Category Archives: Soap Operas

Lost-Coast-01

Lost Coast
Part One

by Morgan Hobbs

Out-of-work Hollywood types travel to the middle of nowhere to make an adventure show. 2,332 words. Part Two. Illustration by John Mann.


We were desperate. Art. Bruce. Lance. Tony. Scott. The whole lot of us. Desperate for another break. Desperate to make another month’s rent, another phone bill, another car payment. Desperate to make something happen. Tired of waiting tables, waiting in open houses, waiting to get slaughtered at the next cattle call. We’d all had a break or two already – a national commercial, a recurring role on HBO or FX or AMC, a juicy part in a fourquel splatter-fest. Just enough to keep our hopes up, keep us out of real jobs and real money. Only the breaks hadn’t led to bigger breaks. We needed that big roller to take us over the top. And this was our wave machine.

“Can you believe this shit?” said Art, an aspiring film editor scraping by on local commercials and backyard bare-knuckle brawl videos. Believe it or not, they pay people to edit those things. He got four hundred bucks and an eight ball for the last gig, which launched the career of a 380 pound overalls-clad cyclops named Opie Mohammed.

I couldn’t believe the tab as I looked at it, dollar signs burning my eyes. Even out in the middle of nowhere like we were, in some Northern California town where the redwoods met the Pacific, it was possible to run up a four figure bar tab. Before I could react, another round had arrived — bottles of Budweiser and whiskey backs, although you could have them in any order you liked. I could already feel the hangover and I knew a couple of the others were half blind. Somebody had to pay for this. The credit cards were maxed. We didn’t have the budget for this bill. I hailed the waitress and ordered another round of whiskey.

As soon as I said it I got hit in the eye with the flash. “How come every time I order a whiskey, you take my picture?” I asked.

Scott slipped the phone back in his pocket. “Because in Argentina they say ‘whiskey’ instead of ‘cheese’. Picked it up on a shoot in Patagonia.”

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Who Was Helen Twelvetrees final

It Takes Guts

by Ronald Alexander

TV FICTION PACKAGE: A soap opera actor’s father visits at the worst time possible. 3,788 words. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


As he slathered lotion on his face and scrubbed to remove the morning’s heavy makeup, he couldn’t help imagining what his father might say about a grown man who worried over his appearance. Van blotted with tissues and and began to brush his hair, stiff with spray. He thrust his jaw forward and studied his reflection. He wondered about his weak chin and if that was the reason he was stuck in this network daytime soap opera with no offers for anything better.

"You there, Van?" A soft tap accompanied the meek voice.  It was the new production assistant on As God Is My Witness. "I thought maybe you’d already left to pick up your father. I brought the scripts for next week."

"I was just getting ready to leave," Van said, thumbing the pages. "What betrayals does Alexandra foist on our eternally-dim Dr. Blair Blanton next week?"

"I’d never treat a man the way she does," the assistant replied, averting her eyes, blushing, then turning to make a quick exit.

Van scanned until he found Dr. Blanton’s dialogue, and began to read aloud: "Of course I’m not accusing you, Alexandra. But a colleague mentioned to me at the hospital that he ran into you at Capriccio having dinner with Tony Agnello, when you told me you were playing mahjong with the girls at the club. And you’ve been so outspoken about how arrogant you thought Tony was, always bragging about his airplane and his polo ponies and beach house. You never mentioned any benefit for the homeless that the two of you were co-chairing — "

Van dropped the material on his dressing table with a scowl. No one except for his sister and a few seldom-seen cousins back in Indiana, and the nation’s unemployed, was impressed with the soap or his role. His father thought Van was wasting his life.

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