Wednesday Afternoon: Practice makes…

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[INT. TIMELESS, MAIN THEATRE]

(Trix, Christine and Emilie enter from a door at the back ally, which comes out behind the stage.)

LIZARD: Good, you’re here. Trix, you really gotta see this. From today’s local news at noon.

(Lizard holds up his cell phone and everyone crowds around it.

Video:

 

ECHO’S MOTHER: I’ve kept silent as long as I can. Our children are in danger. Right downtown in our city, we have a perverted cult operating, and they tried to suck in my daughter. We caught it on video.

(video shows Trix and Echo, it’s the footage Donna shot, but closely edited to convey a different message)

Echo, you tell your momma (cuts abruptly)

You’ve got a problem (cuts abruptly)

We need you and you want to be with us (cuts abruptly)

(shows Trix and the two girls spinning fast)

(Shows Echo’s mother)

ECHO’S MOTHER: She tries to turn my thirteen year old daughter against her own mother so she could exploit her talents

…hate your mom (cuts abruptly)

she shuts off thinking about one thing that matters to you (cuts)

all you need to think about is you (cuts)

ECHO’S MOTHER: She even tried to convince my daughter to kill herself if she couldn’t be in the show

Your momma (cut) here you are, weighing her down (cut)

So what is the way around (cuts closely) making your life worth giving up“ (cuts abruptly)

Will you rot here?(cuts)

ECHO’S MOTHER: Echo stood up to her.

(Shows Echo talking to Trix, both in frame)

You’re a pervert and a communist.

You’re all the same (cuts)

you’re a cult.

ECHO’S MOTHER: Sweetie, how do you feel about Trix now?

(shows Echo when she turned to Trix, close-up on her face so that it’s not clear who she’s talking to)

I hate her!

ECHO’S MOTHER: But what about those kids with nowhere else to go? She’s a monster, she only cares about getting attention.

(shows Trix)

I am both a pervert and a communist.(cut)

(Shows youngest girl hugging Trix’s legs, Trix’s swift kiss, then cuts back to Trix)

I hope that gets us some press

(shows Echo’s mother standing in front of a group of neighbours. pay attention to the combination of characters. a chance to tell a character’s whole story in just a moment of facial positioning, should be interesting to actors even though it’s a bit part)

ECHO’S MOTHER: We need to save those kids! We will be silent no more! We don’t want those people around our city. Timeless must go!

NEWSCASTER: With a sold-out show coming up this Friday, your Local News One team will update you on any traffic or public disturbances that may arise from this neighbourhood conflict.

EMILIE: Holy shit!

TRIX: Don’t swear. Didn’t my mother teach you that?

(As they talk, Trace and Jamie hurry over)

EMILIE: Sorry. But…that’s brutal! She’s making out like you’re a child molester or something.

TRIX: Echo’s mom’s gone off the deep end. This is what passes for news? Doesn’t she know she’s giving us free publicity? No one’s going to buy that chopped-up farce.

CHRISTINE: I don’t know. People are stupid.

TRACE: Maybe you need to put out a statement, reach out an olive branch? We don’t want these people picketing at our doorstep.

TRIX: What does Bash say?

TRACE: He says you can handle it.

TRIX: That’s helpful. No, no statement. This is ludicrous. I won’t dignify it by taking it seriously.

TRACE: No need to decide this minute. Are we practicing this afternoon? Discipline’s out the window when you’re the one who’s late.

TRIX: Sorry, but I got Mouse sized up with a double from the studio, and that was an important thing only I could do.

TRACE: Let’s just get to it. We’ve got the dancers today and we’re wasting their time.

TRIX: People!

(Trix lassoes her arm in the air. CG the air magnetizes the people, pulling them in like waves. See shimmers in the air, like waves of silvery energy rolling people into the shore of her space)

TRIX: I’m sorry I’m late. I hear you all buzzing about this news feature on Echo’s mom. Well, don’t. People will always try to tear you down when you’re on your way up. When that kind of garbage gets enough attention for the news, it’s because we’re already news, not because of what she said about us. The people who are with us will see that video for what it is. The people who are against us were already against us, and this only confirms what they already think. We must not let this poison seep into our thoughts and interactions here. This is the last I want to speak of it. Today we have the dancers! Let’s boogie!

LIZARD: Who’s the new girl?

TRIX: Oh, her? She’s a shadow. Ignore her. And don’t any of you go sniffing around, she’s underage and there’s no quicker way to get kicked out of here for life.

EMILIE: Emilie. My name is Emilie, I am fourteen years old, and I’m here to learn how Mouse moves. I’m her stunt double.

STAN: Do you play guitar?

(some people laugh)

EMILIE: Actually, I do, but that’s not what I’m here to do.

TRIX: You are here to silently observe and learn for the next…three…hours before someone picks you up and takes you back where you belong. So do that. Places!

(Trix gathers the dancers in the open centre of the stage. Her dialogue to the dancers overlays a glimpse for the audience into these moments of activity before a show.  Zoom in on hands putting together equipment, settings being set, etc. in ways that show technical aspects of people seriously and efficiently getting their instruments ready.)

TRIX: Okay, folks, most of you know the drill. It’s the same set of routines from the last show, just a different order. Anyone here who’s never done all 8 routines through for an audience? You? But you have done them all? Well, we’ll see what you know. Memorize your spacing, don’t run into the musicians and they’ll try to avoid you – right guys?

(Zoom out quickly from a pair of hands tightening a guitar string to a wide-angle view of the whole stage, everyone in place. Use some kind of montage to establish that practice is happening, errors are made and recovered, cool dance moves accomplished. Offside, Emilie mimics Christine which annoys Christine. Use Constricted Restricted Song )

TRIX: Good practice. Really coming along. Stage is getting busy! Tomorrow Ms. Myrtle’s crew arrive, and that’s it, the full complement. Are we ready to merge the new with the established? The live with the recorded?

(Some hoots and calls of “yeah”)

TRIX: Well, that’s a bit half-hearted for the half-way point. Where’s the trepidation coming from?

CHRISTINE: (quietly to herself): Don’t pick on me, don’t pick on me.

NOODLE: (says something technical about the sound for his kit)

CHRISTINE: Jamie, make sure that gets looked at. But there’s something else going on here. What?

DUGGAN: It’s the same as yesterday. She’s still disappearing.

TRIX: Talk directly to whoever “she” is, please.

DUGGAN: Mouse, I just don’t feel you with the music. You’re in and out, you’re not consistent.

CHRISTINE: I’m doing my best. It’s a big stage, lots of distraction and I don’t know the music that well. Get off my back, already. I don’t have to keep playing if I’m holding you guys back.

TRIX: Hold on, hold on. Understanding patterns lets us use or overcome them. This is just data. Mouse, we’ll do a little remedial after class. And guys! Mouse is fresh with us. She needs love and cuddles to feel like she’s with us. Come on!

(Trix leads the group in huddling around Christine in a group hug. Cut to Christine at the bottom of the pile, shot from below, her eyes closed, tears running down her cheeks. As the crowd breaks up light comes through and she wipes the tears away).

TRIX: Does that feel a little better?

CHRISTINE: Um, yeah, basically. I really am trying.

TRIX: We all appreciate that you’re here with us. Right?

(Various assent from the crowd. Chia stays glued to Christine’s right arm, and Jamie sits protectively close by on her left. Trix turns back to the group)

TRIX: Well, I have some notes – the team will email you over the next few hours with anything specific to you. Overall, we sound pretty good, our timing is getting better, and you dancers look amazing! Clearly you’ve been practicing. Don’t you all agree?

(General applause. Dancers accept in various ways)

TRIX: We’ll fill in the music so it won’t be as stark if you make mistakes or get off the timing. You’ll see tomorrow how it plays out. In the meantime, watch your inbox for notes, keep practicing, see you back here tomorrow.

(Trix pulls a few of the dancers aside and gives them instructions. Christine looks at her phone. Constant stream of Timeless updates. No texts or voice messages. Christine texts Chris.)

purc: I need to come by for some things

(no reply. message says systemichris is offline. Christine dials her phone)

CHRISTINE: Hey, Chris, if you’re there pick up. Fine, I’ll leave a message. I need to come by for some of my stuff. Let me know if you want to be there, and when’s a good time. You aren’t returning my messages, and you need to. I know you’re mad, but let’s be grownups, okay? Alright. Bye.

LIZARD: Emilie, your cab’s here.

EMILIE: Trix, Thanks so much for letting me come! It’s been a blast! You’re nothing like your mother said. See you tomorrow, Mouse!

CHRISTINE: Christine.

(Emilie exits)

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