The Props Master

Slack is just as his name describes him: a slacker. But when he's handed community service, he decides to go up to a local community theatre and try his hand out with the back stage work. Little does he know, he is handed the task of being their props master for their latest show. From there wild hijinks explode which include a feud with the director, love interests, and a war with an evil mafia family.

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5. Slack meets the mob

INT – A HELPING HAND THEATRE

SHAWN:

Okay everybody. Time to set up for the balcony scene!

(Everyone situates themselves, including SLACK who sits down with in the arena next to TREVOR who is eating a tub of popcorn and has a pair of binoculars around his neck)

HUNG:

Anybody want to run lines downstairs while Mark and Kayla perform their scene up here?

TREVOR:

Shut the fuck up, Hung. Can’t you see I’m trying to enjoy some fine performance art?

HUNG:

What about you, Slack? Want to help me?

SLACK:

I’m on my break, dude. Besides, I really want to see this scene in all its glory.

(LULA walks over)

LULA:

Excuse me, gentlemen. Is the seat next to Trevor taken?

TREVOR:

Yes, it is. Hung, sit the fuck next to me.

HUNG:

But-

TREVOR:

Sit your fried rice ass down, Hung.

HUNG:

Right.

(HUNG sits down as SHAWN walks center stage)

SHAWN:

Alright! Is everybody ready?

MARK:

I am.

(KAYLA calls from off stage)

KAYLA: (Off stage)

Shawn, do you really want me to perform topless now?

SHAWN:

How many times do I have to tell you this, Kayla? If you don’t perform topless now, how do you expect to feel comfortable by opening night? Yes, I want you to perform fucking topless right now.

KAYLA (Off stage):

Okay…

SHAWN:

Good. And motherfucking action!

MARK:

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

TREVOR:

It’s titties!

SHAWN:

Shut the fuck up!

MARK:

It is the east and Juliet is the sun.

(KAYLA walks out onto the stage wearing a silk robe)

SHAWN:

Um, hello!? Cut! Kayla, what the fuck are you doing?

KAYLA:

I’m sorry Shawn but I just don’t feel comfortable-

SHAWN:

You don’t feel comfortable? Didn’t you read my fucking script?

KAYLA:

No, I read Shakespeare’s script. Then at the read through you handed me your quote unquote script.

SHAWN:

Listen Juliet, if you want to remain in this theatre and have the joy of having that character title, you must play by my rules.

SLACK:

Oh come on, man. Lay off some steam.

SHAWN:

Hey this is my show, props dude. You shut the hell up.

(TRUMAN enters from the basement with his briefcase in one hand and a brown bag in the other)

TRUMAN:

How is rehearsal going?

SHAWN:

Ah, Mr. Cabretti. It’s going wonderfully. Although it would seem one of our actresses doesn’t want to go topless for her nude scene.

TRUMAN:

Hm. Well be sure to fix it. I have to go.

SHAWN:

So soon?

TRUMAN:

Yes. I just got a call from my wife. It would seem she fell ill and I need to rush home in hopes to help her. Fix this predicament at once. Now.

(TRUMAN exits the theatre)

SLACK:

Listen Shawn, why don’t we just buy Kayla a shirt that has boobs painted on it?

LULA:

I’ll go topless.

SHAWN:

Lula, we want the blossoming Juliet to be topless. Not the rotting crypt keeper which is her mother.

DICK:

Can’t we just cut the nudity? It’s not really necessary.

SHAWN:

Dammit, Dick. You fought for my right to put nudity in Shakespeare. You didn’t witness your brother’s get their brains blown out to see fellow Americans visions get stifled!

DICK:

What was that General? They’re coming over the wall!? Not again!

(DICK runs over to the staircase and presses himself against the wall)

SHAWN:

Kayla, take your shirt off or I’m throwing you out of this play.

TREVOR:

Hey, mucho pervo. I was all for seeing a girls breasts but if she isn’t for showing, then we’re dropping the subject. You don’t force a lady to take her clothes off.

LULA:

I’m willing to take them off without a fight.

TREVOR:

Well it’s too bad we’re putting up a fight to make you keep them on, Lula!

HUNG:

Can’t we all just get along?

TREVOR:

Hung, shut your Burton quoting mouth or I’ll staple it shut. Slack, hand me a stapler to threaten Chow Hung Fat here.

SLACK:

I don’t have a stapler, dude.

TREVOR:

Then Hung, I’ll threaten you with my intimidation. Don’t fuck with me.

HUNG:

I’m not trying to.

TREVOR:

Then stay within your territory as the mediocre actor you are. And Shawn, lay off the lady.

MARK:

Does anybody care what I think?

SHAWN:

NO! Everybody shut the fuck up.

(VAL enters from the basement)

VAL:

What the fuck is going on up here?

KAYLA:

Nothing.

TREVOR:

Shawn is over stepping his boundaries as a director.

SHAWN:

I am not.

VAL:

What is Shawn doing now?

DICK:

I can hear the yellow man as we speak, general!

SHAWN:

You know what? Fuck it. Everyone go home. Look over your lines and shit. I don’t care.

MARK:

But what about-

SHAWN:

Just be back here by tomorrow. Same time as usual.

(Everyone starts to grovel and pack up)

KAYLA:

Thanks for sticking up for me, Trevor.

TREVOR:

No problem. Sometimes the big bad wolf isn’t so big nor bad. Remember that, Juliet.

KAYLA:

I will. See you tomorrow.

(KAYLA exits)

SLACK:

Look at that, man.

TREVOR:

What?

SLACK:

I think she digs you.

TREVOR:

What? Nah.

SLACK:

Oh she totally does.

TREVOR:

She was just being nice.

SLACK:

That’s what they all say, dude.

TREVOR:

I helped her out. She was repaying the debt.

SLACK:

Of course she was.

TREVOR:

That’s all it was, Slack.

(The two start to laugh)

TREVOR:

I’m outta here. You need a ride?

SLACK:

Nah. I need to stay and take prop count downstairs.

TREVOR:

Suit yourself. I’ll see yah later.

SLACK:

See yah, Trev.

(TREVOR exits with the rest of the theatre brigade. SLACK smiles and starts to whistle to himself as he goes downstairs to the basement. He goes to the clipboard on the table and grabs a pencil. As he starts checking things off, he is suddenly grabbed from behind and thrown on the sofa)

SLACK:

Whoa, jeez! What the fuck, man!?

(SLACK looks up to see BROCK and another henchman, KYLE, standing above him with Beretta’s pointed at his head)

SLACK:

Holy shit?! What the hell is this, some kind of weird theatre hold up?

BROCK:

Shut your fucking mouth!

SLACK:

Okay. Jesus.

BROCK:

Kyle, check to see if everything is clear upstairs.

KYLE:

Right.

(KYLE runs upstairs)

SLACK:

It’s empty, dude. I’m the only one here.

BROCK:

I said keep your fucking mouth shut, you hippie prick.

SLACK:

Hippie? First time someone’s confused me for a hippie.

(KYLE runs back downstairs)

KYLE:

It’s all empty.

BROCK:

Good.

(BROCK takes out his cellphone and dials a number)

BROCK:

This is Brock. Send the big man down.

SLACK:

What the fuck?

KYLE:

Don’t worry. It’ll all make sense in due time, fucko.

SLACK:

I’m sorry. Fucko? This isn’t the right time to be throwing around pretty insults such as those. I have a busy night ahead of me and-

(MARGINO enters the basement with three other armed henchmen)

MARGINO:

What kind of retard are we dealing with, Brock?

BROCK:

A loud one, Mr. Margino.

SLACK:

Who’s this guy? And what does…wait a second? Margino? As in the Margino family Margino? The infamous Ohio mobster family?

MARGINO:

The one and only. Herbert Margino, at your fucking service.

SLACK:

Holy shit balls. This is big, man. I’ve heard about you on the news and everything. And here you are in the flesh before my very eyes. It’s an honor.

MARGINO:

You won’t be thinking that in the next few seconds.

(MARGINO takes out a knife)

SLACK:

Whoa, man. What’s with the Bowie?

MARGINO:

I’ve been lead to believe your theatre is in possession of a very personal family heirloom of mine. And I want it back.

SLACK:

What the fuck are you talking about?

MARGINO:

I’m talking about the Margino family vase you fuck head.

SLACK:

Margino family vase? You mean that fool’s gold vase I bought from the drift shop?

MARGINO:

Fool’s gold!? HA! That thing is pure solid gold. Not a falsity within the damn thing.

SLACK:

Then why the hell was it in a drift shop?

MARGINO:

None of your damn business.

(MARGINO grabs SLACK and holds the knife under his throat)

MARGINO:

Now I you either give me back my vase or I paint these walls with your blood. You understand?

SLACK:

Yep. I understand, dude. The vase should be over there…

(SLACK points over to the counter)

BROCK:

Where?

SLACK:

Isn’t it over there on the counter next to the fridge?

KYLE:

I don’t see a goddamn thing.

MARGINO:

You got five seconds…

SLACK:

I swear that’s the last place I put it.

MARGINO:

The knife is slipping, boy.

KYLE:

The vase isn’t over here boss.

SLACK:

Fuck me.

MARGINO:

Looks like your luck just ran out, kid.

(Suddenly, we hear the front door upstairs opening and footsteps up above)

BROCK:

Shit! Boss, someone’s here.

MARGINO:

I can hear that.

KYLE:

I’ll take care of them.

MARGINO:

No. If we kill everyone here, we’ll never find the vase.

(MARGINO eyes SLACK)

MARGINO:

You have twenty-four hours to find me my vase. If I don’t get it back within that time span, this theatre falls. You understand?

SLACK:

Mhm.

MARGINO:

Good. Come on men. Let’s leave through the back exit.

(The pack of villains exit quickly. SLACK sits in silence as TREVOR and HUNG walk down into the basement ten seconds later)

TREVOR:

I fucking told you, Hung. Benvolio vanishes for the benefit of the fucking play.

(TREVOR and HUNG take notice SLACK)

TREVOR:

Hey, Slack. Hung and I needed to speak to you.

(SLACK is too shocked to speak)

TREVOR:

Slack?

 

INT – THEATRE BASEMENT

(We see SLACK’s hand shake uncontrollably as he tries to drink from a cup of water)

TREVOR:

Okay. Run that by me one more fucking time?

SLACK:

I told you!

HUNG:

Herbert Margino-

TREVOR:

Fuck off, Hung. So Herbert Margino was just down here with a bunch of armed gunmen looking for that gold vase you bought?

SLACK:

Yeah!

TREVOR:

Because apparently it belongs to them?

SLACK:

That’s what he told me.

HUNG:

That’s pretty out there, Slack.

SLACK:

Do you think I’m lying, Hung? Would I make this shit up!?

TREVOR:

Yeah. Why the fuck do you think he would make this shit up?

HUNG:

I don’t know…

TREVOR:

Exactly! You don’t know. Therefore you should shut it and leave it to the professionals.

SLACK:

We need to go to the police.

TREVOR:

I hardly believe they’ll believe your story, Slack.

SLACK:

Why not? They’re the patriotic blue. They’re supposed to protect and serve!

TREVOR:

Yeah. And they’re also supposed to sniff out the prank callers. Do you actually think somebody calling in with a lead on Herbert Margino would be trustworthy?

SLACK:

I think so!

TREVOR:

What if that lead is you, Slack?

(Pause)

SLACK:

You’re right. Hung, you make the call.

HUNG:

Me? Why me?

TREVOR:

Because the police don’t know you.

(SLACK hands HUNG the phone)

HUNG:

I’m not good at lying though, guys.

TREVOR:

For Christ sake. You’re a fucking actor, Hung. You lie all the time. And you’re not lying. You’re telling the operator Slack’s story as though it was from your perception.

SLACK:

I wonder what ever happened to that vase.

HUNG:

Huh?

SLACK:

The vase. It was right here on the counter next to the fridge. Now it’s gone.

TREVOR:

Here. I’ll dial the number for you, Hung. 911.

HUNG:

Did you misplace it?

SLACK:

No. I left it right here in the open when I was showing it to Val and Truman.

TREVOR:

It’s ringing, Hung. Get ready.

HUNG:

You don’t think either of them took it, did you?

SLACK:

No. Impossible. Neither of them would do that.

OPERATOR VOICE:

Hello, 911. What is your emergency?

(TREVOR shoves the phone into HUNG’s hands)

HUNG:

Dammit, Trevor!

(HUNG hangs up the phone)

TREVOR:

What the fuck was that!?

SLACK:

Guys, let’s just drop the arguing and try to find the damn vase!

TREVOR:

Fine!

(TREVOR flips over the table)

HUNG:

What was that for!?

TREVOR:

Stating my masculinity. Now if we’re dealing with mafia members, I think we should pay a friend of mine a visit.

SLACK:

Who?

TREVOR:

Someone you don’t know. But let’s just say he’s well equipped for messy situations.

(The two look at Trevor very quizzically)

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