Being the Random Yarns of Emily Cotton, Merry Scrivener of Fact & Fiction Historical, Animal, & Minimal to Amuse, Inform, & Enlighten.

Archive for May, 2014

Auditioning for a new neighbor

I have decided that I must post more often than once a year. So I’m just going to put up whatever else I’m writing that might be amusing to whoever stumbles onto this blog. Today, for instance, I wrote the following advertisement. It’s intended to be laughed at, of course, but also to convey information that will help people self-screen.

We are holding auditions for the part of ‘new neighbor’. The part calls for a non-smoker, but may be portrayed by actors of any race, color, creed, age, nationality, gender, or species. Excellent actors only; we will want a record of your past performances and roles.

This is a role for one person, no extras or stunt doubles. No new animals are allowed on the set, as they might interfere with other animal performers already cast for the role of ‘pet dogs’ and ‘neighborhood stray cats’.

The set props include sofa, chair, queen-sized bed, desk, shelf, full sink and ‘fridge, microwave, hot plate and various electric pots and pans. The bed is in a loft for better camera angles. (Please consult stage photos, attached.) additional props may be stored in a 5’ x 6’ outdoor storage area.

The screenplay involves a middle-aged couple who purchase the derelict foreclosure next door and fix it up. In act one, they rent to a family that needs a ‘second chance’ and we enjoy the drama of harried owners, their mortgage coming due, unsuccessfully chasing down rent. Observe the hilarity of tenant/neighbors who duck in and out only after they are sure the coast is clear. Includes a nail-biting scene where the hapless landlords learn all the complexities of California rental law and vow, sadder but wiser, never again to rent to anybody with bad credit or a history of being thrown of the set of other productions.

In act two, they convert the former garage into a darling little studio and pour more of their retirement savings into making the house look fantastic. They find a great tenant for the main house, and the studio also gets rented on the spot. They discover that LLNL and Sandia engineer-types with security clearances are wonderful tenants.

Other cast members include the friendly neighbors to the east, a fourth-grade teacher and his stay-at-home wife, complete with preschooler, first-grader and middle-school offspring; the quiet lady in the main house; and the eccentric but otherwise harmless neighbor-owner couple to the west, who have been known to keep llamas in the back yard and dress in renaissance-era garb and march around spouting thees and thous like they were right out of Shakespeare or the King James Bible. They frequently share their overbuilt house with a selection of LLNL interns who, when they speak at all, use a peculiar international lingo which we will call ‘Geekinese’.

Now comes act three, where the beloved tenant of the studio moves out of town. The owners post on Craigslist and pore through emails, searching for the applicant who will provide so little drama that, were this actually a performance, it would put the audience to sleep.

4 front garden 2 5-14