Today is all about donuts. Child stars. Youtube.
This was my prompt from 31 plays in 31 days:
I think I’m one of the only people in the world that doesn’t really like donuts that much. I mean, if you put a little one in front of me, sure I’ll eat a bit. It’s sugar, and I’m human. But if I never ate another donut in my life I probably wouldn’t even notice. But if you love them, I get it. They’re colourful and fun and have some really wacky flavours (that I discovered while writing this)!
Here’s where my brain went while pondering the above Simpsons-esque donut:
A young woman’s face is projected across the back screen. She’s Tiffani. 25 years old with wild, hysterical eyes. She laughs.
TIFFANI: You guys, I’m so dead. Just added way too much flour so these donuts are gonna be, like, so thick. Even Thicc, double c, just fat ass donuts. But I am not gonna let this bring me down. I’m gonna keep rolling out this dough. Just rollin’, rollin’, rollin’. And, uh, yeah.
The screen goes black for a second. Then her face is back – still in extreme close up, still grinning madly.
TIFFANI: Ohmygod, you are not gonna believe this. This is like my worst nightmare. Seriously, you guys! I added WAY too much flour and these donuts are gonna be like tough and just so tough. I can add more milk but argggh! Like, why did I get up this morning? Donuts are my life, and –
The screen goes black again. Beat. Her face is back, smiling but now calmer.
TIFFANI: These are going to be the most amazing raspberry glazed donuts ever. Like you guys will just explode. Pinch of nutmeg (y’all know why, if you’ve been here longer than a minute), and then I just need to add a touch more flour just to –
She gasps and then stops. Freezes. She can’t believe what just happened.
Oh, no, no, that didn’t happen.
Pause. She looks like she’s going to cry.
TIFFANI: I think I just… I don’t know if… shit. Oh, shit. Guys, I literally just dumped a whole bucket of flour on my dough. I just…
I can’t even…
I don’t even know if I can, like, can these even be saved?
Look at this – can you see that? It’s like a big snow mountain, it’s –
There’s a noise beside her – door opening, footsteps – and Tiffani reacts in shock. Mostly in anger.
TIFFANI: What the fuck?! I’m trying to film here!
Screen blacks out, and lights up on a small, dilapidated donut shop.
Tiffani is there at a table, with her phone, tripod and lights, shooting the flour-covered dough. The shop is completely empty (and looks like it has been for some time)… except for a middle aged couple who have just entered.
The man is big, broad shouldered, and wears dark sunglasses that he doesn’t like to remove.
The woman is tiny, bird-like in the way she flits around the space. She’s clearly wearing a wig, and her makeup is impressively thick and colourful.
TIFFANI: You are so lucky this wasn’t a livestream.
The woman, Barbara, runs forward, holding out a business card.
BARBARA: Here, here, here. Barbara Blushings. Aren’t you just a button?
Barbara grabs hold of Tiffani and kisses her on both cheeks.
TIFFANI: Don’t touch me! Get off.
BARBARA: Ooh, say that again, louder!
BARBARA: Yes, even with a scowl, you’re so photogenic.
TIFFANI: What do you want?
The sunglasses man – Reggie – clears his throat.
REGGIE: You do plain cinnamon?
BARBARA: No, Reggie, no!
No donuts until you admit what you took yesterday.
BARBARA: Then no donuts.
TIFFANI: I don’t have any made anyway. Might as well fuck off.
BARBARA: Barbara Blushings. Blushings Child & Youth Modelling agency.
BARBARA: Not just modelling. We do commercial work, TV, everything.
You call yourself Donut Queen.
TIFFANI: No, that’s my channel. My stage name is Tiffani Funfetti.
BARBARA: You were recommended to me. Friend of a friend, sort of thing.
TIFFANI: To do what?
BARBARA: Honey, I want to represent you! Let’s grow this little junior influencer thing into a fully-fledged TV and Movie career.
BARBARA: That’s what I do, sweetie. Done it with some of the best. Basically, you pick any child actor, and I was the one who made them a star. Any one.
REGGIE: Shirley Temple.
BARBARA: Shut up, Reggie.
TIFFANI: You represent kids.
BARBARA: Every size, shape and colour you can think of.
REGGIE: Not really Indian kids, though, do we? Very hard to find them in this area.
BARBARA: (to Reggie) You think you were close to getting a donut? You run a mile backwards with your ass flapping in the wind, and that’s how close you are now.
TIFFANI: Ok, but I’m not a kid, am I?
BARBARA: Well, excuse me, but it took us a long time to find you.
TIFFANI: How is that my fault?
BARBARA: Sweetie pie, sugar. What I’m saying is – I still think you got that chirpy little Disney channel vibe.
TIFFANI: I’m 25.
BARBARA: So? You’re cute. With the right styling, a bit of practise, you could pass for 16. And if you’re prepared to get braces, I could definitely see you getting 13 year old roles.
TIFFANI: I’m an entrepreneur, ok? My channel reaches thousands –
REGGIE: Only thousands?
TIFFANI: Hundreds of thousands, and I’ve already got a path carved out for myself. I’ve got a plan, it’s written down, it’s all set out in my vision board, and it’s happening. So, you can stick your braces up your tiny, little –
BARBARA: Millions. You could be earning millions by next year.
BARBARA: Same wage as an adult, plus there are penalties if they make you work overtime, you get a guardian on set with you –
TIFFANI: Hold on, wait, wait. Are you saying I should actually pretend to be a child? Like, not just on screen, but…?
BARBARA: Honey bunny, that’s why I’m here.
TIFFANI: Oh my God, that’s – (she laughs) That’s hilarious. So fucked up. I’m dead. Just dead.
BARBARA: Oh, it’s totally fucked up.
BARBARA: You’ll get to grow and blossom, go through your teen years again. But this time with more knowledge, experience, and better skin. They’ll fall in love with you – ‘Wisdom beyond her years’, ‘So mature,’ blah blah blah. And then one day, they’ll all work it out. Something will get out, and suddenly you’re the scandal of the century. Your face on every single magazine, in news stories, all over the internet. You know what they do with a story that juicy? They make it into a movie. Biopic. The Tiffani Funfetti story. Fake child star. Guess who will play you?
REGGIE: Shirley Temple.
BARBARA: Get out. No, I mean it. Go. Sit in the car.
BARBARA: Everyone will know your story. Forever.
And then what? Well, you wait a few years, you write a book. Delicious scandal like that, everyone’s going to want the true story. The real Tiffani, in her own words. They feel sorry for you, realise you were just a victim in all this, really just a sweet, innocent child…
Everything flips – actually she was a brilliant actress, didn’t she deserve more? Yeah, let’s give her a second chance.
And then, you’re in middle age, the roles are flying in, and before you know it, you’ve got an Academy Award. You’re distinguished, respected, and you’ve got it all.
Pause. Tiffani takes it all in.
BARBARA: Or you can keep doing donuts. That’s fine, too.
Thanks for reading my Donut Queen play! Hope you enjoyed it x