Puff’s Second Act

By Joel Patterson

Audition Information

Project Status: Open
Gender: Leaning toward M voice, but will consider F
Artistic Direction: Storyteller, Quirky, Contemporary vs. Fairy Tale, unique POVs
Audition Script:

“This is magic, Puff, isn’t it?” Mary was beaming up at him from the shadows playing all over everyone.
Jackie Paper sat in his office, looking over the schedule for next week. The life of a music promoter was a good one, he mused, and it was also totally ridiculous. The scam artists and flakes he had to deal with, the fact he was barely scraping by… the way every time he’d hope that things would somehow start getting better, and they NEVER did, was all enough to make him want to throw in the towel… almost. Now there was every effort being made to put Honah Lee on the map as a tourist destination, an entertainment mecca, and he was right there for the if and when if it ever was going to happen. For now it was good enough, even as now stretched into years and years of the same hardscrabble deadlocked frustrating predicament. The music was good, though. He was making someone happy, hopefully.

One of the bouncers leaned his head in the doorway and shouted to Jackie that Puff was there.
Whoa! He hadn’t even thought of the guy in ages. Rumor was he’d moved away sometime during his adolescence and hadn’t been seen since. He scrambled, falling down the corridor.

Yes, there he was! Green scales positively glimmering in the light show, Jackie pushed through the crowd until he got within shouting distance–

“Puff! Hey! Oh my God, it’s you! What the– put ‘er there, old buddy!” Jackie leaped into Puff’s arms and clutched him in a squeezing embrace. Puff was helplessly sobbing, weeping with emotion.

“Jackie,” he managed to sputter out, “you’re looking– all grown up!”

“It’s been too long! So you’re back in town!”

“Yeah… thought I’d drop by. Actually got invited by one of your…” he looked around, but Mary had disappeared into the crowd. “This is a pretty wild party!”

“So Puff, man– we were just talking about this! We are looking for a spokesdragon!”
He’d never heard the term before. “The perfect way to brand the Old Town Hall! If you’re down for it! You can make appearances for us and fly celebrities around! Let’s talk!”

And so it was in this way that Puff entered his second act, an extended residency at one of the premier music venues in the entire region, now known far and wide as the birthplace of the magic industry, and the moral of the story is Puff learned that all these people he loved so much, all of them are someday going to grow old and die, and that was sad and everything, but there was tremendous joy to be had in living, just every day… and whether he liked it or not, that’s the way it was.

Instructions:

  • Record your version of the audition script
  • Upload your audio file to a file transfer service such as dropbox or wetransfer.com or, if your sample is below 10mb, you can email it as an attachment to submitATstoriesandvoice.com (replacing AT with the @ sign).
  • Fill out the audition submission form

All auditions will be considered until a voice actor is chosen and the status is marked as cast. I will also provide feedback if you are close, but I’d like to hear a tweak in direction.

Puff’s Second Act

Joel Patterson

A dragon lives forever… and?

Staring out of his cave at the endless sea this morning, Puff was trying to remember the last time he’d seen a pirate ship. It had been years… decades… where had they all gone? Were the anti-piracy measures so effective that they’d one and all relocated to the coasts of Somalia? And the kings and princes, what about them? Politics had passed them by, apparently. To be a king or a prince these days was a nickname, more than a title. If that kid from Minnesota was a prince, then he was a baby-faced orangutan. Ah, the modern world– for all its conveniences, much had been lost. It used to be that magic was a powerful force, when used correctly it brought about wonders beyond believing. True, there were excesses and a few choice dreadful blunders. Or was he just being provincial? The last of a long line of dragons, his ancestors had sparred with some of the most renowned nobles and wizards of antiquity. There was a grandeur back then, virtue was tested and either proven or found wanting. None of this wishy-washy equivocation, like now, where everyone is just fabulous, by decree– shudder to think someone would be called on to demonstrate their integrity, probity, morality! And the word “hero” is bandied about like clip art, cheapening the real heroes who’d actually risked their all for a cause. These were his thoughts, as he watched the waves rolling in and the gray clouds drifting ominously by overhead.

Then something caught his eye, some disturbance in the waters off the shore. He thought he heard a faint cry, and yes it was, someone was thrashing about in the surf. Arms flailing and plunging under. He strained for a better view, but the autumn mists were dense this morning. He saw a head bobbing! At once he leapt out of the cave, spreading his wings and soaring down to the rescue.

It was a girl– barely a teenager, he guessed– and she was struggling and being dragged under. Puff encircled her with his wings and lifted her out of the ocean and carried her to the beach, she sputtering and coughing up seawater. She’d gotten her foot caught in a lobster trap, which had somehow gotten unmoored and washed up close to the beach. He gingerly released her from the device and held up her head with a green, scaly webbed foot. Gradually her convulsing eased, and she looked up at Puff with squinting, nearly crossed eyes.

She was a typical child of the village, he thought, except for one obvious impairment: a safety pin was punctured clean through her cheek. It was not bleeding, so it had clearly happened some time ago, but it was a disturbing malady nonetheless, and he wondered how it had happened.

“Are you injured?” he inquired.

She wheezed and seemed to finally have gotten her breath back.
“No, I’m okay. Thank you! What happened to me?”

“You got tangled up in a lobster trap– what it was doing all the way up here, who knows. You might need to go to the doctor’s. There’s something stuck in your cheek.”

She stared up at him, uncomprehendingly, then let out a startled little laugh. “Ha! This?” And she motioned to the adornment. “It’s just a piercing.”

“I see that.”

“Oh!” She rubbed the sand away from her eyes. “I think you saved my life! Who are you?”

Puff motioned to the cave entrance, several hundred feet above in the steep rock wall that rose from the sand. “That’s my home. It’s been in my family for generations. My name is Puff,” and he held out a claw.

“I’m Mary,” the girl said, grasping it with her tiny fingers. “I don’t remember ever seeing you here.”

“I don’t get out much,” Puff mumbled. “Don’t have that many friends, anymore.” He blinked a few times, and she thought she saw a tear welling up.

“How about we be friends?” she offered.

It was amazing how quickly the sky cleared that morning. Puff took Mary on a swooping, whirling flight out over the ocean, she hanging onto his furfuraceous back and laughing uproariously. The tugboats in the harbor roared greetings to the flying monster, and he bellowed back his thundering replies. Finally they landed near the boardwalk. Puff liked this girl. She had a lively, cheerful attitude, and that impulsive energy that’s second-nature to the young.

“Puff,” she began cautiously, “there’s going to be a dance tonight at the Old Town Hall. I don’t know if that’s your thing or not, but some friends of mine are going to be there. You wanna come? You don’t have to… but it would be cool if you did, I’d like you to meet everybody.”

“They allow dragons?”

“They allow worse than that! I mean–oh, you know what I mean!” The girl had a sparkling, tingling giggle. “Why don’t I meet you here at sunset?”

Mary showed up with her girlfriends– all decked out for the evening, which meant clothes with gaping, shredded slices and torn off arms. They all rode into town on Puff’s back. At their approach, the traffic cop on duty cleared the intersection so they could touch down safe and sound. Car horns honked, and people were flashing their headlights.

Puff ducked his head so he could get in the door. Once inside, he was greeted with the sight of couples swirling around the dance floor, the flashing colored lights, the fog machine. “Other toys,” he mused.
He loved the music. It was different from anything he’d ever known. It seemed like he was walking through it– instead of coming from anywhere, it was all around him, and moving through him. It was like being underwater. They had a strobe light that they’d turn on, and then he’d see, in rapid succession, still frames of everyone frozen in time. That effect made the whole scene even more marvelous. He marveled at it. Something’s happening here, he reflected. Something’s being created that’s more than the sum of the parts. There’s a frenzy in the air. You could feel it.

“This is magic, Puff, isn’t it?” Mary was beaming up at him from the shadows playing all over everyone.
Jackie Paper sat in his office, looking over the schedule for next week. The life of a music promoter was a good one, he mused, and it was also totally ridiculous. The scam artists and flakes he had to deal with, the fact he was barely scraping by… the way every time he’d hope that things would somehow start getting better, and they NEVER did, was all enough to make him want to throw in the towel… almost. Now there was every effort being made to put Honah Lee on the map as a tourist destination, an entertainment mecca, and he was right there for the if and when if it ever was going to happen. For now it was good enough, even as now stretched into years and years of the same hardscrabble deadlocked frustrating predicament. The music was good, though. He was making someone happy, hopefully.

One of the bouncers leaned his head in the doorway and shouted to Jackie that Puff was there.
Whoa! He hadn’t even thought of the guy in ages. Rumor was he’d moved away sometime during his adolescence and hadn’t been seen since. He scrambled, falling down the corridor.

Yes, there he was! Green scales positively glimmering in the light show, Jackie pushed through the crowd until he got within shouting distance–

“Puff! Hey! Oh my God, it’s you! What the– put ‘er there, old buddy!” Jackie leaped into Puff’s arms and clutched him in a squeezing embrace. Puff was helplessly sobbing, weeping with emotion.

“Jackie,” he managed to sputter out, “you’re looking– all grown up!”

“It’s been too long! So you’re back in town!”

“Yeah… thought I’d drop by. Actually got invited by one of your…” he looked around, but Mary had disappeared into the crowd. “This is a pretty wild party!”

“So Puff, man– we were just talking about this! We are looking for a spokesdragon!”
He’d never heard the term before. “The perfect way to brand the Old Town Hall! If you’re down for it! You can make appearances for us and fly celebrities around! Let’s talk!”

And so it was in this way that Puff entered his second act, an extended residency at one of the premier music venues in the entire region, now known far and wide as the birthplace of the magic industry, and the moral of the story is Puff learned that all these people he loved so much, all of them are someday going to grow old and die, and that was sad and everything, but there was tremendous joy to be had in living, just every day… and whether he liked it or not, that’s the way it was.

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