Friday, September 26, 2008

Flaks - The Musical - Scene 1

The story of a Silicon Valley PR agency during the dotcom boom of the late 1990s

Scene 1
Two young-ish women (early thirties) Barb and Britt sit in a glassed-in conference room. Barb is looking at a resume. They're both well-dressed, stylish and evoke an air of the cynical.

Britt - Where's he from?
Barb - Nowhere.
Britt - What do you mean, 'nowhere'? Everyone's from somewhere.
Barb - It depends on what you mean. If you mean where was he born - I don't know. If you mean where was he working before - then he's from 'nowhere.'
Britt - OK, fine, let's bring in Nowhere Man.

Britt motions through glass to the receptionist, Tiffany, who is younger and more provocatively stylish. Billy, who is younger than Britt but older than Tiffany, wearing an awkward coat and tie is led in and cautiously takes a seat opposite Britt and Barb.

Barb - (looking at resume) So…Billy, tell us about yourself.
Billy - Well, what do you want to know?

(Britt looks at Barb, smiles wry smile)

Britt - Why don't you start by telling us where you're from.

(Break away to the receptionist who welcomes with a nod an older man, Clayton, clearly in charge as he reenters the office, cell phone to his ear. He flips down his phone, begins to walk past the conference room, then comes back to ask Tiffany a question)

Clayton - Who's he?
Tiffany - Barb is interviewing for a new AE.
Clayton - Really? (brief suspicious double-take, walks to the big office)

Tiffany is left alone in the reception area. She mutters, “’Really…really’” then jumps up onto the large front desk and screams “Really!” Starts singing:

He says “really” but no one really
Knows what he means.
No “yes”es, no “no”s
Everything’s all in-betweens.

(Jumps down off front desk and picks up the phone, sings into it)

Hello, Clayton Partners PR
Yes, we really, really are
Give us some cash, we’ll make you a star
In whatever galaxy you choose
And if we fail, we don’t lose
We get paid either way
We’re Clayton Partners PR
We “really” are
And “really” that’s all we can say.

(Tiffany quietly sits back down behind the front desk)

(Back in Conference room interview)

Britt - So, you're a writer.
Billy - Yes. I mean, I write, yes.
Barb - That makes you a writer in my book.
Billy - I suppose it depends on what you think of when you say the word "writer." I mean I've worked for magazines, written articles, book reviews, done freelance work, a whole lot of copy editing. I've also written for myself, you know fiction, short stories and things, so that's what I think when I hear the word "writer" - people like Faulkner, Fitzgerald, people who write, create things, but I don't know if I really qualify, see, I've never actually sold anything like that. So, I've been doing stuff wherever I can do it, like at computer pubs.
Barb - Right. OK.
Britt - So, I see you wrote for Open Systems Today.
Billy - Well, wrote, you know...

(Barb just holds up her hand. They look at each other. Billy thinks then speaks)

Billy - Yes, I wrote for Open Systems Today.
Britt - You've got a good grasp of the technology then, I take it.
Billy - No, not really (hesitating). I mean, I was an English major, I never took any computer classes. Is that a problem?
Barb - You know Word?
Billy - Well, yeah sure. I'm a writer (grins).
Britt - As long as you can talk about it. No one expects you to do any programming.
Barb - Old joke, 'What's the difference between a used car salesman and a PR flak?'
(Billy shrugs)
Barb - The used car salesman knows he's lying to you.
Britt - It's not rocket surgery.

End scene

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