The power of the fake person, multiplied! Curator Karen Patterson puts a fake artist in the museum and artist David Levine puts on a museum show about the fake crowd. We hear from a 1937 radio play that featured both Orson Welles and the first fake crowd ever broadcast on the radio. And backstage on the Radiotopia live tour, your host turns to fellow ‘topes Roman Mars and Helen Zaltzman for help deciphering an unexpected laugh.  PLUS!!!! The long awaited return of ToE’s original extra: Peter Choyce.

Illustration by Jordan Crane and new series logo by Val Dorito.

Dispassionate Participation

According to artist David Levine, analogue fake crowds still matter in the digital age, perhaps more than ever. He tells us about his new show, Some of the People, All of the Time, opening May 24th at the Brooklyn Museum. He also shares a bit from the lecture he is doing May 23rd (let’s all go!).

Meanwhile at the Kohler Arts Center it’s a real crowd with a fake artist. Curator Karen Patterson tells us about her show on Florence Hasard, a fake person created by the real artist Iris Häussler. This show is up until August 19th, 2018… and btw, Karen is the one who commissioned my Wisconsin series from last year.

Orson Welles and the birth of the fake crowd

The fake crowd makes its radio debut on March 4th, 1937 in Archibald MacLeash’s Fall of the City. This radio drama used innovative sound techniques to create the illusion of an enormous crowd awaiting the arrival of a conquering dictator.  Orson Welles is brilliant in the role of the radio announcer. Although he didn’t perform in MacLeash’s next radio play, Air Raid, you can see in the photo below that he visited the set. MacLeash was using even more advanced techniques to create super realistic sounds of an attack on an American city. Just four days later, Orson Welles debuted a radio piece that would shake America

You gotta let the crowd laugh

Meanwhile, at the live Radiotopia tour, your host got some lessons from Roman Mars and Helen Zaltzman on how to accept reality and roll with the laughs.

The return of Peter Choyce

It’s been three years since we last heard from Peter Choyce–he’s moved from Hollywood to Tennessee where the kinds of job offers he’s getting as an actor have changed quite a bit.


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