copyright © 2002 Jocelyn Hughes

The Fish Bowl

by Jocelyn Hughes

LISA and BOBBY sit around a conference table at a major Hollywood studio.


Lisa: So, I’ve read your screenplay and I think it sucks

Bobby: Oh

Lisa: Yeah, your dialogue is just atrocious, your characters have absolutely no arc and obviously plot is a little too sophisticated for you. You’ve heard of conflict resolution before, right? Any way, all constructive I hope? Tell me again why you decided to become a screenwriter? Wait, don’t tell me, you were fat, unattractive and your best friends were Strunk and White? No, just joking… you’re pretty thin.

Bobby: Thanks?

Lisa: I was also joking about the Strunk and White part. In case you don’t know they were writing partners for majority of the grammar books you read in high school. I realize that joke may be a little (using her hands to indicate air quotes) "highbrow" for you. You’ve heard of that phrase before, right? Now that we’re cooking with gas, a writing partner may not be such a bad idea for you. I’ll give Allan Ball a call and ask him to write something that you can put your name on…not! Goodness.

(Awkward pause)

(Overly friendly) So, how are you?

Bobby: Good?

Lisa: Are you asking me or telling me?

Bobby: No, no, I’m good. I was telling you. I was telling.

Lisa: Okay, well, any questions?

Bobby: Well, actually, I do have one question if you don’t mind?

Lisa: No, not at all, that’s what I’m here for. Shoot.

Bobby: Well, do you think it’s marketable?

Lisa: What do you mean?

Bobby: Oh, well… do you think it could make money?

Lisa: Oh. OH, oh my God yes! Yeah, I’m sorry. I guess I should have told you that part first. We would love to option it. No wander you’re not excited. I was getting confused. Goodness, where is my brain today? Out to lunch obviously eating a chocolate covered banana. Yeah, we think this is a goldmine. No doubt we’ll make a fortune. You may even get a small percentage of that fortune if you play your cards right Mr. I think we we’re going to skip right over the development process and go straight to pre-production. Nobody writes crap like you Bobby. THIS. IS. CLASS. A! Definitely a box office smash. Is this your first draft?

Bobby: Yup

Lisa: Wow, you are a natural.

Bobby: Thanks. Yeah, I wasn’t sure if I should clean it up or not but, then I thought, why mess with perfection? Go with your instincts, you know?

Lisa: Good for you, that’s what I like to hear. No doubt your instincts are right on the mark for blockbuster success in Hollywood. You sure you’ve never written a screenplay before?

Bobby: Oh my god, how did you know?

Lisa: I think your inability to pitch a story gave it away but honestly, I can’t remember. I got lost in your blue eyes and stopped listening half way through the conversation.

Bobby: Wow, that’s pretty funny.

Lisa: Really? I just thought of that too.

Bobby: No way?!

Lisa: Maybe we could be writing partners? What do you think?

Bobby: No. I like working alone. That way I’m surprised when someone likes my work. It’s like not knowing the sex of your baby before having it even though there are technological advancements that allow such knowledge to be made available at your discretion.


Lisa: Excellent observation.

Bobby: Thank you. That means a lot.

Lisa: No problem.

(Silence as Lisa gets lost in his eyes for a moment and struggles to regain focus)

So…where were we. Ahhh, yes. So, we’d like to option When Hookers Attack for 10 years for $500. Does that work for you?

Bobby: Sounds great

Lisa: Excellent. Well, I’ll call you later in the week with the details.

Bobby: Cool. Thanks Lisa

Lisa: So, here’s my card and my home address is on the back. Does nine tonight work for you or do you have some kind of writing class?

Bobby: Oh, no I can cancel. Nine’s great?

Lisa: Is that a question?

Bobby: Nope, not a question.

Lisa: See you later.

Bobby: See ya

Lisa: Oh, and can you send the next guy in for me? Absolutely fantastic writer… but we’re passing

Bobby: Sure. Bye

Lisa: Bye

(Bobby exits stage…BLACKOUT.)


"The Fish Bowl" debuted November 22, 2002, performed by Tisha Terrasini and Mike Rotschild.

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