“Come in,” I yelled without looking up from the laptop because I really wanted to finish the scene without derailing my train of thought.
“Hey, can we talk if you have a sec?” a familiar voice asked from the doorway.
Not wanting to be rude, I finally glanced over at my guest and did a double take, as I always do, when I see The Devil off the set and out of costume.
He wore torn, faded jeans and a baggy Duke Blue Devils hoodie, rather than the usual impeccably tailored suit. His hair, which was normally slicked back, was parted to the side and in desperate need of a trim.
“What’s up?” I questioned as I closed the laptop to give my costar my full attention.
I grabbed myself a Snapple from the trailer’s fridge, and offered one to my visitor, but he declined with a quick wave of his hand.
“I was just going over the script for today’s episode, and I’m a little lost,” Lucifer admitted as he held up the pages.
“How can I help you find you way?” I returned, and then regretted it the moment I’d said it because it made me sound like a typical Hollywood prick.
The Prince of Darkness wandered a little further into my trailer and sat down on the couch across from my desk.
“Well, there really isn’t much here,” he told me with just a hint of disappointment in his voice. “It just says stuff like ‘Austin and The Devil riff on Thanksgiving’, ‘The Devil tells a story about what the holiday is like in Hell’, and ‘Austin hints that he’s depressed because Thanksgiving reminds him of the first time The Sweet Irish Girl visited The House on the Hill.’ You know that improv isn’t my strongest area.”
“This has been a busy week for me with work, The Nite Show, and my new screenplay, which is part of the reason I went this route,” I explained with a smile. “The thing is, the fans love our Sunday adventures because of the way we play off each other. I thought a little improv would tap into that even more.”
As the writer-producer-star of The Sundays With Satan Series, I’m always looking for avenues to present the material in fresh ways to surprise the audience, and to keep them from growing bored with the same two characters and limited sets.
Satan shook his head in disagreement. “The whole reason I signed on to this project was because of your writing and your passion for the piece. Your words soften the way the world looks at me, and have turned me into a comedy star. Now, when I approach people in hopes of stealing their souls, they let their guard down because they think I’m the funny, easygoing character you’ve created.”
“Thank you for the kind words,” I said sincerely. “But I think you’re giving me too much credit. You do an amazing job of bringing my words to life.”
I also used to direct every episode, but I found it was better for the project as a whole to hand over the reins to another set of creative eyes. Also, truth be told, it was becoming more and more difficult to elicit powerful performances out of my quirky costar, who insisted on being very Method in his acting.
“I just don’t trust myself to be as witty and sharp as you make me when you come up with all my lines,” The Devil admitted as he ran his long fingers through his hair. “This is the Thanksgiving Special and I don’t want to ruin it by telling another one of my inanely boring stories about life in Hell.”
He had a point. I couldn’t believe what a horrible storyteller Lucifer was. You’d think he’d be able to spin the most amazing yarns about what it’s like in Hell, but listening to him talk about his job made me feel like I was the one suffering in Hell.
“I’ve got some time, so let me put together a more solid script for today,” I volunteered because I knew it was the only was to get The Prince of Darkness out of my trailer and allow me to have some peace and quiet. “It might require you to wear one of those geeky Pilgrim hats and chase a live turkey around The House on the Hill, though.”
Satan’s face lit up with joy and relief. “Outstanding! Sounds like the Thanksgiving Special our fans have come to expect. I’m going to study up on the Pilgrims so I can really immerse myself into my character.”
“Great idea!” I exclaimed with enthusiasm so fake that I was certain he’d pick up on it.
Luckily for me, though, Hell’s greatest Method Actor had already descended into his grim Pilgrim persona and headed to the door without another word.
Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for tuning in and spending your holiday with us…
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