[Big Maul] Auditions (H 1.5, J 1.8)

edited May 2014 in Big Maul

You put the word out that the AMC is looking to refill their ranks. People from inside and outside the Maul have started filtering in this afternoon. How do you handle auditions? Who are you looking for? Does anyone help you, is it organized?


  • edited May 2014
    If this happened yesterday, it would have been organized. But without Mari or Jules I'm forced to lean on Fall for judgements about dancers and acrobats. Which is fine, I love Fall, he's amazing onstage, but he comes off really strong sometimes and I don't want to inadvertently scare anyone away. Especially the feminine types. And I make all decisions on anyone who's not a dancer or an acrobat. So it's gonna be both of us. I'll ask Rache to make some signs and dig up the casting notebook while Fall and I go clear out one of the small theaters. Gives me some time to think.


    Egh I know what I have to do. It's simple, right? All I have to do is walk up to Cache, say something casual, like "Hey Cache, why did Sweet want to kill you?" Short. Simple. Why can't I just do that?

    Because I don't want to know why.

    Because the answer will not come from Cache. It will come from... whatever Cache has become. It will have a logic that I won't comprehend, a logic that belongs to the Breeze, and it will tell me only one thing:

    Ze's gone.

    Might be better to go see Sweet myself.

    Maybe if I...

    "I'm sorry Fall, what? Oh. Yeah. Got it." I pick up my end of another plank, help him carry it to the far side of the room. We'll have this place ready in half an hour, Rache will handle the lines outside.

    Everybody else will wander in and out of the auditions. It's kinda boring because there's a lot of uncreative bullshit between acts: names, questions, answers, and every theater baby thinks we need to hear their whole life story or something. But then while they're doing their thing of course everyone in the crew wants to catch a vee. You never know what you'll get. Hope we get something good. We sure as fuck need it.

    I know what I have to do. Just walk up to Cache, ask casually...
  • "...wasn't bad, was she?" Fall asks, this time he punctuates each word to grab your attention.

    Up on stage is a snip of a girl dressed in an ill-fitting feather boa. She's got a painted-on smile, and she looks a little flushed. she's got a round face belying her youth, and a light bit of muscle tone. You were lost on most of what she did, really. Lost in thought.

    "I'm going to bring her on, dancer only for now," Fall says slowly, now that he sees you're with him. "Rache can fit her, and Nan can take her under her wing, teach her a few things.... do you want to take a break or something?"

    There are people just inside the door, queued up, next in line. It's hot in here, the air conditioning doesn't work as well in this stage.
  • edited May 2014
    "Not bad isn't good enough to replace Jules" I say. Fall winces.

    It's true, but the moment I say it, I wish I hadn't. "I'm sorry Fall, but you know it's true. Yes, let's take ten. I need some air. In fact, make it fifteen." I hand him my notes, tiny scribbles in my angular hand, and point at the dancer's name. "That one's a maybe." None of these have been truly special, to be honest. We haven't found IT yet.

    Fuck. I can't work like this. Distracted. How many minutes before the VKs return to finish ... whatever the fuck that was about?

    "I'll be back soon," I say, getting up and walking toward the side door. Make this quick, Jet. It's just a simple question.

    I'm going to see Cache.
  • You head out, leaving Fall in your wake. He'll deal with it, keep things moving. He has to, right?

    Out towards the lobby, Coming Soon is there at Concessions. When he sees you, he flags you down, "Yo, Jet!"
  • edited May 2014
    "What's up, my man?" I'm smiling to keep him warm. My smile is totally fake but I'm damn good at it. Coming is a good source of info due to his location. Head on over to him.

  • Coming Soon likes it when you smile at him. That's how he knows things are okay. You're not easy to please. He starts rattling off his morning, "Playboy came in, barefoot and hair all twisted around in the back. She had some blood on her, not her own. She grabbed Burrito King and pulled him out. And Hottopic bought some chockies , prolly for those fucken... oh well, maybe she needs more?" He gestures for the entrance and sure enough, there's Hottopic.
  • edited May 2014
    Beneath the big burning question in my mind, and beneath the pressing issue of my rent which is due tonight, there is another idea that I have barely had time to acknowledge. But the moment I see Hottopic, that thought comes rushing to my awareness again.

    Boio and Jackbird, having to be manly, got themselves killed defending the rest of us. Even if we replace the dancers we lost, we're still without a tech crew.

    But Hot...

    I spin to face her. "Hot, my dear, I was just thinking about you!"
  • "And I was coming to see you... see what you might need from my one-stop-shop of techie goodness after whatever-the-fuck happened last night. By the way, what-the-fuck happened last night?" I think of Jet as a... colleague, An unpredictable, ill-defined-requirements colleague. But I've done some of my most... artistic work for him.
  • edited May 2014
    "Good question. I'm still trying to figure that out myself." I glance back at Coming, giving him the infamous Jet Black one finger wait signal.

    "As for your other question... It's a clear blue sky, Hot. Absolute void. In fact..." I lower my voice, leaning closer to take her into my confidence, "I was thinking of focusing less on the dance, and doing something more like..." (I'm quickly concatentating morphemes in my head, looking for a good phrase) "...something like a TechnoGonza".

    I like the way it sounds, but I'm not sure anyone will get it. I'm totally scatting. I'm hedging my bets.

    "You know, like, pushing the tech as far as you can push it in a theater space. Like... maybe... just brainstorming here... But what if the tech was actually like, a character in the show? Can you imagine?"
  • ((Hottopic does not look down at Kay-Bee when she hears this. Seriously.))

    "So... you don't have anything broke that needs fixed?"

    There's a definite pause before the following.

    "Tech as a character, Jet? I can see that. Fuck, I can feel that. Give me some more. What do you want? What can you pay? I like TechnoGonza."
  • edited May 2014
    I can't answer questions about pay right now. Wave that aside. "It's still in the preliminary stages, of course. Pure brainstorm, you see. Plenty of time to determine the details. But YOU..." Turning to face Hot directly, I touch her gently with one fingertip, in the center of her forehead. "I can think of no one better than YOU to be the Lead Technixer on this. No, no, more than just a technixer. More like..."

    I need another word, but I'm going places I have no words for. Finally I just say the most obvious word. "A true ARTIST. A creator of MEANING. But with tech instead of makeup and music?"

    I have no idea where I'm going with this. But the more I hear these words coming out of my mouth, the less it feels like bullshit. Holy fuck, Jet...

    This TechnoGonza might just be The Next Big Thing.
  • hey Jet, it seems like you might be Manipulating Hottopic right now. If so, roll them bones.
  • Manipulate.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 4, 5. Total: 12)
  • Alright, that's a heck of a Manipulate.

    Hottopic, you can agree to Jet's terms, to become the lead tech designer for the AMC, to be one of his "artists" and help bring the next big show to life. If you do, then he's granted you an XP for doing it.

    However, you can refuse the offer, and the XP. But doing so means you're Acting Under Fire (which in the fiction would be horrible guilt and maybe some bad blood with the AMC crew who find out)
  • [Aside: Manipulate is +1 XP for Jet.]
  • I'm intrigued. I'll jump in for the next show, even with all the shit that's in the Breeze at the moment. "You got it, Jet, but here's the deal. Partners creatively, you tell me what you're looking for, I'll give you what I can and you build around it. We got a month, right? Also, I need jingle. Up front and on the back end. What can you give me to get started on this?"
  • edited May 2014
    Wow. I like her. She's smart.

    Ok, I'll try honesty.

    I push my hands deep into my pockets and pull them inside-out, exaggerating for comedic effect. I'm imitating this character I've seen many pictures of: a black and white guy they called "The Little Tramp". I doubt she gets the reference, but the message is clear enough.

    "I got two bullets and a CD right now, darlin'. Someone stole all our jingle last night and I'm out this month's rent. I have no idea what the fuck I'm gonna do about that, and godzone truth - I've spent a few minutes today thinking about just walking out into the Breeze and letting the curtain fall."

    Let that sink in. I really have considered it quite seriously. To the martyr part my mind, that still seems like an option. But of course, it's always an option.

    Snap fingers. I've got it.

    "Do you even know how much shit Jackbird and Boio had in their shop? There's tons of stuff in there. Even Rache could never count every cable, every console, every doodad in their inventory. In Props, we got a lathe, chisels, hammers, wrenches, blades, spanners, saws, glue, tape, plaster, paint, lumber and other things. In FX we got cables, wires, microphones, powersources, batteries, lightbulbs, transceivers, headsets, mixers and even more electric shit I don't know the names of."

    I lower my voice once more. "Everything in the AMC's lights and sound departments?" Pause to make sure she's listening closely.

    "It's yours."
  • This is too much to ignore. I pause for a moment. "Jet, I got a lot going on, but I'll make you some shit that's gonna blow minds. Here's the deal. Your tech people, whoever's left, they report to me for the duration. And..." ...pause... "...your shop's mine, regardless, until you move on."
  • "No problems there. Except that for now, there aren't any tech people to be reporting to you. Maybe we can hire those three little pups that follow you around?" That was a joke. I like children more in theory than in practice.

    It occurs to me that if we're doing a TechnoGonza, I may need to change my casting priorities. Fair enough. "Actually, I'll put out the word for that as well. You'll need more people with tech skillz. Coming up."

    I turn to Coming Soon. Hope he remembers that jingle I dropped on him for no reason earlier today, before I realized I was broke. "My man, I have a couple things I'd like you to drop into your news scroller. I'm looking for some handies with tech skillz, maybe you can let people know...?"

    Fingers in every pie. +1 XP
  • (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 6, 6. Total: 15)
  • Coming Soon grins, "Oh, Jet, I got you, man. There were a couple out-Maulers looking for work, said they were handy. I'll get Life and Proper to fetch them."
  • "You are a godzone miracle man, Coming. If you lost that little stinger, I might even give you a kiss."

    Turn back and beam a big smile at Hottopic. "Hotness, I had a short break and I spent it all on you. Care to come see some of the wannafreaks in theater 5?"
  • "Oh, one more thing..." Turning back to Coming Soon but raising my voice a little so others in the general area can hear the question: "Anybody seen NoShoes lately?"
  • "I'm with you for a while, Jet. Need to check the generators later, but that's just routine, so no big rush." I'll follow.
  • Grave and Rose were headed by and eavesdropped. Grave answers you, Jet, "NoShoes came by this morning while you were out, checking on everyone. He paid for Walgreen's work on Smoky and Rache, too."

    Rose chirps, "He's so sweet." She looks over at you, Hottopic, gives you a smile, "Are you joining us, pretty? I can... show you the ropes." She bats her eyelashes sweetly.

    Grave elbows her with a grin, "She means ropes literally, Hotty." He chuckles, then looks back at you, Jet, "NoShoes is over at SEARS, you need him?"
  • "Rose, I've heard about your... ropes. Thanks for the offer, though."
  • Rose gives a mock frown, which looks nice with her pouty lips. "Oh, boo. Don't knock it till ya try it, am I right? Maybe some time." She smirks, then prances on to work, since a few customers have come in, looking specifically for her.
  • I grin as she sashays off. This is an interesting crew, for sure.

    ((Does HT know who-all Jet lost last night?))
  • ((Let's say HT knows through the grapevine, happened off screen))
  • edited May 2014
    "Yeah Grave, I think we do need him. Could you tell NoShoes that I'm asking after him? I want to thank him but I can't get away from these auditions right now. No rush though, any time today is fine."

    I offer Hot one arm and gesture toward the theater. I think it's been about 15 minutes.
  • I go along with Jet for a bit... always interested to see what goes on behnd the scenes.
  • I explain the situation to Hot as we enter the theater and sit next to Fall. Let her know who we lost, and how the audition process works. I also let Fall know that I'm looking for unusual talents as well as just dancing.

    Right now there's an unusual talent on stage. This guy can snap his fingers faster than anyone I've ever seen. It's amazing, in a stupid kind of way. We watch politely. But I can't imagine writing a number featuring a rapid fingersnapper. Luckily it doesn't go on too terribly long.

    "Thank you..." checking the signup sheet... "GloStick, that was very interesting. Rache will get your info, right there in the front row." Rache raises her hand. "Your number is 41. Ok, can we please have number 42 on the stage?"

    The next one looks promising. The list says she controls pyro gear using a headset and belt radio. I seek her out in line. She has a small pack in the middle of her back, with some wires sticking out of it. Her hair is spiky and multicolored. Good look. I settle back and nudge Hot, pointing her out as she walks onto the stage.

    "Hello, room," she says confidently. "My name is Hazard..."
  • I sit up, all attention. This is interesting... I wonder how she's routing everything. I'm paying very close attention.
  • Hazard, who looks this this:

    She flicks a toggle on her belt, and this hum starts up as the pack powers on. Then, she extends some wires from the pack out onto the stage, about three feet long. She starts up her act with some whip dancing, flicking the wires around as she sings a soft tune. It's playful and moderately entertaining. She adds in some humming, which sounds odd with the hum of the pack as the bass.

    Then she starts moving more quickly, whipping the wires around her head in a circular arc as she starts screaming. The keening must be some kind of cue for the pack, because the wires spark to life, sending electric arcs up into the air, lighting up the stage brighter than your spotlights can manage.

    Hottopic, what song is she starting to sing? It's some kind of powerful operatic tune, right? Where have you heard this before? What's it about?

    At a certain high note, which she hits, she spews some spittle into the air, out in front of her face as her head is tilted backwards. Evidently she has swallowed some grain alcohol or some other accelerant, because her spittle erupts in a gout of flame. Dancers who slowly filed in to watch gasp and a couple shriek in surprise and delight.

    The dance is soon over, after she has Rache bring her a bottle of Everclear and does a few more, much larger flame-breath moves.

    She stops, flicks the toggle switch off, then stands there, waiting. Fall is about to jump up out of his seat, but he's gun shy after the last one he vouched for.

    What do you do?
  • edited May 2014
    Glance at Fall. I'm just as excited as he is. I make a gesture with palms down, meaning "settle, settle, let's be cool here..." and lean forward to the mic.

    "Thank you very much, Hazard, that was inspirational. It says here you're from Las Vegas? I'm not surprised. We have a few questions about your technical requirements and parameters, would you mind coming back here to the last section?"

    I cover the mic with one hand and lean toward Hot. "Ask her about safety, range, and crosstalk. If she knows her shit, I won't block you if you decide to hire her." Glance at Fall again to see if he agrees. His eyes are wide, mouth open. I think he agrees.
  • edited May 2014
    Der Hölle Rache:

    This is what she was singing. It's an aria from The Magic Flute, where the Queen of the Night is trying to convince her daughter to kill Sarastro, the High Priest of the (enlightened) Brotherhood. There's a lot of patriarchal shit going on, the Queen's evil because she's not on board with the dude power, but it's all about a knife and stabby-shit.
  • You've got it, Jet Black, Fall agrees, "This girl will be amazing, Jet. I don't know if she'll hook, but she will make the show incredible."

    Hazard smiles when you ask her to come up to you for questioning, but she doesn't run, doesn't even briskly walk. She practically struts her way up to you, Fall and Hottopic.

    Hottopic, the girl's rig is pretty good. You could probably improve it, but at a glance while she's wearing it, looks like it was a store-bought unit that has been customized.

    Over at the door, number 43 is waiting in the wings.
  • I'm in full-on geek mode. While she's talking to Jet I get up and walk around her, looking closely at her gear. I'll give him the first shot at conversation, so I have time to do this.

    Looking at it, I'm pretty damned impressed. Just guessing until I look inside her pack, but it looks like she's got a capacitor that spins up a flywheel (that was the hum) to generate static electricity out to the wires. The trigger to let the charge rip is probably just a certain volume threshold picked up by a clip mic on her lapel. It's all fairly standard stuff on its own, but putting it together this way is definitely more art than tech.
  • Hottopic, Hazard maybe senses a kindred spirit, because she heads up to you to discuss technical needs. "You're Hottopic, right? I've heard about you." She offers a hand, "Nice to meet you. Are you TD for this place?"
  • I look at Jet, but decide that we've got enough of an understanding for me to balls through. "I am for now... unfortunately there's been some... turnover. Nice rig. I'm guessing that it's mostly off-the-shelf, but... the way it's put together is pretty inspired. I can rig you a human-powered charger for the... not a battery... capacitor, in case you need to charge without house current. Unless you have one, you probably have one." Pause to catch breath. "How do you stabilize the flywheel while you're dancing?"
  • edited May 2014
    Hazard smirks at your response, but she's more amused than derisive. "Thanks, glad you like the rig, Hottopic. If you're half as good as I've heard, that means something." She tilts her head, "I've got a wicked draw on the capcitor. If you've got solar or some other kind of charger, that would be appreesh. My current rig won't hold a charge for more than a number, maybe two. Then it gets so hot that I'm literally burning."

    Her smirk cracks into a grin, "For serious, you should see the burn scars on my back sometime." She shrugs, like it was a small price to pay. "As for the flywheel, I don't stabilize it. I put it on gyros. It's tricky, but I get some extra flare out of it. Took a few tries to get it right. But, it's right... you know?"
  • "So... any casualties in the audience on any show of yours? We usually only get a few heart-attacks during the post-celebrations. What frequency on your wireless? We'll need to check that you're not going to interfere with operational bands. Ah, what the fuck... Jet, hire her. Now."
  • From this point on, Jet Black is now an NPC

    Jet Black offers a beaming smile, "Yes, of course. As long as you don't foresee problems that could destroy the theater, then I have no objections whatsoever." He looks at Hazard, "Proper will set you up with the troupe. Rache will handle wardrobe, Nan will be your mentor to bring you in."

    He looks towards the queue, "Rache! Come escort our newest Circus performer to Proper, if you please.... number forty three, you're next!"

    A rail-thin guy with a rooster mohawk comes strolling in with a steel guitar slung over his back. Jet turns to you, "Darling, if you want to check out the tech shop now, feel free. I'm sure we can hit the highlights of this grueling process later."
  • I'll head back to the shop. Seems...wrong without Boiardi's mustache and overalls.

    To someone without my eyes, it might look like a mess in here, but I can see that there's an order to the chaos. Cables on that rack organized not by length, but by capacity. A wireless receiver and a walkie-talkie both apart on a table, clearly mid-cannabalization. Another rack with more c-clamps that you can shake a stick at, for hanging lighting instruments. A lot of the stuff I'm interested in never comes into the shop at all, though... it lives on- or backstage or in the flyspace above. I know there's four slaved long-throw projectors in the two projection booths - I look around in here until I see the cabinet that has all the bulbs, check stock. I figure the projectors run intermittently for about a week each month, including rehearsals and the big show. A charging rack with a bunch of battery packs on it... looks like at some point in the troupe's history they set up a person-powered dynamo to charge things up, but at the momet it's hooked to mains power from the theater.

    A couple lockers in here, too, with Boiardi's and Jackbird's names on them. Locked, of course, although shouldn't be too big a problem once I decide it's time. There's the corpse of something that maybe used to be a couch and a chair that looks like someone with some serious skills with wood made it. A bag of mystery meat jerky and a bottle of hooch on a small table in front of the sofa.
  • --END SCENE--
Sign In or Register to comment.