’40 Watts From Nowhere’ Had Us DJing a ’90s Pirate Radio Station

It’s the ’90s, and I’m inside an on-air studio looking at the many selections of music inside. There are plenty of CDs and vinyl records available to choose from including B.B. King, Green Day, David Bowie, Rolling Stones and many more. I was talking to the listeners and playing music that I wanted as it was broadcasting via a homemade FM transmitter connected to an antenna on top of an apartment building. Yes, this is pirate radio, and I was blasting music to people all over. My fellow DJs and I were the curators, and we were jamming and having a lot of fun as we try to allude authorities. Welcome to 40 Watts from Nowhere, an interactive and immersive experience that makes you feel like a pirate radio DJ.

Los Angeles has been home to a few immersive and interactive theatres from Delusion to Last Call Theatre. These in-person shows have guests participating in the story inside a set complete with decor and props, and they truly elevate the entertainment format. Enter 40 Watts from Nowhere, an immersive pirate radio experience that’s based on a true story set in Silver Lake, CA. It was a blast from the past where friendship is formed and one can feel like a ’90s radio DJ serving up a selection of music that defies the popular radio stations.

Credit: Nerd Reactor

40 Watts from Nowhere comes from the minds of Mister and Mischief, aka Jeff and Andy Crocker, who aims for an experience that is fun where strangers become friends. Based on the true story of counterculture icon Sue Carpenter, it is set in the mid-90s when guests are DJs of KBLT 104.7 FM, a rock station. Sue built her very own low-powered FM transmitter that’s rigged to an antenna on the rooftop of her apartment building, and it lasted for 3 years.

The show has many elements as we learned about the inspiration for Sue Carpenter and her radio station. There were actual items from her past including her jacket that she likes to wear. Her apartment was brought to life in the experience, and the props and furniture transported us into the past. As participants, we experienced the feeling of offering misfit music lovers an escape. I was joined by 4 other rebellious DJs as we learn about the pirate radio station. It’s very interactive, and we became radio DJs that included talking on the microphone and getting to choose what music to play from a large selection of vinyl records and CDs.

Mister and Mischief’s 40 Watts from Nowhere takes the interactive show format in a different direction that captures the pirate radio life. It was a rockin’ good time and I even learned a thing or two about Silver Lake’s history.

“Really the idea was, ‘Hey, let’s bring people in; let them run the station,'” Jeff Crocker tells Nerd Reactor. “So we option the rights to the story and we designed the show and we built the show and we produced the show, and [Sue Carpenter] was a part of it. Then after she saw it come together, because a lot of people don’t fully understand immersive theater or immersive experiences, she had an idea of what it was going to be. But then once she saw all of it come together and what it was like for people to experience it, she was like, ‘Oh yeah, I love it.'”

40 Watts is now running until December 18, 2022. Tickets are available at https://misterandmischief.ticketspice.com/40-watts-from-nowhere. The show is an intimate show with a maximum of 5 guests at a time. Street parking is available on the street, but please check out the street signs for rules.

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