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LOVE SEX MONEY PROM
written by Jackson Truax
with Dana DeRuyck
directed by Danielle Ozymandias
episodes 11-12 & 14-15 assistant directed by DeAnne Millais

Can love exist in a free market economy?

15 Episodes
Original Run: 11 Eps, 11/15/14 - 3/7/15
Playoffs Run: 4 Eps, 4/11/15 - 5/2/15

EPISODE ONE (11/15/14): "It's Been a Long Time Coming"

SUMMARY:  It's 2004.  Socially awkward, music-obsessed high school student Jason tries to ask out Molly, the lead in the school play, to prom (after talking her ear off about Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, about whom she knows nothing), but she turns him down.  Frustrated but unbowed, straight-arrow Jason turns to his older friends, incipient burnouts Williams and Tyler.  As Jason waxes on (and on and on and on) about Jackson Browne, Williams gets a call from his friend Kassy, a young girl with an alcoholic mother who is struggling to make ends meet in her job delivering pizza.  Williams asks Kassy if she's ready to go in on that "business plan" they've talked about, and she agrees.  And so Williams breaks into Jason's monologue to give him the good news: "You're taking a hooker to prom."

Photos by Marian Gonzalez

EPISODE TWO (11/22/14): "The Wild, the Innocent & the Suburban Shuffle"

SUMMARY:  Unsure whether he actually wants to take a hooker to prom, Jason seeks advice from his parents, though he's careful to couch the question vaguely.  Jason receives terrible advice about girls from his father, and not much help from his mother, either.  Frustrated, he visits Williams and Tyler, and finds Williams and Kassy making out upon his arrival.  Jason quickly weirds Kassy out and she's on the verge of backing out, feeling she's taking advantage of him, but a compassionate and sweet speech from Jason, who in no way wants to make her uncomfortable or make her do anything she doesn't want to do, changes her mind.

Photos by Marian Gonzalez

EPISODE THREE (12/6/14): "On the Bed Where We Both Lie..."

SUMMARY:  Jason buys a completed biology test from classmate Nora, who buys a completed English test from Jason, part of a larger ring of students selling their test answers to each other in which the expenses and earnings seem to ultimately cancel each other out.  Before she leaves, Jason tells her a bunch of "fun facts" about all the great albums released in 1973.  Jason then calls Tyler, seeking advice about what to do with Kassy after prom... he's not sure if he wants his first time to be with somebody he's paying to have sex with him.  Tyler thinks Jason is overthinking things.  Jason heads over to meet with Kassy and Williams, and Kassy tells him the terms of exactly how far she'll go for his money - third base, a blow job, he can kiss her because "you're a sweet kid and I'm not that jaded yet," and she'll even hang out afterwards listening to whatever music he wants.  After Williams leaves, Kassy nervously confesses that her family doesn't have enough money to eat right now.  Her alcoholic mother isn't working and Kassy doesn't get paid by the pizza place until Friday and there's no money left and she has a younger brother, and she doesn't feel comfortable asking Williams because she doesn't think he'd care and he's probably fucking somebody else tonight anyway.  Jason confesses that he doesn't know how to deal with any of this.  She begs for just $20 to get her through, and tries to offer her body as a "side deal."  Jason gives her everything he has on him, no strings attached.  Near tears, she puts on Jason's CD of Jackson Browne's 1974 album "Late for the Sky," and just buries herself in his arms.

Photos by Aaron Francis

EPISODE FOUR (12/13/14): "The Neil Young Incident"

SUMMARY:  Jason is super-excited - over-excited, actually - to find that Neil Young and Crazy Horse are coming to town on tour, and he begs his father, Rob, to get him tickets.  Rob, though exhausted and perplexed by Jason's extreme emotion over this, agrees.  Jason then goes over to Williams and Tyler's, where Kassy is waiting alone.  She manages to calm him down over his literally near-breathless excitement.  She tries to kiss him, but he jumps away, skittish.  Kassy asks why he likes old music from the 1970s so much.  Jason explains that he loves the singer-songwriters of the period; that as a weird and lonely kid, he feels like he's getting to known them all through their songs.  Jason then asks Kassy why she's a hooker.  Kassy, after telling him not to use that word, reminds him that she needs the money, and that it's her first time... and says she only wants to do it for people who seem to need help, like him.  The two agree that they're glad that they're friends.  All is well and everybody's relaxed and content for once... until Jason asks Kassy if she'll come and have dinner with his family.

Photos by Scott Golden

EPISODE FIVE (1/24/15): "You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave"

SUMMARY:  It's culture clash when Kassy comes over to Jason's home for dinner - and love at first sight for Jason's younger brother Cody, who begins relentlessly hitting on her.  Jason and Kassy make up a story that they met through Tyler; they pretend to barely know Williams when Kathy, Jason's mom, goes off about how he's a juvenile delinquent - though the worst thing she knows about him is that he made noise with his friends after 9pm playing basketball across the street while listening to "prison music."  The uptight Kathy also has an insane rationing system for food, only buying enough food for the week and insisting that everyone leave enough for leftovers - this despite the fact that they are well off and can easily buy more food.  Cody assumes that if Kassy and Jason are friends, she must like the same old music he does, and he pretends to like the Eagles - quickly driving Jason to distraction when he starts quoting songs that are not at all Eagles songs.  Embarassed by his family, Jason calls an end to the evening, though once they leave the house, Kassy cracks up, having been thoroughly entertained by the whitest family in the suburbs.

Photos by Marian Gonzalez

EPISODE SIX (1/31/15): "Hello Darkness, My Old Friend"

SUMMARY:  Jason spends a day with his grandfather, who has a photographic memory.  He can remember the cover of any magazine or newspaper if Jason gives him a date.  And though he doesn't much like modern music, he does share Jason's love of Simon & Garfunkel.  Jason wants to ask for advice about Kassy, and tries to tell him that he has problems with human connection, but the conversation gets sidetracked as his "Papa" talks about his own life and regrets.  All he ever wanted was to be a writer and to be left alone, but he was forced into an arranged marriage and a job he was unhappy in.  Afterwards, Jason checks his answering machine to find it flooded with messages - an angry message from Williams, who is enraged to learn that Jason's been giving Kassy money that he hasn't seen a share of, so he's now raising the price of Kassy's services on prom night; a warning message about Williams from Tyler, who says that Williams and his friends got busted for selling drugs; and a desperate, vulnerable message from Kassy, who is flat broke again and makes an emotional plea for Jason's help.  "I need you," she says, as Jason wonders how to deal with this unexpected drama.

Photos by Scott Golden

EPISODE SEVEN (2/7/15): "Second Hand News"

SUMMARY:  In the wake of recent events, Williams is spending time with another girlfriend, "Crystalline" (real name: Denise, probably), and Kassy's upset.  She's even more upset when Williams proposes replacing Kassy with Crystalline as Jason's prom date.  When Jason arrives, Crystalline flirts with Jason to try to sell him on going to prom with her: how jealous the others would be and all the things she'd do to him afterwards.  Jason has just one question for her: a convoluted question about Fleetwood Mac and vocalists Stevie Nicks and Chrstine McVie.  Crystalline, who thought Fleetwood Mac was one guy, can't answer.  "I'm sorry," says Jason, "but I just don't know how to talk to you."  Williams throws up his hands and washes himself of the whole thing.  Kassy's elated; she'll be going to prom with her friend after all.  But, says Jason, there's just one more thing: how's he going to earn the money he needs to pay Kassy?  Williams comes barging back in, angry and unbelieving that Jason never had the money in the first place.

Kassy blows off steam with Tyler. Williams announces that Crystalline (Jaime Puckett, R) will be Jason's new prom date. Crystalline uses her particular skillset to try and convince Jason to hire her for her services. "I thought Fleetwood Mac was one guy."

Photos by Scott Golden

EPISODE EIGHT (2/14/15): "Dark Side of the Tapestry"

SUMMARY:  Jason is busily ranting about Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" while Tyler and Kassy play videogames.  Tyler is more down than usual; his sister is getting married, but his father has forbidden his mother to attend the wedding.  Meanwhile, Jason is worried about how he's gong to make up the $200 shortfall that he needs to pay Kassy - especially as Kassy's brother had an emergency this week that cut into her funds and has left her short for food.  Tyler asks Jason to do him a favor: talk to his mother for him; he doesn't know what to say, and Jason seems to be better at talking about feelings and stuff.  Jason agrees, and Tyler, in gratitude, gives him the $200 he needs, which Jason immediately gives to Kassy.  Jason then visits Anne, Tyler's mother, who is spending the afternoon drinking and listening to Carole King's "Tapestry," which provides a point of entry for Jason to bond with her via another rant about music history.  He asks her if she wants to talk, and though she initially isn't comfortable talking to a teenager about adult problems, his sincere but naive attempts to help - and the wine she's drinking - eventually cause her to spill.  She realizes that although it will be uncomfortable, she can attend the wedding if she wants; it's her ex-husband's issue, not hers.  Jason leaves, satisfied that he's helped, while Anne takes another deep swig from her bottle.

Photos by Marian Gonzalez

EPISODE NINE (2/21/15): "So Bitter and So Sweet"

SUMMARY:  As Jason meets with classmate Nora to exchange term papers, Nora offers to help Jason become more socially accepted, so he isn't left out of parties and other social occasions.  She starts by trying to teach him the art of conversation - asking questions about other people's interests and sharing personal information, instead of just spewing music facts at them.  He learns that Nora, like him, is a Joni Mitchell fan, and she guides him towards a real conversation on the subject - how she listened to the album "Blue" incessantly after a breakup, and (after attempting to talk about the artists who worked on the album) Jason eventually responds with a personal story of his own.  Progress!  Suddenly, Principal Jefferson, who has just announced over the P.A. system that one of the ringleaders of the exam swappers has been caught, appears - but he still doesn't suspect Nora and Jason in the least.  He even expects them, as the "good" students, to rat out anybody they might know of who are engaged in exam swapping... but Jason fends off his questions by simply launching into a monologue about Joni Mitchell's career.  Sometimes Jason just being Jason is a lifesaver.

Photos by Aaron Francis

EPISODE TEN (2/28/15): "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times"

SUMMARY:  After an anxiety attack renders him nearly catatonic, Jason visits the school's guidance counselor, Miss Marcella.  Jason's particular brand of social disorder has found no diagnosis - indeed, in 2004, nobody is really equipped to properly diagnose and help him yet - but Miss Marcella is compassionate and kind, and willing to talk Jason through his troubles.  Jason, for his part, is far more reluctant to talk, and Miss Marcella has to coax him to talk about the Beach Boys for a while to calm him down.  What Jason wants more than anything in the world is human connection, and Miss Marcella gets him talking about his life, hopes and fears.  Jason worries that he'll end up like Brian Wilson, who suffered a nervous breakdown and never really recovered, but Miss Marcella reassures him that unlike Brian Wilson, Jason isn't pushing everyone away... he's seeking help.

Photos by Marian Gonazlez

EPISODE ELEVEN (3/7/15): "What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been"

SUMMARY:  Jason confronts his father, Rob, about one of his clients, a rich man who has been in the news for his illegal activities.  How can his father continue to work for such a man?  In answer, Rob points to the jeweled boxes all around the house, which he buys only to make Jason's mother happy.  Rob's given up every dream he's ever had in order to be married to "a woman who looks like your mother."  Troubled, Jason asks an odd question: can love exist in a free market economy?  Rob, a child of the 1960s turned conservative, tells Jason that when the Grateful Dead album "American Beauty" came out, he and his friends thought it was funny that you could also read the text on the cover as "American Reality."  But it doesn't seem too funny now.  Rob and his own father and everybody else Rob can think of has traded their dreams for cash.  So his answer is no; there is no love in a free market economy.  Jason then visits Williams and poses the same question.  Williams, who makes his living selling drugs and sex, says that love and the economy are one and the same.  Jason hopes to get a more positive answer from Tyler, but Tyler has just watched his divorced parents sue each other for control of the company they stated together and no longer believes that love exists at all.  Jason, upset, declares he no longer wants to go to prom; he can no longer see the point.  He was shouting into the void and hoping somebody would answer, that'd he'd find some connection.  But clearly it's not going to happen.  But Kassy arrives, having overheard the tail end of this.  She surprises him by bringing up a Jackson Browne album she looked up while bored on a new thing called "Google."  The theme of the album is apocalypse... and carrying on afterwards.  Yes, love is dead... but it can be revived.  And she tells him that he's her friend and she loves him.  They embrace, and Jason decides he'll go to prom after all.

Photos by Marian Gonazlez

EPISODE TWELVE (4/11/15): "I've Seen Fire and I've Seen Rain" - PLAYOFFS ROUND 1!

SUMMARY:  It's the day before prom, and Nora is still working with Jason to try to help him become more socially acceptable.  She has him practice having a normal conversation - and tests him by tangentially bringing up James Taylor; he does reasonably well, but when they're done, she has to give him permission to "let it out" with a lengthy monologue about James Taylor he's been holding in.

Photos by Aaron Francis

EPISODE THIRTEEN (4/18/15): "I'm a Child" - PLAYOFFS ROUND 2!

SUMMARY:  Jason's father, Rob, reluctantly takes him to the Neil Young & Crazy Horse concert, where he meets a family of hippies who are following Young on tour.  The family initially assumes that Rob is the Neil Young fan and that he dragged his kid along, but Jason soon sets them straight.  Jason soon bonds with the hippies, finally finding people who share his love of music trivia and analysis.  They invite him to come along with them to the other local concerts, which Jason eagerly accepts - except for tomorrow's concert, of course.  Tomorrow is prom night...

Photos by Aaron Francis

EPISODE FOURTEEN (4/25/15): "Being For the Benefit of Jason Thompson" - PLAYOFFS ROUND 3!

SUMMARY:  Jason picks Kassy up for prom, and Cody, who still doesn't understand how his brother scored such a babe, takes photos of them.  Jason and Kassy go to dinner before heaging out to prom.  He briefly makes her uncomfortable by giving her the money for the date before dinner, but he reminds her that she said she'd go to prom because they were friends, even without the money... and says that he'd want to help her out financially because they're friends, even if they didn't have this arrangement.  He's still nervous about what comes after prom, but she says they'll figure it out when they get there.  Suddenly, Jason gets a call from Cody; due to the official photographer from the school coming down with strep throat, Cody's been asked to replace her.  Over Jason's strenuous objections, Cody's coming to prom, taking pictures all night.  Then, Kassy gets an equally unwelcome phone call from Williams; he's going to be selling drugs to the golf team at prom, and expects her to help him cover.

Prom(o) photos by DeAnne Millais / Production photos by Aaron Francis

EPISODE FIFTEEN (5/2/15): "I Never Knew Me a Better Time" - PLAYOFFS ROUND 4!

SUMMARY:  Prom!  Everybody's dancing, Cody's enthusiastically taking pictures... and Jason and Kassy arrive, Jason standing nervously on the sidelines.  Nora meets Kassy and is the first to react with surprise to Jason's date.  Nora and Kassy get Jason to go talk to Tiffany, and he pulls off a normal conversation, scoring an invite to her Fourth of July party in the process.  Suddenly, a voice is heard over the P.A. system, identifying two cars about to be towed or broken into.  Said cards belong to Principal Jefferson and the awful DJ, who race outside - and Williams, who was the voice on the P.A. rushes in and locks them out.  He announces that he broken into Jason's home and stole his CDs, and will be taking over DJing the party.  He then puts on Elton John's "Don't Shoot Me, I'm Just the Piano Player," which prompts Jason to start a monologue - which Kassy cuts off with a kiss.  "Let's dance," she suggests.  Thus follows a night in which Jason is the life of the party, dancing to his preferred soundtrack, with a beautiful woman - and good friend - by his side.  At the end of the evening, Molly, who had rejected him as a prom date, comes over to apologize, but Jason tells her it's all good.  She actually seems a little jealous of Kassy.  Kassy tells him he got what he wanted, but Jason says not quite... there's still one more thing.  Kassy suggests that maybe it's time to quit the party before it quits them.  "C'mon," she says, taking him by the hand.  "Let's get out of here."

Prom night. Jason's nervous, but Nora and Kassy have got his back. Williams arrives to take over DJing the party - with Jason's preferred music. Dancing at prom! (L-R: Chris Millar, Cj Merriman, Ari Radousky & Dana DeRuyck) Slow dance and loving friendship. A night to remember.

Photos by Aaron Francis

CAST

Ari Radousky

Jason (Eps. 1-15)

Erin Holt

Molly (Eps. 1 & 15)

Will McMichael

Williams (Eps. 1-3, 5-7, 11 & 14-15)

Colin Willkie

Tyler  (Eps. 1-3, 5-8, 11 & 14-15)

Dana DeRuyck

Kassy (Eps. 1-8, 11 & 14-15)

Erin Matthews

Kassy's Mom (Ep. 1)
Kathy (Eps. 2 & 5)

David Mayes

Principal Jefferson (Eps. 1, 9 & 15)

Bruno Oliver

Rob (Eps. 2, 4-5, 11 & 13)

Heather Schmidt

Cody (Eps. 2, 5 & 14-15)

Julia Griswold

Nora (Eps. 3, 9, 12 & 15)

Leon Russom

Papa (Ep. 6)

Jaime Puckett

Cyrstalline (Ep. 7)

Jenelle Riley

Anne (Ep. 8)

Natalie Rose

Miss Marcella (Eps. 10 & 15)

Bart Tangredi

Old Bill (Ep. 13)

Alisa Tangredi

Sunshine Janice (Ep. 13)

Bryan Krasner

Big Jim (Ep. 13)

Jan DeRosa

Joni (Ep. 13)

Rebecca Larsen

Tiffany (Ep. 15)

Joe Fria

DJ Fuzzcracker (Ep. 15)

Cj Merriman

Amanda (Ep. 15)

Lauren Van Kurin

Caitlin (Ep. 15)

Isaac Deakyne

Joey (Ep. 15)

Scott Golden

Ivan (Ep. 15)

Chris Millar

Blake (Ep. 15)

Nathan Wellman

The Whitest Golfer of Them All (Ep. 15)

Choreography by Cj Merriman (Ep. 15)