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In our new series, all the world's a stage.UnsSubscribe ToFrom Shorts
By Dan Gurewitch
INT. BLACK BOX THEATRE SPACE - DAY CALM NARRATOR (V.O.) (with accompanying TITLE) "Everyday Acting." The theatre workshop for real-life situations. TEXT: "AT THE BAR" fades in, then out, as VIRGIL HONEYCUTT addresses a circle of STUDENTS. VIRGIL "The bar is the ultimate stage." Anton Chekbov said this while peeing beside me at a trough urinal. (beat) If you are the first to arrive, use your mobile telephone as a prop to convince the world you are not a sad person who drinks alone. Everyone takes out their cell phones. VIRGIL (CONT'D) I like to pretend I'm texting my imaginary friend Lionel. If you have a real friend, let that inspire you - I personally do not, so I use Lionel. (performing; "typing") "What's that Lionel? I'm invited to a party with many important guests including Bill Pullman? Yes, I can attend!" AND SCENE. (showing his phone) As you can see, I've just been tapping on a photo of my basement mold problem. CUT TO: VIRGIL (CONT'D) It is often said that "the specific is universal." This is BULL SHITE at a bar, when you may be surrounded by sports fans and must convincingly blend in with them. Vague dialogue is king. Quick cuts as students attempt this: VERA Great sporting! NIKOLAI Obtain the most points! BERTRAND Bad legs, Uniform Man! CUT TO: VIRGIL When a friend's friend remembers you, and you don't remember them, you must sell your performance with RAW CONFIDENCE. He performs two versions of a greeting to an O.S. person (separate shots). Text is overlayed as described: VIRGIL (CONT'D) (Text: "RIGHT") "Hey you!" (Text: "WRONG") "Heyyyyyyy yooooouuuuuu!" Back to teaching: VIRGIL (CONT'D) And ask questions that could lead you to their identity. ENTIRE CLASS "What is your favorite word that rhymes with your name?" VIRGIL Good! Now, internalize this moment, Vera: I've just made a joke to you. The music was too loud for you to hear, but you must be polite. Begin. Vera forces a REALLY AWKWARD LAUGH. VIRGIL (CONT'D) (touching heart/emotional) That came from here. And I fucking respect it. CUT TO: VIRGIL (CONT'D) Now, it is of paramount importance that your audience doesn't realize that taking shots makes you want to cry and barf. We must exercise FACIAL CONTROL. Virgil walks around, correcting students as they attempt to stop their faces from looking puckered and pained. VIRGIL (CONT'D) Make your mouth tiny. Tiny mouths, suck it up. If you feel a tear on your cheek, catch it with your tongue. Pembroke FLICKS HIS TONGUE sucking up a tear. VIRGIL (CONT'D) Good, Pembroke. (beat) If you MUST react, overreact so comically that your audience will think you're being ironic. (performing) WHEEYOOO-WOW! TITTYFUCK! Virgil looks at Rebecca. She's drinking out of a flask. VIRGIL (CONT'D) Rebecca- Jesus Rebecca, have you actually been drinking? Rebecca coughs up a little barf as we BLACK OUT. END.