The Gray Area Season 2
Updated Season 2 Episode Guide

Updated Season 2 Episode Guide

August 28, 2021

Welcome to the Season 2 Pass page! Thank you so much for being a listener and for supporting our program. Here is an episode guide to help out subscribers.

7. Living Creatures: (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
8. Dearer than Earsight: (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
8.5. Our American Cousin: (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
9. The Demon Hunters: (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
9.5. The Head Doctor: (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.1. Paths Not Taken: Where Are the Lads of the Village Tonight? (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.2. Paths Not Taken: The First Illusion (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.3. Paths Not Taken: Same Age Inside (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.4. Paths Not Taken: Unfound Door (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.5. Paths Not Taken: Canny Valley (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.6. Paths Not Taken: Too Hard a Knot (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.7. Paths Not Taken: Shadows Have Offended (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
Standalone Episode: The Yellow Wallpaper (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
11. West with the Light (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
12. Marching Orders (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
13.1. Pattern Language: The Tainted Grimace (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
13.2. Pattern Language: Not a Frown Further (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
13.3. Pattern Language: An Iris for Emily (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
13.4. Pattern Language: Mirrors of the Soul (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)

Script: “Pattern Language”
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Script: “Pattern Language”

August 28, 2021

Read the script for "Pattern Language."

Inside the Gray Area: “Pattern Language: Mirrors of the Soul”
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Inside the Gray Area: “Pattern Language: Mirrors of the Soul”

August 28, 2021

[SPOILER ALERT: This podcast contains significant story details about the Season 2 cliffhanger.  We urge you to listen to the episode before listening to this.]

Our showrunner Edward Champion discusses the Season 2 finale.  Subjects discussed include the buzzing motif throughout the entire run of The Gray Area, why Rob Garson is amazing, having too many British characters, why Devony DiMattia is a subtle and underrated actor, microfilm and bound volumes, how being a research addict led to some of the wild dialogue, the last message sent by the telegraph, foreshadowing of Season 3 stories, listening to your subconscious, how William Hartnell's incarnation of the Doctor influenced Merrill Malone, literary turf wars, finding a balance between real-life NYPL details and fictitious ones, the myth of American egalitarianism, Ron Burgundy and Anchorman, being an "allbrow" cultural appreciator, establishing the library as the final location for the showdown, Pulp's "Common People," Jenna's guitar theme and Audrey's theme in Twin Peaks, the bird motif, animals and feelings, humor originating from literal misinterpretations, the UCB pattern game, reintroducing characters in a large ensemble piece, free association, getting to the next narrative point fast, the "one-hand clambake," playing bridge, the 1950s influence on the Receptionist's character, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, his fondness for librarians, behavioral callbacks, writing a fictitious version of yourself, microphone placement, the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan connection, the falling out between Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis, why you shouldn't direct actors to read lines a particular way, Harold Pinter as playwright-director, Nicholas Myer, The Seven Percent Solution, seven as a magic number, the meaning of Schlieffenberg, World War I, pants and absent-mindedness, "what in the sam hill," free will within a preordained system, Zack Glassman doing Jack Haley, El DeBarge, how being a hip-hop karaoke regular influenced the script, more homages to Twin Peaks, the three Dale Coopers, connections to the Season 1 stories, overlapping dialogue, George Bernard Shaw rewriting the fifth act of Cymbeline, scholars who read a book in multiple languages, the pronunciation of Gaskell, bringing dramatic gusto to common moments, imagining a storehouse of archaic equipment in the library, the cart rolling sound, Croton Reservoir, improvised muttering, callbacks to "Marching Orders," The Bat Segundo Show, the Johnny mystery in relation to Ed, Malone's New Guinea training, Simon Winchester's near involvement with The Gray Area, how a San Francisco restaurant owner inspired a character choice, looking for the thickest volume in a 5,000 book collection to record sound effects, Stefan Zweig's literary endurance, inventing journalistic rules for characters, connecting the multiple Jennas throughout the multiverse, designing the big cliffhanger, Harry Potter, how John Hughes influenced some of the music decisions, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, the references to age, Katrina Clairvoyant's hilarious improvisations, continuity on The Receptionist, how the introduction montage came together, why Rachel Matusewicz is terrific, how noisy neighbors inspired a sound design choice, the connections to "The Demon Hunters," the influence of Doctor Who, the semiotic logic behind how you "hear" the telephone conversation, the actors' commitment to going out with a big end, designing a multilayered season cliffhanger, shooting for "The Best of Both Worlds" as a cliffhanger measure, Blakes 7, and some of the plans for Season 3.  (Running time: 45 minutes, 20 seconds.)

13.4. Pattern Language: Mirrors of the Soul
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13.4. Pattern Language: Mirrors of the Soul

August 28, 2021

Our intrepid heroes visit the New York Public Library to meet up with visiting literary scholar Merrill Malone, an eccentric and the foremost expert on Virginia Gaskell’s life and work, to get, once and for all, all the answers about the portals. What they don’t realize is that shocking personal revelations and the very ground beneath their feet will alter forever within the library’s seemingly pristine walls. (Running time: 55 minutes, 43 seconds.)

Written, produced, and directed by Edward Champion.

CAST:

Chelsea: Katrina Clairvoyant

Emily McCorkle: Belgys Felix

Professor Malone: Robert Garson

Jenna: Devony DiMattia

Miss Gaskell: Chris Smith

Maya: Tanja Milojevic

Ed Champion: Edward Champion

The Executive: Rachel Matusewicz

Audrey: Amanda Rios

Romero: David Ault

Joe: David Sinkus

The Guard: Graham Rowat

and Zack Glassman as The Receptionist

 

 

Incidental music licensed through Neosounds and MusicFox.

Additional music composed by Edward Champion

 

Sound design, editing, engineering, and mastering by a bald man in Brooklyn who clearly has some corporate identity issues to work out.

 

Thank you for listening!

Inside the Gray Area: “Pattern Language: An Iris for Emily”
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Inside the Gray Area: “Pattern Language: An Iris for Emily”

August 16, 2021

Our showrunner Edward Champion discusses Part 3 of "Pattern Language." Subjects discussed include WandaVision, the careful balance between realism and pastiche, the Faulkner short story as a starting point, Love and Rockets, why the memory of an inspiration is often better than closely examining the source text, designing the 1970s announcer voice, using 1970s television effects to create a sound design, being careful with laugh tracks, why Carol Jacobanis is an extraordinary actor, the advantages of recording with Belgys and Carol together in the same room, an abandoned first season script set within a talk show, Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio, avoiding rehashes while writing, inverting the Neil LaBute/David Mamet formula for women, the strange Italian references throughout The Gray Area, Heath Martin, Louis CK's apology, creating walla sounds for the journalists, how Carol struck the perfect balance between realism and stylized voices, the need to know where a story is heading within five minutes, story beats, the candid dialogue, growing up in a prudish household, both-siderism vs. all sides in journalism, statements on the public record, bullies and therapy, young people who talk down at older people, the impossible behavioral ideal in the digital age, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, the fajita demon origin story, why Pompano made an appearance here is an NYC restaurant, fish metaphors, The Shawshank Redemption, meeting Frank Darabont as a young man, behavioral patterns and therapy, paying respectful homage to Richard Russo, the great versatility of Monica Ammerman, how a recording accident created an opportunity for greater authenticity, the Chico State backstory, how his California origins influenced the script, fluid sexuality, ghost writing, why alcoholics keep cropping up in The Gray Area, annoying the audience, animal sounds, Catholicism, why the ukulele was used in a music cue, Jeff Russo's Fargo cue, Tarantino and surf music, balancing demons and humans, Evita and fascism, Argentine history, the disadvantages of being a horror movie fan while doing sound design, beta listener feedback, arriving at natural storytelling beats, the importance of the cart sound effect, electromatter sound design, learning the keyboard and composing primitive music, the high price of music clearance, barking dogs and the "black dog" of depression, being careful with storytelling explanations, wordplay as a source of creative inspiration, double-tracking to get vocal effects, creating ethereal sounds from homegrown recording, how using a keyboard altered the sound design, the responsibility of following up on storytelling points, a minor story problem in "An Iris for Emily," Johnny as Ed's dark half, and overly dramatic performance vs. melodrama.

(Running time: 30 minutes, 27 seconds.)

13.3. Pattern Language: An Iris for Emily
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13.3. Pattern Language: An Iris for Emily

August 16, 2021

Emily McCorkle has landed the media appearance of a lifetime: a guest spot on the most respected talk show in America. But why is the host so concerned with her private details? And why are so many skeletons from her past making guest appearances? And who is the strange man with the hot dogs? (Running time: 38 minutes, 1 second.)

Written, produced, and directed by Edward Champion.

CAST:

Emily McCorkle: Belgys Felix
Ophelia Kakanakis: Carol Jacobanis
June: Monica Ammerman
The Fajita Demon: Pete Lutz
The Cunning Demon: Leanne Troutman
Morris Pressman: David Tao
Jimmy Markson: 
Heath Martin
Johnson: Hilah Hallaway
Emily's Mom: Melissa Medina
Emily's Dad: David Sirkus
Chelsea: Katrina Clairvoyant
Maya: Tanja Milojevic
Ed Champion: Edward Champion
Reporter #1: Glenn Bulthius
Reporter #2: Alice Fox
and Zack Glassman as The Receptionist

Creature Voices by Samantha Cooper and Rachel Baird

Incidental music licensed through Neosounds and MusicFox.
Additional music composed by Edward Champion.

Sound design, editing, engineering, and mastering by a bald man in Brooklyn who has become a TikTok junkie seemingly against his will.

Thank you for listening

 

Inside the Gray Area: “Pattern Language: Not a Frown Further”
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Inside the Gray Area: “Pattern Language: Not a Frown Further”

August 16, 2021

Our showrunner Edward Champions dives into the second chapter of "Pattern Language."  Subjects discussed include creative dissatisfaction, basing the story arc on being personally libeled by a journalist, writing as an act of being peace, resisting the temptation to write from revenge, fantasy as a genre where real-life people incapable of empathy express it as new characters, designing the telephone muttering, invasion of privacy, when culture doesn't allow people to change, how Belgyis Felix landed the role by staying in character as a demon during a play, the Adelphi school of acting, the remarkable acting range of Belgys Felix, how McCorkle's recalcitrance reflected his own arrogant past, the immaturity and narcissism of star journalists, the public profile vs. the private character of a person, the "worst X" as a headline, wishful thinking about editorial standards, Kevin Fogelberg and Dan Fogelberg, allusions to the Hulk Hogan Gawker suit, the New York Times vs. Sullivan standard and libel, advertorial articles and puff pieces in the magazine industry, ideologues who claim to be journalists, basing Morris Pressman on Ben Hecht plays, larger-than-life characters, Slate reporters who manipulate content for white-collar workers, floral allegories, the influence of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, his tendency to write stylized men, recording subway and New York sounds, tying the many loose strands together, the Ed and Maya conversation as a callback to "Dearer than Earsight," why it's important to cast someone better than you if you appear in your own audio drama, addressing the events of "Fuel to the Fire," why he had to hire a German translator, why Tanja Milojevic is brilliant, scouring for German idioms, why there are so many Receptionists in the main universe, the influence of Stranger than Paradise on music licensing, casting a real estate broker as a corporate tycoon, the parallels between Chelsea and The Wizard of Oz's Dorothy, location audio in Midtown, the tendency to run into random people quite frequently in New York City, coincidental run-ins in stories, clarifying previous story details, chase scenes, the crazed amount of Tony Danza research done for The Gray Area, Christopher Alexander and "pattern language," and demon transformation.  (Running time: 26 minutes, 8 seconds)

13.2. Pattern Language: Not a Frown Further
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13.2. Pattern Language: Not a Frown Further

August 16, 2021

Months after the events of “Paths Not Taken,” Chelsea is working hard to turn a corner and improve her life. But when Emily McCorkle, the smear merchant journalist who severely damaged her reputation, returns to write a followup piece, Chelsea is thrown into a jarring maelstrom that involves demons, people from her past, and the possibility of redemption. (Running time: 32 minutes, 22 seconds.)

Written, produced, and directed by Edward Champion.

CAST:

Chelsea: Katrina Clairvoyant
Emily McCorkle: Belgys Felix
Maya: Tanja Milojevic
Morris Pressman: David Tao
Ed Champion: Edward Champion
Alicia: Elizabeth Rimar
Johnson: Hilah Hillaway
The Fajita Demon: Pete Lutz
The Cunning Demon: Leanne Troutman
Lucinda: Emily Carding
Mrs. Gelding: Westlake Stark
and Zack Glassman as The Receptionist

Creature Voices by Samantha Cooper and Rachel Baird

Incidental music licensed through Neosounds and MusicFox.
Additional music composed by Edward Champion.

Sound design, editing, engineering, and mastering by a bald man in Brooklyn who does his best to resist mayonnaise but can’t entirely fight the allure for a good tuna sandwich.

Thank you for listening!

Inside the Gray Area: “Pattern Language: The Tainted Grimace”
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Inside the Gray Area: “Pattern Language: The Tainted Grimace”

August 16, 2021

Our showrunner Edward Champion discusses the first chapter of "Pattern Language." Subjects discussed include his hesitations about creating, the dangers of revealing too much, Chris Ware, being dubious about your own work, why the first part of "Pattern Language" was split into two parts, why Pete Lutz is a marvelous man, how an old UCB trick resulted in the strange mix of Shakespeare and I Love Lucy, designing custom vernacular, the absence of slang in fantasy stories, Total Meats as a metaphor for Whole Foods, scouring through mythology to come up with obscure beast and creature names, the influence of Hitchhiker's, Douglas Adams, the number of alternative Eds buried within The Gray Area, why Leanne Troutman is a magnificent actor, Peter Falk impressions, the importance of being present as a director, the number of takes you should do with an actor, using every spatula in the house for the BBQ sound design, how being a prolific cook inspires fictitious food dishes, convincing eating moments on film, Moonstruck, how his opposition to self-checkout in stores inspired worldbuilding, London store technology, people and robots, creating fictitious geography, why the Johnsons matter in The Gray Area, the fajita demon origin story, the influence of Fritz Leiber, Terry Pratchett and the Rincewind novels, recording electrical sounds for the Gray Area, having doubts as an artist, stylizing the demons as wiseacres, showing the humanity of outliers, why the demons are obsessed with exercise, using music to cloak deficiencies, Terminator 2, and telling a story from the demon's perspective.  (Running time: 19 minutes, 8 seconds.)

13.1. Pattern Language: The Tainted Grimace
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13.1. Pattern Language: The Tainted Grimace

August 16, 2021

Pat Goras and Lucy Didas are a happy couple living in a fantastical suburban realm preparing for a delightful dragon brisket barbeque with their neighbors. But when a strange portal opens in their backyard, their lives and roles become permanently altered within the very Gray Area itself! (Running time: 20 minutes, 54 seconds)

Written, produced, and directed by Edward Champion.

CAST:

Pat Goras/The Fajita Demon: Pete Lutz
Lucy Didas/The Cunning Demon: Leanne Troutman
The Neurotic Demon: Melissa Medina
The Counting Demon: Vlasto Pejic
The Angsty Demon: Nick Boesel
Miss Gaskell: Chris Smith
and Zack Glassman as The Receptionist

Creature Voices by Samantha Cooper and Rachel Baird

Incidental music licensed through Neosounds and MusicFox.
Additional music composed by Edward Champion

Sound design, editing, engineering, and mastering by a bald man in Brooklyn who once considered reciting Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham in Latin.

Thank you for listening!

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