Friday, November 16, 2012

An Adventure: Sitting in the Screenwriters Chair for some Magical Mike Musings

There’s only so much a writer girl can do on the 405 Freeway before her mind either turns to mush or starts spinning new stories. Those of you who live in Southern California know exactly what I’m talking about. (We have a joke out here—that isn’t so much of a joke, really—that the reason they called it the 405 is because it takes 4 or 5 hours to get up it.)

Okay, so hold on to your panties (or…not), but I’m going to confess a secret. During my last few torture sessions—er, I mean journeys—on the 405, I’ve been entertaining this gooey, yummy little fantasy called, “What IF they consulted a romance writer for ideas on ‘Magic Mike Two’?”  Because you see, I was actually one of the people walking out of the theater on MM Numero Uno and NOT thinking about the dance scenes. (Side note: Chan Sweetie, you are a graceful god when the music turns up, but I'm a freak; I love your acting even more.) No lie, the only thing that kept rolling (translation: tormenting) my brain was: “This movie can’t be over.” I actually turned to my friend and said, “They could tell so much more of this story. They really could.”

Okay gang, so for better or worse, here’s the official Angel Payne “Magic Mike Two” story treatment…sort of. I’m sorta needing help with the last act of the plot. Wanna help?

SETTING THE SCENE: Mike’s working his ass off on making his new business work. He wants to settle down with Brooke but lo and behold, she has commitment issues. (Sorry, Cody Horn, but Angel has OTHER plans for Mike this time around…) Things just don’t seem to be clicking for the business, either. Mike sighs heavily a lot, and honestly thinks, “What the hell am I doing wrong here?” Goes to the water to brood and think. Insert very cool song to back this sequence, preferably by up-and-coming artist nobody’s heard of so as to make it even more cool and edgy.

During the epic brood, Mike’s phone rings. It’s Big Dick (because we SO didn’t get enough of Joe in the first movie, am I right?) and he says they need help at the new club in Tampa—like, desperately. Dallas has decided to go fall in love with an earth goddess/Reiki teacher/shakra balancer, and now he’s decided that the stripping life will corrupt his chi. They’re rudderless. They need Mike’s leadership in a big way. Well, Mike can’t let his friends down even if it means shit for HIS chi, so off he goes to Tampa.

The scene in Tampa clicks no better for him, though. He’s making more money that he ever dreamed, but it all still feels so empty. (Again, needing oh-so-cool music here.) The other guys aren’t daft. They see Mike’s in a funk, and so after work one night, they drag his ass to a GIRL stripping club. He really does NOT want to be there but they force him to sit down, making excuses that maybe he’ll pick up on some moves—ha ha ha—lots of smack talking and beers are had by all.

It’s time for the next act to come out. They introduce the girl simply as Ariel. The guys all make mermaid jokes, but from the second the dancer comes out, Mike is transfixed by her. She’s this GORGEOUS , petite brunette with huge dark eyes and a dazzling smile…and he already feels connected to her, like maybe they’ve met in another life. (Gee; who could play that part? She’d have to be a really good dancer, someone who could keep up with Channing…somebody who has CHEMISTRY with him…*taps chin*…I just dunno…something starting with a “J” is rolling through my head for some reason…)

Photo Courtesy of PETA
Ariel’s number knocks Mike on his gorgeous ass. Her act isn’t a traditional bump and grind, but rather a slow, gorgeous, erotic art form incorporating ballet moves and everything, that eventually transforms everyone in the place—especially Mike.  One thing leads to another, and the guys finally get him to go talk to her, though Mike and Ariel barely say a word to each other. She finds out he’s just in town for a little while. He finds out she’s working her way through college—but it’s taking a long time because she has to pay for it all on her own.

Finally, Tarzan ends up blurting out that Mike’s a dancer too, and Ariel should really come see him do his thing sometime. Mike is mortified—especially because a few nights later, Ariel DOES show up. Mike doesn’t find out about this until AFTER he’s performed, however.

Photo Courtesy of Fanpop
Now, here’s a tidbit of the scene that ensues after that. They’re in Mike’s dressing room (yeah, the club in Tampa has dressing rooms! Woo; fancy!) and Mike is drenched in sweat (had to give you all a visual, didn’t I?)

Mike:    Shit. I can’t believe you’re here. You actually came.
Ariel:     (With shy smile) Why are you so surprised?
Mike:    I’m not surprised. Okay, so I AM surprised. But I’m more…uh...embarrassed.
Ariel:     (Eyes go wide) Why? Are you serious?
Mike:    What I do out there…it’s nothing like what you do. It doesn’t make people feel anything.
Ariel:     Bullshit!
Mike:    Did you just say ‘bullshit?’ You…cuss?
Ariel:     Don’t change the subject. You really don’t see it?
Mike:    See what?
Ariel:     You cannot be that dense. (Her anger softens. Looks him in the eyes. Moves closer.) You give that audience a gift, Mike. You give them a few minutes of forgetting about the crap of their lives. You make them feel… (she stops, swallowing hard)
Mike:    What?
Ariel:     You make them feel excited. Alive.  When you leap, they do, too. When you grin, everyone in the room can’t help but do the same thing. You make them feel… (she smiles now too) magical.

Mike is very quiet. A beat. Another.

Mike:    Is that the way I make you feel?

Ariel is equally quiet. Eyes meet. Another heavy, yummy beat.

Ariel:     Yes.

Mike takes her face in his hands, and kisses her…

Okay, Scooby kids…believe it or not, this is where I get stuck! For those of you who know me and my incorrigible mind, you KNOW I’ve got ideas…but what about yours? Where do we—er, I mean THEY—go from here? Share, share, share...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

For Veterans Day: yes, even the Key Grip Matters!

Okay, show of hands. Who sits through the credits at movies? And no, you AREN’T allowed to count the Marvel super hero flicks where you know there’s a bonus scene at the end of the saga-length lists, either. (Or even an extra long, slow-motion, shampoo-commercial-worthy head flip from Chris Hemsworth, either...grrrrr....)

I’ll be honest. I’m one of those dweebs who really does like to sit there sometimes, gazing ALL those names going by, and say to myself, “Wow, there were FIVE Key Grips on this movie!” (Uhhh, if anyone DOES know what a Key Grip does, please respond…I’d love to know myself…) It really blows my mind to see just how many team players it takes to create two hours of creative magic.

Now take this idea, and apply it to a military base that has to function like its own city in a foreign land. Or an aircraft carrier that has to do the same thing on WATER. Or a command post that has to do it in the middle of a jungle, a desert, a third-world village, even on an iceberg. To us, all these things may sound as foreign as making a movie. To the amazing men and women of our military forces, this is “another day on the job.”

As we take this day to reflect on our gratitude for our service men and women—and to be honest, why limit this to just a day?—I’ll admit that I often make the mistake so many of us do, that we assume our country is represented, protected and cared for only by those guys we see in the movies. Don’t get me wrong; our front-line fighters are the best, brightest and most bad-ass warriors on the planet…but they wouldn’t have the strength to take down those bad guys without a cook who got up at the crack of ass to make their eggs that day. The helicopter that exfils them from the op would fall out of the sky without technicians, mechanics and nerves-of-steel pilots to keep that bird running right and guided back to safety. Their families back at home rely every day on people who get their paychecks filed right, their kids’ teeth fixed, their base running smoothly, and all the other details they don’t have to worry about so they can focus on THEIR job: keeping their country safe.

When you think of our proud veterans on this extremely important holiday, remember that it takes a team—a HUGE one—to make collective sacrifices for us all. Some of those tasks in the effort are the ones you see in pictures and glorified in movies. But MANY of them are the thankless jobs you won’t ever hear about…the “Key Grip #3”’s of the armed forces. THEY are heroes, too. They’ve equally given up the comforts of being at home in order to serve our country. And they all deserve to be thanked, too.

This blog post is part of a really cool Blog Hop that’s being sponsored by the VERY awesome ROMANCE CRUSH JUNKIES E-ZINE. You can check out the RCJE goddesses, right here!  Be sure to click through to the hop here, so you can check out the other VERY awesome writers who are participating in our week-long celebration of our nation’s proud Vets.

As a part of the celebration, we are also all doing giveaways. I’ve chosen to do mine a bit differently. If you’d like, please respond to this blog to be “entered” in my giveaway. If you cannot respond to the blog, you can pop me an e-mail at: Angelpaynewrites(at)gmail(dot)com.

The deal is: my “prize” will be a $30 donation to the Disabled American Veterans organization.These fine folks are currently helping over 20,000 veterans and their dependents with a multitude of extremely vital services. To find out more about the DAV, look here.

THANK YOU again to the amazing, selfless, brilliant men and women who serve our country each and every day. We are proud of you!