Eighty Five, Fifteen


abbot_icon.gif tess_icon.gif

Scene Title Eighty Five, Fifteen
Synopsis A plan hatched, a show conceived, a contract signed.
Date December 10, 2010

The Corinthian

Well, this is very nice. Kamber Abbot has held meetings at the Corinthian before, but he's really more often a small bistro type of guy. The grandness of the space, chandelier and all, tends to make him feel a little tatty no matter how well dressed he is. Today, too, he's not entirely swank, not exactly black tie. He's got on a tweedy jacket, a burgundy tie, and he's shaved, which is good, but it's still not the Ritz, let alone the Corinthian. Ha ha.

Still, if he doesn't look as nice as he might, Abbot's at least got a decent table, not to far from the bar. He's got a scotch on hand, though he's thinking maybe it would have been better just to get a G&T as he tends to - a comfort drink, really. This is territory uncharted, and while there is nothing dreadfully intimidating about the young woman he's meeting to discuss the career of, he's spent these past days thinking of how to pitch TV and, well… it's not that he has no ideas, it's that he has no idea if any of his ideas are any good. But he must have faith, mustn't he? He vents his anxiety by making minute adjustments to the place setting, a little habit he hopes Miss Winslow-Zarek doesn't catch him at.

While Tess knew what to expect from the restaurant in the Corinthian, she still dressed…Well, pretty much how she always does. Jeans and a tee-shirt, with her big coat on. She speaks briefly with the hostess, then looks towards Abbot and grins, heading in his direction. "Well hi there, Mister Agent," she says, pulling out a chair and settling herself into it.

"Miss Client," Abbot says, hands slipping back from the salad fork he was aligning, "fancy meeting you here. It's almost as though you know exactly where I'd be, and when I'd be there. Uncanny." He glances, trying to locate his server. "Would you like a drink? I've already gotten started," he taps the side of his scotch, "as you can see."

"Imagine that," Tes says, grinning. "And I'd love a drink, but I'm not twenty-one until next month," she says with a sigh and longing look towards his glass. Not that it matters much normally that she's not twenty-one, but this isn't her home or a dive that doesn't care. "So, I'm hopin' you've thought plenty 'bout my proposal?"

"Oh good God," Abbot says, lifting a hand and flagging the waiter, "pretend I'm your legal guardian and this is a relig- hellooo," the agent gives the waiter a wide, bright smile, "a long island iced tea for the lady, and if you wouldn't mind bringing me a gin and tonic, please? Hendricks. Thank you." The waiter takes the order and departs, and Abbot returns to Tess. "I have given it considerable thought, Miss Winslow-Zarek, and my research suggests that the easiest thing to do would be to play off of your personality and, if you'll permit me to say, good looks. Give you a space in which to flex your charisma. Talk shows are quite successful these days, since people love to be entertained while being informed, and they also love opinions and conflict. Plus you can make some decent money filling studio seats. It would also let me leverage my other talents, since you could invite and interview authors and other media figures. Of course, we have other options. You mentioned a sitcom, though I have my worries about that; are you a trained actress or comedienne? Plus you'd need a writing staff and other actors, and it's all rather more of a gamble, you see?"

His words make her laugh, and it's clear that he's just risen a few points in Tess's opinion. Enabling underage drinking is a plus. "You're awesome. I'll give you that. And good, you have been thinkin'. As for the rest…I have done actin' before. Was in drama a lot in school, and when I did psychic stuff, a lot of that's actin' too. Trust me, I can act. And sing. And dance. And I do the last two very well. I do see your ponit about talk shows though. That's a good idea."

"It's absurd, in this country, the drinking age. You can fight and die in the military, you can participate in the franchise, and you can't drink? Ridiculous," Abbot says, shaking his head at the madness, the MADNESS of post-Reagan drinking laws, "ultimately, though," and now he's back on topic, "I will pitch you, but it's you that has to seal the deal. And you that has to run the show. What do you want to do? What do you have to give to the world?"

"Hey, you're preachin' to the choir here," Tess says with a grin. "And I've got tons to give to the world. I'd love doin' the actin'n singin'n dancin', but unless we wanna do a better sorta Glee type thing, I don't see that happenin'. And I love people. Only thing is we'd need to come up with a hook for a talk show. Like springer does the dysfunctional families'n Montell is all about paternity tests."

"Then what is your hook?" Abbot asks, as the drinks arrive, the long island iced tea set before tess, glass tall and sweating with chill. The agent takes his gin and tonic with a gleaming smile, and plucks the lime from the edge of the glass, squeezing the juice into the drink and then dropping the wedge. "That you have a lot to give to the world is one thing. What you will give, because you can only start by giving so much, that is the important decision. And only you can make it. My job will be to take that and make it sound profitable."

The drink is grinned at, then Tess picks it up and sips at it before she nods and returns her attention to Abbot. "Yeah. Well, the better Glee'd be ideal, but it's pretty good already. Talk show…Most of 'em are aimed towards people older'n me. Like, housewives who're in their thirties or somethin', yanno? What about somethin' for a slightly younger crowd? And that's less aimed towards chicks'n more towards just people in their twenties, regardless of gender?"

"Well, now you really are the font of knowledge," Abbot says, gesturing at Tess, "because I am no longer of that generation. What are the concerns and interests of your age group, ones that bridge gender? I mean, the hot topics I know of today are sadly rather grim. Evolved violence and all that. I don't know that you want to tap into that pulse. But then again, in times of trial people look for hope and light and warmth, and you seem to be a hopeful, lighthearted, warm person, so…"

"Oh, I'll tell you now, I'm so totally pro-evolved since, yanno, I am evolved. Oooh. Maybe a game show for evolved people!" Tess says, perking up and beaming. "Something that puts the spot light on special people, but in a good way. Not sure about how the logistics of it'd work, but a positive type show that is so obviously pro-evolved would be an awesome thing, and totally needed, and tons of people would watch!"

Oh, so she's Evolved? This is something to know. Abbot steeples his fingers, giving Tess a level look. "Understand, first off, that taking an openly pro-Evolved stance may put you and your co-workers at risk," he says, gravely, "not something to be done lightly. That said… you must stand by your convictions and…" he leans back, "a show where young Evolved, recently manifested, get to display their powers? A way for young people to feel proud and happy about their gifts, and the chance to see how many others are going through the same thing? This whole thing reeks of human interest, and that… that is a cash cow."

"Exactly. And it's somethin' that needs to be done," Tess says, grinning. "And we can always bring on authors who have evolved related books. Family of evolved people. Whatever. And as for the danger…" She shrugs and rubs her throat lightly. "Had a run in with Humanis First already this week. I don't think it can get much worse, to be honest."

That makes Abbot feel sooo much better. No wait, wait, it does the opposite. The corners of his lips tug down. "Oh dear," he says, which is sort of an understatement, "I hope- I mean to say- it's taken care of, though? I mean, well it must be. You're here, you're safe… yes, yes, and I know- well, I know just the author to start you off, of course. You do know I represent Savannah Burton?" Maybe you've heard of her.

"Yeah, it was taken care of. Cops showed up, and I know a cop personally who's also lookin' into it." Tess's face falls. "They broke my camera." She seems more upset about that than any physical injury to her person. "Worst part was I sorta glued myself to one of 'em. Had to be cut away, but I'm fine. Honest. And…uh…sorry, not much of a reader," she says apologetically.

"Well," Abbot says, smiling a little wryly, "if you invite authors, you'll at least need to take the time to read their book. I promise to only send exciting reads your way. Young adult is a vibrant genre, it's quite remarkable. Talk of pulses… it's damned healthy in the book market and elsewhere. Rowling, Westerfeld, Riordan. And say what you will about Meyers, but she's making bank. But I digress. Yes… yes, a show for youth, focusing on the Evolved. You'll need a producer with the proper political leanings, but that can be too hard."

That's not happy time for Tess. She wrinkles her nose for a moment, then brightens. "Oh! I got that name for you. Kristen Reynolds. Producer. She's dealing with my friend for her music, but she totally does TV shows too. And I'll try to read some of those. But not Meyers. I mean, sparklin' vamps? Please."

"I don't like to think too hard about Twilight," Abbot says, like someone discussing a nauseating memory, "it makes me despair for mankind." He nods, "I believe you gave me her number. I will speak with her immediately, now that we have something closer to a cohesive idea," his own mention of cohesion recalls something Tess said previously, "wait… did you say… you glued yourself to a- member of Humanis First?"

"Um…yeah. Accidentally. I only manifested like a month or so ago. Adhesive secretion. Haven't quite gotten total control of it yet," Tess says, looking sheepish.

"Ah," Abbot says, which is all he can think to say at first, before, "I guess it would have been too much to hope that your ability was some sort of televisual hypnosis. Then we could kick back and relax," he smiles, with only a little strain to it, "oh well. We shall have to make do with your more mundane but still startling genetic charms."

"Oh I don't need it. Got the Zarek charm!" Tess says, giving the Zarek grin to go with it. And really, who can resist those dimples? "But don't worry about the ability. It won't get in the way, but it's still somethin' so I can be evolved talkin' on evolved. Which is good."

"Absolutely," Abbot says, "the exact format of the show we can discuss with our producer - she'll likely want a large say in the matter. But we're looking at a sort of… talk show component, and maybe a game show or variety show component? Educational angles, but with a certain hipness… you'll have to make sure we don't coast into the territory of lameness. Very easy to do with young people media."

"Yeah, I don't want too much straight out education," Tess says, nodding. "Or, well, no lecturin', yanno? Game show could work, talk show could work. A mix could totally work. But I will not be lame. I can't be lame," she says, grinning again.

"By education, of course, I mean more like…" Abbot searches for the word, "outreach. Or not even that. Hope. Comfort. Being young is, if I can remember correctly, very confusing. And all the more so if you can suddenly shoot flame from your eyes. Letting them know they aren't alone with all this. Educational that way. Not lessons on how to live your life, God no… but the knowledge that there are people to talk to about it. People like you."

"Okay…Okay, yeah, I can do that," Tess says, nodding and smiling. "I think that'd be the whole premise of the show. Showing off people who aren't afraid to be special, and aren't afraid to let people know it."

"Uplifting," Abbot says, managing to sound mostly unsardonic about this, though when he drinks he tends to get a little wry and quippy, "there is no such thing as a sure thing, but if there were, this would be it. All that remains, really…" he reaches down to the briefcase he's had stashed under his chair, ever so discreetly, pops it open and extracts a pen and a stack of papers. "Your contract."

That has Tess beaming and barely managing not to snatch it from him. "Awesome. It's all legalese, isn't it?" she asks, taking it and starting to skim over it. She has no head for legal matters, poor girl.

"Oh yes, it's quite abominable," Abbot agrees, considering each of his drinks and deciding to sample the scotch again. "But the practical upshot is this - a contractual obligation of two years, with the possibility of renegotiation at the year mark. I get a commission of fifteen percent, which I am told is standard, and that applies to all income derived from deals in which I represent you."

"That sounds fair to me. Leaves me with eighty five, and means that if you don't make me money you don't make money." Tess grins up at him. "But I know you'll make me money." And so she grabs the pen, signing with a flourish before pushing pen and contract back towards him.

Abbot dips his head and, ceremonially, offers… "You may now check my head for horns. Just so you know if you just signed away your soul, you know. Matter of simple courtesy."

"Oh, I'm not worried. You seem cool enough." Which could be why she's grinning when Tess picks up her drink to sip again. "So. What's next? Since the contract's signed. Talkin' to the producer?"

"Yes, we should arrange a meeting," Abbot says, withdrawing the crown of his head and taking up his own drink, the gin this time. He doesn't seem to mind the fact he's close to double fisting. "Ms. Reynolds and I can work things out on the phone, but I do think you ought to be there. I can't sell you nearly as well as you could sell yourself, but we'll have our best shot when our forces combine."

"Alright. I'll make sure I'm available. Just gimme a call and tell me when'n where and I'll show up, lookin' like the hip show host," Tess says, before picking up her drink and holding it up. "To makin' us both rich and havin' a damn good time doin' it!"

Abbot lofts both his glasses and clinks them against Tess's in a two pronged assault. "To that, yes. All of that I can get behind." He smirks a little. "Now, unless we really want to aim for liquid lunch… let's have a look at our menus."

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