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The Theatrics Formula
"Aw, thanks for the vote of confidence Irene." Jane said it to Irene, but she smiled at Coleen. Now that she thought more on it, she was pretty sure she'd seen that movie before somewhere. Where? Who knew. Probably grandpa watching it some time. He'd always liked that kind of old movie crap. But anyway, poor thing. Coleen was so insecure it made Jane wince. She ought to have some confidence, Jane figured. Confident but humble, or whatever.

"It's cool, we were just supposed to do practice stuff I think. No big deal." Moving around the rest of the drama club, Jane took a seat at the circle, facing towards the whiteboard at the front of the room and set her bag down on the ground next to her. It was a decent turnout so far, which was nice; Jane hated seeing the numbers dwindle, it felt like a sad balloon deflating.

Still, hopefully more people showed up. A four-man club sounded about as pathetic as a one-man band concert turnout. That is, pretty damn pathetic. Damn, that was a simile from hell. "So should we take a vote on whose we do, or wait around for more people?"

So in Review
"In summary, The Green Hornet was unfocused and lacking in humor and depth."

No, that didn't sound good at all.

14-year old Jane groaned aloud and highlighted the page to delete what she'd written. Again. Seriously, this was her third take on the same movie, and so far this whole dumb idea was a disaster. She'd been working at the local movie theater for almost a year now, and she'd seen loads of movies as a result. So making a blog about movies seemed the logical conclusion at the time. What else did she have to blog about? Books? Nobody wanted to read about someone reading. That was just weird.

But the thing wasn't working right and Jane was getting frustrated. It all sounded...stilted, jittery and childish, the opposite of the mature, professional critic she was going for. She'd disliked the movie, personally. But it worried her that other people might love it and think she was being contrary. But she wasn't, honest. She just thought it was boring, and not funny, and stuff. The more she thought about it, the surer she was that the film deserved a less-than-stellar score.

Scoring. Maybe she could use some kind of score or grade? Like, assign categories like Acting, Effects, Plot, Humor, Depth and stuff? Then give letter grades and decide on the score from there? Hmm, maybe. Jane started typing away, and soon she had a rough scoresheet filled out.

Acting: B
Special Effects: D
Plot: C
Humor: D
Writing: C

As Jane looked over the scoresheet, she sighed and deleted her work again. That didn't seem a fair way to grade a movie. Who was she to give a numeric value to acting skill when she herself couldn't act? Was she the right person for this? Probably not. There were probably loads of kids at school who could do a better job of this. Jane let out an exasperated growl and clasped her hands together, gritting her teeth as her temper flared. Frustrated and feeling useless, Jane picked up her laptop and walked out of her room and into the brisk winter air of her front yard.

After grandpa died, the family inherited his house, which was a blessing and a curse. It was nice to feel secure in a home you owned instead of being effectively tenants, but Jane still felt the ache of loss when she walked around. Over there was a picture of him. There was his favorite chair. That was his bedroom lamp before they'd moved it into the living room. It was tough to accept he was gone. Thank god for therapists. Then again, if there was a god, it was his fault grandpa Keith died, right? Jane felt tears welling in her eyes, but blinked them back. Now was a time for action, not moping. She'd done more than enough moping.

Sitting down on the front porch, Jane shivered slightly at the cold air. Contrary to some people's beliefs, Arizona wasn't always hot and dry, at least not in Kingman. It was pretty cold, actually, which kind of sucked. But maybe she'd have some inspiration outside, or at least get some fresh air to help her feel better. Jane cracked her knuckles, gazed up at the gray sky for a moment, and started typing.

"My grandfather loved the Green Hornets TV show, but he'd be disappointed with the new film adaptation. Starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou, the film has failed to reach most people's expectations as..."

Espi Draws
Posted Image

Here's Georgia Lee! Hope you like it.

The Theatrics Formula
Oh man, judging from the singing Irene was here. Jane and Irene were cool, they clashed on occasion but usually got along okay. Nate said something about moving chairs, which Jane quickly got on, moving around Coleen to start setting up a circle. Irene walked in with all the glitz she usually had. Jane greeted her by means of a nod.

Oh yeah, they were supposed to bring a practice thing today. Luckily Jane had remembered, or rather, luckily Jane had the presence of mind to write it down in her organizer. Goddamn, she needed to do like memory exercises or something, she would've forgotten she had it.

"Yeah, Summertree's that old movie right? With Michael Douglas and some other people?" Jane was...vaguely familiar. Her mom liked old movies and junk, but Jane was pretty sure she'd seen bits of this one. "Oh, yeah, I have a practice thing. One sec." Jane set her bag on the ground and started rifling through it. After a moment, she triumphantly pulled a set of papers from it.

"Yeah, here it is. It's a scene-building thing, you design a scene where you only say like four words." Jane scanned the paper quickly. "Yeah, the only words you can have in it are...'Yes', 'No', 'Please' and 'Banana." She chuckled at the last bit, but composed herself a moment later. "Just thought it'd be a fun little thing." Getting back to setting up the chairs, Jane started shifting around the tables to make a circle.

"You bring anything, Irene?"

Beginnings and Ends
So Vinny was a gamer. Funny, Alice wouldn't really have guessed from the look of him. Still, he seemed pretty nice as far as-did h say guitar?

"Oh, you play guitar?" Alice brightened up almost immediately, excited at the prospect of music talk. "That's cool! I play violin, I've been playing for a long time though so I've got a lot of practice. It's cool you're picking it up though! Acoustic or electric?" Alice's sudden burst of energy was not out of the ordinary; music was one of the things that got Alice much more talkative, that and books really.

Catching herself, though, Alice suddenly became very self-conscious. "Oh, uh, yeah, that's cool though." She gave a sheepish smile and went back to her drawing. The outline was mostly done, so a little more detail work and she'd be finished. It looked pretty nice, but Alice was more satisfied with how well it matched Vinny's looks. It was a pretty accurate sketch.

A thought appeared in Alice's head, a reminder of the question she'd meant to ask. "Hey uh..." Alice froze up. She wanted to ask, ask why Vinny dressed oddly sometimes. But she didn't want to be rude, didn't want to bring up the potential awkwardness. "Nevermind." She looked back down at the paper and got back to work.

Henry Spencer
Name: Henry Spencer
Gender: Male
Age: 17
Grade: 11th
School: Cochise High School
Hobbies and Interests: Cryptozoology, conspiracies, horror movies and novels, trivia, fishing

Appearance: Henry is of average height, roughly 5’8”, but appears lanky when not wearing baggy clothes, and is only 132 lbs. Henry is slender and lithe; he has a fast metabolism, keeping him thin, but is only of average fitness. Henry is naturally fair-skinned, and tends to burn easily in long periods of sunlight; his face is marked by a number of freckles across his nose. His hair is naturally brown, but for several years now he’s been dyeing it black. It is very straight and fine, and worn with emo bangs, being short in the back and with long bangs sideswept over his right eye. Henry’s eyes are large, round, and dark blue. His features are mostly unremarkable; a somewhat upturned but small nose, thick eyebrows, thin lips and a round face. He is by no means ugly, but isn’t especially handsome either. Aside from his unique style, he would not stand out much. Henry’s hygiene is usually good, though occasionally he neglects it; his teeth are fairly white and his hair is usually washed, and he is clean-shaven.

Aside from his hairstyle, Henry has a few other specific stylistic choices that are somewhat eye-catching. He often wears a small amount of black eyeshadow, more because he likes the aesthetic than to make a statement. He also has a gold stud in his left earlobe. Henry usually wears black; he simply appreciates it from an aesthetic standpoint. He also occasionally dresses more eclectically, wearing a blend of different colors and styles. Overall, henry favors t-shirts, jeans and once in a while will wear polo shirts. Henry favors a particular black leather jacket, and wears it regardless of the weather. When abducted, Henry was wearing this jacket over a white undershirt, black jeans, and red converse.

Biography: Henry’s father Derek and his mom Carol, an artist and a dental assistant respectively, grew up together in Kingman, and were even high school sweethearts. The two had only been married a year when Carol learned she was pregnant. Initially, the young couple was ecstatic. However, their excitement was extinguished when Carol learned she had developed preeclampsia midway through the pregnancy. Not wanting to lose the baby, Carol opted to continue the pregnancy until her son was ready to be born.

Tragically, shortly after Henry’s otherwise healthy birth, Carol passed away as a result of complications from her condition. Derek took it hard; a somewhat demure and shy man, he became even more withdrawn. He cared deeply for his son, and worked hard to raise him well despite financial struggles, but it took him years to really recover. Derek was estranged from his family, and while Carol’s parents helped care for Henry when he was an infant, they eventually moved to Florida to retire. Thus, Henry was mostly raised alone, as most friends of the couple gradually spent less time with Derek due to his shy nature; most of them were more Carol's friends, and didn't like Derek as much.

When Henry started school, it was immediately apparent he was somewhat odd. His conversations with other children were largely long strings of babbled information, and while never intentionally mean he tended to be blunt, which often upset the other children. While his father was contacted as his behavior became disruptive to classes, often blurting out answers to the detriment of other students, nothing really changed, as Derek was still struggling with the loss of his wife. His teachers responded to his behavior with various methods, but Henry had trouble adapting to their requests.

As such, Henry as a child was often labeled problematic, as while unfailingly cheerful and friendly, had little grasp of tact or social etiquette, going on long tangents and spouting large amounts of trivia. At the request of the school and with Derek's agreement, he eventually received several psychological evaluations at age 9 to determine if perhaps he was on the autism spectrum, which did indeed identified him as having Asperger Syndrome. Henry took this revelation well, as did his father. He was placed on an IEP program, allowing him some extra attention and care towards his needs and helping him restrain himself in classes.

Henry’s favorite pastime has always been learning trivia. When he was little he’d tell people about some interesting tidbit he’d read about with great enthusiasm. As he grew older, his pursuits expanded, but his love remained, as did his fondness for sharing facts. He likes to learn; even when he was little, Henry was fascinated with the strange things about the world; unsolved mysteries, unknowns. Henry’s personal favorite subjects of trivia are usually unusual historical events, dinosaurs and other natural phenomenon.

Around the age of 10, this love of the strange and mysterious led him to cryptozoology. The idea of cryptids, strange unknown animals people could not determine the validity of, appealed immediately to Henry. He became enthralled with cryptid-based TV shows like “Lost Tapes” and spent much of his time reading about them on the internet. Henry doesn’t necessarily believe in cryptids; he just likes to imagine that they might exist, and finds study and theories about them compelling. He is most interested in 'sea monsters' like Champ and the Ogopogo, believing them to be most plausible. He follows magazines such as the "Journal of Cryptozoology" and owns numerous books on the subject.

While researching cryptids one day when Henry was 12, he became interested in the idea of conspiracies and delved into some online theories. He found the ideas people thought of as explanations to be fascinating, from entertainingly bad to uncannily plausible. Again, he doesn’t necessarily believe in such theories, but he is interested in looking them up and reading about them online or in books. He favors ideas about less famous events, preferring to read a theory about something obscure to a more famous event like the moon landing, for instance. Henry personally has some distaste for SOTF theories, and generally follows forums and message boards about theories regarding aliens or secret conspiracies.

Studying conspiracies, in turn, led to Henry’s interest in horror at age 14. While not easily frightened, he does enjoy the thrill he gets watching movies about supernatural terrors. He especially enjoys “found footage” because it comes across as the most realistic to him. His real favorite horror media, though, is novels. He finds reading them more appealing than watching them because they allow his imagination to control how scary it is. He likes the stories that novels tell better than more gore-focused movies as well. His favorite horror tends to be more psychological and supernatural-based rather than slasher films. Thus, Henry has particular fondness for Guillermo Del Toro, Stephen King and HP Lovecraft.

Henry is quite odd. While he never means to cause harm, his lack of social awareness has limited his ability to really make friends, as many are turned away by his behaviors. Henry’s few friends are primarily those who can handle his idiosyncrasies and enjoy talking about his various fascinations with him. Henry has a small social group, but he cares deeply for his friends and is very trusting in them. In his younger years, Henry was periodically picked on for being weird, but he is resilient and doesn’t take insults to heart; attempts at bullying would be met with little response, which meant he was rarely targeted. Henry’s grades are good, as he is naturally intelligent and a good student, but he occasionally neglects homework and projects in favor of other pursuits, leading to slips. His favorite is science, especially when they delve into unusual trivia. Henry also enjoys history, as it is full of stories and events that interest him, but he dislikes English, finding it tedious, and math, finding it excessively rigid and uninteresting. His grades overall average around a B, occasionally slipping below.

Exhibiting many of the classical Asperger traits, Henry is an intelligent and empathetic boy with a distinct lack of social skills. Despite his compassionate nature, he has trouble recognizing how others will react to things and tends to assume people are interested in the same hobbies he has. His long-winded narratives and descriptions usually turn people off from interacting with him, which he has gradually become aware of and tried to manage more, with mixed success. Henry is cheerful, however, and holds a very optimistic worldview, believing strongly in inherent goodness of people. His romantic status has been effectively nonexistent, as few people express interest in him. Henry has self-identified as biromantic asexual since he was 14, preferring the loving aspects of relationships to more sexual exploits, though he has no real experience with either.

Henry and his father share a close relationship. Both are very concerned with the other’s happiness, being that they live relatively closed-off lives due to Derek’s introversion and lack of family connections, and take time to talk whenever possible. Henry’s paternal grandparents are deceased, and while Derek’s brother Anthony lives in Kingman, he took little part in Henry’s upbringing and interactions between Anthony and Henry are usually incidental and awkward. Henry’s maternal grandparents send letters periodically, but Henry feels some resentment towards them for abandoning his father and contact is minimal.

One of their primary bonding times is when they go fishing; Henry and Derek have gone out on numerous fishing trips on weekends, with the frequency of these trips increasing of late. These expeditions are one of the few times when Henry will engage in conversations where he is more quiet than the other participant, as his father recollects many old stories from his life and about Henry’s mother. Henry enjoys the peace and quiet as a sharp contrast to the relative bustle of normal life.

Henry’s post-graduate plans are somewhat indistinct; his grades are good, but he isn’t really sure what he wants to study. He plans to attend a local community college and get a part-time job, but for now is more or less content to live his life as he always has.

Advantages: Henry has picked up the occasional bit and piece of information which could prove helpful, such as trying to fish if he had a body of water available. He is very loyal, most will recognize him as nonthreatening.
Disadvantages: His unusual hobbies and eccentric behavior often lends Henry a not-undeserved status as something of an oddball, and not one especially likeable, which makes him an unappealing ally to those who don’t know him well. His talkative personality may annoy people already on edge. Henry’s endless optimism may make him oblivious to dangers, and he is not much of a threat himself due to his compassionate nature.

Grats Rattle!

In other news:

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I got 20 stacks twice but lost it because Rango. Still, landing a snare meant 100-0ing someone.

Laws Of Motion
Irene asked Alice a question, but it was hard to pay attention over the sounds of panting and footfalls. The period was almost over, thankfully, because Alice wasn't sure how much longer she could take this. There was a very good reason exercise was not Alice's favorite subject.

"Good...job." Alice wheezed out, eyes locked on the clock. Only a few more minutes left and she'd be out. Irene's jubilation at remembering Alice's name was par for the course at this point; she certainly seemed nice, and Alice hated to judge nice people, but Irene was certainly...out there.

"I got...trig and, uh...some art classes, and AP English 11, and US History..." Alice said, still catching her breath. "You?"

Just then, the coach finally called for them to stop and get changed, and Alice breathed a sigh of relief before returning to the locker room to change. "Later." She said breathlessly to Irene.

((Alice Baker continued in Rays on Pinion))

The Theatrics Formula
((Jane Madison, Pregame start))

So the thing about Jane and theater has always been that Jane is a terrible actress. Terrible.

She had no voice control whatsoever, so anything she said, memorized or otherwise, sounded like it was being read with difficulty off a manuscript. That, combined with a complete loathing to sing or dance, meant Jane had minimal actual talent as far as theatricals were concerned. Drama queen? Debatable. Drama geek? God no.

Still, she liked it. It was fun to work backstage, costumes, directions, scripts, staging, props all that jazz. Jane was good about that sort of thing. So she sat in on drama club meetings and she watched and she gave a token effort with her acting talent or lack thereof. But usually? She was in it for stage crew.

With a sense of purpose, Jane walked into the math room. She was not a purposeless walker in general; walking was a point-A to point-B means, no point dilly-dallying. She was pretty early, as usual, but there were already people there, which was pretty sweet. Coleen and Nate, to be specific, which Jane approved of. Coleen was a total wallflower, but she was actually pretty talented despite her messed-up face. Jane felt bad for the poor girl. Nate was like a super ball; tiny and energetic, a little spazzy but a nice guy in general.

"What's up you two!" Jane exclaimed. Cheery, but probably overdoing it. Oh well, not like anyone gave a shit if she was weirdly peppy. They were probably glad she wasn't sulking or whatever if anything. Not that she sulked.

New Official V5 Away Thread

Espi Draws
I will get to this soon!

New Official V5 Away Thread

Handler: Espi
Dates Away: May 22-May 24
Days Away: 3
Reason for Away: Senior class trip, will probably not have time or access to internet.
Characters: Alice Baker, Jane Madison

Beginnings and Ends
So far, so good. Alice was pretty happy with what she had up until now, which consisted of the outline of the head and some rough facial features. It was a nice sketch, far from complete but on it's way. Alice smiled slightly. This was definitely helping her inspiration-wise.

Unfortunately, it still required social interaction, which was less Alice's forte and more her foe. She nodded, a little too vigorously, in response to Vinny's question. Then she realized how silly it looked, how childish, and winced. She hated appearing childish. She was 13, almost an adult.

"Uh, yeah. Kinda weird, I guess, but I like it." Way to be down on yourself, Alice. She held back a sigh and added, "But yeah, I do art and stuff. What about you, you draw?"

Jane Madison

Jane Madison
Thanks! Adjustments have been made.

Laws Of Motion
Unfortunately, Miss Ramsay caught on to Alice pretty quickly and called her out on her slacking. Alice winced, and started up again, but she couldn't help feel annoyed. She was so out of shape it wasn't even funny, and her complete lack of stamina was all but crippling.

Also odd (and slightly bothersome) was Irene's apparent need to stick to Alice. Luckily it seemed to be out of genuine altruism in this case, because she promised to keep Miss Ramsay off Alice's back, which was much appreciated. Alice gave a smile and relaxed her pace to a reasonable walk.

"Thanks..." Alice said quietly. Irene was proving a puzzling person, but at least she seemed to have honestly good intentions.

Beginnings and Ends
As soon as Alice spoke, she felt her face burn red with embarrassment. Oh, this was silly, why did she need to go and ask someone about this sort of thing? Vinny was just sitting here working, and here comes that Alice to ask a random question. Honestly, she expected him to say no. Who wouldn't? Weird girl asks to draw you, why agree?

Then he said yes. That was...good and bad. She'd worked herself up for disappointment and now she wasn't sure what to say when she got approval. "Oh, really? Uh, well, thanks." Smiling a little, Alice sat down at her new work station next to Vinny. She gazed at his face for a moment, trying to decide where to begin, and then started to draw.

Tracing an outline of the face was Alice's first step, and took about a minute to get the head shape where she wanted it. After that, Alice looked up at Vinny, suddenly feeling awkward about herself yet again. "Sorry, I got distracted." She paused. "I just...I wanted to try drawing someone, and you're pretty nice, so..." She trailed off, unable to shake the sense she was digging a hole and crawling into it.

Laws Of Motion
Increasingly flustered by Irene's breezy nature, Alice was glad the other girl was going to race the boy. It gave her a moment to think, collect her thoughts, not engage in conversation while running. It wasn't like she had anything against Irene, she just...they weren't really the kind of person Alice got, you know? She was too high energy.

Alice felt herself recede away from the other girl, slowing her pace. Her pace slowed further as the moved away from her. Still panting, Alice slowed her pace to a walk, and tried valiantly to keep going until the teacher said stop.

Oh, the boy was in her trig class, she realized. That's where she knew him from. Made sense. He seemed the cocky sort, the kind of guy who didn't take stuff seriously. He and Irene probably got along well.

Alice heard the shrill sound of the teacher calling her name, and looked over, confused. Then she looked down at her feet, and realized she'd stopped in place. Taking a deep breath, Alice kept going, trying to pick up a little speed despite the rasp of her breath constricting her lungs.

Espi's V6 Relationship Planning Thread
Updated again because I suck

New General SOTF Discussion Thread
So far Cicada's Irene has made a good impression on me, as has Nadia Riva by Laurels. For the most part I agree with Toben though, things'll pick up first before we see the really great stuff.