BOOST THE SIGNAL! Fans of vintage radio unite! The Tesla City Stories, the well-received revival of 1940s radio theater performed live onstage in Portland, Oregon since 2014, is looking to expand.
After 17 shows and producing/performing over 40 story episodes, we are looking to grow!
For those of you who haven't been able to see us in action, our shows feature talented voice actors, original music as well as special musical guests, and live "Foley" sound effects bringing these stories to life right before your, er, ears. It's a fun experience that we aim to offer to a wider audience by turning The Tesla City Stories into a podcast.
The Tesla City Stories, live or on the web, is the only place to (re)discover the amazing, lost programs of the Tesla Broadcasting Company*, such as their most successful quartet:
The Off-Key Life of Viola Harper, a daffy sitcom featuring the misadventures of the titular Ms. Harper, the plucky, would-be singing sensation of Tesla City, who won't let a little thing like a lack of talent get in her way!
The Wilde Card Mysteries, a noir-ish collection of the strangest cases to walk through the door of affable gumshoe, Jack Wilde, a P.I. with a silver tongue and a jones for gambling.
Blevins to Betsy, a romantic-comedy between two unlikely lovers - Blevins DeBell, egotistical radio star, and Betsy Harper (Viola's kid sister), production assistant at the TBC whom Fate casts as DeBell's new on-air wife!
The Wraith, the bizarre adventures of resurrected archaeologist Lazarus St. George and his eerie alter-ego, the supernatural crimefighter and scourge of Tesla City's underworld, The Wraith.
- Plus the assorted shorter runs of other shows like the Western Shepherd's Trail, the sci-fi anthology Other Worlds, horror anthology The 13th Floor, rustic comedy Hooten Holler, hospital soap opera Nightingale of the Broken Heart, and more.
It's still remarkable to us, and any other fan of Radio Age obscurities, how the TBC shows maintained a tight continuity between their disparate shows, connecting each to fictional Tesla City regardless of genre or setting, a kind of "shared universe" that was ahead of its time.
That's a majority of the fun in representing these shows for the public today, sharing the widespread tapestry of character and history that make the TBC shows, truly, one big story.
- To pay our very talented cast, crew and musicians who previously volunteered their precious time and energy. They deserve it.
- Effectively expanding our advertising to bring the vintage magic to a larger audience, and thus sustaining the ability to pay our team!
- Purchasing better equipment for lighting, sound, projection, and staging.
- Enhancing the audience experience with an upgraded venue that has better accoutrements all-around.
- Building a network for podcasts to bring the show world-wide.
By contributing or "boosting the signal" in any capacity - even by simply letting other folks know about our show and this campaign, you're helping us share these stories with a bigger audience.
So, on behalf of myself (Brendan) and Jerry, our cast and crew and, most specifically, those unsung talents behind the original TBC, I thank you for any and all support you lend our production.
Boost the signal!
*For more on the history of the short-lived TBC, or the unusual tale of how Brendan came upon the transcripts of these obscure shows, check out our website at teslacitystories.com!
- If we can reach $7500, we can build an amazing backlit set with projectors that will greatly enhance the experienced of the show!
- if we reach $10,000, we can build our own recording studio to produce more content and podcasts!
- If we reach $15,000 we can promote ourselves to larger events and invite known celebrities for guest appearances!
BRENDAN DOUGLAS JONES (Director & Archivist) is a Mississippi-born, Texas-bred Californian living in Oregon. Along the way he’s been the author/illustrator of the quasi-notorious web-to-print comic book Breakfast of the Gods, lead singer in the rock band Zsu-Zsu's Petals, an unsolicited screenwriter, an art school dropout, a sometime actor, stand-up comedian and TV kiddie show host.
A lifelong collector of pop culture arcana, nothing has been as fulfilling to Jones as recovering and presenting the output of the all-but-forgotten Tesla Broadcasting Company to 21st Century audiences.
JERRY CHRISMAN (Executive Producer) is a media producer, graphic artist, musician, creative director, and improviser. Owner of Grip Media Inc., a Portland-based web and graphic design firm, he spends his days realizing his own and others’ creative visions. He is producing Tesla City Stories with his long time creative collaborator and friend, Brendan Jones.
Risks and challenges
As you might guess, producing, presenting and promoting any art/performance is challenging. Building, much less maintaining, an audience in an arts-rich environment such as Portland Oregon, requires diligence, persistence and savvy to keep said audiences engaged.
But with our previous successful run, seventeen performances produced with limited resources and the endless generosity of our volunteers and collaborators, we amassed a wealth of experience and a solid bedrock of fans. All we need now is the support of folks like you. With your help, there is no limit to our signal."Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)