Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"I've an idea for a tv show."
"It's a stagecraft thing that has to do with the actors... but you can incorporate it into shows that're already on."
"You insist the writers periodically and arbitrarily 'disappear' an actor."
---"You mean more story-lines in which characters die, get married or find work and move to other cities?"
"No I mean writers 'retire' a character without building a story around it, without any explanations whatsoever."
---"I don't think...""
An episode begins as usual in which Character A and Character B are involved in a predictably entertaining situation. There's a commercial break or some change and when Character B again shows up on screen there's no more Character A. The episode goes on as if Character A was never in it. None of the other characters explain what happened or mention Character A in subsequent stories again. It's as if he or she 'disappeared'. The show's producers maintain a press blackout. The stars refuse to talk about Character A, (as does the former 'A' actor) feigning complete ignorance. All the actors are held to air-tight non-disclosure clauses covering non-events like this."
---"I don't get it. What's the point?"
"They could also do the opposite: arbitrarily introduce and materialize full blown characters into episodes without histories, back-stories ---out of nothing, from nowhere."
---"Why exactly?"
"How about randomly changing an actor's role within a series? During an episode he starts out as the tough cop 'Randy Bison', a part he's played for a number of weeks and somewhere in the middle, a corner is turned and he becomes the heavy metal loving forensic lab geek 'Sergio Cephalapod'?"

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