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Buster: And...action. <p class="MsoNormal">Arthur: Hi, today's show is...um, I forgot my first line. <p class="MsoNormal">Buster: Cut! Acting, today's show is all about acting. See? <p class="MsoNormal">Arthur: I got it. You don't have to shout, "Cut!" We're the only ones here. <p class="MsoNormal">Buster: I like shouting, "Cut!" It makes me feel professional. <p class="MsoNormal">Arthur: Today's show is all about acting.  Today's SHOW is ALL about... <p class="MsoNormal">Buster: Arthur and Buster's homemade show opening, take two. And...action. <p class="MsoNormal">Arthur: Hi, today's show is all about... <p class="MsoNormal">D.W.: You and Buster have to move.  Nadine and I are building a pillow fort in here. <p class="MsoNormal">Arthur: No way! Use the den. <p class="MsoNormal">D.W.: I can't, those pillows aren't right.  Anyway, I wouldn't be building a fort if you played with me once in a while, but you never do.  [SHE SOBS] You hate me. <p class="MsoNormal">Arthur: What? D.W., that's ridic... CUT! Cut. We'll move into the den, all right? <p class="MsoNormal">[SHE SOBS] <p class="MsoNormal">Nadine: You were wonderful. <p class="MsoNormal">D.W.: Now that's acting. <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: Fern! The sparkling butterfly barrette or the sparkling bow? <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Um, I dunno. They look the same to me. <p class="MsoNormal">Francine: It's an acting audition. They won't pay attention to your hair. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: It's for William Filmour Toffman, THE William Filmour Toffman. I have to look my best. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Who's William Filmour Toffman? <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: True East, Jimmy Hopped The C Train.  He's only the most famous theatre director in Crown City.  He directed his first play in Elwood City. It Began With The Whistle.  He's back for a revival of the play's 20th anniversary. <p class="MsoNormal">Francine: We're trying out for Little Lucie, the only kid in the play. Wanna come? <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Me? Audition? I can't act. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: So. Come for moral support.  Besides, you might see a star be born. <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">William Filmour Toffman: Bravo, bravo.  Gritty, but with a hint of ennui. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: Nice work, Francine.  You'd make a great understudy. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: - Next! <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: - Good luck. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: [SHE GASPS]  What did you say? <p class="MsoNormal">Francine: It's bad luck to say, "Good luck" to an actor.  You say break a leg, or something in French. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Oh. Bonjour. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Next, please. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: But, Grandma, can't you he-e-ear the whistle blowing? <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Thank you, Miss Crossmyer. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: Actually, it's Crosswire.  Thank you, Mr Toffman, I'm a huge fan. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: What's this? <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: My headshots, some postcards, a DVD of my most dramatic work, oh, and chocolates. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Ah, we have one more. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Oh, I'm not auditioning. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: What a pity. You look perfect for the role.  Thin, round shouldered, a certain hunger in the eyes. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Actually I just had a frozen yoghurt. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Ha ha ha, and a wit, to boot.  What did you say your name was? <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: - Fern. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: - Fern. Beautiful name.  Well, Fern, are you sure you don't want to climb the boards and give it a shot? <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Well...OK. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: Good...luck! <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: [SHE GASPS]  Finally, the cast list.  You can't be serious? <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: I'm Little Lucie?  But I didn't even act the line.  Maybe it's a mistake. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: Nope. Daddy's in the play too, he spoke to, he spoke to William Filmour Toffman.  Apparently you were just right for the part. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: But all I've ever played at school is a tree in the Arbour Day Extravaganza.  I'm gonna say no. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: You can't say no, this could launch your acting career. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: I don't want an acting career. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: I worked for hours having Bailey put together those headshots and you want to walk away? <p class="MsoNormal">Francine: Fern, there's gonna be great costumes, a cool set, it could be really fun. <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Welcome to the magnificent world of It Began With A Whistle.  A tragic tale of love and loss.  Redemption and more loss.  Behold... a model of our set.  It shall be your home for the next three weeks. <p class="MsoNormal">Nigel Ratburn: Evocative! <p class="MsoNormal">Ed Crosswire: Stunning! <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Depressing. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Exactly.  This play takes place during the Depression, so the set must therefore be...depressing. <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Um, Mr Toffman, I think I might be missing some pages.  I've only found one line for Little Lucie. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: And what a line it is.  In fact, I feel the whole play revolves around that line, Fern. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Oh, cool. <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Nigel Ratburn: "Then in the dust storm of 22, we left Amarillo, taking just what we could carry on our backs." <p class="MsoNormal">Thora Read: "Even the kettle don't work in this house." <p class="MsoNormal">Ed: "I am Big Daddy Booth." <p class="MsoNormal">Nigel Ratburn: "Because it would be the last I'd see of Oklahoma..." <p class="MsoNormal">Thora Read: "It's got a broken heart, it don't whistle no more.  Cos it forgot how. Like we forgot how."

Fern: "But, Grandma, can't you hear the whistle blowing?" <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: This is why I am in the theatre.  To hear the music of words the way you just read them.  And Fern, I love the way you made Lucie seem as if she were awaking from a deep psychological sleep.  Genius! <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Wow, maybe I am a natural. <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: And the award for best dramatic performance of a single line goes to... [HE GASPS] My protégée...Fern! <p class="MsoNormal">[APPLAUSE] <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: I wasn't expecting this, I mean, I know I've had rave reviews from every newspaper in the world and my fan mail needs its own dressing room, but still, it's such a shock.  Thank you. Thank you so much.  - Thank you... <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: - Fern! <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: - Huh? <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: Will you quit thanking the ketchup and pass it, please?  Daddy told me Will said you were a genius.  I'm just curious, what method do you use? <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Method? <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: Yeah, you know, how do you prepare? <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: I don't, I just say the line. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: You're going to be performing in front of hundreds of people.  You have to do more than that. Here...  Some material I thought might help you.  Books on technique, warm-up exercises, stuff like that. <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Thora Read: It's funny they call you the stranger, cos you seem familiar. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Red leather, yellow leather, red leather... <p class="MsoNormal">Nigel Ratburn: Folks always say I seem strange, but familiar. Strange that. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Stop, stop, stop, stop. Grandma, nice work.  Nigel, I need you to be stranger.  You seem...not strange enough. <p class="MsoNormal">Nigel Ratburn: Yes, right, of course. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: - And, Fern... <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: - Yes. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Do you know what acting is, Fern?  Acting is reacting. And you can't react unless you... <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Prepare. And learn your lines really, really well. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: You can't react unless you listen.  Little Lucie is a listener.  Take it from the top of the scene. <p class="MsoNormal">Thora Read: It's got a broken heart. Like all of us. - It don't whistle no more cos... <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: - But Grandma, can't you hear the whistle? <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Ladies and gentlemen, take five.  Fern, let's you and I take a stroll.  When I think of Little Lucie, I think of this tree. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: I can do that. I've played trees before. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: "Do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus."  Shakespeare. Hamlet's instructions to the players.  Fern, I don't want you to BE a tree.  I want you to be LIKE this tree. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: It doesn't move much. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Yes, but you can't help but notice it. <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Ed Crosswire: I am Big Daddy Booth. I am Big Daddy Booth. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: But Grandma, can't you hear the whistle blowing? But Grandma... <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Places everyone. Places. <p class="MsoNormal">D.W.: Why is he saying, "Places"? <p class="MsoNormal">Thora Read: It means the show is about to start and YOU have to go back to your seat. <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Thora Read: Even the kettle don't work in this house.  It's got a broken heart. It don't whistle no more cos... - c-c-cos... <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: - Cos it forgot how.  Like we forgot how.  Grandma, can't you hear the thistle blowing?  I hear thistle blowing out there on the dusty plains,  but I also hear a whistle blowing.  Don't you, Grandma? <p class="MsoNormal"> <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: Fern! <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Hey. I guess I wasn't such a genius, after all. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: What are you talking about? <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: I only had one line and I messed it up. <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: That wasn't in the script? I thought they just expanded your role. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: You're not just saying that? <p class="MsoNormal">Muffy: William Filmour Toffman was right, you're perfect for that part.  I could never play someone so dreary.  Nice work. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: Brava, Fern. Have some sparkling cider. <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: I'm really sorry I flubbed the line.  I promise it won't happen again. <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: You improvised. The dusty plains bit, genius.  And most importantly, you were really listening.  I was thinking, for tomorrow's show, we might restage the last scene.  Perhaps have you sit on the floor with a rag doll... <p class="MsoNormal">Fern: Hey, could we give Little Lucie another line or two? <p class="MsoNormal">Toffman: I'm not the playwright, Fern. I'm just the director.

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