Meet Mya, Allie and Jason

During the recession in 2009 I had a brief time where I was unemployed for 5 months. The first month was spent in Europe, the second month partying and discovering how awesome it was to not work, and the other three having a quarter life crisis. So you know, normal stuff. Two of my best friends, Alexis and Franz, were also unemployed during this time and needless to say we all had meltdowns at one point and developed a slight alcohol problem. The whole thing was a hot mess.

After that was over, I wrote my second feature-length script entitled “Unemployed During A Recession” loosely based on our ridiculous time. It’s your standard mid-twenties coming of age film and my take on an updated version of Reality Bites. Most of my scripts or stories are very character driven, so I do plenty of writing exercises before beginning to make sure I am fully immersed in my characters. I found one of these exercises recently and had a little chuckle (yes I’m one of those nerds who laughs at her own writing) so I decided to share. For any writers, it’s a great exercise. In this case I pretended to interview my 3 main characters to make them seem more real. I figure if I have no problem answering these questions because I am so certain who they are and how they act, I’m ready to throw them in my script and see what happens.

Meet Mya, Allie and Jason.

Interviewer: So, how’s it going today?

M – Well I’m on my 3rd rum and coke so slightly better than this morning.

J – It’s Lamb’s Wednesday

M – Lamb’s is all I can afford at this point, unfortunately.

Interviewer: How long have you been unemployed?

M – 69 days.

A – Oh my God, don’t be so dramatic Mya.

M – I’m not being dramatic, I’m just stating a fact.

A – It’s really not that big of a deal! We’ve had loads of free time to do a bunch of stuff we never had the time to do.

M – What, like finish reading The English Patient?

J – And join a basketball league?

A – Exactly! I’ve gotten to do all these productive things.

M – You’re on page like, 40. After 69 days.

A – Well, I’ve also been playing basketball.

J – I’ve been very productive.

M – Jason came out.

J – Wow, way to steal my thunder.

M – Stealing your thunder would mean I announced something even more interesting than the fact that you are gay.

J – Whatever.

Interviewer: What were your jobs before the recession?

A – Actually, I had just finished getting my degree in journalism and was about to take an amazing internship with a veteran local news anchor. He was going to take me all over the world while he worked on a special documentary, but the whole budget fell through so the project never happen. Then my boyfriend who I THOUGHT I was going to marry broke up with me.

J – Actually, you broke up with him.

A – No I didn’t.

M – Allie, there has only been one time you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone, and that was choosing a career opportunity over Ben.

A – Yeah and look what happened!

J – Okay you can’t blame the recession on the fact that Ben didn’t want to get back together with you.

A – I’m not blaming the recession, I’m blaming you guys for even convincing me to break up with him in the first place! “Oh he’ll only get in the way Allie”, “This internship could change your life”.

M – Well it did change your life! You didn’t get it, you tried to get back with Ben and he didn’t want to. What did he say Allie?

A – Next question please.

M – WHAT DID HE SAY ALLIE.

A – (Mumbles something)

J – He said “he was kind of glad they broke up in the first place”.

Interviewer: Harsh.

M – Fact.

A – Don’t be such a bitch Mya.

J – Oh my God Allie cursed!

A – I hate you both.

Interviewer: Moving on then, Jason and Mya, did you discover any new relationships?

J – Bitch I just came out. I have no fucking idea what I’m doing.

M – I don’t date.

J – Mya is slightly obsessed with her career. Men can’t compete.

M – It’s a waste of time.

A – Oh my God Mya don’t say that.

M – Holy crap Allie, enough with the hopeless romantic bullshit. Give it a rest.

Interviewer: Now that you’re unemployed though Mya, how have you been adjusting to not being productive?

M – (holds up her now empty glass) Swimmingly (she gets up to refill her drink)

J – I never really cared about my job but Mya was gunning for top spot.

M – (from kitchen) I HAD THAT SPOT.

J – Well, not the top spot.

M – (back with us) NO. My goal was to be leading a creative team before I’m 30. I dedicated myself to one single ad agency for the last 3 years to achieve this and now it’s all fucking gone and I gotta start from fucking scratch.

A – I hope this makes you realize you need to have other goals in your life. See what happens when your life revolves around one thing? You got nothing left.

M – Right. By other goals you mean a boyfriend?

A – Or knitting. Your choice. Men are more interesting.

J – And fulfilling. Literally.

Interviewer: You seem to know each other very well.

J – We’ve actually only know each other for like 2 years.

Interviewer: Really?

J – Yeah well, being unemployed and excessively drinking kind of brings people together if you catch my drift.

Interviewer: What happens now?

M – Lamb Wednesday’s turn into Polar Ice Thursdays.

A – That was a serious question Mya.

M – That was a serious answer.

J – I plan on trying not to keep fucking a guy that will eventually break my heart.

A – Don’t be so crass Jason.

J – Crass? CRASS? Who even uses that word?

M – Allie is going to focus on dating casually. And career Plan B.

A – And Mya’s gonna focus on smiling a bit more, getting over her Plan A and try to figure out what else she wants to do. And maybe fall in love.

M – Oh Christ.

 

This goes on for like 30 pages, once I got going, the more I wanted to ask my characters questions. It’s kind of schizophrenic, but it seriously helps!

WHAT HAVE WE GOT HERE… TUNES!

It’s Been Awhile Since I Was Your Man by Matthew Good

One of my favorite artists being simple and pure. Very excited to see him again next Friday. For the 6th time.

Book Of James by We Are Augustines

There is something upbeat and raw about this. Love the guy’s voice. Love the vibe. Love the progression and what it escalates into. Put it on your next road trip playlist.

We Bros by Wu Lyf

Soundtrack ready and moody, but not in a depressing way. More like you’re standing on top of a mountain ready to let all that shit go. Skipping back down recommended.

I Was Broken by Marcus Foster

Self-power ballad. Why the fuck not?

 

 

 

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Bus Etiquette 101/rant

Is there anything more annoying than riding the bus? I understand it’s genius and good vibes for the environment, but holy fuck there is nothing worse than a Monday morning with torrential downpour, balancing a coffee, your dripping umbrella and trying to manoeuvre around 50 billion people to get off at your stop. After almost 8 years of busing it in Vancouver, I’ve picked up a few rules that I think anyone can agree with.

GET OFF THE FUCKING BUS

No seriously, get off. When the whole beast is crowded and you’re the sucker stuck in front of the door, get off at every stop. You’re lying to me if you say you enjoy having 20 people grind against you as they attempt to move past to get out. Don’t be that fucking idiot standing there acting oblivious as people are practically trampling over you. If you just step outside for 10 seconds, they will all file out in a polite fashion and then you can bounce back in. The bus won’t leave without you, trust me.

CALM THE FUCK DOWN

Hey, see how I’m trying to get out too at this stop? Yeah you don’t need to push me to make me realize you are as well. Also, don’t be the jackass who tries to start standing up and getting first spot in front of the door when we’re still 2 blocks away from the stop. As you curse and push everyone to get there, has it ever occurred to you that once the bus stops and the doors open, that’s the prime time TO TRY AND GET OFF THE BUS? What is the rush? Now you’re just the asshole who’s falling all over the place cause you can’t keep your balance or worse, pushing through people to get in front of them. THE SAME PEOPLE THAT ARE ABOUT TO GET OFF.

SHUT THE FUCK UP

Oh cool, your friend CeCe is calling, better pick up and tell her something really important that can’t wait another 5 minutes to tell her once you’re off the bus. “OH MY GOD CECE, CAN YOU BELIEVE I GOT THAT DRUNK LAST NIGHT? LOL LOL LOL I TOTALLY PUKED”. Are you serious? Oh, I see you’re talking louder to hear yourself over the bus motor. Oh great, now I have to hear how you turned down “Richie” after he bought you all those “Burt Reynold shots”.

TURN DOWN YOUR FUCKING IPOD

Oh sweet, you got the new Pitbull song. You just can’t appreciate those immaculate and flawless beats without turning it up all the way with extra bass. Super, now I can hear it even though I’m listening to my fucking iPod. These douche bags are also always drenched in cologne and the scent of their hair gel (cause they use half the bottle every morning) make me nauseous.

HEY EMO COUPLE, GET THE FUCK OUT

How adorable that you love each other so much that you need to be seated together at all times, playing with each others hairs, swapping spit and giving everyone else that pitiful look that means, “don’t worry, one day you’ll find someone”. You know the reason I don’t give up my seat so you can sit beside your hunny bunny is because you make me fucking sick right?

DON’T YOU DARE BRING THAT SHIT ON THE BUS

Are you moving? Do you have 20 billion trash bags full of cans? Are you carrying some elaborate piece of furniture who’s sole purpose is to hit my shoulder? Don’t get on the bus. Seriously. I will hunt you down.

DON’T BE A BITCH TO THE BUS DRIVER

Unless he’s hurling insults at you for no apparent reason, don’t fucking bother the bus driver. They are saints. Nothing grates me more than drunk Delta teens on their way to Granville Street drunk off their ass already at 6 pm shouting at the bus driver “hey maaaaan can you stop here??!?!!?” “hey maaaaaannnnn can you go faster?!?!?!” “OH MY GOD WE’RE SO DRUNK”. Get the fuck out.

That’s about it. It’s Friday, time to party.

Jean-Claude is ready

 

WAIT – LET ME THROW SOME TUNES AT YA

Whale by Yellow Ostrich

I have not enjoyed a song this much for a very long time. Seems forgettable at first but give it a few tries and you will begin to appreciate its layers and build-up. Plus the image of a depressed musician riding the back of a cartoon whale to happiness is something that cheers me up every morning on my way to work.

Burning Up by Adalita

Remember the awful version of this that Madonna put out in the 80’s? Me neither. This cover is vastly superior in it’s dark sexy glory.

U + Me = by Dan Black

Can’t help but tap along to this sugar pop love declaration, made a tad gritty with the electronica to avoid cavities.

See You Soon by Coldplay

Hate em’, love em’, I don’t care, this is still a lovely gem from the Parachutes album.

So Long by Ingrid Michaelson

To use when you’re not sure how to write your break-up letter.