There's no greater performance than pretending you've moved on.
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. VIRGIL HONEYCUTT addresses a circle of STUDENTS. TEXT: "SEEING AN EX" fades in, then out. VIRGIL Seeing a girl or boyfriend that you haven't seen since the break-up. This... is theatre. (beat) You must never betray the pain and anguish you feel. This is LIFE, not a fucking middle school production of Pippin. CUT TO: INTERCUT Virgil giving performance notes with Virgil giving an EXAMPLE PERFORMANCE, smiling wide, as students take notes. VIRGIL (CONT'D) The word "great" is your ally. (performing; quick cuts:) "Naomi! Great to see you."/"I'm great, everything's really great."/ "Great great great great great." (teaching) The fictional character you're inhabiting is you. (performing) "Got that promotion I was gunning for, finally joined that Crunch Gym, and my new apartment has a breakfast nook." (teaching) The greatest actors tell two different stories with their mouth and their eyes. (performing; fake smile) Oh, you moved two blocks away! Welcome! Great! CUT TO: VIRGIL (CONT'D) Nikolai, I believe you prepared a backhanded compliment. NIKOLAI "Oh, you're running a marathon! I just read this thing in the Atlantic about how a lot of that charity money goes to the wrong people, but cool you're doing it!" VIRGIL Powerful stuff, Nikolai. Remember to suck in your gut. Rebecca? REBECCA "Every sight, sound, and smell reminds me of you." VIRGIL NO! Christ, Rebecca, it's like you're allergic to learning. CUT TO: VIRGIL (CONT'D) Now, if you meet your ex's new romantic partner, this is an actor's dream: for you must ACT as if you don't already know every detail of their life from stalking their Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. CUT TO: VERA, BERTRAND and GRAYSON act out a new-boyfriend- introduction scene. CU: VIRGIL'S FACE between them. VERA "This is my new boyfriend, Roger." GRAYSON (shaking Bertrand's hand) "Roger... what an interesting and surprising name." VIRGIL Yes, yes! Revert to a primordial state of unknowing! GRAYSON "What is your job? What is your favorite television show?" VIRGIL Exemplary! GRAYSON "Aside from Friday Night Lights." VIRGIL NO! An unacceptable loss of focus and discipline! Three vocal warm- ups, Grayson! QUICK CUTS: GRAYSON & VIRGIL (aggressively enunciating) I don't think thoughts of your thick thighs. (new shot) I met someone, her name is Pam, pah- lee, pah-loo, pah-lah. (new shot) Only the lonely eat banh mi and bone me. CUT TO: VIRGIL When you have performed your small talk, it is time for your encore: the excuse to leave. (performing) "I have to go. I- left a- a piece of toast. On my dresser." (teaching) It doesn't matter. Just get the fuck out of there. END.