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A script for a one-act play we had to do in Creative Writing. The prompt was a guy goes to a speed dating service to find his soul mate and ends up getting a job instead.

The  entire thing has its share of problems, and it's probably rather predictable, but I enjoyed writing it. So yeah, if you have the time, feel frre to read and feed back:

THE LOVE CONNECTION CORPORATION
SCENE 1 -
LOCAL BAR – SPEED DATE NIGHT
Open to a bar, decorated in the way bars are – neon signs advertising various beverages, vintage signs, deer head or two. A sandwich board advertises that this is Speed Date Saturday – Men's Night. The rules are listed below the title. (“1. Girls on outer ring, Guys on inside. 2. You have 2 minutes to connect. 3. Write the name of all dates you'd like to contact in the future on your Love Card. 4. Have Fun!!!”) The floor has been cleared out to make room for a circle of tables, 8 total. In the inside circle sit the men, women on the outside. Each wears a name tag. We focus on KEVIN STIMPAK, a man in his late 20s, sitting across from CARLA, a very energetic woman. We join in the middle of their conversation. To their left, at the next table, sits a woman in black, peeking over her sunglasses at KEVIN. She seems very uninterested in the man across from her.

CARLA: I mean, I don't know why it's been so difficult for me to get a date since my boyfriend broke up with me, you know what I mean? I'm a nice person, I'm entertaining to be around, I've got great boobs, what am I doing wrong?
KEVIN: Well, perhaps...
CARLA: Sometimes I think the world is working against me. Which is why I do this speed dating thing, I mean, this is the third time I've been to one of these.
KEVIN: Only the third, huh?
CARLA: And I never get a second date, but I have yet to figure out why. I'm fun to talk to, right? You like talking to me, right?
KEVIN: Well, actually -
CARLA: Exactly, so why don't I have a date yet. Hell, why am I not married yet? I thought I'd be married now, but that's clearly a bust. No kids, no picket fence, no -
KEVIN: Carla, just... for one second. Be quiet for just a minute, and I can explain everything to you, because clearly someone hasn't or else we wouldn't be having this discussion. You aren't getting hooked up a these things because you just talk, and all about yourself. That's all you've done for the last (looks at watch) two minutes, and our time's almost up. Tell me one thing you've learned about me.
CARLA: You... you like... you have a... I don't know.
KEVIN: Exactly. So let me give you some advice to use on this last guy coming up. Let him talk. Let him start the questions, and you answer in two sentences or less. Don't branch off, don't bring all the focus back to you, just answer. If you're lucky, a real conversation will start and you two will connect. If not, then he just wasn't the right guy, and you move on. Don't blame yourself, don't pity yourself and then dump your problems on some poor shmuck who might have an interest in you if you just listened for once.
CARLA: That's a bit harsh, don't you think?
KEVIN: Carla, I'm not trying to patronize you. I'm trying to help you. Just try changing things around with this next guy, see how it goes.

A dong rings off stage. The HOST walks on, small gong in hand. She has a huge, fake smile on her face. Looks like the perfect house wife.

HOST: Alright, you love birds! Time to move on to your next and final date! If you want to contact your current date in the near future, don't forget to write her name on the card!

The HOST hits the gong and watches over the group as they switch. The women shuffle around, moving to their rights. CARLA gets up in a huff. The woman in black sits across from KEVIN. She removes her sunglasses, and stares at KEVIN. As this scene plays out, we see CARLA and her new date chatting, and things seem to be going really well. CARLA is letting him speak, and he seems interested.

KEVIN: I see you actually stuck around this time, Miss [looking at name tag] Persia? That sounds fake.
PERSIA: It is.
KEVIN: Wonderful. Alright, so what's your story?
PERSIA: Story?
KEVIN: This is the fourth time I've seen you here, and every time you're my last date. And you always leave right before you get to me. So fess up. What do you want?
PERSIA: You are unemployed, Mr. Stimpak?
KEVIN: [looks down at his name tag, which only displays his first name] How did you know my -
PERSIA: We've been following you Mr. Stimpak. Please, answer the question, Mr. Stimpak.
KEVIN: Ugh, enough with the Mr. Stimpak. Name's Kevin, see?
PERSIA: Are you unemployed, Kevin?
KEVIN: Better. Alright, uh, yeah, I'm unemployed, sort of. I mean, I do freelance graphic design work for businesses, sometimes, but that hasn't exactly taken off. Is it my turn?
PERSIA: Your turn?
KEVIN: Yeah, your turn. I figure we're doing a question exchange thing. You know, you ask one, I ask one, so on.
PERSIA: I don't see the harm in that. Very well. What is your question?
KEVIN: Why are you following me?
PERSIA: I'm not. I don't follow you around outside this bar. I simply monitor you.
KEVIN: Oh. Why?
PERSIA: Nope, my turn to ask the question. Kevin, you have a way with women that I don't think you know of.
KEVIN: Oh, is that why I have a bunch of women requesting a second date? Please, tell me where they are then, because I certainly haven't seen them.
PERSIA: No, that's not what I mean. You're horrible at getting women.
KEVIN: Gee, thanks.
PERSIA: But you're fantastic at helping them. They feel comfortable telling you their problems, and you help them find the solution. It comes natural to you.
KEVIN: But... but I'm a jerk about it.
PERSIA: Some women need that.
KEVIN: A jerk?
PERSIA: Someone's who's blunt, to the point.
KEVIN: Blunt and pointy are opposites.
PERSIA: Kevin, let's be serious here.
KEVIN: Serious, right. A mysterious woman with a fake name tells me she's been “monitoring” me and I'm expected to take her seriously.
PERSIA: Well, if you don't want to hear my offer, that's fine. But believe me, you want to hear my offer.
KEVIN: You have [looks at watch] half a minute to sell me on your “offer” before I leave here and find a new speed dating joint to peruse.
PERSIA: I'm prepared to offer you a job, one that I think you'll be good at.
KEVIN: Look, I'm here to find my soul mate, not be a part of your get-rich-quick scheme.
PERSIA: A high-paying job.
KEVIN: ... go on.
PERSIA: A... social psychological job. It involves helping people.
KEVIN: I just do computer stuff.
PERSIA: With some computer stuff. It's simple, trust me.
KEVIN: Trust the mysterious lady with the fake name?
PERSIA: Yes.

Gong rings off stage, and the HOST reemerges.

HOST: Alright, time's up! Please, write down the names of all those girls and guys who poked you with Cupid's error, and we'll match you all up.
PERSIA: Here's my card. [places card on the table] Stop by if you're interested. Positions are always available.

KEVIN takes the card. Flips it around, squints at the name on the card. PERSIA leaves as he studies the card.

KEVIN: The Love Connection Corporation? What the hell is...

KEVIN looks up to find that PERSIA has left. He looks at the card again before placing it in his pocket. He gets up to leave. The HOST stops him.

HOST: I'm so glad you could make it again, Kevin. Did you find your soul mate?
KEVIN: Ah, no.
HOST: Any names on your Cupid Card?
KEVIN: Nnnno....
HOST: Now, Kevin, you can't find your true love if you don't chase after her.
KEVIN: I think I'll be okay. Besides, I've got a potential job to research about.
KEVIN leaves. Lights fade as the HOST collects cards and the people dispense.

SCENE 2 -
THE LOVE CONNECTION CORPORATION OFFICES
A small, messy office. The blinds are drawn, opened slightly to let in some light. A plant next to the door. There's are two desks, one on both sides of the office. One is covered in papers and supplies. There's an old computer on top. The file cabinet behind it is almost bursting with the amount of paper in the drawers. A rolly chair behind the desk, two plush chairs in front. Across from this desk, is the other It's neat, with only a computer on top. The file cabinet looks untouched. On the door is the name of the company and its logo – two intertwined hearts. Another door leads to a different part of the office, though there's no way to tell where it leads. A rotating fan is placed near the door way

A bell on the door dings as KEVIN enters the office, looks around. No one's around

KEVIN: Hello?
No answer.
KEVIN: Hellooo?

There's a shuffle of feet as PERSIA suddenly emerges from the door at the side of the room. She is patting down her skirt, trying to make herself look nice, not looking at who’s at the door/

PERSIA: [hurried] Hello, welcome to the Love Connection Co, here for all your coupling needs please just make yourself comfortable and I'll be with you in a ... oh. It's you. Thought you were a customer.
KEVIN: [huff] Yeah, me. The guy who you were practically begging to come work for you yesterday.

PERSIA goes to sit behind the messy desk. She adjusts herself to get comfortable.

PERSIA: I certainly was not begging, merely prosing. Are you here to take me up on that proposal?
KEVIN: Maybe. You didn't exactly go into specifics and this place doesn't look particularly... active.
PERSIA: This branch has just recently been opened. We're more focused on getting Cupids than customers right now.
KEVIN: Cupids?
PERSIA: Match makers. The company prefers the term “Cupid” only because it matches our look.
KEVIN: It's dumb.
PERSIA: Tell me about it. Please, sit down. [She gestures to the set in front of her.] I assume you’re here about the job.
KEVIN: [taking a seat] I'm interested, though I need more information before I just sign on. Is this like a dating service... Regina Thomas?
PERSIA [now to be referred to as REGINA]: [pausing in surprise before continuing] Of sorts, how did you know my name?
KEVIN: It was on your card. [places card on desk] So is this like Match.com or eHarmony or what?
REGINA: Oh no, not like those programs. We present a far more personal approach to pairing. The Love Connection Corporation, or LCC, as I like to call it, is a match making service dedicated to adding a human touch to the otherwise very basic process. We match people based on their profiles, yes, but unlike a website, we tell you what you're doing wrong. Why previous relationships haven't worked out, what to do to help make this one different, etc.
KEVIN: So like what I did with some of the speed dates yesterday?
REGINA: Yes, exactly, and the sessions you went to before that as well. These women dump their problems on you, and you tell them what's wrong. And I bet you didn't know this, but once you explained to them what the problem was, most of them ended up as desirables for the dates right after you. If that's not a sign that you should be working with us, I don't know what is. You're a natural.
KEVIN: That's great and all, but it's not like I go to these things to help women. I'm go to help myself. I'm just honest is all, I guess.
REGINA: Which is exactly what we need. The services we provide are therapeutic, in a sense. We help give people a better chance at a long-lasting, meaningful relationship.
KEVIN: Intriguing. How exactly do you do it?
REGINA: Here at the LCC, our motto is “We take that extra step.” We are interested in two things – putting people in relationships and making those relationships last. Our process begins with the same initial approach as online dating services do. Users, who we call Lookers, create online profiles, answering basic and in-depth questions designed to challenge the user into analyzing themselves before we do. You can tell based on their response how truthful the person is, determine how cocky they are, all that jazz.
KEVIN: Anyone can lie on a test.
REGINA: And nobody's perfect. If a Looker gives himself a shining review, saying that he is fantastic in every way shape and form, that he has absolutely no flaws whatsoever, he's the shining example of morality and high standards, he's lying. Otherwise, why would he be turning to an online dating service?
KEVIN: A bit presumptuous, don't you think?
REGINA: I'll let you in on the dirty little secret of the dating service world – we believe that everyone sucks at being in a relationship. Some people just know how to work around this and relate to the person they're dating. They play off their flaws, and it comes off as charming and cute and that's that – another pairing is formed. Dating services are for the people that don't know how to do that, or don't learn how to do that until it's too late. We're here to help them along, give them a little pat on the back and say “You can do it.”
KEVIN: Speed dating is a dating service, of sorts. Are you saying that I'm horrible at being in a relationship?
REGINA: Well, are you? [no response] Right. So, after the Looker creates a profile and fills out the questionnaire, the computer automatically matches him or her up with other hopefuls. For most companies, this is the step where their work ends. The computer spits out a list of friendly faces you might have a chance with and it's your job to pick from the bunch. We here at the LCC, however, like to do more, take that extra step if you will.
KEVIN: Name dropping the motto, nice.
REGINA: Our Cupids look at each individual user and his or her “Potentials”. We compare profiles, chose the best match, and then set them up with a date that best fits both their schedules. Before the can start their date, however, we invite them in to our offices for a one-on-one personality analysis, in which we determine what steps they can take to make this date a successful one, and make this new relationship last. The purpose of create office branches was so that we could be face-to-face with clients.
KEVIN: This seems like a very advance program, perhaps even high-tech.
REGINA: We do pride ourselves in our utilization of technology in our match-making process.
KEVIN: So then why is all of this taking place in a tiny office with an ancient computer and no proper air conditioning.
REGINA: [looks down at her shoes, slightly embarrassed it seems.] Yes, well, we're not quite Men in Black. More... Lacuna, Inc.
KEVIN: Lacuna, Inc.? You mean... Like, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Lacuna, Inc. That Lacuna, Inc.?
REGINA: I, uh, didn't think you'd catch that.
Beat.
KEVIN: So... less Dollhouse, more Serenity?
PREGINA: Less Better Off Ted, more The Office.
KEVIN: You watched Better Off Ted? Man, no one I know watched Better Off Ted!
REGINA: Oh, God, I know, right? No one even gave it a chance, and now it's gone. Thanks world! You know what I mean?

Their chuckling dissolves into awkward silence and nervous throat clearing. Then REGINA continues.

REGINA: So, as I mentioned early, the company just started last year, so we don't exactly have a huge user base. This is only the third branch that's been opened, and we're barely making a profit as is, so they get us the cheapest places they can find. Anyway, I'm getting off topic. After the initial date is set up, we get a feedback report from both of the Lookers. If it's positive and all went well, we set up a second date, then have them come in a second time for follow up. If things didn't go so great, we help them find the root of the problem. It's up to them whether they want to meet again, and if they don't then we just set the Lookers up with their next best match and try again.
KEVIN: So we are acting as their nosy, self-aggrandizing moms?
REGINA: [Presses a button that raises the projector screen back into the ceiling] Kevin, what you have to understand is that you and I? We were born with this gift. Helping people pin point and work with their flaws is something we do without choice. And people just accept our advice. Successful therapists have this gift, great teachers have this gift... Oprah has this gift. We might as well utilize in a way that helps a lot of people, not just those we encounter by chance.
KEVIN: And make money off of it.
REGINA: More or less. But, we have a better track record than any other dating service.
KEVIN: Well, this has been great and all, but... I’m a graphic designer, not a match maker.
REGINA: Like I said, this job comes naturally to us. It really isn’t that hard, and I’d be willing to give you a temporary position.
KEVIN: I’ll think about it.

REGINA takes out a pen and jots something down on a sticky note.

REGINA: Well, while you’re thinking about that, here’s your base salary. [hands him the sticky note]

KEVIN looks at the note. Double takes. Blinks. Furrows his brow in contemplation, rubs his mouth.

KEVIN: That’s... That’s a lot of zeroes.
REGINA: Oh, but, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to give up your freelance job for that. So if we’re done here, please, feel free to leave. [Heads towards the door to lead him out]
KEVIN: [Jumping from his seat to stop her.] Wait, wait wait wait wait wait wait, wait. Wait. Let’s not take this too fast. I’ll admit my services are not in the greatest of demands right now, and my bank account isn’t too happy about that. So let’s just give this a shot, see how it works out and... and yeah.
REGINA: Alright, Mr. Stimpak. Please, [gestures to desk] join me in my office. Just some basic paper work and we should be on our way. Now, before we continue, I need to discuss some basic guidelines with you.

REGINA hands him a pack of paper and some pamphlets. KEVIN struggles to organize them, then starts flipping through as REGINA talks.

REGINA: This is your reading material. It goes over everything you need to know about the job itself. What’s most important is to know what our guidelines are to pairing. The first rule: Never say no. There is a Mr. or Ms. Right for everyone out there. Even if they’re not in our database, we can find matches in other ways – craigslist is your friend when it comes to finding crazies to match the crazies. Second: We never tell a client to change their physical appearance. Ever. We have to work with a person’s flaws.
KEVIN: What if you meet a woman with a beard, or a man with hair to his feet? Somebody who just possesses natural turn-offs.
REGINA: Then we find someone who doesn’t consider that a turn off. Beard ladies are in high demand for someone out there, and it’s our job to find that person. Now, don’t forget that we are getting the bottom of the barrel here. People who don’t get accepted into the mainstream dating services come to us, and you have to be a special kind of someone not to get accepted onto eHarmony, let me tell you.
KEVIN: Anything else?
REGINA: Everything’s covered in the reading materials. Those are just the two biggies that all newbies need to know. Now, if you’re ready, let’s start on some paper work.

Lights fade as the scene ends.

SCENE 3 –
THE LOVE CONNECTION CORPORATION – two weeks later
Same office from before. REGINA’S desk is slightly more organized, but only slightly. The sheets of paper are now in a pile, she has a smaller table behind her with paper organizer shelves, paper piled nicely on top. The file cabinet still needs work. REGINA sits behind the desk, a phone resting on her shoulder as she types away on the computer. Across from her sits KEVIN at his own desk. His desk has yet to reach the level of messiness of REGINA’S. He’s multitasking – looking over profiles on the computer, unpacking things for his desk from a cardboard box on the floor, and messily eating a turkey sandwich.

REGINA: Ms. Journeys, I am so glad to hear that your date went over well. We worked very hard on matching your profile. Well, no, I mean we had to narrow it down, a lot, not that that is was hard finding a single match for you. So, uh, our techniques worked? [beat.] Good, good, and you took our advice about the lip biting and excessive cleavage thing? [beat.] Uh-huh, great, fantastic. Yes, can you give me a moment? Just a moment, okay. [hissing] Kevin what in the hell are those?

KEVIN has been laying out various comic book action figures on the desk. He rubs a bit of food from his mouth as he responds to REGINA.

KEVIN: Well, that’s Batman... his side-kick Robin... The Blue Beetle, shame that got canceled. And this [pulling out a gold Superman] is a Limited Edition Gold Cast fully-posable Superman action figure, circa 80s Superman, mullet and everything. Oh, and [pulling out a cape attachment] is his Fabric Bronze Cape of Justice! I figured it was about time to decorate this place to my liking, you know?
REGINA: [still whispering] That is not professional. Put them away. Oh, no, no Ms. Journeys, I’m still here. My coworker had a question. So, I guess you want a second date? Alright, fantastic, what day do you want to come in for your pre-date consultation?

REGINA continues talking to the client, nodding and typing, switching the phone to the other shoulder and readjusting herself. KEVIN finishes setting out his action figures, ignoring REGINA'S disapproval, throws away the wrapper of his sandwich, and turns his attention to the computer. He types a few things, stares closely at the screen, moves his mouse around and realizes the screen is frozen. He bangs on the computer a bit.

REGINA: Next Friday at noon? Good, thank you so much, Ms. Journeys, the LCC appreciates your services. You’re welcome. No, thank you. Alright. Okay. Good bye. You, too. Buh-bye, now. [hangs up, bangs head on a desk]
KEVIN: That was one-date Nancy?
REGINA: Yup. The only client I’ve ever had that only had one match. I had to actually search the system for someone who would match better, because the computer just wasn’t cutting it. And she was such a slut, too. When she came in for her evaluations, she was wearing a shirt that showed everything, and I mean everything.
KEVIN: Sounds like a blast. Who’d you match her up with?
REGINA: A man who really likes boobs. Among other things, but that seemed to be the focus of one or two questionnaire answers. I told him not to mention any of that boob-liking stuff.
KEVIN: And it... worked?
REGINA: The gift, remember? Now will you stop banging on that computer? Zero has enough problems without you adding injury to insult.
Beat.
KEVIN: Zero?
REGINA: It was very lonely here before you came along.
KEVIN: What’s yours named?
REGINA: Stanley.
KEVIN: Okay, no, you can’t go calling me a unprofessional and then name your computers after Holes characters. That’s just not how it works!
REGINA: Holes is a critically acclaimed novel, you can’t go saying it’s for kids just because it’s... it’s...
KEVIN: Made for kids?
REGINA: That novel was my life in 7th grade, don’t you dare go bashing it, comic boy.
KEVIN: Low blow, Reggie, low blow indeed. [hits computer again]
REGINA: [gets up and stomps over to his desk] Stop doing that, okay? Look, you just jiggle this thing [messes with one of the chords] and there. See? All better.
KEVIN: I don’t think I can work like this. This is the third time this computer has frozen on me today. My grandma’s computer runs better than this!
REGINA: Look, if I could get us new systems, I would, but the company just doesn’t have that kind of money right now. If you want it to last, you could start by not eating your sandwiches right over the damn keyboard. Just a suggestion.
KEVIN: Is it possible I could bring one of my spares in and use that?
REGINA: Our technology goes back to the stone age of computers. Yours would crash just trying to translate the ancient code. But if you do want to give it a shot, you have to bring on in for me.
KEVIN: But I only have one.
REGINA: No working computer for you then.

REGINA goes back to her desk. KEVIN continues working on the computer. There’s an awkward moment of silence. Then REGINA starts.

REGINA: So, are you ready for your next client?
KEVIN: I think so. She’s a bit of a doozy though. 12 cats, all named after the capitols of various states, a room of her house dedicated to nothing but bunny memorabilia and a desire for man with “abs that could stop a plane.” I didn't even know people like her existed.
REGINA: Who’d you pair her up with?
KEVIN: A really buff guy who goes by the name Kleiner. He’s a cat person who likes collecting paintings made my animals. It was that, or Cleeves, a man whose defining characteristic is that he only eats meat. You were not kidding when you said bottom of the barrel.
REGINA: It only gets better.
Beat.
KEVIN: So, Regina, have you ever joined one of these? You know, just to see who a computer thinks Mr. Right is?
REGINA: It has never even crossed my mind to do such a thing. Even though I work at one of these places, I believe only the desperate use dating services.
KEVIN: So is that why you were actively participating in the speed dating scene for four weeks?
REGINA: I was not “actively participating”, I was monitoring you!
KEVIN: Look, after I saw you for the second time stalking me at that place, and then leaving before you even got to date me, I asked the other guys who you were. They gave me some very detailed information which could only be obtained if you were having a conversation. Some of them even wanted to see you again.
REGINA: Yes, well, none of that information was true. I was putting on a front so that it wasn’t obvious I was there for you. None of what I said was true.
KEVIN: You like sci-fi novels that give great detail to the technology being used. You hardly ever walk around barefoot because floors are always too cold. Your favorite movie is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or anything else with Christopher Lloyd.
REGINA: And I made all of that up! It's called character acting.
KEVIN: Is that why you were stealing glances at Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? while I was busy working on the cat lady case?
REGINA: Fine, you caught me. I thought that, so long as I was there, I could maybe try whole speed date thing just to see how it went. I mean, I haven’t had a boyfriend since High School, so I just… didn’t quite know what to expect. And yeah, I did go on a second date with some of those guys from the speed dating, and you want to know something? It sucked. Once I'm actually under the pressure of trying to impress a guy, I just shell up, you know? I become shy and stupid and I just can't connect with him on anything.
KEVIN: Well clearly you weren't like that during the speed dating.
REGINA: [gradually growing more hysterical] Yeah, I realize that. There's just something different about it, you know. I have three minutes to make myself sound interesting so I scrounge together the only things I'm sure about yourself and share. But when I've got an hour at a restaurant and twenty minutes before a movie, I realize I have nothing outside of those three minutes.
KEVIN gets up, makes his way to REGINA'S desk. Paces around some.
KEVIN: Well, maybe you shouldn't look at it in that light. What you're facing is self-sabotage. You don't think you're good enough for the guy you're with, so you clam up, don't say a thing. You weren't playing a character at the speed dating thing, you're playing one now. You want to go on a good date? You want to make guys interested in you? Drop the act.
REGINA: [on the verge of tears] But I'm comfortable like this.

KEVIN opens his mouth to speak, but then the door rings and MARLA walks in. She is in her 40s, with frizzy hair and wearing a sweater covered in a cat pattern. REGINA turns away, embarrassed to be seen almost crying. KEVIN'S attention is on MARLA.

MARLA: Is this the Love Connection Co.?
KEVIN: Yes, you must be Ms. Marla Moores. I'm Kevin Stimpak, we talked on the phone. Are you ready for your evaluation?
MARLA: Lay it on me, Mr. Stimpak. My body is ready.
KEVIN: And now I know exactly where to start. Please, take a seat.

MARLA sits down across from KEVIN'S desk. REGINA has recollected herself. She gets up to greet MARLA.

REGINA: Hello, Ms. Moores, I'm Regina Thomas. I'll be watching over Kevin as he evaluates you. Just pretend I'm not there.
MARLA: Please, enough with the formalities, you two. Mrs. Moores is my mother. Just call me Marla.
KEVIN: [sitting at his desk. Regina stands behind him.] That is a much better start, Marla, much better. Introducing yourself without all that creepy “my body is ready” stuff. That's how you should act around Kleiner. The nice, open stuff, I mean, not the uncomfortable bedroom speak you started with.
MARLA: I always thought that kind of straight-forwardness was a turn on.
KEVIN: Well, it's not. If you want it to work out with Kleiner, or any guy for that matter, you have to make a good first impression. Now I'm sure some would like that kind of behavior, but, frankly I don't think it fits you all that well. Do you understand?
MARLA: I suppose.
KEVIN: And while we're on the subject, first impressions are both influenced by personality and physical appearance. Do you own anything other than cat sweaters?
MARLA: I have a blouse somewhere.
KEVIN: You find that blouse, Marla. You find that blouse, and you wear it. Can you do that for me?
MARLA: Sure, I guess.
KEVIN: Good, good. Now here's a list of some other pointers, but, you don't have to change much. Kleiner is an excellent fit for you, you two should be perfect together. Just remember it's all about how you present yourself.
REGINA: Do you have any questions, Marla?
MARLA: No, I think I'm all set for my big date. I'm so excited, I've never met a man who tied his shoes bunny-ear style.
KEVIN: I'm so glad we could be there for you. Your date is on Friday night, The Dive at 7. Please, call me if you have any questions.

KEVIN walks her to the door, they share farewells as she leaves. KEVIN heads back to his desk, REGINA to hers.

KEVIN: That was a lot shorter than I thought it would be. In fact, the last couple were short, too. Are you just giving me easy matches?
REGINA: We're staring off simple, to make sure you can do the job. People with definite matches. You picked for Marla someone who could handle her quirks. There wasn't much to correct, other than some unattractive behavior issues. A good client, I must say. Most evaluations are five times that long. They'll be more complicated as you go along.

They both get back to work. REGINA keeps looking over at KEVIN like she expects something from him. She opens her mouth a few times, doesn't say anything, and then finally speaks her mind.

REGINA: Are you going to apologize?
KEVIN: For what, exactly?
REGINA: For what you said earlier. About the whole self-sabotage thing.
KEVIN: Oh. That. No, I don't think so.
REGINA: What?
KEVIN: I was being truthful. Everything I said was based on what you told me about yourself. Did you want me to lie and tell you that you're perfect, because you're not? No one is, remember?
REGINA: Your response was uncalled for! Cupids can't analyze Cupids, it just doesn't work that way!
KEVIN: And why not?
REGINA: Because it just doesn't, alright? I'm not like other people, I'm not just going to accept what you tell me and change. You can't just list things off to me and expect me to comply.
KEVIN: I never said I expected you to. I was just trying to help you. It's our gift, remember? Why are you taking this so defensively? I wasn't looking to insult you.
REGINA: I'm the one that tells people their problems, not the one who gets told what their problems are.
KEVIN: You can't dish out the truth and then not accept when it's given to you. You know, I bet that's why you joined this business. It wasn't because of your talent at helping people, it was because you wanted to judge without having to face your own insecurities.
REGINA: Stop telling me about my problems! And you know what You're not perfect either, you know. You're never able to pick up a girl because you're always abusing your damn talent of pointing out all of her problems. That why at your little speed dating things, you're the only one that leaves with an empty card and no phone calls the next day. When was the last time you actually picked someone up from one of those things, huh?
KEVIN: I don't think is going to work.
REGINA: I guess not. Collect your things and get out of here.

KEVIN stands in disbelief for a moment. Then, he moves to his desk, collects his figures back into the cardboard box from earlier, along with a few other things and leaves, not even looking back. REGINA stands in the middle of the room, looking upset and hurt. The phone on her desk rings and she answers it, voice shaky.

REGINA: The Love Connection Corporation, this is Regina Thomas speaking, how can I help you? Oh, Mr. Weathers, hi. Oh, really? I'm so glad it worked out. The pointers helped? great. I guess you'd like me to set up a second date? No, no nothing's wrong, I'm fine. I'm just... really happy for you.

SCENE 4 -
LOCAL BAR – speed date night, a week or so after quitting
Same set up as before, though now women are on the inside, with the men rotating on the outside. The sandwich board still showcases the rules, though now it says “Lady's Choice”. KEVIN sits at a table towards the right, talking to the woman across from him, with the name BESS on her name tag. At the middle table, to that table's left, sits REGINA, dressed up so that it's not obvious it's her. Her name tag says REGINA. She is having a friendly conversation with the man across from her. We're entering in the middle of BESS and KEVIN'S conversation.

KEVIN: Grew up on a ranch, huh? I guess that where the country accent comes in.
BESS: Darn, I thought I had it well hidden. So are you going to tell me about yourself, or you going to keep the focus on me?
KEVIN: Well, what... would you like to talk about?
BESS: Yourself, of course.
KEVIN: Oh, uh, myself. Myself. Alright, well, I am obsessed with comic books. I go searching for the original copies of my favorite comics, trade paperback just doesn't cut it for me. Every tv show I've ever loved gets canceled before its time, and that makes me feel helpless. I like telling people about their flaws even when they don't want to hear about it.
BESS: Are you going to list to any positives, or are you just going to keep beating yourself up?
KEVIN: If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to keep beating myself up. I need to do this.
BESS: Well, go for it then.
KEVIN: Okay, well...

Their voices fade as we focus on the conversation between REGINA and her partner, CHRIS.

CHRIS: Really, you've never been out of the state?
REGINA: Never! I don't know how I managed this long. I mean, I want to go out and see the world, but I don't have the time or knowledge or money.
CHRIS: What's your job?
REGINA: Oh, I'm unemployed.
CHRIS: Well, there's your problem.
REGINA: Ha, probably. I only recently quit, and yeah, being jobless sucks. But, I don't know, it felt like this great weight was lifted from my chest. I finally had time for myself, and it's been fun so far.
CHRIS: Do you miss your old job?
REGINA: You know... not really.

A gong rings off stage as the HOST from the first speed date, still with a huge smile pasted on her face emerges yet again.

HOST: By the look on all you love birds' faces, that was a good round. Now then, gentlemen, say farewell to your new lady friends and move to your left for your next date!

KEVIN, CHRIS and the other guys get up to switch seats. REGINA waves goodbye to CHRIS, and KEVIN nods at BESS, signs that their dates went well. As KEVIN realizes who his next date is, his smile fades. He reluctantly sits down.

KEVIN: Hello, Regina. Or are we back to Persia?
REGINA: [pointing at name tag]Regina is fine. Hi, Kevin.
KEVIN: I thought you didn't go to these things. Only desperate people do.
REGINA: This was the only place where I was pretty sure I was guaranteed to find you.
KEVIN: You could have come to my house, or called me, or emailed, texted, or utilized any number of communication technologies available in this time and age.
REGINA: Yeah but where was the fun in that?
KEVIN: What do you want?
REGINA: I want to apologize.
KEVIN: There's nothing to apologize for.
REGINA: Yes, there is. I shouldn't have acted the way I did. You were only helping me, and I took it as an insult. I'm not used to having my flaws laid out before me. And I was abusing my own powers. I took that job at that stupid company because I didn't want to be judged. And I knew, going into the job, that that was exactly what I was doing, but I was too scared to face it, you know? I tried to kid myself into thinking I was in it solely to help people, when that was hardly the case. So thank you, and I'm sorry for snapping at you.
KEVIN: Well, I need to apologize, too. I shouldn't have said those things to begin with. But, I should also thank you as well, because you showed helped me get over some problems that I didn't even realize I had. All I ever did was focus on people's problems and try to tell them how to fix them, that's how I've always been. I push people away without even realizing it...

A moment of silence as they reflect on their argument.
KEVIN: So are you still working there?
REGINA: Oh, good God, no. That was barely a company, you know? The computers were crap, the office was crap, the filing system was crap. It was stuck in some other age, some alternate dimension.
KEVIN: Like something out of the goddamn Multiverse.
REGINA: Or Fringe.

A moment of laughter between the two, which fades into another awkward silence.

KEVIN: Look, we only have [looks at watch] less than a minute left to make ourselves sound interesting before that toothy Stepford Wife comes back out with that god forsaken gong. So what do you say you and I go out for a coffee and just... start over. Pretend we were never coworkers at that horrible place and try being friends.
REGINA: I'd like that. I'd like that a lot, actually.

They get up to leave. As they're leaving, the HOST walks out, her smile fading as she realizes they're leaving. She doesn't say anything, only shoots them a disapproving glare until they exit. Then she bangs the gong. The lights fade as she speaks:

HOST: Alright, pencils down, student, pencils down. I'm just joking, this isn't a test, kids. Now pick your booties up from those chairs and head on your left, guys...
END.

Date: 2011-03-02 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alliancesjr.livejournal.com
This is absolutely amazing. The pacing is spot on, and it was engaging throughout the entire piece. It may be a bit formulaic but it's comfortable and doesn't hold your hand through reading it.

What grade did you get?

Date: 2011-03-03 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] einahsketch.livejournal.com
The grades are mainly completion-based. So, turn it in, free 100, you know? But feed back is what really matters to me, and that's not going to come until we're done showcasing all of our one act plays. And even then it may be a while until I get feedback.

But thank you for yours! I realize parts are formulaic, especially the end (predictable much?) but I had fun writing it. It'll probably be one of the pieces I edit for the final, which is basically reworking pieces and fixing known issues. If you have any suggestions on things that need changing, I'd love to hear 'em!

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