Odds & Ends: Showbiz Party*

The Scene: a bar

Props: nibbles and alcoholic drinks (white wine with a soupçon of ammonia, red wine with a bouquet of vinaigre, or champagne à la bicarbonate) .

Sound Effects: Near hysterical laughter and raised, sometimes high-pitched voices with very pronounced inflection, expressing the following:

– Surprise: “I didn’t know you were coming!” (they really did invite everyone)

– Exaggerated compliments: “You look positively Chekovian in that dress!” (i.e. “like an unfashionable peasant”)

– Off the scale, extreme emotions: “I adore your script!” or “That show was absolutely awful.  I simply lost the will to live.”

– Disproportionate joy outbursts: “I was over the moon when I found a seat on the Northern Line.”

– Over the top terms of endearment: “You’re an angel!” or “I could just eat him up, he’s such a poppet.”

– Begging: “I told my agent, you’re the best director I’ve ever worked with.”

– Lying: “Dah’ling, I’m absolutely thrilled you got that part.”

– Practising actor’s sport: “My agent is totally useless!”

Special Effects:

– Regular 360º head rotations to scan the room for useful people.

– Blank, dummy stares if you are nobody.

– The submarine viewfinder: impressive upwards stretching of the neck to twice its natural length, to raise the head just above everyone else’s, aimed at scanning the room for important people.

– The air kiss: a form of thespian greeting, consisting of pressing your cheek against another person’s, and pursing your lips forward, to kiss the air (“Mwah!” sound optional).

The bar is crowded with actors, directors, agents, casting directors and writers performing the above.

Enter a reasonably well-known female actor (TV credits) with a flourish, slight pause (just in case the room wants to applaud).  Eyes sweep the room in semi-circular movement just above other people’s head level (Hello, Dah’lings! It’s me!) using submarine viewfinder technique.  Panic  freezes face at not seeing anyone she knows.  Recognises someone in the crowd, immediately darts towards them like to a life-saving anchor, expressing unadulterated rapture and giving an air kiss.

Writer in search of agent walks up to Agent.  Smiles.

Writer: “Hello, how nice to see you! How are you?”

Agent: “Very busy. (submarine viewfinder effect) I’m just looking for someone.” (Propels himself through the crowd, away from Writer.)

Struggling Actor sees Successful Actor.

Struggling Actor: “I absolutely loved you at the National, last week.”

Successful Actor: “Oh, thank you very much.  That’s very kind.” (Assesses usefulness of stranger.)

Struggling Actor: “I’m an actor.”

Successful Actor: “Oh, right.” (360º head rotation).

Struggling Actor: “I was in that new adaptation of  The Illiad, in a great little space above a pub – a great show with energy and grit.”

Successful Actor (dummy stare): “Mmm… (Swallows the rest of the wine in the glass) Great.” (Floats away at full speed).

Up-and-Coming-Actor (character role in West End), represented since drama school by Caring & Nurturing Associates, in conversation with Agent-With-Carpeted-West-End-Office.

Agent-With-Carpeted-West-End-Office (taking a gulp of wine, wincing): “I saw you in the show, last Thursday.  I thought you really stood out.”

Up-and-Coming Actor: “Really?”

Agent-With-Carpeted-West-End-Office: “You’ve definitely got something there.  You know – that special quality.”

Up-and-Coming Actor: “You really think so?”

Agent-With-Carpeted-West-End-Office (looking vague): “Who are you with?”

Up-and-Coming Actor: “Caring & Nurturing Associates.”

Agent-With-Carpeted-West-End-Office: “Who? Never heard of them.” (frowns)

Up-and-Coming Actor (face crumples): “Well, I’ve been with them since I left drama school…”

Agent-With-Carpeted-West-End-Office: “Have you been seen for The Hottest Ticket in Town? You’d be perfect for it.”

Up-and-Coming Actor: “No.  When are they casting?”

Agent-With-Carpeted-West-End-Office: “Very soon.  I’m surprised you haven’t been seen.” (hands business card and walks away)

Starting out Playwright walks up to Flavour of the Month Playwright.

Starting out Playwright: “Congratulations on the Award.”

Flavour of the Month Playwright: “Thank you.”

Starting out Playwright: “I also write plays.”

Flavour of the Month Playwright (blank)

Starting out Playwright: “I also write a blog.”

Flavour of the Month Playwright (blank)

Starting out Playwright: “Well, it’s lovely to meet you.”

Flavour of the Month Playwright (blank)

Starting out Playwright: “Bye.”

Flavour of the Month Playwright (nods).

Casting Director and Agent standing together.

Agent: “How many actors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

Casting Director: “Depends on the motivation and character development of the lightbulb.”

(Actor overhears and approaches)

Actor: “Wait a minute – does Equity have an agreement for changing lightbulbs?”

* All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

©Scribe Doll

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8 Responses to Odds & Ends: Showbiz Party*

  1. Frontline filly says:

    Particularly loved the agent-with-carpeted-office exchange. Made me laugh out loud…

  2. Elinor says:

    This really made me laugh dah-ling. Anybody would think you’d been to some of these awful events!

  3. ET says:


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