Questo pezzetto è una delle due storie che ho scritto durante il corso di scrittura creativa in inglese Found in Translation che quest’estate abbiamo organizzato all’Istituto italiano di cultura di Dublino.
Le tutor erano Catherine Dunne e Lia Mills.

Si tratta dell’audizione di un’aspirante personaggia di un romanzo che sto scrivendo sotto il titolo provvisorio di «La razza».

È pubblicato sul sito di Catherine, qui.

Audition for a part in the novel ‘The race’ by Federica Sgaggio
Found in Translation Course, 2017.

The theatre is dark.
The theatre is empty.
Just one individual – the author – is sitting on a red velvet seat in the third row.

«May I?», she says while putting the curtain aside.
«Of course. Good morning».
«Good morning».

An intense smell of jasmine, violet, white flowers.
«What’s your name?».
«Jessica, Jessica Rabbit».
«Nice name, madame».
«Well: I don’t think at myself as a madame, madame».
«Neither do I, darling».
«Oh, that’s interesting».
«Yes, it definitely is. Would you mind telling me something about yourself? Why would you like to have the main part in my novel, for instance?».

«Oh, well…». Jessica looks surprised.
«Aren’t you here for the audition?».
«Oh, yes. Sure, for the audition!».
«Great. So, please…».
«Oh, well… As you can see by yourself, ehm, I do have long curly red wonderful hair». She touches a lock with her right hand.
«Lovely hair, you have. Would have liked to have it myself».
«Oh, really?».
«Do you always start your sentences with an “oh”, Jessica?».
«Oh, no! Not at all, madame the author».

«Well, then. I see you have long beautiful hair. Would you tell me something more about you?».
«Oh, well… I am tall and slender, too. You know: I love to take care of myself the best I can. I am 32, after all. A girl has to think of her future, protect her own body».
«And do you love your body?».
«O… Well, I didn’t mean to say “oh”, sorry».
«No need to apologise, I like you».
«Oh, do you really like me?».
«Indeed. And I will love you all the more so if you are so kind to provide me with some more details about you. I am curious, Jessica. That’s what my job is about. I would be supposed to write a whole book about you».

«Oh, my job! I am a journalist, I graduated in journalism! I work for a weekly beauty magazine called Take It Easy… but I like hard news».
«Do you?».
«Oh, yes! And there are hard news also in beauty magazines, you know?».
«Would you give me an example?».
«Oh, I am working on an investigative piece, at the moment…».
«… which is about what?».
«Oh, it would be a secret, but, you know, I know that you are not going to tell anything to anybody, aren’t you?».
«Of course I won’t».
«Oh, great. I knew you are loyal. Well. A series of awful crimes, thefts, happened here, in this town. In the best gym&spa private clubs! Those where VIP’s use to go! I am investigating on that. Shh!».

«Let me just go back to your body, if you don’t mind, Jessica».
«Oh, no, that’s fine».
«You said you like it».
«Yes, I love it. My mother used to be a model. She was so beautiful, you should have seen her. She had those nice tiny little breasts… so classy, you know. Not like mine. I am… well… well, I am kind of explosive, you see? But I am not that type of a girl. I attend yoga classes. I am not really into religion, you know, but I kind of like the Buddha sort of things… I meditate a lot… And I go to the gym twice a week, I am thinking of hiring a personal trainer… Such a fortune you are a woman writer! We can have a light, relaxed chat about this stuff… Men are so… so… unpredictable and unreliable!».

«By the way, Jessica. What can you tell me about your father?».
«Oh, we don’t actually know who he is… You know… parties in Milan, parties in the Swinging London. And, well, you don’t surely need more details about what can happen when young women and young men gather for a night out, do you?».
«No, I don’t».

«… and… and I have a collection of iPhones, you should see it, you would fall in love with them. And I love stilettos as well! Prada stilettos!».
«Are those you are wearing now Prada shoes?».
«Oh, I knew you would recognise them. I knew that for sure. A woman can pick them out of a stack of a billion shoes, isn’t it?».

«Yes, of course. And, are you happy with your job?».
«Well, I am very happy. I have a very nice editor, Brett Sinclair, I think he is an aristocratic of some kind… maybe British, don’t know for sure».
«Did I hear a silent “but”?».
«Oh, well. Maybe… I would like to work for Trinity Claire, actually. I would like to find my big, big scoop, you know… Robert Redford and all the rest».

«Do you mean the Watergate?».
«Oh, well. Was it the Watergate that story with Deep Throat?».
«Yes, it was. And what does your mother think of you?».
«I don’t really know…».
«I see…».
«… yes. The fact is that she lives in a nursing home even if she’s not that old. Her brain faded away, you know. Oh, maybe all those years of modelling… Maybe they were too tiring for her, poor Mummy… I go to visit her from time to time, but I have a very demanding job, you know. Plus, journalism is very important for democracy, you know. If I have to choose between my mother and democracy, well, you can well figure out by yourself what I go for…».
«And have you ever met your grandparents?».
«Oh, well… They were not that happy with my mother’s job, I guess. But they were lovely to me. Mum said once that they had told her: “Darling, she’s so cute. Not all bastards are as nice as she is”».

«And, tell me: why are you here?».
«Oh, well! Because I want the part!».
«And, aren’t you curious of what my novel is about?».
«Yes! Yes! Of course I am! I should have asked at the beginning, of course! Sorry for not asking! Oh, yes! Of course! What is your novel about?».
«My novel is about journalism, and a conspiracy».
«Oh, this is great! Journalism. Oh, my dear God! That’s fabulous!».

«I would not be that enthusiastic, darling, but I think it’s a nice piece of work».
«Your novel, you mean?».
«Oh! I am totally sure that your novel is a masterpiece! You are so lovely, and good at what you do! No, I am sure of it. I am not joking! I am very, very serious. I can see greatness in people. And you are great!».
«Thank you, Jessica».
«Oh, well, I hope you are not thinking that I am trying to influence you, or – even worse – flatter you?».
«I am not».

«Oh, you look a bit crossed… I am so sorry».
«I am perfectly fine. You don’t need to be sorry».
«Oh, I did not mean… You know… I always end up doing or saying the wrong thing… With my fiancée I did the same, and then all of it end up rotting. I found out he was having an affair with Sharon».
«Sharon? You’re calling her by her first name. Would I be supposed to know her?».
«Think so. She’s Sharon Stone, you know».
«I see».
«Oh, well. It was all so sad».
«Okay, Jessica. I think we are done».

«Oh, thank you for being so kind to me, Frederica».
«Oh, no: my name is Jessica».
«And mine is Federica, without a second “r”».
«Oh, sorry!».
«No problem at all».
«Oh, well… Hope we will meet again, then, Fred… Sorry: Federica».
«All the best, Jessica».

«Oh, I have just a question, sorry: will I have the part?».