We are examining the plot catalysts for the common drama. The acronym to remember is C FAIMM PHADE (see fame fade). We now continue our practical examples with the first M in FAIMM.
M stands for Mischief- The door to the darkened office opens casting a beam of light to the far wall. A man sits behind the desk hands folded in front of his mouth. Czarina slips in and activates the light. (Cue the Scene)
Czarina: (Seems startled to see Geoff.) “What are you doing here?”
Geoff: “It’s my office and the writers haven’t given me a dysfunctional home life yet.” (Pauses and adjusts his tie.) “What are you doing here?”
Czarina: “Well, I came to conduct some insider trading using your computer.”
Geoff: (Stands) “But Czarina, I have a password on my computer. How have you been able to get access?”
Czarina: “Well Geoff, I just typed in your birthday. Please, don’t tell my FBI agent husband, Gregg.”
Geoff: “Only if you can keep my secret. My real name is Jeff. J-E-F-F.”
Czarina: (Drops jaw in shock.)
M (2) stands for Mystery- Sebastian’s slumped form drapes his desk. There is a trickle of fake blood coming from the corner of one mouth. All the other actors are circling “the body” which is obviously still breathing. (Cue the Scene)
Natalie: “Who could have shot Sebastian?”
Dartainian: “Well, (begins pointing at actors around the room) Bart owns a weapon that could be used for murder, Delilah is his jilted, dark mistress, Renaldo has hated Sebastian from birth, and Julian is the vengeful wife. (Takes a deep breath and keeps pointing.) Sebastian stole Tiberian’s life savings. Basil is angry over a business deal gone horribly wrong. And the pizza boy received no tip.”
Dartainian: “Ok! Who’s contract is nearly up with the network?”
No one raises their hands.
Dartainian: (Hands upraised in exasperation.) Ok, fine! It’s a dream sequence! (All shrug and begin talking amongst themselves. Dartainian wipes the fake blood from Sebastian’s mouth.) “Ok, hold still. We’re about to make the screen go all wavy for a minute then you wake up and rub your head ok?”
P stands for Power Struggle- In the opulent boardroom of a powerful company; Benjamin and Franklin sit across form each other wearing perfectly tailored suits. There is a stern look on both faces. (Cue the scene.)
Benjamin: “You cannot stop me from taking a controlling interest in Wacko Novelty Company and switching our paddleball production from China to Mexico thus increasing our sales to the important Hispanic community.”
Franklin: (Lip curls in disgust.) You make me sick with your run on sentences and mad dash for mastery of the world of novelty toys! Well, I won’t let you! Our Chinese facility also produces chopsticks and I must have genuine chopsticks!”
Benjamin: Ha! It’s too late for that! I’ve been secretly taking the erasers off the office pencils and slipping them into your take out! Ha, ha, ha!”
Franklin: (Dumbfounded look on face.)
H stands for Health Handicap– A patient is lying in a hospital bed with a woman leaning over his immobile form. (Cue scene.)
Dew: (clasps hands to her chest) “Oh Royal, how will I be able to continue our feud with the Throneberrys without your manipulative harmonic voice? I know the doctor said you will be ok otherwise but you’re an actor! (Closes eyes) Why does voice cancer have to be so cruel!?”
Director: (Steps in from side of picture.) “CUT!” (Motions to actress) “Barbara, look, we need to see a little more angst from you. You look like a mannequin.”
Dew: “I’m sorry Jack! I just received my vitamin infused, partially organic Botox shot.”
A stand for Abuse (Personal)- A girl is crying with her knees pulled up to her chest. It’s dark in her room and there are tattered stuffed animals everywhere. She straightens suddenly with the sound of heavy footsteps coming up the stairs. Fright marks her face. A large man enters the room.
Brutus: “I heard Mr. Fat Paw knocked over your milk during supper tonight.” (Cracks knuckles) “I’m here to punish.”
Alex-Alexia: (Grabs several of the larger animals) “No, daddy please don’t!”
Brutus: (reaches over and grabs Alex-Alexia’s arm, pulls it open, and takes the large bear.) “Maybe someday you’ll listen!” (Begins punching bear in chest. Squeak sound.)
Alex-Alexia: (Throws a stuffed rabbit at her father.) “No, daddy! Please stop!” (Rabbit bounces off Brutus’s face. He stops punching bear.)
Brutus: “Owww! Darn it Alex-Alexia, one of those rabbit’s ears poked my eye and now my contacts out! Help me find it.” (Both begin searching for it. Mr. Fat Paw silently kicks it under the dresser.)
D stands for Depression or Depressing Circumstances- Father opens the door with slumped shoulders and a depressed look on his face. He walks into the living room where his son is hooked up to a MP3 player and the latest handheld video game. The daughter is watching the latest movie on an eight-foot wide plasma screen TV with a state-of-the-art sound system. The wife is dressed in exotic French fashion.
Father: “Folks I’ve got bad news. I’ve lost my job as a TV executive and because I have no other marketable skills we’re now poor.”
(Daughter and son fail to hear.) Wife: (drips a bit of spaghetti sauce on dress. Giggles) “Oops, I guess I’ll need to catch a flight to Paris tomorrow. What can you do when you need new clothes?”
Father: “No honey, I don’t think you heard me. I said I lost my job. We don’t have any money any more.”
Wife: (Slightly puzzled look on her face.) “Well, as a family we will come together to overcome these tough times thus growing more mature. Hmmm, they didn’t take your credit cards did they?”
Father: (Perking up.) “Wait! No they didn’t! We’ve overcome!”
Daughter and Son: “Keep it down!”
E stands for Excess of Money, Power, or Ego- The view opens to a courtroom. Many attractive people are jammed into the seats. Peanut and soda venders walk up and down the isle quietly peddling their food. A lawyer stands before the jury and the judge.
Rathbert: “Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve all come here today to see how eloquently I manage to defend justice from those who would lift her skirt.” (winks to one of the jury)
Rothchild: (Other lawyer stands and pounds his table.) “I object! No one is more important here than I am! And if anyone is going to grope justice then it’ll be me!”
Judge Eugene: “Porceed…uh, both of you.”
Rothchild: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we don’t have superheroes in real life and they really aren’t popular during prime time so I’m here to defend any and all with the ten legal terms they taught me at the world famous Gary Coleman School for the Performing Arts.”
Rathbert: “E Pluribus Unum! I invoke Tempus Fugit!”
Rothchild: “Superheroes also work for free, which makes them inferior because everyone knows you get what you pay for.”
Rathbert: (Leans over to the aid and whispers loud enough for everyone to hear.) “Sanders, go get my Latin dictionary and a book of cool sounding presidents.”
Sanders: “You mean precedents?”
Rathbert: (Stands) “Your honor I propose a mistrial. My lunch reservations at La Porta will expire in about a half hour. The statute of limitations directly states that you can’t do that.” (Rathbert’s client looks aghast. She’s about to say something when the judge speaks.)
Judge Eugene: “Sustained. I’ll strike down the law as unconstitutional and then we’ll make it to lunch.” (Smashes gavel.) “Nice work gentlemen.”
Remember, that’s C FAMME PHADE or “See Fame Fade.” It’s the key to your successful drama!
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