SBR EAK: S2 Midseason Q&A

Hello everyone! I’m Pippin, the creator of Spirit Box Radio! Welcome to this little Q&A episode. Before I crack on, I just want to say that the first episode of Season Two Part Two will be airing on the 12th of May, which is a week earlier than initially thought! The stars have aligned right! Horray! The midseason premiere, episode 20, which is called ‘Bedside’, will be available on Thursday next week at the usual time of 3pm UK time, and will be available for supporters on patreon on Wednesday at the same time!!

Alright then, lets do some questions!

This first question is from Kal. Hey Kal! Kal wants to know:

Name & Pronouns (optional): kal (they/them)

Who is your question for? (eg. Pippin, a cast member, or a more general question): pippin

Your Question: bestie pippin i need to know how long you, as the writer, knew that Sam could talk to and understand the cats? has sam been able to understand them since the beginning and he just didnt realise????

Lol okay so. It grows and develops as the show goes on. It’s. Yeah. It’s one of those things, a little bit of fuckery, you know? But there we are. It started out from a sort of like, well, I talk to my cats and act like they’re talking back, don’t I? What if Sam does that, but then he kind of DOES know what they’re saying and it really is a conversation but it’s all like ‘meow’ ‘yes excellent point’.

And the next question is another Kal question!

Name & Pronouns (optional): kal (they/them)

Who is your question for? (eg. Pippin, a cast member, or a more general question): pippin

Your Question: Are there any references that you’ve made in SBR that the listeners haven’t picked up on?

Not that I can think of off the top of my head? Part One of Season Two was certainly lighter on the references but it’s there to make space for a BIG one in Part Two, like I felt like it’s gotta even out. Oh, wait! No! There was a big one. That episode where Sam’s answering a bunch of letters and like, avoiding talking about Revel’s, erm, position. I don’t know why I’m being coy, like if you’re listening to the QnA and you’re not caught up I’m sorry. But yeah, like, when Sam’s avoiding Revel being a Major Arcana by trying to make the show what it was in Season One, almost, you know, there’s this letter, the first one, it’s just the plot of Notting Hill, you know the rom com movie? But with magic in it. That’s why I do the WORST bloody what’s his face, oh no, what’s his name? Floppy hair british man you know! God. Harold. Not Harold. Why am I thinking Harold? HUGH GRANT. Hugh, Harold. Posh english man name. Same difference. Anyway yeah. That one I thought was really obvious but nobody picked up on it, the terrible impression clearly threw a lot of people. Um. I can’t think of any more off the top of my head? Honestly I throw so many references into this thing, oh boy. Great question, thank you!

Okay, NEXT.

This one is from Tal, hey Tal, how’s your day going? This isn’t just for me but I’m the only one here right now, I’ll pass it on to the others. Too.

Name & Pronouns (optional): Tal He/They

Who is your question for? (eg. Pippin, a cast member, or a more general question): Any

Your Question: What is your favourite episode/scene of S2. P1? Why?

What’s my fave. Hmm. I don’t know? I enjoyed killing Kitty, but only after it was done. I was very nervous about doing it. I’d played with the idea of maybe leaving her dead for the whole midseason break but she’d have been SO dead by then, you know? That’s enough time for a body to start to stink the place up, she’d have to have been got rid of, it wouldn’t have been ideal. I liked that part a lot. I really enjoyed the very early scene with Sam and Oliver where Oli shows up and Sam has to send him to wait outside whilst he finishes the episode, and there’s the ‘I CAN HEAR YOU’ bit, that’s cute, I like that scene a bunch.

Sound design-wise, I am probably most pleased with the super trippy bit with the horse and the voice that’s like ‘take him’ on the wind? That part was built up primarily from a sound design perspective, that and the big chanting bit at the end of the midseason finale, they’re both scenes which really grew out of ideas about what they’d sound like, and I’m really pleased with how both of those parts turned out.

Okay, the next question is from Star, and they want to know if Oliver and Sam will stay together! They also say they love the show and that we’re all doing amazing work, well, thanks Star! I’m so glad you like the show.

Name & Pronouns (optional): Star They/them

Who is your question for? (eg. Pippin, a cast member, or a more general question): Pippin (Sam)

Your Question: Will Sam and Oliver stay together? Love the show you’re all doing amazing work!!!

This is a complicated question, so I will say that Oliver and Sam are endgame and I’ll avoid going into further details.

Our next question is from Avi! He’s asking about Rhytidia. Avi says:

Name & Pronouns (optional): Avi, he/him

Who is your question for? (eg. Pippin, a cast member, or a more general question): Pippin or whoever writes for Rhytidia

Your Question: *feel free to summarize*
Is Rhytidia Jewish? She says “oy,” which is a Yiddish expression of exacerbation, as well as a way one can hint they are part of the ethno-religion. Also, her “listening to the mud” easily reminds me of golems, as they’re made out of clay. I’ve never seen much representation of Jewish mysticism, so this would be really exciting representation. Thanks!

I write Rhytidia, and the whole show! This is super interesting as a question. So it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realised ‘oy’ was a Jewish thing! My family is mostly Jewish on one side, non-practising for a few generations back, and that whole side of the family says ‘oy’, just as a natural part of speech. There are very few Jewish things left in our branch of the family, so it was really cool to learn that ‘oy’ was a sneaky bit of our heritage. It’s not something I deliberately included in Rhytidia, except that in my mind, this is a thing that my relatives say, and because Rhytidia is an unofficial member of the Enfield family, I think this just naturally slipped in!

This next question is anonymous! This person asks:

Name & Pronouns (optional):

Who is your question for? (eg. Pippin, a cast member, or a more general question): Pippin

Your Question: Hi Pippin! You say SO many lovely things about your cast and lavish so much (well-deserved) praise on them (and it’s so sweet!), but! What about YOU? Now that you’re at the halfway point of SBR, what are you proud of (could be acting, writing, editing, etc)? Lavish some praise on yourself because you also deserve it 🙂

Thank you anon! That’s very sweet of you to say. I am not very good at talking about things I make, which is inconvenient when you want to make things for a living! It’s one of the reasons I publish under Hanging Sloth Studios rather than just my name, actually. I thought it would give me a bit of distance and make it easier to talk about the things I make! It didn’t really make it any easier, and now a disproportionate amount of people seem to think there’s a large team who work on the show. You know, three people have sent me their CV asking if they could work for Hanging Sloth Studios? Isn’t that wild? I think it gives the impression that there’s more than one person working behind the scenes but no it is just me! Lil ol’ me. The cast are incredible, and of course they help out with stuff like live-chats on the discord and when we did the fundraiser for Season Two a couple of them were really helpful in getting that off the ground, plus a couple of folks make TikToks which really brought a lot of listeners in at the beginning, but everything else, it’s just me, which is a bit bonkers really, isn’t it?

That was a lot of words of not answering the question, wasn’t it? I’m proud of how far I’ve come as a sound designer. I barely knew what soundscaping was when I started, and now I think I’m actually getting okay at it! It feels a lot easier to do things that were challenging in the beginning, and now I find myself thinking in a very sound design oriented way when I write the show, which wasn’t the case in the beginning. I think just recently I’ve gotten stronger as a writer, too, like the stuff for part two of this season is some of the best writing I’ve ever done for anything, and it’s nice to look over stuff and especially now where I’ve got pretty much all of the casts’ recordings for that next chunk of episodes, I keep thinking you know, wow, this is actually pretty good? Which is nice because I’ve been having a real confidence wobble for months, really. Part One was very difficult to write. I’m not sure why, really, but I was very worried about it. I also think I’m a better actor now, because I find myself listening back to episodes and thinking ‘you know that was actually pretty good’ more than I used to!

I’m incredibly proud of the whole thing, as a project, though. Like. Spirit Box Radio is now like a day of content long, which is just massive, and it has officially tipped the scale as the longest project I’ve ever written. And I won an award! Best Fiction Podcast 2021 at the People’s Choice Podcast Awards, which is wild! And lots of lovely people listen to the show which just that in itself is something to be proud of, I think. I think for me what has always been super important is that people listen to the show and come away feeling something about it, like they come away and have thoughts and engage with the story, that’s really important, and I see that happening online a bit now and it’s just wonderful. That’s why I make stuff. I’m a storyteller, most of all, that’s what I love doing. I’m so proud that people hear the show and think it’s something worth discussing afterwards.

Alright-y, folks, that’s all we have time for today. I hope you enjoyed this Q&A and I hope you enjoy next week’s episode of the show. I’m really excited for you all to hear it. For now, though, thanks for listening. Stay spooky!