SBR EAK 1: Mid-Season One Q&A

Hello faithful listeners! Show creator and voice of Sam Enfield, Pippin, here, to answer some of your excellent questions. Thanks for sending them in.

Talfryn asks:

what’s the most exciting thing for you about running this podcast? (or most exciting thing that’s happened?)

Hmm this is really difficult to answer! So much of it is exciting, I don’t think there is a step in the process I don’t like, and I’m always excited to be writing, or sending out scripts, or editing. This past week or so, though, I think the coolest thing that’s happened is all of a sudden people – including you, Talfryn! – starting to take pieces of the show and transform them and love them in a sort of fandom way? I’ve seen a couple of incredible Sam cosplays on TikTok and I know there are some people planning on doing more, and more of other characters. I’m seeing people talk about it, responding to it, and every time it just fills me up with so much emotion. It’s so incredible to see people taking this thing that’s knocked about in my head for ages, that I’ve sat down and worked so hard on, and just running with it like that. People are saying they love Sam, and that’s just the most incredibly exciting thing. I love Sam! I am so thrilled other people love my sunshine boy, too. It’s so amazing to think that work I’ve made can inspire people to do something so creative and amazing as fan art and cosplay, it’s so cool.

Tais asks:

I love how apparently parts of the old house can move and appear in other places! How did you come up with this idea? Where there any inspirations from other stories?

This is a fun one! So, first off, how did I come up with the idea: an important thing for the series is that I want to be thinking about haunting and haunted-ness a bit differently, so instead of going into a haunted house full of ghosts, what if it’s the house itself that is doing the haunting?

For me, this idea works well because when we think about ghosts, really often, at least for me, what we’re really talking about is the idea and concept of trauma. And places where terrible things happen do sort of haunt you. You’ll be somewhere and there will be a hallway and it’s like a hallway where something bad happened to you and it’s like you’re back there, for a moment. And so it was quite a natural step for me to then go, well, what if the place you live now was slowly transforming, in ways and means, and not consistently, not all the time, but what if it was becoming quite literally, a place from your past?

That idea of the inescapabilty of the past and how stuff that happened years and years ago still has an impact on the present is really central to the themes of the show, how decisions made by your parents can change your life even when they aren’t there anymore, that kind of thing is really important to what the centre of the show is about. So, yeah it comes from this idea of being haunted by a place.

There are stories that have influenced the way the Impossible House works – I don’t think its been explicitly called that in the show yet but that’s how it’s referred to by characters, mostly Sam. There’s a video game called Control which played a part in developing ideas of spaces themselves as being haunted, and the show the Haunting of Hill House, which has a malicious space which moves and changes to be the worst it can possibly be for each person there, but also to insidiously develop a sort of co-dependent relationship with them. These things have been really influential, and so has the idea of the Minotaur’s Labyrinth from Greek mythology, and this one Mountain Goats song, the House that Dripped Blood.

Avery asks:

(for the q&a lol) One of the things I love the most about SBR is the personalities of each character and how they all interact, especially Sam and Kitty. What’s the hardest part of building a character?

Awh, thank you Avery, I am glad you love them! What is the hardest thing about building a character? Hmmm. Okay, so I’m not actually sure what bit is hardest and it’s different with each of them, I think? To give a cheat’s answer to that question.

As a creator it’s the characters I tend to start with, so I spend a lot of time working out what they’re like, what there interests are, that kind of thing. They’ll each have their own way of thinking and responding to situations which I try to lay out as consistently as possible. What can be really challenging is maintaining that consistently when you have a plot that has to have reveals in specific places, like Spirit Box Radio does because it’s such a mystery as well as being horror and weird fiction.

For example there’s a scene I think early on in this where I wanted to have Kitty sort of… monologue, but that is not something Kitty would do, I don’t think. She’s got a quiet intelligence about her and she doesn’t actually speak up all that much. Anna is the most talkative of the three Enfield siblings. In my episode plan I had her sort of doing this big grand monologue, with flowery type of language in it, but when I was reading it through it just did not seem like a very Kitty thing for her to be doing and I realised then that it just wasn’t going to work having her do that. I needed to break it down. So that is quite hard.

Anonymous asks ‘how old is Sam?’

Nice easy one! He’s 22. Sam’s birthday is 13th November 1998.

Ripley, who plays Rhytidia Delphus, asks ‘of the currently introduced characters who’d win in a fight?’

Not Rhytidia.

Anonymous asks ‘what is your favourite part of the process’

This is a bit similar to the first question, and again I’m hard pressed to choose a favourite part, but I think, maybe, my favourite moment is the first time I hear my actors reading new scripts in character. Just brings me so, so much joy to hear these people come to life. Everyone involved in the show is mad talented, and I am so incredibly lucky to have them on board. The cast actually jumps up from 6 people in part one all the way up to fifteen people in part two of season one and I am so excited for all of you out there to hear these talented people, my goodness, it’s going to be so fun and cool.

Final anonymous asks do I know how the show ends?

Yes. I do. And I will say no more on that.

headbanginghobbits said:

does sam enfield is gay??

DOES Sam Enfield is gay? You know what, no, does Sam Enfield is pansexual. But also yes does Sam Enfield is gay, in the umbrella sense.

Weirdly adapted question I’m paraphrasing here from Alex who plays Anna on the show, but what are my predictions for the next few months about the show?

I mean, all of my predictions so far have been wrong. I didn’t think this many people would be tuning in at this stage at all so it’s amazing to be having the kind of fan response we’re already having so thank you so much to all of you listening out there, it really does make my day whenever I see you talking about the show, even if you’re yelling at me. Especially if you’re yelling at me. I mean if its polite, excited yelling. Not so much a fan of angry yelling, not that I’ve had any yet.

Hmm, predictions. The one I can think of that springs to mind is that we’ll have a fic on AO3 two weeks after episode 27. For reasons. Yeah. I’m pretty confident about that one, at least if it’s not two weeks after it’ll be around that, and it will be about events in that episode, I think.

Talfryn (again) asks:

yeah what the f*ck (RE: the mid-season finale)

Hahahahaha, I’m so sorry, yeah. I know. There has been yelling on the internet about the mid-season finale. I sort of suspected there would be. It’s the first time Sam’s been directly engaged properly in conflict like that, it’s a big twist to find out Madame Marie’s fate, it’s all quite horrid. I do want to say, as a sort of, I don’t know, a balm I suppose, that there are parts of this story that will be difficult and emotional, but the journey to where we end up will hopefully be worth it. This story is not a tragedy; if it is a tragedy in any way, it is not a tragedy for Sam. I can’t promise he’ll be the same sunshine boy at the end as he is at the beginning, but who stays the same way forever?

The show is going to be three seasons long, maybe four, depending on a few decisions I’m yet to fully nail down. I’ve known the end from the beginning, it’s actually the place I started out, so it was a process of working out where in Sam’s journey that the story begins more than anything else. So all these pieces will come together, and hopefully the journey to that ending will be a good one, even though it’s not always going to be an easy or a nice one. I want to also say this is not a story about being nice and sweet like Sam is inevitably a path to being doomed and tragic, either. I’m not about that. The journey will be rough at times but I promise you the ending won’t be devastating.

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