For Trying Out Loud

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#506: “For Trying Out Loud”
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September 2001
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39: Friends, Family, and Countrymen
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1 Corinthians 12:11

11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

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For Trying Out Loud

“For Trying Out Loud” is episode #506 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Kathy Buchanan, and originally aired on February 1, 2003.


Wooton Bassett wants to help Edwin Blackgaard with an upcoming production. Liz Horton tries to find something--anything--she can do better than others.



Liz is trying to find something that she’s good at; it seems that her friend Ashley Jenkins is good at everything. First, she tries basketball, then choir, then cheer-leading. Each one seems to lead to her own humiliation. She accepts the fact that she’s not good at anything.

Meanwhile, at the Harlequin Theatre, Shakespeare excitedly tells Edwin Blackgaard about a play he saw at the Elementary School. Shakespeare suggests that if they got the community more involved in their productions, more people would attend. Edwin protests, but finally agrees to hold auditions when he hears about the potential ticket sales. The auditions turn out to be only one person... Wooton Bassett! Edwin isn’t pleased with Wooton’s acting, so he tries Wooton on different theater tasks. His experiment as a lighting technician nearly blinds Edwin, while his try at set design makes Edwin sick. Edwin finally decides to give Wooton a bit part (only six words) in the play, thinking he’ll invite a few friends.

After the cheer-leading tryouts, Liz is convinced that her friend Ashley will make it on the squad. The snobby yet popular Brenda Frazier says she’ll make it, but Liz and Ashley agree that Brenda’s tryout wasn’t good. The two of them are shocked when they find that Brenda did make it...and Ashley didn't!

Back at the Harlequin, Wooton is obsessing over his part. He’s getting nervous and he’s afraid he’ll forget his line. Liz stops in Whit’s End and Wooton’s behind the counter. Liz tells Wooton about her problems and says she thinks she’s a failure at everything. Wooton tells her he feels the same way. Wooton tells her that God put some talent in everybody; he advises her to look in unexpected places for talent.

Taking his advice, Liz goes to Mrs. Nietchew to ask about the cheer-leading squad. Mrs. Nietchew tells her that the results were based on voting and the ballots were already thrown away. Liz decides to take action, she digs through the dumpster and finds the ballot box. And she finds that all the ballots are in the same handwriting! Liz takes her findings to Mrs. Nietchew, who agrees to hold a recount. She also tells Liz that her investigating skills qualify her for another job at the school newspaper! Liz has finally found something she can do. Mrs. Nietchew soon gives her an assignment to review Edwin’s play.

The big performance arrives and Wooton is more nervous than ever. Edwin and Shakespeare, however, are very excited to find that the theater is packed. Wooton has invited nearly everyone in Odyssey! The play begins and Wooton once again messes up his line. However, his comical mistakes prove to be funnier than the play itself. The crowd gives them a standing ovation. Edwin tells Wooton he’ll give him a part in any play as long on Wooton agrees to do the publicity for it.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why was Liz disappointed at first?
  2. Wooton told Liz that God has "put some talent in everyone." What do you think your talents are?
  3. How did both Wooton and Liz find what their talents were?
    • How can you apply their method?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Ashley Jenkins Brice Keltner
Basketball Coach Corey Burton
Brenda Frazier Laura Klipp
Edwin Blackgaard Earl Boen
Mr. Flemenschleeip Jess Harnell
Liz Horton Lauren Schaffel
Mrs. Nietchew Shari Belgeau
School P.A. Announcer Corey Burton
Walter Shakespeare Corey Burton
Wooton Bassett Jess Harnell

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
John Whittaker Liz Horton
Connie Kendall Wooton Bassett
Tonya Cruz Mr. Flemenschleeip
Mrs. Randolph Wooton Bassett
Mr. Jefferson Wooton Bassett
Rachel Jefferson Wooton Bassett
Alex Jefferson Wooton Bassett
Mr. Phillips Wooton Bassett


VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The album version of this show includes a few more scenes with Wooton driving Edwin crazy. It also includes a part at the end where Chris "flashes back" on "trying out" in her first audition, during which she makes a lot of mistakes.

  • The title for this episode comes from the expression "for crying out loud."
  • The names of the popular girls heard or mentioned in this episode are references to real-life celebrities:
  • The dialogue Wooton reads during his audition is from Shakespeare's pastoral comedy As You Like It.
  • The revelation that Brenda Frazier's victory in the cheerleading tryouts was due to a box with fraudulent ballots all written with the same handwriting appears to be at least a partial allusion to the 1948 U.S. Senate race in Texas; where the Democratic primary went to a runoff between Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson and former Governor Coke Stevenson; with Johnson winning the runoff by 87 votes - leading to allegations, particularly with the discovery of a "Ballot Box 13" in a rural precinct covering Duval and Jim Wells Counties where it was believed a corrupt sheriff's deputy, under orders from local political boss George Parr, had stuffed the ballot box with 203 votes - all for LBJ, in alphabetical order, same handwriting and even with the same color ink - en route to Johnson winning the general election; though the narrow margin of victory in the primary and the controversy over whether voter fraud played a role in Johnson's Senate victory led to the future 36th President of the United States being sarcastically nicknamed "Landslide Lyndon".
  • Mrs. Nietchew states during the cheerleading tryouts that the student council will be selecting the six best girls. However, when the results are announced, only four girls are named.


Liz Horton: I've accepted the fact that I'm not good at anything.
Wooton Bassett: Hey, would it cheer you up if I showed you how I can fit a pair of tongs up my nose?
Liz Horton: Uh, maybe some other time.

Liz Horton: So, what are you good at?
Wooton Bassett: Well, I'm glad you asked! Hand me that pair of tongs!

Edwin Blackgaard: Typical, typical! People will waste their time watching little terrors wandering around in pink pajamas with cotton balls on their rear ends, yet they neglect to appreciate authentic drama such as performed here at the Harlequin Theatre.
Shakespeare: Perhaps we could learn something from them.
Edwin Blackgaard: Shakespeare, I will not prance about in pink pajamas. Not my color.

Liz Horton: So, why are you always in a good mood? Being bad at everything makes me miserable.
Wooton Bassett: Well, I, uh, I try to remember that we're all good at something. I mean, God puts talent in everybody. It's kind of His job.

Shakespeare: The place is packed!
Edwin Blackgaard: A full house!
Wooton Bassett: Oh, wow! And my first performance! Oh, no! I think I'm getting sick! Okay, good thoughts. Lime jello. Carburetors. Fresh stick anti-perspirant. Ant farms. Sea monkeys. Cheese.

Wooton Bassett: I got it now! Oh! Me pardon that repeat you could...!

Chris Anthony: You know, all this talk about tryouts reminds me of my audition for Adventures in Odyssey. It went... something like this... <in flashback> Well, you can go ahead and write us then, at Adventures in-- Okay, alright. <mumbles> That's it!