Featured Titles, Guest Post Three-Ring Rascals: A Peek Behind the Tent (Part 1) Meet Ringmaster Producer Julianna Wilson

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and children of all ages…please focus your attention on this fun first post in a three-part blog series of Three-Ring Rascals entertainment, celebrating this astounding middle grade series by Kate Klise & M. Sarah Klise. Award-winning producer, Julianna Wilson, will reveal behind-the-audiobook secrets and a sneak preview of some musical clips…
[The crowd cheers!]

My first time listening to the Three-Ring Rascals gave me goosebumps. Literally.
Although I had spent a great deal of time casting our thirteen(!!) narrators, I was both surprised and excited by what had come together in the studio. Or, more accurately, studios.

Julie's goosebumps!

Julianna’s goosebumps from listening!

(We’re imagining a “clown car” of a recording booth! How did they all fit?)

I’ll tell you a secret. The behind-the-scenes magic of these circus audiobooks is the collaboration of thirteen narrators bringing these endearing and hysterical characters to life separately. Although all of our recordings took place within the span of one month, each character was recorded with only the director, Bruce Mann, and one narrator in the studio at a time. And yet, somehow the time each of our actors took to immerse themselves in their characters makes you feel as though Elsa and Leo, Gert and Bert, and all the others are traveling on the same circus train together.

blackandwhiteFrom the very start, one of the “extras” I wanted to add to the Three-Ring Rascals was music. For what’s a circus without its token carnival theme song? Like a real-life circus, I thought an intro song would be a colorful way to draw listeners into this circus brigade. I chose “Opening Fanfare,” composed by Keith Papworth, because it sounds like a traditional carnival song, but also has a uniquely rallying excitement about it. I wanted listeners to feel instantly at home with Sir Sidney’s circus, but also eager to hear what was to come.

trapezeAt the end of the first book in each collection, there appears a sort of “tada!” song, which relishes the end of this book and also playfully tricks readers into thinking that they’ve reached the (“tada!”) end of the audiobook. But then comes a transitional song that guides listeners into the next story in the collection. This transitional song is reminiscent of one you might hear during a circus’ swinging trapeze or tight rope act. So instead of a lackluster silent pause between books, you get a playful interlude that never loses that circus feel.

Lucky sneak preview for blog readers, you can hear exactly what Julianna is describing below:

tentart Step Right Up!
PRESS PLAY to hear the intro music:
Intro Music

Right This Way!
PRESS PLAY to hear some “tada!” interlude music:
Clip 2_Collection 1 Interlude

All Illustrations © M. Sarah Klise.

Finally, at the end of each collection appears our finale song, which festively brings each program to a close. I knew the Klise sisters and I were on the same page when I sent over clips of our circus music and received excited responses from both sisters, including Kate who cheerfully said, “I can almost smell the cotton candy.” That was exactly what I was hoping for and, as a producer, it was so rewarding to hear that the Klise sisters and I were on the right path to bringing their circus to life on audio.
klisesisters[Applause! Applause!]

To learn more about these amazing audiobooks, and to add them to your library, click here.

We are so thankful to Julianna for this peek behind the tent. But wait, there’s more Three-Ring Rascals excitement on the blog! Click here to meet the incredible author-illustrator duo, the Klise sisters, as they share childhood memories about listening…
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