Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tricky Business: Amber's final confrontation with Talia

As I've done with the past several chapters I've written, when I feel like I have a clear vision of something, that's when I get down and write about it.

But this is probably the first time I'm doing it with such a crucial point in the plot.

It's the part that takes place after the number "Alejandro," which is where I got the name for one of my male leads... kinda hard to ignore something right in front of you and Lady Gaga inspired quite a few parts of my story.

The end result of this number is that Talia tells Alejandro to take a hike, that she saved up enough to buy up his share of the venue so she won't have to deal with him anymore.
Because she has been in love with Alejandro for years (and he was the biggest reason she came back at all), Amber cannot let this happen.

So they have a big fight.

I'm having two issues with it so far.

The first is figuring out what needs to be said in order to move smoothly into the next part of the story, which is towards the end.
The second is figuring out how to portray Amber and Talia.

So far, I'm finding that Amber's resolve is breaking down too easily. She's gotten super emotional and winds up blabbing all of her secrets.
Secrets this huge need to be said begrudgingly through gritted teeth. Like she knows they're the only way to get anyone on her side.

My other big issue is determining how Talia comes off in the confrontation. In my latest draft, Talia comes off like she's the villain and Amber is the victim in the situation.

Maybe I've just lost sight of why Talia is in this in the first place. Or maybe I just haven't fully grasped why she decided to get into this business.
Up until his death, she believed without question that her stepfather loved her. Whenever they had sex, it was always consensual. Therefore there can't really be instances where verbal abuse were what convinced her to sleep with him.

I can only think that years of brainwashing turned her into the person she is.
He gets into her head, having her believe he's everything she needs. And it could all be started by a boyfriend breaking up with her. He needs to instill in her that she is safest when she is in bed with him, that it's a position she doesn't want to leave.

Why she continues on with it after his death and feeling betrayed by him... all I can really think is that she doesn't have anything else going for her, doesn't come from a lot of money, didn't finish high school because he kept her sheltered. Sex is the only thing that makes her happy, makes her feel empowered.

So when I write the conversation, all I get is that Amber finally opens up about her past and Talia is trying all she can to turn a blind eye to it, saying how she brought it on herself by coming back... that she is absolute resolute in holding onto her core belief that sex is the answer.

But how much do I want to come out in this revelation? Do I really want Scarlet and Vanessa in earshot like I had?

The important points include:
  • Amber being unhappy with her station in life
  • Amber comes out as Carmen
  • Amber loves Alejandro
  • Amber is responsible for what happened to Emilia, not Alejandro
There has to be just the right balance of everything and so far, it's just not coming off that way. Luckily I'm still in the drafting stage here and there's no rush on this.
But I don't pretend I don't have my concerns.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Amber's Playlist [Te Busque]

I've officially got this on my iPod now.
I might add a couple more songs, but for now, I have a list of 13 songs that are the soundtrack to Amber's journey through the realm of this project.
  1. I'm just sayin'- Karmin
  2. What you see (is what you get)- Britney Spears ("Oops... I did it again")
  3. I can't make you love me- Britney Spears ("Oops... I did it again")
  4. Circus- Britney Spears ("Circus")
  5. Lace & Leather- Britney Spears ("Circus")
  6. Paparazzi- Lady Gaga (The Fame)
  7. Told you so- Karmin
  8. Ladykiller- Maroon 5 ("Overexposed")
  9. Tickets- Maroon 5 ("Overexposed")
  10. Starstruck- Lady Gaga feat. Space Cowboy ("The Fame")
  11. Bad Kids- Lady Gaga ("Born this way")
  12. Comin' up strong- Karmin
  13. Hello- Karmin
Sunday afternoon, I went through all of these songs one after another and started to see a pattern taking shape.
I knew all of these were songs that I've associated with this particular character. Probably the most complex and most like me of all the cast members of "Te Busque."

I once wrote that she might have a bit of an identity crisis because I have so many different artists representing her.
Everyone from Lady Gaga to Rihanna to Britney Spears and Karmin, the latter being the very reason I came up with the evolution of her character where she changes her name and reinvents herself to adapt.

I could easily see her performing to "The Only Girl in The World" and "Where have you been?" because she likes to be the center of attention.
Or at least that's the misconception derived from her routines. That and being a little too hardcore with flaunting her sexuality.

The first song is more or less her theme throughout the storyline.
"...I'm just sayin, oh if I want it, I'm gonna get it"
It speaks about her quest to get Alejandro's attention as well as being taken seriously by everyone else and moving the direction of the club's image to one that's more to her tastes.

The first Britney Spears, I can almost see in an alternate version of her backstory, where she was the star of the club and was outmoded by a younger, fresher Talia.
The storyline is about a girl wanting to prove to a guy that she can be trusted with her male friends.
For this particular interpretation, though, it could just as easily her insisting that she won't lower herself to everyone else's level just to get along... something she ends up turning her back on.

Because I thought that was the title, I refer to the third song as "Crush on you"...
as in "I can't make you love me, I'm just a girl with a crush on you"... I mean, those three words open the freaking song. How are they NOT the title?

The scene I see unfolding is very dramatic. If my story was a lengthy episode of "Glee" with people breaking into song spontaneously, it would begin the moment Carmen walks away from Alejandro after her failed attempt to get the spot in the troupe.
All of the dance moves are something out of a Britney Spears video, hip-hop/pop style. She struts down the street singing this. One specific scene that takes place is her creating bangs and dying her hair. I haven't worked out all the kinks of what goes array, but the end result is permanent "amber" highlights that won't wash out of her hair.

The biggest question left about that part in her story is how she comes to the decision to come back under the new persona... how long it took her to come to that decision... and so on.
The song is meant mainly to be inner dialogue because nobody but her knows about her feelings for Alejandro. Well, maybe Michel and Misha, her male friends do, but none of the other girls really know that.

"Circus" is her audition song that gets her a spot on the troupe.
I would have included "Just Dance," her original audition song on this playlist, but in the overall scheme of things, it breaks up the flow of the playlist.
One of these days, I ought to check out the music video for the song for more ideas. I originally saw this as her dancing with a couple guys, cha-cha footwork and partner work. But seeing as Talia's troupe is all female, something else needs to take place. So I figured I'd give Amber a whip as a prop. And a lot of sexuality flaunting, including her being on the floor and moving her body in suggestive ways.

"Lace & Leather" is her chair and hair-ography number with Vanessa, which involves them draped over chairs, flipping their hair and kicking up their 6-inch stilettos. And they're probably dressed similarly to the girls from Vanity 6 for this .

Because I thought the songs sounded similar (heck, I thought there was some plagiarism involved), "Paparazzi" is her answer to Talia's "Say it right." While Talia's letting JP into her heart, Amber is dreaming about coming out on top, a goal she suddenly feels is within her grasp.
Again, still working out the kinks.

"Told you so," I had a thought yesterday about what it could really be referring to.
Amber telling Talia that sooner or later, Emilia will seek her out to dance with her because she will eventually tire of Talia babying her...
oddly, I put this before the two Maroon 5 songs that serve as my "servants' chorus" tracks.

The Servants' chorus was something featured prominently in "My Fair Lady" when Professor Higgins is having trouble teaching Eliza to speak proper English and the servants are telling him to give it up.

I find "Ladykiller" fascinating lyrically. To me, it sounds like Adam Levine is trying to talk his ex-girlfriend out of her pursuing a relationship with another woman, who can't be trusted, "she'll eat you alive as soon as she smells your blood in the water"...
I can see people around Emilia cautioning her against looking for Amber because she doesn't know who she's dealing with... everyone believing she takes the business too seriously to the point where it's a game for her. Apparently she's been very convincing her fa├žade.
Then "Tickets" refers to her being self-involved
"she's got tickets to her own show and nobody wants to go"... I see this being a cha-cha inspired number with her dancing with Michel and Misha with all the music video camera angles and such. This is the number Emilia sees before Amber comes over to talk to her.

"Starstruck" is a playful number, but I had another idea to add to it.
Originally, I thought of her using it to flirt with Alejandro and the end result is his lack of interest.
But then I thought she might show it to him after a rehearsal with her and Emilia, and he says she's better than just "upfront titillation"... almost as if he knows there's more to her than that...

so she decides on her brand new path, promoting self-empowerment with "Bad Kids"
which is a part of the "house of leather" night

also got the idea to have Vanessa dancing in a supporting role each number, which is a trio of her, Amber and Emilia

Finally, I close it off with two more Karmin tracks.
"Comin' up strong" is an emotional ballad. Originally, Carmen danced it for Scarlet to help her feel better after going the ordeal with her abusive father in a rumba. But at present, it see it as part of a night where each girl has a personal number that derives from their past.
She's dancing hip-hop with Misha (who Talia allows to dance with her for this special occasion) with very NappyTab-like choreography.

And "Hello" is the big production number at the end of the story with all the girls dancing different styles... Talia asks her if she has any ideas and that's what she comes up with. To me, it almost plays out like an expansive cheerleading routine, but it's more than that.