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This is your first scene. Last edited by kaianchee, 1 month ago. 0 comments. More scene info.

International student Thing fIRST DRAFT - Sc. 1

kaianchee - 1 month ago 5 versions.

An empty stage. The year is 2017. We are facing the audience, stage lights are on, it is silent until we hear the footsteps of JAYNE (28). We see her back as she walks onto the stage. She is dressed fashionably. Silently, she takes off her heels and drops her bag on the ground, almost in a trance. She sits on the edge of the stage, legs hanging off. Cut to side profile, close up on JAYNE. She sighs deeply.

kaianchee - 1 month ago 3 versions.

JAYNE

I'm home.

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Blackout. Cut to SC. 2, JAYNE at a cafe writing in a notebook. She looks like she's been crying, and keeps wiping at her eyes as she writes. We hear what she writes as a voiceover.

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JAYNE V.O.

I didn't know I'd miss it so much.

kaianchee - 11 days ago 2 versions.

From Jayne's perspective, we see young kids around the cafe dressed in navy, white, and khaki uniforms.

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JAYNE V.O. (CONT'D)

I'm twenty-eight. Successful.

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Jayne sighs and leans on her hand, takes a sip of coffee.

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JAYNE V.O. (CONT'D) (CONT'D)

Big time journalist in a big time city. New York. Yeah, that one. Most people go to struggle for the hell of it in some crazy hopes that they'll break into an unforgiving, underpaying industry at some point before they hit decomposition.

kaianchee - 11 days ago 8 versions.

She wipes at her eyes, laughing at herself a little.

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JAYNE V.O. (CONT'D) (CON

I guess it could have happened to me. The struggle. For a second I felt the tortured artist inside of me want to find some self indulgent shit to roll around in. You know, something that would give me "life experience."

kaianchee - 11 days ago 5 versions.

She looks up again at the kids milling around.

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Jayne V.O. (CONT'D) (CON (CONT'D)

I wanted to be an actress. But not just regional theatre in Milwaukee or something. I wanted to make it big, do those parts that turned the stage into a mirror and let me hold two thousand beating hearts in the palm of my hand.

kaianchee - 11 days ago 7 versions.

She takes a sip of coffee and laughs at herself.

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JAYNE V.O. (CONT'D) (CON (CONT'D)

But then I thought fuck that shit, man. Six months into eating beans for every meal and a job at the New York Times falls into my lap. Gotta love family connections. Low level but with the promise of promotions to come. It's still creative, I told myself.

kaianchee - 11 days ago 6 versions.

JAYNE V.O.

I can buy clothes at Madewell before the sale section goes on sale. I can buy artisanal olive oils just so that I can put dried flowers in the empty bottle afterwards. I live with one roommate, not five, in a place with both an elevator and a laundry room. In the building.

kaianchee - 1 month ago 3 versions.

As she passes through the kids, time slows down for a second and we see a younger version of Jayne sitting with KATIE and RENEE. They are all sixteen and dressed in the same uniforms as the other high schoolers. They are chatting and smiling, and look very happy.

kaianchee - 1 month ago 2 versions.

JAYNE V.O. (CONT'D)

It's weird how back then all of us were so far from home but somehow home came to us. And we made something of it. We made that world out of mispronounced Chinese words and food out of street carts at midnight. Out of bargaining for fake Michael Kors bags that cost less than my vegan salad from By Chloe. Out of knowing we were our own island and fighting to stay afloat in somewhere weird and new.

kaianchee - 11 days ago 6 versions.

Time returns to its normal pace and Jayne leaves the coffee shop. She throws one more look at her younger self and friends right as she gets to the door.

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JAYNE V.O. (CONT'D) (CON

I always told myself that when I left China was when I would start getting real opportunities.

kaianchee - 11 days ago 6 versions.

SC. 3 - Int. classroom. This is a flashback. The year is 2004, there are a bunch of kids sitting in a circle. They all wear different variations of navy, white, and blue uniforms. MRS. EGGLESTON (50), a very peppy teacher, stands in the center and address them.

kaianchee - 1 month ago 5 versions.

MRs. EGGLESTON

Welcome, guys, to new student orientation! My name is Mrs. Eggleston and I'm your guidance counselor. I know moving is scary but I'm here to help you guys out. Think of me as a friend, okay?

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Nobody says anything. It is very quiet, the kids are clearly anxious.

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MRs. EGGLESTON (CONT'D)

So what we're going to do first is start out with a little ice breaker game. The Student Ambassadors are going to pass out some worksheets and we're going to get started!

kaianchee - 1 month ago 3 versions.

Kids dressed in navy suit jackets begin to pass out worksheets with bingo grids on them. One kid, a jock-y manly bro type with a shaved head, BRYCE (15), pushes his friends and they engage in typical high school rowdy boy behavior.

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MRS. EGGLESTON

Bryce! Since you have so much energy, do you mind explaining the icebreaker today?

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Bryce jumps up on a table and uses it as a podium.

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BRYCe (CONT'D)

(Confident, cocky) Okay so. Yo my new peeps, my name is Bryce Gordon but you can call me B Gords or your spirit guide. Today we're gonna be playing bingo, except we're not at an old people's home and there's no numbers so it's basically not bingo it's just a bunch of words in a grid--

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MRs. EGGLESTON

(Interrupting)--okay Bryce, I think that's enou--

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BRYCe

(Talking over her) --you're gonna look in a box and see stuff like "has three siblings" or "plays the violin" or "dated your sister's super hot friend Payton over the summer"--

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Bryce's two friends standing near the table high five him, probably say encouraging dude things like "Yeah bro!"

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BRYCe (CONT'D)

And you find someone else who did that stuff and then you check the box! Whabam, bingo done.

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He mimes an imaginary mic drop and jumps off the table.

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Mrs. EGGLESTON

(trying to regain composure, a little flustered) Thank you, Bryce, for that, ah, interesting explanation. Let's get started!

kaianchee - 1 month ago 5 versions.

We see the kids slowly turn to one another, none of them want to do this, it is super lame. We focus in on a young Jayne, who sits by herself and looks paralyzed with fear at the prospect at talking to new people. The girl next to her, QUINCY, turns and tries to strike up a conversation. Quincy talks very fast and, while well meaning, is mostly annoying and way too chatty.

kaianchee - 1 month ago 8 versions.

QUINCY

(looking at the bingo sheet) So do you like to bake? It says here bake cookies specifically but honestly there are so many more fun things to bake than just cookies. I like baking profiteroles because the word is fun and you also get to dip the tops of them in chocolate. What about you? Oh, and I'm Quincy, by the way.

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JAYNE

I...um...I do like to bake, yeah. And hi, I'm Jayne.

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Jayne tentatively stretches out a hand but Quincy plows on straight through.

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QUINCY

Oh my gosh, profiteroles too? I thought they were totally a British thing, you know, 'cuz I just moved here after living in the UK for five years. You know like scones they're just, ugh, so mainstream, everyone is like (fakey british accent) "scones with the queen" and I just, I know better than that you know. Did I mention I lived in the UK for five years?

kaianchee - 1 month ago 6 versions.

JAYNE

Er, yeah. You did. And I like to bake banana bread.

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QUINCY

Oh that's...cute, I guess. Mashed bananas, yum yum.

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Beat. It's silent for a second as neither knows what to say.

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QUINCY (CONT'D)

So where did you move from? I was in the UK for five years and before that Singapore for five. And Texas before that for four. But I was born in Paris.

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JAYNE

(genuinely impressed) Oh, wow. That's really cool. I, um, was in Hong Kong for a couple years and Beijing before that. But I was born in Malaysia.

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QUINCY

Oh. I see. (she is clearly unimpressed but tries to cover it up) How fun! Lucky you not having to move around too much--or too far!

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JAYNE

(getting a little annoyed) Yeah, I just had to leave all my friends in Hong Kong to come here, lucky me.

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QUINCY

(raised eyebrows) Well...you wouldn't even imagine how hard it was for me to--

kaianchee - 1 month ago 3 versions.

Before Quincy can finish her point, Mrs. Eggleston summons the class to attention.

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MRs. EGGLESTON

And that's bingo! Great game, huh? Look at all of you, making new friends. I love watching connections being made. (sighs rapturously) New student orientation. Connections. So many things in common!

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She looks around the room with an expectant smile. It is dead silent.

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JAYNE

(whispered under her breath) Yeah, so much in common.

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While Quincy hasn't heard Jayne's quip, Katie, the girl sitting on her other side, catches her eye and smiles. Jayne smiles back.

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MRS. EGGLESTON

So we're going to take an hour for lunch now. Free pizza in the cafeteria! Be back at 1 and maybe sit with a new friend!

kaianchee - 1 month ago 3 versions.

As Jayne begins to leave Quincy looks like she's about to ask her to sit together at lunch. Katie swoops in and threads an arm through Jayne's elbow.

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KATIE

Jayne? Oh, my god, JAYNE! From Beijing International School? Oh my god it's so good to see you!

kaianchee - 1 month ago 2 versions.

Katie's greeting whisks Jayne out of the room and away from Quincy, who stands there seething for a few seconds before composing herself. The two walk down the hall together, arms threaded for a few seconds, before going down a staircase and separating.

kaianchee - 1 month ago 3 versions.

JAYNE

(too relieved to be awkward) Thank you for that, I honestly don't know what I would have done, that conversation definitely ran its course.

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KATIE

It's totally fine. I saw the way she was grilling you. My pleasure to save a fellow new student.

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They share a smile.

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JAYNE

(this time a real outstretched hand) I'm Jayne, by the way. We didn't actually meet.

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KATIE

(takes it; her next line is jokingly) What do you mean? Long lost friends and all that.

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The two genuinely laugh and continue walking down the stairs.

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KATIE (CONT'D)

I'm Katie. And I've never even been to Beijing International School.

kaianchee - 1 month ago 2 versions.

JAYNE

(laughs) Do you, um, want to sit next to me at lunch? I promise I won't talk about profiteroles.

kaianchee - 1 month ago 2 versions.

KATIE

I'd love to.

kaianchee - 1 month ago
 
 
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