2010-02-08: FB: Passing Notes



Date Set: August 7th, 2009


Erin yells at Tracy. It's the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

Six Months Ago…

"Passing Notes"

Afterlife Set

New York City

An office sits empty and pristine. It seems to be the office of someone important and governmental, perhaps straight out of Washington. Everything is immaculately (almost too immaculately) in place. A handsome wooden desk — antique, it looks like — is arranged with various trimmings necessary for a well-oiled office… mostly. It's a little empty. Chairs, a flag in the corner, a set of heavy, blue curtains, a vase of flowers, a bookshelf of hard-covered, valuable books, even a coat-rack.

It would be realistic, if only the left wall didn't cut away into the lights and wires of a set, ruining the illusion. It's not exactly a normal set for Afterlife. As such, the set has an out-of-place visitor. In a sleek dark blue blazer-and-pencil skirt combo, a cream satin shirt beneath and a string of pearls around her neck, the blonde could be an extra (or star…) on the office set, dressed neatly in Capitol Hill chic. Filming hasn't started for this episode, though, and Tracy isn't an actor. Nor does she work in the business. Today is the unusual exception. She stands at the edge of the set talking to one of the producers with one hand on her hip.

It's … kind of like a tornado when it happens. A very quiet tornado, to be sure, but it's a force of nature regardless. There have been whispers on the set that they're bringing in a specialist for the political episodes, which really seems ironic to Erin, who's been in a bad mood since someone went ahead and assumed she would need help with her set.

Anyway, back to the irony of this whole situation. It's a show about supernatural forces like werewolves and vampires and all sorts of crazy creatures who don't actually exist. So the very idea that someone came up with the great notion that the set and the acting had to be spot-on realistic for this new aspect of Afterlife just boggles. And in Erin's case, enrages.

Cutting between the producer and the tall blonde without even giving the latter a glance, she holds up her notes. They're marked up with red pen. "These were my originals." Calm, in a way. With just the slightest edge of danger. "I'm going to shove them up someone's ass, then drop them off the roof. It's either gonna be you, or it's gonna be the person who ruined them. Which would you prefer?"

Hello, interruption in the form of a short whirlwind of a— whoever she is. Catching glimpses of the red pen marks on the papers that are held up, Tracy calmly steps away from the woman who is suddenly in the face of the person she was talking to. Though she clearly shows some surprise, and building … offence, the polite smile she had for the producer still perfectly featured on her lips. "Excuse me," she interjects courteously, with just a touch of superiority. "That's my handwriting. Is there a problem?" Obviously there's a problem,. "What's wrong with my notes?"

One mystery solved. At least the producer isn't going to need to pull set notes out of his backside later on, and with this revelation, Erin rounds on Tracy. "These are yours?" she asks, holding up the notes. They're kind of crumpled at this point, which just adds to the idea that they are completely destroyed. "The problem with them is that they're all over mine. There's a copy machine right in the office where these were sitting. So I'll have to assume one of two things. Either you're blind, or stupid." Shaking the papers, Erin shoves them at Tracy. "Don't do it again. I'm going to go print a new original. Leave it alone."

Wait. Print a new original? Yeah, it's not really the fact that there was only one, it's the fact that the one Erin was using was written all over.

As Erin turns and walks away, the producer enlightens Tracy. "That's Erin McCarty. She's the set director." It's not said as if she's important, though. It's said as an apology. The rest of them have to put up with this all the time.

Tracy — with the crumpled papers in her hands, after they were shoved unceremoniously there — has no time to respond to the woman who is revealed to be the set director. "… If… you'll excuse me — I think I've told you all I have to. I'll deal with … Ms. McCarty," she tells the producer and turns to follow the woman. Her heels are sharp along the floor as her strides catch up. "I'm neither of those things — blind, or stupid," she points out matter-of-factly. "I'm sure someone is. Such as the person who handed them to me."

Still angry, albeit less so when Tracy so expertly passes the blame off on someone else (which would pretty much align with Erin's previous assessment of her staff's incompetence), she slows. This is her job. They should have trusted her to do the research to get the set looking somewhat genuine. "The problem here is that someone decided we had too much money in our budget, and rather than give it to someone who already works their ass off, they hired you," Erin says. Bitter? No, not at all. Perhaps related to nothing, she asks, "Do you know who I am?"

While Tracy can feel several biting remarks trying to rise to the surface, waiting to snap at Erin, she realizes she's at work — an uncharacteristic venue, to be sure, but call it field work. It's still work. A consummate professional in politics, Tracy is no stranger to diplomacy — so she calls upon the diplomatic gods to help her at this particular moment.

"The set director," Tracy answers with a small, calm smile and lift of her brows. She's right, isn't she? "Erin McCarty, right?" she says as if she knew along and wasn't told about thirty seconds prior. "Listen, I'm just doing my job, Ms. McCarty," she says, her white smile widening genially. "I was asked to advise, soo — I'm advising. Consulting. I happened to be in the city on business, and I had time. I'm hardly trying to steal anyone's job, least of all yours," the blonde says, scoffing ever-so-slightly. "I have more important things to do." …She was doing so well at being tactful, too.

Erin's is an important job. Really! If she didn't direct the set as she does so well, the other peons working here would do something like paint it pink and green, and have a flag with little purple hearts on it.

Anyway, the fact that Tracy didn't jump right to 'an actor' is refreshing. "So, what, you're an expert on dressing up a political set?" she asks, somewhat incredulous, though much less abrasive than she was before. Heading into a nearby office, which is much less pristine and more 'lived in' than the set, Erin turns on the computer. "Good thing you don't want this job. There's no way you could do it."

"I wouldn't want to," Tracy says honestly as she comes to stand in the doorway of the little office. She folds her arms, still holding the abused set notes, and leans lightly against the doorframe. Though her pose is a casual one, the tailored lines of her suit make any true casualness impossible. "I'm not a set dresser, but I know offices, especially a Governor's, since I work with the state Governor. Mostly, I was called in to make sure the political story line made sense. Which it doesn't, by the way, but it's not my fault the fictional governor is a werewolf."

Well… good. They're on the same page. "Hang on," Erin says absently as she goes through her files to find a new copy of the notes to print out. And even though Tracy's are already marked up, Erin figures she might as well print out another one for her, as well. "He's not a werewolf. He's a were-boar. There's a difference." Trust her.

The notes are comprised of a half dozen sheets of paper, which she staples together before handing to Tracy. Without even trying to hide it, she looks the blonde up and down. "I gotta say, you're like the stereotypical television politician. You have to be pretty to work for the governor?" It's an underhanded compliment. Kind of. Turning back to the computer, she closes her files and opens up her email.

Were… what. Tracy only gives Erin a vague look of incredulousness — whatever — in regards to the fictional governor's… species. Not exactly her thing. As she takes the papers, the bright, clean ones held atop the crumpled notes, she gives a smirk that could be called slightly indulgent. "Only some of them," she answers with a hint of amusement. "With Malden, it doesn't hurt." Hey — she's being honest. Tracy waves the papers in her hand. "I'm not exactly sure what you want me to do with these."

"What I want you to do with them is pretty simple. If you ever feel like writing all over my notes again, use your own. And if you forget to use your own, you have another copy. If you forget both of those, I'm just screwed, so…" Until she prints out another copy, anyway. "I'm guessing you must be pretty smart to work in politics, though." The way she says it doesn't exactly suggest that Erin thinks politicians are smart at all. Ah, satire. After all, if it helps to be pretty working for Malden (Who's that again?) there must be something else going on behind closed doors besides meetings of the minds.

With a half-smile as she stares at the screen, Erin adds, "I'm sure you'll remember."

Anyway. "Now that were the best friends in the whole world, there are a few things I need to talk to you about." Erin's set, Erin's rules. "So how 'bout if we go out to dinner, you pay for messing up my notes, and I tell you what you are and aren't allowed to do." She has a list as long as her arm. Really.

Tracy listens to Erin with a growing amusement. She could easily get angry at the girl's audacity, but really, she recognizes something of herself in the set director's frank, take-charge attitude. "You've got yourself a deal," she says coolly. "I'll be sure to bring my notes," she adds with a vaguely sarcastic tone, tapping a manicured fingernail on the back of the papers — a stack, by now. "Still— not my fault I was handed the original." Just saying. Her name is pristine, as far as she's concerned… as much as she cares. Someone else out there deserves a more vicious tongue-lashing than her. Justice must be served. Or is that vengeance? She smiles — it starts out overly polite, but melts into something marginally warmer as she laughs at the woman. "My name is Tracy, by the way. Tracy Strauss."


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