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Casting Call Back by Steven Donnini

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“Call Back”
By Steven Donnini

“Who sent me the defective actor?”

Steven Donnini Copyright

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10/16/2007 [email protected]

Monday morning at the Ultra Models Talent Agency is always stressful, because everyone except Vangie is at least 15 minutes late and a lot can happen in 15 minutes. Vangie

talent manager is in her office listening to the weekend phone calls on the answering machine. Ms. Green, the stage “This is

mother of a 7 year old girl, leaves a message. Ms. Green. steerage?

Who was the stupid drone that put us in Our contract with the Zippo Snack Company

clearly states first class non-stop round trip tickets to Miami. What the fuck, I had to spend 5 hours in Atlanta in

the center seats of the plane with my kid and an Arab, who stunk like a camel.” The recording clicks off. Beep. Beep.

“This is Ms. Green, I’m not finished venting.” Beep.

“Like, I’m in the Buccaneer Hotel in Coconut Grove.

It looks like a whore house with all the mirrors on the ceiling.” Beep. “OK, just call me before 6:00am Monday. Vangie looks around the empty The

We’re on call for 7:00am.”

office, “Why can’t they just come to work on time?”

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front office door opens and Everett Elting III, nursing a weekend hangover, strolls in through many desks and chairs into the bullpen, or “The Pit” as the booking crew calls it. He stops at Vangie’s office as she says, “Why can’t Everett,

you make these people come to work on time?” “It’s Monday morning for Christ sake. Missy.” He continues to his office.

Pace yourself A few minutes later Vangie You

Clara Castle and Teddy walk through the door.

greets them with a shrill, “Every Monday is the same. people don’t respect me enough to show up on time.” Everyone ignores her out burst. Vangie is edgy because

there is a very important luncheon meeting today with a powerful ad agency to talk about an important hair care product client. It’s the best client in the market with a Although

very demanding ad agency man named Harry Norton.

Harry has no hair on his dome like head, he does have a lush full gray mustache which he grooms like a family heirloom. His client is looking for a new look in models,

who are blonde, red head, brown and a tall dark male. Vangie and Everett have been invited to meet Harry at Chi Chi’s a 4 star restaurant, where they’ll be expected to foot the bill, which will be excessive for Italian fare. But, in this business, you must pay to play. Vangie is

dressed to kill with a Versace scarf over a gray wool suit.

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Everett is coming along as a backup if things get off track. As they walk to the luncheon meeting Vangie asks,

“Do you have any idea’s?” He reply’s, “Last week you agreed, you’re the idea person. I’m the front man.” She bristles, “A little involvement from you would be helpful since your salary this year will reflected in the outcome of this meeting.” He answers, “This is news to me.” Vangie, “Yeah, if we don’t pull this off, your going to have to tighten that belt.” She looks down at his considerable girth. tuckus in gear.” “So get your

She smiles, slaps him on the ass as he

opens the restaurant door. The hostess greets them. “Vangie, you look fabulous. Come this

Everett, love the ascot great splash of color. way.” They are seated.

Vangie, “No drinking Everett.” He asks, “Just one. You know my nerves.”

Vangie, “No wait till after the meeting.” Harry arrives and is seated. “Drinks?” Harry, “Johnnie Walker Black. Vangie, “Bloody Mary.” Double.” The waiter arrives.

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Everett, “Stoli on the rocks with a twist of lime.” Vangie kicks Everett in the knee cap under the table. Everett, “Ooooh, what a wonderful day for the race.” Harry, “What race?” Everett, “The human race.” Harry, “Can we get down to business. The Careall Hair

products company needs a completely new look this year and we’d like 4 new faces that can set the brand on fire. this is confidential, of course. you’re out of the competition. theme this year is, All

If I hear a word of this The drinks are served. The

“Be Sassy with Careall hair products.” Harry.”

Everett takes a gulp from his Stoli, “Great idea. Vangie, “What exactly does that mean? “We want faces with Sassy looks.” Vangie, “Can you be more descriptive?” Harry, “Look up “Sassy”. dictionary.” It’s in the Webster’s Don’t worry.

Everett, “I get it.

We’ll put

our best people on it.” another round of drinks.

He gestures to the waiter for

Harry, “We are looking for faces that can act and look Sassy. arms. In fact, that’s the new name.” Vangie folds her

Everett, “What kind of campaign contract?”

Harry, “I want exclusive for beauty category, one year $250,000 for each and 2nd year option, plus expenses and

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agency fees.

By the way, your competition is BiCoastal in I expect to see the Harry finishes

L.A., Greta has some great people. first round next Friday.

No Cattle calls.”

his drink. “Let the game begin.” Greta’s BiCoastal Talent is the hottest talent agency in N.Y. and L.A. They’ve been scooping up the best cosmetics It’s a top of

and fashion accounts for last two years. mind contest.

At the Ultra Agency, the pit crew is at full throttle with activity. Teddy has tacked up a photo of a sloth hanging

upside down, with a fashion magazine photo of Greta’s head glued on it. Crew!” With the caption, “No one beats the Pit

The phones are ringing and the crew is sorting out

candidate’s head sheets and tacking them in groups to the walls. Vangie is walking around glancing at the progress.

“Think Sassy people.” Everett steps out of his office in a panic mode. “The Miami shoot producer, Jack, is on the line. to talk to you Vangie. Right now.” He wants

She switches to speaker phone, “Hey, Jack, what’s happening?” Carla walks to the coffee machine with her With her gravely smoker’s

cigarette hanging from her lips.

voice, she asks, “So, what’s your story?”

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Jack, “Hey Carla.

Well, we were 30 takes into the morning So

when we noticed and your boy, Bobby Pearl, was crying. we asked what was the matter? a break. He couldn’t say.

So we took

When we rolled camera, he started crying again.

So, there was that.” Carla, “So, he was crying every time the camera rolled?” Jack, “Yeah. it. The cameraman was the only one who could see

But, he was in fact crying.”

Vangie incredulous, “OK.” Jack, “We’re going to keep working at it, but you better send me another kid out here pronto.” Carla, “Who is with him down there?” Jack, “His older brother.” Carla, “Put him on the phone.” Brother, “Hello?” Carla, “What’s happening with your brother?” Brother, “He’s crying.” Carla, “That’s all. He’s crying for no reason?”

Clara lights a cigarette, “Ask him, when he starts to cry, how long does he cry?” The brother answers, “Three Days.” Vangie, “Three days?” Clara, “Better send the backup kid.” her office. She walks back into

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Later that day, Teddy the agency booker calls out from the bullpen, “We have all 4 principles for the Careall account. They’ll be in late tomorrow afternoon. blabber mouths, so keep this quite. know about the client.” At 6:30pm, Ms. Green calls from Miami. Vangie answers on speaker phone, ”How are things going down there?” Ms. Green, “Well, I’m in the North Miami Beach General Hospital E.R. with my baby thanks to that incompetent director, ass hole, Jerry Antelli. What a fucking jerk. They’re a bunch of

I don’t want them to

He made my little girl drop down from a jungle gym 100 times, until she ruptured her spleen. I’m calling my lawyer!” hotel room. She hangs up. (She screams out.) Jack calls from his That Green

“Carla, the shit has hit the fan. What the fuck?

girl is going to die on me.

I’m finished!

The clients will get a million dollar law suit and I get a boot up my ass. I’ve got a bout of colitis here and I I’m a nervous

can’t get off the head even for a moment. wreck!”

Carla, “I’ll get another girl down there by 10:00 am.” Jack, “You know this is bad for my reputation. your fault.” It’s all

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Clara, “How’s that?” Jack, “You sent me a defective actor.” Carla smoking, “We’ll send flowers.” He disconnects.

Vangie pushes back in her office chair with her hands covering her ears. “I can’t listen to any more of this.”

Carla, “I’ll call the evil twin.” Carla calls their attorney, a famous criminal lawyer. Carla, “I’m calling for F. Lee Bailey’s evil twin.” The next afternoon models Linda, Jessy, Glen and Rupert report for casting call. Teddy brings them into the

bullpen for head shots with Tony, the still photographer. Tony has set up a no seam backdrop. come first. Tony to Rupert, “You

Stand over here on the mark.”

Rupert mugs a Marylyn Monroe kiss, “You sure you want me to come first?” Tony, “I’m not your type. “Purse Pisser.” shot. I heard you’re in love with the

Come on now, I need a Sassy look for this

Give it to me.”

Rupert, “Billy got his unfortunate nickname, the “Purse Pisser” when he got beer drunk mad at me at the gay pride parade. urinal.” Tony shoots him and continues with the girls. They start playing off each other and getting silly. He needed to take a leak, so he made my purse a

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Vangie pokes her head out of her office.

“Teddy take the

kids out to dinner at Chi Chi’s, they just reopened and it’s great. I told the owner, Pauley Parlmari, I would Rupert qualifies and Tony

send some gorgeous models over. can’t skip an Italian meal.

Have fun and think Sassy.”

Carla, “Take your camera along, I’d like some group street shots for the proposal presentation book.” Teddy walks the group of models over to the restaurant for drinks and dinner. table in the room. snappy chatter. adjoining table. They are seated at the most conspicuous Everyone is dazzled by their beauty and

There are some local dignitaries at an In fact, Judge Hubert and his wife Helen

are enjoying an evening on the town to celebrate their 25th Wedding Anniversary. The owner, Pauley Palmari, is a tall He greets

good looking Italian chap with big city style. the Ultra group. “Welcome to Chi Chi’s.

Will Vangie be

joining you tonight?” Teddy, “No, she’s got an emergency in Miami to tend to.” Pauley, “I hope you will bring your friends in to see how the place has changed since the unfortunate kitchen fire. Let me order for you from tonight’s special menu. dinners on me.” wine. The

They order several bottles of Italian red

Dinner is served, white clam sauce, the house red

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sauce, pasta, grilled snapper, fish soup and fresh made canolie for desert. Everyone is having a great time of it. Jessy, Glen, and

Linda are getting silly and laughing with each other and the restaurant patrons, who love watching their high jinks. Rupert and Tony are talking business. Glen invites the girls to the powder room for a smoke of her Thai silly sticks. When they return they are high, drunk, and laughing at everything. The Judge and Mrs. are clearly embarrassed She bends

when Linda stops at their table to fix her shoe. over exposing her bare ass to the couple. is outraged.

The Judge’s wife

The Judge calls Pauley to the table. Can’t you do

Judge, “These girls are an embarrassment. something about them?” Pauley, “I’ll have a word with them.” He walks across to the table.

“Look kids, if you can’t

tone it down I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” Linda answers, ”Fuck you, Pauley. We’re the “Sassy Models

Gone Wild” and we don’t take bull shit from anyone.” She falls back to the floor on her butt. to her feet. Glen gets up. Pauley helps her

“Lookie here, we won’t put up

with a dumb old dried up fag hag telling us what we can and can’t do. So shove it!”

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Everyone laughs.

Encouraged by the laughter, Jessy pipes

in, “If that old, fat, bitch doesn’t like us, she can kiss my ass.” She bends over and lifts her skirt. Tony takes

out his camera and starts to shoot the Sassy Team in action. Linda puts a clam with red sauce in her spoon and The clam hits her in the

flicks it at the Judge’s wife.

chest and slides down into her considerable cleavage. The Judge orders Pauley, “Call the police, I want to file assault charges.” The Sassy Group continues posing for The 15 minute

Tony as they are arrested by the police.

incident is caught on a cell phone web camera by a couple while they were dining. Pauley, “I’m sure it was a mistake, Judge.” The “Sassy Models Gone Wild” are loaded into the cop car, as they pose for one last topless shot. They are arrested and booked into the in jail complete with finger prints and mug shots. Linda paints her face with

strips of black finger print ink under her eyes, so she looks like she has been beaten up. lips on. cards. Jessy puts black clown

Glen prints her nipples on the finger print And Rupert is flirting with the cops and inmates.

All of the mug shots are made public by the next day. It’s a great collection of different levels of inebriation. Jessy being the most disheveled. She is in the Nick Nolte

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and Mel Gibson hall of fame category.

The next afternoon,

Everett, Vangie and Clara are in the bullpen going over the mug shots and photos Tony shot at Chi Chi’s Restaurant. Everett, “I think we’ve been shagged.” Vangie, “You think so?” Clara, “I say, the cat is out of the bag. best of it. Let’s make the

By the end of the day, the press will splatter

“The Sassy Gang Gone Wild” across every screen in town.” Everett, “I say, when all else fails a little chicanery is in order.” Vangie, “How about sending in the Puffer?” Everett, “Great, Harry loves the Puffer. all the time.” Clara, “You people have no couth.” Vangie, “We have more couth and style than you’ll ever have, we get respect.” Clara, “Sorry folks, but most people in the business think you are the village idiots.” Vangie, “Well.” Everett, “Nice. Hold that thought.” “Is this meeting open for He asks about her

Teddy walks into the bullpen. bad news?” Clara, “Let’s have it.”

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Teddy, “Well, Chi Chi’s thing was caught on video by one of the diners on one of those cell cameras. You Tube last night. It was posted on That’s not The log

It’s all over the web.

all, the mug shots are being offered as downloads. title is “The Sassy Models gone wild.” Clara calmly lights a cigarette. Everett, “Can’t you stop smoking so much?” Clara, “No. Can you stop sucking your thumb.”

Vangie, “We’re screwed unless the Puffer can get Harry back in a good spirits.” Teddy, “I don’t like this. She almost killed him. 4am in the morning.” Everett, “The number one business school rule, is “Never kill the client.” Clara, “My pappy always said, when you step on you dick, leave it alone for a few days until the swelling goes down.” She walks away. Remember that Japanese client.

I was in the E.R. with him until

Vangie, “What was that?” Everett, “She said, send in the Puffer.” Vangie, “Oh!” That night every 24 hour news network had the mug shots and video clip of the Sassy Models Gone Wild.

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Vangie refuses to answer her cell phone as it rings incessantly. The next morning at Ultra , Clara, Teddy and Everett are pacing around. Everett has taken up smoking again and

Teddy is throwing darts at the Sassy Models head sheets on the wall. The phones are ringing non-stop. How bad

Teddy picks up one call saying, “What the fuck. can it be?” Teddy.” He pushes the speaker phone.

“Hello, this is

“Hey, this is Jack.

We got good news about the

Green girl.

Looks like she will live without her spleen Clara, “We’ll send flowers.” At 169

and two ribs.”

Jack, “Oh yeah, your new kid to replace was a dud. takes we still didn’t have anything on film.

But the So

brother of Bobby Pearl, the crier, said he could do it. we said, “What the hell, why not?” it. The slate reads 172 takes.

3 takes later he nailed I may be able to

Amazing.

save my job after all.” Teddy, “Great, is this a good time to discuss billing.” Jack, “Let me get back to the office and check the damages. Then, we’ll talk.” Teddy, “Well, we’ve got bigger problems anyway.” Jack, “Yeah, I saw it on CNN.” Clara, “Got to go Jack.” She clicks him off and answers a call from the evil twin.

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“OK, so what’s your story?” “Well, I got all the kids out on bond, but they need to go to rehab for 28 days or they get 30 days in jail. way, we’re fucked. Either

The Judge was pissed because his wife So I

got a clam stuck between her tits in a food fight. agreed to the rehab thing.

It was the best I could do.

Mostly, because everyone in show business is going into rehab. I got three other clients there now, they should

let us have a group rate.” Clara, “So for the next 28 days 4 of our best talent are in drug rehab.” “Yup, except for Tony the photographer. He

passed the drug pee test and got off easy with a fine.” Everett, “Just think, after all those cover mug shots of our kids on the supermarket tabloids, I won’t be able to send them on a dog food commercial.” Teddy, “This is Tabloid Hell.” Clara, “Look, the Green kid is alive. complications. That’s a plus. Pending any

Then we got the Sassy

Models Gone Wild on the cover of every rag in the supermarket. That can’t be that bad.”

Teddy, “Harry can’t do anything with the Sassy Models now, not without us. going.” Everett, “We’ve got him by the proverbial mountain oysters.” Get it? And we got the biggest story

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Teddy looking at the mug shots, “Now, look at those kids.” He points to the four mug shots tacked to the office wall. “You got to love those mug shots. It’s Gold baby!”

Every time the phone rings they all look at the caller ID. The phone is ringing. Clara answers. Teddy, “It’s Harry calling.”

Before she can speak Harry says, “You guys You’re a bunch of

fucked me up the ass royally this time. fucking idiots!” Clara answers, “So you say.”

Harry, “Now, I can’t change the product name.

It’s too

late, all the labels are printed and the product is already shipped to over 1,000 Walmart Stores.” Clara, “How many per box?” Harry, “Don’t be a smart ass. over this.” Clara, “You and I know we have a blockbuster ad campaign going here, that just fell in our laps. By Friday morning We could loose the business

everyone with hair will know the Sassy name and the faces you were looking for and that’s before you’ve even spend a penny. What’s not to like?”

Harry, “The client has been calling all morning.” Clara, “Call them back and tell them we have had 2 million clicks on You Tube so far. shots were downloaded yet. We don’t know how many mug But, just think about the Sassy

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image.

Shots of the kids with great photography.

What

would that cost them?” Harry, “But, we didn’t do it.” Clara, “Be selfish, Harry. hero. Think of it this way. You’re a

Now, you just saved them lots of money.” Who cares

Harry, “You’re right, this is a great campaign. what tree it fell off. hero.”

I can forget my ego to be a rich

Clara, “So, don’t be a shumk, take credit for this good fortune.” Harry, “OK, but when will the kids be out of rehab?” Clara, “Who gives a shit. Have you seen the mug shots?

They’ll sell Sassy big time.” Harry, “What about the contract?” Clara, “The numbers have changed, because of all the publicity and the legal fees. the rehab bill. real stars now. Plus, you’ll have to pick up You have

Then, there’s the fame factor. You’ll have to pay big.”

Harry, “You mother fucker!

If I didn’t know better I’d

think you did this thing yourself…” Clara, “What kind of mother fucker do you think I am? There’s a stupid mother fucker, a lazy mother fucker, an ugly mother fucker, a rich mother fucker, a lucky mother fucker or a happy mother fucker.”

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Harry, “At this point you’re a rich, Sassy, mother fucker.” Clara, “Today, you’re a very lucky, mother fucker.” Harry, “Good work Clara. Get those contracts together.”

Clara, “How was the Puffer?” Harry, “No comment. I’m on speaker phone, I got to go.”

Everett, “It’s party time.”

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