So this weekend was an adventure for me. We got up early on Friday and drove for about eight hours to come down south and watch my nephew get married. He and his fiancé tied the knot on Saturday afternoon which meant I had a Saturday morning free and I got to join in with my old friends at the Orange County Writer’s Guild and we wrote for 32 minutes with three prompts. The prompts were:
- Natural Pharmacy
- Turns out; it was quite good, I was just an idiot
- I am very shy
We’ll be driving back Sunday morning, but this is what I came up with today, writing with friends. (practice makes perfect).
I was watching American Ninjas that night when the phone rang. I let the machine pick it up because I didn’t want to break away from the action. After the show, I went and collected the message.
“Hello Roger, this is Mister O’Toole from Paramount calling to let you know that we want to bring you in for another reading. Call me back to arrange things. My number is 867-5309.”
I thought to myself, “Hmm, my name’s not Roger and I don’t know Mr O’Toole, this is obviously a wrong number, but perhaps I can parlay this into a gig somehow.” So I picked up the handset and dialled.
“Hello?” said the disembodied voice answering across the ether.
“Hi,” I said, “I’m trying to reach Mr O’Toole.”
“Oh sorry, I didn’t recognize your voice sir, you called about wanting me back for another reading.”
“Of course, Roger. Thanks for getting back so quickly. We’d like you to come in and do another reading for the pirate part. Can you come into the studio tomorrow afternoon? Soundstage 7 at 4 o’clock?”
“I’d like that very much sir, thank you.”
“OK then, I’ll leave your name at the gate. The guard can direct you. I just want to confirm the spelling of your last name. Is it S T E W A R T or S T U A R T?”
“It doesn’t matter to me, Mr O’Toole I’ll spell it any way you’d like.”
“OK, that’s very accommodating of you. That kind of attitude can take you far in this business. Let’s go with S T U A R T shall we? I like that. Not as common.”
Fine sir, I’ll see you tomorrow at four.”
I hung up the phone and my mind began whirling. I knew where Paramount Studios was, of course, but I had a lot of preparation to take care of.
First – What fucking pirate? This could be anything. Did I have a script? Well, I didn’t but had they given one to the real Roger? Could I tell them that I’d been mugged and the papers were stolen? Could I say that I’d left my copy at home and get a new one? This might be tricky.
Second – What if they give me the part? I’m very shy and I’ll have to overcome that and then I’ll have to change my name to Roger Stuart. I can always call Jimmy; he’ll know how to help me out with that bit.
Third – What did the real Roger Stuart look like? Would I need makeup? Would I need costume? I guess I could Google him. He must have a SAG card and some publicity photos.
I went and grabbed my laptop from the bedroom, carried it into the kitchen, set it down on the worn pink Formica tabletop and turned it on. It wouldn’t boot. Back to the bedroom to retrieve the power supply and plug.
When it finally fired up I typed Roger Stuart into the search bar. Forty-three pages were returned.
“Shit, I’d better get a drink. This could take all night. How many ways can you spell Stuart? Whisky must have whisky.”
Time’s up – Put your pencil down and step away from the notebook.
For this week’s prompts, you can choose the ones I used (above) or you can use these:
- beat poets
- go easy with that, Darlene
- in the desert
Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.