Teleprompter Thespian

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Washington DC was abuzz with interest after the White House press core reported people outfitted in Shakespearean garb going in and out of the Oval Office. There was a flutter of activity when someone yelled, “Thou mangled boil-brained harpy!” right before Nancy Pelosi appeared in a nearby corridor scurrying on her way to the Capitol for a meeting with Brad Pitt. The reporters concluded that the Elizabethan outfits were an effort to make a statement to the British and specifically to Gordon Brown that we sincerely want to remain in close relationship with our English allies.

Meanwhile as that “…mangled boil-brained harpy”– I mean Speaker Pelosi, was being shuttled to the Capitol for her appointment with New Orleans aficionado the adulterous, Achilles of compassion Brad Pitt, originally from Missouri, she recharged her cell phone so that she could exercise, “…bragging rights to her children and grandchildren. All a twitter and frenetically “Twittering” away,  Madame Speaker happily cloistered herself with the actor in a closed door summit willingly submitting herself to the “The Power of Pitt.” Soon after she emerged a bit tussled and flushed across her upper chest and the lower parts of her face where blood still circulates.

With Shakespearean actors at the White House and Benjamin Button in the Brumidi corridor of the Capital building, there was definitely something thespian-like afoot in our nation’s capital.

A person who spoke under total anonymity confided that both Brad and the Elizabethans were called to address Obama’s teleprompter dependency saying that, “Barack Obama doesn’t go anywhere without his teleprompter.  He feels its bad luck, it’s kind of like his baby blanket. He is addicted to it and needs to be ‘prompted’ in order to speak publicly.” They said that recently, he was unable to give a six-minute tribute to Abraham Lincoln without his teleprompter. The highest IQ to ever heat up the Oval Office needed to have his deepest feelings about his political soul mate technologically fed to him?   In fact, a White House housekeeper reported that she even saw a portable teleprompter in the First Couple’s bedroom with the words, “I told you before, I did put my socks in the hamper, damn it!”

Obama seems to be intimidated even when endorsing his economic stimulus package, which he has been reiterating ad nauseam for months. His technical team admitted that “After the teleprompter malfunctioned a few times last summer and Obama delivered some less-than-soaring speeches” it became evident that if he was going to be able continue to convince the whole nation to blindly and mindlessly accept his policies he needed to be able to wing it without his tattered security blanket and rubbery pacifier.

That’s where Brad Pitt comes in. When he “slipped out a side door” of the Capitol and took an “elevator to the basement subway” he had with him a complete copy of the teleprompter text for the next few months. Pitt had been asked to memorize the script, return to Washington DC and give a private performance to the President and members of his closest inner circle. Brad is attempting to demonstrate to Obama that it can be done.  Reminding him of Martin Sheen, he exhorted the President that he too can believably emote and speak about things he knows nothing about and still convince a whole nation of mind-numbed robots that he knows what he’s talking about without a crutch, crumb of knowledge or conviction.

The President is encouraged about the prospect of Pitt’s help. It was reported that he was, “training to wean himself off of the device while on vacation in Hawaii. But no such luck.” His test flight was after the death of his Grandmother, Madelyn. To test the progress of his teleprompter detox, he set up undercover in the Borthwick Mortuary in Honolulu.  With three enraptured technicians as his audience, he was still unable to get through the first 30 seconds of homage to Granny Dunham.

Obama and his staff are counting on Brad to be a personal presidential Lee Strasberg and be on call to coach the Commander-in-Chief through some very important speeches in the near future. In fact, Obama is so desirous to have Mr. Pitt available, if he is needed to make a statement at the spur of the moment, that a portion of the White House has been cordoned off to accommodate Angie and the six kids. Sasha and Malia are thrilled and Angelina is happy because Zahara has felt out of place lately in their racially imbalanced family.

In the meantime, those Shakespearean actors in the Oval Office were representatives from Memorize Shakespeare, a Toronto-based company that “has launched a product …to help actors learn their lines by listening to them.” Memorize will be working in conjunction with Mr. Pitt. Obama met this group in Cuba where he spent time before his Inauguration touring clinics and getting policy ideas from Castro for his Health Care initiative.

The group has agreed to make an exception to their rule and allow Brad Pitt to tape the speeches complete with inflections and emotion in the appropriate places so that Obama can utilize their product Scene Partner to learn what to say without a teleprompter. In order to do this, “Obama” will be the character that Obama will be learning. He will download the “Obama” character as enacted by Brad Pitt and Pitt will become Obama’s scene partner as Obama learns to play himself.

The way it works is that the lines are split into short segments to not overwhelm the actor. At the end of each sector of speech, a bell rings and the actor repeats the section. According to Scene Partner their “…actors read the text with only the appropriate rhythm. Obama chose September by Earth Wind and Fire for the rhythm he wants to represent the cadence of his speech, after realizing it was a standout tune for his Wednesday night conga line.

“The actor learning the lines is not forced into a particular style or encouraged to mimic another actor.” Except in this case, Brad Pitt will personally coach the President on punctuation and emotion encouraging believability in every word he says. In the meantime, President Obama has loaded the lines, recited by Brad Pitt, onto his Ipod. Things like, “…wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year” and “…that’s why I pushed for quick action”, or “With the deficit we inherited, Hope, Change, Yes we can and nobody messes with Joe!” Each statement followed by the clanging of a bell similar to the “Market” bell, which rings at the opening and closing of the Stock Exchange to remind the President of the importance of his position.

An alternative plan has been outlined in case the President should find it impossible to memorize his lines without a teleprompter. In cases of emergency, Obama will ask the cameramen to pan out while he is speaking and will lip-sync directly from the words of Brad Pitt. This will ensure that his message of hope and change continues to get out. The tempo of Obama’s left-right head movement tends to cause dizziness, which hopefully will throw the listeners off so they won’t notice that his lips don’t match the words.

Mr. Pitt’s agreement to work together with Mr. Obama hinges entirely on the guarantee that he promise to nationalize Pitt’s “Make  It Right New Orleans” campaign.  Ambassador Pitt’s request has been met by the President first glancing toward his teleprompter and then giving the actor the sincere assurance that he plans to “nationalize” anything and everything he possibly can.

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