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Roleplay Forums => Fan-Based Roleplay => Topic started by: Bleu on March 23, 2014, 09:27:27 am

Title: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on March 23, 2014, 09:27:27 am
Throughout all of his time in London, Donovan had never minded the rain. People complained that it was gloomy and depressing, but he never felt anything other than relaxation from it. He found it comforting, and a perfect condition during which he could continue his many duties as a student and as a son. The rain wasn’t even a problem in his football career, for he had no issues playing in the rain and getting dirty. There was nothing that the rain couldn’t clean, and he liked the thought.

A clean slate.

The young boy of fifteen years leaned back on the passenger’s seat, resting his head back as the small silver car moved through traffic. His eyes were closed, but a smile was on his face. He had just had a wonderful practice for his school’s football team, and the muddied red jersey he wore was a sign of that. Now he only had to get through the rest of the day. It wasn’t heavy rain, at least not heavy enough to cancel his first meeting at a local theater.

The Brighton Community Theater of London.

His mother had encouraged his participation, which had eliminated any chances Donovan might have had at having some free time. It would help his future, she had said.

“Are you sure your mum can pick you up?” Laura asked as she turned into the parking lot of the theater. “I don’t mind coming back, Donny. Besides, why can’t I just take a quick peek to see what all the fuss is about? I’ll be quiet, I swear.”

The woman joked.

Laura was Donovan’s girlfriend, chocolate-skinned and beautiful. She didn’t mind that Donovan was two years younger than she, for he was tall, handsome, and intelligent way beyond his years. It was in an advanced mathematics classroom that they had met. It didn’t take long for her to figure out that she wanted something with him. It didn’t take long for him to realize that he wanted the same thing, either.

“I’m doing this for my mum,” said Donovan, opening his eyes and turning to meet Laura’s with his. “I would feel more comfortable if I went in alone, and if she picked me up herself. You know how she is, she’ll suspect me if you pick me up – say that I never even came to the theater.”  Donovan knew that it wasn’t a good enough excuse, but he didn’t want Laura to see him at something that he may not even enjoy.

The last thing he wanted to do was embarrass himself in front of his girlfriend.

“Alright,” she said with a frown, “then at least text me when you’re out.”

Donovan opened the door of the car and leaned in for a quick kiss. “I will.” He was quickly out of the car, umbrella in hand, and sprinting towards the theater entrance. A leather backpack hung casually over his shoulder, filled with notebooks and books, and his gym bag was strapped against the other. It was obvious that Donovan was a busy kid – school, sports, community activities, and a job to top it all off.   

The sound of Laura’s car leaving the parking lot was enough encouragement for Donovan to allow himself inside. He took a look at the lobby area, which presented pictures of past performances and actors. Large wooden double doors greeted him, with a glass chandelier falling from above. His mum had told him that this was one of the best community theaters in London, but he hadn’t quite believed her. The young football player immediately felt out of place.

Donovan had showered after practice and his shoes had been cleaned, but they still squeaked as he walked. He kept his jersey on, however,  for he had forgotten to bring a spare in the midst of his busy schedule.

A sign was posted on the double doors, directing him away from the main theater and towards a small rehearsal room where all actors and volunteers would meet for the first time. Some of them were returning veterans, of course, but it was Donovan’s first time ever doing something like that. Modeling was said to be similar, but Donovan disagreed. The feel of it was completely different.

Donovan ran his fingers through his still damp hair as he followed the arrows towards the rehearsal room. When he arrived, he noticed that the door was already open and that several people were inside. The room was definitely one for rehearsal, for bottles of paint and props were scattered all around.

“Welcome, welcome,” said a woman to him as he entered, waving him in with her hands and giving him a very warm smile. “We’re still waiting for some more people, so why don’t you take a seat Mister…?”

“Bukater,” said Donovan, looking at all the volunteers with a shy smile as the woman flipped through her notebook. “Yes, thank you.” He set his things aside and sat on the closest chair. Despite it being his first time, Donovan did not sound nervous.

“Donovan?”

“That’s right, ma'am.”

“Excellent,” she checked something on her notebook and then smiled to him again. “Welcome.”
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on March 23, 2014, 01:52:14 pm
Green eyes followed the moving world outside the window as she sat in the passenger seat of the vehicle. The car was silent, motionless. The sound of rain should have been relaxing, but it never was. “You should not partake in this play.” The reason the car did not move. The driver did not approve of her decision.

Maya’s mind sought a reason. “You have been offered a job as a full-time actor of the Royal Shakespeare company,” the man continued, “You have a responsibility to the London Symphony orchestra, as well as to finishing your degree, Maya. There is no more time for this child’s play.”

‘I know.’

“Speaking of, you need to call off that paintball tournament as well,” annoyance, “Your brother was stupid to consider entering you into it, now of all times. Doesn’t he have other delinquent friends who can do better than you?”

“He does,” Maya answered, “I will let him know I that I am too busy,” Angelus had asked her permission, of course. He had asked the entire team if they would be available to play in a tournament that weekend, unsure about the schooling of everyone and their schedules. The lie came easily, “However, it would be in poor tastes if I left this play now. It would show me as irresponsible to the Company and that is not an impression that I should start with.” She shifted her gaze then to the man sitting in the driver’s seat.

At times, she wondered if she had hallucinated their first meeting when he approached her at the piano bar. After three years, he no longer seemed like the man she thought he was.

Not that such mattered. Her mother approved of him, and so a ring rested on her finger that promised her to the insecure and controlling man. Maya lived under the delusion that it was what she wanted, for he was well-off, and he was going to take over as her manager once they were married, taking that power away from her mother. He was certainly capable, presently a lawyer in a firm, a recent graduate.

He was capable of much, and Maya always imagined he would prove that, one day.

That day would not be today. His fingers flexed over the wheel. “Practice ends each evening around 9pm,” she turned her gaze from the brown-eyed man to the window. “You can pick me up then. I will wait for you.” It would make him comfortable, if he was in control of her arrival and her departure.

“9pm,” he repeated. “That is rather later. Is that the actual time it ends?”

Always suspicious, “Yes. If it ever ends earlier I will call you. I will stay there.”

‘Give me one last childish thing.’
It was only childish because it wasn’t the elite. It was an excellent theater, though. She’d been scouted by the Royal Shakespeare company here, after all. ‘Before my life has to change, give me this last thing, God.’ Not that he ever seemed to listen, either.

The car started. “Very well, but after this, no more of these foolish things,” he said. It was the closest he came to a compliment when he added, “I did not waste my time ensuring the Company recruited you.” He talked his own work up, when Maya wasn’t sure he’d done anything other than mention her performance to a friend. He talked as if she was only given the opportunity because of him.

And though she did not quite believe him, she would never contradict him, “I know.” At least she was given this.

Her character was Beatrice, the lead role, of course. She needed it. The Royal Shakespeare job would not begin until she held the degree in her hands. Although that would be soon, it was not soon enough for Maya. She needed to escape into another character, another persona, or she was going to go insane. Of that, she was certain.

No longer did music ease her troubled mind.

No longer did dance let her forget her troubles.

Of course, all music was now practice for solos in the symphony. All dance was coordinated, competitive practice, no longer out for fun. The fun things were slowly being taken from her life, little by little, as she agreed to give up the ‘childish’ things in order to ensure Aeron’s insecurity didn’t rear its ugly head again.

‘Guilty conscious.’

Her mind hushed the thought immediately.

Her brother was going to throw a fit. ‘Angelus never liked him.’ Maya should have trusted in that, for she had felt a queer unease on their first meeting, but she had decided to ignore it. Never again would she ignore that feeling. She certainly didn’t whenever she saw Saxon on the television—though her brother liked him. ‘Perhaps I truly know nothing about people.’

It wouldn’t matter soon. The life ahead of her was what she’d always been told to dream—working professionally as a performer. The future was bright and full of opportunity. She would be married. She would have a family.

‘And yet….’


The thought was silenced with the insistence that all of this was what she wanted. She hadn’t spent her entire life working towards these goals, to give them up now. She just needed to have patience.

The car came to a rest outside the building, “I will be here at 9pm.” There was a warning in his voice.

Maya, of course, pretended not to hear that. “I will look forward to it,” she gave him a smile. He managed something similar before moving one hand from the wheel to take her chin in his fingers. He leaned towards her and placed a kiss on her lips, quick but firm.

“Goodbye,” he spoke to their parting and she returned it, opening the door and exiting the car. She stepped out into the rain and smiled, not concerned with how the rain might muck up her hair nor about her heels stepping into a puddle. She was always well-dressed, and today was no exception even if it was a casual meeting to start with. The purple dress hugged her form and the heels clicked up every step.

There was a part of her truly happy to be in this place, as she pushed open the glass doors and stepped in from the rain. She liked the people better here.

The woman with the notebook recognized her, “Maya!” It had been since the Christmas holiday, “I heard the news,” Maya wondered which news as the woman crossed over and took her hand in hers. “Congratulations! I almost didn’t expect you to come.”

‘Ah, that news.’ “It would be in poor tastes if I didn’t. This is where I was found.” It would always hold a special place in her heart.

She smiled, noted someone else, “Take a seat, we will start soon.” Maya returned the smile and moved to take a seat as instructed. She found herself sitting besides a brunette boy she’d never met before.

“Hello,” she greeted him with a curious smile. “How are you today?”
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on March 24, 2014, 05:39:37 am
More people arrived in the room, but none was welcomed with more warmth than the one Donovan learned was named Maya. Most of the others in the room seemed to be pleased with her presence, which made Donovan curious as to why people doubted whether she would show. Maya certainly seemed to be a person of great reputation. When she stated that the community theater was where she had been found, Donovan knew.

She’d been offered a job elsewhere, and yet here she still remained. Immediately Donovan felt a surge of respect grow towards her. He didn’t know her, but he knew that she could honor her commitments. Donovan liked to believe that he was the same way.

Donovan closed the playbook that had been resting open on his lap as she took a seat next to him. He returned her smile with one of his own, straightening up on his chair.

“I’m very well,” exhausted, really, but he couldn’t complain about being unwell. Truthfully, Donovan wasn’t unwell – just a little more tired than he was used to. “Love the rain, it makes playing more fun. Maya, right? I’m Donovan,” he extended his hand for her to shake. “It’s my first time here,” then it occurred to him that Maya was a veteran, “but you know that already, don’t you? It’s nice to meet you.”

The soft hum of quiet conversation became prominent around the whole room as they all waited for the rest to arrive. Donovan never minded polite conversation, so he was comfortable waiting in the room. He wasn’t comfortable, however, with the way that some people looked at him. He knew it was foolish for him to regret the attention his good looks earned him, but it was tiresome to feel like people didn’t see the real him.

They looked at him superficially – most people did. Even in school, where he excelled above all, he was not expected to deliver extraordinary results.  They saw his pretty face and assumed that was who he was. Was that not a foolish way of thinking? Could a person not be multidimensional and complex? Couldn’t they go on with their life without unwarranted judgment?

Donovan had often in the past shrugged it off. He always proved them wrong, and he would do the same to those who prematurely judged him in that room. They’d become friends, and then they would see. It was never hard for Donovan to make friends.

“What role are you playing, Maya? Beatrice?” He gripped his playbook tightly in his hands, doing nothing more than offering a simple educated guess. “Borachio,” he confessed to his own role with a crooked smile.

The woman with the notebook nodded towards the last couple of people that entered the room and checked their names with a swift flick of her wrist.

“Hello everybody, and welcome to the Brighton Community Theater of London,” some people clapped and her warm smile widened. Donovan immediately knew that she would be one of the nicest people he would ever meet. She just had that thing about her. “As some of you know, and for those of you that don’t or may have forgotten, my name is Pam Adler and I will be in charge of this season’s production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.”

Donovan found himself clapping with rest of them.

“So, as is tradition, why don’t we all introduce ourselves and share a little about ourselves so that we can begin to feel more comfortable around each other – especially those that are joining us for the first time? What do you say?”

Donovan had always hated these introductions, but he had been expecting one since he signed up and tried out for a role. His audition had been his first ever, but Donovan had learned a great deal already. He was surprised that he had made it at all.

“Once we’ve all gotten a little more acquainted, we can run through a couple of scenes here in this room. After that, we can head into the main theater so we can begin our first rehearsal. So, who wants to go first?”

The young student bit his lip. He didn’t want to go first. 
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on March 24, 2014, 06:22:14 am
Already it appeared that she had made an impression on the boy, for boy he was despite his height. Maya had a younger brother who had an impressive growth spurt—she could tell. His exhaustion was evident, but his smile was bright. He did not seem at all displeased to be here. ‘Those who are here, are here because they enjoy it.’ That was the difference between this theater, and others. It was why Maya liked it.

“A pleasure to meet you, Donovan,” she took the hand, her own grip firm as she took on the role of groomed veteran that was expected here. “And I wouldn’t presume to know if you’ve been here or not—I can’t be in every play,” a chuckle.

“Not that you don’t try.”

Lanky and blond-haired Devlin slipped into the seat besides her. He gave her a smile, but said nothing more as she returned it, knowing her attention would be on the new person. She was always drawn to new things. He did eye the boy as some of the others did, doubting his talents despite it all.

“You’ll do fine,” Maya said, noting the looks that he was receiving as she withdrew her hand from him. Both of her own then clasped themselves in her lap. Her experience hadn’t been similar. She’d entered with a reputation behind her already, albeit in music and dance, it proved she’d do well in the musical she played in first. Fiddler on the Roof.

“Though I didn’t take you for a villain,” she confessed, “I am Beatrice.”

Devlin heard, “Oh, god damn it.”

“Benedick?” Maya glanced over her shoulder at him.

“Yeah,” he wasn’t truly displeased. One of their best performances they’d had together, she had been Mephistopheles to his Faustus. He’d had quite a bit of fun with that modern spin on the old tale. “I wanted to be Don John.”

“Fits you.” His words were a lie. Devlin loved the spotlight.

Pam called attention to herself, and Devlin straightened up in his seat. Maya simply observed, applauded when the others did. This was how they all began, so she knew the routine. Most of the others did, too, but there were still fresh faces, or those who had only done one or two productions before.

Introductions were called for. It was the place of veterans to begin, so Maya did not hesitate when Pam’s eyes fell on her. She rose, and she smiled, “Good afternoon everyone,” she let her eyes look over everyone in the room, and they would move from face to face as she spoke, “I am Maya Porter, and I shall be playing the role of Beatrice,” name, character, experience, something interesting, “I’ve been here for…a while now. I’ve forgotten, did I start when I was seven?” There was a laugh in her voice as she tried to recall exactly when, and she shook her head, “Well, long enough, I suppose. I have this theater to thank for my recent good fortune, for the Royal Shakespeare Company scouted me here. Even so, I doubt this is my last show here,” not if she had her way.

‘And when does that occur?’


No trace of such troubled thoughts appeared, though. “I enjoy this place too much for that, and clearly the Company thinks it a place good enough to watch shows at, so we must be doing something right,” perhaps others would be scouted. She could give them that much hope, if not the encouragement that came with the knowledge that they were, indeed, watched by recruiters.

They certainly appreciated the sentiment as she sat down, and Devlin hopped to his feet. “Devlin Sommers, player of Benedick, which won’t be much of a stretch,” crooked grin, “I wanted to be Don John, but some other asshole beat me to it,” he shot a glance at who he suspected, a smirk, before he continued, “I’ve been here since I was fourteen or so, ever since I took a drama class and fell in love with it. Haven’t been scouted yet, but you know, I bought a new car so I have that going for me. Pretty red corvette, sucks in this rain though.”

“A red corvette is a girl’s car,” one of those who knew him noted.

“Girls love the car, you mean.” And he let himself fall back into his seat. He was always easy to follow, as he tended to set a casual mood.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on March 26, 2014, 01:34:53 am
Donovan noted the way Devlin looked at him, a little differently than the others did, but chose to be polite as he always was. He told himself that it was because he was a guy, but he wasn’t sure if he believed it. A lot of guys tended to drift away from Donovan. He didn’t know why. If Devlin would allow him to, Donovan wouldn’t mind being his friend, either. Maya was friendly, however, and she assured him that he would be fine. A smile was given to her in return for her comfort, even if at the time Donovan didn’t seem quite so certain.

It was Maya who stood up first for her introduction, and she confessed exactly what Donovan had suspected of her. The Royal Shakespeare Company had recruited her. It made Donovan glad for her, but also concerned and curious as to how a prestigious community theater had allowed him in from a single audition.

And he hadn’t even read the play when he read for a role. Donovan wouldn’t tell them that, but it was true.

Devlin went next, and the more Donovan listened to him the more he realized that it would be hard to form a friendship with the boy. He couldn’t explain to himself why distaste was forming, but he wasn’t going to allow it. Donovan never liked to judge people without truly knowing them. It was part of the reason why he tried so hard at everything he attempted. People judged him, too.

As soon as Devlin was finished, another young man rose from his seat. It was the one that Devlin had assumed was cast as Don John. He was tall with black short and spiky hair; he wore jeans, a tight buttoned shirt, and converse.

“Hey everyone,” he said with a naturally warm smile. “I’m Kyle Westwood, and this is my third year here at the theater. I’m the asshole who was cast as Don John,” his face contorted into one of unbelievable madness, a sign that he could play villainous roles quite well despite his friendly demeanor, before it warmed again. Scattered applause and laughter. “I recently got placed on the waitlist for admission into the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts,” he hadn’t been accepted, but to be on the waitlist was a feat in itself. He crossed his fingers. “We’ll see,” he laughed, “and welcome newcomers.”

A nod, a smile, and he took his seat, shooting a grin at Devlin.

There was a pause after Kyle’s introduction, and Donovan found himself looking for the next person. His eyes instead met with Pam’s, who encouraged him to go next. The lady was too nice for the student to decline her wishes. Donovan gave a weak smile before rising to his feet. His shoes made that annoying squeaking sound.

His hand rose in greeting. “Err...hello. I’m Donovan Bukater and this is my first time doing a play. I play the role of Borachio,” it looked like that’s all Donovan wanted to say, but Pam encouraged him with a wave to keep going. “...Right. I play football for my school, London Academy of Science, and I’m two years short of graduating. I am excited to get to act and learn with you all.”

Before he could see if Pam wanted anything more of him, he took a seat. Others would go after him, surely – and hopefully other newcomers. Fortunately, they did. In time all the others were introduced and the scripts were passed out. It seemed like the only part of the evening that he wouldn’t like was over.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on March 26, 2014, 02:22:38 am
Maya couldn’t help but laugh a bit when Kyle showed off why he’d managed to steal the villain role from Devlin. Devlin stuck his tongue out at the man, but applauded nonetheless. They were friends, after all, and he held on to hope that Kyle would get into the academy. Devlin hadn’t tried out for such places. He wanted to get a degree in something that wasn’t so competitive, a Plan B, even though Maya had encouraged him. 

She had gone to King’s College, though several of her classes came from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. They were an affiliate. Maya had opted to go to a school where she could get better language skills, for singing often required her to have excellent pronunciation. It didn’t seem to do her any harm not to go to a specialized school, given her luck.

Maya’s own fingers crossed for Kyle.

Donovan followed, awkward and quick. Devlin managed not to laugh, though he wanted to tell the boy that they didn’t bite. ‘Well….’ Not completely true. Some of them bit. Those who didn’t bite were scarier, still. No, this boy had every right to be afraid. This was a group of sociopaths who could love you one second and put a knife in your back the next. He held on to a smirk.

Donovan would learn, one way or another. The others began to introduce themselves, their Hero and their Claudio, Don Pedro and all the others. Plenty were familiar faces. The script was passed out, and Devlin leaned towards Maya, pressing his shoulder against hers. “Do you think Hero knows how to faint?” He already knew the story.

“No,” Maya answered. She was pretty sure Hero did not. She was a young seventeen year old woman, who almost always got stuck with the same roles, but Maya hadn’t seen her in a role where her character fainted. “We’ll teach her.” Fainting took practice, but it wasn’t difficult to master. Crying had always been harder for Maya to fake, but all the arts of falling were easy.

“Heh,” he set the script aside, “We know this already. C’mon.” He knew Maya loved Shakespeare, and he knew she would have lost herself to reading the script over already, to memorizing it. There was a reason she was scouted, after all.

Besides, Pam had said they should run through a few scenes. Devlin stood and Maya followed his lead. They walked out of the circle, ignoring any looks sent their way. Maya nodded to him, and he took it as a sign. Pick the scene, and begin. He stepped away, four steps, and then turned around.

‘Very well.’ He never could throw Maya for a loop, but he always tried. “What, my dear Lady Disdain!” He acted, as a man who had been pretending to ignore the presence of someone, and only now acknowledged them. His gaze turned to her and he stepped forward, “Are you yet living?” He squinted as if it were difficult to make out her appearance.

Maya’s eyes took on a wicked gleam, a woman victorious, and she spoke with haughty amusement, “Is it possible that disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signoir Benedick?” Eyebrows lifted, as if he should have known she couldn’t possibly die while he lived, “Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.”

He mocked a scowl as he declared, “Then courtesy itself is a turncoat!” He took another step, masterful blocking in his posturing as he shifted his body so he was addressing audience and cast alike, “But it is certain I am loved of all ladies,” a look to her, Beatrice and not Maya, “only you excepted.”

Beatrice’s smile remained, a nod allowed him to continue his rambling since he acknowledged that she did not love him, “and I would, I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for truly, I love none,” a bow of the head, and that hand which he’d extended out to gesture to Beatrice, and then the others, was brought over his heart, as if he was truly bothered by this hard heart.

“A dear happiness to women,” she moved at last, came to stand besides Benedick and not Devlin. She touched his arm to draw his look up to her eyes, “They would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor,” he grinned and she drew her hand away, and did not mourn her own cold heart as she continued, “I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that,” a sigh as she thought of the dreadful alternative, “I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.” Anymore, it didn’t seem like so much of a lie, but she’d not say as much.

Benedick laughed, “God keep your ladyship still in that mind, so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.”

Beatrice lifted her hand, as if to examine those nails, then looked up at Benedick. A bit of a pout that he seemed to think scratches bad, “Scratching could not make it worse,"there was a smile on her lips at the prospect, though perhaps it was not the face Beatrice considered. "an 'twere such a face as yours were.”

Benedick grabbed her wrist, as if holding it might prevent the fate she seemed to have in mind. Beatrice appeared appropriately surprised and angered, but he complimented, “Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.”

Beatrice played along rather than act in anger at his boldness. She returned it, she stepped forward, turning to fully face him, locking her eyes with his. The distance between them was intimate, a posture Maya took with few in life. “A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.” She made sure it sounded like there was some sort of secret there in the phrasing. Close as they were, tongues were important to fixate on.

He didn’t fully concur, “I would my horse had the speed of your tongue," a devilish smile, "and so good a continuer,” he confessed, before he let her hand go and stepped back, “But keep your way, i' God's name; I have done.” A dismissive gesture as he turned to rejoin his imaginary companions.

Maya huffed, “You always end with a jade's trick: I know you of old,” disappointment, and she too, returned to where her companions would have been, when Don Pedro would have spoken now that Benedick and Beatrice got their reunion out of the way of other business.

They both then laughed, and Devlin couldn’t help but ask, “How much do you bet I make Aeron jealous by the end of the show?”

‘Not even worth betting on.’
Not that Maya could say as much. “Good luck,” was what she said instead.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on March 27, 2014, 03:18:58 am
As soon as the last introduction was made, people began to congregate into groups so that they could run through a couple scenes while Pam observed them from outside. Maya and Devlin were quick to jump to their feet, and Donovan was anxious to see just how well the two of them did. He saw a lot of it, but he found himself approached by the one named Kyle, and he was being followed by another.

‘Oh right, I need to act, too.’

“Hiya Borachio,” greeted Kyle and Donovan almost waved, but thought it would be foolish. “You know Sander, right?” Donovan nodded, the one playing Conrade. “Good, why don’t we go through a scene together? Better get acquainted with how we interact with each other, you know, before we go to the theater.”

Both Donovan and Sander seemed to be mostly inexperienced, which might have explained why they got smaller roles. Kyle, however, was excellent at making the whole thing seem comfortable. Donovan took a few breaths to try and relax, and it seemed to work. Conrade and Don John began the scene, and it was quickly clear who the seasoned actor was. Conrade was believable in his role, but Sander was stumbling with the words. Despite his limited experience, Sander was also a quick learner.

Donovan would be the opposite. He could read it all perfectly now that he’d read the play a couple of times, but he wasn’t sure just how believable he would be.

‘Half the fight is learning it, right?’

He really had no clue.

“What news, Borachio?”

Kyle’s suddenly expectant look was enough for Donovan to realize that he was next.

‘Oh god.’

He lifted the script to where his lines were highlighted.

“I came yonder from a great supper,” he said inclining his head slightly in greeting, though his expression was that of mischief. Hungry for gossip. “The prince, your brother, is royally entertained by Leonato, and,” his tone was a little dismissive about the name, but hinting towards something of greater importance, “I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.”

Bingo. Kyle seemed pleasantly surprised, but did not break character.

“Will it serve for any model to build mischief on?” Don John and Borachio shared a sly smile. “What is he for a fool that betroths himself to unquietness?”

The faithful follower looked like he could hold his tongue no more. “Marry, it is your brother’s right hand.”

Surprise, even if only briefly.

“Who? The most exquisite Claudio?”

“Even he.” Borachio gave his confirmation, though the delight left not his face.

“A proper squire!” said Don John ceremoniously, “And who, and who? Which way looks he?”

Claudio had only been the half of it, and Borachio was thrilled to say more. “Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.”

“A very forward March-chick!” Don John spoke decidedly. “How came you to this?”

Borachio then approached Don John, as if the topic had turned for a more intimate nature. “Being entertained for a performer, as I was smoking a musty room, comes me the price and Claudio,” Borachio’s brows rose and his hands moved as if signaling how the others had moved, “hand in hand in sad conference. I whipt me behind the arras, and there heard it agreed upon that the prince should woo Hero for himself,” feigned disbelief, “and having obtained her, give her to Count Claudio.”

Scandalous and severe.

“Come, come,” Don John motioned appropriately, “let us thither. This may prove food to my displeasure.” The man’s nose wrinkled. “That young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow. If I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way.” Borachio’s expression would render Don John’s next question unnecessary. “You are both sure, and will assist me?”

Sander stumbled, but caught on as Conrade. “To the death, my lord.”

“Let us to the great supper,” he then began to walk to where he would, “their cheer is the greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were of my mind? Shall we go prove what’s to be done?”

Borachio gave a smile.

“We’ll wait upon your lordship.”

Donovan then breathed out. He made it seem as if he had been holding it in the entire time. He felt Kyle’s hand clasp on his back. For a moment he had forgotten that he was acting, and now everything seemed real again.

“You are full of surprises aren’t you?” He asked with a grin.

“How do you mean?” Donovan smiled, suddenly deprived of mischief, now shy.

“Academy of Science, football? Now your natural talent at this? I can see why you got cast, mate.”

Donovan thought Kyle ridiculous, but didn’t say so.

“Thanks?”

“How old are you anyway?”

“I’ll be sixteen this March.”

Kyle’s brows rose. “Like I said, full of surprises.”

Everyone began walking out of the room to head towards the theater right then. Donovan had turned slightly pink, but he managed to follow without much hassle. He caught sight of Pam as he walked, and she seemed pleased to see him. Donovan did not yet see just how talented he was.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on March 27, 2014, 04:16:44 am
Scenes were acted all around them, once Devlin and Maya got started. Devlin leaned on her to observe the others, catching their Hero and Claudio, and shifting to watch Kyle and the newbies. “I guess I’m not so unhappy. I wouldn’t want to deal with the novices so much,” he chuckled.

“Hmmm,” Maya considered. “Donovan appears to be skilled, and Sander will develop.” Sander would need a bit more training, but Maya didn’t like to consider anyone hopeless. She was an outwardly, an optimist.

Devlin always wanted to hear other things. “What about our Hero?” He found the name amusing.

“Patricia is good in these roles,” she answered. “We just have to teach her to faint and she’ll pull it off wonderfully.” She played the damsel well. Maya could play it, she just didn’t prefer the role. Juliet, Ophelia, and all those akin to it were not her style. She acted as the weak woman enough in life.

There was movement from the room, towards the theater. Before she could step away, Devlin looped his arm around her, “Come, dear Beatrice, we’ve plots to confound.”

“You mean you’ve a man to kill for me,” she grinned up at him.

He looked to Claudio’s actor, and he laughed, “I wonder if he’s even read that far ahead.” Maya didn’t hazard a guess. Devlin and she moved easily onto the stage, and Devlin sat on the edge of it while Maya walked about the familiar floor. There weren’t any settings made up yet, it seemed. Of course, those would come as things went on, as would costumes. Ah, how Maya did love the costumes!

Maya spun on her heel to face the actress Patricia, and smiled at her. Since Pam hadn’t called them to attention, she decided to find out Devlin’s earlier question, and she walked over to her, spoke quietly, “Do you know how to faint on command?”

Patricia vaguely recalled a bit later on in the script where Hero had to faint. She’d skimmed. She shook her head. Maya nodded. “We’ll work on that later, then. It’ll be a simple drop.” That wasn’t how fainting was in real life, but she was pretty sure having Hero fall forward wouldn’t work out so well, as Beatrice was supposed to catch her during the wedding scene. It’d be easier if she just crumpled to the ground, or fell backward. 
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on March 29, 2014, 04:51:28 am
“Become familiar with this stage,” said Pam as she entered, spreading her arms. “This is where the magic will come to life, take it in! Enjoy it, darlings, and I assure you that this is the best place in town. Oh the life of theater!”

Donovan looked around, noting the grandeur of the theater. It made him nervous just to think that so many people would see him perform. He was used to that, actually, because of football – but that was different. People were looking at him, but Donovan wasn’t performing for anyone besides himself. He also did marvelous at working on his own. Despite the fact that football was a team sport, Donny found pleasure of focusing on himself during the game.

Kyle migrated to where Devlin and Maya entered the stage – he remained near the one who would play Benedick. “What do you think? Good haul this year, no?” He seemed pleased about all the new actors. Then again, he had always been more welcoming than Devlin. Still, there was potential with the new group.

Rehearsal began, but none of the scenes where Borachio made an appearance had been rehearsed yet. Things were moving slowly, but Donny didn’t mind. He stood by the side and admired the effortless performances of others. He could see immediately how Maya had been recruited into the Royal Company. She seemed so confident that there was no way he couldn’t admire her. Even how she spoke the lines impressed him – it was melodic in a way Donny only recognized in singers.

‘She probably does sing,’
he thought to himself.

Between different scenes, there was little time for relaxation. Not that Donovan was complaining. No, he was used to having little time to relax. In fact, such a thing was so rare that he could hardly recognize those moments anymore. He paid little thought to the possibility, and often didn’t acknowledge it.

“Alright, everybody, beautiful work,” said Pam, “let’s take five before we run through that again. It can always be better, and we must be excellent!”

The group disbursed and Donovan approached the edge of the stage and sat, fetching his phone. There was one message.

How is everything
going love?


Laura.

Donovan texted a response quickly, a smile absently forming on his lips.

Everything is fine.
I miss you.


And then his phone was put away.

Despite Kyle’s encouragement, Donovan still felt lost amidst all the people. There were friendly faces, like Kyle and Maya, but was it enough? He let his feet swing from the edge of the stage as he looked down. Several people had left to go to the bathroom during the break. Even though most of them remained, Donovan felt like the theater was empty. It wasn’t of course, but he didn’t feel comfortable. Not when he knew that he was forced to be there. He had a choice, but at the same time he didn’t. Not really.

Going against his mother’s wishes never ended well. Donovan wanted to please her, and she always looked so happy when he did. His father was just as critical, and  he always expressed just how much he expected of him.

Not once did his expression falter, however. To the ordinary eye, he was merely enjoying his time alone, just as happy to be there as anyone else. Donovan hid his discomfort well.

A buzz.

Are you sure?
I miss you too.


She sensed that something was bothering him. Donovan wouldn't admit to it.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on March 29, 2014, 05:23:14 am
“I think so,” Maya agreed.

“I’ll withhold judgment,” Devlin answered Kyle. He was never as quick to judge as Maya…at least, not out loud. He judged just as fast, but his mind was more easily changed.

Maya was Maya no longer. If Angelus ever understood anything about her, it was how dear acting was to his sister. He always came to watch at least one of the shows, even when others didn’t. He’d see everything she was in.

Maya took on Beatrice’s flesh, and saw through Beatrice’s eyes as she acted in the role. She, Kyle, and Devlin were probably the best three who even got to be on the stage as they ran through things. She and Devlin didn’t bother with scripts, and at one point, Devlin purposefully went against what was in the script just to mess up everyone else. Maya played along, but the others stared hopelessly until Pam interrupted it before it could get too bad. A small lecture followed.

Then, it was back to the normal acting, until Pam called for a break.

Maya shook her head to shake off Beatrice, stretched. “Why aren’t I playing Don John?”

“Because Kyle’s an asshole and you're female,” was the answer she expected, the answer she wanted, “We could have all been villains.” There were three of them. She chuckled. “Then the whole play would have to be adapted, though. Maybe we could do the prequel—Don John and his minions.”

“Yell that next time you go watch the improv comedy,” she suggested.

“They never do what I tell them,” he frequented the cheap show, loved it. He had considered trying out to be involved with the theater’s improv group. “They wouldn’t have Elmo meet Hitler during a Japanese tea party.” Patricia passed him a strange look, having no idea what she’d just heard as she walked by. “They prefer sexual jokes.”

“So I’ve heard,” Maya had only gone to one. She wanted to see more, but never could. Too immature. Too childish and unprofessional.

Devlin caught sight of the phone in Donny’s hand, “Excuse me,” he had a rule, one he saw was followed. He leaned over Donovan, read the text over his shoulder, “You know,” he spoke loud so he’d be heard by others besides Donovan, “There’s a rule about having phones turned off and put far away until practice is done for the day.”

“That does remind me,” Maya hopped off the stage. She had to call her brother.

“No! No, no, no, the phone is evil, Maya!” This was why the rule was made.

“I just have to make a quick call to Ange.”

“Swear it!”

“I swear,” she answered.

Devlin frowned, but let her leave the theater. It wasn't so much that Maya spent a long time on the phone, but sometimes the phone summoned her away from practice. Devlin had decided the best way to combat that was to prevent her from having access to her phone.

Well, it was the first day.

She’d left her purse under a chair in the main room, following the rule without even thinking of it.

Devlin sat by Donovan. “Girlfriend?” He decided to ask, since clearly he wasn’t going to get his way that day.


Maya found her purse exactly where she left it. She knew she ought to be more careful, but she was never worried here. It wasn’t until the phone was in her hand and ringing that she felt worry.

The voice on the other end greeted her. “Hey,” she answered, “I can’t talk long, I just wanted…needed to say that I can’t be a part of the paintball tournament this weekend.” She paced the room a bit, feeling the anxiety.

His reaction was what she expected, “No, it isn’t Aeron,” she lied, “I just got involved in another play, and there are a few more novices than usual. I have to help out over the weekend.” She was good at this, lying. Angelus had started calling her a professional, and he meant it as no compliment. “I’m sorry.” He cursed anyway. “I am.” He wasn’t hearing it, though. Maya sighed as he hung up with barely a good bye.

‘C’est la vie.’


She placed the phone back in her purse. Quick, as she’d promised Devlin.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on April 02, 2014, 11:03:53 pm
Donovan heard Devlin call from behind him, informing him of the rule to leave all phones away from the stage. He could see why a rule like that would be implemented in a theater. Distractions were never hood. He had not heard of that rule at all; Donovan would have remembered a rule like that. He was about to reply when Maya spoke, and a short but colorful conversation began between the two. It was clear to Donovan that these two were friends, and he assumed that Kyle was, too. By the time Donovan decided to turn, Devlin had already sat beside him.

The actor inquired after Laura. In a more intimate setting, Devlin seemed a lot friendlier than before. It was good to give people the benefit of the doubt.

“Yeah,” said Donovan with a smile. “Her name is Laura. I’m sorry about the phone, though. I didn’t know about the rule. I’ll go put it away.” Donovan gave Devlin a crooked smile before jumping out of the stage and jogging out of the theater.

Kyle replaced Donovan’s presence by Devlin. “You’re the asshole, mate,” he greeted with a grin. “And don’t lie, you wanted the part of Benedick. Be careful, he might snatch it from you.” He teased as he motioned with his head towards the door that Donny had just walked through.

Laura would not be happy about having her texts go unanswered, so as Donny walked back to the room where he had left his bags, he flipped his phone open.

I’m sure. Gotta go,
phones aren’t allowed
at rehearsal. I’ll text
you when I’m out.


With his phone now closed an in his pocket, Donovan could overhear Maya in what seemed like a disagreement, however tamed. He had not meant to intrude upon her privacy, but he also couldn’t really forget what he had already suspected. He had not heard details, but as he emerged into the room, one good look at her confirmed that something was not right. Like his, Maya’s own expression was like a mask. He had waited a bit before going inside, of course, lest Maya think he was eavesdropping.

Donovan wasn’t, though he did wonder if his mask was just as good as hers.

“Hey,” he said as he reached for his gym bag and unzipped it open, tossing his phone inside quickly. Standing up straight, he was several inches taller than her. “All right?” His question was general, but it was meant that way. Perhaps Maya needed someone to talk to. Or perhaps she was just like him, hesitant to speak of certain things freely.

It would explain the mask. 

Donny made his way to the door, wondering if they were to walk back to the theater together. If Maya needed some time to herself, he would notice and go on without her. Whatever troubles she might have had, they were no longer visible.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on April 03, 2014, 12:35:49 am
Devlin smiled as the information was received. He was pleased for the shared information, “It’s my rule,” he admitted, “Unofficial, but it helps.” It really did, too. Maya didn’t get dragged off half as often because of it, unless Aeron actually showed up early. Usually, he wouldn’t, no matter how important it was.

Kyle was soon setting where Donovan had been as the kid ran off. Devlin smirked, “Hey, I never denied being an asshole. I said 'other',” he did want to be Benedick, of course, “That kid won’t steal the role from me.” He was confident in his own skill, but also in the dynamic he and Maya could bring when their characters were to interact. There was a natural comfort between them, developed through years of playing variously close roles. It was funny, really. He knew Maya from theater, but in truth, he didn’t know much about her outside of the basics. “But what are you doing as the Don, anyway?” He figured Kyle would want a more prominent role.

~***~

There was a voice as the phone was slipped back into the purse, and Maya glanced over, the mask already in place. It was only Donovan, expected, as he was called out for having his own phone. They both straightened up, and Maya noted he was taller than she realized. He asked a curious question, though Maya admitted to herself she wouldn't have thought it curious at all were it not for the conversation she'd just had. Paranoia was a vicious beast. Maya did wonder if he’d heard, or if her own mask was slipping.

Even so, she admitted nothing, “Of course,” brief confusion, before she smiled, asked in turn, “Are you?” as she came to the door with him, planning to walk back as well lest he had reason not to continue on. Some people, she’d found, asked that question only because they wanted to talk about their own problems. Those who knew her, knew she was often polite enough to reciprocate such a thing. 
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on April 20, 2014, 09:58:07 pm
Kyle smiled as he shook his head. Of course the new kid would not steal Devlin’s role, despite how talented he might have been. Kyle knew just how rare the chemistry between Maya and Devlin was on stage, and he couldn’t mirror that himself. He could play any role, sure, but there was something in Devlin that made him the perfect Benedick, just as there was something in Maya that made her the perfect Beatrice.

“He seems a good kid,” he said with a shrug, turning his attention to the question thrown his way. “I want to take it easy this season,” he said leaning back and supporting himself with his hands, “I want a replaceable role in case I get called away.” Being admitted into the Academy would do such a thing, and he hoped it would happen despite the wonderful times he’d spend inside that theater.

Just as he had in the practice room, he crossed his fingers with a grin.

***

Maya claimed that she was alright, but Donovan was not so quick to believe her. There was no real reason to suspect, after all. He did smile warmly at her when she walked towards him so that they could walk back to the theater together, briefly wondering if her question was her merely being polite, or if she had noticed something strange in him, too. ‘She couldn’t have,’ he thought to himself. No one ever did.

Donovan gave them no room to. Ever.

“All right.” Donovan confirmed without letting his brief confusion show on his face.

They walked back towards the theater together, and Donovan quickly decided that he didn’t feel comfortable without his phone. He depended on it so much; his schedules were all arranged there, and all of the people who needed to contact him did so mainly from there. His hand absently reached for his pocket, despite the fact that he knew that his phone wasn’t there.

“Have you got any advice for a newcomer? I still feel a little lost, and now I feel especially vulnerable without my phone.” He asked with a smile, for he knew that his insecurities made no sense. He was almost certain that the next section of rehearsal would demand a lot more of him than the first half, and he liked to tell himself that he was ready. Donovan wasn’t really sure if he was, though. He would welcome any advice he could get. 
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on April 20, 2014, 10:31:23 pm
Devlin lifted one shoulder up in a shrug at the statement that Donovan seemed like a good kid. He would make no judgment call just yet. He looked visibly disappointed at what Kyle had to say. Of course, he wanted good for him. He wanted Kyle to succeed. Even so, “You abandon us and I’ll never forgive you,” half-kidding. He’d understand, much as he would have understood if Maya abandoned them immediately.

She didn’t, though. She even held one of the most prominent roles in the play. “You’ll get in though, in all seriousness. You’re too good to pass up. They’re just playing hard to get.” He then noticed the return of Maya and Donny, and jumped to his feet.

~***~

Donovan mirrored her words, and Maya knew better. Mirroring was a trick she’d tried to discard. It was simple, thoughtless, and in that way, easier to see through. Even so, there would be no pressing it, just a smile and a nod. Lies were currency, here.

She noted the reach for his phone, and did not smile, though she wanted to. Maya recalled how much she used to miss her own phone, before she’d learned it was a bit of a saving grace to not have it attached to her at all times. If it wasn’t Aeron calling, it was Angelus, or her mother, and she got so tired of listening to the three of them.

Donny asked advice, “Well, I can’t say much about the phone,” Maya said. “I missed mine when Devlin created that ‘rule’ for the entirety of our practices. It just takes time to get used to being separated from it.” The other bit, though, she wasn’t sure how to answer.

“As for advice, well, I took to this as a fish does water so I’m not sure how helpful I can be,” though she did recall one bit of advice that had influenced her from that point on. “I’d say the best thing you can do is learn to live by the words there are no mistakes. Play off any mistake. They will happen in practice, and they will happen on stage. If you can learn to play them off as if they were always part of the script, you’ll find it goes easier for everyone.” No stuttering and being embarrassed. "There are people like Devlin who will actively try to make you mess up, and you don't want to give him the satisfaction."

As they returned, Devlin hopped back to his feet, “Your phones gone?”

“Yes,” she answered. 
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on April 27, 2014, 12:28:05 am
Kyle laughed, though he was sure that Dev was only half kidding. A lot of people wouldn’t be too happy about his departure, but he knew that they were all supportive. “You’ll get over it,” he joked with a smile. “At least Maya didn’t leave us, and she’s already been recruited into the Company. She’s good,” but everyone knew that already. Maya, Dev, and he were often the people who were regarded as the best.

Kyle was used to this.

He only smiled when Devlin said that he was too good to pass up. Kyle hoped that it was true, and although he was confident in his own skills, getting into the Academy was something that even the best not often accomplished. When he caught sight of Maya and the new kid coming back, he simultaneously jumped to his feet, just as Dev did.

***

They walked together comfortably, and Donny was especially happy to hear that the feeling of vulnerability would fade. He had suspected that it would, but it was nice to hear that it wasn’t an uncommon feeling. When the actual advice came, Donny listened. He had gotten a feeling that Devlin would be one of those people who would purposefully try and mess up some of the new kids. Perhaps he had already personally targeted him.

“Thank you,” he said just as they arrived and were greeted by both Devlin and Kyle.

Donny nodded his head. “Safely put away,” he confirmed, though the thought of Laura lingered with him. Kyle offered an encouraging smile to Donny as they arrived, one that the young man returned, but the feeling of being an outcast persisted. The three people Donny found himself with were likely the best in the theater. He felt comfortable with Maya, but the same could not be said for the others.

Thankfully Pam coming back into the theater was enough of an excuse for Donny to be the first to go back onstage. The second half of the rehearsal would soon start, and Donny was eager to get it over with. The constant exhaustion he pushed aside to continue his endeavors was catching up with him.

Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on April 27, 2014, 02:31:51 am
Phone gone, Maya approached the stage and lifted herself onto it, rather than go to the stairs. “Behave,” she told Devlin before he could get another word in. Pam was back. Practice would be resuming. He smiled, aware that she understood he would do just the opposite if told that. It had started one of those never ending arguments.

‘But if I know that you know that I know that you thought….’


What Maya actually wanted of him was unclear, but for the night he would behave, more Kyle than Maya making him consider that. Kyle had hopes for these kids, and Devlin would let their first practice be peaceful. He made no promises for future ones. He wanted to catch them all off guard to see if they could respond on their feet.

Besides, there wasn't much he could do to mess with them in these first couple of scenes.

It was one thing to memorize lines and motions, and quite another to act, in his opinion, and it all stemmed from ad-libbing.

They were able to work through the first scenes, but they did not complete the first act of Shakespeare’s play by the time it was necessary to call it quits. Donovan was able to play his role for them, though he did not truly get to reveal the colors of his character. The one playing Antonio needed a bit of help through the scene in his role so they were never able to truly begin scene three.

The night ended, and all were dismissed. Part to annoy Devlin, and part because she was anxious, Maya took up her phone and checked it immediately. No messages. ‘Good.’ Always a good sign. 

“See, the world still goes on without you, Maya. Truth of the universe,” Devlin said.

Maya rolled her eyes, “Yes, yes, I know.” Phone was returned to purse. She didn’t send a text on to Aeron, though the thought briefly crossed her mind.

“Do you need a ride back home?” He didn’t know where she lived, but he did know that Maya didn’t have a car. He wasn’t sure if she knew how to drive or not. He knew that Angelus did. He’d seen Angelus before, never really met him. He’d come a couple times to pick Maya up. He always looked agitated when he did.

“Aeron is going to pick me up,” Maya answered Devlin, “I’ll see you next time,” she told him.

He smiled, nodded, and left for his own red car. Maya moved to step outside and wait, knowing it would be best to be there when Aeron arrived. The rain felt nice, anyway. She bid the others farewell as they went to their own vehicles, or left with their rides.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on April 27, 2014, 07:46:29 am
The second half of the rehearsal was better than the first. Donovan was able to speak, though he couldn’t really develop anything more than the introductory verses of his character. The more that they went through the scenes, the more Donovan realized that he was enjoying himself. When people were having trouble with their lines, he gave them encouraging smiled. Donny was patient, quick, and surprisingly prepared.

When it was time for rehearsal to end, Donovan made his way from the stage to fetch his things from the practice room. The first thing he did was check his phone, for he was aching to see if he had any messages. As soon he did, however, he sighed. There were many messages, and from a variety of different people. This was not unusual, but Donny found himself hoping to have a pleasant evening anyway, and not a busy one.

Laura’s were the first checked.

It makes sense.
Have a good
rehearsal Donny.


And another.

Call me when
you get home,
please.


Next was text from his father, Clark.

I’ll be home late,
son. Tell your mother.


Of course he’d be late.

Then there was his agent, who had sent him an essay.

Mr. Bukater, you
have a photoshoot
scheduled for
tomorrow morning,
I have pushed your
other appointments
back. You’re excused
from your morning
classes. I cleared it with
your mother. Be
ready by 5:00 AM.


And then, his mother.

Donny, I’ll be a
little late picking you
up, darling. Your
father hasn’t gotten
home. I’m going
to his office.


More texts regarding school and homework followed, which made Donovan close his eyes. It was a Wednesday night, which meant that the next day he would have school and practice after that. He had busy days ahead of him, and there was absolutely nothing he could do. He closed his phone and slipped it into his pocket, grabbing his gym bag and other belongings before making his way back to the front where most people had already left.

In fact, he could only see Maya outside in the rain. He stepped out, deciding that it would be best if he waited where he could at least enjoy the rain. Donny gave Maya a smile as he leaned against the wall by the driveway where cars would stop to pick people up. He let himself fall with his things at his side. He rested his head back, as if he were looking at the gloomy sky – his eyes, of course, were closed. The drizzle felt good against his skin.

“Long day,” he mumbled to himself.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on April 27, 2014, 07:57:00 am
Maya only glanced at Donovan when he stepped out. She did not engage him, was not sure if she ought to. Time would tick by. Maya was used to waiting. Though Aeron refused to allow others to pick her up, he was not the best with timing. It was the source of arguments, which always stirred from the innocent question.

‘How long were you waiting?’

Aeron was paranoid about how Maya spent her time.

She was, in that way, grateful that Kyle and Devlin had left. The only male left was Donovan, a child, really. Aeron couldn’t accuse her of anything. ‘Well, he can.’ He had. Guilty conscious.

Each second was one enjoyed, and one feared. Each second was another moment where Maya could be doing something Aeron disapproved of. Perhaps if it was clear she’d been outside this whole time, he would not let his paranoia get the best of him.

Donovan spoke, and she let her gaze leave the endless night to look at him. He did seem tired. Exhausted, really. ‘What is on your plate?’ She knew he had to be in school. No doubt, he played football. There had to be more than that, though, or so her mind imagined. She had always had a full plate, she understood the weight of several extracurricular activities. “You did well, though.” In spite of whatever else he had to do. “I’m glad you were recruited.”

Sincere compliments, but also pointless. Directionless. Chatter for chatter’s sake. That was how things usually were, though. Asking questions tended to press towards friendship, and much as Maya might want these things, she’d gotten into the habit of keeping others out of her personal life.

Even so, she asked, “Is someone on their way to pick you up?” She had seen him check his phone. It had only been clear that he had messages, unlike herself. She did hope he’d gotten word from someone that they were on their way, or going to be late.

Maya never got word on such things. She was just expected to wait, even if that meant an hour.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on May 21, 2014, 03:46:02 am
When Maya spoke, Donovan found it harder to open his weighing eyes. All he wanted to do was just rest, to sleep without having to worry about the repercussions that would take place if he had a single day of only relaxing. There was no such thing in his life. Only weekends allowed for time to relax, and those days had been booked for casting calls and modeling jobs. Was this all his life was meant to be, just the inexhaustible pursuit for success?

Donovan did chuckle, though. Maya was uncommonly kind, and Donovan appreciated what he thought was an undeserved compliment.

“Well enough for my first time, anyway,” he seemed to agree with a crooked smile, but it was clear that the boy’s own expectations of himself were higher than most. “I liked it more than I thought I would. I don't know how to describe it, but it's like I can forget what is happening outside of the theater. I can feel that when I play football, so maybe that is why.”

Donovan laughed, not entirely realizing just what he was saying.

He definitely liked it more than he did modeling. Donovan knew that it was a field where artists were drawn to, but he hated feeling judged merely based on his looks. Why did people think less of him? Why did people look down on him intellectually? Donovan was just as capable of carrying a conversation as the rest of them. In fact, the young boy was quickly beginning to realize just how much he hated that part of his life.
Then Maya voiced a question.

“My mum,” he said with a smile. She was complicated, mad, and completely difficult, but he loved her regardless. “She will be a while still, I think. What about you? Not a very big fan of driving, or do you have someone that picks you up?”

Donovan told himself that this was only polite conversation.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on May 21, 2014, 07:09:19 am
It was easy enough to tell that Donovan did have high standards. Maya had them herself and recognized it in him. She also shared his thoughts on acting—it was a fantastic escape. She didn’t share that, though.

With his laughter, she offered, “My brother feels the same about paint ball. He loses himself and the world when he plays.” He’d fit in well in a zombie apocalypse. “So it is a common sensation. Sports and acting are useful ways to relax the mind.”

His mom was picking him up, and she nodded. It suited, given his age. When he mentioned it would be a while, she looked his way with concern, but didn’t get to ask why. A question came from him, and she smiled, seeing the headlights cut through the dark and rain. “My fiancé, Aeron, picks me up,” she answered, “I never had time to learn how to drive,” sad fact of her life. Her brother could drive perfectly, but she’d always been too busy to ever try. She’d remedy it, one day. Hopefully.

The black car with the headlights stopped at the stairs, and Maya recognized it easily as Aeron’s, “You have a good night, Donovan,” she said as she moved from where she waited as the car door opened and out stepped Aeron. He didn’t walk to the steps, though. “If you ever do need a ride to your home, Devlin could get you there safely.” Aeron would never hear of that with her. He was beyond jealous of Devlin. “Good night,” she wished again before walking down the stairs and meeting Aeron at the bottom.

His hand moved to her back and he seemed to help guide her around the car and to the passenger side. He asked quietly, “Who is that?”

“Donovan,” she answered, “He’s still in secondary school,” she felt tension leave his hand. “He is waiting for his mum.”

“Ah, I see,” he let his eyes lift to Donovan before he opened the door to the passenger side. The kid bothered him not at all. “How long were you waiting?” He asked as she sat down.

“Not long at all. Five minutes, perhaps,” she’d never say longer than that. The door shut and Aeron walked back around to his side, opened the door and took off from the theater without another look back at Donovan. “I called Angelus,” she mentioned, thinking this would be good news, “I let him know I will not be able to make it to paintball.”

“When did you find the time for this?”

“There was a break between scenes.” It was reasonable, rational, but she could tell from the way his brow knit he didn’t like the idea of free time. She shifted the subject, “How is the Montgomery case going?” He was the prosecutor as per usual. It was an issue of stolen information via the use of a computer virus. More or less open and shut.

“Well,” he answered, adding nothing to it. “How long are these breaks?”

“The time varies…there’s no schedule. I’ve told you this before,” several times. There was no schedule by which she could contact Aeron while in practice. “I’m still not allowed to have my phone on me during practice, either.”

“A stupid rule,” he hated it, “As if the civic theater is important enough to ignore a life for.” And then he smiled, “Well, I suppose none of them really have lives to worry over. They couldn’t understand.”

“No, they couldn’t,” Maya just agreed. It was easier that way. 
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on June 10, 2014, 01:02:00 am
Donovan offered a smile at Maya’s words. She was engaged, and for some reason, Donovan was surprised. She didn’t seem so to him – or at least he had not gotten that impression from her. A black car came into the front of the theater, and Donovan knew that it was time for him to be alone. Maya showed concern for his ride, but the young boy readily shook his head. There was never really anything to worry about. At least that is what he told himself.

Despite the efforts to try and exploit every possible talent Donovan might have had, his parents were too protective of him. It was a strange and confusing balance.

“It’s alright,” he said to Maya with a shrug, “I don’t mind waiting. Good night.”

He treasured those minutes where he had nothing else to do. They were more valuable and more precious than any diamond to him. It was with that comforting feeling that he waved towards Maya as the car moved on out of the driveway and towards the street.

Donovan let his head rest against the brick wall behind him once more, enjoying the drizzle as it collided with his skin. It would still be over and hour before his mother arrived in a silver Benz to pick him up. The headlights made him open his eyes, and the sight of the familiar car warranted a sigh of relief. Donovan had only just started to worry about his mother, and it seemed like it was always in that moment of worry when she decided to arrive.

The driver’s car door opened just as Donovan rose from his sitting position, his mother opening a large black umbrella and making her way towards him in order to meet him halfway. “Good lord, Donny, you're soaking wet,” said she upon reaching him, raising the umbrella higher so that Donny and she could walk together back to the car. A quick kiss was planted on Donovan’s cheek while a hand cradled the side of his face, wiping away the water. He hadn’t even realized that it was now pouring outside. “Why didn’t you wait inside, darling?”

“I think it’s locked now, mum,” explained Donovan, meeting his mother’s gaze.

Ella Bukater was a beautiful woman, sure, but age lines were already appearing on her face. She seemed just as exhausted as Donovan, perhaps even more so. Her voice was still sweet – concerned. 

“I’m so sorry, my dear boy,” she excused herself, wrapping an arm around his back as they both made their way back to the car. “I just needed to see your father tonight, he’s leaving for Germany tomorrow, and there were just some things we needed to take care of. He won’t be back until late next week.”

“Everything alright?”

Ella smiled.

“Of course, darling. Now get inside, we need to get home and sleep. We have an early and long day tomorrow.”

Once the two were inside, the car left the parking lot. It would not return there until the coming Monday.

***

The following days merged together with one full schedule after another. Donovan got only the sleep that was absolutely necessary, and endured the toughest practices in his football career yet. He had expected the weekend practices to be burdening, but they proved especially difficult regardless of the anticipation. When Monday afternoon presented itself, Donovan was pleased to have an evening where people weren’t yelling at him or snapping pictures of him.

‘I can relax.’


Laura had not been able to drop him off that day, so a mate on his team did so immediately after practice. Donovan waved to him appreciatively as he approached the familiar theater, almost running. He was late, but not by very much. Practice had run long. They wouldn’t punish him for that, would they?

Once inside, Donovan rushed to the rehearsal room, dropped off his things, made his way back to the main theater, and stepped in.

“Sorry I’m late.”
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on June 10, 2014, 03:35:44 am
“Mom….”


Maya wished she had gone to the paintball game when the weekend was over, and she found herself with an injury that was difficult to cover up. It would have ended the same either way, and at least if she went to the game she would have had fun.

Usually, Aeron was smart. He ensured he would only wound her where it wouldn’t be seen.

“What did I do wrong?”


He’d been careless, and she’d been stupid. She knew it started in telling Aeron about the play and who played who. That escalated, Aeron’s hatred of Devlin flaring up. She knew at some point she yelled something she shouldn’t have about his late nights at the office. Somewhere in there had been a threat of doing just what Aeron feared she already did, something about karma and evening out, and then it happened.

It wasn’t unexpected. It never was, anymore.

Aeron stormed out. Maya called her mother, and as always, was informed of all the things she’d done wrong, and all the things she needed to do to make it better. Her mother was the one to teach her how to cover the wounds that showed, and those methods had been applied that Monday morning before her classes. She hadn’t had a chance to check it since, didn’t know the damage the rain had done as it washed down her cheek, her neck, to uncover the marks left around her neck.

It was still Aeron who dropped her off, and he didn’t notice the sight. He expected it, after all, and forgot that others shouldn’t. Besides, her hair obscured the dark marking so that when she entered the theater on time, no one seemed to notice. At least, none commented.

Donovan was late, though. They all moved into the rehearsal room without him, and opted to start at the beginning so that they could ensure those were well known. When Donovan entered, they did pause. “No worries, just remember to bring donuts next time,” Devlin called to him. Rules, “We didn’t get to you yet, though last time we were close to that scene, weren’t we?”

Maya nodded, “Yes. Let’s finish up with this one and pick up where we left off last time.”
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on June 10, 2014, 07:40:46 am
“Gotcha,” said Donovan, unsure of whether Devlin was serious about the donuts. He smiled regardless as he rushed to the stage and stood on the side until it was his turn to perform. He was pleased to see that the others seemed happy that he had decided to come back this week.

Donovan was happy, too.

The scene in which they were on took a little more time than Donovan thought. Perhaps Pam was being particularly critical that evening. Donovan wasn’t so sure. He admired both Maya’s and Devlin’s performance, as he had last time, but something was strange this time around. Donovan couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but he suspected that it was something outside of the acting. Perhaps something that affected the acting with subtlety.

When it was time for Donovan to perform, he did so comfortably. His lines left his mouth naturally, and he had become his character so effortlessly that it even surprised him. Kyle was also a great asset when it came to this, for he was both helpful and remarkably easy to work with. Pam seemed to be very pleased with the progress that they were making, and was especially keen on expressing her surprise and excitement towards the roles.

“Great, great job,” said Pam, clapping her hands together as she always did. She moved about the stage with her fingers on her chin, as if she were thinking something wonderful. “I think this calls for a break,” her hand reached for both Kyle and Donovan, “excellent, excellent, excellent!” She squeezed each of their shoulders. “Okay,” another clap, “be back in ten!”

“Good work, mate,” said Kyle, giving Donovan a grin. “You might want to consider a career in this.”

Donovan laughed. “No, I don’t think I could.” He admitted, but appreciated the gesture regardless. A soccer career seemed more appealing to him. Then again, Donovan had always wanted to take the academic route, too.

“You never know,” said Kyle with a wink. “You might be surprised.”

The young scholar gave a shrug and a smile. “Maybe,” he said with a chuckle. Then his eyes landed on Maya, and he waved to her as he approached. “How was your weekend?”

He would have asked before rehearsal, had he not been late.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on June 10, 2014, 08:08:50 am
Devlin was always serious about donuts.

Maya never let the incidents at home come into her acting, or at least, she tried. She played her role well, even though it was one she was not comfortable in that day. It was also everything she wanted all at once—to scorn love and all suitors. She was annoyed enough with Devlin, too, though nothing was his fault.

No, the fault lied with her. She was the only one who could make any changes to the situation, as her mother reminded her. It could be better. ‘One day.’

It was distracting, though. She kept wanting to go check her phone, wanted to make sure she didn’t inadvertently upset Aeron by missing a call. ‘But if I check it during practice….’ An unending cycle.

Still, Devlin was happy with their interactions, and Pam was delighted with them all around despite the constant stops and repeats. Maya smiled at her enthusiasm, glanced to Devlin and arched a brow. “We’ll see,” he said. He would remain unconvinced for a while yet.

Maya nodded, accepting that answer as the best she’d get. “If he doesn’t bring donuts, though….” And she laughed at that implied threat.

“I’ll be back,” she said, and would have walked off but Donovan stopped her with a question.

‘Oh, yes.’ That. “My weekend was all right,” she answered, sought for a lie that would make it more convincing, a half-truth to make it seem like things happened.

There was nothing she could think of immediately, so she asked instead, “How was your weekend?” Curious. Perhaps if he said something, Devlin would latch on to it and she could escape to check her phone.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on June 10, 2014, 07:59:39 pm
“Busy,” he said with a crooked smile, but that wasn’t so surprising – not to him. His weekends were always busy. In fact, his schedule was not going to get any better in the coming days, which prompted him to want to go to the rehearsal room to go and check his phone. He probably had a message from his agent, detailing what it was that awaited him the following day. Donovan visibly frowned at this realization, and then his eyes found the half-covered mark on Maya’s neck.

His eyes did not stay long there at all, but instead looked to the floor. His stomach tensed, sensing that something wasn’t quite right. Could this have been the reason? Her performance was excellent, as always, but something was different anyways. It was also different in between scenes.

‘She probably just took a fall.’

And then a rogue thought.

‘And hit her neck?’

“Why the long face?” Asked Sander, the one who played Conrade.

“I just realized that I should probably check my phone,” said Donovan, half-lying.

“Already? It’s our first break,” Sander made it seem like Donovan’s behavior was unusual.

Donovan nodded his head. “I…need to go see what my schedule is like tomorrow.” In no time, what little concern had been on his expression was now nonexistent. Donovan knew how to hide things well, and he would use this excuse to go to the rehearsal room and think with a clear head. “I’ll be right back,” he smiled naturally to the others before darting out of the theater.

He reached the rehearsal room in seconds, and his hands quickly fetched the gym bag that held all of his things. Donovan placed it on the chair, but instead of reaching into it for his phone, he simply sat down as well. He let his eyes close and his heaving chest catch his breath.

‘What the hell happened?’

The question in his mind was both directed to Maya and to himself.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on June 10, 2014, 09:03:33 pm
Maya chuckled at the comment,  “Well, that’s what happens when you overload on extracurricular activities,” she noted.  “If you’ll excuse me,”  she gave a nod to him, and didn’t look to Devlin.

She could feel him rolling his eyes, and saw the shift in his weight to show his disapproval. He knew she was going to check her phone.  “Addicted,” he muttered under his breath, only to hear that Donovan was going to do the same thing. He commented to Sander, “Kids and their phones, man. It’s an epidemic,”  even though he was within their age range.  “We need to destroy them all.”

But Donovan was gone, and so was Maya.


Maya did check her phone, and was relieved to find the only messages were from Angelus, until she read one of them that claimed he was picking her up that day. ‘Like hell you are.’ She sent a quick text back, informing him that Aeron was doing just that.

The last thing she needed was for those two to come in contact with each other today.

She took a seat just as Donovan walked in. She imagined he would check his phone, too, but instead he seemed to just collapse into his chair. A half-smile. He looked so exhausted there, too.  “You all right?”  A question she immediately regretted.  “You just look so tired—are you that busy?”  She clarified quickly, hoping the first of the questions would be ignored and the latter answered instead.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on June 19, 2014, 10:13:37 pm
‘Maya?’

Had she left the theater before he had? She must have, for Donovan heard her speak and was surprised that she was there already. He let his eyes open, searching for her, and his back straighten up against the chair. Maya’s question, though unexpected, was appreciated in a way that Donovan could not explain. Nobody seemed to ask him that these days, they just assumed that he would get through it as he did everything else. She did not allow him time to answer, however, because she was quick to amend her query into something more direct.

“It is good to be busy,” he tried to spin his exhaustion into something positive. He rose from his chair and opened up his gym bag, fetching his phone but not yet opening it. He was slightly afraid to. “I can handle all the stress. I’m just wired that way.” That small part slipped from him, but his expression did not falter. “Thanks, though.” Donovan was still grateful for her concern, even if it was her just being polite. “Are you all right?” Perhaps it was a thing to mirror the questions between the two of them, for Donovan vividly remembered that was the strategy she chose the last time they spoke.

And he couldn’t ignore that bruise on her neck. Another game of masks was going to happen. Donovan could sense it.

“You’ve got something on your neck…” he liked to believe he was believable in his innocence, but he could tell that Maya was very perceptive. He furrowed his brows, but couldn’t help but look towards her with concern.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on June 19, 2014, 11:22:36 pm
Maya saw that moment of appreciation, and watched it flicker and die. Even so, he answered the new question asked. It was a trained answer. ‘Busy’ was a good thing to be, a thing someone was meant to appreciate in a world where so many didn’t have the opportunities that these two had.

He took his phone out, but didn’t open it. ‘Uh huh.’ She doubted his words about being ‘wired’ to handle stress. What it really meant was that he’d lived in stressful circumstances for a while, that perhaps he knew nothing else. ‘You are making assumptions.’ She wasn’t often wrong, though. She smiled, “You’re welcome.”

Her phone vibrated in her hand and she glanced down at it as Donny asked his question.

Like hell I’m not.


He did like to mirror her. “Oh, I’m fine,” she said, typing back her response. “My brother is just being a nuisance,” it would explain irregularities. It would explain the present look she was giving to her phone.

Friday. You can pick me up
Friday. I’ll stay the
weekend.


She would appease him. She might have to cancel that, but it would put it off.

Donovan made a comment that caused her to look up from the phone, startled. She brushed her hair back over her shoulder and used the phone’s surface to try and see the mark. ‘All day coverage my foot.’ “Ah, so I do.” And without explaining what it was, she reached down into her purse and pulled out her compact, as well as a bit of liquid foundation. She dabbed that on first, using the compact’s mirror, before calmly applying the powder to even out the colors and blend them so it matched her skin hue.

The concern was burning through her, though. She had to say something. “Paintball,” she said, the lie she’d come up with if it was necessary. “My brother loves it. We lost the last game. It’s why he’s been annoying me. More practice.”

It was a feasible lie. It flowed well with everything else she’d said. 
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on June 22, 2014, 11:37:46 pm
Donovan witnessed Maya’s reaction to his words, and was somehow convinced that he had pointed out the wrong thing in that moment. Some things were better left unsaid, but Donovan felt the need to seek an explanation for such an unusual bruise location. Maya resorted to make up to try and hide it, something that the boy didn’t quite understand. He suspected that perhaps it was a girl thing, since boys wouldn’t usually hide away bruises. Girls would, if it had been an embarrassing moment.

When he heard her explanation, however, Donovan tried to hide his concern but knew that she was lying. That much was for certain.  There was nothing shameful about playing paintball, and the bruises earned in such events were often prizes and signs of great effort. Besides that, Donovan had listened in to her brief conversation with her brother last time.

She had definitely canceled her plans with her brother, and now here she was, excusing the bruise away.

“Oh,” Donovan spoke after some time, finding the opportunity to open his phone as a great distraction, “that makes sense.” Nope. He looked over his unsurprising messages, all the while debating whether or not he should confront Maya about her lie. She clearly wasn’t ready to talk about what had happened to her, and this defiance made Donovan think of bad scenarios. Those that would gave her reasons that held motive enough to try and hide the bruise.

Donovan tried to not make it obvious that he knew she was lying, for a fear of being confronted himself. Perhaps this was just all in his head, and there was no reason to believe that someone had actually purposefully harmed her. ‘Great.’ The thought was now completely unwelcomed but still ever-present in his mind. He decided to ignore it for the moment, but he knew that even if he didn’t mean to, he would be paying a much closer attention to Maya.

He needed out.

“See you back in the theater,” he said as he closed and put away his phone before turning around and making his way back.

‘Damn it, Donovan.’

He hadn’t even replied to his messages. They would have to wait until he had coped with whatever troubles his mind was imagining.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on June 23, 2014, 12:00:48 am
There had been numerous times when Maya wasn’t believed about paintball. She didn’t look like the sort, and truth told, she hadn’t thought it would be enjoyable until her brother got her into a game of laser tag first, all those years ago.

She almost hated her brother for it, for showing her a life outside of hers.

When people didn’t believe she played the sport, they laughed or tried to get her to be ‘honest’. Donovan’s reaction was not that, but there was no denying the hint of doubt all the same. Hyper-paranoid about the wound, her mind jumped at the possibility that he knew. ‘But how?’ Impossible. She’d never met Donovan until now, and he knew nothing of her. There was no reason for him to suspect anything, was there? ‘Not everyone reacts like Devlin or Jasmine.’

Compact closed. Maya was satisfied with the work. There were times she thought to ask her mother how she learned, but never did. She never suspected it was her father who made such a thing a necessary skill for her mother’s life. He never seemed abusive—quite the opposite, really. He was a bit of a push-over.

“Not really,” she stated to his ‘makes sense’ comment. “It was supposed to be against the rules to aim above the chest.” Not that it didn’t happen. On one very bad day, she’d aimed for the head, and Angelus had yelled at her for it. “It’s safer than it sounds. Usually.” She put the compact away as Donovan rose and noted his destination, the theater. “K!” She would see him there.

The phone lit up again, and Maya checked the text.

Friday.


Grudging agreement in the one word. ‘And now to come up with a fabulous lie for why we can’t meet Friday.’

See you then.


Phone was dropped without care into the bag.

Yes, at times, she did despise Angelus for the freedom he had, and the lifestyle he was comfortable living.

With a deep breath and a minute, Maya returned to the theater as well.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on July 29, 2014, 11:19:08 pm
Mixed feelings followed Donovan as he left the rehearsal room, just as he had feared they would. What exactly was he supposed to do about it, then? Just let it go and keep on going his merry way and ignoring something potentially dangerous? Donovan couldn’t really say. He’d never been in this situation. ‘It is none of your business,’ his mind warned him, ‘but you don’t want to be one of those people who just turn the other way.’ Would he be able to do that? Just look away and hope for the best?

As he walked, Donovan shook his head, seemingly a little overwhelmed. Maya’s lie was just one of the many concerns that bothered him. There was so much that he wasn’t allowed to ignore, so much that he couldn’t even escape. It all took a toll on him, and it was beginning to get to him. His maturity went a long way, but there was only so much a kid could handle. It wasn’t a healthy thing to keep so many things in and to do so much.

In the short walk from the rehearsal room to the theater, however, Donovan had done it again. When he emerged from the double doors and into the theater, he was once again perfect. The fallout for that, sadly, was soon coming his way. Postponing the emotions was easy for him – hiding them and locking them away in a hypothetical box. The box was not going away, though.

“That was quick,” greeted Kyle from the edge of the stage, he was swinging his legs back and forth playfully. The others were still talking amongst themselves, and only a few of them had made their way to the stage. It didn’t look like they were starting immediately. “Got a ton of messages, mate?”

He had.

“A couple,” lied Donovan, “but they can all wait until we finish with rehearsal.”

Kyle raised an eyebrow. “Are you lying to me, mate?” He grinned.

Donovan returned the smile and shook his head. Apparently he would have to be careful around Kyle from that point on. He caught himself before he could truly betray his emotions. “I might have exaggerated a little bit,” he admitted, but only slightly. “It might have been more than a couple.”

He didn’t exactly know whether or not they could wait, so he left that part out.

“Come sit,” invited Kyle with his hand for a place right next to him. “We’ve still got some time to catch up.”
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on July 29, 2014, 11:44:09 pm
Maya waited a minute longer before rising and going after Donovan to return to the stage room. Once there, she wasn’t pleased to see the disorder. It seemed they weren’t ready to start, which left her with too many paranoid thoughts.

They were gotten rid of in an instant. “Maya!” Devlin waved from the stage. “Did you grab the music?”

At first, she wanted to ask him what music, but then she remembered. “Oh!” He’d contacted her over the weekend. The tournament for the Argentine Tango was nearing, and they had a title to defend. Vincent and Flavia were supposed to be competing, and Devlin refused to lose to them. He claimed they stole routines and were overrated. He was mostly jealous that they were on Strictly Come Dancing, the show he wanted to be on.

‘When you become famous, Maya, we’ll be on it together.’


Such was a part of his dream.

“I’ll go get it!”

“It better be Roxanne!” He shouted after her as she turned and ran out the double doors. He always wanted Roxanne.

It was not Roxanne, but when Maya took her mp3 player from her purse, she didn’t think Devlin would be disappointed. She’d gotten permission for another tune, and corrupted it a bit that Saturday after Aeron left.

She walked back into the room and answered as if seconds hadn’t passed, “We can’t do Roxanne,” not that she didn’t want to, “We’ll just copy the routine from Moulin Rouge because it was perfect, and you know it.” She walked by Kyle and Donovan and to the stage, where Devlin offered her a hand to help pull her up with him. A moment of panic came when they stood close together on stage, but he noticed nothing on her neck, or at least, he said nothing.

She handed over the mp3 player, and he stuck it right in the mp3-friendly boom box that no one knew who owned. They just knew it was always here. 

“Just hit play,” Maya said. It was already on the song.

Assassin’s Tango (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KMIYbazWlk)

Devlin smiled as the music came forth. “Oh, ‘cause we’re not gonna copy Brad and Angelina.” He knew the song. He approved the song.

Maya could tell in his eyes he wasn’t imagining their dance scene. The music hadn’t even been this. Aeron would not approve of the frisking. “No,” she could tell, “We won’t.” The idea was already weaving through Devlin’s head. “Well?”

He smiled, “This’ll do. Ah, we have to get to practicing soon, though!”

“I’ll talk to Aeron. Maybe we can meet here earlier to work on it?”

Devlin nodded, his gaze never left the boombox, though. He was lost to that world of sound and movement already. He’d nod to anything spoken, and it would register later what he’d agreed to. Maya had used that a couple of times, but didn’t now. 
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on September 06, 2014, 09:31:29 pm
Donovan accepted the invitation offered to him, finding Kyle strange but clearly friendly enough. He sat next to the lad and looked at some of the other actors still chatting it up by the seats of the theater. Donovan didn’t know them, and even if he wanted to, he probably would not like what would result from it. He had never been a jealous person, but seeing others choosing to do something entirely because of the pleasure was never a good thing.

He envied them, and it scared him. Donovan liked to believe that he had that very thing with soccer, but something about it still felt like it had strings attached to it. What didn’t, these days? Everything he did had a purpose outside of pleasure. Donovan didn’t want to mind, but it was harder to keep his mind controlled every day.

“You alright?” Kyle’s eyes seemed fixated on the crowd that Donovan was absently focused on. It was as if Kyle was missing something and was actively trying to spot it. “You got a little crush?”

“What? Oh no, I’m alright.” Donovan’s smiled was convincing enough that Kyle did not ask more questions, instead Kyle only placed an arm around his shoulder and gave him a hearty pat. “And I have a girlfriend.”

She was perfect.

“Well, whatever, busy man. We should play…whatever it is that you play, sometime. I’m pretty good at everything,” he joked. 

“Football,” chuckled Donovan, “and I’ll get back to you.” And he would, if there was time that he could spare for it. It seemed like a nice idea.

Then the music started – a tango and clearly a thing between Devlin and Maya. If Donovan didn’t know any better, he would have suspected that the two of them were together. But they couldn’t be; Donovan knew that Maya had a fiancé. It had been the aloof man that had picked her up that one evening.

Besides, that was just the way dancing was, wasn’t it? Intimate, personal, but ultimately a performance. He could see how people could easily be confused by this, but he in no way would ever imagine that this could be a problem. To Donovan, it was like acting. There was no justification to back up his inclination. 

“He’s a dancer,” Kyle clarified for Donovan, as if he had read his mind.

“I can see that,” he smiled. He wouldn’t have guessed, but was pleasantly impressed.

Not long after the song played, it was time for the actors to take to the stage again. Donovan rose and took to his place, giving Maya a nod and a half smile. Still, he remained concerned. The tango was amazing, but it was not nearly enough of a distraction for Donovan to forget what he’d seen in the rehearsal room. That thought would not leave him for a while.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on September 07, 2014, 01:14:04 am
The acting practice continued soon after the music ended. They worked through the first act, following the directions given by Pam throughout. Other breaks occurred, and during each one Devlin refused to let Maya go to her phone. He insisted on reviewing the music each time, and near the end of the night, their break did become a miniature practice as he wanted to test out his ideas in action, rather than as images in his mind.

Pam called them to a close soon enough, “Do you think Aeron’s here yet?” Devlin asked once they were officially dismissed.

Maya smiled, and though she shook her head, she reminded, “The theater wants to close at this time, Devlin.” It was why she waited outside. “We can’t stay after.”

He sighed, letting his shoulders slump. Then, he called to Kyle, “Yo, can you give me a lift home? Cindy broke,” he had named his car. “Transmission blew,” he could walk here, usually in the day, but his home was much further away.

He would have asked Maya, but he never felt comfortable getting rides from Aeron. He always felt like he was being a huge pain whenever he did so, even though Aeron never said as much. It was just the feeling he got from him.

Maya didn’t stay back to listen to the answer or conversation, but walked out of the theater to wait outside, as per usual. She snatched her purse up on the way. ‘Don’t be too late.’ She wanted to avoid waiting outside, alone, with Donovan that day. She wanted to believe such topics about appearances would be avoided, but she wasn’t so certain they would be. That’d he had even noticed would bother her in talking with him. She’d be watching him too closely. Tomorrow would be better. It would seem like something in the distant past, or so she convinced herself.

But of course, Aeron wasn’t already there waiting. She dug her phone out to check it. No more messages.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on October 11, 2014, 08:12:43 pm
Kyle frowned at the news concerning Cindy, but grinned quickly after that – wide and proud. “So you return to my mercy!” He spoke with more volume than he ought, but digressed. “Of course mate,” Kyle nodded his head with a warmer smile, “you know you need not even ask. I don’t mind.” Kyle turned to Donovan, flashed him another smile. “See ya later, mate.”

Donovan only waved, though he returned the smile so kindly given to him. He knew his parents would be late, so he took his time to go back to the rehearsal room to fetch his things. With the thrill of acting now gone, his body slumped and succumbed to the exhaustion he was suffering. While acting, Donovan’s face was so bright and enthusiastic, even with the role he played, so he looked closer to his age. When everything came down on him – the fallout and the realization he had to go back to his life – he looked much older.

People often failed to realize that he was still just a kid, and in part that was Donovan’s fault. He didn’t like to seem like a child, he wanted to be better than everybody, and that often came with a price. Everything that he decided to take on, he was successful in. Ella was by no means ignorant of this, and her pride and expectations demanded more and more.

Donovan flipped open his phone, but only for a moment. He still didn’t want to read anything that might burst his bubble further. He put it away, and walked outside once more. He was surprised to see his agent, Simon Robbins, waiting at the parkway for him. He leaned against his BMW with crossed arms and an impatient look on his face.

“Mr. Bukater,” he greeted, relieved that Donovan was done at long last, “come now, we have a shoot for you. A model canceled and your agency needs you there ASAP. You’re mother asked me to fetch you. Didn’t you get my messages?” Simon had met Donovan halfway down the stairs and his hand had grabbed Donovan’s arm to led him and hurry him back to the car.

“I have a lot of homework tonight, Simon,” said Donovan, “and didn’t I have a shoot just this morning? Who even shoots this late in the day?” The young boy didn’t want to sound ungrateful, but he just didn’t have the time for everything that was thrown at him.

“You can do your homework when you get home,” said Simon, opening the door for Donovan and all but throwing him inside. “We’re already late.”

“Alright, then hurry,” said Donovan, popping his neck as he stretched. He turned, hoping to see that everyone had already been picked up. This had been a part of his life that he wanted to keep secret. He did work for other countries after all, so there was little chance of them recognizing him. As Simon closed the door to the car, however, Donovan saw Maya. He pretended he hadn’t, deciding instead to look forward. Perhaps if he tried hard enough, he could still keep this part of his life close to the chest.

It wasn’t a long stall, for Simon quickly joined him on the other side and drove off.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on October 11, 2014, 08:31:33 pm
Devlin was relieved, "Thanks, mate," he said, and soon left with Kyle, leaving behind the two that always seemed to leave late.

There was someone waiting for Donovan already. Maya had never seen the individual before, and so it was her immediate assumption. From her position at the top of the stairs, she observed him, and decided rather quickly that she did not like him. She couldn’t explain it, and that always bothered her. She knew it was improper to judge people that quickly.

‘That’s what got you into this mess. Trust your instinct.’
She bit the inside of her cheek.

Donovan soon came out, and was met halfway there. He didn’t seem to notice her, so Maya said nothing, merely watched as he was dragged away by the other and eavesdropped. A shoot. A model. Her eyebrows lifted, and when Donovan was finally gone in the car she took out her phone and sent a text.

Donovan Bukater.
Look him up.


Seconds later, there was a response.

Why?


Because he’s an actor
here and he’s
interesting.
Not in that way.


She could imagine Angelus’s little smirk.

All right.


She didn’t know when Angelus might get on that, but he would, and he’d find out more. Maya wasn’t sure why she was so curious, only that it seemed she should be. ‘Because he has already learned too much.’ And she laughed to herself in the darkness, finding it silly that her mind had made this an elaborate game of spying and information gathering. ‘Maybe that’s why I picked that song.’ She was still smiling when Aeron finally arrived.

~***~

Days continued to go by for the actors. Maya didn't speak of the incident to Donovan, for Angelus still hadn't come back with any information. In fact, she kept her distance from him, staying closer to Devlin.

Maya found the time to practice with Devlin in the day time, for in the end, Aeron always caved. The dance competitions tended to be provide quite a bit of extra money, and greed was one of his strongest vices.

That Friday, though, they had not been able to meet. Devlin said he had to go some costume shopping. Maya just shrugged it off, until she arrived at the theater and found him in the main lobby with red contacts on and trying to fit vampire fangs over his teeth. “What are you doing?” She couldn’t help her bemusement. It wasn't near Halloween.

He looked towards her, started to talk, but it all came out as incomprehensible gibberish through the improperly put in teeth. He quickly took them out, “Sorry,” he answered, said, “I found out about this vampire LARP thing. I’m trying to get my outfit together since it meets tomorrow.”

“LARP?” Maya had no idea what that term even meant.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on January 17, 2015, 09:36:26 pm
The shoot had gone well, or so everybody kept telling Donovan. There had been talk about his look, and how he was exactly what the public was looking for – his height, his bone structure, his body, everything just seemed to fit. The buzz that came from the shoot made Donovan feel better, even more comfortable with his work load, if only because he thought that with more success he would have a firmer decision concerning his activities outside his school.

Sadly, this had not been the case. While Donovan was still too young and far from a supermodel, his time seemed to be consumed by clients and agencies that were still eager to meet with him. The boy had calls at all hours of the day, and even the academy was beginning to notice the problems that it was causing the boy. They jotted down his measurements and made what, at the time, seemed like outrageous demands.

‘You’re too thin.’
‘You need more muscle.’
‘Your hair is too short.’
‘You need to wax.’


Ella began to change his diet, with more meats and proteins. Donovan began to switch his exercising habits as well, with more weight lifting as opposed to running. Already, Donovan could feel a difference.

Donovan began to think that there was no stopping the force that he was becoming until the whole subject of nudity came to light. Ella was not at all pleased that agencies were even suggesting something like that for a minor, even if their plans were for a time after he came of age. She shut down the demands so quickly that the agencies seemed to back off the subject completely. Donovan had never appreciated his mother as much as he did in the moment.

When Friday came, at long last, Donovan has just gotten out of another small shoot. He had no makeup, but his hair was pushed forward in semi-long waves that could never be naturally accomplished. The boy had missed his football practice, and he had apparently forgotten to tell Laura that he wouldn’t be there, too. Laura had shown up to see him only for him to be elsewhere. She claimed to understand, but Donovan wasn’t so sure.

Despite his exhaustion, he walked in that day to the theater, seeing both Devlin and Maya in the main lobby. He’d been so busy with everything that he had not noticed that Maya seemed to be avoiding him. When at times he suspected that something was wrong, there was always something else that took priority. Every time Donovan saw her, however, that same suspicion always came back. He found himself looking for any other signs, desperately wishing that he had merely imagined it the first time.

This time, however, Devlin looked too ridiculous to ignore. “Hey guys,” Donovan turned to him, a half-hearted wave a sign of greeting. “Have I read the play wrong?” He teased, but later continued. “What’s the costume for?”
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on January 18, 2015, 12:08:27 am
Devlin offered an overdramatic sigh, “Plebeians,” he complained at both of them. Maya crossed her arms and arched her eyebrows, a dare for him to call her that again. He didn’t, of course. He explained to Donovan.

“This, my friend, is a costume for a vampire LARP, which is a live-action roleplay, or as I like to think of it, improvisational acting.” There, Maya’s eyes lit up. She seemed to like idea, “Yeah, I know, it’s going to be a blast. Vampire: The Requiem is what it is based on, and I am going to be playing a Ventrue vampire—the type of vampire he is, and in the Invictus—the organization he’s a part of. They’re basically the traditionalists. Would-be monarchs and such. The Ventrue are the vampires who can control what others do.”

“You want to be a villain that bad, huh?” Maya smirked.

“So badly. So badly,” he admitted, and Maya laughed.

“What mad schemes do you have up your sleeve? Maybe I’ll join you,” she wanted to be a villain as well. Stress relief. Might be saner to borrow a video game from Angelus, but she didn’t think that mindlessly shooting zombies in the head was going to cut it right then. Though there were no new wounds on her, the stress had been mounting. Graduation loomed. Life changes were coming, and she wanted to ignore them.

Living a different life always seemed to help with that. Escapism wasn’t healthy, but it was all she had. All she ever had.

“Usurp the Prince—the leader, and, I don’t know, I haven’t met enough of the players to know what I really want to do besides take control.” Devlin admitted with a shrug, then asked, “Since when would you have time to play a game, anyway?”

“Graduation is coming up,” she reminded, “Things are actually easier for me when I don’t have as many classes to attend, and just exams. I could find time. This Saturday?”

Devlin nodded, clearly excited that this might be a possibility. “Yeah!” He looked to Donovan then, “What about you? It would help with your acting skills, I bet, to have to think on your feet without a script.” He’d sell it whatever way he could, to have a group of friends there, people he could actively plot with.

He didn't see how Maya's own happiness faltered at the thought of Donovan being there.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on February 15, 2015, 03:37:52 am
Devlin went on to explain what he and Maya had inquired after. At first, Donovan thought the whole thing a little ridiculous. The boy had heard about things like that, of course, but he had never felt any interest in anything like it. He’d wondered from afar, choosing sports over anything creative. That wasn’t saying much, however, now that he knew how much he enjoyed theater. Besides, vampires? Donovan’s knowledge of that was limited to what he’d learned from pleasure reading.

It was not extensive at all, probably even a little embarrassing. The idea, however, was still intriguing.

At the mention of graduation, Donovan visibly tensed. There was still some time left for him, but the thought of graduation gnawed at him constantly – always present and persistent in the back of his mind. Just how well would he fair at the end of all his hard work? Would he still be at the top? The thought that he might not be sent chills down his spine.

Then the invitation came, and Maya’s expression did not go unnoticed. Had he done something to upset her? Could it be that thing that happened between them some days past? Donovan didn’t want to contemplate it, but it only seemed logical that perhaps she was so bothered by him because there was something to hide – an excuse to keep him at arm’s length. Was there really something there?

Donovan let out a believable chuckle in response, trying to buy himself some time to think, to gather himself. “Err…,” he blubbered, trying to avert Maya’s eyes, “This Saturday, you said?” Donovan was not exactly a boy with a lot of leisure time, but something still told him that he should consider Devlin’s invitation. “I don’t know, maybe. Maybe? I mean, are you sure it’s alright if I come?” Then he remembered his schedule and amended with, “if I can?”

That was one big if.

Then Kyle was there. “What are we talking about, mates?”
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on February 15, 2015, 03:50:07 am
“Is he old enough?” Maya asked immediately, knowing how rash Devlin could be. Perhaps this game wasn’t appropriate for minors? Maya could hope.

“Of course he is. I mean, there’s swearing, but that’s it. Well, description of fighting, and some other things, but he’s in the theater—there’s acted out violence here.” Devlin said, waving a dismissive hand at the idea that Donovan might be too young. He looked at Kyle, “Hey! I’m finally joining that LARP! Come, come be evil with me and Maya!”

Maya crossed her arms. “Who said I was being evil? I haven't decided yet. I might be good to spite you.”

“There’s a vampire with a demon partner,” Devlin gave her the side eye as her hands clasped together and her eyes lit up. “Don’t tell me you’re not sold on that idea, Lucyfer.” He knew her too well in that department.

“I love you, Doctor.”

He grinned and looked back at Kyle, though he was including everyone as he said, “We could meet up Saturday afternoon to plot out characters and backstories together at the café.” There was only one café. He forgot to name it, of course, just assuming now that Donovan knew everything.   
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on February 15, 2015, 06:13:11 am
As soon as Kyle showed up, Donovan seemed to relax. There was just something about him that made him feel comfortable around people. Donny still found it a little hard to read him, but he had gotten so used to him lately that he didn’t even seem to mind anymore. Besides, if there were someone that was impossible to read, it was Maya.

“Brilliant,” said Kyle with a smile, “though I will need some convincing to be an evil character. I always seem to thrive with the nicer mates. They just seem to have the better ideas. Besides, who can resist a young studly hero?” He knew that his comments on such a thing were mere invitations for argument, and thrived in those situations. “Will you go, Donovan? I’ll buy you a cup of coffee!” Kyle slapped one of his hands on Donovan’s back.

“Yeah, alright. I’ll see if I can clear my schedule.”

Kyle seemed to scoff. “Schedule? On a Saturday? Aren’t you still in school?”

Donovan nodded his head, “Yeah, I’m midway through my first exams.” He purposefully avoided admitting that his plans on Saturday would very likely not be connected to school work. Donovan, as all young models, would have most go-sees on the weekend. Perhaps there was a way to convince his parents to let him have a day off.

“You can study another day, mate. I feel like you’re all brains, anyway.”

Donovan smiled, but said nothing on the matter. He would not promise his attendance, especially if he wasn’t even sure if he could go.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on February 15, 2015, 06:30:06 am
“You know what happens if you don’t join us,” Devlin teased, “Maya will kill you.”

Maya arched an eyebrow, “I think I’ll be too busy plotting your death to care about some hero looking to score.”

Devlin wrapped an arm around Maya’s shoulders and leaned against her as he said, “Trust me, you’re going to want me as an ally for longer than two hours. We can plot to kill each other after our opposition is destroyed.”

Maya gave a sigh, “But you’ll be my only threat.”

“I know,” he patted her shoulder, “I know,” and led her towards the stage room. “We still have an hour, you know. You’re all early!” He said it as a complaint. He did want the stage to practice, after all. The dance competition was coming up, after all.


Practice went smoothly that night, and Maya spent the breaks chatting with Devlin about his plans and learning what she could about the game. That night, she wasn’t picked up by Aeron, but by Jasmine. That Saturday, Maya didn’t show up alone, either, though she showed up first. Angelus had been roped into helping her design a character, and so they sat at a table with his laptop out, and several tabs opened to information.

“Yeah, the En isn’t bad,” he was saying, “But Invictus sucks if you want to be evil. Be Ordo.”

“Why?”

“You want to kill vampires, right?”

Maya shrugged. She wasn’t sure the best route. “Ok, look. The En is already a highly social character, and with 215 starting experience, you can max out this skill, which makes you pretty much invulnerable,” he pointed, “and you can get two dots in Dominate, which is all you need to do the things you’ll want to do. With Ordo, you can put points in this thing here, Coil of the Beast,” he said, “and put it up to three, so that you can use fire as a weapon without worrying about a frenzy.” Angelus had already familiarized himself with the game to a level that most players would be envious of. Despite that, he had no desire to play. He just supported any hobby that Aeron was bound to hate.

Maya’s eyes lit up. She was already familiar with the fact that fire was a deadly weapon against vampires, “Really?”

“Yeah. So you can make a pretty badass character to start with, and then you’ll want to build up your Dominate pools so you can make people do your bidding. Read,” he turned the laptop more so she could see it, “I’m gonna get more drinks. Another earl grey?”

Maya nodded, reading over the Ordo information rather than the Dominate information. Angelus rose and walked back to the counter to order more tea for the both of them.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on February 19, 2015, 04:27:30 am
It didn’t occur to Donovan that he had no clue which café he was supposed to go to until he was already back home. He had Kyle’s number, of course, but he figured that bothering Kyle would not be the best thing that moment. Donovan was starting to like theater, and so he wouldn’t want to become that kid. Personally, he had never minded that kid, but he did notice just how differently they seemed to be treated. It was neither fair nor justifiable, but it was also unavoidable. 

Donovan went to his computer and found the likely café easily enough, choosing to postpone a text to Kyle until it was absolutely necessary. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be necessary at all.

“Where do you say you’re going, darling?” Ella sat across from Donny as they had breakfast days after that; Clark had gone to work really early that morning, so it was just the two of them. The bacon and eggs were still steaming, and Ella made her question in a way that suggested that Donny couldn’t just go without permission. “A café?”

 Donovan nodded his head with a crooked smile. “Yeah, the café that’s by the theater.”

“It’s not really by the theater, Donny,” said Ella, but she didn’t press on that issue. “Why are you going to the café, again? And why Saturday, you know how busy you are Saturday.”

“I told them I would join them on Saturday to plot a way where we can practice our acting skills outside the theater. It's the only time we can all go.” Donovan had told himself that this was just fine, as he was not entirely lying about what he’d be doing.

Ella sneered her eyes, though she was tempted to smile. For Donovan, this was not a first.

“Mum, you know that models get paid more if they have acting experience, and especially if they have the recommendations to back the skill.”

“What about your other appointments? Simon? Have you spoken to your coach? Done your work?”  

Donovan hadn’t spoken to his agent, but he had spoken to his coach and his classmates. The work, at the expense of precious sleep, had been done. “I haven’t spoken to Simon yet, but I will as soon as I go on break today. I’ve done everything else.”

“Are you tired?”

Donovan could have sworn that there was more accusation in his mother’s words than concern.

“No, mum. I’m fine. May I go, then?”

Ella rose from her chair, food untouched, and walked towards the kitchen. As she walked, she cradled Donovan’s face briefly. “Just this once, darling. I don’t know any of these people, and I don’t want another’s bad influence to deter you from what you ought to be doing. Go on, then, finish your food so I can take you to school.”

***

Saturday came, and Donovan was still conflicted about his going to the café. He’d over-prepared and under-prepared at the same time. He’d gathered as much information as he could find, but he had also wasted too much time looking up Vampire lore that was not very relevant to what he was supposed to do. Donovan had contemplated what he wanted to be in the game, but he hadn’t yet decided. He carried with him a notebook and a pencil, and the first several pages were all covered in numbers and statistical formulas to see which way was most advantageous. The last thing he wanted to do was embarrass himself. 

Donovan was to go to the park afterward their meeting to work on his football, so he left his mother’s car dressed in a worn uniform with his gym bag and his trainers.

“Don’t stay too late, Donny,” Ella warned before their last farewells and her departure. Naturally, Donovan would have no choice on the matter. His mother would show up back at the café whenever she felt he’d had enough liberty. He’d be lucky if the sky were orange at the time.

As soon as Ella had turned the next corner, Donovan went into the café, all his gear in tow. Only one familiar face was there, and it was the one person he suspected was not excited he was joining. He managed a smile as he approached her (and another close to her), setting his gym bag aside and placing only his notebook on the table.

“All right, Maya?” He greeted, giving a nod and stretching a hand towards the other, whom he suspected to be Maya’s brother. “Donovan Bukater,” he introduced.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on February 19, 2015, 04:46:01 am
Maya did smile at Donny as Angelus handed her the new tea drink. She returned his nod and echoed, "All right. Good to see you," half-sincere.

Many things had slipped Maya’s mind when she considered inviting Angelus. Mostly, Donovan, and why that was significant. It returned to her when she saw how Angelus’s eyebrows lifted at the introduction. Angelus took Donovan’s hand in his, a firm shake. He did note the strength that the younger one had. “Angelus Porter,” he introduced. He looked to Maya, “This is the Donovan you wanted me to look up?” He still didn’t know why. He’d given her the information, and it seemed to pacify her, though.

Maya scowled. She wasn’t sure what she’d done recently, but clearly, she’d done something to annoy Angelus if he was going to reveal this.

“Huh,” he looked back to Donny as he released his hands, “You look better in the photographs, no offense. They photoshop everything nowadays,” he walked around Donny to reclaim his seat by Maya, “So anyway, you don’t want throwing knives. Just go with a greatsword. We can split the strength and dexterity costs so you can still get quick draw. Also, a greatsword on fire is scarier than throwing knives, and your intimidate pool is maxed. Abuse that.”

“What is it costing me?”

“Eh, a bit of your pool for Revelation, but you don’t need that with Dominate and Entrance.” Angelus then looked to Donovan, “Are you playing this ridiculous game, too?” And since he knew the answer, he added, “What clan are you going into?”

“Don’t help him,” Maya said, added, “he’s competition.”

Angelus rolled his eyes. “Yes, ma’am. He could be an ally, you know. Dev will be a poor—”

“ANGEL!”

“Speak of the devil.” Angelus didn’t sound happy.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on April 01, 2015, 06:02:46 pm
Donovan looked at Angelus curiously, wondering why Maya had even asked him to look him up. What did that even mean? Did she really think that Donovan wanted to pursue theater professionally? Donovan didn’t think so, and no one could ever really look to him as a threat. Theater was fun, but it wasn’t the success that he expected of himself, and it wasn’t the success that his parents expected either.

“Thank you?” There was no other adequate response to Angelus’s remark about him looking better in pictures, of course they’d been edited, but he hadn’t realized it had been so much. In truth, Donovan didn’t even know if his shots were photoshopped, but it wasn’t going to help to contest the possibility.  The realization that Angelus had even found some of his shots made his cheeks turn a rosy color. He’d made it a point to hide that part of his life, hide it under a pile of academic achievements and recognitions.

Apparently, it had not been enough.

“I’ve not decided,” said Donovan about which clan he was going to take. That was not entirely true, but if Maya had been any indicator, people were quite strategic and competitive in this game – more so than Donovan even cared to imagine. Fortunately, the conversation did not go further, as Devlin emerged into the café. Angelus didn’t seem to be too happy about his presence, much like how Donovan had felt the first time he’d met Devlin.

With a wave, he acknowledged the arrival of the other two. Greetings were always a little awkward for Donovan, especially because these people seemed to know each other already. They were friends before he even met them. Donovan was the odd man out, but he encouraged himself with the fact that such a thing had never bothered him before.  There was no reason why this would be any different.

“Donovan, my man,” Kyle was his usual enthusiastic self, speaking in an American accent for a change, and it made things easier. “I’m surprised you were able to make it. I’m happy you did, though. You all set? You ready to get your vampire game on?”

Donovan raised an eyebrow, but managed a smile. “Um…sort of, yeah,” said Donovan agreeably, shuffling to where the rest of them were. The people around them began to take notice, but Donovan assumed that they'd seen something like this gathering before. “I think I’ve got a good grip on most things.” Beyond all, humility. At least for now.

“We’ll see,” Kyle did not seem convinced, and the accent persisted. “Maya, let’s be best friends.”

Then, Kyle went on to greet Angelus and set up his own things at the table.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on April 01, 2015, 06:22:47 pm
Devlin was the bane of Angelus’s existence. Angelus wanted to like him, of course. He was good for Maya. However, Devlin loved to needle him, and that made him exasperating to be around. His cheer never diminished. Not once had Angelus seen a sincere emotion from Devlin. It was all exaggerated. All an act.

“Devlin,” he greeted stiffly as Devlin approached the group, while Kyle first went to Donovan. It was nice that someone in the group was helping the new one adjust. They could be…overbearing.

“Are you gonna play? Please tell me you’re going to play?”

Angelus shook his head, “No,” he answered, “If I did, I’d play solely to kill you and Maya as a Theban Sorcerer.”

“You wound me,” he put a hand over his heart, “You’d be the Second Estate. You wouldn’t dare lift a finger against your Lord.”

While Devlin was doing that, Maya caught Kyle’s greeting and said, “Maybe.” Though just one word, she mimicked his accent to suggest it could certainly be possible. She didn’t know what he was doing, after all. Last she knew, he wanted to be a hero, and she was decidedly not a hero. Not that she couldn’t twist it to make it appear that she was, in-character, anyway.

Angelus spoke up then, addressing Devlin’s comment, “So, Invictus, Ventrue,” he surmised. “Any bloodline?”

Devlin was actually impressed that Angelus gleaned that much already. He looked to Maya, who gave him a smile, and then back to Ange. “No.” It wasn't an answer to Ange's question. He knew immediately what had gone on here, and Maya started to crack up. “I was kidding about the demon bloodline!”

Angelus rose, clapped a hand on Devlin’s back. It was fortunate Maya was only ever evil in games. Devlin just didn't know that fact. He'd never seen the way she played through video games and enacted all sorts of foul plots. Stress relief, she said.

“Good luck,” he said, nodded to Kyle. “She’ll eat all of your souls if you aren’t careful. And I helped build that sheet,” he hoped the lot of them understood what that meant. At least Kyle and Devlin, “Maya, don’t forget,” he cast a glance to the time on her laptop.

“Mm, I know. 4, paintball, and then this LARP after.” She’d have to make sure the paintball game ended quickly so she had time enough to get into costume for the role.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on April 10, 2015, 06:26:06 pm
Donovan tried not to follow Kyle around too much, but there was only so much that he could do. He didn’t know what these people were used to, or what traditions and rituals needed to be performed before they all settled into discussion. Was there even rituals for this? Was he imagining things? He stayed silent, wondering whether they would even get started that same evening, but the mention of paintball made his stomach drop.

It wasn’t the fact that he was completely clueless about most things that bothered him (although it did make him feel useless), or that his mother might show up at any time to pick him up, but the reminder that it was at paintball that Maya had gotten the bruise on her neck. Donovan had wanted to believe her, but he wasn’t sure that he did. It was feasible, was it not? Why then, had she been distant with him after that?

The impression that she’d left on him the first time they’d met was slightly different than the one he carried now. Absentmindedly, his hand reached for his neck, but he averted Maya’s gaze.  It was not intentional, but it happened nonetheless.

“You should stay,” said Kyle to Angelus with a smile, “you seem to know more than most already. And who better to protect us from Maya’s soul eating than the man who helped her master her technique?” The young man knew it was a long shot, but he truly believed that the more people that joined the party, the better the experience would be. He had been happy, after all, that Donovan had decided to come along.

“The more the merrier, isn’t that right, Donovan?”

Donovan looked up, having not been listening in that moment. His mind backtracked in an instant, and recalled what his subconscious had heard.

“Err...yeah,” he said with a nod, “the more the merrier.”

If only it were really so.

"So," the young man admitted, trying to distract even himself, "I may need a bit of help deciding the last few details," and so he reached into his bag and took out all the analysis he'd done to statistically see which choices would be better off in the end. The numbers, although at first glance might seem like nonsense, held deep meaning.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on April 10, 2015, 08:21:48 pm
There was a gesture that Maya couldn’t ignore, and Angelus saw her fist clench in her lap before he could escape. Kyle invited him over, and he turned around more fully to face Kyle. He liked Kyle much better than Devlin, “You realize Maya has a key to my place and will use it if I help any of you, right?” It was his way of saying that, much as he’d love to help, it wasn’t in his best interest. “But if you want me to stick around to chat and offer a little advice, I could. Or be the drink runner.” As he always ended up, since he wasn’t exactly ‘in’ the group and never would be.

With a nod from Devlin, he returned to his seat by Maya as Devlin plopped into the other one. “Can I see the sheet?” Devlin asked Maya, who turned her laptop without hesitation to let him skim the stats.

Angelus leaned across the table and tapped it, “Lemme see what you have, Don,” to him, Donny didn’t sound right, and Donovan was too much of a mouthful. “I can at least tell you the pros and cons of things,” he figured in that way, he could help them all. He wouldn’t make the decisions for them, but he’d tell them what was good and bad about certain things.

That was when Devlin let out a shout of, “Bullshit! Bullshit! Ange, what the hell?” And Maya was laughing. Devlin sounded incredulous.

“Mm?”

“Flaming. Great. Sword.”

“Oh. Yeah. Maya wanted daggers, but then I reminded her she had maxed out intimidate. Then we just put points in strength rather than dex.”

“No kidding!” Devlin couldn’t help but laugh a little, excited. “And the entire hydra path! Are you planning to eat souls this first game?” The hydra path made it impossible for her mind to be read, and of course, she also had the En power that masked her aura. It was ridiculous how she'd balanced the experience for this, but he supposed Ange was to blame for that.

“Yep, and take over the domain,” she answered. “I’m thinking about reducing resources to get other things,” she tapped the screen, and Angelus turned away from those two, looking to Kyle and Donny with a smile and an offer to let them speak as Maya and Devlin got carried away in their own rivalry.

“But money’s useful.”

Majesty and Dominate.” She emphasized both.

“I don’t follow.”

“Take out your dice and your sheet and I’ll show you.” Devlin began to do just that, reaching for his tablet rather than a laptop and his d10 from within his bag. 
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on August 09, 2019, 04:36:02 pm
Ange’s words brought Donovan back to reality—his mind slipping back to his previous concerns. Instinct told him to offer a slight smile, and he obliged without question. Maybe he was just imagining it all? A feeling in his stomach blatantly disagreed.

“Thanks,” Donovan muttered, letting Devlin and Maya continue in their conversation before turning to his own myriad of scribbles. It might not have looked so, but there was definitely a system to his madness.

“I’m thinking about going either Gangrel or Mekhet,” he pointed down a list of related sample stats and attributes, each related to one of the two clans, “but I am thinking Mekhet might be more my style here.” Donovan furrowed his brow, moving the first page aside to reveal the next.

On his second page, there we calculations and probabilities outlining the benefits of all kinds of disciplines. There was a color-coded system in his work, both tying back to which clan it pertained to, and whether or not it would be beneficial over the others.

Another shift to reveal the third, which governed a chart that summarized an overall determination of whether he would be at an advantage or disadvantage over other character types.

Kyle craned his neck from behind Donovan, standing on his toes, in order to peer down at his companion’s notes. After a valiant effort to tower over Donovan, Kyle instead simply moved to the side in defeat.

“I can hardly make sense of any of this, mate,” he teased, narrowing his eyes to focus on the almost-obsessive work.

Donovan offered only another smile, turning to Angelus. There was something about Kyle’s presence that was calming, and Donovan made it a point to thank him for that later.

“I think the Mekhet suits you.”

“More so than the Gangrel anyway,” Donovan absentmindedly agreed. “I’m also thinking I might want to focus on Auspex, Obfuscate, and Obtenebration. I think I ought to max my Dexterity… What do you think, Angelus?”

Kyle’s gaze remained on Donovan’s notes, a smile eventually forming on his face.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on August 10, 2019, 11:18:07 pm
Angelus looked over the information that was in front of him, and the way that Donovan had organized it all while he heard the rustling of movement from Devlin and Maya. He tuned them out, and ignored his thought to suggest that Donovan play a specific type of vampire that Maya wanted to devour. 

That was just cruel.

Kyle seemed just as confused by things, but agreed on Mekhet, “Yeah, you don’t really seem like a Gangrel,” Angelus consented.

He turned his seat towards Donovan a bit, “What did you like about Gangrel, anyway? There’s probably a Mekhet that has some of those traits, or vice-versa. Like I know the Empusae Gangrel have obfuscate and auspex, traditional Mekhet things.” His memory was impeccable even if he wasn’t playing. That, and Maya had been intrigued by anything with ‘auspex’. Her desire to wreck people’s minds was clear.

“Unless you’re just wanting to be a simple Mekhet and not get into all the bloodline nonsense. Then I just need to know what you think your playstyle is going to be. Or what you’re hoping to do. I made her,” he gestured to Maya, “start with a concept and we went from there.”

‘Corrupt Monarch’ had been what she settled on, with the addition of the demon. Of all the plays she’d ever done, she kept a soft spot for the time she got to play Mephistopheles to Devlin’s Faust.  “When I know what you’re looking to do, I can tell you what to max. Maya didn’t think she needed to max strength, but….” Well, the way they played it, strength was better than dexterity. It was a character, after all. Not themselves.

Maya would never have that sort of unwieldy strength in life, but her dexterity was already good.

“You WHORE!” Devlin was cackling as he said it, and Angelus couldn’t help but look over to wonder what had caused it, even if they weren’t paying him much attention.


Angelus had missed Devlin taking out his sheet, “Okay, let’s see if you really don’t need resources,” he said, figuring it was a good idea to test this for both of them. He wanted to know how good Maya’s sheet was. He gave her a nod, “I have resources. Lots of them. Hypothetically…let’s say you need resources for an expensive car.”

“Are we, hypothetically, already acquainted?”

“You’re Ordo scum, so probably not,” he smirked, “But I wear my riches obviously.”

“Awe.” Maya rolled immediately, the dice landing on 8. “Three successes, against your composure.”

Devlin nodded. That was enough, and he slipped into his role. He knew Maya already had striking looks on her sheet, and adding in ‘Awe’ would make her impossible to ignore in any situation. “Well, well, you must be the new member of the Ordo Dracul. A shame, one such as yourself appears to belong in the First Estate. Ah, forgive me, I forgot to introduce myself – I am Kaelin Truse, and you are?”

Maya smiled sweetly, “Amara Calix,” she introduced, “A pleasure to meet you, Lord Truse. I’ve only just arrived, and I had no idea this town would be so…inept with public transporation at night.”

“Yes, it is one of its many flaws,” he gave a dramatic sigh, “one we are working on, I assure you.”

“Perhaps you would be willing to show me where I might acquire a car until then?” And then, Maya held up her fingers, crossed as she’d read was the norm to interrupt the IC with the OOC, “Dominate.”

“Are you fucking kidding me, on a Ventrue?”

“Roll it. Mesmerize.”

They both rolled, and that was what led to the, “You WHORE!” comment, that caused him to start laughing, “You dominated a Ventrue. Okay, Angelus, her character’s broken and this is bullshit, but I love it and please join the First Estate, Maya, please.”

“No way,” she grinned, shaking her head.
 
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on August 17, 2019, 05:39:49 am
There was commotion in the background as the trio huddled over Donovan’s notes. Maya and Devlin were having a party of their own, it seemed. To anyone else, it might have been distracting—inviting to be a part of such a lively conversation, almost, but not even then.

Not that day.

Donovan’s concentration was like a superpower. Once the lad made the decision to focus on something, it was very difficult for him to shift to another subject. Such a thing had been first noticed by his mother and was since repeated by just about every teacher Donovan ever had. It was deemed a problem early in his life, although it had proven to be quite the opposite.

In Maya’s case, this focus would be a nightmare.

Angelus gave his advice, and Donovan was quick to run with it.

“I don’t know much about the bloodlines, or how those can help,” he confessed, “but I do have a certain type of character in mind. It is the reason why I thought I would go for Mekhet instead of Gangrel.”

Kyle looked at Donovan expectantly, which gave the latter enough invitation to continue.

“There is a character in the A Song of Ice and Fire books called Lord Varys. He deals with information and he has his own personal guild of spies—like a web of connections that allows him to exploit the information for the good of the kingdom. A vampire similar to him could work the system of information to gain status—although I don’t think he would do so for the same reasons.”

As Donovan spoke, Kyle began to nod his head, pretending to know what his friend was talking about. 

“This vampire could be shady in more than one way, don’t you think?”

That was his vision, any way.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on August 17, 2019, 08:25:03 pm
Angelus did grin at Devlin as he insisted Maya’s character was broken. That was the point, after all. He just gave him a wink before returning his attention to Donovan, who tried to explain what he wanted.

As soon as the name ‘Varys’ left his lips, Angelus knew.

It seemed that Devlin and Maya also heard, as Maya was making adjustments to take resources off of her sheet now that she didn’t feel a need for it, and put the points elsewhere. “Wait, you read a Song of Ice and Fire, too? Man, I can’t wait for a Dance With Dragons to come out,” Devlin whined.

“It’s never coming out,” Maya noted, “So we’re going to have to deal with a spider….”

“Say no more,” Angelus relaxed into his seat a bit, “Varys I can do, Mekhet is definitely a good way to go with Varys. The main thing he’s known for is using children as allies, so you’re probably going to want to put points in allies and contacts, and definitely streetwise. You’ll also want resources, people need to take bribes. Iltani might be a good bloodline—”

“You’re a horrible person,” Maya stated when he suggested that. She didn’t know many of the mekhet bloodlines, but Iltani was one. Because it was rival to the En.

“—because they also have the animalism of the gangrel, so that would mean you’d also have spies among the animals if you wanted them,” he continued, unperturbed. “Along with auspex, and obfuscate, so you get the best of all here, so far as spies and contacts are concerned – not to mention an immediate rival,” he gestured to Maya at that, a slight smirk on his lips, “The Iltani and En bloodlines have a bit of a history. Your character doesn’t have to know that, of course. Technically speaking, unless you two agree out of character, your characters wouldn’t even know either of you have bloodlines.”
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on August 19, 2019, 12:11:30 am
As soon as the words left Donovan’s lips, the conversation seemed to change. Maya and Devlin, who had previously been doing their own thing, chimed in. Apparently they had not only heard of the character he was referencing, but they were fans of the books.

“It’s a great read, isn’t it?” He concurred, offering each of them a surprised smile. “Whether or not the next books come out, I’m going to demand an answer as to who is going to end up on the Iron Throne.”

Donovan certainly had his mind made up on who should rule in the end, but that discussion would be for another time.

Angelus went about his plan for Donovan, and it sounded absolutely perfect to what he had imagined—the spies, the information, and the bribery, all of it. Donovan heard the bloodline’s name, and immediately committed it to memory. He hadn’t come across it before, but it sure sounded like exactly what he was looking for. To have spies across multiple clans? There would definitely be some benefit in that.

Donovan looked to Maya, his new rival, and his smile grew wider. So their respective bloodlines had history—that would only make it all the more worthwhile to expand on it.

A mental note to research it some more later, and he moved on.

“Understood,” muttered the lad as Angelus indicated which areas he would need to allocate his points to. Donovan fetched his pencil from his pocket, and immediately began to cross out the considerations that would no longer be needed. He made notes, and summarized all that had been discussed, turning his array of possibilities into a more constructed character.

“Not sure how you’d like to play it out, Maya,” said Donovan in regards to whether their characters knew about their respective bloodlines, “so I’ll defer to you. Either way, it’ll be interesting.”
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on August 19, 2019, 12:23:01 am
“Yeah!”  Devlin agreed, though Maya gave a more reserved nod to the query about the books. A Song of Ice and Fire were, indeed, favored reads of them, a book Angelus had even gotten in to. Not that he was opposed to reading, which tended to surprise people, but he preferred his poetry to novels – Maya would forever thank Paradise Lost for Angelus’s enjoyment of poetry, both the short and the epic poems.

Angelus looked to Maya, briefly, and gestured to the laptop. She shrugged, and let him take it. Her character was more or less done.

“Let me start looking into some things for you. Have you decided if you’re going to be in any covenant? Maya’s Ordo Dracul, and Devlin’s Invictus.” There were still the Lancae Sanctum, the Carthians, and the Circle of the Crone – though one could go in without a covenant, as well. “Picking one, or none, may open up some talents. Generally speaking, a Varys character would probably avoid the religious ones, but I don’t think you have the same history as Varys – so that’s totally your call. I think Invictus is in power right now?”

“Yeah, Prince Kincaid is Invictus.” Devlin answered, “If you’re going with Varys, you probably want to be in with the powerful, but if you’re thinking you don’t like that kind of structure, Carthians would fit. Depends on what part of him you want to emphasize – his in the midst of power, or his desire to overthrow the power.”

While they had been talking, Maya did consider whether or not the ‘Varys’ character should know anything, but in the end, she said, “No one is going to know that my character is an En. The Bloodline is aware of its own reputation – or at least, I am,” a vampire chilling with a demon and diablerizing others? Hard pass. “I’ll just let myself be known as a daeva. No bloodline. You’ll have to figure it out from there, but if you want an in-character history for our arrival, I do not mind that.”

She had no desire to really devour an Iltani. They weren’t what she was hunting.   
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on August 21, 2019, 04:39:11 pm
Angelus took to the laptop, and Donovan migrated to a seat next to him. He’d been standing a while, but now was time to get to the specifics of his vampire. What way would he go? He thought back to Varys, and although he didn’t want to be an outright copy of the spider, there were definitely some similarities he wanted to keep between the two. 

“I would avoid the religious covenants as well,” Donovan agreed absentmindedly. “Seems messy.”

Kyle huffed playfully, bringing his fingers to his chin in dramatic thought. “I don’t know,” he countered, “having a religious spymaster might bring some interesting things to the table, don’t you think? Fanaticism could stir up some conflicts right off the bat. It's more fun when things are a little messy, anyway.”

Donovan considered the idea, but inevitably shook his head. “Never imagined my character’s intent to stem from religious purposes, but who is to say that won’t change as he develops?” Kyle grinned at his friend’s response, and such a friendly gesture was reciprocated.

“Suit yourself, mate,” he chuckled, playfully nudging at Donovan’s shoulder.

“I think Invictus would be great as a covenant,” he continued. “Just because he’s part of the Invictus doesn’t necessarily mean that he is loyal to them, right? I imagine one of my character’s quirks is that his true loyalties aren’t set in stone.”

Donovan turned to Maya, and gave a slight nod in agreement. “So then the bloodlines remain a secret—I like that.” Then, another question. “Is a pre-determined history between two characters something that is usually done?” After some thought, he decided it must have been so. It made sense that some of these characters would have encountered others in their past. It was more realistic.

Still, Donovan was new to this, and didn’t know the best practices of such a game.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on August 21, 2019, 08:21:16 pm
Angelus was already looking over the form and making his own slight adjustments based on what was indicated. “Invictus doesn’t offer too much in the way of additional talents, except for a few oaths. Some of those could be useful if you need to bind someone to your will, but generally speaking, they have to enter into it willingly. I think there are a few that get around that, but you might want to work that in as something you do in-character. Become a notary of the Invictus so that people come to you for that power, and know you have it.”

He did consider what else the Invictus had, as well as the bloodline, as the matter of pre-determined histories floated around.

“Yeah! We’re all arriving to the game as new characters. We could have all come together. If you go with Invictus, we could know each other from there,” Devlin offered. “Not sure about her.”

Maya smirked, “Who’s to say I wouldn’t come along, or that we met en-route? What is your backstory, Devlin?”

“Ah, right – well, I was turned back in the Victorian period by a lover I had been the servant of. Didn’t know he was a vampire,” he chuckled a bit, “Long story short, we had a bit of a break-up as he grew more paranoid and I’ve left to find my own way, since obviously I’m not going to make it far in the same domain as my sire. He’d think I was trying to usurp him and his ranking in the Invictus over there, so I’ve come over here. Plus it’s all just hella awkward with that guy now,” he laughed a bit at his imagined history. “Also, rebellious vampire phase. I’m sure they all go through it after about a century.”

Maya gave a nod to that, “What about you, Maya?”

“Oh, you know, the usual…made a deal with a demon, sealed it with murder, now I’m just making sure to leave the scene of the crime.”

Devlin rolled his eyes a bit. Usual. Sure. “What were you thinking for your backstory, Donny?”

Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on September 19, 2019, 03:08:41 pm
Becoming a notary of the Invictus? Why hadn’t he thought of that? Initial disappointment aside, Donovan’s lips curled into a firmer smile. That sounded awesome, and consistent with the power he was hoping to attain. If he could somehow bottleneck information from the Invictus through him, he’d be well on his way to becoming one of the most powerful traders of information.

Such was his excitement that he had forgotten his previous demons—his concerns and the observations that had taken place over the last few days. Much to his dismay, these demons would return. They always would.

“That would be great,” he added, offering a nod to Devlin. “If I’m a notary of the Invictus, it would make sense that our characters would be acquainted with each other beforehand.”

The group traded backstories, and Donovan was immediately impressed with the depth that they could come up with so quickly. Even with Maya’s very brief summary, he suspected that the reality of her character was far deeper than what she let on. Part of him had initially considered digging in a little further, but he had assumed—inaccurately to boot—that the game warranted only a superficial approach. Wasn’t it more about the gameplay?

Apparently not.

Devlin then posed the same question to Donovan, and the latter was briefly stunned. It only took a second for him to recover from the sudden spotlight.

“I hadn’t really given it much thought,” he admitted, “but I imagine my character was turned a few centuries ago. Maybe by a politician and influencer—someone in need of a plaything that developed into something more? His initial thirst for information could have been inherited, as vampires would like take positions of power, but I think it mutated into something much larger internally. After his status was secured, maybe he disposed of his sire?”

Donovan didn’t know why, but he didn’t think that his character would be the sharing type.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on September 19, 2019, 08:10:24 pm
The idea of Donovan as a notary seemed to sit well with him, and Angelus nodded to it. “You’re going to have to learn at least a couple of oaths, then.” He’d be a poor notary if he didn’t have some oaths with which to bind people, after all. That was the main point of the notary in the game, anyways. To ‘notarize’ the oaths and make them official within the Invictus. “And probably be prepared to not hold the position in this town, but it can be in your backstory.”

A backstory that seemed not to have been as developed, even though he had a character trope to try out. Still, he put some thought into it there, and the group listened as he started to hash it out. “High five for the sire-murdering club,” Maya joked, lifting her hand to encourage it all the same.

“Ya’ll are the worst,” Devlin sighed. “So would you have just been kind of a trophy for your sire, or was the plaything in a realm beyond the, ah, intimate?” It wasn’t improbable for bored vampires, more in the Daeva than the Ventrue, to screw people over and play with them more as a cat played with a mouse.

Maya shifted a bit at the question, even though it wasn’t directed to her.

“It’s not improbable for your clan to turn for those reasons, but figuring out more about your sire’s agenda can paint your character’s human agenda, which can then paint their agenda after being turned. Especially if it ended up in such contrast to their sire that they had to resort to murder.”

Angelus nodded his agreement with that. “And was it the notary status that he wanted secured, or something else? It’s common in the Invictus to have bloodlines that are notable – there’s a trait for it, actually. Perhaps it was a matter of inheritance, and there were other childes in the running?”  More to think about, at least.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on September 19, 2019, 10:34:47 pm
Donovan gave a firm nod in agreement. “A couple oaths at least, yeah,” he mused, wondering just what kind of benefits he might get from the flexibility, and how that might affect his legion of spies. He could influence obedience and addiction, depending on the types of oaths he’d witness. Donovan had read about them briefly but was now more interested in what he could explore from them.

With a smile, he returned Maya’s high five. Their characters might not be friends, but at least they couldn’t deny that they were each cutthroat in their own right.

Kyle, who had been quietly taking everything in, shook his head, feigning disapproval. “I don’t know, mate, I didn’t think your character would be into something so dark—so mature,” half-serious, but still grinning. “Aren’t you in school still?”

A playful huff, one that Donovan returned with a crooked smile and brief silence.

“I’m very mature for my age,” he joked.

To that, Kyle simply raised his arms in surrender. He took to his chair, and laid back to simply observe again. It really was hard to remember just how young he was, and a part of Kyle wanted to simply keep him innocent.

Donovan turned back to Devlin. “I think he may have been a trophy for his sire, but not one he wanted originally—but perhaps one that he didn’t want someone else to have. Like a middle-finger to another big baddie in town. Whether that developed into something more intimate… I think it likely.” 

Donovan looked to Maya, and her reaction to the question, but made nothing more of it.

When Angelus posed his question, Donovan furrowed his brows in thought. “Status as someone independent from their sire, to where in common conversation the two are not automatically linked. But yes, could be that his sire was a notary as well—the fewer the better no?”

It was interesting, to say the least, that the image of his character was evolving by the second—feeling more and more like a real person the more he discussed. What was once only a non-specific idea, was now becoming a fully formed force.

“Despite being so mature for my age,” a look to Kyle, who smiled, “I’m still new to this whole thing. Call me ridiculous, I will not mind. I’ll learn.”

Such was his pride, however foolish it might be.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on September 20, 2019, 08:06:26 pm
“It is a character,” Devlin reminded Kyle, amused at his wariness about the sort of character that Donovan was crafting, “I’m sure Maya isn’t really a soul-sucking succubus who made a deal with the devil, though I’ve occasionally had doubts.”

Maya smirked a bit, “No, I’m just the devil.”

“See! We’re all good here.” Devlin laughed, as Angelus rolled his eyes. He was tempted to say Maya was hardly that, share a story or two to prove she was far too nice, but he opted not to. They all knew it was a joke. “But I like that idea – that he was stolen goods from another vampire, or something, that was eying him. It definitely makes that relationship much less straightforward if the sire still tried to cultivate his skills as a further middle finger to the other – to show off using him against their foe.”

“And gives him more reason to be want to be separated from him, too,” Angelus agreed. The character was coming together. “Now the question is, if he’s already killed his sire and separated himself from him, likely assuming power where he was before – why is he traveling to this area? Did someone find out what he’d done? Is he avoiding the rival of his sire?”

On the run, avoidance, or just a change of pace could certainly all play into it.

“Perhaps he’s determined there is a way to bring down that rival in this town, as well,” Maya offered, “If he’s seeking information…it could be a sidequest of sorts, if you want to consider building up the rival to the sire that originally wanted your character for their own.”

“The storytellers are generally pretty willing to work on character sideplots, and possibly work it into larger things, too.” Devlin noted.


Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Bleu on September 20, 2019, 09:23:23 pm
“I was just saying,” said Kyle with a chortle, figuratively zipping his mouth shut before crossing his arms.

At the exchange, and the ensuing conversations, Donovan could only smile. There was general agreement from the others regarding his ideas, and now he was simply finalizing the last details of his character. Why was moving to the new area? What had motivated him from leaving an area where he had already attained such a power to a place where he would be—in a lot of ways—starting over?

In Donovan’s mind, this felt similar to how he felt personally about his current situation. Why would he go to a community theater to try his hand at something new, where he already knew he had attained success back at his school? His soccer buddies had given him a few curious looks, but he shoved them off dismissively. Sure, this is not how he imagined his career would go, but he could see how it would help.

Although not an exact reflection, the answer was still the same.

“I think he just wants more,” began Donovan, pressing his fingers to his chin in thought. “If he’s already attained enough influence where he’s from, perhaps he simply wants to double it someplace else. It could certainly be in attempts to make his sire’s rival feel even smaller.”

Donovan let out a deep breath, bending down toward the table to jot everything that they had discussed down on paper. His hand moved along the page quickly—sharp, organized and concise. When he rose, he felt triumphant.

“I think I got him,” he confirmed.
Title: Re: An Era of Theatrics [Closed]
Post by: Krystal Itzume on September 23, 2019, 08:06:01 pm
Devlin grinned at that, “He would have made a good ventrue,” he noted, almost sadly, as he was not a ventrue. While it was possible for mekhet to be power-hungry, he knew this was still going to throw a wrench in things, given they were known more for being shades, out of sight, and out of mind, “But the Invictus is definitely the clan for him.” That much they could agree on.

In either case, he was apparently done. It was figured out in his head.  “Good, now try not to let Maya kill you, or anyone else,” Angelus said, as more of a joke. He didn’t think Donovan would be killed on his first night. He also hoped Maya would keep her own character low-profile, but he knew that might be too much to hope for.

“Don’t worry, I’ll look out for him! We Invictus gotta stick together, right?” Devlin said, and Maya just rolled her eyes, but her lips remained curved in a slight grin.  “But I haven’t heard enough about your character yet, Kyle. Don’t hold out on us!”

“He’s going to be a hero, isn’t he?” Maya said, “I’m sure he doesn’t want to start revealing his secrets to a host of villains.”

“I’m not a villain…I think you and Donny are the only villains here.” Apparently being a power hungry, Varys inspired, mekhet meant he was a villain. Not that it would stand in the way of Invictus loyalty, of course.