Monday, April 2, 2007

Ryan Cassavaugh

Ryan Cassavaugh is a member of the improv comedy troupe Equinox Comedy Deathmatch and a writer for the "Pizza Show," as well as an award-winning playwright. He is happily married with three cats and a baby on the way.

The question sent Donna Lou’s mind reeling back thorough the years, to when she had first been asked that question. She was on-stage in a high school production of “Annie Get Your Gun…Again!” an ill-conceived and short-lived sequel to the popular stage musical. The question had been posed by her drama teacher, Mr. Wilberforce, as he flung a toasted sesame-seed bagel at her head.

“Are you an actress?” he had asked. “Because you give the impression of a tone deaf cow in high-heeled slippers having a seizure!”

The question confused Donna Lou, since she was, in fact, playing a tone deaf cow in high-heeled slippers having a seizure. To this day she was still unsure if the comment was a compliment or an insult.

“I think she’s deaf,” the taller man said, staring at Donna Lou with a look that straddled the fine line between pity and annoyance.

“Pity,” said the small man. “She would have been perfect for the part of the mining pit.”

The Native looking man smiled a pleasant smile and nodded; the two men moved away both shaking their heads.

Donna tried to yell, “Wait, come back!” but the words didn’t come. She tried to say anything. Nothing happened. She was paralyzed with anticipation. This was her big break, she knew it. This is what she had always dreamed of. Why couldn’t she say anything? They were leaving. Worse… they were going to another table. To Patti Ponderfund’s table. Patti was Donna’s arch nemesis, or at least Donna thought so. She doubted Patti even knew her name. Patti was the lead in all the local productions. She had even been in a commercial. A national commercial for a line of vegetarian pet food. She had a line. An entire line! She said “Cats don’t know it’s not real fish!” She said it directly into the camera. The thought of it made Donna Lou queasy. Patti was going to get Donna’s big break. Patti was going to be a star. It wasn’t fair. This was Donna’s break, not Patti’s. She had to do something! Why couldn’t she speak? Time almost stopped. Donna watched as the two men inched closer to Patti’s table. In an instant she would see them and smile that million dollar smile at them and it would be all over. It was now or never, Donna had to act… that’s when it hit her.

Of course! There was only one thing she could do…


Sam Louden said...

There are now nine somewhat developed characters. Ryan almost does not add another, except Donna needs a foil and so we meet, almost, Patty. An then there is the brief appearance of Mr. Wilburforce in a flashback that illuminates a very important aspect of Donna's character, an ambivalent reaction that is always generated by her in others. So really there are now eleven characters, of whom only six or so are all that active. Another small step for plot and a giant leap for the Bozemankind.
Several lines in this chapter got excellent crowd response and several became eerily prescient.

Ray Sikorski said...

And let's not forget Gary Geek. Hmm, could it be self-referential?

Sam Louden said...

I thought Gary was one of Marjorie's characters. Perhaps it is self-reverential?