diminish volume; n., a change in volume so made. FADE OUT. (studio) v., To gradually lower volume until the sound disappears; a change in volume so made. FADE UP. (studio) v., To gradually raise volume; n., a change in volume so made. FAIR USE. (law) A stipulation in the Copyright Act of 1976 (Section 107) under which some limited "fair use" may be made of a protected work without permission "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching . . . scholarship or research." Whether fair use includes such things as exerpting sections of commercial recordings for background music in audio drama is not clear. FARCE. (drama) A broad style of comedy that relies on ridiculous situations. FAST-WIND. (studio) To spool or wind tape around a reel or hub at high speed. See also slow-wind. FAVORED NATIONS or FAVORED NATIONS CLAUSE. A contractual stipulation guaranteeing that no other contractee is receiving more favorable conditions (although others may receive conditions equally favorable). FIELD. (studio) An area out of the studio or controlled conditions where a recording is made; recordings thus made are FIELD RECORDINGS; the area before or around a microphone effective for picking up sound. FILTER. (studio) v. to remove frequencies from a sound to remove unwanted sounds or to produce an effect, such as to reproduce the sound of telephone reception; n., a device that produces such an effect, an equalizer; a script indication prescribing the use of such a device. FLASHBACK. (literature) v., to show events in retrospect; to interrupt a scene or scenes of current events with a scene, scenes or scene fragment(s) of past events; n., a retrospective scene. FLOAT. (studio) To protect a recording or broadcast environment from outside vibration, as from passing traffic, by building it as an inner room connected to an outer room by shock absorbers, or raising a false floor over the real one. FLUB. (theater) n., An actor's mistake of delivery; v., to make such a mistake. FLYING/ON THE FLY. (studio slang) "Winging it," especially overdubbing or punching in a sound or piece of music without preparation. FOIL. (drama) A character whose dramatic purpose is to set-off another character by contrast; a side-kick. FOLEY or FOLEY EFFECTS. (film, from Jack Foley, a sound mixer) In broadcast drama and film, sound effects laid in live during mastering or overdubbing, and not prerecorded. A studio built for the production of such effects is a FOLEY STAGE, FOLEY ROOM or ADR room. The person producing these effects is the FOLEY PERSON, FOLEY OPERATOR or ADR mixer. FRAMING DEVICE. (literature) A plot device to set-off the dramatic action within the context of an amplifying situation, which opens and closes, or frames, the main action, as when the play unfolds in retrospect, or in a "play within a play." FRENCH SCENE. See scene, french. FRICATIVE. (speech) A vocalization such as the letters f, s, v and z produced by forcing breath through a narrow opening in the mouth. These sounds tend to pop the mike. FULFILLMENT. (marketing) The segment of business operations dealing with fulfilling orders, as when listeners order cassettes, transcripts or other premiums. A firm that specializes in this is called a FULFILLMENT HOUSE. GAIN. (studio) Loudness, sonic volume. GATE or NOISE GATE. (studio) A machine that reduces tape hiss, room tone and other unwanted noise during transmission or recording by reducing or shutting off sound below a preset floor. GATING. (studio) Employing a device that shuts off sound under a preset minimum and turns it on again when it exceeds the minimum. Used for noise reduction. GENERATION. (studio) A recording considered in relation to its distance from the original live sound; the original recording of the live sound, the master, is the first generation, a dub of that recording, which may or may not include additional sounds, is the second generation, a dub of the dub is third generation, etc. GENERATION LOSS. (studio) A degredation in sound quality that occurs every time recorded sound goes down another generation. GENRE. A literary "species" or form, such as tragedy, sitcom, Western, soap, docudrama, etc. GENRE WRITING. (literature) Writing in a genre subject to highly prescripted structure, tone, atmosphere, style, dialogue and characterization. GRAMS. (short for "gramophone") 1. A script indication, usually in documentaries, that signifies the use of a prerecorded, often historical or vintage, sound byte or bed; 2. recorded effects. GRAMS OPERATOR. (British) The studio technician in charge of laying down prerecorded music, sounds and voicies. GRAND GIGNOL [from Fr., Thetre de Grand Gignol Theatre of the Big Puppet in Paris, a hole-in-the-wall playhouse at the turn-of-the-century where such performances originated], sometimes simply GIGNOL [pronounced geen-Y L]. n., adj. A theater movement characterized by accessive melodrama, violence, gore and spectacle; hence, anything graphically shocking, violent and gorey. GRAVEL BOX, GRAVEL PIT. A Foley device for making the sound of footfalls on various surfaces, whether of gravel or another material. HASH or GROTZEL. (studio slang) Unwanted random sounds, such as tape hiss, print-through, clicks from bad edits and punches, intrusive room tone, etc. HEAD/TAPE HEAD. (studio) The magnetic device on a recorder that touches the tape and either records (RECORD HEAD) or reproduces (PLAYBACK HEAD) sound. HEAD, SYNC. (studio) A head that plays back previously recorded sounds in synchronization to new sounds as they are being laid down on the same tape. HOT ON MIKE. (audio drama) Intimate and very close to the microphone, said of delivery. HOUSE. (theater slang) A `live' audience, that is, an audience bodilly present in the performance environment. "What a great house we had today" translates as "What a receptive and responsive audience we had today;" "nice house" = "large audience;" etc. HUBRIS. (drama, from the Greek: Pride) Excessive confidence, overweening pride, usually the mistaken overestimate of one's capacity to control one's destiny or contend with God; often the one tragic flaw in an otherwise noble character. INDEPENDENT. A station neither owned nor affiliated with a network. IN MEDIAS RES. (literature, from the Greek: "in the middle of things") A plot device wherein the action begins close to the climax or at an exciting point, flashes back to the beginning and then proceeds to the end. INAMORATA. (theater) the role of female love interest; the actress playing or specializing in such roles; the leading lady of a commedia dell'arte troupe. INBOARD. (electronics) adj., Built-in, as opposed to outboard, frequently used in relation to sound equipment. INDEX. (recording) n. An electronic signal that can be laid on a DAT to mark the beginning of a take or passage to be played, so that in playback the DAT can be instantly cued to that point; hence v. to mark a DAT with such a signal. INDICATE. (theater) To play a quality superficially and without investment or sincerity, usually obviously so; to employ indication. INDICATION. (theater) A conventionalized or broad physical or vocal gesture substituting for one that the audience could not perceive, such as a stage whisper; hence the affectation of emotion, display of all the outward signs of emotion with no inner truth; the going through the motions; in script writing, an instruction to the actor, director or engineer written into the script; a stage direction. INFORMATION. (technology) The code enscribed in a transmission substance (film emulsion, radio waves, electro-magnetic energy) captured on or flowing through a medium (film, tape, air, cable) that is made from light and sound that can be transformed back into light and sound. INGENUE. (theater) the conventional role of attractive, young female lead; the actress playing or specializing in such roles. IN POST. (film) During post-production. IN REPERTORY. (performing arts) adv. Said of an engagement, season or set of performances of a star performer or performance ensemble, especially a theatrical one: in a revolving repertory of performance pieces or plays; broadcasts in repertory are rare in American radio, but not unheard of. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. (law) A product of imagination such as a novel, play, recording, painting, invention capable of some sort of physical embodiment. INTERCUT. (studio) v., To interrupt the recording of a scene because of a flub and then to resume recording from or just prior to the stopping point; n., a correction thus made. INTERIOR MONOLOGUE. (literature) A soliloquy representing the unspoken thoughts of a character in a play; in radio often electronically set-off from normal dialogue. INTERLUDE. (drama) A conversation, skit, scene, musical number, often only tangentially related to the plot, that suspends the flow of dramatic action. IPS. (studio) Inches per second, a standard unit of analogue tape recording and playback speed in America. Professional recordings are made no slower than 7-1/2 ips, and may be made at 15 ips, 30 ips or faster, to increase sound quality. IRONY. A literary device, and one particularly used in drama, in which what is stated contrasts or conflicts with what is wryly suggested. ISO BOOTH. (isolation booth), a small room, often adjacent to or within a larger studio, for recording a sound in isolation from other sounds. JUMP or JUMP CUT. (film) A sudden transition between scenes of a radio and teleplay, indicated in scripts by the phrases JUMP TO . . . or CUT TO . . . . JUVENILE. See boy. KEEPER. (studio) A good take. KUNTSKOPF. (German: art head) The head-shaped microphone assembly used in mastering binaural audio. LAVALIER. (studio) A type of small, personal microphone that may be worn unobtrusively on the body. LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, THE. In all types of performance and presentation, whether theatrical, literary, musical, sports- related, journalistic or otherwise, the effect of boredom produced by duration on an audience; the longer a performance or presentation, the more the law of diminishing returns must be counteracted by ever more impressive effects or ever more absorbing content. LAY DOWN. (studio slang) v.t., to record (something). LAY IN. (studio slang) to overdub. LAZZO, plural LAZZI. (theater) Recurring or running gag, skit, stage business or comic routine of the commedia dell'arte, hence any such business recurring or imbedded in various contexts and various works, such as the "Slowly I Turned" lazzo of Vaudeville. LEAD. (theater) n. The most or one of the most impportant actors or roles in a dramatic production, a principal. LEADER. (studio) n., A length of nonrecordable film, tape or paper that can be edited to recording tape or film to mark cues or protect the ends; to separate tracks with leader. LEADING MAN or LEADING WOMAN. (theater) n. An actor who usually plays only the most important roles in dramatic productions; the actor playing the most important role in a specific production (when the actor in this sense is female, the term LEADING LADY is used). LEVEL. (studio) Sound volume. LIBRETTO. (theater) The spoken portion of a musical play script; in opera, the entire text. LIMIT. v., (studio) To use an electronic device to keep transmitted or recorded sounds below a preset threshold of volume. LIMITER. (sound production) An electronic device that limits sound, that is, keeps loud sounds beneath a preset ceiling of volume; similar to a compressor; also called AGC or automatic gain control. LINE. (theater) A unit of dialogue equivalent to a phrase, sentence or speech, depending upon the context in which the word is used. LINES. (theater) Dialogue. LIVE. [l v]. (sound) adj. An acoustical environment possessing reverberation; (broadcast) adj. & adv. unrecorded, in real time, during performance, as "a live broadcast; (broadcast) adj. witnessing or participating in a broadcast program as it is being recorded or transmitted before a studio audience. LOOP, or TAPE LOOP. (studio) A tape that has been spliced into a loop so that the sound recorded on it can be extended indefinitely, usually to provide a bed for other sounds. MANNERISM, to be MANNERED. (theater) An actor's often repetitious affectation of performance, used to disguise fatigue, indifference, jitters, or a lack of real technique; in art and literature, any overused and stale stylistic device. MARQUEE VALUE. (show business) The ability of the publicized name of a performer, author, director, composer, et al. to attract audiences to a production.. MASK. (theater) n. A character of the commedia dell'arte (e.g., Harlequin, Pierrot, Pantalone); hence any stereotyped comic character (e.g., Chaplin's Tramp, Mickey Mouse) whose name, personality, costume and make-up recur in various otherwise disconnected theatrical works. MASTER. (studio) n., The raw first generation recording from which the overdub and mix is made; also VOICE MASTER, MUSIC MASTER, etc.; n., the final mix or completely packaged program from which all copies are to be made; also BROADCAST MASTER, TRANSMISSION MASTER; v., to record a master. MELODRAMA. (drama) used pejoratively, an inflated, unctuous style of writing or performing; hammy performance; a style of drama in which good and evil are personified in opposing characters, and often including sensational elements; a theatrical form of the 18th Century in which spoken lines are heavilly underscored by instrumental music, which evolved into a popular 19th Century from, incorporating elements of definition 2 with songs or ballads, which heavily influenced grand opera and led to melodrama in the modern sense. METAPHOR. (literature) The comparison of essentially unlike things, such as "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." (Shakespeare) When the things compared are joined by a connective, it is a SIMILE, as in "Life is like a sewer; you get out of it exactly what you put into it." (Tom Leher.) Sometimes the metaphor is submerged or implied, as in this 16th Century lyric comparing love's absence to drought: "Western wind, when wilt thou blow, / The small rain down can rain? / Christ, if my love were in my arms / And I in my bed again!" METONYMY. (literature) The substitution of the name for one thing for another that it closely relates to, as when speaking of someone's hand to mean someone's handwriting. MIS EN SC NE [m z ah(n) sen ; m z ahn s n ; Fr., literally "placement/setting in the theater."]. (theater) n. the staging or production design of a dramatic work, considering such factors as blocking, scenery, props, lighting, costuming, sound plot and direction of the actors as they form an artistic physical, optisonic or sonic interpretation of the work; hence, in cinema (and by extension in any form of theater), a director's, especially an auteur's, style, as manifested in a particular work, or in the director's collective ouvre. MIX. (radio) n., a recording made from a master and sounds, music and voices blended together in final or near final form; n., the process by which such a recording is made; v., to combine prerecorded sound, music and voices into final or near final form. MIXING BOARD. See board, mixing. MONO (monophonic sound). Sound originating from one sound source or speaker. MOS. (broadcast journalism) Man-on-the-street; when MOS occurs as a script indiation, it means that the dialogue that follows comes from an interview with an ordinary citizen recorded in the field. MOUNT. (theater) v.t. To produce or direct something, as "to mount a production." MULTITRACK. (studio) A method of mixing audio programs using three or more discrete channels of sound which are mixed down to one or two. MUSIC, BACKGROUND. (theater) Music that the characters supposedly do not hear and that the audience pretends not to hear, that seems to arise from etherial musicians, and that reinforces the mood or atmosphere of a scene. MUSIC, SOURCE. (theater) As distinguished from background music, music that supposedly originates in the environment of a scene and that the characters hear, as the band in a night club. MUSIC, STOCK. (film) Generic prerecorded music. MUSIC, TITLE. (film) The theme music or leitmotif for a program or series. MAIN TITLE: The theme music that opens a program, hence, the entire program opening; the billboard. CLOSING or END TITLE: The theme music that closes the program, hence, the entire program closing, outro. NAME. A star; a well-known or prestigious performer, director or producer whose participation will lend credibility, legitimacy or audience-appeal to a production. NARRATE. (drama) To describe or tell at length, especially of off-stage action. NARRATION. (drama) Descriptive speeches, especially of off-stage action; any speech of a Chorus or narrator. NARRATIVE. (literature) A story, tale. NARRATIVE HOOK. (literature) A plot device or any other stratagem that grabs the audience's attention at the beginning of a dramatic program. NATURALISM. (literature) A style of writing and performance in which the situations are presented with convincing but selective verisimilitude. NEEDLE DROP. (studio) A fee paid to the copyright owner or publisher every time a stock effect or piece of music is used in an audio production. NETWORK. (broadcasting) A regional or national organization offering subscribing stations and O and Os programs and other services. NOISE. (studio) Unwanted sound, hash. Tracks are said to be noisy, not when they're loud, but when hash is intrusive. NOISE GATE. See gate, noise. NOISE, PINK. (sound) Random frequencies of sound, sometimes purposely introduced on audio tracks to camouflage edits and hash. NOISE, WHITE. (sound) As opposed to pink noise, a pure frequency of sound. NPR. National Public Radio, the radio equivalent of PBS, with which it is often confused by civilians. O AND O or O & O. (broadcasting) A station owned and operated by a national network. OBJECTIVE. n., (drama) the often covert aim of a character in a scene. OFF MIKE. (radio) Away from the microphone, with some room slap audable. (See back) ON MIKE. (radio) Down stage or at the ideal microphone position. OBLIGATORY SCENE. See Scene, Obligatory. ONOMATOPOEIA. (literature) A word or expression that sound like the thing it describes, such as slush, pow, sizzle, thud. OPTISONIC. (adj.) As coined in this book, pertaining to remote dramatic forms combining light and sound, such as film, video tape, optical disk and other technologies. ORGANIC. In playwrighting, arising intrinsically, as from the natural consequences of the characters, their situations and interactions, as opposed to a contrivance such as a deus ex machina; In acting, employing one's own emotional equipment appropriately and spontaneously in performance, as opposed to indication. OUT or SOUND OUT. (audio drama) A script indication for an abrupt drop to zero volume. OUTBOARD. (electronics) adj., In electronics, external; as a device that can be wired to a tape recorder or console that enhances its performance. OUTTAKE. (film) A bad take or one not destined for use. OVERDUB. (studio) v. In multitracking, to record sounds, music or voices on empty tracks of an already recorded tape in preparation for mixing; n., the stage of the production process in which this is done. OVERMODULATION. (studio) Sound distortion and/or signal break-up in a recording, playback or broadcast resulting from two much gain. OXYMORON. (literature) Either a big dumb guy or, less facetiously, an expression combining contradictions, as "thunderous silence" or "honest politician." PA or PRODUCTION ASSISTANT. (audio drama) The producer's and/or director's assistant in the studio; the radio equivalent to the stage manager. PACIFICA. A small but influential public radio network and program syndicator, generally considered far less politically neutral than PRI or NPR. PACKAGE. (broadcasting) v., To add the wrap-arounds, credits, break announcements and previews to a final mix so that the program is ready to air; n., a bundle of programs, or a bundle of services accompanying a program, offered to stations by a distributor, or to the distributor by a producer. PACKAGING. (broadcasting) The wrap-arounds, credits, break announcements and previews that make a program ready to air and help make an audience receptive to the program. PAGEANT. (theater) An elaborate celebratory or `occasional' kind of loosely constructed theatrical work, often essentially dramatic, emphasizing sentiment and spectacle, built around a central theme of great significance to the community at large. PAGEANTRY. Spectaular display, magnificent theatricality. PANDER TO AN AUDIENCE. To subvert artistic integrity, by creating or altering a literary work or performance opportunistically, thus lessening its artistic merit, to gain the approbation of an audience. PAN. (studio) To move sound in stereo artificially. PAN POT. (studio) The knob on a studio console that moves sound articifially in stereo. PARADOX. (literature) A statement or situation that seems, but need not be, self-contradictory. PASS. (studio) n, One continuous pass of the recording tape over the record head of the tape recorder, during a session; a take. PATCH. (electronics) v., To connect one piece of electronic equipment to another by some temporary device, so that they interact; n., a connection so made. PATCH BAY. (electronics) A bank of receptors, usually on the console and resembling an old fashioned telephone switchboard, for patching. PATCH, PHONE. (sound studio) A hook up between a telephone line and a recording or broadcasting device so that sound information may be captured or broadcast directly from the line. PATHOS. (literature) That which evokes sympathy, sorrow or pity. PERIPHRASIS. (literature) The substitution of a descriptive phrase for the name of something, either because it expresses more than the name alone, or because expressive precision is for some reason impossible; as "wet roads" for "sea," "tawny majesty" for lion, or "whatshisname, that writer with the beard who blew his brains out" for Hemmingway. PERIPITY. (dramatic theory) In drama, an ironic reversal seen when a character's actions bring about the opposite result to that which was intended, as when MacBeth's murders, perpetrated for his gain, bring about his downfall. PERSONIFICATION. (literature) The giving of human attributes to non-human things, as in expressions like "cruel sea," "howling gail," "blushing rose," "rosey-fingered dawn," etc. PHASE. (studio) The synchronicity between two sound signals or electircal currents, which, when exactly in sync, are said to be IN PHASE, and when not, OUT OF PHASE. PHASE CANCELLATION. (studio) The loss of sound frequencies caused when two identical signals, as a sound in stereo center recorded on two stereo channels, are out of phase. PHYSICALITY. In audio drama, an element of palpable reality, such as touching, movement, gesture, etc., used by talent as a performance aid; the physical relationship with other characters, gesture, environment and movement that the talent can convey vocally, though standing still at the mike. PICK UP. (studio) n., a wild line or intercut; v., a line or sequence of lines recorded wild; (theater) n., directorial note given to actors between takes, run-throughs or performances. PICK UP (or TIGHTEN) ONE'S CUES. (theater) to leave less pause between the beginning of one's line and the end of the previous line. PINK NOISE. See noise, pink. PLAYER, SUPPORTING. Anm actor playing a secondary of tertiary role in a production. PLOSIVE. n., (speech) A vocalization produced by the total stoppage and sudden release of breath, such as the inital sounds in the words Pet, kite and tar. Such sounds tend to pop the mike. PLOT. (literature) n., As opposed to story, the events of a fictional work arranged in order of presentation; v. to arrange a story into a plot. PLOT POINT. (drama) A bit of information that must register with the audience before it can understand why the dramatic action is moving in certain directions. POETIC JUSTICE. (literature) The doctrine that fictional characters should receive their just deserts in a fitting way, that by the end of the work, evil should be punished and virtue rewarded. POP. (studio) v., To make a popping sound by pronouncing a plosive or fricative too directly into a microphone; n., a sound so made. POP FILTER/WIND SCREEN. (studio) A device fitting over the microphone to reduce unwanted sounds from pops, exhalations, and the flow of air in a recording environment. PORTMANTEAU WORD. (language) A word derived from fragments of other words to express a combined meaning; for instance, "grumble," to complain under one's breath, combines "gripe" and "mumble." P.O.V. (film and broadcast) Point of view, the desired illusion of physical audience orientation towards a scene or scene fragment, as when all sounds are heard from a specific character's POV. POST-PRODUCTION or POST. (studio) All studio work done on a program after the taping of voices or music: editing, overdubbing, mixing. PRINCIPAL. (theater) n. One of the lead actors or roles in a dramatic production. PRE-MIX. (studio) v., To mix part of the sounds of a scene or production before mixing all of them or before the voice session; n., a partial sound mix. PREPARATION. (literature) Information that has to be planted in advance of an action in order to make it believable. Also called PRIMING or THE SET-UP. PRESENCE. (theater) Stage or mike presence, the quality in a performer of looking as if he or she belongs on a stage, or sounds as if he or she belongs in front of a mike; presence comes from confidence, technique and indefinable intuitive factors; (studio) overtones on sounds, the audable flow of air and pink noise picked up by a mike or mikes and peculiar to the sonic environment; also called room tone. PRIME. (literature) To prepare an audience for an action or an effect, by planting information or employing other preparatory stylistic elements in advance of the action or effect. PRINT-THROUGH. (studio) An unwanted echo of sound recorded on a reel of analogue tape, caused by saturated layers printing through to adjacent layers wound above and below it. PROBLEM PLAY. (drama) A play written to examine a moral, societal or political problem. PRODUCER. (show business) A job title with many definitions, from a kind of glorified flunky to the big boss or creative agent employed on a program or production. In theater outside the United States, the producer is what we call the director. In audio drama, the executive who oversees all production activity and personnel, and who has the creative and managerial responsibility for the final production. PRODUCER, EXECUTIVE. The executive who supervises the producer and who has all administrative and fiscal (sometimes also marketing, promotion and distribution) responsibility for a production. PROMO. (broadcasting) A spot announcement advertising the program. PROTAGONIST. (literature) The main character of a play; the hero. PROPERTY. (theater) A script, or literary work used as the abasis for a script, considered as a production commodity. PROXIMITY EFFECT. (studio) The "warming" or mellowing of a sound produced when the source moves close to the microphone. PSA. (broadcasting) Public service announcement; a commercial for a non-profit organization or a charitable cause. PUBLIC DOMAIN. (law) A concept in copyright law concerning the expiration of copyright and other intellectual property protections (e.g., patents, trade marks). A work is protected only for a limited time, after which it "falls into the public domain," or becomes the common property of the human race. PUMPING. (studio) An undesirable distortion of sound caused by too much compression. PUNCH. (studio) a) v., To make an edit or to overdub a sound by turning on the record button as the moving tape passes the record head (also punch in); b) n., an edit so made; in theater, v., to emphasize a word, line or sound; n., emphasis of a word, line or sound. QUAD. (studio) Short for quadrophonic; four-channel stereo requiring two front and two back speakers. QUAD, MATRIXED. (studio) Three-channel stereo, required when broadcasting quad under certain conditions, using two front channels and one rear channels matrixed to give a quadrophonic impression. RADIO, COMMERCIAL. The system of stations financed primarily by the sale of advertising time. RADIO, COMMUNITY. The system of non-commercial broadcasters, many of them public radio stations, emphasizing volunteer, inclusive, community participation in station operations. RADIO, PUBLIC. The system of non-commercial stations operating nominally in the community interest, under qualifications set by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and operated by the dregs of humanity. RADIO, UNIVERSITY. The system of non-commercial stations, usually not CPB qualified, operated at low power by universities primarily to serve the university community and to train or provide recreation for student volunteers. Many American colleges have their own 50 watt stations. READ-THROUGH (n.), READ THROUGH (v.). (theater) n., a run- through in which the cast reads a play aloud without movement or interruption from the director; v., to hold or participate in a read-through. REALISM. (drama) A type of political expressionism originating in Germany after World War I; the theatrical equivalent to the editorial cartoon. RECAP. (drama) n., (recapitulation) a summary of the action that has transpired thus far in the dramatic work, as at the beginning of serial episodes or as appears when necessary to reinforce plot points; v., to make such a summary, to recapitulate. RECORDIST. (Production) The recording engineer; the engineer operating the console during mastering. REMOTE. (broadcasting) n., a television or radio session held "in the field," that is, outside of the studio; a production or part of a production so made; adj., pertaining to field production; REPERTOIRE. See repertory. REPERTORY. (performance) n., the works represented in a season of performance, REPERTOIRE; the technique or bag of tricks, considered critically, at the command of a performer, ensemble or artist: technique; a method of presenting a season of performance in which an esnsemble of performers is engaged to appear in works alternating throughout the performance year. REPERTORY COMPANY or REPERTORY ENSEMBLE. A theater troupe consisting of actors engaged for the season, presenting works in repertory; used somewhat improperly, a theater troupe presenting regular seasons of works, whether sequentially or alternating, whether with an ensemble engaged for the season or performers engaged per production. REPRESENTATIONALISM. (drama) Playwrighting and theatrical presentation in which action is presented on a bare or austere stage and in which much of the action and locale are suggested by the lines are said to be "representational." Examples include Greek tragedy and Elizabethan plays. REVERB. Reverberation; a sonic overtone purposely introduced to give the impression of some kind of live indoor environment, as a cave, auditorium, hallway, etc. See also echo. REVERSAL. (literature, also [Greek] peripity) A point in or near the climax of dramatic action in which the fortunes of the main character change from the course they had been taking up til then. RF. (studio) Radio frequencies; the often unwanted reception of broadcast signals on recording or playback equipment. RIDE GAIN. (studio) to manually control the volume during recording or mixing. RING OUT. See decay. ROLE, SUPPORTING. A secondary character in a dramatic work. ROMANCE: (literature) A literary work or play appealing to a sense of adventure, often episodic and melodramatic, taking place on a vast terrain and emphasizing thrilling incidents and romantic love; a literary work or play, about the love lives of appealing principal characters, and celebrating the importance of romantic love. ROOM TONE. See tone, room. RUN-THROUGH or RUN THROUGH. (theater) n., (hyphenated) the uninterrupted rehearsal of an extended portion of a script or the entire script; v., (without the hyphen) to rehearse an extended portion of or the entire script without interruption. RUN-THROUGH, FINAL: n. In audio drama, the last rehearsal, especially or a work to be recorded or broadcast before a studio audience, held as if it were an actual performance; the radio equivelent of a dress rehearsal. SAFETY COPY or SAFETY. (studio) A good quality copy of the final mix or packaged program kept in case something happens to the master. SATIRE. (literature) A type of comedy, low or high, that ridicules aspects of human behavior, the purpose of which is to arouse contempt for the object. SATURATE. (studio) To raise the sound levels during recording above the highest point that the recording medium can tolerate, incurring resultant distortion and possibly print through. SATURATION. (studio) Distortion of sound on a recording medium due to high sonic volume. SCALE. (show business) n. Minimum payment for work tolerated by a union per the applicable union-management agreement. SCENARIO. (theater) A narrative outline of a plot; see also treatment, bible. SCENE. (drama) A dramatic unit in which all action is continuous and ensues in one location; by extension, continuous action within a scene in the first sense, unified by mood, participating characters or spine, etc., useful as rehearsal units; the locale or setting of a unit of action. SCENE- -FAIRE. See scene, obligatory. SCENE, FRENCH. (theater) A unit of continuous dramatic action delimited by the entrance or exit of one or more characters; for logistical reasons, the director sometimes divides a play into French scenes for rehearsal or taping purposes. SCENE, OBLIGATORY. (drama) the climactic scene in a well-made play in which all the threads of the plot are unsnarled; a scene necessitated by audience expectations, balance, completeness, poetic justice, etc. though not essential to the plot, as when the fate of a character the audience has taken an interest in is shown after the character has stopped playing an important role in the action. SCHMALTZ. n. (theater slang, from Yiddish: "chicken fat") Lugubrious sentimentality; `laying it on thick.' SCRUB. v. (digital audio) During editing, the digital equivelent to rock recording tape back and forth by hand over the playback head in order to locate an exact edit point. SHTICK. (theater slang) Excessive, hammy, stereotyped mannerism, or an actor's overused bag of tricks, especially when used for low humor or to pander to an audience; not always a pejorative term. SECOND. (studio parlance) n. An apprentice or assistant engineer in a commercial sound studio; often merely a gofer. SEGUE. (music) 1. n., A smooth or gradual transition from one sound to another or one scene to another without pause; 2. v. to make such a transition. SEQUENCE. (literature) n. As opposed to a scene, a montage consisting of narration, snatches of dialogue, sound bytes, etc., that summarizes events or presents them in quick succession. SERIAL. (literature) A regularly-scheduled continuing series that presents a story over many programs in a series, or installments in a periodical. SERIES. (broadcasting) A regularly-scheduled program, the episodes of which share a unifying element, such as continuing characters, theme, format, setting, continuing plot line, etc. SESSION. (studio parlance) A continuous period of work on one project in a sound studio. SFX or FX. (audio production) Sound effects. SHEET, CALL. (theater) A rehearsal schedule. SHEET, CONTACT. (theater) A list of key personnel with their contact information, distributed to the cast and crew at the beginning of production work. SHEET, CUE. (broadcasting) A fact sheet or tape box label showing the cues in and out, the duration, playback speed and other essential playback information. SHEET, TRACK. (studio) A list in order of the takes on a recording, also showing the tracks of multi-track tape that sounds have been recorded to, often with other notes useful in post-production. SHOCK MOUNT. (studio) n., A device fitted between a mike and its stand to prevent unwanted sound produced by vibrations from the studio floor; v., to rig a microphone in such a way. SIDES. (theater) A special script containing only one character's lines with cues in and out; hence, any script fragment prepared for use by talent during auditions or production. SIGNAL. (studio) The sound source; wanted sound, as in the expression "signal to noise ratio," the ratio between wanted and unwanted noise being recorded. SIMILE. See metaphor. SITCOM. (broadcasting) A type of broadcast comedy series employing farcical situations and recurring lead characters in self-contained episodes. SITUATION COMEDY. See Comedy, Situation. SLAP. (sound) Sound reverberating from the walls, floor and ceiling of a studio. SLAPSTICK. (theater) A type of broad comedy relying upon exagerated physical assault for its humor. SLATE. (studio) v., To record an announcement of the take information, such as the take number, in front of the take as a kind of audio label; n., the audio label so recorded. SLATE TONE. See tone, slate. SLOW-WIND [w nd]. (studio) To wind or spool analogue tape at playback speed for storage to prevent print-through, stretching and other damage. Slow-winding is a very even unstressful wind, which places a thin air cushion between layers of wound tape. The most common and practical method is simply to store tape tails out after play, without rewinding it. SNEAK. (studio) To fade a sound up or down so slowly that its appearance or disappearance is barely noticeable. SOAP or SOAP OPERA. (radio) A broadcast serial, presenting by and large domestic situations in melodramatic terms, so called because at one time such programs were sponsored by soap companies; any dramatic work resembling a soap opera in tone. SOLILOQUY. (drama) A speech, usually extended, representing the inner thoughts of a character, spoken while the character is alone or believes him/herself to be alone in the scene. SOUNDSCAPE. (audio drama) The environment for dramatic action created on the audio stage by descriptive dialogue and sonic effects; the audio equivilent to effects produced in the theater by sets, props and lighting; (audio art) a work for listening that manipulates and orders sound to create a mood or conjur the impression of an environment; the audio equivelent of landscape painting. SOURCE MUSIC. See music, source. SPOT CHECK. (broadcasting) A check of the exposed recording tape for flaws made by playing only brief passages at various points on the tape. SPIKE. (theater) v., to fix a position on stage or before the mike exactly by marking the floor with tape, chalk, etc.; n., the mark made for this purpose; (electronics) n., an unwanted sudden surge of power through the circuitry of electronic equipment that can sometimes cause technical aberrations and system crashes. SPINE. (theater) An underlying motivational or structural unity of a scene, play, or character. SPLICE. (studio) v., To edit tape by physically cutting and joining; n., the juncture of two pieces of tape edited together. SPOT. (broadcasting) v. To locate and mark the most desirable position for performing, so as to be in the optimal view of the camera or range of the microphone; short for spot announcement. SPOT ANNOUNCEMENT. (broadcasting) A broadcast advertising or public service message between 10 to 120 seconds long; a commercial. STAGE. (theater) n. As used in this book, the "place" of theatrical action; in a playhouse the stage is a physical space in an auditorium in view of the audience, shared by the sets, props and actors, in radio it is the space between the speakers in the audience's listening environment; v.t., to turn a literary property into a performance, to produce and/or direct something. STAGE WAIT. (theater) A pause to heighten suspense. STAGE, GIVE. (theater) v., In acting, to yield the spotlight, to help focus the audience's attention away from oneself to another actor, as by pointing one's body toward the actor, facing away from the audience or moving out of the light, etc. STAGE, TAKE. (theater) v., In acting, to command the spotlight, to draw the audience's attention to oneself, as by standing at the most prominant stage position, by raising one's voice, by moving when other performers are still, etc. STING. (audio drama) A sharp musical chord used for punctuation. STOCK MUSIC. See music, stock. STORY. (literature) As opposed to plot, the chronological sequence of events in a literary work. STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS/INTERIOR MONOLOGUE. (literature) Speech or monologue representing the thoughts or free associations of a character. STRUCTURE, COMIC. (literature) A plot structure in which everything tends to go badly for the protagonist until the climax, after which his or her fortunes improve. STRUCTURE, TRAGIC. (literature) A plot structure in which everything goes well for the protagonist until the climax, after which everything goes badly. STUDIO. The place where programs are recorded or performed for broadcast; more specifically the room in a production facility containing the talent, musicians and/or Foley operators, as opposed to the booth or control room. STUDIO MANAGER. (British studio parlance) the chief engineer on a session who coordinates the efforts of the GRAMS & foley operators, and who operates the console; the recordist. STYLE. (the arts) The sum of elements (diction, vocal and physical gesture, tempo, ornamentation, etc.) appropriate for the writing, performance or production of a performance work; the characteristic techniques, themes and artistry of a particular author, performer, director or producer of an artistic work; panache, flair, the pleasing and distinctive affect of personality, charm and audacity. SUBPLOT. (literature) A subsidiary plot woven into the fabric of, subsidiary to, and often amplifying the main plot. SUBTEXT. (literature) The covert, implicit or psychological meaning of an utterance, which may be more than, or the opposite of, the overt or apparent meaning. SURREALISM. (literature) A style of writing and performance depicting unconscious and subjective realities. SUSPENSE. (literature) Uncertainty coupled with anxiety; apprehension causing a tense expectancy in the audience. SYMBOL. (the arts) Something employed to stand for something else, often a simple or mundane object representing a complex idea, psychological or emotional state, or taboo. SYNDICATOR. An independent distributor of broadcast programs. SYNDICATION. (broadcasting) A method of delivering programs through a syndicator, or independent distributor. SYNECDOCHE. (literature) In discourse, the substitution of a part of something for the whole and vice versa; as when "stage" is used to mean "theater." SYSTEMS CUE. See cue, systems. TABLE WORK. (theater) n., Rehearsals in which the play is read without movement, often with the actors sitting around a table, in which the focus is on characterization and interpretation; hence in radio, rehearsals held away from the mikes or outside the studio, for the same purpose. TAFT-HARTLEY. (labor law) As used in talent-producer relations, The Taft-Hartley or Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended in 1951, contract provisions allowed or mandated by The Taft-Hartley Act regarding non-union talent working under AFTRA auspices. Non-union talent may be hired on a union job provided the talent agrees to join AFTRA within 30 days of the job. Talent that becomes subject to this provision is said to be TAFT-HARTLEYED, that is, to be forbidden to work in a union shop after the 30-day period unless s/he has joined AFTRA. TAKE. (film) n., One of possibly several versions recorded of the same fragment of a work, from which the most satisfactory will be chosen for the final program; v., to record a take; (theater) a physical or vocal reaction usually broad and registering surprise, as in the phrase "to do a take." TALENT. (broadcasting) An actor; actors. TAIL OUT or TAILS OUT. adv. (studio) [Said of exposed analogue recording tape] Sppoled on a core or reel so that the beginning of the program is closest to the core or reel. TAPE HEAD. See head. TAPE HISS. (studio) A kind of unwanted noise heard to a greater or lesser degree on all magnetic analog recording tape. TEASER. (broadcasting) An element at the beginning of a program enticing the listener to stay tuned, usually a preview or excerpt; a narrative hook. TENSION. (literature) The basic element of most music, literature and drama in the Western World; the introduction, intensification, suspension and relief of which provides structure and is often essential to keep a work of any length interesting and meaningful. TEST TONES. See, tones, test. THEATER. As opposed to drama, broadly speaking, the field of performance art concerned with acting out a story through dance, mime, speech, oral narrative, song, or a mixture of these things, coupled with special effects, costume, scenery, lighting, etc.; and thus encompassing the genres of drama, ballet, opera, pantomime, masque, performance art, story telling, etc.; (also THEATRICALITY) the non- literary aspects of performance, especially those contributing to sensation and spectacle; a building dedicated to performance, or figuratively in audio drama, the mind of the listener; a company or ensemble specializing in theatrical performance, as the Dance Theater of Harlem, Molire's Comedie franaise, or Welles' Mercury Theater of the Air. THEATER OF THE ABSURD. A misnomer for various forms of symbolic, emblematic, expressionistic drama usually on existential themes that had a vogue after World War II, typified by the early works of Edward Albee, Samuel Becket, and Eugene Ionesco. THROUGH-LINE. (theater) The unifying element thematic, motivational, or otherwise of a scene, sequence, act or entire play; often used synonymously with spine. TIGHTEN CUES. (theater) To reduce the gap between the end of one sound, musical passage or line and the beginning of a following sound, musical passage or line. TITLE or TITLE MUSIC. See music, title. TONE. (literature) The playwright's attitude, as the audience infers it, in his work. TONE, ROOM. (sound) See presence. TONE, SLATE. (studio) A low pitched tone recorded as a bed under the slate, which, when the tape is fast wound over the plaback head, is heard as a beep; used to facilitate the editing of analogue tape. TONES, CALIBRATION. (studio) White noise that tests and allows for adjustments to a recording or playback device's calibrations. TONES, TEST. (studio) Tones recorded at the beginning of a tape before the program, by which the playback engineer sets the playback level, and checks phasing and alignment. TOP. (theater) v., to begin a line before the previous speaker has finished and at a louder volume; to clip; to produce something in time more interesting than that which came before. TRACK. (studio) v., To record; n., one of the horizontal divisions of recording tape into discrete channels for multitrack recording; n., a recording. TRACK, PRESENCE. (film) An audio track devoted to artificial or actual room tone, ambience or pink noise, used to heighten a sense of reality and camouflage edits within a scene. TRACK SHEET. See Sheet, Track. TRAGEDY. (drama, from the Greek: goat song) The ancient quasi- religious, highly conventionalized drama of ancient Greece; the Western verse drama arising from Greek and mideavil scholastic drama, written partially or completely in verse and predominantly serious in tone, in which the protagonist suffers a grave material loss or death at the end, hence; in contemporary terms, a dramatic form in which antagonistic forces compel a protagonist to confront his/her moral worth, and in choosing the moral over the materially advantageous choice is enlightened and enobled, though outwardly suffering a grevious loss; or any play dealing with profound themes and employing tragic structure. TRAGIC FLAW. (drama, also [Greek] hamartia) A shortcoming or weakness in an otherwise admirable character that contributes to his or her ruin; in Greek tragedy, this was often hubris. TRAGICOMEDY. (drama) A play with many humorous moments, but tragic overall. TREATMENT. (film) A narrative outline of a dramatic work for cinema or broadcast. See Bible. TROD THE BOARDS. (theater parlance) To act professionally; to be a professional actor. TROPE. (literature) Any figure of speech. TURN. n. (British vaudeville) A variety act (e.g., knife throwing, magic act, comedy team), specialty, skit, routine or lazzo. A well-known skit or skit worthy of a great performer is a STAR TURN, a term used sarcasticaly for a temper tantrum and over-acting. TURNING POINT (also REVERSAL, PERIPETY). (drama) The point in the dramatic action on or near the climax in which the fortunes of the protagonist turn from bad to good or good to bad. TWEEK. (production) To make refining adjustments and improvements. OUTRO. (broadcasting) The closing announcements of a broadcast program, including the system cue. UNIONS or GUILDS. Professional American audio drama often, but not always, falls within the jurisdictions of Aftra, Afm, Writers Guild and sometimes NABET or other technicians' union. UNWIRED NETWORK. (broadcasting) An independent program service, or syndicater, and the stations carrying its program(s). UP FULL. (studio) To fade a sound up quickly to the maximum desired level. UPSTAGE. (theater) n., Away from the audience, towards the back of the stage, the opposite of downstage; v, to displace action; to draw inappropriate attention to oneself at the expense of another performer or of the focus of the scene, originally by standing upstage of other players so that they have to turn their backs to the audience to maintain eye contact. VERISPEED. (studio) Short for variable speed; n., A mechanism on a recorder that alters the speed of tape in order to alter the sound recorded on it; v., to alter a sound using such a device. VOICE OVER. (broadcasting) n., in TV and film, an unseen voice added to the sound track in post; in radio, narration for a spot announcement; in radio drama, narration heard over music, sound or, especially, dialogue. VU. (studio) Short for volume unit, a sound measurement unit used in recording studios. WALLA. (film) Crowd noises; talent specializing in crowd noises. WELL-MADE PLAY. (drama) A type of play seen especially in England, France and the United States from 1825 to the present in which tight construction and careful, logical plotting are emphasized. Examples include Alexandre Dumas fils' La Dame aux Camelias and Gore Vidal's The Best Man. WHITE NOISE. See noise, white. WILD. (studio) adj., adv. Preformed or recorded out of sequence and/or isolated from the rest of the scene, sequence or script. WILD TRACK. (studio) v., To record a portion of script out-of- sequence, and in isolation, usually to correct an error; n., a recording thus made, a pick up. WIND SCREEN. See pop filter. WRAP-AROUNDS. (broadcasting) Opening and closing packaging for a program. WRITERS GUILD. The union representing writers, especially in television, cinema and commercial radio. X-Y PATTERN. (studio) A method of taping in stereo using two mikes with overlapping patterns.