Brett is the author of A Dollar Short
We sat down with Brett Vanderburg recently and talked to him about his latest radio play for earstage.com

What inspired you to write your first audio play?

I had written an essay about a hack film director defending a schlocky action film about the “War on Terror”. When I was given the chance to write something for earstage, I kind of just built on that a bit, and had the main characters be writers.
 

Do you have a specific writing style?

No, I do lots of different things. But if I'm writing something funny, or something that's supposed to be funny, I try to stay far away from conveying any kind of non-comic message.
 

How did you come up with the title?

Well, it comes from the saying “A day late and a dollar short”, which just refers to general inadequacy.
 

Is there a message in your audio play that you want readers to grasp?

No, there are no messages or inspiration to be gleaned from “A Dollar Short”.

 

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not really. I did have a woman at a cafe offer herself to me to go once, and that appeared in the first episode. But I think that's all.

 

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

I'm not sure. I know what I like, and I suppose that will have influenced me. So perhaps Ian Frazier, Larry David, Christopher Guest, and Charlie Kaufman.

 

What book are you reading now?

House of Leaves, by Mark Z Danielewski.

 

What are your current projects?

I'm writing a blog called Indie English, and am working on some music video treatments for someone. I also write essays and short pieces and did a reading recently. I may be doing more of that in the future.

 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest audio play?

Yes, there are a couple of scenes that seemed like a much better idea at the time; for example, the ludicrously long coffee-ordering scene in episode two. I also dislike hearing my own voice and would have casted someone else.

 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Yes, I do. I saw the film “Being John Malkovich” and was immediately inspired to write.

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

In terms of scripts, I find it difficult to edit myself. When I write essays, the hard part for me is avoiding cliches. Much modern comic writing is about describing mundane things in elegant prose, and it's a good joke, but I try to avoid doing that.

 

What was the hardest part of writing your audio play?

Thinking of names for people. I hate doing that.

 

Did you learn anything from writing your audio play and what was it?

I think I have a better idea of what translates from the page to finished product than I did before. I'm looking forward to producing the third one.

 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your listeners?

Not really. I guess I would say that the third episode will be better than the first two combined. It's epic. Only problem is where to go after that....

 

Interview with Brett Vanderburg
EARSTAGE NETWORK

 

 

 
 
 
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Program

A Dollar Short
    -
Episode One
    -Episode Two


The Thinking Machine
   
-Cell 13
    -Piece of String


Dark Sense Series
   
-Architect of Fear
    -Surrounded by Monsters
    -The Apollo


Rover Rep.
   
-The Raven
    -Masque of the Red Death
    -The Tell Tale Heart

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