Off-scene director: Ok comic strip characters, this show will start with or without you.
Off-scene director: We will not be intimidated by your absence.
Off-scene director: Huh oh, the producer...
Off-scene producer: Why did you start this series without any characters?
Off-scene director: Contractual dispute, they want more money.
Off-scene producer: How can airing comic strips without characters be any good?
Off-scene director: Negociation tactic. The characters will feel less important than they think.
Off-scene director: Ok comic strip characters, I have a clear mandate to bring you on board.
Off-scene character: How much will we get paid?
Off-scene director: Not much, but you risk total non-existence if you refuse.
Off-scene character: We'll think about it.
Off-scene producer: What about that big star we were about to hire?
Off-scene director: He dropped us to reprise his Dilbert role.
Off-scene director: Though business.
Off-scene director: And who might you be?
Off-scene assistant: I'm your newly appointed comic strip stage assistant.
Off-scene director: I obviously had too much to manage.
Off-scene director: I see that you are a woman.
Off-scene assistant: How observing of you.
Off-scene director: Funny. It's for the benefit of our audience.
Off-scene assistant: You need more help than I thought
Off-scene director: The producer is considering cutting our comic strip budget
Off-scene assistant: What? we have a budget?
Off-scene director: That does it! If no characters want to go on stage then I'll do it myself.
Off-scene assistant: What's wrong?
Off-scene director: Stage fright
Off-scene director: The name's Bond, James Bond
Off-scene assistant: What are you doing?
Off-scene director: Trying to build self-confidence before going on stage.
Off-scene assistant: Still have stage fright?
The director mumbles unclear words.
Off-scene director: Darn stage fright
Off-scene assistant: Old trick. Imagine going in front of naked comic strip readers.
Off-scene director screaming: Aaarghh!
Off-scene director: I realize that my desire to go on stage was partly ego-oriented.
Off-scene assistant: Don't worry. Your stage fright probably did your ego a favor.
Off-scene director: That does not help at all.
Off-scene assistant: You're welcome.
Off-scene director: Huh oh, the producer again...
Off-scene producer: I thought the comic characters' labor dispute was resolved.
Off-scene director: They have cold feet about having their career associated forever with us.
Off-scene assistant: I have a suggestion to improve the series.
Off-scene producer: Who is she?
Off-scene director: The new comic strip assistant you hired to help me out.
Off-scene producer: Hi there. Though job. You deserve a raise.
Off-scene assistant: Thanks. Now if you'll excuse me.
Off-scene director: Perhaps you could go on stage.
Off-scene assistant: It's not part of my contract.
Off-scene director: Your contract is to help me out.
Off-scene assistant: And to help you sign clearer contracts.
Off-scene director: We need to increase our female viewership.
Off-scene assistant: How about having something to view first ?
Off-scene director: Do you always need to be such a rational geek?
Off-scene assistant: It's funnier with a male audience.
Off-scene director: Apparently, people in the entertainment business have a greater psychological need to be admired.
Off-scene assistant: I sure hope that's not our case.
A reader's letter: Dear PsyZoo author, when will you be moving on with some real characters?
Off-scene director: Funny how that sounds like a prayer from our perspective.
Off-scene assistant: ... and hoping to receive a direct answer.