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Spotlight: Hopefully Prompt podcast in search of talent

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Christina Stock Photo Kyle Bullock is seen here performing in Way Way Off-Broadway Theatre Company's "Singing in the Rain" in 2018. The actor, dancer and singer is keeping busy during the pandemic by launching a podcast for new independent writers.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Emerging and independent authors have a new outlet to showcase work

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

Podcasts are the grown-up versions of the radio shows telling stories that may be fictitious, true or informing. There is a big difference between the radio and podcast medium. Podcasts are pre-recorded, edited and do not have a time limit. Podcasts can be listened to whenever one has time and can even be paused. While the early versions of podcasts started in the 1980s, today, podcasts and other audio venues, such as Audible on Amazon, are very popular.

Local artist Kyle Bullock had extensive personal experience with the medium, having been a published author, a voice actor for audio books, as well as having produced his own podcasts in the past. He came up with a new idea to reach other independent authors.

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In a phone interview, he describes his project, Hopefully Prompt. “I do a lot of audio book narrations for independent authors, and they are all featured on Audible and other places. I wanted more people to discover them. So I thought of one of the best ways to feature, or to find a new author, is to hear a new author. Let authors do what they do best. So I thought why not create a situation or show that will feature new authors and their voices; how they think and how they write and communicate, and let the audience hear a wide variety of genres and ideas. That is how we are performing the show. We are in preproduction now, so we put a call out to authors and artists out there who want to submit their stuff and hopefully this beginning of 2021, we go in production and release it,” Bullock said.

Bullock said that there are no restrictions for the short stories, but they should have at least 2,500 to 3,500 words. “We want people to focus on quality not just quantity of words,” he said. “Once we get these submissions, and we go through them, we are going to produce these in a completely immersed value experience, we’ll have them read by professionals; have sound effects, music — something to create an entire world around the story that they created. We want to make it as impressionable to the listener as possible, so that these artists get their work shown in the best light possible.”

These artists Bullock is looking for are not limited to emerging authors. “I am always open for any artists to send us their stuff. I’d be interested to see what a musician might submit if they want to submit a work. I would be totally open to that as well. For any voice artist out there that would like to be featured, we would love to have more voices on the podcast, it creates an opportunity for them to be in the spotlight. Voice actors like myself, we need to find ways to get in front of our audience and in front of authors who’d hire us, so this could be a fantastic way for them to do that,” Bullock said.

Depending how the pilot show’s success will be, Bullock plans to have several seasons, as many as listeners will let them. While having no strict rules, there is one thing every story should have in common. “The theme is that every story is based on the same five words’ prompt,” he said. “For each season, we’re going to have a four to five word sentence, and we are asking the artists to make that the focal point of their piece as a center of their expression. After that, it can be anything, any genre, idea or concept. We are probably not picking stories with adult content, but we are not censoring or stopping anybody from submitting what they have. We have all the details of that on our website in case anybody has questions, they can reach out.”

This season’s five-word prompt is, “The man (or woman) was alone.” Submissions are due online at kylerbullock.com/hopefully-prompt-submissions by Jan. 15, 2021, but the earlier the better, Bullock said.

“This is one of those concepts that we can hopefully do for a very long time, and for all those podcast fans out there, they find something new every season they can tune in. Hopefully, we can get this to take off and gain some listeners. Right now, the main thing is, we need to get stories, and we need to get it from all kinds of sources and backgrounds and artists and genres. Anybody who wants to can submit. That’s the main thing, we need content to share with the world and then we’ll get it out there,” Bullock said.

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