Chapter 2

Career Opportunity

Part Jump

Part A
Part B

Transcript for Chapter 2

Transcript for Chapter 2A

Scene 1:

The scene opens in the hotel room, with Jade still holding the phone receiver. She sits in shocked silence, contemplating the “offer” that Justice just made.

Jade: (I guess I shouldn't be surprised. This is L.A. after all. Spend the night with a guy, and suddenly you've got the power to give your sister everything she ever wanted. She'd never find out; I mean, Justice would never tell. I could be the best sister any girl ever had-)

Jade suddenly looks angry and thwarted.

Jade: (Wait, what am I thinking? I can't do something like that. I can't believe this guy even got me to consider such a thing. What a conman.)

Jade puts the receiver back to her ear and talks to Justice.

Jade: No, I can't. I'm a good sister, but I'm not that good. You'll have to find someone else to “audition” for you. I would say I'm sorry, but I'm really not. Goodbye.

Justice's voice is coming out of the phone as Jade is hanging it up.

Justice: Wait, Jade-

Jade hangs it up with a clack.

Jade stands beside the bed, holding her hands up in front of her face. They're shaking.

Jade looks back over her shoulder and her eyes land on the remote control where it lies on the bed. She grabs it and starts clicking through the TV channels, trying to distract herself.

Channel 1: -sensing danger, the puma crouches behind the safety of-

Channel 2: -high-pressure system moves in, daytime, highs-

Channel 3: -working in a fulfilling career you love in as little as nine-

The phone begins to ring. Jade whips her head around to look at the phone, distressed. She determinedly goes back to the TV and keeps changing channels while the loud ringing of the phone fills the room.

Channel 4: -time to meet my destiny, there's nobody-

Channel 5: -only $199 per month, you can't pass up this offer!

Mica whimpers as the phone ringing starts to disturb his sleep. He moves around in his crib, and then begins to wail. Jade looks over at him.

Jade: Oh, Mica.

Mica: Wa- waah!

Jade picks Mica up and looks at him compassionately while he cries.

Jade: Come on, let's go outside.

Jade takes Mica in one arm and steps out onto the balcony. It's dark outside and light shines from the balconies on the floors below Jade. Jade slides the glass door closed behind her, trying to block out the ringing.

Jade: Sorry, baby brother. Sorry that guy's such a huge pain in the diaper.

She cradles Mica as she tries to come up with a tune to sing to him. She starts with “Hush little baby” and ends up segueing into “Enter Sandman” by Metallica.

Once Mica's asleep, Jade slides open the glass door and peeks into the room. She looks suspicious as she waits to see if the phone will ring again. She brings Mica inside, places him in the crib, and sighs with relief as she lowers herself onto the edge of the bed. Suddenly, the phone rings again and Jade's eyes get comically huge. She snatches up the phone before it can wake Mica.

Jade: Alright, listen, you stupid fartknocker. You solicited sex from me, you woke up my baby brother, and now I'm going to have to kill you.

Justice: Jade, I was kidding.

We zoom in on a profile of Jade, whose teeth are bared and whose hair is shrouding the top of her face.

Jade: Right, you were kidding. Says every tool throughout history whose ever been shot down by a girl. Bite me.

Justice is smiling.

Justice: Well, not kidding, exactly. Testing you. Trying to see how much you were willing to help your sister.

Jade: Not that much.

Justice: No, but it took you long enough to answer that I could tell you were considering it.

Jade: Why you-

Justice laughs.

Justice: But don't worry. I really wouldn't have taken you up on it, because we can't use Amber by herself. That's the whole point. Sleeping with you wouldn't have fixed that.

Jade: I don't get it, what's wrong with her?

Justice is sitting in the big armchair, leaning forward with an elbow on his knee. On the table beside him, there's a vase full of various flowers with large blooms, including a rose, a lily, a gerbera daisy, and a clematis.

Justice: Nothing's wrong with her. You're not a fan of Bouquet, so I don't think you understand the dynamic.

Justice absentmindedly touches the flowers while he's talking.

Justice: To most people, Bouquet just seems like a group of talented girls who were tosses in together at random-

Jade: You're using “talented” pretty loosely.

We see images that illustrate the concepts Justice is trying to explain to Jade. The first image is a giant balance with the eight members of Bouquet sitting or posing on it. There are four girls on each side, and they're wearing matching concert dresses with short, bi-layered skirts. They have on light-colored hats and white boots. The Bouquet logo is written across the top of the balance.

Justice: They are talented, Jade. There's a lot more to being a pop star than just dancing and singing. But that's not the point. They weren't just picked at random, or even because they're pretty. They were picked to maintain a balance. No one girl stands out too much, so it seems to you like none of them stand out at all.

The second image shows four of the Bouquet girls posing in one panel, all cute in different ways, but none of them taking center stage.

Justice: But the truth is that they're all pros, all vying for your attention, and it's coordinated so you barely notice it.

The third image shows the Bouquet members in two rows, lined up back-to-back, showing which girl was picked to balance out which other girl. At the front of the line is Amber, with no one at her back to balance her. She looks vulnerable and nervous.

Justice: For every sexy girl, we have a wholesome girl. For every sporty girl, we have a brain. And Amber has no edge. She's too precious.

Now we see the same image of Amber, still looking vulnerable, only now the girl at her back is Jade. Jade is depicted as an all-black character with a devious, almost evil expression. There is a large yin-yang in the background that echoes the dark-light relationship between Jade and Amber.

Justice: The only way she works is opposite someone much darker than her. A yin to her yang. A badass to her princess. Do you see what I'm getting at?

Jade: I'm trying not to.

Justice: I want you, Jade.

Jade is not amused.

Jade: So you've already made clear to me.

Justice: Oh, please. Be serious. My boss wants you, too. He wants the two of you together.

Jade: Extortion.

Justice: No. Amber's stock goes up if you come along with her. Amber alone is a sparkler, but you are dynamite. And the two of you together are atomic.

Justice grabs his head and laughs in excitement.

Justice: You have no idea how bad I want this! It's going to characterize the group for years to come.

Justice: The only reason you can't see it is because you've never tried to see star potential in yourself.

Jade shouts into the phone.

Jade: The reason I can't see it is because I've never wanted to be an idol! In fact, I've spent many collective hours making fun of idols, and determining to never, ever be the type of girl that someone might mistake for someone who wants to be an idol!

Justice: So you're a hipster. All hipsters are idols at heart.

Jade squints, annoyed.

Jade: You son of a-

Justice: Just think about it, Jade. You don't have to decide right now. They're going to start calling the girls in a couple of hours to let them know who passed to Round Two. Amber's going to pass. But she can't pass them all. Not without you.

Jade: Call it whatever you want. It's extortion.

Justice: You call it what you want. It's genius.

Transcript for Chapter 2B

The scene opens with Mom and Amber returning from dinner. They're walking into the hotel room, and Amber is holding a small paper bag.

Amber: We're back! We got you a burger!

Mom: Oh, great, you got Mica to sleep! I think I'll take a shower.

Jade is lying on the bed, depressed. Her left hand rests on the remote.

Jade: Hey.

Amber: Catch!

Amber throws the burger bag at Jade, and the bag lands on her lap.

Jade: Thanks.

Amber moves toward the end of the bed.

Amber: Sorry if I get between you and the TV, but I need to practice.

Jade: (Justice is crazy. There's no way I can join Bouquet.)

Jade sits up and takes the burger bag.

Jade: (It's not like he's asking me to commit to one weekend of picking up garbage on the freeway. This is a career move. Most girls don't leave the group until they're, what, twenty-one? Twenty-two? So we're talking about six or seven years trapped in some kind of glitter-encrusted nightmare, just so Amber doesn't get get in the end,)

Jade reaches into the bag without really paying attention to it.

Jade: (which would have happened anyway if I'd stayed at home with Dad like I'd originally planned.)

Amber is dancing in front of Jade with a look of blissful contentment on her face. Jade wacthes on in frustration, her hand still in the paper bag.

Jade: (Argh, why does she have to be so positive about this? She didn't even go back-to-school shopping, and that's like her favorite ritual. But, no, she's not going to need new clothes because she's going to become a world famous idol and she'll never have to go to public school again.)

Jade suddenly looks intrigued.

Jade: (Ooh, never going to school again. That could be awesome.)

She smirks to herself.

Jade: (Yeah, that would be a good reason to join Bouquet.)

Amber notices Jade's expression.

Amber: What are you smirking at?

Jade snaps out of her thoughts.

Jade: Nothing.

She grins at Amber.

Jade: Just picturing you in a tu-tu singing "Flirty Flower" in front of a bazillion people.

Amber: I love that song.

Jade: Yes, I know. You singing it every morning in the shower.

Amber continues to dance, and responds in a sing-songy voice.

Amber: Just preparing for my destiny!

Jade smiles at how cute her sister is.

Just then, the phone rings. Jade's eyes go huge. She reaches for the phone, annoyed, but Amber gets to it first and picks it up. She looks a question at Jade, but then answers the call.

Amber: This is Amber Smith. Yes. Yes. Okay.

A huge grins breaks out across Amber's face.

Amber: Yes, I understand.

Amber climbs up onto the bed and starts jumping up and down, all the while maintaining a professional voice for the person on the other end of the phone call.

Amber: Okay, I see. Thank you. Right, eight o'clock. Thank you very much.

Amber hangs up the phone with a click, then goes into a happy dance that takes her back and forth from one bed to the other.

While dancing, she snags her foot on a blanket and goes flying through the air. She lands face-first on the bed next to Jade; Jade's expression is mild.

Jade: Try not to cripple yourself before the next round.

Amber jumps back up, still happy.

Amber: I made it! I can't believe I made it! I can't believe I'm going to round two!

Her expression starts to break, and she brings her hands up to her face.

Amber: I can't...believe I'm...

Then she buries her face in her hands and sinks onto her knees on the bed.

She starts to tremble. Jade smiles, a little worried.

Jade: Amber?

Amber looks up, and Jade can see that she's still smiling even though there are tears on her face.

Amber: I'm fine. I just...I really can't believe it. I didn't think that there was any chance that I would...

Amber shakes her head, unable to finish. Jade smiles in disbelief.

Jade: What are you talking about? All you've said from the beginning is how sure you are that you're going to get in.

Amber: Come on, Jade. You know how it is. Before you're really doing something, it's like this beautiful dream, but then the closer you get to reaching it, you know...

Amber rubs her tears away with on hand.

Amber: The closer you get, the more it feels like a bubble that's about to pop.

Jade: Ah.

For a moment, the sisters sit beside each other on the bed, thoughtful. Then Amber claps her hands together. She's happy again.

Amber: But I'm not going to think about that right now!

Amber jumps up from the bed and starts banging on the bathroom door.

Amber: Mom, I made it to round two!

Amber goes back to dancing in the background. In the foreground, Jade's face shows the turmoil she's experiencing, knowing that Amber is doomed to be cut.