An original play written after my first trip to Hollywood.
An original play written after my first trip to Hollywood.
LIVE FROMHOLLYWOOD... A Comedy in two acts by Nebbie Brown
Plot: The story of the cast and crew of a successful long-running 50’s style situation comedy,“Pryde and Joy”. After working together for an extended period of time, everyone is starting towear on each other’s nerves. Each character has his or her own personality, quirks, and problemsand its becoming increasingly difficult to interact with one another. Although everyonecontinues to try to work together, the breaking point is quickly approaching...Cast of Characters:Camille Fairchild (“Joy Pryde”) [The female lead of the show]Lance Burroughs (“Alan Pryde”) [The male lead of the show]Hazel Cadwallader (“Ruth Pilansky”) [The supporting actress of the show]Geoffrey Dinsmore (“Mitchell Pilansky”) [The supporting actor of the show]Valerie Headings (“Katie Pryde”) [Teenage supporting actress]Zachary McMahon [Director of the series]Peyton Summers [Zachary’s assistant]Max Bodenstein [Head writer of the series]Producer [Unnamed and unseen; voice only]Eric Gregory [Camille Fairchild’s agent]Setting: The action takes place on the set of the television show, Pryde and Joy. The set is splitin half between two rooms. The room on the left is a kitchen, and the room on the right is aliving room. There is a wall with a doorway dividing the two rooms. The decor of the set is asimple yet tasteful 50’s upper middle-class style; along the lines of “Leave It to Beaver”, “FatherKnows Best”, etc...Character Descriptions:Camille Fairchild: A diva in every sense of the word. The success of the show revolves aroundher and she knows it. She adores the limelight and being the center of attention. She is a giftedcomedic actress and is not afraid to do physical or slapstick comedy but she has dreams of goingon to bigger and better roles. She wants to break into motion pictures and start portraying moredramatic characters but she has been typecast into the role of a “dizzy housewife,” and no studiois willing to take a chance on her.Lance Burroughs: The stereotypical handsome leading man and the heart of the cast. He iscontent with his part in the series and wants to use it to secure his financial future for as long aspossible. Thanks to his good looks, he has a considerable female fan base. His biggest problemis that he is stuck in an on-and-off screen “romance” with Camille, which was cooked up by thestudio to keep fans interested in the show. He has no romantic feelings for Camille but cannotget out of the relationship because she has bought into the “fantasy” and thinks she has feelingsfor LANCE: He has been involved with Peyton Summers for some time but they have had tokeep their relationship a secret. Bit by bit, the press has discovered his “affair” but has yet todiscover Peyton’s identity.
Hazel Cadwallader: A show business veteran. Her career started on the stage, progressed intomovies, and has since settled into television. She has a history of being one of the true partyanimals of Hollywood in her younger days and continues to live up her reputation to this day.Whenever she is in front of the camera or an audience, she is the consummate actress. Awayfrom the audience, she is rarely seen without a drink of some sort in her hand and even morerarely seen sober.Geoffrey Dinsmore: A classically-trained Shakespearean actor who is also a veteran of showbusiness. In his prime, he was revered for his talent. Age, however, has not been kind to himand as he’s grown older, the parts stopped coming. He accepted the role of “Mitchell” to keephimself in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed, but he resents the simplicity of thescripts and lack of depth of his character and he blames Max, the head writer, for such.Valerie Headings: A child actress who has literally grown up in front of the camera. She hasbeen part of the series since the beginning and is now in her teens. She used to get her share ofattention by being the cute and precocious child, but as she has gotten older, the attention hasshifted away. She has started to become more rebellious to garner more attention from themedia.Zachary McMahon: Originally hailed as a “boy wonder” director; set to take Hollywood bystorm. It was his idea to go back to the concept of a weekly “live” series. At what first seemedlike a challenge has become a grind since no other director has been anxious to follow his leadand be willing to direct in Zachary’s place. His dream is to move on to feature films and becomea leading director of horror movies but he feels trapped and burned out from doing the series forso long.Max Bodenstein: An aficionado of classic television, this seemed to be the perfect opportunity tomake money while working on his true passion, writing dramatic plays. Over time, his dreamshave taken a back seat to his occupation as it becomes more difficult to find new ideas for theseries. He longs to be the next Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller, but feels he cannot escapefrom the show that keeps him creatively stagnant.Peyton Summers: Officially, an assistant to Zachary but unofficially, the assistant to the entirecast. She juggles everyone’s needs, demands, and problems to keep the show running assmoothly as possible. Without her, the show would develop into total chaos. Peyton enjoys herposition but is more than fed up with being treated as Camille’s “go-fer”. Her frustration ismultiplied by the secrecy of her and Lance’s relationship. Other than announcing to the worldthat she and Lance are a couple, the only other thing that would soothe Peyton’s nerves is achance to put Camille in her place.
Producer: Unseen by the audience and the cast. Only present as a voice over the loudspeakerand comes across similar to the “Voice of God”. He is the “liaison” between the show and thenetwork but he is the ultimate authority to the cast and crew. You never know he’s there until hespeaks and when he speaks, it’s usually not good news.Eric Gregory: One of the premiere casting agents in Hollywood. His style is very much that ofJerry Maguire and he can “ooze and schmooze” with the best of them. Currently, he handlesCamille as a client but for once, he cannot deliver on a promise to get Camille a dramatic leadingrole in a major motion picture.Joey Blake: The warm-up person for “Pryde and Joy.” The one responsible for getting theaudience ready before the show begins.D.J. Applegate: Private investigator for Spotlight Investigations; the firm hired by CamilleFairchild to trail and report on the activities of Lance Burroughs.Messenger: Young man of roughly high school age. Ideally, someone of a “surfer dude” natureand way of speaking.Gwen: Camille’s personal assistant. She is more than willing to suck up to Camille to share inher limelight but whenever Camille gets angry, Gwen is deathly afraid of her.DIRECTOR’S NOTE:The characters of Camille, Lance, Valerie, Hazel, and Geoffrey must develop two distinctpersonalities and voices since they portray characters in a television series. The secondpersonalities and voices need to be used when the television episode is being performed andshould be roughly the opposite of the character’s normal personality. Suggestions for the voicesare as follows:CAMILLE: Upbeat, perky, and light; much like a Donna Reed character or Dharma fromDharma and Greg.LANCE: Strong and authoritative; much like Father Knows Best.VALERIE: Sweet and innocentHAZEL: Pleasant yet wise; much like Marion Cunningham from Happy Days.GEOFFREY: Gruff and unrefined; much like a Mr. Wilson type from Dennis the Menace.
ACT ONE(The lighting should be set to illuminate the entire stage, much light stage lighting for arehearsal. This lighting should stay in effect until the “episode” begins, at which point, thelighting will change to highlight the set itself. Until the “episode” starts, the cast can utilize theentire boundary of the stage. Once the “episode” begins, the cast is limited to the “living roomand kitchen areas to help create the illusion of being on a set.)MAX: (Enters from L., talking on cell phone) I don’t care how many cocktail dresses we have inwardrobe, the scene calls for an evening gown and that’s what I want. We start rehearsing forthis episode tomorrow and I want that gown ready by the time we get into dress rehearsal.(Pause) No, I really don’t want to reuse a gown from a previous show. (Pause) I know we haveplenty of dresses and that there’s probably something in our inventory that will work, but I don’tcare what we have in stock. What I wrote calls for a specific type of dress and that’s what Iwant! (Pause) No, I’m not willing to compromise on this! I compromise too much as is! I’veseen the figures and I know that we’re nowhere near going over budget for costuming. If youcan’t understand that, then take it up with Zach, he’ll back me up on this! (Pause) When I wrotethe scene, I wanted Joy to come out in an evening gown that makes her look drop dead gorgeous.That’s what I want so make it happen! (Shuts off phone and looks at it disgustedly) God, I missthe old days when you could slam a receiver down on somebody. Cell phones have ruined theart of having an argument.(Geoffrey enters from L. His pace is slow and deliberate, almost as if he’s doing a processionalacross the set. He walks past Max, ignoring him)MAX: Afternoon, GEOFFREY: Ready for today’s show?GEOFFREY: (Stopping) As ready as one can be, I expect, Mr. Bodenstein. (His tone is cold)MAX: (Sighs) All right, what is it this week? What’s wrong now?GEOFFREY: (Turning to Max) Is there really a point for my being here? My character has sofew lines in this episode, it’s not worth my time to suffer through this... this... tripe.MAX: Tripe? I wouldn’t exactly call it tripe now.GEOFFREY: Then you, sir, are oblivious to the meaning of the word “tripe”, even though youproduce such an abundance of it on a regular basis!MAX: How many times do we have to go through this? It’s a sitcom! I have to come up with abeginning, middle, and end that fits in twenty-two minutes! I can’t translate Homer’s Odyssey
into something that people are going to sit through and laugh at!GEOFFREY: At least you could make an effort! This... drivel... is an absolute waste of mytalents as an actor!MAX: Don’t you think I’ve tried to come up with scripts with some substance? Stories that havemore relevance to the issues of the world? People don’t want to be reminded of what they’veheard about all day, they want to laugh!GEOFFREY: I have nothing against making people laugh. In fact, it is more of a challenge tomake people laugh than it is to make them cry. What I am against is this infantile level of humorthat we are forced to lower ourselves to in order to accomplish such a feat. If the Bard were toread this, he would surely hang his head in shame.MAX: Geoffrey, I’m sorry that we all don’t have the Shakespearean training and experience thatyou’ve had, but you can’t fit Shakespeare into a thirty minute show! I’m also sorry that yourprecious Bard wasn’t the first to discover slapstick comedy. If he had, it might have changed hisstyle of writing.GEOFFREY: Never mention the Bard and slapstick in the same sentence again! The comediesof Shakespeare were written for audiences of intelligence, not the common masses that weperform for. Let me ask you, have you ever attempted in your career as a writer to create anintelligent level of comedy?MAX: Are you kidding? Of course I have! I’ve got dozens of scripts that have nothing to dowith physical comedy but guess what? Nobody wants to see that! It’s easier to get laughs byhaving someone walk into a closed door or slip on a banana peel! It’s a different world,Geoffrey, and people don’t always want to have to think to find humor.GEOFFREY: Perhaps if you would defend your work to the studios as passionately as you dowith me, they might consent to give your “higher” works a chance.MAX: Don’t you think I’ve tried? I’ve argued and pleaded until I’m blue in the face! Unless it’sNewhart or Frasier, they don’t even want to see it. After eight seasons, Pryde and Joy is notgoing to do an about-face and go from physical comedy to highbrow comedy. End of story!Live with it!GEOFFREY: Never! I shall continue to protest these poor excuses for comedy until my voice isheard!MAX: We hear your voice! Every time we hear it, it’s like hearing fingernails across achalkboard!
GEOFFREY: You, sir, are a miserable excuse of a writer.MAX: And you’re a pompous windbag!CAMILLE: (Entering from L) Oh no! Are you two at it again? Please! Geoffrey! For oneweek, spare us the sob story about the “substandard” quality of the scripts. We’re all sick todeath of hearing about it!GEOFFREY: Naturally, Miss Fairchild, you would protest against this as all the stories revolvearound you. Why change what makes you such an icon to the uneducated masses?CAMILLE: I do not even want to go into this right now. I have enough problems of my own todeal with to bother sparring with you today.VALERIE: (Entering from L She is wearing a top that helps to show off a pair of voluptuousbreasts) Aww, what’sa matter? Did you bust a zipper on one of your Vera Wang dresses again?CAMILLE: (Her back to Valerie) Listen up, Precious, I am not in any mood for any of your sasseither! (Turning to face Valerie) I have half a mind to slap that smart mouth of yours... Oh myGod! What happened to you? (Camille has noticed that Valerie’s breasts are well-endowed)VALERIE: (Showing off) Like ‘em? It’s amazing how much attention I’ve received justwalking to the studio today. You should’ve been there when I went through the mall!GEOFFREY: Dear heavens, child! Have you had some sort of allergic reaction that hascentralized in your chest? Not that I’m attempting to sound lecherous, but those were nowherenear that... abundant... yesterday.MAX: Valerie, what have you done? There’s no way Zach’s going to let you do today’s showwith those! How in the world am I going to try to explain that?CAMILLE: Where is Zach? There’s no way I’m going to let you step onstage with thosemonstrosities! The audience will never take their eyes off of them! Where on earth did you getthat done so fast? And do you think I can get in for an appointment?VALERIE: Oh, relax, people! They’re not even real!CAMILLE: That’s obvious! But they do look rather convincing. Are they still sensitive or can Itouch them?VALERIE: Sure, you can touch them! I’ll even let you hold them! (Valerie reaches into her topand pulls out her breast enhancements and tosses them to CAMILLE: Camille shrieks insurprise)
MAX: They’re padded? Valerie, you almost gave me a heart attack!VALERIE: Of course they’re padded! You think I can get a boob job overnight?GEOFFREY: Child, this is Hollywood. These days, anything is possible.VALERIE: Not without parental consent. I’m thinking of asking for them for my birthday and Iwanted to try them out before I make up my mind.MAX: Why, all of a sudden, do you want a breast job?VALERIE: Oh, let’s see... Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff... there’s no way I cancompete against the likes of them.CAMILLE: What makes you think you have to compete? You’ve been on a successful TV seriesfor eight years!VALERIE: How long do you think that’s going to last? Sooner or later, the studio’s going togive us the axe. I’m just trying to think about my future.CAMILLE: Hey, if you’ve got a clause in your contract for residuals from reruns, you won’tneed to think or worry about working for years!GEOFFREY: Valerie, you don’t need plastic surgery to insure your future. You have somethingfar more valuable than the other ladies you’ve mentioned. You have talent.VALERIE: Talent. Yeah, that and twenty bucks will get me a mocha latte at Starbucks.MAX: I wouldn’t be too concerned about it at this point, Val. Besides, I seriously doubt thatyour parents will consent to this.VALERIE: Wanna bet? If it’ll increase the size of my trust fund, my parents would agree to mehaving three breasts!CAMILLE: Oh, good grief! I swear, kid, you’re not so old that you can’t be bent oversomeone’s knee and given a good old-fashioned spanking!VALERIE: Ohhh, I’m terrified. I’ll pee my pants later, right now, I’ve more important things todo. Can I have those back now? (Valerie takes the breast enhancements from Camille and exitsR)
CAMILLE: Isn’t there any way to replace that snot-nosed brat? Ever since she turned thirteen,she’s been an absolute monster! Why do we have to have kids on this show anyway? Will andGrace did just fine without them.MAX: It’s a little late to get rid of her now. She’s only been on the show for eight seasons.GEOFFREY: Accidents have been known to happen. You hear about it all the time.CAMILLE: For once, Shakespeare and I agree! You’re the writer, have her run away or elope orsomething!MAX: And how in the hell am I supposed to make the sudden disappearance of your only childinto something funny?GEOFFREY: Not to worry. Since nothing else you write comes across as humorous, this willjust be par for the course.MAX: Why you miserable son-of-a...LANCE: (Entering from L) All right, all of you! That’s enough! If you all have so much energybuilt up, try to save some of it for the show! You’re supposed to be professionals, how aboutacting like it?CAMILLE: And once again, Prince Charming arrives in the nick of time to save the day! Goodafternoon, darling. I missed you last night. Weren’t we supposed to have dinner together afterrehearsal?LANCE: (Less than enthusiastic) I’m sorry, CAMILLE: I felt a migraine coming on and Iwanted to get home before it completely overwhelmed me.CAMILLE: Another migraine? Lance, you’ve been having quite a few of those lately. Have yougone to see a doctor about this yet?LANCE: I’m trying to get in to see him but he’s been booked solid for weeks.CAMILLE: (Snuggling up to Lance) Well, we’ll just have to make up for the time we’vemissed, won’t we?LANCE: (Changing the subject) Geoffrey, Max, do you two have anything else that needs to beaired out before we get started?GEOFFREY: (Regaining his composure) Apparently, I’ve let my temper get the better of meonce again. I apologize for any comments to which you may have taken offense.
MAX: Yeah, same here. Let’s just get ready before Zach gets here.PEYTON: (Entering from R, her hands full of papers and such) Zach’s not here yet? That’sunusual. He’s usually here and ready to go before the rest of us show up. I wonder what’s goingon?GEOFFREY: Good afternoon, Miss Summers. You’re looking particularly radiant today.PEYTON: Why, thank you, GEOFFREY: And you’re looking ravishingly dashing andhandsome, as always.CAMILLE: Oh, knock it off, will you? I just had lunch.LANCE: Camille, don’t start. Leave her alone.CAMILLE: Well, I never get compliments on my appearance from GEOFFREY:.. or anyoneelse, for that matter! Everybody always has nice things to say about PEYTON: Why doesn’tanyone in this show compliment me anymore?GEOFFREY: Perhaps its the fact that Miss Summers knows how to accept a complimentgraciously, while you, on the other hand, expect to hear flattering remarks as soon as you arrive.CAMILLE: (Getting agitated) Cut the fancy dialogue, Geoffrey! What exactly are you trying tosay?GEOFFREY: What I’m saying, Miss Fairchild, is that if you would come down from yourpedestal once in a while and act like a normal person, instead of the diva you believe yourself tobe, you might receive more complimentary remarks from people.CAMILLE: Diva? Diva?! I do not have to take this from you, you... you... (Rushing to Lance)Lance, sweetheart, aren’t you going to stand up for me?LANCE: Sorry, dear. I’m just a neutral observer on this one.CAMILLE: Well, thank you for your support, my knight in shining armor! If anybody needs me,I’ll be in my trailer, sticking pins in my voodoo dolls! One in the head for my loving boyfriend,Lance, and one in the posterior, for Geoffrey, since you’re such a pain in the ass! (Camillestorms off R)MAX: (Changing the subject) Peyton, do you have the sketches from costuming I asked you for?
PEYTON: I sure do. I picked them up right before I got here. I also have the invoices from theprop department for you to sign for next week’s show.MAX: Good! At least, with the prop department, I don’t have to jump through hoops to get whatI need. I ask, they deliver. Why can’t it all be that simple?ZACHARY: (Entering from R) All right, people, what are we standing around for? We need toget started! Geoffrey, Lance, I need you in costume! Everyone needs to get changed and reportback out here for a pre-show meeting. Peyton, is everyone here?PEYTON: I haven’t seen Valerie or Hazel yet.GEOFFREY: Miss Headings is here and I’m assuming in her trailer. Just listen for the sounds ofthat caterwauling that she refers to as music. My devoted spouse has yet to make her presenceknown.ZACHARY: Here we go again. Why can’t that woman ever be on time? Peyton, will you call...PEYTON: (Cell phone to her ear) I’m already on it. I’m trying the house, but there’s no answer.I’ll check her cell phone.MAX: Five dollars says she’s not even out of bed yet.LANCE: Why don’t you just give your money away? You know Hazel has yet to miss a starttime. She might be half-sloshed when she gets here, but that woman is nothing but punctualwhen it comes to performances.MAX: True, true. But there’s a first time for everything.LANCE: What’s going on, Zach? You’re never this late on a show day. Is there something weneed to know about?ZACHARY: We’ll discuss it at the pre-show meeting. Peyton, do you have the reading material Iasked for?PEYTON: (Holds up a paper sack) Right here. (Hands the sack to Zachary)ZACHARY: Why are we still standing around here? Get into your costumes, people! Time iswasting! Go! Go! (Geoffrey and Lance exit offstage)MAX: Zach, is everything all right? You seem a little more edgy than normal.PEYTON: He’s right, boss. Something’s up. You want to clue us in?
ZACHARY: I should... but I’ll wait until everyone’s here. I want to have to go through this onlyonce.PEYTON: It’s that serious?ZACHARY: It could be. Max, how many episodes are ready for production?MAX: The usual. There’s four in the pipeline, and hopefully, I should have the next one donetonight.ZACHARY: And how many more to finish the season?MAX: Seven, I think. What’s going on?ZACHARY: Later. Why don’t you two take off for a while. I want to go over the script to makesure everything’s up to date from the last rewrite.PEYTON: If you say so. I need to check with the caterers anyway. Last week, they used apoppy seed bun on Camille’s sandwich and all hell broke loose. Another tantrum like that andwe’ll be looking for yet another caterer and there’s not that many left to choose from. Camille’sgot us blacklisted from all the really good catering companies.MAX: I miss “Grub-n-Go”. They had some of the best salads and all their bread was bakedfresh.ZACHARY: “Grub-n-Go”. Yeah, I remember them, they were pretty good, plus they werearound for a while. What happened with them?PEYTON: When the head chef came in to find out how everything was, Camille called him areject from a greasy spoon. That pissed him off so he dumped a bowl of hollandaise sauce overher head and told her to kiss his brass saucepans.MAX: That’s right! That’s the one that brought up the lawsuit.PEYTON: Only because Camille brought up one first.ZACHARY: Okay, that’s enough traipsing down memory lane. Really, people, I need somealone time right now.CAMILLE: (Offstage R) Peyton!! Where the hell are you? I need some assistance back here,NOW!
PEYTON: Ah, her highness bellows... I mean, beckons. Coming, Camille! Don’t get yourpanties in a bunch! (Goes offstage R)MAX: I’ll be in my office. Have Peyton buzz me when we’re ready to start.ZACHARY: Thanks, MAX: It shouldn’t be long. (Max leaves. Zachary is alone on-stage. Hesits at the kitchen table. He starts going over his script, making quick notes)PRODUCER: (Voice only) Mr. McMahon.ZACHARY: (Startled) Who? What? (Catches his breath and looks up to the light booth) Oh,it’s you. I didn’t expect you to be here this early.PRODUCER: I wanted to see how the cast gets along without an audience. Are they always thiscombative?ZACHARY: Not always... well, maybe once in a while... okay, pretty much all the time. Butwhen they get focused, they work great together! You’ve seen that.PRODUCER: I’m not concerned with their behavior on-camera, Mr. McMahon, the concern iswith how they behave when there’s not an audience around. What I’ve seen so far does notconvince me that this ensemble is what you would call... compatible.ZACHARY: After eight years together, no cast gets along one hundred percent. They all knoweach other and there’s no need for them to put up any pretenses towards each other anymore.PRODUCER: Still, the studio is concerned, and now I see that they have every right to be.ZACHARY: Please, don’t make any decisions until after you’ve seen them for awhile. I thinkyou’ll see that there is a chemistry there.PRODUCER: I’ll be the judge of that. Remember, not a word to anyone that I’m here. I want tosee them in their natural behavior toward each other.ZACHARY: God help us all.PRODUCER: What was that?ZACHARY: I said, will that be all?PRODUCER: Yes, Mr. McMahon. We’ll speak again later.
ZACHARY: (Somewhat sarcastically) I’m really looking forward to it. (Picks up cell phone)Peyton? Can you come and do a pre-show check of the set? Make sure we have everything weneed? (Pause) I know I usually do that, but I need to run to the studio infirmary for a minute.I’m out of antacids. You put a fresh bottle by my chair? What would I do without you?PEYTON: (Entering from R while talking on phone.) Have an ulcer the size of Burbank by now,most likely. (Hangs up phone) You still want me to do the pre-check?ZACHARY: Please. I need to go out and get some air. I’ll be back in a few minutes. Try tohave everyone out and ready to go by the time I get back, would you? Oh, have we heard fromHazel yet?PEYTON: She got in about five minutes ago. When I called her cell phone, she was en route.She’s doing her make-up right now.ZACHARY: I swear, that woman is going to drive me to drink!PEYTON: Well, she’d probably enjoy the company.ZACHARY: How bad is she? Is she pickled?PEYTON: More pickled than a kosher dill.ZACHARY: Fabulous. I’ll be back soon. (Heads for offstage L)PEYTON: Take your time. I’ll marshall the forces.ZACHARY: You know, Peyton, you’re undoubtedly the best assistant I’ve ever worked with.What is it about this bunch of lunatics that has kept you here this long?PEYTON: The vain hope that you’ll give me a substantial pay increase?ZACHARY: Not my call. If I could arrange it, you’d earn more than me.PEYTON: What makes you think I don’t?ZACHARY: Really, though, what is it? I know you’ve had offers to go to other shows andstudios. What keeps you here?PEYTON: Let’s just say that I’ve got my reasons, now get out of here. (Zachary leaves. Peytongets a clipboard and starts checking off a list of things needed for the episode. She moves intothe kitchen to check the props. As she does, Lance enters from R. into the living room. He is incostume)
LANCE: Hello, anybody else here yet?PEYTON: I’m in the kitchen.LANCE: (Entering kitchen) Where’s Zach?PEYTON: Out. He said he needed some air. Where are the others?LANCE: Still in the middle of costume and make-up, I guess. You mean... we’re alone?PEYTON: (Seductively) It sure looks that way. (Peyton and Lance stare at each other for asecond and then embrace into a passionate kiss, the only kind of embrace you see from loverswho are not supposed to be together. They break the kiss, but hold onto each other)LANCE: I missed you this morning. I never even heard you leave.PEYTON: I had to get an early start. I needed to pick up some specific items for Zach, but Imissed you too.LANCE: I got your message on the bathroom mirror. Did you mean what you wrote?PEYTON: You bet I mean it! I wrote that in my most expensive lipstick. I don’t do that for justany man, you know. When will you be home?LANCE: Hopefully, by nine. I’m supposed to have dinner with Camille first. According toPublicity, we need to be seen together in more casual settings.PEYTON: I hate that campaign, making the two of you a couple off-screen, as well as on-screen.It must be pure hell for you spending time with that witch!LANCE: Spending time with you more than makes up for it. (They kiss again)VALERIE: (Entering from living room, in costume) Hey, anybody else out here? (Peyton andLance break off their kiss and straighten themselves back up. Peyton sneaks offstage L andLance comes in through the kitchen door)LANCE: Just me, I’m afraid. I was looking things over in the kitchen. Looks like you threeshould have a lot of fun today.VALERIE: I don’t know if I’d call it fun. It’s been a good way to get rid of some frustrationthough. I’ve been wanting to do stuff like that to her for months now.LANCE: Just as long as you remember we have an audience and don’t get carried away.
VALERIE: (In her “Katie” voice) Don’t worry about me, Daddy, I’ll be a good girl!LANCE: That what I wanted to hear. I’m going to round up the others. (Heading offstage)VALERIE: (Still in “Katie” voice) Daddy, since we’re talking about good girls?LANCE: Yes?VALERIE: (In her normal voice) You’ve still got a little lipstick smeared on your face. Youmight want to take care of that.LANCE: Uh... uh... look, VALERIE:.. about that....VALERIE: Don’t worry about it, I’m not going to say anything. Hell, I don’t really want to kissCamille either, and I just do it on the cheek when the script calls for it. You should be morecareful though. If she finds out, she’ll go ballistic!LANCE: Right. Thanks. I owe you one, Val. (Goes offstage R)VALERIE: (To herself) And if I were ten years older, I’d call that marker in.ZACHARY: (Comes back onstage L, holding several magazines in his hand) All right, let’s getthis show on the road. Where is everyone?VALERIE: Still in their dressing rooms, boss. Want me to go get them?ZACHARY: Yes, please. Tell them to get out here now, whether they’re ready or not. I reallyneed to get this pre-show meeting over with.VALERIE: On my way! Be back in a minute. (Valerie goes off-stage R, we hear her shouting)Okay, people, let’s move it! Everyone out on stage for the pre-show pow-wow!PEYTON: (Zachary is looking at the magazines and pacing the set. He is lost in thought asPeyton comes back onstage L) Are you really going to tear into them again? We’ve all heardthis more than enough times and the result is still the same.ZACHARY: I’ve got to, PEYTON: Somebody has to beat it into their skulls that they just can’trun amok like this. What they do outside the studio affects the ratings and it just keeps gettingworse.MAX: (Entering from L.) What’s getting worse, Zach?
ZACHARY: In due time, MAX: I only have the strength to go through this once. (The caststarts entering from R, Geoffrey, Valerie, and Lance are in costume. Camille is wearing adressing gown)ZACHARY: All right, let’s get started. First thing I want to bring up is... wait a minute, where’sHazel?VALERIE: I pounded on her dressing room door. I heard her do a spit-take and then she yelledat me to go to Hell.HAZEL: (Entering from R, she is in costume but she is also wearing a large pair of sunglassesand carrying a brandy snifter. She comes across larger-than-life, but also about half-drunk) And Imeant every word, you wretched urchin. Good morning, poppets! How is everyone today?CAMILLE: About half a day ahead of you, apparently. It’s after four-thirty in the afternoon!HAZEL: (Looking surprised) Really? (Checks her watch, but has trouble focusing on the face)Where does the time go? The last I remember, it was the crack of dawn!CAMILLE: That must have been when you went to bed! We all know for a fact that you nevercrawl out of bed until after the crack of noon.HAZEL: Ah, darling Camille, as always, you are as pleasant as a basket of rattlesnakes.ZACHARY: All right, that’s enough! I am not in the mood for this today! First of all, haseveryone seen your final script changes?LANCE: As a matter of fact, Zach, I had a question about that. Are you sure that the changes...ZACHARY: (Interrupting Lance) Yes, I’m sure! This is what the network wants and that’s whatwe’re going to give them! End of discussion!VALERIE: Geez, Zach, you’re in rare form today. Who crapped in your corn flakes?ZACHARY: As a matter of fact, Valerie, you did! You and the rest of the cast! Guess what,people? The new tabloids are out and you’re all over the place! (Starts holding up tabloidmagazines) Valerie, there are pictures in here of you at a party with guys doing tequila shots offof your stomach! Camille, you threw a prize temper tantrum at the SAG awards! Hazel, I don’teven want to bring up what you did last Saturday!HAZEL: I wish you would, darling. I’ve been trying to remember that little episode for the lastthree days.
ZACHARY: And then, to top it all off, we have a new entry in the headlines! It appears our ownLance Burroughs has been spotted getting cozy with a mystery woman instead of Camille!(Everyone looks at Lance with surprise. Peyton drops her clipboard) Well? Who wants to bethe first to try to defend themselves?CAMILLE: I will! The press has that whole SAG awards “incident” blown completely out ofproportion! I was there by invitation to present an award!MAX: The story I heard was that you were called as a last minute replacement for SandraBullock and then when she showed up anyway, you refused to let her present the award.CAMILLE: She told the producers that she would be out of town! When I was asked to presentin her place, I bought a new gown, had my hair and nails done, and completely rearranged myschedule to accommodate the awards! For what I went through, I had every right to present thataward!MAX: I also heard you called her a scenery-chewing hag and that she needed to have a tummy-tuck.LANCE: Camille, you didn’t!CAMILLE: Oh, please! Go rent “The Lake House” and see if I’m wrong! As far as her body,marriage has obviously gone straight to her stomach and hips!ZACHARY: Now I see why we got a letter from the Screen Actors Guild!CAMILLE: Letter? When did we get a letter? What did it say?ZACHARY: Peyton, will you do the honors?PEYTON: In front of everyone? Shouldn’t this be handled in private?ZACHARY: Absolutely not! Apparently, nobody here has anything to hide, at least as far as thescandal rags are concerned! Go ahead, read it!PEYTON: (Pulls an envelope from her clipboard, takes out the paper and reads it aloud) Theexecutive board of the Screen Actors Guild wishes to inform you that as a result of the incidentinvolving Camille Fairchild at the recent SAG awards ceremony, a presenting, acceptance, andattendance ban has been placed on Miss Fairchild for a period of no less than five years to gointo effect immediately. This decision has been agreed upon unanimously by the SAG board andcannot be appealed. Miss Fairchild’s conduct was considered shocking, appalling, anddisgraceful, and will not be tolerated.
CAMILLE: What are they saying?VALERIE: In a nutshell, Mom, you’ve been grounded from the SAG awards for five years.CAMILLE: They can’t do that! It’s unfair! I’ll go before the board and explain. I’ll get thisstraightened out!PEYTON: You can’t. They said in the letter they won’t listen to an appeal. The also state that ifyou make any attempt to attend, it’ll be considered trespassing, and they’ll have you arrested andprosecuted.VALERIE: (Laughing) Way to go, Camille!CAMILLE: Oh, shut up, you twerp! At least I wasn’t involved in a... a... drunken orgy!ZACHARY: Well, Valerie? Care to explain yourself?VALERIE: Well, it wasn’t an orgy! Some people may have gotten a little tipsy, but nobody gotnaked!GEOFFREY: (Looking at one of the tabloids) According to this photo, I would venture a guessthat you were dangerously close from achieving nudity.VALERIE: I was wearing a bikini, thank you very much! It’s not that much fun doing bodyshots off of someone who’s fully clothed!LANCE: You let perfect strangers lick salt off of your bare skin?VALERIE: I had to do something! I wasn’t about to join in the drinking. Tequila tastesabsolutely nasty! (Feigning innocence) At least, that’s what I hear. Besides, all those guys werepaying more attention to the shots than they were me... for the most part.ZACHARY: And how are you supposed to appear wholesome and innocent on television afteryou’ve been photographed in a bikini holding a bottle of booze?VALERIE: Oh, get over it! Nobody’s going to turn on Pryde and Joy expecting me to comedownstairs in a bikini and high heels! Besides, there were others at that party doing far worsethat I was!PEYTON: I’m sure there were, VALERIE: But you were the only one there that was a celebrity.That puts all the focus on you, doesn’t it? Something I’m sure you’re getting quite familiar with.
VALERIE: So I want a little bit of attention, so sue me! You think it’s easy being a teenager inHollywood and staying noticed?GEOFFREY: Surely, child, there must be some way of garnering attention from your peers andthe press that’s somewhat less... scandalous.VALERIE: Oh, puh-lease! What am I supposed to do, volunteer at a homeless shelter orsomething?MAX: That’d be perfect! It shows you’re aware of social issues, and that you’re compassionateto others less fortunate.VALERIE: And at best, get me a blurb in the entertainment section of the local newspaper. Nothanks. I’m not ready for “community service” at this point in my career.CAMILLE: (Looking at Valerie’s article in the tabloids) No, you’re just ready to go from prime-time television to strip clubs.VALERIE: I keep telling you, I’m innocent! All I did was provide the body for the body shots!From what I heard, there was some crazy drunk woman there in the house that was trying tosomething obscene with a ferret in front of an audience!PEYTON: That’s disgusting!CAMILLE: That’s repulsive!HAZEL: That’s it!! That’s what happened Saturday night! I’ve been trying to remember thatever since I woke up late Sunday afternoon... I mean, morning!ZACHARY: And there it is! I’m just grateful there weren’t pictures!HAZEL: Believe me, darling, so am I!GEOFFREY: Why am I not surprised?HAZEL: It must’ve been the vodka. Things always get hazy whenever vodka’s involved.VALERIE: Wait a minute! That was you? We were at the same party? Oh, God, how gross isthat?!HAZEL: Purely coincidence, dear. I had heard about this little soiree from the grapevine andthought it would be worth a look. Apparently, it must’ve been a good time.
ZACHARY: Hazel, we’re going to be lucky if the A.S.P.C.A. doesn’t throw a lawsuit at us overthis! Peyton, will you please call over to Legal and see if...(Peyton is already on her cell phoneand walking offstage L to hear better) While we’re waiting to hear how bad it is, why don’t weget Lance’s side on these allegations of an affair?CAMILLE: (Cold as ice) Yes, “darling”. I’m absolutely dying to hear this!LANCE: What’s the big deal? So I got spotted out in public with a female friend. Is it a crimefor a man to have a friend of the opposite sex these days?CAMILLE: When he’s in an extended relationship with another woman, yes!MAX: I thought this whole “relationship” thing between the two of you was just a publicity stuntcooked up by the studio. You mean it’s real now?CAMILLE: Yes!LANCE: NO! (Camille turns and looks at Lance, a mix of shock and hurt on her face) I mean,it’s not an... exclusive... relationship. We’ve always agreed that we could see other peopleoccasionally... if we wanted to.CAMILLE: I don’t remember ever making that agreement.LANCE: Camille, sweetie, you know I’ve never discouraged you from going out with friends.I’ve never tried to hold you back from anything that’s important in your life.CAMILLE: (Starting to get emotional) But you’re what’s important in my life! You and mycareer. I’ve always counted on having a stable partner by my side, and you’ve always been theresince we started this show together. I think of you as my anchor... and I’ve always been able tocome to you for emotional support. And now I find out that you’ve been lying to me, and(Peyton comes back onstage L) you’re running around behind my back with some... some... slut!PEYTON: (Instantly angry and defensive) Just who the hell do you think you’re calling a slut?!(Camille jumps in surprise)CAMILLE: Whoever the tramp is that got spotted with Lance by the paparazzi! Why are you soworked up over it anyway?PEYTON: (Trying to recover) I didn’t realize that what we had switched subjects. I thought youwere still talking about Hazel and you were calling her a slut.CAMILLE: Oh, for heaven’s sake! I know better than that. It’s obvious that Hazel’s days ofseduction are long over!
HAZEL: Now, just a minute, you twit! I consider that a personal insult! Age has nothing to dowith desirability. I can still be plenty seductive if I choose to be! Isn’t that right, Geoffrey?GEOFFREY: I beg your pardon? Why am I being brought into this vulgar display of emotion?HAZEL: I’m trying to defend our place in life, you old fool! She’s saying that just becausewe’re old, that we’re not desirable anymore!CAMILLE: I’m not talking about Geoffrey! When he’s cleaned up, I happen to think he comesacross as very desirable! He has a distinguished appearance and he radiates sophistication andelegance. You, on the other hand, tend to radiate a stench of alcohol that could sterilize agarbage truck!HAZEL: If I werent a lady, I’d drag you outside and pull out every one of those artificiallycolored hairs of yours by the roots!CAMILLE: A lady? From the stories I’ve heard around town, you’ve been in more bar fightsthan Russell Crowe!HAZEL: And I won more than my share of those fights, so I don’t have any qualms aboutchalking up one more mark in my “win” column by teaching you the error of your ways! (Hazelstarts toward Camille, hands balled up into fists)VALERIE: This I wanna see! It’s about time somebody knocked Camille down off of her highhorse! (Camille realizes that Hazel is serious about fighting her and runs behind Lance forprotection)CAMILLE: Save me, darling! Don’t let that troll touch me! Do something! (Camille, Lance,and Hazel start going around in a circle, Hazel trying to get at Camille, and Camille keepingLance between them)LANCE: Don’t bring me into this! You’re the one that shot off her mouth, so get yourself out ofit. Get away from me! I’m not protecting you! (Camille keeps using Lance as a shield fromHazel. Everyone else, except Zachary, is watching the events unfold with amusement. Finally,Valerie jumps into the fracas)VALERIE: (Grabbing Camille from behind by the arms) I got her! I got her! C’mon, Hazel,here’s your chance! Open up a can of whoop-ass on her! (After Valerie has grabbed Camille,Lance hurries out of the road to let the women have it out on each other)CAMILLE: LET ME GO! Get your hands off of me, you juvenile delinquent! This is no way totreat your mother! Let me go, you bitch! I’ll have you fired for this! You’ll never see the insideof a soundstage again!
HAZEL: (Coming in closer and winding up for the punch, milking the moment in trueHollywood fashion) I have been waiting a loooong time for this! Sweet satisfaction at last!(Hazel gets ready to finally throw her punch while Camille struggles to break Valerie’s hold)ZACHARY: (Finally reaching his limit) THAT’S ENOUGH! ALL OF YOU, STOP IT, RIGHTNOW! (Zachary steps in and breaks up the women. He pushes each one a different direction toput distance between them) I HAVE HAD IT! It’s like this almost all the time! Every week it’sthe same thing! You all do something stupid and get your names in the scandal sheets! You’re ateach other’s throats constantly! This isn’t a set for a sitcom, it’s a war zone! How we’ve lastedfor eight seasons together is beyond me! You all just keep it up and we’re going to be out of ajob! How much more of this do you think the studio is going to take? You have NO idea nowmuch I’ve begged and pleaded to the execs to keep us going! I can’t do it anymore! I’m fed upand burned out! You want to have affairs, (Zachary looks at Lance) participate in drunkenorgies, (Looking at Hazel and Valerie) alienate yourself from your peers by being a spoiled brat,(Looking at Camille) and curse the people who give you a job because this isn’t a Shakespeareanfestival, (Looking at Geoffrey) then go right ahead! I’m not going to stop you anymore! I’vehad it too! I want to move on to bigger things! I’m tired of sitcoms; I want to do movies!Maybe I should be the first to quit! Where would you all be then? Well? No other director inHollywood wants this gig! Believe me, I’ve looked! Nobody else wants to touch live television!“It’s too risky”, they say! “Too many things can go wrong”, they tell me! Well, here’s a littlesurprise for you; I’m at my most relaxed for thirty minutes when the bunch of you are in front ofthose cameras! That’s the only time I know you can all work together and get along! We’regoing to be going live very soon, and the audience is almost ready to come in so I suggest you allget your heads out of your asses and act like actors. If that’s possible! (Zachary looks at oneperson after another, giving each one the evil eye. Everyone just stands there in an awkwardsilence, no one wanting to be the first to speak. Finally, Lance tries to break the tension)LANCE: Look, Zach, I just want to say that we’re...ZACHARY: NO! Do NOT apologize to me! It’s too little and way too late for apologies! Idon’t want to hear it! I want to get this show over with and get the hell out of here as fast aspossible! (Zachary looks at his watch) I have just enough time to go have a drink and try tocalm down before the show. Peyton, take over. I’ll be back before airtime... maybe. (Zacharystorms offstage L)CAMILLE: (To Valerie) This isn’t over, you know. I’ll have you replaced before the read-through for the next show.VALERIE: Bring it on! In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not eight years old anymore and I’mnot scared of you!CAMILLE: Well, you should be scared.
HAZEL: As should you. We’re not finished yet either.PEYTON: STOP IT! Didn’t the three of you hear a word Zach said? It’s not a game anymore!Cut the crap! If we’re not ready, the network won’t think twice about replacing us with reruns ofSabrina, the Teenage Witch! Is that what you want? Now get to your dressing rooms, all of you!(Everyone looks at Peyton in surprise. She has never raised her voice to anyone until now) I’mnot kidding! Dressing rooms! NOW! (She stomps her foot and points offstage. One by one,each of the cast walks offstage. Lance is the last to go and he turns to Peyton with a look thatsays “Me, too?” Peyton gives Lance a withering glare and points offstage again. Lance turnsand walks away like a chastised puppy)MAX: Well, that was certainly... interesting, wasn’t it?PEYTON: You’re a writer, Max. I would think you could come up with something moredescriptive than “interesting”.MAX: Okay, how about “traumatic”, or “intense”, or at the very least, “overdue”?PEYTON: Which part? The girls facing off against each other or Zach’s tantrum?MAX: You left out your unexpected show of forcefulness. You’ve never snapped like thatbefore, and Lord knows you’ve had plenty of opportunities.PEYTON: Maybe I should’ve started a long time ago. Maybe this whole thing could have beenavoided if I had shown more backbone toward Camille from the beginning. I just feel that if Istart ordering everyone around, I’ll be stepping on Zach’s toes.MAX: Don’t start blaming yourself for this. This little incident has been a long time in themaking. If Zach hadn’t brought it up today, it would have happened eventually.PEYTON: It shouldn’t have happened at all. After eight years together, we all know each other.You know as much as I do about how to push people’s button at any given time. Why do wekeep testing each other’s limits instead of supporting each other?MAX: Too much togetherness.PEYTON: Excuse me?MAX: It’s too much togetherness. This cast has worked closely together without the benefit ofhaving many extras or guest stars to help keep everyone on their best behaviors. Let’s face it,this set is the only real home we’ve all known. What we really need is some time apart so wecan get back in touch with the world outside these walls.
PEYTON: Like that’ll happen anytime soon. By your count, we’ve still got twelve shows to dobefore we’re done for the season. That means another three months of this. We’ll never make itwithout there being bloodshed.MAX: Unless we can convince the network to let us do a short season.PEYTON: I doubt if that’ll happen. I’ve heard through the studio grapevine that they’rescrambling for midseason replacement material now. They don’t have enough to get themthrough the summer.MAX: Well, the only other option I can see; is cutting the problem off at the source.PEYTON: You don’t mean...MAX: Think about it. It would calm things down considerably. Camille is the major instigatorof the group.PEYTON: It can’t happen. She’s under contract. The only way to get her out of Pryde and Joywillingly, is for her to quit. If she’s fired, she’ll sue the network, and the court battle will makeheadlines for months.MAX: And the only way she’ll leave willingly... is if she gets a leading role in a motion picture.PEYTON: That’s what I was afraid of. We’re screwed.MAX: Speaking of screwed...PEYTON: Max Bodenstein, don’t you even think about going there!MAX: All right, all right! You’ve pretty much answered my question anyway.ERIC: (Entering from L) And what question is that, boys and girls?PEYTON: (Turning around) Well, speak of the devil. If it isn’t Eric Gregory. You know, wewere just getting ready to take your name in vain.ERIC: In vain? Me? Whatever for?MAX: For not fulfilling your responsibilities as an agent by being unable to find a movie forCamille.PEYTON: Unless you’re bearing good news at this moment.
ERIC: Ah, if it were only that simple... is she available?MAX: You want to talk to her now? We’re almost ready to go into production!ERIC: I know that, that’s why I came. I figure if I talk to her now, she can’t go into a full-blowntantrum until after the show, and that buys me enough time to at least get out of town for a day ortwo.MAX: I’ll go get her. We might as well get this over with. (Goes offstage R)PEYTON: Can’t you find anything out there for Camille?ERIC: Believe me, dear, I’ve tried. I’ve been around to all the major studios, and even some ofthe minor ones. As soon as I mention Camille’s name for a leading dramatic role, everyonethinks I’m telling a joke. Nobody believes she’s got a dramatic bone in her body.PEYTON: What about directors? Have you talked to any of them directly?ERIC: I’ve put in calls to everyone from Robert Altman to Robert Zemeckis. To them, CamilleFairchild is dramatic box office poison and everyone knows it but her.CAMILLE: (Entering from R) Eric! Sweetie! What a surprise! I’m so happy to see you!ERIC: Cami, honey! How’s my number-one client?CAMILLE: On pins and needles! I’ve been waiting for days for the results on my last audition.ERIC: Audition? I’ve forgotten, which one was that?CAMILLE: You know, the one for the movie that Penny Marshall’s directing. The biographypicture on Jackie Onassis.ERIC: Oh, yeah, that one! To tell you the truth, Camille, that’s why I’m here.CAMILLE: They’ve chosen?PEYTON: Maybe I should leave you two alone...CAMILLE: No! No! Please stay! I want to make sure that I’m not imagining this.ERIC: Yes, Peyton, please stay. I would really appreciate having a witness around, just in case.PEYTON: Did you say... witness?
ERIC: You know what I mean.PEYTON: Unfortunately, I think I do.CAMILLE: Well? Don’t leave me hanging, when do I see a script and a shooting schedule?What are we looking at as far as salary? Two? Three million?ERIC: Camille, you might not want to get so enthusiastic about this...CAMILLE: Why not? Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for this opportunity?ERIC: Yes, but you know how difficult this process can be...CAMILLE: Eric, what are you trying to tell me? Why would you be here if I wasn’t offered thepart?ERIC: Well, I know how... upset... you can get when you get bad news.CAMILLE: Upset? Upset? Do you know how it feels to hear “I’m sorry” and “you’re just notwhat we’re looking for right now” time after time?PEYTON: Camille, is there anything I can get you right now? A glass of water or something?CAMILLE: The only thing you can get... is out of my face! I don’t want you to get me anythingand I sure as hell don’t need your pity! Just leave me alone!ERIC: Camille, it’s just an audition. I’m sure there’ll be others.CAMILLE: Who got the part?ERIC: What?CAMILLE: The part of Jackie. Who did they choose?ERIC: Why make yourself crazy about it? Who cares who’s playing the part, if it’s not you?CAMILLE: I care! If I got beat out by a better known actress, that makes a big difference! If Igot beat out by a nobody, I’m going to explode!PEYTON: Like you’re not now?CAMILLE: You keep out of this! Why are you still here? Don’t you have someone’s drycleaning to pick up or something?
PEYTON: Why, you egotistical...ERIC: Ladies! Ladies! We’re all professionals here! Let’s remember where we are!CAMILLE: Cut the crap, you two-bit schmoozer! Did I even come close to getting the part?ERIC: Honestly, yes. It was down between you and one other actress.CAMILLE: (Calming down) Really? One other person? Who? Who was I compared against?What did they say?ERIC: Well, they said it was a very difficult decision. They thought your screen test wasexcellent; and the main reason that you weren’t considered was the fact that your competition hasa little more dramatic experience.CAMILLE: (Calming down) Oh my God! I can’t believe it! So who got it? Who did I give arun for her money?ERIC: Well... I really shouldn’t....CAMILLE: Come on! Was it Julia Roberts? Demi Moore? Nicole Kidman?ERIC: No, none of them. Actually, they were looking at someone a little younger...CAMILLE: Natalie Portman? Drew Barrymore?ERIC: Uh, no, not them either.CAMILLE: Well, who then?ERIC: It’s... really difficult... to just come right out and say...CAMILLE: WHO?ERIC: Really, you’re going to laugh when you hear it....CAMILLE: TELL ME!!ERIC: Dakota Fanning.PEYTON: What?CAMILLE: Who?
ERIC: Dakota Fanning. You know, the girl from “Hide and Seek” and “Charlotte’s Web?”CAMILLE: I KNOW WHO DAKOTA FANNING IS! YOU’RE TELLING ME I GOT BEAT OUTFOR A DRAMATIC LEADING ROLE BY A TWELVE-YEAR OLD CHILD?ERIC: I told you, it’s just experience... they really liked your work, but they feel Dakota’s gotmore drawing power....CAMILLE: You son-of-a-bitch!!PEYTON: Wrong thing to say...ERIC: Camille, sweetie, just take a deep breath...CAMILLE: I’m not going to take a deep breath! I’m not going to calm down! The only thingI’m going to do is to find another agent! You are the most useless excuse of an agent I’ve evermet! You promised to get me into the movies, but I keep getting stuck here on this ridiculousseries year after year! You’re too comfortable getting your percentage of my salary season afterseason! Well, no more! I’m getting on the phone right now and I’m finding someone who’sgoing to work for my best interests! You’re worthless, you’re pathetic, and you’re fired!Peyton! I want you to call security, get this piece of trash off my set, and get him banned fromthe studio! Now! (Camille storms offstage R, Eric and Peyton look at each other and then hearCamille shriek things being thrown and shattered)PEYTON: Well, overall, I’d say she took it better than I expected.ERIC: I’d have to agree. Last time, I had to go to the emergency room for stitches.PEYTON: Eric, if she’s that abusive towards you, then why in heaven have you put up with herfor so long?ERIC: You’ll never believe it if I tell you.PEYTON: Try me. With this group, and after everything I’ve heard so far today, I can believealmost anything.ERIC: I really shouldn’t...PEYTON: You have to now. If you’re going to tease me this much about it, I need to hear theanswer.ERIC: Oh, all right. (Sighing) I’m attracted to her.
PEYTON: You’re what? After everything she’s put you through?ERIC: I told you you’d never believe it.PEYTON: Help me find one of Hazel’s flasks. I think I need a drink.ERIC: Peyton, I know it’s crazy. Camille is the most temperamental woman I’ve ever known,but when you can get past her ego, there’s really a very sweet, warm, and loving woman there.I’ve seen her. Not very often, but trust me, she’s there. That’s the Camille Fairchild I’m in lovewith.PEYTON: Really? (Eric nods) So what are you going to do now?ERIC: Well, I guess I’ll go back to my office and close out her file.PEYTON: Are you serious? After as many tantrums as you’ve endured and what you’ve justtold me? You’ve got to be kidding!ERIC: The tantrums are nothing. I’ve worked with her long enough to know she’s blowing offsteam. But even through all that, she’s never fired me before. Quite frankly, it’s a relief.Regardless of how I feel about her, I’m tired of going through this every couple of months. Themoney I’ve gotten representing Camille Fairchild doesn’t even begin to cover the amount ofgrief I’ve endured. How have you done it all this time? You see her almost every day. How doyou handle the stress?PEYTON: Oh, it’s easy. I sleep with her co-star behind her back.ERIC: That’s funny! That’s really funny! Tell you what, Peyton, if you ever decide to giveacting a try, give me a call. I had no idea that you were so comedically talented. Well, I’m outtahere. I think I’m going to knock back a couple of drinks, and then have my first good night’ssleep in years.PEYTON: Lucky bastard.ERIC: Take care of yourself, Petey. Don’t let her drive you over the edge. She’s not worth it.PEYTON: See you around, Eric. Give my best to Dakota.ERIC: Don’t you dare let Camille know that! If she ever finds out I also represent DakotaFanning, she’ll put a contract out on my life.PEYTON: You should be so lucky. Knowing Camille, she’ll track you down and rip your throatout herself.
ERIC: This is true. Sad, but true. Later!PEYTON: Be careful! (Eric leaves. The others come in hurriedly)LANCE: What in the world’s going on? Camille’s locked herself in her dressing room,screaming at the top of her lungs, and destroying everything she can get her hands on!VALERIE: I think Mom’s gone psycho! Can we call the guys with the white coats?GEOFFREY: Miss Summers, I reluctantly have to agree with young Valerie. It appears thatCamille is experiencing, as Hazel so quaintly put it, “the mother of all hissy-fits”.PEYTON: All right, everyone relax. It’s nothing... much. Camille got turned down for anothermovie.HAZEL: Nothing much? Whenever Camille gets rejected, she gets in one of her... moods. Whatshe’s doing now is the tip of the iceberg. There’s no way in heaven she can do a liveperformance now.MAX: Hazel’s right. She’ll be biting everyone’s heads off before we get to the first commercialbreak. Plus, the way she’s screaming, she won’t have a voice left by the opening scene.PEYTON: What do you want me to do? I’m hardly the voice of authority when it comes totelling Camille what to do. The only person that can put her on a short leash is Zach.HAZEL: Not necessarily. I can think of one other person that might be able to quiet her.ALL: Who? (Hazel raises her glass/bottle/flask in a toast in Lance’s direction)LANCE: What? Me? Oh, hell, no! Let’s just call Zach and get him back here!MAX: Come on, Lance, you’re the only one who can do it! You’re her boyfriend, she’ll listen toyou.LANCE: I wouldn’t know what to do. She’s practically hysterical.VALERIE: Just make nice with her. Rub her shoulders, rub her feet, stick your tongue in her ear!(Everyone looks at Valerie) Hey, it works with me.PEYTON: (Reaching for her cell phone) I’m calling Zach. He’ll straighten her out.MAX: We don’t have time. Who knows where Zach is right now. We need to calm her downASAP.
PEYTON: Lance, you don’t have to do this....LANCE: (Sighing) Yes, I do. Without Camille, we’re in serious trouble. I’ve got to go in thereand make her listen to reason. (Starts to head off stage R)GEOFFREY: Admirable, my boy, admirable indeed! Your dedication to the craft is to becommended. You should be rewarded for your sacrifice.LANCE: (Turning back) Rewarded? What kind of reward? (Everyone looks at each other,hoping someone has an answer)HAZEL: I know! We’ll hoist one in your honor! Glasses up everyone! (Everyone, exceptPeyton, goes to various places around the set where Hazel has a bottle or flask tucked away andpulls one out to toast Lance. They raise their drinks in his direction)HAZEL: To Lance!GEOFFREY, VALERIE, and MAX: To Lance! (They all take a drink. Valerie raises her flaskand discovers its empty)LANCE: I’m the condemned man here, shouldn’t I get to drink?HAZEL: You’ll need all your wits about you to take her on. Besides, do you know how muchbooze I now need to replenish?LANCE: Whatever. (Takes a look at Peyton. She gives him a withering stare. He shrugs hisshoulders, as if saying, “What else can I do?” He turns and goes offstage R)MAX: There goes a brave, brave man. Stupid, but brave.VALERIE: Hey! This flask is dry! What’s up with that?HAZEL: I knew there was one around here somewhere that needed refilling. Be a darling andbring that lost lamb over to auntie Hazel, will you, child?VALERIE: Sure! Just as soon as you trade me for one with liquor in it! I’m a drink behindeveryone else!PEYTON: Valerie! Give Hazel the flask and leave it alone! You know you’re too young todrink.VALERIE: (To Peyton) Party-pooper. (A messenger enters from stage left. He’s holding a note)
MESSENGER: (Enters from Stage L) I’m looking for Zachary McMahon. I was told he’d behere.MAX: He’s out right now. Can one of us help you?MESSENGER: I’m supposed to deliver this to him. It’s kinda urgent.GEOFFREY: You can give it to Miss Summers. She’s Mr. McMahon’s trusted assistant. She’llsee that it gets to him.MESSENGER: Well, I’m supposed to give it directly to him... it’s considered confidential.HAZEL: Honey, the one thing there isn’t any of in this studio, is secrets.VALERIE: Don’t you believe it....MESSENGER: Hey, aren’t you Valerie Headings?VALERIE: Yeah. Why?MESSENGER: I saw that bikini spread you did for the Globe. You’re hot!VALERIE: Really? You think so?MESSENGER: Yeah, hotter than Jessica Alba even. Listen, can I get your autograph?VALERIE: Honey, I think we can do much better than an autograph. Follow me... (Valerie leadsthe messenger back offstage L)GEOFFREY: Well, the thought of those two together certainly paints a disturbing picture.PEYTON: You’re not kidding. Since when did she become such a little tramp?MAX: Not that I’m defending her, but she is a teenager. Part of her behavior can be blamed onhormones. The rest of it, well, this is Hollywood...HAZEL: Truer words were never spoken. When I think of the things I did when I was her age...GEOFFREY: Please! Spare us the sordid tales of your debaucherous youth!PEYTON: Oh, Geoffrey, ease up a little. Didn’t you ever do anything scandalous when youwere Valerie’s age?
GEOFFREY: Certainly not! I was dedicated to perfecting my craft. My heart belonged to thestage, and my soul to the Bard.HAZEL: But what about your....MAX and PEYTON: Hazel!HAZEL: I was just curious.GEOFFREY: If it will satisfy your lecherous quest for carnal lust... there may have been an...escapade or two during my residency in London.HAZEL: Details! Give us details!GEOFFREY: (Reminiscing fondly) Her name was Fiona... a flaxen-haired beauty with the mostbrilliant sapphire eyes. She was the understudy for Ophelia when we performed “Hamlet” at theRoyal Theatre. The first time our eyes met, we knew there was an instant attraction. I was inthe midst of an internship, and my studies allowed me to spend much of my time backstage. Iwas to study acting techniques, but I found all of my attention focused on the fair Fiona. Ourrelationship grew stronger until finally, one afternoon, we found ourselves in the costume storageroom together. No words needed said between us for we were of one mind. We embraced andlet our restrained passions erupt to the surface. Within minutes, we were completely unclothed,reveling in the joy of physical bliss. I could restrain myself no longer, and vocalized myjubilation with a mighty... “LAY ON, MACDUFF! AND DAMNED BE HE THAT CRIESENOUGH!”HAZEL: You have got to be kidding!MAX: You didn’t!PEYTON: Shakespeare? Even then?VALERIE: (Entering from L) Did I miss something?GEOFFREY: (Regaining his composure) Nothing, child! Nothing!HAZEL: I need a drink.MAX: Uh, Geoffrey was just telling us about a performance of MacBeth he did when he was in...HAZEL: Fiona!
PEYTON: London! (Shoots Hazel an evil look. Hazel smiles and laughs. Peyton desperatelychanges the subject) I don’t suppose you got the message from that kid.VALERIE: (Pulling the message out from her top) O, ye of little faith... (Hands the message toPeyton)HAZEL: And what act of depravity did you have to do to pull that off?VALERIE: Nothing that disgusting, really. We played a little kissy-face, and then I signed anautograph on his butt.MAX: You what?VALERIE: He didn’t have any paper. He’s gonna have his buddy take a digital photo of it beforeit wears off.PEYTON: Couldn’t you have signed his shirt or something?VALERIE: He suggested signing his undies, but trust me, I was better off signing his butt.MAX: Okay, too much information! What about the message?PEYTON: We’ll have to wait until Zach reads it, and hopefully, he’ll tell us.VALERIE: It’s an offer from Universal to have him direct a remake of The Wolfman.ALL. What? How do you know? You read the message? Direct what?VALERIE: Hey! I had to sign his ass! That alone should justify my getting to read it!(Everyone looks at each other in silence)PEYTON: (Looking at her watch) All right people, let’s put that little bombshell on the backburner. It’s almost time to start. Do your final checks, and stay backstage until your intros forthe audience. (Valerie, Geoffrey, and Hazel all look at Peyton) I’m serious! Let’s go! We’vestill got a show to do! Get going! Geoffrey, will you please let Lance and Camille know we’realmost ready to start?GEOFFREY: As you wish, Miss Summers. (All exit R, Peyton and Max look at each other,Peyton is holding the envelope with the message)MAX: Well, this puts a definite change in things, doesn’t it?
PEYTON: Change doesn’t even begin to describe it. Once Zach reads this, he’ll jump at it like arabid pit bull. What’ll happen then?MAX: I have no idea. We’ve never had a back-up director for the show. Nobody else wants totouch a live performance.PEYTON: It’s a no-win situation. Zach’s going to take this offer, whether the studio likes it ornot. If they object, he’ll still walk, and without a director, this series is finished. There’s no waywe can make the transfer from live to prerecorded, and still have all our episodes done by the endof the season.MAX: Not necessarily. There is one option that you haven’t mentioned. There’s one person thatcould possibly step into Zach’s shoes.PEYTON: Who? Nobody else knows what all goes into getting this show done each week,besides me.MAX: My point exactly.PEYTON: WHAT? Me? Direct? There’s no way! I’m not a director. I’m not even registeredwith the Guild.MAX: There’s nothing to that. If the studio wants to keep the show going, they’ll pay your coststo get you signed up and get you a card within a week. I’ve seen it happen before.PEYTON: The key words in that sentence are “If the studio wants to keep the show going.”MAX: They will. The ratings may have slipped some, but we’re still consistently in the toptwenty. Remember, you said they’re scrambling for midseason replacement material. They can’tafford to have to fill in another time slot.PEYTON: Let’s imagine for a moment that all you said happens. There’s one other little snag:Camille. She’ll never take orders from me.MAX: She will if you stand up to her like you did earlier. She’s all bark and no bite. Stand yourground, and she’ll cave every time, I practically guarantee it.ZACHARY: (Entering) Guarantee what? What have I missed now?PEYTON: (Quickly hiding the message) Max was just promising me that tonight’s show wouldgo off like clockwork! Even through today’s been like a roller-coaster ride, he says the cast willperform like a well-oiled machine.
ZACHARY: Lord, I hope so. All I need is one more thing to go haywire. I’m telling you,Peyton, I’ve never been so tempted to walk away and not look back. It’s been such a strain latelyto make this show work that I’m almost ready to throw it all away and move back home toWisconsin.MAX: You might want to think twice about that, Zach. I’ll bet that opportunity’s going to knockon your door sooner than you expect. (Peyton gives a look to Zach that says ‘What are yousaying?’)ZACHARY: What have you got, Max, a crystal ball or something?MAX: Uh... no. More like a direct blackberry connection to Miss Cleo.ZACHARY: Hmpph. (A sound like a stifled laugh) That’s almost funny, Max. If I were in abetter mood, I might have laughed.MAX: You can’t blame a guy for trying.PEYTON: (Looking at her watch) Boys, it’s almost warm-up time. We’d better get out of here.ZACHARY: You’re right. I’m going up to the booth. Let’s give them a show, shall we? (ExitsL)PEYTON: You got it, boss! (Watches Zach leave then turns to Max) What in the hell are youdoing? You were going to tell him about the offer!MAX: Why shouldn’t I? Doesn’t he deserve some good news after what he’s been throughtoday?PEYTON: Because we need him here right now! I’ll give him the message after the show’s overand give him the chance to celebrate properly.MAX: I guess you’re right. We need him focused right now. When he hears about this, he won’teven remember that Pryde and Joy exists. Besides, what else can happen in a half-hour? (JoeyBlake enters R, holding a microphone.)JOEY: Well, hello there, people! Are we ready to get started?PEYTON: (Turning to Joey) Hello, Joey. It’s warm-up time already?JOEY: Sure thing! The audience is seated and looking a little restless, so it’s time for me to earnmy paycheck.
MAX: Okay, Joey, we’ll get out of here and let you do your thing. Knock ‘em dead!JOEY: If I do that, you’ll have to change the name of the show from Pryde and Joy to Pryde andJoey, and we all know how well the last show starring a “Joey” went, don’t we?MAX: Keep that up and you’ll wind up taking my job! (Max and Peyton exit R, the curtaincloses and the house lights come up, exposing the audience and making them part of the “show.”Joey proceeds into his warm-up routine, which includes introducing the “cast” of Pryde and Joyto the audience)JOEY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Studio 14, home to the hitcomedy, Pryde and Joy! As you know, you’re here to watch a live performance, so even thoughit’s five in the afternoon here in Hollywood, we’ll be broadcasting live to the Eastern, Central,and Mountain time zones. After this performance, we’ll reset everything, and do a second liveperformance for those in the Pacific zone. We “pride” ourselves, pardon the pun, on doingnothing but live shows, and we want to be sure that everyone gets to see our cast at their best!Let me introduce myself, my name’s Joey Blake, and I’m what’s known as a warm-up guy. It’smy job to get you ready for what you’re about to experience, so first of all, let’s go through allthe boring technical stuff. We need you to make absolutely sure that your cell phones, pagers,blackberries, and PDA’s are turned off. This is to keep from disrupting the actors and the scene.You also need to relinquish any recording devices of any sort. Video cameras, photography,camera phones, and audio recorders are strictly prohibited. If you are caught recording, we willconfiscate your equipment and remove you from the studio. We do encourage your laughter andapplause, but we ask that you refrain from talking or any other bodily noises during the scenes.The microphones here are extremely sensitive, and can pick up all sorts of background noise, so Ihope nobody has had soda or beans before coming here! (At this point, Joey should ask questions to interact with the audience. “Where are you from”“Who’s traveled the farthest” “Is anyone here for the first time” etc... to kill a few minutes. Theidea is to get the audience settled in and primed for the show, and still try to have somehumorous moments.)Now that we’ve all gotten to know each other, it’s time to introduce you to our cast! First of all,playing the lovable next-door neighbor, Ruth Pilansky, is one of Hollywood’s legends of moviesand TV: Hazel Cadwallader! (Hazel comes out from behind the curtain and takes a bow. Shecomes across as dead sober, and plays up to the applause) Next, as Ruth’s gruff, but lovablehusband, Mitchell Pilansky, another legend of stage and screen: Geoffrey Dinsmore! (Geoffreycomes out from behind the curtain in typical Geoffrey fashion. He gives an elaborate bow to theaudience with plenty of hand flourishes) And now, the adorable daughter of Alan and Joy. AsKatie Pryde: Valerie Headings! (Valerie comes out from behind the curtain, in her mostinnocent way, bows and waves to the audience) Here’s the loving father and dashing husband ofour show. As Alan Pryde, Lance Burroughs! (Lance comes out from behind the curtain,energetic, yet humble, as he takes his bow) Finally, one of America’s sweethearts and one of TV
Guide’s “Top Ten Sitcom-Moms,” as Joy Pryde, please give it up for Camille Fairchild!(Camille comes out from behind the curtain to take her bows. She comes out in her “Joy”persona, to come across as sweet and lovable as possible. Joey hands the microphone to Lance.)LANCE: Thank you all for coming out today to watch our show! We appreciate your support,and we hope you have as much fun watching us, as we do performing for you! Sit back andenjoy yourselves, and we’ll get started in just a minute! (Lance hands the microphone back toJoey and then the cast gets in line, holds hands, takes a group bow, then exits behind the curtain)JOEY: Okay folks, we’re going to a blackout, and when you hear the theme music play, we’ll beon the air! Thanks again for coming! (Joey exits the stage. Lights go back down and we hearZach’s voice from the booth)ZACHARY: Places, everyone! We’ll be live in five, four, three, two, one, cue music! (Thememusic plays. Something cute and whimsical, probably about thirty seconds in length. As musicends, the curtain opens and the “episode” begins. The lighting should be changed to spotlight theliving room area of the set.)“PRYDE AND JOY” - Episode 172: “Katie Bakes a Cake”(The curtain opens on the interior of the Pryde household. From the audience’s view, we see thekitchen on the left and the living room on the right. Currently, the only one on stage is Camille.She is dressed along the lines of Donna Reed. She is talking on an old style rotary phone anddusting at the same time)CAMILLE: That’s right, she was seen at Da Vinci’s, on the patio, having lunch with her golfinstructor, and they were laughing! Can you believe it? (Pause) Well, personally, I think it’salmost scandalous. She’s the vice-president of the PTA. She can’t afford to have her imagetarnished that way. (Pause) Well, no, I didn’t see it myself. I got it from a very reliable source.(Pause) Well, it was Phoebe who told me while we were in line at the IGA. She said thatDharma told her during bridge. (Pause) Grace told her, who else? You know how close thosetwo are. I agree, Grace has a tendency to get her facts confused at times, but Phoebe said thatDharma told her that Grace got it from Elaine, and you know how accurate she is. (Pause) Well,regardless if it’s true or not, it’s enough to give me chills. Because of Gabrielle’s behavior, Iwon’t even let Katie go anywhere near Wisteria Lane now. It’s just too dangerous. Speaking ofKatie, I see her coming up the walk now. I’d better go. (Pause) It was nice talking to you too,Fran. (Hangs up the phone. Valerie enters through the front door. She is in a hurry and rushesstraight to her room)VALERIE: (Quickly) Hello, Mother! I’ve got a lot of homework, so I’ll be up in my room allnight! See ya!
CAMILLE: (Surprised) Katherine Marie Pryde! You march yourself right back in here at once,young lady! (Valerie comes back in, timidly. She is wearing something similar to a schooluniform) Is that how you greet your mother?VALERIE: I’m sorry, Mother. (Kisses Camille on the cheek) I was just in a hurry.CAMILLE: I can see that, but that’s no excuse for being rude.VALERIE: You’re right, I won’t do it again.CAMILLE: That’s better. Now, how was school today?VALERIE: (Quickly again) Just peachy. I’ve got a ton of homework so I’m gonna get started.See ya! (Tries to leave again)CAMILLE: Hold it! (Valerie freezes in her tracks and winces) What is going on here? If there’sone thing I know, it’s the fact that you’ve never been anxious to do homework. What are youtrying to hide?VALERIE: I’m not trying to hide anything, Mother.CAMILLE: Don’t you try to lie to me, Katie. You know you get the hiccups whenever you try totell a lie.VALERIE: Don’t be silly, Mother. I don’t do anything like... hiccup... that.CAMILLE: You were saying?VALERIE: Rats!CAMILLE: Watch your mouth! A lady does not use that sort of harsh language.VALERIE: Yes, Mother.CAMILLE: Now, it’s too early for report cards. I didn’t get a call from your school. So, it canonly be one thing, homework. Am I right?VALERIE: Yes.CAMILLE: I thought as much. All right, go up and change clothes. We’ll get your father to helpyou when he gets home.VALERIE: It’s not exactly something that Daddy can help me with.
CAMILLE: What? Don’t be silly. Your father is the smartest man I’ve ever known. There’snever been a problem he couldn’t solve.VALERIE: But can he cook?CAMILLE: I beg your pardon?VALERIE: I have to give a presentation tomorrow in my Home Ec. class on how to bake a cake.I know I should have practiced by now, but I never got around to it. Without someone to showme how it’s done, I’ll never make it through and Mrs. MacGregor will give me an “F”.CAMILLE: Oh, honey, we don’t need your father for this. I can show you how to bake a cake!We‘ll get started right after dinner. We’re going to have so much fun!HAZEL: (Entering through the front door) Get started with what?CAMILLE: Hello, Ruth! Katie and I are going to back a cake tonight after dinner for her HomeEc. class tomorrow. It’s going to be a real mother/daughter experience that she’ll never forget!VALERIE: (To herself) You can say that again.HAZEL: Oh, that sounds positively lovely. I wish I could’ve done something like that with mychildren.CAMILLE: Ruth, you had three boys. None of them were interested in cooking.HAZEL: They were when dinnertime came around. They all wanted to know what I was makingand by the time I could tell them, they’d already devoured it. It’s a miracle that Mitchell and Inever starved to death back then.CAMILLE: I’ll bet! Anyway, I think that Katie and I will make a scrumptious orange cake.That’s easy enough to demonstrate for a class.HAZEL: Orange? Oh, Joy. I’ve got a chocolate cake that simply melts in your mouth. Everytime I make it, I have to hide it from Mitchell, so he doesn’t eat it all in one evening.CAMILLE: I’m sure it’s delicious, but I don’t know if it’s wise to feed a bunch of teen-agerschocolate during school. Besides, chocolate should be saved for special occasions.HAZEL: This is a special occasion. It’s Katie’s first cake.VALERIE: Actually, I’ve got a recipe here in my textbook...
CAMILLE and HAZEL together: RECIPE? (Both laugh)VALERIE: I’m sorry, did I say something funny?CAMILLE: Oh honey, we never use recipes when cooking! Real cooks keep all their recipes uphere! (Taps her head)HAZEL: Your mother’s right, sweetie. The best cooks are the ones who can tweak their food asthey cook them.VALERIE: I can see this is not going to go well.CAMILLE: What was that, honey?VALERIE: I said, I can’t wait! This is going to be swell! (Rolls her eyes to the audience.)Hiccup!HAZEL: Was that a hiccup, Katie?LANCE: (Entering through the front door) I’m home! Where’s my two favorite girls?VALERIE: Daddy! I’m so happy to see you!LANCE: And how’s my precious angel today? (Kisses Valerie on the forehead)VALERIE: I’m fine, Daddy, now that you’re here!LANCE: Uh oh, I know that tone. You want something. Well, we’ll talk about it in a little bit.Let me give the most beautiful woman in the world a hello kiss first.HAZEL: You know, normally, I only let my husband kiss me. But in your case, I’ll make anexception! (Holds out her arms toward Lance)LANCE: It’s nice to see you, Ruth. You’ll forgive me, though, I wouldn’t want to make Mitchjealous or anything. (Goes to Camille)HAZEL: Please. Make him jealous. It’ll be nice to see him be something besides hungry andtired.CAMILLE: How was your day, darling?LANCE: (After lovingly kissing Joy hello) Much better now. The best part of going to work iscoming home to my beautiful wife and daughter.
CAMILLE: Oh, Alan, you always say the sweetest things.HAZEL: Isn’t that the truth. Alan, can you please give some lessons to Mitchell on how to talkto his wife?CAMILLE: You mean Mitch doesn’t give you any compliments?HAZEL: Heavens, no! He always says the same things every day.LANCE: What type of things, Ruth? (Hazel opens her mouth to speak, but we hear Geoffrey’svoice as he comes into the living room from the front door)GEOFFREY: (Hazel mouths the words as Geoffrey speaks them) Wife, I’m hungry! Where’s mydinner?VALERIE: (Valerie and Camille’s backs are to the front door so she doesn’t see Geoffreyenter) Wow, Mrs. Pilansky! That is so neat! You sound just like your husband!GEOFFREY: What’s going on in here? (Valerie and Camille turn around to see Geoffrey)VALERIE and CAMILLE together: EEK! (Lance laughs)HAZEL: I’m sorry, Mitchell. I didn’t realize how late it was. I’ll go get dinner started.GEOFFREY: Started? Ruth, you know it’s Wednesday! I go bowling every Wednesday night. Idon’t have time now to wait for you to fix a meal.HAZEL: I can make you a nice sandwich and a salad. You’ll have plenty of time to eat that.GEOFFREY: A sandwich? Salad? Do I look like a rabbit to you? I’m a man, I need meat!HAZEL: I’ll see if I can hunt and kill something between here and our house next door. If not,you’ll just have to make do. Joy, I’ll be back after dinner to help you and Katie with that cake.(Exits out front door)GEOFFREY: (Exasperated) Fine. (Calling after her) I’ll be there shortly. I need to talk to Alanfor a minute.LANCE: What’s up, Mitch? Is everything okay?GEOFFREY: Honestly, Alan, we’re in a bit of a bind. Sparky McDowell called and can’t makeit to bowling tonight. I was wondering if you could fill in for him?
LANCE: Gosh, Mitch, this is sort of a last-minute thing. I haven’t spent any time with Joy andKatie yet tonight.CAMILLE: Oh, it’s all right, Alan. Katie and I were going to work on some homework afterdinner.LANCE: Homework? You?VALERIE: Mother’s going to teach me how to bake a cake for my Home Ec. class tomorrow.LANCE: Well, since this is going to be a kitchen exercise, I guess I’m available after all.GEOFFREY: Great! I’ll be back in an hour to pick you up! (Exits out front door)LANCE: Joy, are you sure about this?CAMILLE: Of course, darling. You go out with Mitch and have a good time.LANCE: No, I mean teaching Katie to bake.CAMILLE: Alan, Katie always comes to you with her homework problems. You help her withher math, english, science, and history. For once, I can be the one to teach her something usefuland I want to make the most of this opportunity.LANCE: I see. I guess I can’t argue with an argument like that. It’s settled, then. After dinner,I’ll leave you two girls alone to have some quality time. How does that sound to you, pumpkin?VALERIE: I’m sure Mother and I are going to have the most wonderful time together tonight,Daddy.CAMILLE: I’m so excited! This is going to be so much fun!VALERIE: Hiccup! (Lance and Camille both give a puzzled look at Valerie)SCENE ENDSPEYTON: Okay, people! We’ve gone to commercial! Three minutes, everyone, three minutes!Let’s set up for the next scene! (The cast scrambles to prepare for the next scene. Valerie andLance leave the kitchen, leaving Camille alone. As she preps for the scene, a strange womanapproaches her, holding a manila envelope)D.J. APPLEGATE: Miss Fairchild?
CAMILLE: Who are you? This is a closed set!D.J.: My name’s D.J. Applegate, I’m with Spotlight Investigations.CAMILLE: Oh! Unfortunately, Miss... Applegate? This is not a convenient moment for me.We’re in the middle of a live television broadcast.D.J.: I understand that, Miss Fairchild, but your instructions were to deliver you the results of ourinvestigation just as soon as they’re complete. No excuses.CAMILLE: I did say that, didn’t I. Okay, let me have it. What did you find out about LanceBurroughs?D.J.: Our report is in this envelope. I was hoping to have a chance to sit down with you and goover everything...CAMILLE: Sweetie, I don’t have the time for that right now. Give me the envelope. I’ll look itover the first chance I get and if I have any questions, I’ll be in touch.D.J.: I really think we should go over this together...CAMILLE: Honey, in about ninety seconds, we’ve going on live to most of the country. If theAmerican public sees you on their TV screens, all hell’s going to break loose. Go find myassistant, Gwen, and she’ll make sure that you get paid. Thanks for all your hard work, but rightnow, I need you to scram!D.J.: Okay, lady. Whatever you say. Good luck!CAMILLE: (Panics) Don’t you know you never wish somebody in show business good luck?D.J.: I’m not talking about the show, sister. That’s the last thing you’re gonna need luck withpretty soon. (D.J. exits. Camille starts to open the envelope)PEYTON: Thirty seconds, people! Thirty seconds! Places! (Camille rushes into the living roompart of the set and stuffs the envelope behind a pillow on the sofa. She comes back in and joinsHazel and Valerie for their next scene)ZACHARY: (Voice only) And we’re back in five... four... three... two... one... action!“PRYDE AND JOY”SCENE TWO
(Camille, Valerie, and Hazel are in the kitchen, ready to begin baking. There are cakeingredients, bowls, cups, spoons, etc... on the kitchen counter/table. Among the paraphernaliaare two dozen eggs in cartons. The three women are all wearing aprons. Valerie has a notepadand pencil. The lighting should be changed to spotlight the kitchen)CAMILLE: All right, sweetie. Let’s go ahead and get started. The first thing we’ll need to do iscombine our flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.VALERIE: (Furiously scribbling) Flour, baking powder, and salt. Got it. How much of each?HAZEL: How much flour was that, Joy? Two cups?CAMILLE: I’d say closer to three.HAZEL: Three? I never use that much flour. I think it makes the cake heavy.CAMILLE: Alan likes heavy cakes. He doesn’t eat so much in one sitting.VALERIE: So what’s next?CAMILLE: Once you have this mixed, go ahead and add three eggs. (Starts breaking eggs andadding them to the bowl)HAZEL: Three eggs? Joy, dear, aren’t you worried about calories?CAMILLE: I’m more worried about making a cake that looks good and tastes even better. If wewere meant to worry about calories, God wouldn’t have created desserts.HAZEL: So true, so true.VALERIE: Three eggs, check. What next?CAMILLE: Now we’ll go ahead and add the sugar... (Doorbell rings) Now I wonder who thatcould be?VALERIE: Do you want me to go answer it?CAMILLE: No dear, I don’t want you answering the door at this time at night. You never knowwho’s out and about these days. I’ll get it. (Camille exits kitchen)HAZEL: Katie, dear, hand me that big bowl over there, would you please?VALERIE: Sure, Mrs. Pilansky, but why?
HAZEL: I’m going to show you how to make a chocolate cake. Just listen to what I tell you andtake notes.VALERIE: But I thought we were making an orange cake...HAZEL: Katie, dear, you know I think the world of your mother. She’s my best friend in thewhole world, but I’ve tasted her orange cake. It’s all right, but if you want to earn an “A” in yourHome Ec. class, follow this recipe. First, two and a smidgeon cups of flour... (Hazel startsmixing ingredients in a different bowl)VALERIE: How much is a smidgeon?HAZEL: Ummm... more than a pinch but less than a dab.VALERIE: Right. That makes it clear as mud.HAZEL: (Oblivious to Katie’s remark) Two teaspoons of baking soda, some salt...VALERIE: How much salt?HAZEL: I’d say more than a pinch but less than a smidgeon.VALERIE: Between a pinch and a smidgeon... that makes a pigeon! EWWWWW! I am notbaking a pigeon cake for school!HAZEL: Who said anything about pigeons? We were talking about adding salt.VALERIE: Why do you add salt to a cake in the first place? I thought cakes were supposed to besweet?HAZEL: Well... um... it’s not exactly a question that I can answer, Katie. The best that I can tellyou is that you add salt to a cake because you’re taught to. It’s like adding sugar to chili.Nobody tells you why you do it, you just do. My mother taught me to add salt to a cake mix, andI’m sure her mother taught her.VALERIE: I may never eat cake again. I’m almost afraid to see what you use to make a pie.HAZEL: That, Katie, depends on the pie. If it’s apple, you add nutmeg. If it’s a cherry pie, youadd...VALERIE: I think I get the idea.
HAZEL: Can you hand me the sifter, dear? This is lumpier than it should be.VALERIE: I knew we should’ve used the recipe.(While this interaction between Hazel and Valerie is going on in the kitchen, Camille has goneback out to the living room and recovered the envelope. She has enough time to open it, removethe contents, and begin looking at them. However, she does not have enough time to learn theresults of the investigation before her cue line, so she stuffs the papers back behind the pillow.)CAMILLE: (Entering the kitchen) Did I hear something about pigeons?HAZEL: (Hiding her bowl) We were just talking about how many pigeons have been in theneighborhood lately. I think we may have to get more cats. Who was that at the door?CAMILLE: A church group selling peanut butter cookies to raise funds for a mission trip toChile. Isn’t that sweet?VALERIE: (Still scribbling on her notepad) Baking soda... salt... nutmeg... peanut butter...chili...HAZEL: Where is Chile? Isn’t that just outside of Poughkeepsie?CAMILLE: No, silly. Chile isn’t even in New Jersey. I think it’s in Australia somewhere.HAZEL: Australia? That’s a long way to go for a mission trip! They’ll have to sell an awful lotof peanut butter cookies.CAMILLE: Well, they were also selling coconut cookies and lemon cookies but they had run outof those. I forgot, have we added the sugar yet to the recipe?VALERIE: (Still writing) sugar... coconut... lemon... lemon? I thought we were making anorange cake?CAMILLE: We are, honey. Haven’t you been taking notes?VALERIE: Yes, mother, but I think I got confused somewhere. When did we add the chili to themixture?CAMILLE: Chili? What are you talking about, Katie? (Doorbell rings again) Good heavens!Again? You’d think we were having a party or something.HAZEL: You want me to get it this time, Joy?
CAMILLE: No, I’ll get it. See if you can help get Katie’s notes straightened out. (Camille exits)HAZEL: Sure thing! (She gets her bowl from where she’s hidden it.) Okay, Katie, write thisdown. You need three squares of chocolate, half a cup of buttermilk...VALERIE: Here we go again. Chocolate... buttermilk...HAZEL: Oh, I added too much milk... nuts!VALERIE: Milk... nuts... why are we adding nuts if we already have peanut butter?HAZEL: Peanut butter? When did we add peanut butter? I don’t even know a recipe for apeanut butter cake.VALERIE: Peanut butter cake? I thought you were trying to make a chocolate cake. I’m soconfused. I need a glass of water. (Valerie goes to the ingredients, picks up a glass of water, anddrinks it)HAZEL: Katie, what are you doing? I needed that water for my recipe.VALERIE: I’m sorry, Mrs. Pilansky. I didn’t know. Nobody told me to add water to the list yetso I thought it was for drinking.HAZEL: It’s all right, dear, can you get me some more from the refrigerator please? (Katie goesto the fridge and looks in)VALERIE: Uh, Mrs. P.? I think we’re out of water. Mom must not have filled the pitcher againafter dinner. Can we substitute something else in its place?HAZEL: Well, it depends. What have you got?VALERIE: I see apple juice, milk, iced tea, lemonade, and a bottle of Yoo-Hoo.HAZEL: Yoo-Hoo? That’s perfect! We’ll use that. It’s a chocolate cake, no one will know thedifference. It’ll blend right in. (Valerie brings her the bottle)VALERIE: Is this what you call tweaking a recipe?HAZEL: This is tweaking at its finest, sweetheart. Now, be a good girl and hand me two eggsplease.(Camille has pulled out the papers from behind the pillow again. She has found pictures in withthe papers and recognizes the people in the picture. One person is definitely Lance, she finally
recognizes the woman in the picture as Peyton. Camille is shocked, hurt, and outraged, but triesto retain her composure as much as possible to finish the scene. She throws the papers andpicture on the sofa and goes back to the kitchen. At this point, there should be enough lightingon the living room portion of the set so we can see Camille going through the papers yet thebrightest area should still be the kitchen.)CAMILLE: Have we figured out the problem with the recipe?VALERIE: We think so. It’s nothing that a bottle of Yoo-Hoo couldn’t fix.CAMILLE: That’s nice. Yoo-Hoo?HAZEL: So who was it this time?CAMILLE: Excuse me? (Not paying attention to the dialogue or her cues)HAZEL: At the door. Who was at the door?CAMILLE: Oh, it was the paperboy. I didn’t realize that he hadn’t been paid yet for the week.Alan usually takes care of the bills and such. It’s not like him to forget something so important.HAZEL: Paying the paperboy is important?CAMILLE: (Distracted) I’m sorry... what?HAZEL: I asked if paying the paperboy was important.CAMILLE: Oh! Of course. It’s relevant to keep a good standing in the neighborhood. If youforget something like paying the paperboy, word gets around and the neighbors will talk.HAZEL: I’d love to hear what they say if you forget to pay the electric bill. Imagine the scandalsomething like that would cause! (Laughs)CAMILLE: Something like what? (Losing more of her concentration)VALERIE: (Helping Hazel cover for Camille) Not paying the electric bill. Are you all right,mother?CAMILLE: I’m quite all right, Katie. Why wouldn’t I be?HAZEL: You just seem a bit... distracted, that’s all. Why don’t you help us with this cakerecipe?
CAMILLE: (Reverting more and more back to her normal personality) I’m sorry... I guess I’mpreoccupied with something else.HAZEL: That’s obvious, but we’re supposed to be helping Katie, remember? She has her cakebaking presentation for school tomorrow?CAMILLE: Yes, I know. It’s something that she should have been working on days ago but justlike her darling father, she’s spent all her time screwing around.VALERIE: Huh? What did you say?CAMILLE: I said screwing around. He’s been screwing around behind my back! I thoughtsomething was up with him but I didn’t expect it to be with her!HAZEL: (Trying to recover) Joy, what are you talking about? Do we need to go to commercial?CAMILLE: Just wait until I get my hands on that miserable shrew! I’ll rip out her hair and clawout her eyes!VALERIE: Camille, we’re still live, remember? We’re doing a show! Snap out of it! (By thispoint, Lance and Geoffrey realize something’s wrong and come onto the set to try to get theshow back where it belongs. Lance doesn’t realize that Camille knows the truth about his andPeyton’s relationship)LANCE: (Entering the kitchen) So, how is that homework project coming? Can I have a taste?CAMILLE: Taste this, you son-of-a-bitch! (Camille grabs one of the cartons of eggs and startsthrowing them at Lance. Camille should be a semi-lousy pitcher and not hit Lance too manytimes, but come close enough to make him recoil back.)LANCE: HOLY CRAP! Camille, what’s gotten into you? What are you doing?GEOFFREY: (Following Lance into the kitchen, but still in Mitchell’s character and voice)What’s all the hubbub about? (Camille throws an egg and almost hits Geoffrey. Geoffrey revertsback to his normal manner of speaking) Sweet Stratford Upon Avon! She’s gone berserk!CAMILLE: You two-timing rat! You cheating louse! The two of you have made a fool out ofme! I’ll kill you for this! (Camille has gone into a tirade and all hell is breaking loose. Hazeland Valerie are trying to hold Camille back, but she keeps breaking loose and pitching eggs atLance)
PEYTON: (Rushing onto the set) Kill the feed! Kill the cameras! Go to commercial! Dosomething! Somebody hold her down! (Into her headset) Zach, we need help here! Now! Max,where are you? Stop her!CAMILLE: (Hearing Peyton’s voice) YOU! You conniving slut! Tramp! Skank! To hell withhim, I’ll get you first! (Lunges after Peyton. Hazel, Geoffrey, and/or Max should be closeenough at this point to catch Camille and hold her back. Camille fights like a hellcat, but as hardas she struggles, she cannot break free) I’ll kill you! Do you hear me? I’ll rip your heart out!All the men in Hollywood, and you had to steal mine! You’re dead! Do you hear me?ZACHARY: (Entering from L, furious) What’s going on here? Camille, what’s wrong withyou?VALERIE: She’s gone psycho hose-beast, that’s what’s wrong!ZACHARY: Lance, are you okay?LANCE: I think so. All she did was pelt me with eggs.CAMILLE: Let me get my hands on you, you rat, and I’ll do a lot worse than that!MAX: Camille! Camille! What is going on?CAMILLE: Ask my “boyfriend!” Better yet, ask our precious assistant to the director! I’m surePeyton will love to explain how she’s been sleeping with my man behind all our backs! (Lance,Hazel, Peyton, Zach, and Geoffrey are shocked to hear this. Max and Valerie aren’t quite assurprised since they already knew about Peyton and Lance.)HAZEL: I beg your pardon?PEYTON: What? (She and Lance quickly look at each other)LANCE: Oh, no...GEOFFREY: You don’t mean...ZACHARY: Peyton, what is she talking about?CAMILLE: Check the sofa! It’s all there! The pictures! The reports! I’ve got you dead torights, you tramp!PEYTON: Quit calling me a tramp, you crazy prima donna! (Peyton goes to the living room partof the set and finds the documents)
ZACHARY: (Calling up to the booth on his headset) What’s going on? Are we still on the air?(Pause) Technical difficulties? We should be so lucky.VALERIE: That’s for sure! This is the mother of technical difficulties!HAZEL: (Pulling a hidden flask from the kitchen) I’ll drink to that, child! (Peyton enters thekitchen, papers in hand)MAX: Well, Peyton? What do they say?CAMILLE: Go on! Go on and tell them! Let’s hear it from the whore’s mouth!GEOFFREY: You mean horse’s mouth!CAMILLE: No, I didn’t!PEYTON: (Accepting the truth) There’s no sense in denying it. She’s got all the proof here inblack and white.LANCE: What? Pictures? Camille, did you have me followed?CAMILLE: How many migraines did you think you were going to pass off before I startedgetting suspicious? I’m not an idiot, Lance!ZACHARY: Oh, this is just perfect! I don’t even believe this is happening. The perfect endingto an absolutely wretched day! I can kiss my career goodbye!VALERIE: Nuh-uh! You’ve got that offer from Universal! You can go there and make yourhorror movies like you’ve always talked about!ZACHARY: What offer? What horror movies? What gibberish are you spouting off now,Valerie? If this is another of your jokes...VALERIE: It’s not! I swear it’s not! The message came earlier today! Didn’t Peyton give it toyou? (Zach looks at Peyton)ZACHARY: Peyton, do you have something for me that apparently everyone has seen exceptme?CAMILLE: HAH! It’s not just me! She’s trying to undermine the whole show! Fire her, Zach!Throw her scrawny ass out of the studio!
PEYTON: (Glaring at Camille) If you don’t shut your mouth... (Camille gives her an equallywithering glare. Peyton turns to Zach) Zach, I was going to give it to you after the show. Ithought it would be a great way to cheer you up after such a difficult day...ZACHARY: May I have my message... please? (Very cold sounding. Peyton pulls the envelopefrom her clipboard and hands it to him. He opens it and reads it, remaining silent. Everyone elseis on pins and needles, including Camille) Well, this is interesting. Since everyone apparentlyalready knows about it, I’m sure you can probably guess what my answer’s going to be. Butuntil then, since I’m still the director of this soon-to-be canceled series, the first thing I need tosay is... Peyton, you’re fired.PEYTON: WHAT? WHY? What did I do?ZACHARY: According to Camille and from what I’ve seen in the last few minutes, you’veundermined the trust placed upon you by everyone connected with the show, especially me. Ihave no idea what your motives are behind all this, but it stops right here, right now.CAMILLE: Way to go, Zach! Make sure the hussy never works in this town again!PEYTON: (To Camille) Shut up, you bitch! Zach, it’s not what you think it is, whatever youthink it is! I’m not trying to undermine you or the show! I’m not even the one that opened theenvelope!GEOFFREY: She speaks the truth, Zachary. The information was revealed by a... source...which I should prefer to remain nameless.MAX: He’s right, Zach. Peyton found out about it when the rest of us did. It was too close tothe start of the show. If she delivered the message to you then, you wouldn’t have been able tokeep your mind on us.CAMILLE: Don’t listen to then, Zach! They’re both smitten by her! She’s probably foolingaround with them too!HAZEL: By God, I’ve had enough of your mouth! I’m going to finish what I started to dobefore the show! (Going toward Camille, hands clenched into fists)VALERIE: Wait for me, Hazel! I want a shot at her too!CAMILLE: Stay away from me, you drunk! If either of you touches me, I swear, I’ll sue!ZACHARY: Shut up, Camille! You know, if I could do it and get away with it, I’d fire you too!But I can’t, so the next best thing I can do is quit! As far as I’m concerned, Pryde and Joy no
longer exists! (Everyone starts bickering and yelling at each other, trying to make his or herpoint. No one can be heard over the others until from over the speakers...)PRODUCER. (Voice only) THAT’S ENOUGH!!! (Everyone goes silent and looks up toward thelight booth, which doubles as the producer’s booth) I have seen and heard more than enough ofyour bickering! The eight of you together are undoubtedly the most uncooperative and hostilegroup I have ever had the misfortune of observing! I can see that this... situation... is not goingto resolve itself so the matter is no longer in any of your hands! For the time being, Mr.McMahon, your resignation is not accepted and Miss Summers, you are not fired. If there are tobe any dismissals... or reprimands... they will come from the studio executives, where theybelong! It is the studio’s decision as to the fate of Pryde and Joy, and we will discuss that atlength... immediately. Mr. McMahon... Mr. Bodenstein... please report to the executive boardroom right away. As for the rest of you, you are to go home. There will be cars waiting for eachof you to insure that you go directly to you own individual homes. You will report back to thissoundstage tomorrow at twelve o’clock! A decision regarding this show... and your careers...will be determined by then. Have I made myself clear?CAMILLE: Can I ask one small question...?PRODUCER. SAY GOOD NIGHT, MISS FAIRCHILD!!CAMILLE: (Meekly) Good night, Miss Fairchild. END OF ACT ONE
ACT TWOIt is the next day, approximately 11:45 in the morning. The only difference between Acts Oneand Two is that the props used in the kitchen for the baking scene have been cleaned off and thekitchen set has been cleaned up as best as possible of any egg fragments and splatter. Thelighting should revert back to the stage lighting as in the beginning of Act One.GEOFFREY: (Entering from L, his gait is deliberate, like in the beginning of the first act, but hisspirit is somewhat diminished. He stops in the living room half of the set and gives a soliloquy,not unlike a character in a Shakespearean tragedy) O empty and hallowed halls. What storiescan you tell of those who made their marks before us and what tales can you tell to those whoshall come after? Will you speak of our victories and cherished moments together or will youwhisper of the treachery and maliciousness that led to our inevitable downfall? What will be ourplace in history? Will the scribes place us along the names of I Love Lucy and TheHoneymooners? Or shall we condemned to dwell in the depths with such atrocities as Married...With Children and (Gives a shiver) Roseanne?LANCE: (Applauding as he enters from L) Bravo! Bravo! Geoffrey, if Shakespeare were alivetoday, he himself couldn’t have said it any better.GEOFFREY: Have pity on an old fool, my boy. It seems only fitting that I should give a finalsoliloquy to an empty house after such a dismal ending to what should have been an illustriouscareer.LANCE: What dismal ending? You’re nowhere near finished. You’re at the age where you cando parts that most actors can only imagine.GEOFFREY: Your kindness is appreciated but we both know that after the final curtain drops onPryde and Joy, it will be rather difficult for any of us to find gainful employment in our chosenprofession.LANCE: Assuming that your “prophecy of doom” is even slightly accurate, do you have anyplans made for the future?GEOFFREY: I’ve considered offering my services to any of the academic institutions in the area,if any still believe that Shakespearean training is still worth passing along to future generations.LANCE: Good for you! I’m glad to hear that you’re still planning on remaining active. I’d hateto see talent such as yours go to waste.
GEOFFREY: You are too kind. There are many who would consider me outdated and ready tobe put out to pasture. But enough lamentation over my fading career. What about you, Lance?What will you do once we’ve been released from our obligations to the studio?LANCE: That’s a real good question. Like you said, once the series is canned, none of us willprobably be too high on any studio’s call list. To tell you the truth, I’ve seriously consideredgoing back to the stage. I think it’d be good for me to get back to my roots and do liveperforming the way it’s supposed to be done, in front of an audience, but not in front of a camera.GEOFFREY: I see... and what about your... relationship... with Miss Summers?LANCE: I don’t know. We haven’t discussed it. Honestly, I just came to this career decision lastnight. I tried calling Peyton after I got home, but all I got was her answering machine. I knowit’ll do me little good to stay in Hollywood right now, but Peyton’s different. This is really theonly place where she can find steady work. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.VALERIE: (Offstage L) Hellooo! Anyone here yet?LANCE: In here, Valerie. Geoffrey and I are on the set.VALERIE: (Excitedly entering from L) Hey, you guys! Have either of you been watching theTV lately?GEOFFREY: I haven’t bothered to turn the infernal thing on.LANCE: Me either. I can only imagine what they’re saying about us.VALERIE: Boy, you’ve missed out! We’re on everywhere! All they can talk about is Pryde andJoy.GEOFFREY: And who, pray tell, is “they?”VALERIE: Let’s see, Leno, Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Access Hollywood,Entertainment Tonight, E!, The Insider, The View, Today, Good Morning America, YouTube,Yahoo!, Howard Stern, you name it! Camille’s televised breakdown is the biggest thing sinceJanet Jackson flashed her hoochie-coo during the Super Bowl!LANCE: Well, that’s odd. If everyone’s making such a fuss about this, why hasn’t anyone triedto contact any of us to find out more about it?MAX: (Entering from L, he is still in his clothes from the day before and looks like he hasn’tgotten any sleep) Because you’ve all been put on a gag order, that’s why. Everyone’s tried
contacting the studio and the publicity department has been issuing a steady stream of “nocomments.” When they ask to contact any of the cast, Peyton, or Zach, the studio refuses togive out any contact information. There are to be no leaks to the media until the final decisionshave been made.VALERIE: Well, that’s a bummer! We finally get publicity for something as a whole and wecan’t even talk about it.GEOFFREY: I’m sure it’s for the best, child. This way, only one explanation need be given,instead of eight conflicting stories.LANCE: What about Camille? I’m sure she’s ready to start shouting from the rooftops.MAX: Somebody from the publicity department stayed with Camille last night to make sure shedidn’t. She’s the one who we need to watch the most. Give her half a chance and she’ll startsinging an aria about how we’ve all conspired to ruin her career.HAZEL: (Entering from L, She is in casual attire but something is different about herpersonality) Fat chance of that happening! From what I’ve seen on the replays, she’s committedcareer suicide and I can’t see how she can spin her way out of it. The only problem is, she’staking us down with her with guilt by association.MAX: Hazel, are you all right? There’s something... different about you, but I can’t figure outwhat it is.LANCE: Max is right, Hazel. You’re acting more... coherent than usual.HAZEL: How kind of you to notice. In fact, there is something different. For the record, I amstone cold sober.VALERIE: What? You’re kidding! You?GEOFFREY: What has brought about such a drastic change in your behavior?HAZEL: This whole fiasco! I turned on the TV when I got home and saw our group meltdown.You’d be amazed just how much was actually broadcast. After seeing it over and over andhearing what the media had to say about it... and us, I found every bottle I had squirreled awayand poured it all down the sink. For the first time in at least three years, I woke up without aheadache... and early enough to get properly groomed and actually eat a decent meal.VALERIE: Okay, I give up. Why?
HAZEL: On the off-chance that I can still land another role somewhere. I’m not ready to hang itup yet and I don’t plan on going into an audition drunk... as much as I’d like to. I hate auditions.I always have.LANCE: Agreed. And it’s been so long since any of us have had to audition for anything, it’sprobably a whole new process.GEOFFREY: So, Mr. Bodenstein, how long before we have to start... hitting the pavement, Ibelieve the expression goes?MAX: You mean pounding the pavement, Geoffrey, and I’m not at liberty to divulge anyinformation until Zach gets here.PEYTON: (Entering from L) That won’t be very long. I passed him walking this way.LANCE: (Going over to Peyton and hugging her) How are you doing? I tried to call you allnight but couldn’t get through.PEYTON: I shut off my cell phone as soon as I got in the car. I needed time to think abouteverything that happened... and where my life is going. I love you, Lance, but right now, I’m notsure if this relationship is something that I can really afford to have.LANCE: We really need to talk about this...PEYTON: Yes, we do. I need to know what’s the most important for me, for you... and for us.LANCE: I’ve done a lot of thinking about that and I might have a solution. How would you feelabout moving to New York City?PEYTON: New York City? Why do you want to go there?LANCE: I thought about maybe trying to get back on the stage. I could try to get a part onBroadway and you could take some time off to just relax.PEYTON: And just what would we live on until you find a part... if you’re lucky enough to get apart?LANCE: I’ve got a fair amount of money saved. I can also sell my house. With the amount Icould get for it, we can be comfortable for a while.PEYTON: Sell your house? You want to make this a permanent move?
LANCE: I thought that this would be a chance for us to try something new and get away from allthe craziness here in L.A.PEYTON: And trade it all for the craziness in New York. Have you ever been out there, Lance?It’s just like Hollywood, only in a much more compact space.LANCE But I thought...PEYTON: That’s the problem, you’re doing the thinking for both of us! I would’ve appreciatedsitting down and discussing this before coming to any decisions. We’ve never spent any realquality time together and now you’re talking about moving in together on the other side of thecountry? I’m a production assistant for television. Where am I going to find any real work outeast? This has the potential of working out very nicely for you, but what happens to me?LANCE: Excuse me for trying to think about a future together. I just thought that it would benice for us to make a clean break from all of this and make a fresh start as a real couple. I didn’trealize that you were that much more committed to your career than you are to a relationship.PEYTON: That’s not fair, Lance. You never gave me a chance to express my thoughts on thesubject.LANCE: I tried to call you all night. You’re the one who shut your phone off as soon as you leftthe studio. Maybe I should just forget about the whole thing and go out to New York alone.ZACHARY: (Entering from L, like Max, Zach is in his clothes from the day before and he lookslike he hasn’t gotten any sleep either) Hold that thought, Lance. You may want to reconsiderafter you hear what we’ve got to say. All right, everybody, let’s get this over with. I’ve got a lotof information to pass along.HAZEL: Forgive me for saying this, Zach, but you look like hell. Did you or Max get any sleeplast night?ZACHARY: As a matter of fact, no. We’ve both been up all night discussing with the studioexecs about what’s going to happen to the show.PEYTON: You and Max both? Oh, this can’t be good.ZACHARY: It depends on how you look at it.GEOFFREY: Don’t leave us in suspense. Obviously, something has been decided.VALERIE: Yeah, Zach, what’s going on?
ZACHARY: (To Max) You didn’t say anything?MAX: Not a word. I waited for you, like we agreed.LANCE: Wait a minute. We can’t start yet. Camille isn’t here.ZACHARY: Camille won’t be coming.ALL except MAX: What?ZACHARY: Initially, the studio’s decision was to pull the show off the air as soon as possible.The producers didn’t think there was any way to recover from the embarrassment. However,once the ratings came in, everyone’s mood began to change.LANCE: What are you talking about?ZACHARY: Apparently, we were on the air long enough for viewers to call their friends andhave them switch over to see everything go to hell. The ratings shot up from an 8.3 to a 13.2almost instantly. We haven’t pulled anything close to a 13 for years. Even after we cut the feedand the network started running commercial after commercial, people kept watching, hoping tosee something else happen before the end of the episode.GEOFFREY: And this is a good thing?ZACHARY: As hard as it is to believe, yes. We got all the commercials that the sponsors paidfor on the air, so there’s no legal repercussions there. And in case any of you haven’t beenwatching the television, we’re all that Hollywood’s talking about.VALERIE: I told you so! We are so hot right now!PEYTON: That’s all well and good, Zach, but what’s going to happen to us?ZACHARY: Well, that depends. The network is still willing to take a chance on Pryde and Joy,but obviously, there’s going to have to be some changes made.HAZEL: Changes? What kind of changes?ZACHARY: First of all, we’re going to switch from live to prerecorded. Yesterday’s... glitch...convinced the network that even after eight seasons, regular live performances are still too risky.They don’t want to risk a repeat of that.LANCE: What else?
ZACHARY: Second, I’m stepping down as director. As you can all plainly see, I’m burnt out.I’ll stay on as a creative consultant and technical director but I can’t do this show another week.I want to take the offer from Universal and the studio has agreed that it would be a good movefor me.VALERIE: Wait a minute. What you’re telling us is that you’re taking a vacation from us andspending it by going back to work?ZACHARY: That’s one way to put it, yes.VALERIE: Well, that’s just stupid. And people say teenagers don’t make any sense.GEOFFREY: Who does the studio have in mind as a replacement director?ZACHARY: They have several names in mind, but their top choice, if she wants the job, isPeyton.PEYTON: What? Are you kidding me?MAX: Nobody else knows the show like you do, Peyton. You’ve been here since the beginningand you know the characters as well as either of us.PEYTON: I told you, Max, I’m not a member of the Director’s Guild and I don’t have the moneyto pay the dues.ZACHARY: The studio will front your fees. They’ll take a little bit out of each of your checksfor reimbursement, but even with that extra amount withheld, you’ll still see a considerable payincrease.PEYTON: I don’t know...GEOFFREY: Miss Summers, how can you refuse such an offer? Very few people in Hollywoodget a proposition like this handed to them on a silver platter.HAZEL: Shakespeare’s right, dear. Opportunity’s knocking and you won’t get another chancelike this... not in this town.PEYTON: Zach, are you okay with this?MAX: Petey, Zach’s the one who recommended you for the job.PEYTON: I beg your pardon?
ZACHARY: Peyton, I really need to apologize for accusing you of undermining me... and theshow. Once everything was explained to me about what had actually happened, I understoodthat you weren’t trying to sabotage anyone, but trying to keep things running as smooth aspossible. I should’ve known better, but I was totally irrational by that point. Honestly, I can’tthink of anyone better to hand the reins over to. You’ve been ready to take the next step for awhile now, but I’ve been too obsessed with running things to see that... until now.LANCE: Honey, this is fabulous. This changes everything. We can keep our careers and ourrelationship... if you want to, that is.PEYTON: Of course I do. I was ready to do whatever it took to keep us together.LANCE: Really? Then why were you making such a fuss about going to New York?PEYTON: Because I would’ve liked to have been asked about it first instead of having it decidedfor me. But when it comes right down to it, I’d go anywhere you wanted to.LANCE: That’s fantastic! I don’t know what to say... I’m speechless.HAZEL: Then shut up and kiss her, you fool!PEYTON: You heard the lady, shut up and kiss me. (Lance and Peyton kiss)VALERIE: I really do hate to bust up this happy moment, but there’s still one small problem outthere.HAZEL: What’s that, Valerie?VALERIE: Camille. She’s never going to agree to any of this. Plus, she’ll never listen to Peytonas a director.PEYTON: Oh my God, she’s right. Camille’s never going to accept this. She’ll have a full-grown cow when she hears the news.MAX: Zach? Should we tell them now?ZACHARY: (Checking his watch) We may as well. They’re going to find out pretty soonanyway.GEOFFREY: Find out what?ZACHARY: Camille is no longer part of the show.
ALL. WHAT?ZACHARY: That’s what’s been keeping us up all night. We’ve been changing the scripts for therest of the season to explain and compensate for Camille’s disappearance. We’ve decided thebest thing we can do is to kill her off and introduce a new character in her place.LANCE: You can’t be serious!MAX: Dead serious. (Several people give Max a sour look) Pardon the pun.PEYTON: Who would you even think of putting in Camille’s place?ZACHARY: The top names being kicked around right now are Debra Messing, Jenna Elfman,Brooke Shields, and Heather Locklear.LANCE: I’m going to be married to Heather Locklear?MAX: If you’re lucky.LANCE: I’m liking this idea already. (Peyton reaches up and twists Lance’s ear)PEYTON: Don’t get too comfortable with the idea, sweetheart, I’m not convinced that this is awise decision.ZACHARY: It’s not your call, Peyton. The studio wants her gone. Her antics have broughtnothing but trouble to the show. Yesterday was just the one to put it over the top.PEYTON: I’m sure, but despite all her aggravation, she’s still the biggest reason people tune into the show.HAZEL: Oh really? What are we then, chopped liver?PEYTON: Compared to what Camille can do, Hazel... yes.HAZEL: All of a sudden, I’m not so sure that having a new director is such a good idea.PEYTON: Max, please, back me up on this. You’re the head writer, you’ve set up situations forJoy Pryde for years. You know what she’s done in comparison to the rest of the cast.LANCE: Peyton, honey, think about what you’re saying.PEYTON: I am! I swear, I’m not trying to belittle the rest of you, but let’s face it, CamilleFairchild does the majority of the comedy shtick for this show and she does it very well!
VALERIE: So what? Is it so wrong to give the rest of us a chance to stretch our comedic limbs?Maybe I’d like to try some physical comedy once in a while.GEOFFREY: I must admit that I’m inclined to agree with Miss Valerie on this matter. The timehas come to let the rest of us have our moment in the spotlight.PEYTON: I can’t believe I’m hearing this. Worse than that, I can’t believe I’m fighting to keepCamille in the show.ZACHARY: Don’t fight it, Peyton. Max and I have been up all night sketching out the next fewepisodes to figure out how to handle this whole thing. We didn’t like the idea at first, but themore we discussed it, we discovered so much more we can do with the show this way.HAZEL: What do you mean “so much more we can do with the show?”MAX: What he means is that we can finally make this show the ensemble cast show it wasmeant to be in the first place. I’ve already got some ideas to highlight each one of you in such away that the audience will finally pay attention to you as individual characters, and not just as asupporting cast.GEOFFREY: Do you plan on highlighting us in a positive manner or will this be more of theinfantile style of comedy that you’ve subjected us to time and again?MAX: Geoffrey, what I have in mind will be a blessing for both of us! I can finally write someof the serious work I’ve been begging to do for years and I’ll write you a part that will draw onevery ounce of Shakespearean training within you.GEOFFREY: Do not jest with me, sir. My constitution will not permit another shock after whatwe endured yesterday.VALERIE: What about me? Am I going to get something too? You’re not planning to keep meas the “sweet and innocent” daughter through all this, are you?ZACHARY: I promise, you’ll all have to deal with Joy’s death in ways you never imagined.MAX: We’re going to turn this show from a 50’s sitcom into a 21st century dramedy, like all therest of the shows out there now.HAZEL: Max, you look like a child in a toy store. You can hardly wait to get started on this littleproject, can you?MAX: More than you know, Hazel. This is like a dream come true for me.
HAZEL: So if you’re already scheming plotlines, what might you have in store for me?MAX: You, my dear, are actually the easiest of the group. Ruth is going to turn to the bottle forcomfort and develop a bit of a drinking problem.HAZEL: YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH! (Storms offstage L)MAX: What got into her? I thought something like this would be right up her alley.LANCE: I’m sure it will be, Max, but I’m thinking she would’ve liked to have heard this beforeshe dumped a couple hundred bucks worth of booze down the drain last night.ZACHARY: She what?VALERIE: It’s true. She told us herself. She hasn’t had a drop since she left the studioyesterday.MAX: I thought there was something wrong with her! It’s been so long since I’ve since hersober, I thought she was sick or something.HAZEL: (Offstage) Hello, is this the Hollywood and Vine Wine Cellar? Do you deliver bulkorders?GEOFFREY: And thus ends the great journey into perpetual sobriety. (Valerie laughs to herself)ZACHARY: And just what is so funny, young lady?VALERIE: I’m just thinking about all that alcohol that Hazel must’ve poured down the sink.There’s got to be some pretty happy feeling fish in the bay right now. They could get caught bysome fisherman along the pier and not give a rat’s ass.MAX: Hmmphh! (Stifling a laugh) I’ve heard of beer-battered fish, but can you see someonetrying to fry a scotch-soaked carp? That thing will explode as soon as it hits the frying pan!(Everyone laughs at this, except Peyton)GEOFFREY: Miss Summers? Is everything all right? You haven’t even managed as much as asmirk.PEYTON: No, Geoffrey, it’s not all right. Zach, I hate to do this to you, but I think I’m going tohave to turn down that director job.ALL. WHAT?
ZACHARY: Peyton, are you serious? (Peyton nods) But why?PEYTON: You said that nobody else knew the characters as well as you, Max, or the cast, exceptfor me. Now you’re talking about taking the characters, and the show, in a completely differentdirection than what we’ve been doing since day one. Yes, I know the characters. But I know thecharacters that make people laugh. With what you and Max are talking about, you’re going toturn Pryde and Joy into The O.C. and I can’t direct a show like that.LANCE: But, Honey, think of the possibilities...PEYTON: I have been. That’s the problem. Ruth Pilansky is not an alcoholic. Mitch Pilanskydoes not turn into King Lear. It’s too drastic a change for the audience, and it’s too drastic achange for us. If we do this, I’m betting that the show doesn’t get picked up for another season.ZACHARY: So then, what do we do?PEYTON: If the studio is dead set on getting rid of Camille, there’s nothing we can do aboutthat. But is it necessary to kill her off? Why can’t we just write around her character and put thecomedy on the rest of the cast?MAX: Will you think about what you’re saying? You’re trying to condemn us back to the sameold pattern we’ve been stuck in.HAZEL: (Entering) And she’s right! Even if I were drunk, which I plan on being very soon, I’dhave to agree with Peyton. You just can’t change a formula like ours in such a drastic mannerand expect the audience to accept it. It’s like making Rosie O’Donnell the mother of theWaltons.ZACHARY: Well, I can’t go back to the studio execs and beg for them to keep Camille.(Checking his watch again) They’ve probably broke the news to her already. Even if theyhaven’t, they’re not going to want to touch her with a stick. Well, maybe with a stick, if they canhit her with it.MAX: So we’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.PEYTON: I’m sorry, everyone. I’m not trying to spoil everything, I’m just trying to be practicalabout the situation. And besides, Zach, it’s not really your problem now. You’ve got biggerthings to think about.LANCE: That’s right! You’re going to the movies! How great is that!
HAZEL: Ah, the silver screen. So many wonderful memories made in front of the camera... andbehind the scenes. I remember this one movie I was making with Ernie Borgnine when wesnuck off the set and then...VALERIE: Stop! I already had breakfast! I don’t want it to become brunch!GEOFFREY: Back to the point of the conversation before we were so... crudely interrupted...(Hazel shoots Geoffrey a dirty look) what is the name again of this motion picture that you’ll bedirecting?ZACHARY: The Wolfman.GEOFFREY: And just what is, as you call it, a... wolfman?VALERIE: You never heard of the wolfman? Are you kidding me?GEOFFREY: Miss Headings, as you know very well, I have spent very little of my timeacclimating myself to what the general public refers to as “popular culture.”VALERIE: But it’s the wolfman! Does this mean you’ve never heard of Dracula or Frankensteineither?GEOFFREY: As much as this might astonish you, I have indeed heard of Count Dracula ofTransylvania and Frankenstein’s Monster. They are two of the most recognized characters inliterature. I vividly recall reading their stories in my youth.VALERIE: Stories? Somebody wrote books about those guys?LANCE: Of course, Val. Where do think the ideas came from for the movies?VALERIE: I sure didn’t expect it to be books. I was thinking maybe Nintendo or X-Box gamesor something like that. So what were the books that they got Freddy Krueger and Jason from?(Lance looks over to Max for help)MAX: Don’t look at me... she’s your daughter.LANCE: Yes, but you write her dialogue.MAX: Not for this one, I don’t. As far as I’m concerned, she gone completely improv.HAZEL: So anyway, back to the Wolfman, any casting ideas for your movie debut?
ZACHARY: Well, I’ve been giving some thought about Matt Damon, or maybe KieferSutherland. But, the one I’d really like to...ERIC: (Entering hurriedly) All right, where is she? Where’s Camille?PEYTON: Whoa, Eric! Wait a minute! What’s going on?ERIC: I need to find Camille! My phone’s been ringing off the hook!PEYTON: I thought you weren’t her agent anymore. She fired you yesterday, remember?ERIC: You know that, I know that, and Camille knows that, but nobody else does! I’ve gotstudios and directors calling me nonstop wanting her to audition for parts... for movies!LANCE: What did you say?ERIC: It’s the damnedest thing! I had no idea what was going on after I left here until I got backto my place. I had Pryde and Joy tivo-ed, so I watched to see how she held up during the show.When she went into her meltdown, I thought I was going to die! I never laughed so hard in mylife! First thing this morning, I call into the office, and my voice mail is loaded with messagesfrom casting agents, movie studios, and A-list directors. Apparently, everyone important inHollywood must’ve watched Camille’s tirade and decided that she can act after all!MAX: So you mean that people actually want to have her audition for parts?ERIC: Not just audition, they want to sign her to contracts! I’ve had calls from Warner Bros.,Paramount, Columbia, Disney, and Dreamworks! Miramax wants to talk to her again about thatJackie Onassis movie! Not only that, Universal wants to see her about doing a screen test forsome remake they’re doing of The Wolfman! Can you believe this?ZACHARY: (Holding his head in his hands) Oh, dear God, no! Please, not that! What in thehell did I do to deserve this?LANCE: Do you all know what this means?MAX: Yes. If you’re going to make a monster movie, you hire a real monster.LANCE: Besides that. Can you imagine what’ll happen if Camille becomes a movie star?GEOFFREY: I’m afraid so.HAZEL: Unfortunately, I think I do.
VALERIE: Then somebody explain it to me! What’s the big deal if Camille’s finally being takenseriously for the movies?MAX: It means that if Camille makes a movie and it’s a hit, she’s going to become another JuliaRoberts or Nicole Kidman. If that happens, she can start throwing her weight around and she’llfind a way to put us all in the unemployment line for trying to hold her back.VALERIE: You think she can really do that?HAZEL: I’ve seen it happen several times, dearie. Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis both hada substantial amount of influence in the town at one time. If they didn’t like you, you didn’t geta job anywhere.PEYTON: So, now what do we do?ZACHARY: What else? More damage control. Eric, you and Max come with me. We’ll go tothe studio execs and see if we can talk them out of firing Camille. The rest of you, get ready todo some serious ass-kissing, if it’s not too late.CAMILLE: (Entering with Gwen) It’s way too late for that, boys and girls! All of youcombined don’t have enough pucker power to save your skins!HAZEL: Well, don’t you look like the cat that swallowed the canary.MAX: Canary, hell. It looks like she downed the whole aviary!CAMILLE: Do you know what the wonderful thing is about having an assistant? Even though Icouldn’t talk to anyone directly, thanks to being put under house arrest by the studio, my trustedpersonal assistant, Gwen, was able to intercept all the calls that came in and relay them to me, soI know about all the offers that have come in. I guess I can see who my real friends are. Isn’tthat right, Gwen?GWEN. Absolutely right, Miss Fairchild. I’m right there by your side, whatever happens.VALERIE: Oh, crap. Here comes breakfast again! Somebody shut her up.ZACHARY: Camille, let’s talk about this.CAMILLE: Oh, we’re talking all right, Zachary. Or better yet, I’m talking... and you’re going todo all the listening! I’ve already met with the studio executives and due to the recent change inmy popularity, we’re renegotiating my contract... and my position on Pryde and Joy.ERIC: Who’s renegotiating your contract? That’s supposed to be my job!
CAMILLE: I don’t think so. If I can’t rely on you to get me a leading part in a movie, I certainlycan’t trust you with something as important as my salary demands. No, I’m going to handle thisdelicate matter personally. I’ll save a fortune by not having to pay an agent. I gave you everyopportunity to do right by me, Eric. If it weren’t for the fact that you have a set of sexy buns andadorable dimples, I probably would’ve fired you a long time ago.ERIC: Oh, this should be good. You have no idea what it takes to get a decent deal out of astudio. Wait a minute, what did you say about my buns?CAMILLE: If I have any questions, I’ll just call Dakota Fanning. I’m sure she can give me theinside scoop on all your tricks, you backstabber!HAZEL: Oh, give me strength.CAMILLE: You’ll need it, you washed-up old bat! Because as far as I’m concerned, your careeris kaput! I’m being named as an executive producer for the show, and with that title, comescertain privileges, such as hiring and firing. So, darling Hazel, precious Valerie, and dear, sweetLance, you can go ahead and start packing your things! You’ll get the official word before theday is out that your services are no longer required!LANCE: Camille, you can’t do that!CAMILLE: Oh no? Call the execs and ask them yourself. They’ll verify the fact that I’m callingthe shots over the cast and crew now.HAZEL: That’s fine with me! I’m sick of working with such a spotlight hog anyway! Thefarther away I get from you, the better off I’ll be!CAMILLE: Wherever it is, it won’t be far enough. But I promise you this, it won’t be inHollywood! I’ll get Gwen working on making sure that the three of you are blacklisted fromevery studio within a hundred-mile radius of Los Angeles! Did you get that, Gwen?GWEN. I sure did, Miss Fairchild. I’ll get right on that. (Writing on a notepad) Put the kiboshon the lush, the slut, and the bed-hopper.VALERIE: Who are you calling a slut? I’ll cram that notepad down your throat!ZACHARY: Valerie, chill out! Just stay right where you are and behave yourself!VALERIE: You can’t be serious about this, Camille! What exactly have I done to you to deservethis kind of treatment?
CAMILLE: You’ve been nothing but a monster in a dress since the day you became a teenager!You better go ahead and get that boob job, sweetie. It’ll improve your chances of getting acasting call for the next season of The Surreal Life, where all the slutty has-beens go for onemore shot at stardom!GEOFFREY: And where do I stand in this grand upheaval? Am I to be cast aside as well?CAMILLE: Dear, dear Geoffrey, I wouldn’t think of having you dismissed. You’ve done nothingto incur my wrath. Besides, I’d miss hearing that silver tongue of yours.HAZEL: You’re not going actually going to stay here and work with this witch, are you,Geoffrey? All she wants you here for is to lavish her with compliments!GEOFFREY: Alas, I fear my choices are somewhat limited. I do have my dignity to consider.However, my dignity does precious little to make my mortgage payments.HAZEL: Fine! Stay here with that sleaze, you old goat! It’s obvious that dignity is somethingthat you can live without, just as long as you’re still getting a paycheck!ZACHARY: What about us, Camille? (Points to himself, Max, and Peyton) Are we casualties ofyour new regime also?CAMILLE: Heavens, no! Cast members can be replaced, but directors and writers, that’sanother story. Max, you’ll need to finish up the scripts for the rest of the season. The original setyou were working on, if you please. Oh, Zachary, you’ll be interested to know that I’ve alsoaccepted the offer from Universal for the leading lady part in The Wolfman, under one condition:that you have nothing to do with directing this movie. They should be in touch soon to rescindtheir offer. I need you here directing Pryde and Joy... and nothing else! Gwen, will you pleasecall Universal Studios and make sure that stipulation has been added to my contract?GWEN. Sure thing, Miss Fairchild. I’ll do that right away!VALERIE: Sure thing, Miss Fairchild. Whatever you say, Miss Fairchild. Absolutely, MissFairchild. What are you, a parrot? If I get you some crackers, will you shut up?ZACHARY: You are unbelievable. There’s nothing you won’t do to further your career, is there?CAMILLE: I’m just playing the game, Zachary. If this is what it takes to get ahead inHollywood, then I’m going to show you all that I can play with the best of them!PEYTON: What about me, Camille? What can you possibly have in store for me?
CAMILLE: Peyton, darling, (Oozing a sickly sweet yet venomous tone) I wouldn’t dream ofdepriving you of a career. That would be completely heartless and far too cruel. No, I feel thatyou are an integral part of this series and I need you to continue your duties as assistant. Theonly change is... that instead of Zachary, you’ll take orders directly... and exclusively... from me!PEYTON: The hell I will!CAMILLE: Excuse me? Do you think you can dictate to me what is and isn’t going to happenon this show?PEYTON: I’m not dictating anything. I’m telling you flat out that I’m not going to be yourpersonal slave to use and abuse! I have put up with your demands and attitude for eight yearsand it’s done nothing but get consistently worse! I’ve been hoping for a long time that you’dfinally come to your senses, but that’s a lost cause! You have gotten entirely too big for yourbritches and it’s time to bring you back to reality!CAMILLE: And just how do you propose to accomplish that?PEYTON: Just wait and see, sister! I’ll bet you that I can have this all straightened out beforelunch! (Peyton storms offstage L)MAX: Lance, do you have any idea what she’s talking about?LANCE: Not a clue.CAMILLE: She doesn’t have anything. She’s bluffing. It’s obvious that she’s just trying tomake a dramatic exit instead of slinking away with her tail between her legs.HAZEL: How would you know anything about dramatic exits? You don’t have a dramatic bonein that pratfall-prone body of yours!CAMILLE: Just you wait, you boozehound. When I’m holding an Academy Award, the onlything you’ll be holding is a bottle of cheap liquor. (Camille gives Hazel a gloating smile)HAZEL: Let me at her! I’ll smack that smile of hers from here to Anaheim! (Lance and Zachhold Hazel back)ZACHARY: Hazel, no! It’s not worth it! She’s not worth it!VALERIE: Why not? What’s she got left to lose? Camille gave us the axe, remember? I say,turn her loose! Aw, the hell with it, I’ll do it myself! (Valerie starts toward Camille, butGeoffrey and Max hold her back)
CAMILLE: You touch me, you little snot, and the next picture of you in the tabloids will be amug shot instead of a bikini spread!GEOFFREY: Miss Fairchild, I implore you! Please reconsider the folly of your actions. We willwholeheartedly agree that you are the primary source of the success of Pryde and Joy, but evenso, you need us to help support you. If there is one lesson to be garnered from this debacle, it isthat we function best as a team! To separate us at this point would surely spell disaster for eachand every one of us!CAMILLE: You can’t honestly believe that, can you?GEOFFREY: I most certainly do! You might be the brightest star among us, but even you need asupporting cast to play against. And as a cast, we require the direction that only young Zacharyhas been able to provide. And without Mr. Bodenstein’s scripts as the groundwork for all of us,we have no comedic direction.MAX: Quick! Somebody write that down! Geoffrey may never pay me that kind of complimenton my writing again!HAZEL: What about Peyton, Geoffrey? What part does she play in this?GEOFFREY: Miss Summers is the glue that helps bind this show together. She is the one whoinsures that we have everything necessary to enable a smooth and seamless transition fromconception to reality. Without her invaluable assistance, we would be in constant chaotic flux,and even you, Miss Camille, must admit, that you rely on Miss Summers as heavily, if not indeedmore, than the rest of us.CAMILLE: Assistants are a dime a dozen. I can have Gwen fill Peyton’s shoes just like that!(Snaps her fingers)ZACHARY: No way, Camille. You could have a hundred Gwens and they still wouldn’t beequal to one Peyton.LANCE: I’ll second that. And believe me, I know.CAMILLE: (In a mocking tone) And believe me, I know. Why are you still here? Didn’t I tellyou to pack your things and go? The last thing I want to see on this set is my two-timing soon-to-be ex-husband, I mean, ex-boyfriend, oh, whatever!ERIC: Camille, why can’t you get it through your head that the romance between you two wasonly a publicity stunt cooked up by the studio?CAMILLE: Because it became more than just a publicity stunt, didn’t it, Lance?
ZACHARY: What? When did this happen?HAZEL: Please, darling, tell me you were drunk!VALERIE: (Pointing to Lance) You? (Pointing to Camille) and her? For real? (Shuddering)URP! (Holding her hand to her mouth) Get outta the way! Breakfast coming through! (Valerieruns offstage R, ready to throw up)LANCE: Okay, so it’s true. But only once! We were out together one night, we both had a littletoo much to drink, one thing led to another, next thing you know...MAX: And you never said a word to anyone?LANCE: Only to Peyton.CAMILLE: It figures.ERIC: So you knew it was a mistake after it happened.LANCE: I guess. I tried to make it work at first. But it was just too much togetherness. Whenthe novelty wore off, it became more than I could take. I started talking to Peyton about how thewhole thing was so emotionally draining and she was always supportive and sympathetic. Wekept talking, our conversations got longer, next thing you know, we’re dating, and before weknew it, we were in love. (To Camille) But of course, you refused to give up on the fantasy, andthings became more complicated. I tried several times to break it off, but you just can’t take ahint.CAMILLE: Oh, really? And just what was so bad about spending time with me?MAX: You have to ask?CAMILLE: Shut up, you hack!LANCE: He’s right, Camille. Your whole attitude is more than any person can take for long. Ialways thought that it was an act that you played up when we were working, but I quicklylearned that you’re this way all the time!CAMILLE: What way?LANCE: A diva! You believe that everything revolves around you and it’s sickening! You treateveryone like they’re below you... even us!CAMILLE: That’s ridiculous!
ZACHARY: It’s true, Camille. When we started the show, you were great. Nobody really knewwho you were and you behaved just like everyone else. When Pryde and Joy started gettinggood reviews and people started recognizing you for your talent, you let it go straight to yourhead ever since. You’ve become practically impossible to work with and absolutely intolerableto be around.VALERIE: (Entering) In simple terms, you’re a bitch!MAX: All right, Valerie, that’s enough. Believe it or not, you’re not that far behind her at times.Like mother, like daughter, I guess.VALERIE and CAMILLE: Really? (both women should react in the same fashion, not realizingit. Camille should react to Zach and Valerie to Max)HAZEL: Oh, God, now they’re twins! Where’s that delivery boy? I really need a drink!(Camille’s phone rings. Gwen answers it)GWEN. Hello? (Pause) No, this is Gwen, Miss Fairchild’s personal assistant. (Pause) Let meshe if she’s available. (Holds the phone to Camille, she waves it away) I’m sorry, she’sunavailable at the moment, may I take a message? (Walking to the far side of the stage)CAMILLE: Eric, is what Zach’s saying true?ERIC: You know it, Cami. If you didn’t place yourself so high on a pedestal, maybe a director orstudio would be more willing to take a chance on you for a movie. You’ve got the talent to dofilms, I know it and the casting directors have also told me so. Your problem is, you want to bethe next Meryl Streep in your first film. If you would try doing something lighter, somethingwith some comedy in it, you’d stand a much better shot at getting a part.CAMILLE: We’ll see about that! I’ve got offers coming out my ears right now, remember?(From the far side of the stage, Gwen is trying to get Camille’s attention. She makes PSSSSTsounds and waves an arm to try to get Camille to look her way. If Camille is at a point where shecan’t see Gwen, one of the other cast members on stage should point in her direction to makeCamille aware she’s there. Gwen is holding a cell phone in one hand and by the expression onher face, she is scared to death) Gwen, what are you doing? Just come over here and bring methe phone. (Gwen shakes her head emphatically. She points for Camille to come to her) Youwant me to come over there? (Gwen nods emphatically) Is it important? (Gwen nods again)How important? (Gwen gestures in a way to emphasize it is a matter of life-and-death) Oh, forheavens sake! Will you stop with the dramatics and bring... me... the... phone! (Gwen walkstimidly over to Camille) Who is it? (When she gets there, Gwen whispers in Camille’s ear for afew seconds, gives her the phone, then runs for her life)
CAMILLE: Hello? Yes, this is Camille Fairchild. (Pause) Just a second, let me move tosomewhere more private. (Walks to the far side of the stage)VALERIE: Who do you think it is?MAX: With the way things have been going today, it wouldn’t surprise me if Camille’s just beenelected Pope.HAZEL: Don’t say that! Getting thrown out of Hollywood is bad enough, but to be exiled fromHeaven too because of Camille? It’s more than a sober person can handle!CAMILLE: What? (Pause) Are you sure?GEOFFREY: Whatever it is, by the expression on Miss Fairchild’s face, the news must indeed begrave.ERIC: Geoffrey’s right. All the color has drained from her face.CAMILLE: This has to be a joke. This can’t be happening!ZACHARY: Maybe someone died. She still has her parents, doesn’t she?LANCE: Yes, they own a farm in Oklahoma.HAZEL: I hope they’re all right.MAX: Hazel! Sympathy for Camille, from you?HAZEL: Just because I’m hoping that Camille gets hit by lightning doesn’t mean I want herfamily to suffer!CAMILLE: I see. Well, thank you for your generosity. I appreciate this very much. Yes, well,thank you for calling. Yes, tomorrow at three, I’ll be there. Goodbye. (Camille shuts off thephone, stands there for a second, a look of shock on her face, then looks for a place to sit)LANCE: What in the world was that all about?VALERIE: I don’t know, but she looks like her pregnancy test turned up positive.HAZEL: Will you all please stop coming up with these horrible scenarios? I’d rather have her bePope than have her procreate!GEOFFREY: Perhaps one of us should go to her to offer some comfort?
MAX: Go ahead. You’re the only one that Camille’s doesn’t have a vendetta against.ZACHARY: Wait a minute, it looks like we’ve got another plot twist coming.ERIC: What are you talking about?ZACHARY: Here comes Peyton. (Peyton enters from offstage L, she sees Camille but makes noattempt to talk to her. She walks over to the others)PEYTON: I’m guessing that Camille just got a phone call?MAX: How did you know?PEYTON: I expected it. I also passed Gwen running away from here as fast as she could, herheels in her hands.LANCE: Peyton, what did you do?PEYTON: Balanced the scales, that’s all.ZACHARY: What do you mean, balanced the scales?CAMILLE: (Coming over) Well, I’ll bet you’re extremely pleased with yourself, aren’t you?PEYTON: As a matter of fact, no. I hadn’t planned on going that far, but you were out ofcontrol. I’m not going to stand here and let you play God with our careers and our lives.CAMILLE: Even though it’s okay for you to do it to me.ERIC: Would someone explain what the hell’s going on?PEYTON: Camille, would you like the honors?CAMILLE: Oh, no! I would hate to deprive you of your moment of glory. Please! Go rightahead! Besides, I want to hear what lies you spread about me.PEYTON: I didn’t spread any lies. I just helped a certain piece of correspondence find its way tosome certain studio executives.ZACHARY: What correspondence?GEOFFREY: Miss Summers? Please tell me that you did not lower yourself to a level ofdespicable behavior to sabotage Miss Fairchild’s reputation.
VALERIE: C’mon, Peyton, what’s up? What’d you do?PEYTON: All I did was to make sure that the letter we got from the Screen Actors Guild aboutCamille’s behavior and incident was brought to the attention of the producers. After that, it wasall up to them.CAMILLE: You had no right! That was none of your affair... or your business!MAX: I hate to say it, but Camille’s got a point, Peyton. I’m surprised that you would do such athing. I’ve got to say that I’m disappointed in you.PEYTON: Now wait a minute, Max! That’s not true! The letter was addressed to Zach! As hisassistant, one of my duties is to open and sort his mail. If you’ll remember, I wanted to handlethis in private, but he insisted that I read it out loud. At that point, the news became public.LANCE: She’s got a point, Max. Technically, the whole thing was between Zach and Camille atfirst. Zach’s the one who gave the okay to read the letter out loud.HAZEL: Also, it’s not like it’s a private incident. The media had a field day with what little bitthey picked up on.MAX: All right, all right. I stand corrected. I still don’t like it, but I guess it’s not an invasion ofprivacy. So, anyway, what happened after the producers saw the letter?PEYTON: Calls were made to studios and directors. Eric, I’ll imagine you’ve probably gottensome calls also.ERIC: I don’t know. I switched my phone over to silent. I was in too much of a hurry to findCamille to keep taking calls. (Pulls out his phone and checks his voice mail) Good grief! I’vegot another twelve messages. I’d better check these, excuse me for a minute. (Goes offstage L)VALERIE: So, what else happened?PEYTON: I’m not sure. It depends on what all Camille’s been told.HAZEL: Cut to the chase, is she fired?CAMILLE: You’d love that, wouldn’t you?HAZEL: Honestly, no.CAMILLE: What did you say?
HAZEL: Camille, I have nothing against you as an actress. In fact, I believe you have a greatdeal of talent. The fact that we’ve been on the air for eight years can testify to that. I’m justtired of dealing with your ego all the time. If you would behave more like a professional, Iwouldn’t have to drink all the time just to put up with you.CAMILLE: All right, I get the message. I’m a diva... and an egomaniac... and a bitch. Well, youwon’t have to worry about it any longer. After tomorrow, I’m sure I’ll be fired from the show.VALERIE: Why tomorrow? Why didn’t they do it now?CAMILLE: I don’t know. They took everything else away from me. The movie deals, theexecutive producer title, all of it.LANCE: Peyton, do you know anything about that?PEYTON: Perhaps.ZACHARY: Well, don’t just stand there, tell us.PEYTON: I really shouldn’t. But... nobody said it was confidential...CAMILLE: What? What else is going to happen to me?VALERIE: Don’t leave her hanging, Peyton, what’s going to happen to Camille?MAX: Valerie? Now you’re on Camille’s side?VALERIE: So what if I am? She’s been my Mom for eight seasons. You don’t spend all thattime together and not feel some sort of attachment. When her head isn’t so big, she’s not all thatbad. In fact, she actually has a cool moment now and then.PEYTON: I’m shocked. I never imagined that you’d all have a change of heart and rally behindCamille.CAMILLE: So who’s the heartless bitch now?PEYTON: Don’t push it. You have no idea what I’ve agreed to to get this all worked out. I canstill change my mind, then you will be screwed.GEOFFREY: Change your mind about what, Miss Peyton?
PEYTON: I think the producers wanted to let Camille stew about this overnight to give her ataste of her own medicine, but here’s the deal: Camille, I got the producers to agree to give youone last chance and let you stay on the show, provided you change your behavior.ZACHARY: You what? You’re kidding! How did you accomplish that?PEYTON: You should be getting a call about that pretty soon. Oh, Zach, I also made sure thatyour deal with the studio is still intact. They’re going to give you a break from the show andloan you out to Universal to do the Wolfman movie. After that, you come back to us as a creativeconsultant and technical director.ZACHARY: But what about Camille having the female lead in the movie?CAMILLE: That deal is dead. Universal’s already trying to sign Charlize Theron to the partinstead.LANCE: (To Zach) You’re directing Charlize? You lucky son-of-a-gun!ZACHARY: Well, she’s not exactly who I considered for a first choice... but I guess I’ll just haveto make do. (Smiling)GEOFFREY: The fates have indeed smiled upon you, young Zachary. She is indeed a beautifulsight to behold.LANCE: Geoffrey Dinsmore! You have a thing for Charlize Theron?GEOFFREY: I may have devoted my life to the genius of Shakespeare, but I still recognize andappreciate beauty when I see it. In my humble opinion, Miss Theron stands out from themultitudes.VALERIE: Wait a minute! You’ve never heard of the Wolfman but you’ve got the hots forCharlize? I think I’m gonna woof my cookies... again!MAX: Going on... is there anything else, Peyton?PEYTON: Yes. I’ve agreed to step in for Zach as director. And... we’re also keeping our sameformat. We’re a live sitcom and that’s not going to change.CAMILLE: You’re going to direct me?PEYTON: Camille, it’s part of the deal. Don’t fly off the handle until you hear the rest of whatwas discussed. It’s not like I’ll be telling you what to do. In fact, I’ll need your help to teach meas to what works and what doesn’t. You and the rest of the cast. I know the show but we need to
work together to make it a success. I trust you to tell me what needs to be done to make it funnybut you need to trust me also.CAMILLE: Why in the world would I want to trust you?PEYTON: Because I also talked to the producers about how bad you want to do a movie. If theywould agree to kill this publicity campaign about you and Lance as an off-screen couple, and youcontinue to behave yourself, they’ll let you co-star in this movie deal they’re developing withWill Ferrell. Granted, it’s a comedy, but it’s a start.CAMILLE: You did that? For me?PEYTON: I figure you can use some sort of incentive. We know the Wolfman deal is gone and Idoubt that you’re going to hang on to that Jackie O. part either.CAMILLE: Oh no, not that one too!ERIC: (Entering) I’m afraid so. I just got off the phone with Miramax. They’re backing out ofthe deal.CAMILLE: So now the part goes back to Dakota. That little shark in munchkin’s clothing...ERIC: Uh, no. That happened to be a little white lie I told when you asked who beat you out forthe part.CAMILLE: Thank God! I just couldn’t deal with getting beat out for a part by a child.ZACHARY: So, then, who’s playing Jackie O.?ERIC: I really don’t think I should say anything about that just yet.LANCE: Oh, no!PEYTON: You don’t mean... (Max bursts out laughing)CAMILLE: What? What did I miss? Who’s playing Jackie? (Max whispers into Hazel’s earand she starts laughing)HAZEL: That’s beautiful! God does have a sense of humor! (Max whispers to Geoffrey and hecan’t hold back a snicker or two)VALERIE: Talk about Karma! That’s hilarious! (Laughs)
CAMILLE: Oh, no! Not her! Anyone but her!ZACHARY: Eric, who are they talking about?ERIC: Sandra Bullock, who else? She’s the one who beat Camille out for the part.CAMILLE: It’s not fair! I acted rings around that... that...PEYTON: Scenery-chewing hag?MAX: Who needs to get a tummy tuck?CAMILLE: Okay, okay, I get it! She must’ve pulled some strings with someone to snag thatpart.LANCE: Or maybe, it’s just because she more well-known.GEOFFREY: And perhaps even, dare I say it, more...CAMILLE: NO! Don’t say it! I can deal with everything else, but not that!PEYTON: This is what we’re talking about, Camille. You need to learn how take things like thismore gracefully. It’s up to you now. I can’t get you any more second chances... or movie roles.HAZEL: Peyton, will you consider being my agent?ERIC: Hey! I’m still here, you know! If you want to switch agents, let’s talk!HAZEL: Oh brother. Down, boy! I swear, sometimes agents are worse than groupies.VALERIE: What? You have groupies? That’s it! I’m swearing off breakfast! My stomach can’ttake this much turbulence!CAMILLE: Peyton, after everything I’ve done to you and put you through, why would you go toall this trouble just for me?PEYTON: I didn’t do it just for you. I also did it for Lance... and me. I’m tired of sneakingaround like we’re doing something wrong... which we’re not. I’ve given you something that youreally want, now I’m hoping that in return, you’ll give me what I really want. It’s called beingfair.CAMILLE: There’s no sense in fighting it. It’s obvious he loves you anyway. Go ahead, takehim... with my blessing.
LANCE: (Going to Peyton and hugging her) Did I ever tell you how wonderful you are?PEYTON: Not lately, but you can start anytime now. (They kiss)ZACHARY: Very nice, Camille. It looks like there’s hope for you after all.CAMILLE: Sure... hope. That’s nice, but what am I going to do about a boyfriend? I get lonelytoo.PEYTON: I can’t help you with that one. But, I’m thinking with your upcoming change inpersonality, you shouldn’t have much trouble attracting eligible guys.CAMILLE: But I don’t want to wait. I want one now!VALERIE: I know a couple of cute guys who double as corpses on C.S.I. I might be able tohook you up!CAMILLE: I don’t think I’m quite ready for the concept of a mother-daughter double date.Besides, I want someone with a personality. I don’t want to spend an evening with some stiff!MAX: Corpses? Stiff? Oh, Camille! I wouldn’t even have made that pun!CAMILLE: Cut me some slack. I’m going to need some time to get used to having civilconversations again.ERIC: Well, this is just peachy! From what I’ve been hearing, everything works out happily everafter! Peyton and Lance get each other! Camille keeps her job... and still gets a movie deal!Zach gets a horror film to direct! Max, Geoffrey, and Valerie get to keep their jobs since theseries is still on the air! It’s a fairy-tale ending, except for me! What does the poor, abused, andrecently fired agent get out of this?PEYTON: I’m sorry, Eric. If I could have found a way to get you a benefit out of this, I wouldhave. Camille, do you have any ideas?CAMILLE: Oh, I get it, This is the big test. Can I really change? Well, if I’m going to have achance at a movie career, I guess I will need someone to negotiate for me. To tell you the truth, Idon’t understand all that legal gibberish anyway. (Walking over to him and taking his hands)Eric, would you please agree to represent me again?ERIC: Well, I don’t know... I’ll have to think about this. I’m just not coming back to the waythings were. There may have to be some... negotiations between us.
CAMILLE: Can we discuss that in depth... say... over dinner?ERIC: You’re asking me out on a date?CAMILLE: I’m asking you to dinner to discuss a business partnership. Any other possible...perks to go with that relationship, we’ll see...ERIC: Well... how can I say “no” to a face as pretty as yours? At least to dinner... the rest of it,let’s talk.HAZEL: Oh, for the love of Jack Daniels! Will somebody please find me a flask? I can’t takeany more of this!LANCE: You want to put an end to this, Hazel? Then just say the magic words that finish everyHollywood classic.HAZEL: What magic words?ZACHARY: Those three little words that lets the audience know that we’ve reached a happyending and the show’s over.HAZEL: Oh! Those words! You mean...EVERYONE. (Directly to audience and waving) TH-TH-THAT’S ALL, FOLKS! (Lights out,curtain closes) END OF PLAY