This is a four-part steampunk series I'm working on that will be posted on Youtube. The story is centered around a crew aboard an airship called the Lady Margravine; the protagonist is Professor Nicodemus Sterling, a famed researcher and the ship’s resident doctor (the in-depth character list is below). Nicodemus is working on a very important experiment: reconstructing human life in a shell that does not age. In a sense, the constructed being would be immortal (but of course, not immune to environmental damages; the body would not age, but could still be destroyed). The trouble is that no one aside from his son and Jezebel is aware of his dabbling in the very dark sciences that this employs - he is putting the entire crew at risk by even attempting the project. However, something is driving him to succeed, almost to the point of madness. He works nonstop in his lab and rarely emerges. The reason the Captain would not be particularly happy with Nicodemus taking such risks is not only because he cares for his crew, but also because they have suffered great losses: numerous raids from other airships, crews of ruthless sky pirates that take no prisoners. He can only assume that the professor feels the same way, as he lost his wife seven years before the story starts, during a particularly violent raid. Cloude and Aero’s father perished in the same attack, leaving young Cloude to take his father’s place.
When Nicodemus succeeds in building this life form - Axle - Cloude has mixed feelings. However, he holds deep respect for the professor, and respects his wishes. After all, no one was hurt. Yet. Everyone is familiar with the concept of a robot - an emotionless, ageless being that is designed to perform simple tasks. But when you throw emotions into the mix, things may become quite dangerous…
The audition deadline will be Friday, August fifth. Entries should be in either MP3 or WMA, titled in the format "YOURNAME_charactername00", '00' referring to line number. You can send them to my email, email@example.com
, or IM them to me on aim (flimsysparrow
THE LADY MARGRAVINE
Lady Margravine casting call video.
Watch for character visuals.
Nicodemus Sterling | Age 39
The ship’s resident researcher, scientist, and doctor. Currently the oldest person aboard the Lady Margravine, he is held in a certain respect, particularly by the captain. He was very close to Obediah, Cloude’s father, before he was killed. Nicodemus is very wrapped up in his research, mainly because it serves as a distraction from the pain of losing his wife, Emmeline, seven years ago - and also the stress that his son, Blue, causes. Although very absorbed in his work, he’s a compassionate and loyal individual that is extremely well-meaning - and somewhat self-destructive due to his dedication and trust in science. He blames himself entirely for his wife’s death, and is quite sure that Blue feels the same way. He isn't exactly insane or absentminded, only the pace that his brain works at makes him seem very aloof, disorganized and eccentric.
Those that audition for Nicodemus should note:
- He's English. Think Victorian British accent.
- He is very well-read.
- He enunciates his words properly and speaks clearly and confidently.
1. It seems to me that his respect for his father and passion for science died along with his mother, my dear. Rest her soul and all of my hopes of becoming a respectable parent.
2. Well, of course I've gone mad! Come, this isn't the time for silly questions! Go and get my son.
3. Now, where was I? Ah, yes. A few simple setting changes... there we are. Nicodemus, you clever man. You've outdone yourself, you have. Now... when I pull the lever, and send the energy into the core... it should be able to... oh, hello, Blue.
- - -
Blue Sterling | Age 19
Nicodemus’ son Blue tends to keep to himself most of the time. His father suspects that he’s only going through a phase of angst and tries very hard not to think much of it. With a sort of dark side and a small, hidden spite for most people, he enjoys training with weapons and daydreaming about hand to hand combat (something he’s never allowed to actually participate in). Despite this side of him, most of the time he appears to be quite average, even humorous when he wants to be. Losing his mother at an early age simply left him with a small emotional welt that mars his personality. He is heavily drawn to Cloude, and views him as a role model.
Those that audition for Blue should note:
- He's extremely emotional. It should reflect in his speech.
1. What're you talking about? I have enough respect for him. All the respect he deserves.
2. I'm tired of everyone criticizing me. You, Aero, the captain, and of course my father. Why can't you all just leave me alone?
3. I don't want to be on this silly ship. Where's all the fighting? The daring? The adventure? All we do is deliver cargo. Obediah was a pirate. Cloude should be, too - this ship is so boring.
- - -
Cloude Winter | Age 24
Captain of the ship. He tries very hard to maintain his composure and appear to be an able captain, but in private often buckles underneath the pressure. He was close to his father and the loss impacted him heavily; he was thrust into commanding the ship very suddenly. He often consults Nicodemus about things he can’t really decide upon; he has a lot of respect for the professor, who was an old friend of his father’s. He’s extremely protective of his entire crew, especially Blue - because he sees a little of himself in the boy and desperately wishes to help him.
Those that audition for Cloude should note:
- He speaks to his crew with confidence and authority, but it falters when he becomes emotional.
1. That's enough, Blue. There'll be no more of that from you. Get to work, and that's an order.
2. Sometimes, when I'm on the observation deck, staring into the blackened sky... I see him. His face, watching me. Expecting something. I only wish I knew what it was.
3. Nicodemus, it's... incredible. You're a genius.
- - -
Nicodemus’s creation, a sentient, humanlike being programmed to be quite polite and proper, to learn quickly and to follow all orders.
Those that audition for Axle should note:
- Little to no tone, flat, and courteous.
Line 1: Blue? Blue, that is my name?
Line 2: Greetings, crew of the Lady Margravine. My name is Axle. I was programmed by Professor Sterling. I'll be happy to be of assistance to you all. No longer will you feel like a shorthanded crew!
Line 3: Skilled in weaponry, I presume? With a grip like that, you must be quite skilled with the blade. Will you be lecturing me in swordplay?
- - -
Jezebel Goodrose | Age 20
Jezebel was once an orphan. When she was ten, she often slept alone in an alley close to a pub, where the barkeep would sometimes bring her scraps of food and water. The Lady Margravine once stopped for supplies in the city she eked her living in. On the way into the pub, Obediah spied the little girl peering at the crew from behind a cart. A few hours later, he brought her an entire basket of food. Wide eyed, she didn’t thank him, only clutched the sustenance and scrambled away. Several hours later, when Nicodemus’ wife Emmeline was sorting through the newly purchased cargo, she discovered the dirty young girl among some coffee beans. Because she’d always wanted a daughter, for the three remaining years that she lived, Emmeline raised Jezebel on the ship and taught her everything she knew of mechanics. Because of this, Emmeline’s death impacted Jezebel, as well - as did the late captains. Regardless, she is an extremely bubbly, cheerful person, always willing to put a smile on someone’s face. More often than not, she’s ready to help somebody with almost anything she’s capable of helping with. She apprentices Nicodemus quite often, partly because she’s fascinated with science but mostly because she’s attached to him.
Those that audition for Jezebel should note:
- Even when she's angry at someone, she sounds good-natured, like she's teasing them. She's always playful.
Line 1: (yawning) What is it, professor? I was in the middle of a lovely dream...
Line 2: Yeah? Well, I'll have you know, while you two children were paying a visit to dreamland last night, Nicodemus, the Captain and I were working our asses off trying to keep this thing adrift. I don't want to hear a thing about being tired.
Line 3: He's a teenager, Nicodemus. He's more interested in what the captain and weapons have to offer. It doesn't say anything about you - you're the best father he could ask for.
- - -
Aero Winter | Age 17
Cloude’s younger sister and appointed navigator of the ship. She’s mostly quiet and somewhat sulky but has a cocky, self-important side and can sometimes lose her temper and become demanding. She’s all too often taking out frustration on her sibling, with no one there to really tell her any differently. Like Cloude, she’s heavily affected by her father’s death, but chooses to ignore it more than “pout about it”, as she so often says Cloude does.
Those that audition for Aero should note:
- She always sounds arrogant.
Line 1: Professor Sterling? Oh, he's a lunatic, alright, but he's the most intelligent person I've ever met.
Line 2: It makes me sick to see someone that privileged to have such a lack of respect for his own father.
Line 3: Aero Winter, second in command and appointed navigator. It's a pleasure to meet you, Axle.
- - -
Vertragus Casting Call Video
Watch for character visuals.
Konstantin Wolfe | age 41
Konstantin is bad news, and basically everyone in the country knows it. Merciless and sadistic, he heads a crew of at least sixty men; he employs only two of them in his raids, however. That's all he needs. Konstantin is known for never missing a shot - ever. And if someone were to see him miss, well, they wouldn't live to tell the tale, anyway. He's one of the richest men in the world, though refuses to live in luxury; he hoardes his possessions, all of which he and his crew have looted from other ships. He's the man that murdered Captain Cloude, after he injured his first mate, Persephone, and his other cronie, Lazarus.
Those that audition for Konstantin should note:
- Usually sounds smug and amused.
- You can sense insanity in his laugh; it's intimidating.
Line 1: Nicodemus Sterling. The genius of a scientist in the flesh. (laughs) We meet again.
Line 2: (amused) Down, boy. We won't go into that
method of torture.
Line 3: I wonder, young man, do you know what it's like to skewer someone on the blade of your sword? No? Well, you could easily ask Persephone. She knows all about that. (laughs)
- - -
Lazarus Mulrainey | age 37
Lazarus is the more cunning of the trio, quite witty and very sinister. He, like Konstantin, enjoys inflicting pain on others. His weapon of choice is a curved blade, which has skewered hundreds of innocent people. Although he is intelligent and easily feared, he's a coward at heart. All of his kills have occured when the victim was surprised or tied up. He easily dodges attacks and flees from hand to hand combat, and would abandon either of his comrades at the drop of a hat - although Persephone rescued him by killing Emmeline when she held his own sword to his throat.
Those that audition for Lazarus should note:
- He often sounds bored and lazy.
- He was born and raised in England, so he has a British accent; you can put your own spin on it, if you like.
Line 1: Persephone, make yourself useful and be a lady for once. Fetch me a drink.
Line 2: Do you mean the old crazy, Nicodemus Sterling? Didn't we kill his wife and captain? Why should we bother with him again? Oh right. He put out your damn eye. (laughs)
Line 3: My, aren't you a pretty little pet. Not a scratch on you, is there? I wonder if that's true for the rest of you. Care to show? (snickers)
Persephone Rosenthal | age 39
Although she doesn't seem very intimidating, Persephone is lethal, and possibly the most dangerous of the three pirates. She hasn't a trace of a merciful nature, and has killed more people than she can remember. She never attaches herself to anyone - or so she claims. She's painfully attached to Konstantin, who she grew up with. The most important thing about her is that she absolutely hates to lose, and will do anything to prevent it.
Those that audition for Persephone should note:
- She is usually calm and collected, but when she panics, she completely falls apart.
Line 1: I think we should pay another visit to the Lady Margravine. I mean, if you're bored, captain.
Line 2: (laughing) Oh, oh yes, you should have seen her. Emmeline Sterling. Yes, she had Lazarus at knife point, looking quite smug indeed - and then I ran her through - and the look on her face? Priceless.
Line 3: She isn't that pretty. Captain, she looks like a boy