By: Christine LaFrancesca, Staff Writer
In the fictional town of Cityville, U.S.A. you can find the colorful and characters of “Zoolaplex,” a dramedy podcast featuring the staff of a dilapidated cinema.
One of these characters, Drake, is voiced by theater major Benjamin Badorf who first got involved with the podcast through his friend, and fantasy book author Reece Bridger.
“He was doing a lot of voice acting at the time and so was I,” Badorf said. “He asked me if I wanted to take part in his project with him and I did.”
Drake, who Badorf describes as “the asshole,” is one of the many characters who struggle to find their place in a world where idiocy and shenanigans are the norm. Drake and the other staff members must learn to deal with each other, themselves and the situations that seem to occur on a daily basis.
With a cast of about 12 wildly different personalities including Drake, Andy, Leeann and others, Ben and his crew has worked diligently to make every character unique.
“We’re currently writing episode four and we’re introducing the last main character in that one,” Badorf said.
Finding a cast fit to play the characters proved to be a challenge, but Badorf was determined to find people to perfectly play the parts.
“Something you learn early on in doing an sort of independent project, is that until you get the ball rolling with the first episode, it takes a while,” Badorf said. “It took us between four to six months for us to really get anything started… It took a while to realize who we needed for each role.”
As a theater major, Badorf has experience with both on-stage and voice acting and said each requires similar but different skills.
“Don’t get me wrong I love theatre and voice acting but, with theatre, you have to often stick within the realms of the real world. With voice acting, you can bend the rules,” Badorf said. “There’s a much bigger variety of characters available with voice acting, the creativity of that really draws me in.”
Each podcast takes about a month to make, the first two weeks consist of voice acting and recording each part, while the second two weeks consists of editing and creating the actual episode.
“It’s a process,” Badorf said. “On top of all that, we’re also always looking for extras, people to read a couple lines for us here and there.”
For now, Badorf and the cast of “Zoolaplex” will continue to delve into the depths of their imaginations to create the shenanigans that occur in Cityville, U.S.A.
“We want people to check it out,” Badorf said. “Of course we always want people to reach out to us and tell us how we’re doing.”
You can listen to “Zoolaplex” on their YouTube page “No Studio In Particular”.