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Since Episode 4, I’ve been digging around for information about Road Movies, like what makes a good one and what elements they should include. What I mostly found was that they are more character than plot-based and that the characters must be on a journey. Check. Two other interesting things:
1) Often the quest is met at the end of Act 2, with a new quest being set in motion for Act 3. That’s something to consider as my ending more or less had the play ending with the end of the quest. It’s possible for a play, one more scene after that might be enough.
The Griswolds made it to Wally World at the end of Act 2–but it was closed.
2) The stakes are often artificially raised in a road movie by someone pursuing the travelers and/or a deadline. Aside from Cha-Cha and Katie needing to get back to work, there’s no real deadline on finding NPH, but I do have a fun idea for how they might be pursued in a way that’s not quite the police on their tail. We’ll see how that works…
The takeaway is that this is definitely a road play of some kind. I will try to avoid the diner scene trope .
AND NOW… back to FINDING NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, already in progress (and, as always, backing up half a page so you can remember where we were):
CHA-CHA: …Do you think Jose has the ashes?
KATIE: Who else?
CHA-CHA: Do you think he knows what Tonio wanted done with them?
KATIE: He wasn’t serious about that!
CHA-CHA: He was dead serious.
KATIE: Do you think he knew he was going to die right after he said it?
CHA-CHA: Maybe. Like animals go away to die, but he said his dying wish. And POOF!
CHA-CHA: So we need to do it.
KATIE: Do what?
CHA-CHA: Fling his ashes at Neil Patrick Harris.
KATIE: We can’t do that.
CHA-CHA: Why not?
KATIE: We don’t even know where he is.
KATIE: That’s clear across the country!
CHA-CHA: You wrote a pilot. You want to go.
KATIE: It was just for– You said it wasn’t even funny.
CHA-CHA: What if I was wrong?
KATIE: You think you were wrong?
CHA-CHA: No. But you don’t think I was.
KATIE: We’ll get arrested!
CHA-CHA: We’ll be discreet.
KATIE: Assault cannot be discreet!
CHA-CHA: We’ll explain. Tonio didn’t had to say it had to be fling and run.
KATIE: Neil Patrick Harris isn’t just going to be sitting on a park bench waiting to get bone bits thrown in his face.
CHA-CHA: You’re so negative.
KATIE: Don’t you think Jose should be the one to fling them? Maybe Jose would like an opportunity to meet Neil Patrick Harris, and take his picture with him.
CHA-CHA: What if Jose doesn’t even know?
KATIE: Why would he not know?
CHA-CHA: Because only your pedicurist knows your deepest secrets.
CHA-CHA: I could write a book.
KATIE: A sitcom.
KATIE: Tonio trusted us.
CHA-CHA: To carry out his last wish.
KATIE: I never thought of it like that.
CHA-CHA: It’s a sacred obligation.
CHA-CHA: Plus it sounds like a hoot. “Neil?” [FLING]
KATIE: You get to fling?
CHA-CHA: It was just one example.
KATIE: Can I fling in the next example?
KATIE: You’re lying.
CHA-CHA: We’ll figure it out!
KATIE: You need to call Jose.
CHA-CHA: Why me?
KATIE: Because you’re the one who think it’s a hoot. You’re the one wants to go to Hollywood. You have five pilots and I only have one.
CHA-CHA: Aren’t you coming too?
KATIE: You hate me.
CHA-CHA: But the sacred trust.
KATIE: What about Bed of Nails?
CHA-CHA: They’ll have to survive without us.
KATIE: Call Jose.
CHA-CHA: What if Tonio never mentioned it to him because it’s kinda stalkerish? CHA-CHA holds out her phone.
CHA-CHA: I can’t. You call.
KATIE: Can I fling the ashes in the next example?
CHA-CHA grudgingly shrugs.
KATIE: “Oh Neil! This is from our friend Tonio! It’s a sacred trust!” [Fling!]
CHA-CHA: That’s not bad.
KATIE takes the phone, looks at Cha-Cha, dials.
KATIE: Jose?… It’s Katie… Katie from the salon. Chanel–
CHA-CHA: Ixnay on the AnelChay.
KATIE: Cha-Cha and I were at the funeral… Yes, the two awkward women in the corner! Thank you for noticing us…. I, we just wanted to see how you were doing… Of course… I can’t imagine how hard…Oh… Tulips sound lovely…
CHA-CHA: Move it along.
KATIE: Twice as many as last year! I don’t have a green thumb…
CHA-CHA: Move it along.
KATIE: But I do make thumbs very pretty. I can paint tulips, you know with nail polish. You should come in–
CHA-CHA: Move it along!!
KATIE: So speaking of tulips, have you picked up Tonio’s ashes yet?… They would make good fertilizer!… Oh. Oh!… I’m so sorry to hear that… You can’t choose your family… Please come by… Tulip toes…. On the house. We think of Tonio every day.
KATIE hangs up.
KATIE: The sister has them.
The sister has them! End of scene. What’s nice is that the next scene obviously has to be Katie and Cha getting the ashes, which means we get to meet the sister and maybe also find out a lot more about Tonio…