A Scene- Rough Draft

April 29, 2008 at 1:49 am (Rough Draft, Script, Writting)

This is just a scene that came up as I was watching season Seven of Buffy. I had to get it down, don’t know if I will include this idea in a script but I might. Let me know what you think.

Pete

Well here we are…

Tara

Yep here we are… Can’t believe the world is going to end. Feels like we should be doing something.

Pete

Sex?

Tara

Yep… I thought that’s suppose to happen with this whole being the night before the Apocalypse thing.

Pete

The thought of death is suppose to drive up the hormones and we should want to bone right now. You know who I blame? TV

Awkward Silence

Tara

So… are you wanting to do it?

Pete

You would think meanings how I’m a guy, but… I’m too worried about surviving to the day after to do anything that even revolves around… boneing.

Tara

Okay, well… I can’t sleep.

Pete

Monopoly?

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Writing for Comics with Peter David- A Gonzo Punk book review

April 22, 2008 at 2:32 pm (Book, Review) (, , , )

Writing for Comics with Peter David

 

            Let me start off by saying I thought this book would be more then what it was, I thought it was going to give me a bigger insight into writing comics then it did. Writing for Comics with Peter David does what most these books do, give you the basics and really doesn’t give you much detail into any particular area. Don’t come into this book expecting to have extensive knowledge in writing comics.

            If you have little to no knowledge of writing or the history of comics this is the book for you. Peter David gives you enough information in this book so that you have everything you need to start writing. He covers everything from Character Development to Theme to Plot Devices and never comes off as to pretentious while he’s doing it. He uses a lot of his own work as an example but also uses heavily from Stan Lee’s work in comics and Joss Whedon’s Buffy.

            Now, I have had some experience from writing and pretty much knew most of the angles that Peter David was talking about in the book but it was still worth the read. First off, as a writer you should always be learning and researching to get ideas. Secondly, the book gives you an insight to Peter’s work, how he comes up with ideas and how he executes them. As much as he tries to make this book seem like a generic For Dummies book, it comes off as more of an insight into his process.

            I learned a lot from this book, not what I wanted but I think it did get my mind working on new angles to attack a story. There are some downsides to this book. I didn’t like how the book reads, its basically one giant sized magazine with side bars that break the flow quite often. Some of the side bars offered writing exercises that I would have to say are sub par at best, they were dumb down and not quite as insightful as I felt the should be.

            Over all I think this book was good, and I would recommend anyone interested in comic writing or in Peter David to pick it up. The guy is able to take something should be totally boring and trite and make it something that is a page turner. He has a knack for doing that kind of stuff and that’s why X-factor is (in my opinion) the best comic book on the market.

 

Buy this book if you’re a writer or Peter David fan, otherwise go to your local library and pick it up.  

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Short Story: The Musings of Daniel Emmons

April 20, 2008 at 8:39 pm (Short Story, Writting) ()

I watched the dust fly up from behind the 77 ford Custom Cab as we traveled down an old gravel road. The truck belonged to the Dusty Jackson “the finest tour guide that Mississippi has to offer” according to Walter Sanders my Publisher’s “Personal Assistant”, a man I dearly hate and I have the sneaking suspicion the feeling is mutual. “You can’t go wrong with ‘im.” Walter told me “He knows the Mississippi delta like the back of ‘is own hand, you’ll have ol the research you’ll ever need for your book about them Blues musicians, Mr. Emmons”. I should have known something was up when Walter seemed too eager to go out of his way to set me up for this trip. Walter grew up in the area and that’s why I let the twit plan this whole trip at all.

The truck hit a bump which knocked me out of my seething anger. It was a good thing that we hit the bump because I was quite close to coming up with a plot to get back at Walter. As I pulled myself off of a very inappropriately placed crowbar, I heard the cab window slide open and a voice with a very distinct southern drawl. I looked over my sholder to see Dusty trying to pay attention to the road and checking on me.  

 

 “‘ey ye oll right back ‘ere Mr. Ehmons?” his accent was horde to listen to and I couldn’t quite follow what he was saying most of the time. I had given up an hour ago to pinpoint the origins of his accent. It was quite unique and it seemed every time I had it figured it would change on me.

“Yea, don’t worry about me Dusty, I’ve ridden in my fair share of truck beds”. The old man gave me a big toothy grin, his perfect white teeth offset his dark skin.

“’ell we should be ‘ere in a few minuets”

 

“You really haven’t told me where we are going.”

 

“ye’ll see” With that Dusty closed the window and left me to go back to staring at the dust and my plotting.

 

What seemed to be another 20 minuets passed by when I felt the truck slow to a stop. I peeked my head around the cab to see where Dusty had brought us. I saw nothing distinguished, except for a run down fence which kept two very domicile cows with in its boundaries and an intersection. The road we were on cut through another road making four perfect right angles in the landscape. Even though this place was calm and collect I couldn’t help but feel unsettled. Something was off about this are but couldn’t put my finger on it. 

 

Dusty opened up the driver’s side door and he got out of his seat with a long yawn which was followed with “wwweeee be ‘ere Mr. Ehmons.”

“Where are we…exactly?” Dusty closed his door and walked over to the passenger side door where he proceeded to pull out a small antique chair which had the distinction of being hand made.

 

“We ‘r at da crossroads,”  he placed the chair on the ground and looked up at me “ssorry again about ye ridin’ in da back, my wife is up visitin’ ‘er mother and took da Explorer wit ‘er.”

“It’s alright, I haven’t ridden in the back of a pick-up since I was a boy, brought back some good memories”. I patted the dust that managed to cling to my good pants then I placed a hand on the lip of the truck bed and in a smooth motion I stood up and using the momentum to hop out off the side of the truck.

“Yea, can’t have dis ridin’ in da back, my great-great-granddaddy hand carved dis out of a lightin’ struck oak tree” Dusty seemed to take pride in announcing his heritage and the accomplishments his ancestors had done. During the whole week I had traveled with him I learned a lot about his family more then enough to write a couple of books with.

“Yea you don’t see hand crafted quality like that anymore.” I said while looking around to see if maybe I missed something “So why did we come all the way out here?”

“Ye’ll see” Dusty’s face twisted into a wicked smile. “it’s about to be dusk soon, gotta git ery thing in place” with that my tour guide grabbed his great-great-granddaddies hand crafted chair and walked up to the center of the crossroads. He placed it in the center of the two roads, so that its back was facing the setting sun. It was then that I noticed that the roads traveled from the northeast to the southwest and the other vice versa, northwest to the southeast.

Dusty came back to the truck and pulled out a plastic grocery bag and walked back to where he placed the chair. Out of the bag he produced a carton of eggs, some stark white candles and two rotisseries chicken. Finally curiosity caught the best of me so I decided to try and probe Dusty for more answer.

“So what is all this stuff for?”

 

‘ell, we’r tryin’ to lure us somethin’,” Dusty pulled out his pocket knife and started to crack open the eggs.

 

“What are we trying to lure with eggs candles and two cooked chickens?”

 

“na jut one, de utter is fer us while we wait” as he talked Dusty nimbly separated the yoke of the egg and placed it carefully on the ground with out busting the skin. He repeated the process for each egg in the dozen and the produced a thirteenth egg from his coat. “Dis’ ‘ere is de important one, ye’ have to steal it else oll dis won’t ‘appen”

 

“Wait, what?” I was thoroughly confused as to what I was seeing before me.

 

“It’s about to ‘appen, ye better get dis chickin’ ate it’s gonna be a long night” Dusty then took one of the chickens and handed it to me then he took the other one and placed it under the chair.

“Go ‘en eat by da pickup, once I git de candle’s in spot, da area can’t be disturbed” the man then picked up the candles and ushered me out of the area. He then went around placing a candle to the north, east, south, and west. He place the candle just so where the dirt met grass and then he place a candle in the center of each roadway eyeing each one to match up with all other candles making a perfect invisible circle.

After the last candle was placed on the ground Dusty walked over to the truck where I was just finishing up my half of the chicken. Before grabbing his half of the chicken, Dusty looked out to the setting sun,

“’ell It shouldna be to much longer now”

“Well, I’m excited to see what’s going to happen” I gave Dusty a fake smile, “so do you do this for all the tourist or just for the one’s who have the money?”

“nah, Mr. Ehmons, dis is a rare ding, I figurin’ since ye’re writ’n dat book about de blue’s ye should see dis” it was then I knew what Dusty was doing. While doing my research I had heard about various blue’s musicians through out the years who supposedly made a deal with the devil. There were two common themes in these stories, a talented young black man and a crossroad. I understand why these themes where common, the world view of that time saw black people as lesser and the only way they could play an instrument so well meant that they had to have done something involving supernatural means. The crossroads comes from the ancient idea of lay lines and the spiritual power they posses also crossroads are a symbol of choice, which is the other reason the devil tends to make deals at them. Its kind of ironic, a person who goes to the crossroads, which has huge symbolism for the idea of free choice, to make a pact with Satan often feel like they don’t have a choice.

“Oh, I see. Aren’t you worried about a car coming though and messing this all up?”

“Na, people around des parts don’t come ‘ere on dis night, people don’t cross de ley lines on de eighth of August. Dey afraid of runnin’ into who we ‘r ‘ere to meet, now shush up we about to get a visitor” and as soon as Dusty said that the last light of the day seemed to instantly drown away.  Dusty’s eyes had adjusted to the drastic light change quicker they mine had because when my sight came too Dusty was already pointing out to the field across from us. I had to squint to see the moonlit outline of a fox slowly approaching to the crossroads.

I figured that the fox had smelled the roasted chicken and eggs and was coming out to investigate. It walked up to a candle and gave it a couple of sniffs. Before entering the perimeter the fox paced outside of it, not wanting to enter in between the candles however its hunger must have finally overcame its caution and it stepped into the circle. I flinched expecting something to happen but nothing did. The fox must have thought that too because now it darted for the chicken underneath the chair but stopped before going under it for the meat. He circled around the chair licking up all the yoke that Dusty had placed on the ground.

It was then that the fox looked up at us, I couldn’t beguine to describe the warming chill that manifested in my stomach. At that moment I could have swore the fox was smiling at us, and from what I know now it may have been. I believe it was right then that I started to think to myself that Dusty wasn’t just doing this as some kind of joke, he may have something here. I gave a side ways glance to Dusty and I could see his perfectly white teeth, which seemed to glow at this time of night, as he was grinning from ear to ear fully knowing what was about to happen.

I looked back to the fox who was now almost sauntering to the roasted chicken under the chair. It stopped before going under the chair, yet again, giving one last look back at us and then in a blur of motion the fox darted under the chair and bit onto the chicken, taking off with it out of the circle of candles off to the distance.

I was puzzled, I was sure that something was going to happen when the fox went for the chicken but, here we stood with nothing happening at all. I was about to ask Dusty a question when I heard the faint sound of whistling coming from the distance. As the whistling got closer I could see the wicks of the candles coming to life. It was like watching a flame die out only backwards. The flame flickered a bit as if it was trying to grab onto life and then the light slowly started to get more intense. My eyes focused on the light, I was amazed by it, just seeing them come to life with out any outside assistance.

When the flames of the candle reached their maxim luminosity a bolt of lighting sparked from the chair, I had flinched using my hand to shield myself from the sudden light. My ears rang from the thunder clap that accompanied the sudden bolt of lightning. I had to keep my hand in front of my face until they got readjusted to the darkness. I was scared to move the hand from my eyes because I knew that what I was about to see would be unexplainable, however my curiosity won out and I dropped it to my side.

Sitting in the chair, was a young, a very naked woman with what looked to be whiskers coming out of her cheeks and a foxes tail coming from her backside. I diverted my eyes feeling a bit ashamed that I was starring at her. I looked over to where Dusty was standing to notice that he was no longer there. He had walked back to the trucks passengers’ side door and he brought out a duffle bag that was overfilled with what I guessed as clothing, he threw the duffle my way, which I clumsily missed and hit me in the face. The force knocked me to the ground.

As I tried to recover myself from landing on my ass I heard laughter coming from the young woman sitting in the chair. The laughter seemed quite innocent and harmless, which had me shocked, I never imagined a demon to have such a beautiful voice, however it did make sense that the tempters of mankind would be so… tempting.

“’erry up boy, offer ‘er de cloths” Dusty made a motion with his hands ushering me to get moving.

I walked to the edge of the candle circle and looked back at Dusty who was still using his hands to tell me to move on. I took a hesitant step into the circle, on the verge of flinching.  Once I determined that my foot didn’t burn up in flames I fully moved inside of the circle, I about jumped back out when the woman stood up and looked at me. Her expression had an inquisitive nature to it, she was looking at me as if she was looking at a human being for the first time.

“Hi” the only sound that I could come up with because the lump in my throat made it difficult to speak.  “I…uh… have some clothing for you”

“Gift?” her voice sounded like pure poetry, like some kind of forbidden verse that had been forgotten or purposely gotten rid of.

“Um… yea,” My voice still scratchy but the lump that was impeding my speech was going away “Um… here lets find you something”. I opened up the bag and rummaged through it. The huge duffle bag had what seemed to be almost every size of dress imaginable. After a few moments of searching I found, what I could tell, a floral print dress that was close to her size. I pulled it out of the bag and presented it to her. “Go ahead and put it on”.

The fox woman face lit up with a simile that glowed with warmth. It was about then that I was starting to piece together that the woman who stood, quite naked, in front of me may not be of demonic origin. She took the floral dress and looked at it, examining every detail in its floral print. I tried to be a gentleman, however it was hard not to look, every detail of her five foot five frame was perfect. She finally slipped the dress on and as soon as she did the flames of the candles died out but I barely noticed it because I was fixated on her. She had some kind of undeniable allure. Her eyes met mine and we shared a moment that I can only say that no one else on earth but a hand full of people have ever had. I was snapped out of the moment when I heard Dusty’s laughter.

“Come on Mr. Ehmons, grab de chair and put in de back. Don’t worry it’ll be safe back der now!” With out a word I did as Dusty told me, I picked up the chair and walked to the truck. I smiled when I noticed the woman was following me. When I got to the truck I saw a blanket in the truck bed, I couldn’t help but curse under my breath at Dusty for not doing this earlier so that I wouldn’t have gotten so dirty riding in the back.

After making sure the chair was secure in the truck bed I looked up at the crossroad and saw that Dusty had just finished collecting the candles and was now walking back to the truck. We all got into the truck with out saying a word. Dusty started up the truck and turned it around to head back the way we came. It was half way in the trip, well after the mysterious woman fell asleep, that I finally asked Dusty “What happend tonight?”

“Every man ‘as a muse, Mr. Ehmons, you are one o’ de blessed to actually meet ‘er. De greats’ in history met der muses at de crossroads includin’ a good young blue’s man by de name Robert Johnson. Now listen to me carefully Mr. Ehmons, you ‘ave to take care o’ ‘er, she be a creature o’ whimsy come and go, treat ‘er right Mr. Ehmons and you will be a very successful man, considered one o’ de greatest writers of oll times” Dusty paused

“And if I don’t?” I asked

“’ell, dat is just somethin’ ya don’t wanna find out. Now listen ‘ere Mr. Ehmons, der is a catch in all dis, you ‘ave to show another man to ‘is muse made flesh otherwise, like my great-great granddaddy ya’ill see an early grave” Dusty seemed to put extra emphasis into saying grave, which gave me a chill. When the chill subsided I had another question for Dusty but before I could say anything he answered it. “Don’t you worry about ‘er tail or whiskers, only dose who know a muse will be able to see dem.” 

We didn’t utter another word the rest of the way to the run downed motel that Walter had booked for me. I got out of the car and I cared the woman, who was still dead asleep, to my room and onto the bed. I bided Dusty good bye and thanked him. That night I didn’t sleep and overwhelming feeling to write came over me, so I pulled out my laptop and typed the rest of the night away.

I think my cell phone rang twice before I finally notice it was even ringing. I looked at the screen, it was my publishing agent calling.

“Hello?” I answered the phone not knowing if I was going to be talking to Henry, my agent, or his obnoxious half whit personal assistant Walter.

“Hello Mr. Emmons,” I rolled my eyes, it was Walter “just checking up on you making sure your research is going okay.”

“Yes, its going great Walter, actually I think I have every thing I need, started to outline the book already. Wait, why are you calling me so late?”

“Mr. Emmons, its 8 in the morning”. I looked up at a clock, Walter was right I had spent the rest of the night typing. “Well its fantastic to hear that you have the research done Mr. Emmons, that means I won’t have to go through the pain of trying to change your ticket to a later date.”

 

“No, guess you won’t” I looked over to my bed where the woman, my muse, was still dead asleep “actually Walter, go ahead and cancel that ticket. I think I want to take the Greyhound back”.

 

“Okay, any reason why?” I could tell that Walter was mad,

“I want to see the country side” I hit the red button then smiled knowing that Walter was going to have to spend the rest of the day dealing with the Airline trying to get a refund and dealing with my Agent as he tries to explain why the company spent so much on a plane ticket that I didn’t even use. Not quite the revenge I plotted on Walter from the back of Dusty’s truck however it will do.

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Example of Character Exploration: Rufus Cartwright

April 19, 2008 at 11:41 am (Flash Fiction, Writting) ()

            For today’s post I decided to give and example of my character building process for comic and film scripts. I’ve plotted the history of one of the characters from a comic idea I’ve had for six months now. I’ve decided to take one of the “bad guys” in the script and give him a past, which I think makes him a hell of a lot more relatable then how I’ve written him in the past to be. This is just me exploring him, giving him a voice. It seems self serving but if I make this character more interesting to me the it will be more interesting to you, that is the ultimate goal.

            Not only did I flesh out his background I also wrote a Flash Fiction of his past to get an idea of what kind of person he was, also I like this Flash Fiction because it also helped me flesh out another character. Some one who I really didn’t give any thought to until now. This gives me a better idea of why Rufus had become such a slime ball, its because he is in love with his boss, he wants to please her. Anyway I could go on forever, but this first post is just the rough outline of Rufus and then the post before this one is the Flash Fiction I wrote about how Lindsey and Rufus met. Enjoy.

The Story of Rufus Cartwright

Age: 43

Weight: 180 lb

Height: 5’8” 

Description: Rufus would be best described as a slick man but not greasy. His face is at times gentile but usually very harsh. His hair is cut short, curly and turning salt and pepper in color. He has a mustache which off sets his salt and pepper hair. Rufus is generally dressed in suits so it is hard to notice that he has a bit of a pot belly going on.

 

Personality: Generally Rufus seems to be a nice man, but he has become a part of the music industry. He has done things that he doesn’t agree with, nothing sinful but they definitely disagreed with his convictions. After dedicating twenty years to being a Recording Rep he is quick to defend his actions (and those of the company), he has changed drastically from the wide eyed Paul Simon wannabe of his youth.

 

            Rufus grew up in a small America town where he had dreams of becoming a musician. His inspiration was Paul Simon and Rufus hopped to write songs as good as Simons. He was so inspired to be come a musician he dropped out of high school as soon as he hit 18 and moved from Iowa to California.

            Once out in California, Rufus found it hard to make a living. He took a job as a waiter and did odd jobs when he wasn’t practicing. He went to open mic nights and tried to get signed but unfortunately Folk wasn’t “in” and no one would touch him. Rufus tried to adapt his sound to the Grunge that was popular in this time but still he couldn’t get signed.

            After years of frustration Rufus finally got a break, unfortunately it wasn’t what he was looking for. A record company rep, Lindsey Cunningham,  saw him play, she wasn’t impressed with his style or anything but she did see Rufus as a potential rep for the company. She lured in Rufus with the promise of money, which he gladly accepted because he was sick of his “Hard Knock Life”.

            In 1995 Rufus found himself the new employ of Corporation Records, one of the biggest record companies in the world. Like all new Record Reps Rufus sought out to change the music industry. Unfortunately for him he didn’t know what he got into. His first few years at Corporation Records were hard for him, he would bring in a band he thought was good but the higher ups would shoot him down. The higher ups wanted boy bands, the only reason Rufus kept his job during that period was the one occasion that he did play by the company’s rules landed the company one of the biggest boy bands in the era.

            In 2000 Lindsey Cunningham became C.E.O. of Corporation Records and her new job meant good things for Rufus and in a way, bad things too. Lindsey had confronted Rufus about his unwillingness to play by Corporation Records rules and sign bands that they could mold. She offered Rufus a better position in the company if he started to “play nice”. He agreed, sold out if you will. (Note: Explore a sexual sub plot between Lindsey and Rufus, which is why he got the new position because Lindsey treats her bitches well).

            For Fifteen years Rufus had become known as the best Rep in the bussness. He had the ability to turn young impressionable youth into mega stars. He did everything to keep his talent in the eyes of the press, ranging from leaking bogus stories of drinking and drug habits to putting up sex tapes on the internet. He was a devil.

 

 

 

 

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Flash Fiction Character Exploration: When Rufus met Lindsey

April 19, 2008 at 11:29 am (Flash Fiction, Rough Draft, Short Story, Writting)

He is fantastic, Lindsey thought as she fell to the bed her body still flexing from orgasm. It was probably one of the best sexual experiences she had ever had, which is saying a lot. Lindsey Cunningham was a woman of the 90’s, the new breed of woman who took what she wanted, when she wanted it. This is what led her here, in the bed of Rufus Cartwright.

            Lindsey had been out touring the LA open mic nights searching for new talent when she stumbled upon Rufus, he was already on stage when she got to Brew Baker’s Coffee shop. Rufus was playing some popish folk music, a cover of a Paul Simon song Me and Julio by the School Yard. Lindsey noticed right away that Rufus was putting his own spin on it, which made it bearable. Lindsey hated Paul Simon, his music was too mellow and not catchy enough.

            Rufus wrapped up that song and didn’t even pause transforming Me and Julio into something of his own creation. Lindsey was more impressed by this song but it was still too folksy for her.

            “Excuse me” A finger tapped Lindsey on the shoulder. She looked over and saw a man standing in the doorway behind her, she was blocking the door. Giving the man a embarrassing smile Lindsey moved out of his way and found an out of the way table. She had a hunch that something was going to happen in this coffee shop tonight, hopefully it would be the catch of a life time. She was determined to find the next Cobain and this looked as good of a place as any.

            Rufus’s fifteen minute set wrapped up and he looked out into the crowed for the first time since he started. Great I bored another crowed to death, Rufus thoughts chided him, I should just give up everyone wants a post grunge sound anymore. As Rufus looked around he noticed a person who seemed out of place, a woman dressed in a business suit. Hot damn! A recording Rep!

            Wanting to get at her before any of the other musicians in the place spot her Rufus shuffles off the stage quickly towards her table.

            “Hello, I’m Rufus Cartwright” he said as he got to the table. Before Lindsey could reply Rufus added “Did you get to see the whole set?”

            “No, I came into the place right in the middle of your Paul Simon cover”

            “Wait,” Rufus all of a sudden felt a wave of panic, “You’re a recording rep right?”

            “Yes, Lindsey Cunningham of Corporate Records.” Rufus felt some relief as the words came out of Lindsey’s mouth.

            “Wow, you actually knowing who Paul Simon was had me scared you weren’t”

            “That’s ridiculous, how could anyone working in the recording business not know who Paul Simon is?”

            “You would be surprised, I’ve met a few who didn’t know music existed before New Kids on the Block appeared. So what did you think?” Rufus asked.

            “Think?”

            “My set, the bit of it you caught.”

            “It was good” Rufus grimaced when Lindsey said those words.

            “Let me guess, good but un-marketable?”

            “You’ve been to the rodeo before then?”

            “Unfortunately” Rufus flagged down a Barista and made an order. “So you thought my set was good?”

            “Well, no I don’t like folk music all that much.”

            “Ah, let me guess you are a grunge girl huh?” Rufus flashed a smile

            “Hehe… No, you would be surprised to know that I’m not really a fan of Grunge. I thought the business suit gave that away”.

            “I’m not really up on my fashion trends so it could have passed me up. So what music are you into?”

            “I’m a country Gal, have been and always will be”.

            “That’s cool, would have never pegged you as a country listener.” an awkward silence erupted between the two as they sat there. The barista brought Rufus his coffee and as soon as she left Rufus pulled out a flask and poured in a bit of bourbon. “Do you want some?” Rufus offers the flask to Lindsey.

            It was at that moment the night turned, something about Rufus appealed to Lindsey. She couldn’t tell what it was, even as she laid looking at him now in his bed she couldn’t put a finger on it. The guy had a magnetism about him, a charm that excited  simple charisma. I could use this, Lindsey thought.

            “Hey, Rufus this might not be the best time but do you want a job? We could use some one like you at Corporate, some one who knows what it’s like to be a struggling musician. I would make it worth it.”

           

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