Laura: So, what's wrong? Clawdeen: Could you tell the "Prince" that he's supposed to kiss me, not clean my tonsils? The next time, he will lose anything that passes my teeth. Laura: Oh dear, he's doing that again? Clawdeen: He's done it before? Laura: Yes. He thinks he's God's gift to women. Could you do me a favor? We won't say anything to him now, just bite him next time. Don't bite anything off, just hard enough for him to not forget too soon. And not too bad, so it'll heal before the premiere. We wouldn't want a Prince with a speech impediment. Clawdeen: Hehe, anything you say.
Frank: Laura, here are the children, and this is Scylla, the substitute teacher. Kate had to go away for a few days. Laura: It's nice to meet you, Scylla. I was expecting to finally meet Kate, but maybe next time. - This is Clawdeen. Caroline: Is she an assistant too? Clawdeen: No, I'm an actress. I play the wolf in Snow White. Betsy: There's no wolf in Snow White. Clawdeen: There is in this one. The story is actually a combination of fairy tales. Caroline: So it's the wolf from Red Riding Hood? And it's a girl? Cool! Frank: I need to get back to work. Laura will show you around and answer your questions. And Clawdeen, as you're here, maybe you could tell the children something about your job. I'm sure they would find that interesting. Scylla: That would be great. That is, if you have time for it, Clawdeen. Clawdeen: Sure, no problem.
Clawdeen: Nikki, who are your friends? Nikki: Pauline, Betsy and Caroline. Caroline's the one who wanted us to come here. Clawdeen: So you're interested in theater. Are you thinking of becoming an actress yourself? Caroline: Not really. I want to be a writer, and then I'll write plays for other people to perform. Clawdeen: You don't mind becoming a starving artist? Pauline: What's starving got to do with it? Clawdeen: Writers aren't really paid that well. Unless you're really famous and everybody wants you. Then you can make a decent living. Actually, that goes for most theater people. Actresses too. Caroline: You mean you're not rich and famous? Clawdeen: Not even close. This is my first big part. If things go well, I may get more big parts after this, but it requires a lot of hard work.
Laura: I thought there would be more of you. Scylla: Apparently Kate thought it would be better for everybody, if only the ones really interested in theater would attend. Laura: I see. That sounds like a good idea. And as we are a bit crowded backstage, it is easier to deal with a smaller group. - If you don't mind me asking, about your name... is it from mythology? Scylla: I don't mind, and yes, it's from mythology. My father's a professor of Greek and Roman history. Mother actually wanted to name me Priscilla. Laura: I like Scylla, it's so unique.
Caroline: It's a pity Clawdeen had to go. I like her. Nikki: She's always nice, not at all what people say about canines. Laura: Yes, she's very nice. - So, next I'll show you the parts of the backstage that are safe to go into. Scylla: Do you mean some areas are not safe? Laura: Yes. It's nothing too bad, but the set building area always has tools and building materials lying around, so we won't be going there. Pauline: What's set building? Laura: It's the place where the stage backgrounds are made. Caroline: You know, they paint all those pictures that show buildings or forests or whatever it is the play is happening in. It's all an illusion. Laura: That's quite right. In theater, the set only gives you clues about the places where the action happens and the rest is up to your imagination. Of course, the amount of clues differs a lot between plays. In some cases, you may just have a few pieces of furniture and other times, the sets may be quite detailed.
Some time later: Laura: ...and this is the wardrobe. Rochelle is the one taking care of the costumes. Rochelle, this is Scylla and you already know Nikki and these are her classmates. But who's your friend? Rowena: I'm Rowena. Rochelle is helping me with my new costume. Caroline: Is there a dragon in the play too? That's so cool! Laura: I'm afraid there isn't. Rochelle...? Rochelle: Frank knows about this. He said I can use the premises as long as I do it on my own time. Nikki: That costume is so cool! Can we see what the back side looks like? I wanna see the tail! Rowena: Of course. It's not quite finished yet, but there isn't that much missing. Just some decorations.
Caroline: This looks old. Why aren't you using a modern sewing machine? Rowena: I like this one. We get a lot of power cuts, so it's convenient to have one that doesn't need electricity. Pauline: The dragon costume is really cool, but why do you need it, if you're not in the play? Rowena: It's a show costume. My own wings don't quite cut it, so I needed bigger ones, and of course I don't have a tail at all. Caroline: Your own wings? Are you saying you really have wings? Rowena: Sure, they're just a lot smaller. Not nearly as impressive as you need on stage, but they help in managing these. Betsy: This is the best field trip ever! I've never met anyone with real wings. Laura: Well, now you've met two. Betsy: Two? Rochelle: I guess the hair is in the way, but they are there all the same. Caroline: Cool! I want wings too! Rochelle: Unfortunately, you need to be born with them. You can only add fake ones afterwards, like the ones Rowena is wearing now.
Schizo: Would it be rude to ask...? Victoria: What happened? No, not particularly. It's always better to get it out of the way. - It was an industrial accident. Some really nasty chemicals. Schizo: Work related? Victoria: Sort of. I had this case that involved a chemical company and had to visit the place. It was just my luck that the place blew up while I was there. Schizo: And it was really an accident? Victoria: No foul play could ever be proven. Still, I got a nice compensation from them, in addition to our firm winning the case against them. It really is hard to deny negligence when your whole factory blows up. So, things turned up not too bad. Schizo: Not too bad?! But your arm and legs... Victoria: You must learn to live with these things. Besides, looking intimidating is never a bad thing when you're a lawyer. The only thing that really bugs me is the pro-ana guys.
Schizo: Pro-ana guys? I don't understand. Victoria: You know, the ones with the mantra "the thinner, the better." There was this one guy, Edward, he was a particular nuisance, because he was also one of those who romanticize everything about vampires. I had a really hard time getting him to go away without violence. I think he was being annoying on purpose, so I would bite him. Schizo: This is getting interesting. What did you do? Victoria: Well, we were at the botanical garden, in a greenhouse that houses desert plants. I told him that I'm counting to ten and if I can still see him when I reach ten, I'll get the nearest cactus and stick it up his... I'm sorry, I'm getting worked up again. It's just... those idiots can be so annoying. Schizo: No need to be sorry. Except maybe because he left, or at least so I assume as you said "without violence." Victoria: I take it you're not a pacifist. Schizo: Me? Certainly not. I believe in just punishment. Another drink?
Robecca: Vicky! What are you doing here? Victoria: Relaxing. I'm not at the office 24/7, you know. Robecca: Could have fooled me. Aren't you going to introduce me? Victoria: Sorry. Schizo, this is my friend Robecca. Robecca: Schizo? Your name is Schizo? That's the strangest thing I've heard for a long time! Vicky, why haven't you told me about him? Victoria: We only met a couple of hours ago, here at the bar. Schizo: It is very nice to meet you, Robecca. Will you join us? Victoria was just telling me about the... um, incident. Robecca: Ha ha! The incident! That's a nice way of putting it!
Schizo: Have you known each other for a long time? Victoria: A few years. Robecca: We met at the clinic. We both stayed there for months and months, so we had time to get to know each other well. Victoria: There wasn't really much else to do. I think I would have died of boredom without Robecca. Schizo: Clinic? You mean...? Robecca: I had an accident too. A bit worse than Vicky's. That's actually why I'm now her client in addition to being her friend. Schizo: Trying to get a compensation too? Robecca: Unfortunately not. Daddy was driving the car, and it was all his fault. No, I'm trying to prove that I'm still a person. Schizo: Excuse me? Who would think you're not a person? Victoria: It's a very complicated matter. You see, there is this law that says if you're less than 40% biological entity, you're not automatically a person in the eyes of law.
Schizo: I've never heard of a law like that. Victoria: It's the sort of "in case it ever happens" law. It's never been used before, but now... Robecca: Victor is such a genius. Without him, I'd be as dead as daddy is. Or at least I'd look so hideous I would never get out of the house again. Schizo: Victor? Victoria: The doctor who patched up us both. And he really is a genius. Schizo: And how does all this lead into a court case? Robecca: My mother wants the inheritance. She's already got half of it, the other half is mine, but she wants it all by getting the judge to appoint her as my guardian. Schizo: Ah, it's always the family. Well, I hope you'll win and she'll get to pay the bill for all that nonsense. Robecca: Nonsense? So you think I am a person? Schizo: Of course. What else could you be? Actually, you seem more level-headed than many of the ones I've met who have all original body parts intact. Robecca: You really have a strange way of putting things.
A little later: Victoria: ...so most people think they're prosthetics, very strange custom prosthetics. I never correct them. Schizo: I guess the truth would be too much for most people. Robecca: But not for you? Schizo: Look at me. Do I look squeamish? Victoria: I guess not. - Victor said he could get me prosthetics, if I wanted. You know, something that looks almost real, but not quite when seen next to the real thing, or those carbon fibre things that let you run a marathon, if that's your thing. I told him I'm not giving up any part of me that still works adequately. And I definitely don't want to run a marathon, ever. Robecca: I had to give up most of my body, but it wasn't working anyway, so it wasn't that bad. But it does require some getting used to. Even now, when I walk past a mirror, I sometimes wonder who that slim and gorgeous girl is. Then I remember it's me.
Schizo: Do you look at all like you used to? Robecca: Not much. My skin color is the same, because I just couldn't think of myself in any other color, although Victor said I could choose anything I want. Otherwise, well, I was short and stocky and very ordinary looking. Schizo: And now you could be a super model. Robecca: Thanks, although it isn't quite true. Nobody wants a model with an artificial body, no matter how perfect that body may be. Besides, I've got better things to do. Victoria: She goes to hospitals and clinics to talk to people like us. Well, not quite like us, but people who have had really bad accidents. Robecca: I go there and tell them about what happened to me and show them photos of how I used to be and how I looked after the accident. Schizo: And then they look at you and realize they could still have a life too. Robecca: Exactly. Schizo: Aren't you worried about letting people know about you? Robecca: The court case is going to have huge publicity. There's no point trying to hide. Victoria: Yes, the case is very important. It will be the first time the law is tested. So much depends on the verdict.
Robecca: I don't think mother understands it all. She's just after the money. Schizo: I guess she'll have a surprise once the press starts branding her as the money grubbing bitch who cannot even be grateful that her daughter is still alive. It'll be hilarious. - I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that. Robecca: Why not? It's the truth. She's everything you said and more. I just hope that's the way the press is going to see it. Schizo: Why wouldn't they? Victoria: Well, there is the religious aspect. Robecca: I'm an abomination is what she's trying to say. I should be dead. Schizo: And do you care about the opinion of people who defend the sanctity of life up to the time of birth and couldn't care less what happens after? Robecca: Well, if you put it like that... Schizo: I put it exactly like that. They're hypocrites, the whole bunch, and I think they'll have a rude awakening when they die and find themselves in an uncomfortably hot place. - But let's forget about all of that for now and think about dinner. Would you care to join me? I'm buying. Victoria: Why not? Robecca: I'd love to. Then you can tell us all about yourself. You must have some interesting stories to tell.