"The Unabridged Audiobook of the novel non-Hollywood has been a really fun project!" says author Neal A. Yeager. The project was inspired by tales of musicians creating songs via long distance music collaboration "you might have a guitarist in Miami, a drummer in Indianapolis and a singer in L.A. sending their recordings to one another and ending up with a finished project which sounds like a band even though the musicians have never met face to face." This inspired Yeager with a thought: non-Hollywood is written in 59 short chapters, with each of those chapters structured as a pretty much self-contained short story. Why not mimic the process of those long-distance indie musicians and find 59 different actors to narrate the novel? And thanks to the internet, they can be narrating from across the US rather than bringing everyone to the same geographic location.
non-Hollywood is the story of indie filmmakers, actors and musicians trying to make their way in L.A. It follows them through the auditions, student films, concerts with no audience, acting classes -- you know, the things dealt with by those who affix the word "Aspiring" in front of their titles (for a full description of the book, scroll down a bit).
Here are a few links where you can buy the e-Book if you'd like, but have a listen to the complete indie audiobook for free right here and on Soundcloud.com
"Surprisingly, there aren't a lot of indie audiobooks on Soundcloud," says Yeager, "It's odd since audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular and Soundcloud is so ridiculously popular. But we're certainly glad to have this project on there."
The process started in September of 2016 with actors auditioning online, "We asked the actors to record a version of the first chapter of the novel and to post it to Soundcloud. A few of us then cast actors from that pool. Then each of the actors we cast narrated a chapter, which they again posted to Soundcloud, we downloaded their finished narration, added music and mastered the volume levels then posted the entire project back to Soundcloud as a playlist," says Yeager, "Again, it was a lot like a music collaboration. And it was just as much fun."
Since it is unabridged, the project clocks in at about 8 hours worth of audio.
Why unabridged? Well, why not? As it turns out, each written page averages out at almost 2 minutes when read aloud by an actor. Says Yeager, "For extremely long novels such as War and Peace it makes sense to cut it down so that it doesn't take a month to listen to the audiobook. But for a shorter novel such as non-Hollywood, going unabridged really makes sense. There's no reason not to get every word in there -- especially with 59 different narrators to shoulder the burden!" -- so unabridged it is.
Living in Los Angeles, a few million strangers have one thing in common: they want to make it in the entertainment business. From actors to indie film types, from rock & rollers to models -- they can all be found in L.A. pursuing their dreams, working their day jobs and rallying behind the cry of "I deserve to be famous, dammit!"
With equal parts humor and empathy, the novel and the unabridged audiobook tell the story of four of these souls:
Sarah is a fantastic actress who, after 37 Hollywood auditions, hasn't landed even a small role. While absolutely killing it in those auditions and in acting classes, Sarah can't help but wonder if -- here in the land of glitter and beautiful people -- the fact that she doesn't look like a model is what is really holding her back.
Icon is a shy but brilliant independent filmmaker with a vision. She does the film school thing during the day, works on her own independent film projects in her free time and habitually pops antacids while wrestling the doubts and insecurities of a highly creative intelligent person.
Terrance has, for all of his life, been told that he looks like a movie star. By all accounts he has what it takes to be the Next Big Thing. Through years of struggling with odd jobs and family members both supportive and skeptical, he looks to land that role that will make him the star that everyone says he should be.
And Sean? Well, Sean is a musician who knows that it's all in who you know...
A novel for the fans of the underdog, non-Hollywood takes the reader through the life of the folks who are struggling on the outside and on the fringes of show business.
Those who appreciate the humorous and bittersweet work of Nick Hornby should definitely enjoy what non-Hollywood has to offer. Check out the novel on Amazon and the unabridged audiobook on Soundcloud.