S2E9: Matt Prigge & Meghan Elizabeth Tauck

In the season 2 finale of MyMacDLife, David Wolf joins as a guest host. David Wolf is the CEO and founder of Audivita Studios, the producers of this podcast series. David is joined by Matt Prigge, lead casting director at Audivita Studios, and Meghan Elizabeth Tauck, co-author with William Douglas Horton of Living in a Time of Dying: Cries of Grief, Rage, Love, and Hope. 

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In this episode…

In the season 2 finale of MyMacDLife, David Wolf joins as a guest host. David Wolf is the CEO and founder of Audivita Studios, the producers of this podcast series. David is joined by Matt Prigge, lead casting director at Audivita Studios, and Meghan Elizabeth Tauck, co-author with William Douglas Horton of Living in a Time of Dying: Cries of Grief, Rage, Love, and Hope. 

In this segment, you’ll get an inside look into the world of audiobooks as our guests explore the profound impact of audio storytelling, for you and others living with macular degeneration, including Meghan’s co-author, William, who was recently diagnosed with MacD.

To begin this episode, Meghan speaks about her writing process, how she started her writing career and what she intended to accomplish. She recalls how her work stemmed from a series of conversations with William in 2020 that evolved into a book.

Presenting their ideas as a dialectic, Meghan organized their separately written chapters in relation to one another. The audiobook was intended to mirror this structure. To maintain the two authors’ distinct voice quality, Audivita Studios produced the Living in a Time of Dying audiobook as a hybrid model, combining author narration with the performance of a professional voice actor, cast by Matt Prigge.

Next, Matt walks us through the key considerations factored into casting any audiobook project: tone of voice, personality, and certain “intangible qualities.” Namely, the right person for the role comes down to the project and what the author finds important.

Next, David, Meghan, and Matt discuss the impact of audiobooks on accessibility, especially for the low-vision community. Meghan presents a philosophical perspective, saying different ways of perceiving contribute to a better world. Accessibility means more people get to participate in this collective world-building experience. Branching from this, Matt contemplates the power of the spoken word, from primeval storytelling to the new, digital age.

Next, David and Matt return to the topic of audiobook casting for non-fiction versus fiction books. It all comes down to an actor’s particular skill set. Whether casting a single voice or multiple actors, both approaches come with creative challenges and exciting opportunities. Meghan shares her experience with the audition cycle.

As the conversation unfolds, Meghan shares a letter from William addressed to our audience. The 70-year-old philosopher was recently diagnosed with wet macular degeneration. In addition, his mother had MacD, and unfortunately, without treatment she became functionally blind. His open letter is a reflection on writing and the power of the spoken word to connect people. This leads to a conversation about its deep history and the intimacy inherent to audio.

Meghan closes the podcast encouraging us to reexamine and challenge disability labels. For those who are struggling with MacD and grappling with vision loss, she underscores the gifts brought through the myriad ways of perceiving and participating together in this world.

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